Folder Creation API for BIM 360 Docs

Long overdue. API to create a folder in BIM 360 Docs is finally available. Before you go back to your code and try it out yourself, however, I should point out a few things that you may want to be aware:

  • It uses commands (not POST-project-folders end point)
  • It supports in the user context only: i.e., 3-legged authentication and 2-legged with x-user-id specified. No full 2-legged is supported at this time.

Note also that BIM 360 Team and other A360 based data management service uses POST-project-folder endpoint to create a folder; the command version does not work for them. These may potentially add confusion if you are not aware up front. BIM 360 Docs team is aware of these gaps and will continue to work on to provide consistent and full 2-legged support at later time. For now, most importantly, we have a way to create folder!  Let’s take a look.

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From DevDay Online 2016 Webinars

Last month, we held a series of webinars titled “DevDays Online 2016”. They are online version of Developer Days presentations that we gave in several cities across the world last November and December. They are intended for people who couldn’t attend the conferences in person.

I was responsible for BIM 360 API updates. If you watched a recording of the last year’s my DevCon session, the baseline of the contents are similar. But it was slightly updated with the news about the preview of Data Management API access for Docs being released.  If you are new to Forge API and interested in using the API with BIM 360 Docs and family products, this will give you a good overview of what Forge API is about in the context of BIM 360.

Here is the link to YouTube:

BIM 360 API update, by Mikako Harada

You can find the slides here.

I’m also adding links to other presentations from the same DevDays Online Webinars below:

Mikako

Forge Subscription FAQ

I’m not an expert of sales side of discussion. Still, questions like “does ADN membership include Forge subscription?” comes to me occasionally. Forge subscription model itself has evolved since the DevCon last year. There are a few things that I myself wasn’t sure and needed to ask. So here I’m sharing a few questions and answers that I happen to have received recently. These are supplemental to the information that are described on the official Forge pricing page: https://developer.autodesk.com/en/pricing

Disclaimer: the information written here is from the best of my knowledge at the time of this writing (2/4/2017). There may be some changes coming in future. Please check the latest on the official pricing page, and use “Contact Forge Sales” button found at the bottom of that page for more information.    

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BIM 360 Docs API Update

I’m happy to inform you that the latest update for Forge Data Management (DM) includes important enhancements for BIM 360 Docs support; you can upload a file now (y). The documentation page is updated to include Docs. I myself have been waiting for this for a long time. While we are aware that this is not complete, this is a big milestone. Here is a quick summary of the current status of DM support for Docs.

Key Points

Basic workflow is identical to A360 Personal Hubs and BIM 360 Team (as well as Fusion Team). A few differences are:

  • Docs support 2-legged and 3-legged.
  • “Hubs” is equivalent of “Accounts” in BIM 360.
  • Docs requires an additional step for provisioning or activating API access in HQ.
  • Look for the use of extension types, such as *:autodesk.bim360:* instead of *:autodesk.core:*

API Basics page describes extension types and data management services in detail.

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3-Legged Authentication Using Postman

Continuing from the previous post about 2-legged authentication, let’s take a look at 3-legged authentication or more precisely OAuth 2.0 3-legged authentication with Forge next. My colleague, Adam Nagy, has already written a blog post about calling 3-legged using Postman. My rewrite will be with additional comments with BIM 360 in mind.

BIM 360 Team and Docs support 3-legged. HQ does not.

Prerequisite:

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2-Legged Authentication Using Postman

I mentioned about Postman being a useful tool for learning and troubleshooting a few times in the past. As multiple language choices exist to make REST API calls (i.e., NodeJS, php, Ruby, ASP.NET, etc.), let’s start with Postman to get a feel of the workflow to make calls with Forge API.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, there are two types of authentication methods for Forge: 2-legged and 3-legged. Let’s start with 2-legged as it is less complex in terms of make a REST call.

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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 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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Where to Get Help about Forge?

Forge seem to be getting a bit of momentum these days. I get inquires about where to get help about Forge from various directions. It’s not always clear where to go to get help, is it? So here it is, I’m listing a few options to get help when you are developing with Forge API.

There are basically five options as far as I’m aware of. But not everything may apply to you; depending on the type of API and your subscription level, you may or may not be entitled to have an additional support channel:

  • stackoverflow – popular forum among developers. Use with a forge tag. (See below if you don’t know how to use tags). Open to anybody.
  • Forge Help e-mail – send e-mail to forge.help@autodesk.com. Open to anybody.
  • BIM 360 API Forum – this is limited to BIM 360 API only. Open to anybody.
  • Autodesk Developer Network or SFDC DevHelp Online – ADN member only site.
  • Autodesk Customer Support – Enterprise Priority Support and Advanced Support subscribers are entitled to receive API support.

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