It was quite the week at Fort Mason in San Francisco for Autodesk’s first ever Forge Developer Conference, DevCon. Nearly 1,500 attendees – including software developers and partners from around the world – got to experience everything from drones to 3D scanning to virtual reality, and learn about the data integration opportunities made possible by the Autodesk Forge platform.
From the BIM 360 front, we unveiled a set of new APIs as part of the Forge Platform.
- For Account and Project Administration, the new BIM 360 API supports integrations for account access control, project creation, project profiles, company directories, member directories and business unit data
- For BIM 360 Docs, the Forge Data Management API provides access to accounts, projects, folders, list contents and documents within BIM 360 Docs
More information can be found on the APIs page on BIM360.com.
What can you do with these new APIs?
The new Forge APIs allow customers to provide a secure and private mechanism to connect BIM 360 accounts, projects and project data with external systems and third-party apps. For developers, it provides access to BIM 360 API within the unified Autodesk Forge platform, and an easy way to connect to BIM 360 customer accounts once approved.
Some example use cases include:
- Automatic project creation based on data from corporate ERP or CRM systems, reducing manual data entry and improving quality for analytics and reporting
- Data sync to connect documents, plans and models stored in BIM 360 to external applications
- Utilizing the Autodesk Forge Viewer within custom project portals or applications to extend the value of BIM to the entire project team
- Accelerating project setup by adding, editing and syncing user and company data from external systems to BIM 360
The practical application of these APIs is evident today. But what it can mean for future applications is what Forge DevCon attendees were most excited about. Forge DevCon attendee Chetan Bhandari had this to say after the BIM 360 Docs API session:
Today when I entered the presentation of BIM Docs it took me back 3 years when I just started my journey into building design. It was AutoCAD 2011 with which I used to design the building elevation, floor plans, with rear and side views. BIM Docs would have been the perfect platform to address the issues that we faced at the construction site, 900 kms away from my office. Using BIM Docs Issues, we could have communicated to the remote site efficiently.
Then it struck me, what if a situation arises when an occupant complains of sub-par air conditioning. In that case using the real-time visualization module for air flow the suspect branch of AC-duct can be found out. That narrows down to one branch, then by deduction it can be found out that a VAV box is at fault. This pins an issue using BIM Docs. The building automation supervising software notifies the maintenance person in-charge who blows up the VR model of the mechanical components and prepares for the equipment required to repair or replace the faulty part. Voila! The issue got resolved so fast, and then apply this for manufacturing preventive maintenance with taking trending data from sensors installed on line. All done in fraction of a day.
- Chetan Bhandari, Forge DevCon Attendee
It’s this type of vision that keeps us energized!