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: 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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Android App for BIM 360 Docs

I just heard that the Android version of mobile app for BIM 360 Docs finally released! It’s available for download from the Google Play Store. This is THE first Android app for BIM 360 family products (aside from the BIM 360 Team which is a branding change of A360 Team and whose Android app is already available.)

The BIM 360 Docs Android app is an free app. You can use it to access your BIM 360 Docs data. The first version focuses around viewing project documents, models, markups, and issues. More functionalities are expected to come, including the ability to download files for offline access, and more advanced issue and markup management features.

If you have an Android device, please give it a try.

bim-360-docs-android

Mikako

HQ API Intro Node.js

Prompted by an inquiry through the forum post, I made a minimum sample that uses HQ API. I wanted to do “Intro Labs” series for Forge API for a while any way. He gave me a little push to start something along the line of Intro Labs. (So thank you for asking.)  Not quite to the level of Labs, yet. I hope I will be accumulating how-to materials as I write in small chunks at a time.

The Intro sample is intended for people who is new to HQ API. The sample demonstrates the following workflow:

  1. Get a token using two-legged authentication
  2. Get the list of companies
  3. Updates a company info

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Field API: Enforced Route Verbs

BIM 360 Field update went out today. It includes a change that potentially affects API users. As a part of pre-work for future framework update for Field, Field API’s route methods (i.e., POST, GET, PUT, etc.) used in the API calls are made strict. If you are NOT using the correct verb (i.e., the verb indicated in the documentation), you will get an 404 error. If you are using correct ones, you will not see any difference.

This made me think that we want to have a better communication channel for an update like this. The product team recognizes that, too. I did post a note to the BIM 360 API forum immediately after I heard about it. This is not just for Field. The same applies to other API, too. We will discuss with the product team to make sure we get advanced notice for any changes that have potential to break your apps in future.

Mikako

From AU/DevDay 2016

What a week.  I just got back from Autodesk University (AU) and Developer Day 2016 in Las Vegas. I knew it was going to be a busy one. But still AU for me only gets busier and busier each year. On Monday, we had Developer Day whole day; the general session started 8 AM in the morning, and breakouts in the afternoon till 5 PM. I was responsible for organizing the AEC breakout in the afternoon. Sasha Crotty, Platform and API Product Manager for Revit, presented about Revit API updates. I presented BIM 360 API updates, followed by Augusto Goncalves briefly presenting about Civil 3D and Infraworks 360. I feel lucky to have a person like Sasha as a Revit PM, who used to be a Revit developer herself, understands both technical and business side, and very comfortable presenting to a large audience. As in previous years, Revit API session was fully packed, many standing in the back. The clear sign that the momentum of Revit is not yet weakened. My session about BIM 360 went well as well. On Tuesday we had so-called DevLab, which is a walk-in clinic-type setting, where a developer can stop by to ask API related questions. I also had one class of my own on Wednesday about API for BIM 360 Docs as well as helping two other classes. I plan to write about BIM 360 Docs API in subsequent posts in the next few weeks.

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