December 7, 2020

Autodesk Construction Cloud Unified Products: Does it Affect My Application?

AU 2020 AEC Keynote

During AU 2020 last month, Autodesk announced four new products for AEC: Autodesk Build, Autodesk BIM Collaborate, Autodesk Quantify and Autodesk Docs. As a Forge Developer, you may be wondering what this means to your application. “Does my existing integration with BIM 360 continue to function?” “What do we need to integrate with new products offerings?” The detail of product features and their APIs are still to come. In a nutshell, new products offerings are unification of existing products’ features. Many parts remain unchanged while if you are not familiar with a certain product, features coming from it may look new to you. 
  
In this post, we will take the first look at what is expected to happen with upcoming new products offerings from Forge/BIM 360 API perspective. 

Disclaimer: until the products and APIs are officially released, anything can change. We are writing here based on the information we have at the time of this writing. We intend to update information as it becomes available. 
 

Autodesk Docs 

Autodesk Docs will be a successor of BIM 360 Docs. You can continue using Forge Data Management (DM) API to access files stored in Docs, and Viewer and Model Derivative API to view and extract meta data from a model. DM API allows users to access other storage services by Autodesk, such as A360 and Fusion. You can consider Autodesk Docs much as a new member of DM API consumers. To distinguish a project between BIM 360 Docs and Autodesk Docs, you can check the following property of the project:   

Data Management API >>  GET projects   

In response, you will see:

    data[n].attributes.extension.data.projectType = “ACC” | “BIM360”   

If you check this property today, you will see “BIM360” for BIM 360 Docs based project. It will be "ACC" when the project is from Autodesk Docs.   

Another point is about Plans folder.  In Autodesk Docs, there will be no Plans folder. The similar functionality will be offered by Sheets functionality from PlanGrid.

Admin API will remain unchanged.  However, as BIM 360 developer community is aware, current Admin API is dated and quite a few gaps exist, in particular for project admin related features. We hope to have a newer version in future.

APIs for features coming from PlanGrid will be exposed through Forge in future.    
 

Autodesk BIM Collaborate 

BIM 360 Design and BIM Coordinate will be merged as Autodesk BIM Collaborate. No change in Data Management. Model Coordination and Relationship API are expected to remain unchanged except the following two items: 
i)    Base URL will have /construction/, replacing /bim360/ for BIM Collaborate. 
ii)   containerId will be always equal to projectId. This will eliminate a need to parse the property under relationships in the response from GET projects.  
 

Autodesk Quantify 

This will be a new product. There is no equivalent functionality in BIM 360 nor Forge API.   
 

Autodesk Build 

Autodesk Build is a successor of BIM 360 Build. New Autodesk Build brings together the best of BIM 360 and PlanGrid into a single application for project and field management. Because of that, Autodesk Build is the one which we expect to see most changes. Issues and RFI will be similar to BIM 360, but API are expected to have a newer version.  Checklists in Autodesk Build will be called Forms from PlanGrid. APIs for features coming from PlanGrid will be exposed through Forge in future.    

Cost and Assets API remain the same except two changes (same as ones described under Autodesk Docs above), i.e.:  
i)    Base URL will have /construction/ added or replace /bim360/ in Autodesk Build.  
ii)   containerId will be always equal to projectId. This will eliminate a need to parse the property under relationships in the response from GET projects.  

I hope this gives you an idea about implication of new products on Forge API. We intend to update you as more details are made available. 

Posted by

Mikako Harada

Mikako Harada works as an AEC technical lead and Americas manager for the Developer Technical Services (DevTech) team at Autodesk. She provides API (Application Programming Interface) technical support to the members of Autodesk Developer Network worldwide for AEC products.


Prior to joining Autodesk, she worked as a researcher for the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich. While at...

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