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: Activating API Access to Docs

(This page was last updated on 8/20/2017)

BIM 360 Account Administration (or Account Admin for short) has a feature to control API access. 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.

Currently, the access to the API is limited to the owner of following license types:

  • BIM 360 Docs account with 100 and more users.
  • PED (Product Evaluation and Demonstration) version that the member of ADN (Autodesk Developer Network) can order for development purpose (*1)

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BIM 360 and Forge Overview

Many BIM 360 developers get a little confused about what APIs are available, and what is  Forge in the context of BIM 360. This isn’t surprising as those products are APIs are rapidly evolving. 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, and is most likely contributing to the confusion. In addition, I see there are two factors that seem to make the 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 is a collection of component technologies on top of which some of the BIM 360 web services are built.

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