C4R and Forge API Access

Occasionally I receive a question: “Can we access Collaboration for Revit (C4R) model using Forge API?” The answer is: “not quite, but a partially, yes.” Here is the reason why the answer is not a simple yes or no.

When you are working with C4R, you can see a model on BIM 360 Team. This is actually a “published” model. When Revit model is initially uploaded to the cloud for the first time, and every time you press “Publish Latest” (image below), the system publishes the Revit model to BIM 360 Team. The central file that project members works in work-sharing is stored somewhere else. Using Forge API, you can only access to a model published to BIM 360 Team. If you are interested in the API access to the central file, you cannot do currently. Unfortunately, there is no API to publish to the Team, either.

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Forge Authentication API

As I mentioned in my previous post, BIM 360 uses the following Forge API’s:

  • Authentication (OAuth) 
  • BIM 360 (HQ) API
  • Data Management API
  • Model Derivatives API
  • Viewer

So far, my focus has been on a big picture discussion about Forge in respect to BIM 360. Let’s shift a focus a little and look at each component level. As a starting point, let’s take the first one, Authentication or OAuth.

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BIM 360 Enterprise: Activating API Access to Docs

BIM 360 Enterprise Account Administration (or HQ for short) has a feature to control API access for HQ. I have described about this in my earlier post. As a part of recent update, this feature was extended to include the control over API access to Docs. The owner of Docs account can now activate API access to Docs and invite a developer to grant API access.

Important: Currently (as of January 19, 2017), the API access to Docs is in preview mode. Please do not use with your production data. You should have read access to project data. However, the documentation is still to come. We don’t recommend to try complex access, such as write access, till the proper workflow is documented and made available. (Update: 2/6/2017 – upload is possible now (y). Please refer to this post.)

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BIM 360 and Forge Overview

Occasionally I get requests to have a call to discuss about BIM 360 and Forge. While the context of what people are trying to accomplish are different, some people tells us that they hear conflicting information about availability of different API’s. I will try to clarify the status of API’s for BIM 360 as it stands today.

The fact that Forge is continuously evolving, in particular, Forge support for Docs is still under development, is most likely contributing to the confusion. In addition, I see there are two factors that seem to make API discussion for BIM 360 fuzzy:

  • BIM 360 is a collection of different web services. Some are Forge while others are not.
  • Forge is platform technology, which in turn a collection of component technologies that some of BIM 360 web services are built on top.

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