March 16, 2018

Custom properties on Viewer: .NET & Lambda & DynamoDB

I've been playing with AWS Lambda for a while now, it's an impressive tool with several benefits that fits this specific sample: quick query data from a database and show on Viewer (custom property panel). As this is not used every time the Viewer loads, just eventually, and for a short task, Lambda fits the bill. And to store the data we can use managed DynamoDB, no worries about managing server, just store the data.

You can try it now:

  1. Make sure you have a model on any BIM 360 hub with BIMDATA - ObjectCode property
  2. Go to this Data Management sample, sign-in with your Autodesk account and navigate to the file
  3. Once you select the object, the "Object Code" button will appear on the toolbar
  4. You may edit the database at this online editor

This sample is composed of 3 modules (and everything is on Github)

  • lambda.dynamo: server-side REST API written in C# .NET and hosted on AWS Lambda, using an Amazon DynamoDB No-SQL database to the data. The basic structure came from this previous sample and blog post.
  • static.database.editor: jQuery static UI where the user can navigate on a tree of hierarchical codes (jsTree) and view properties on the panel. Why static? So it can be hosted on any CDN provider, like Amazon Cloud Front.
  • viewer.extension: Viewer extension that shows a toolbar button and a docking panel toolbar. It uses the extension skeleton from this older post.

AWS Architecture

The deployment requires some steps:

1. Deploy the AWS Lambda project, see instruction here.

2. Upload the static.database.editor module to an Amazon S3 bucket then serve it via Cloud Front.

3. On an existing Viewer-base app, load the extension with the property name that will be used to link (see code)

viewer.loadExtension('ObjectCodeExtension', { objectCodeProperty: 'BIMDATA - ObjectCode' });

Interesting, isn't it?

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