I receive a lot of questions about the Forge business model. So many in fact, that I presented a class about this at Forge DevCon last year. (The discussion of the business model starts at about 15mins 40 seconds). To make that information more accessible, and to make it easier to keep it up to date, I'm writing it up as a series of three blog posts:
Anyway, on to part 1. If you have any questions on these topics that the blog posts don't cover, then please email them to email@example.com. Where appropriate I'll update the blog posts to include the answers.
Before you start working with Forge (and having to worry about the business model), you’ll want to experiment with the API to make sure that it provides what you need. To help you with your evaluation, we provide you with a free Forge trial that lasts for either one year or until your 100 trial Cloud Credits are consumed (more on Cloud Credits and consumption later).
Starting your Free Trial is easy – just go to the Forge home page and click the 'Sign up to try Forge' button.
Once you’ve finished your evaluation and decided that you want to start building online experiences around your design data, then it’s time to start a Forge ‘subscription’. How you do that depends on your relationship to Autodesk and how you want to use Forge.
If your company has an Enterprise Business Agreement with Autodesk, then talk you your Customer Success Manager about adding a Forge entitlement to your EBA contract. Once you've done this, your Forge usage will deduct EBA Tokens from your account in the same way that Cloud Credits are deducted from a non-EBA account
(Hint: If you’re not sure whether your company has an EBA agreement with Forge then it probably doesn’t).
For everyone else, gaining full access to Forge means buying an annual Forge subscription directly from Autodesk. You can buy your subscription from the Autodesk eStore or by requesting a quote and submitting a purchase order. You’ll find links to both these routes on the Forge Pricing page.
Note: A Forge subscription can only be purchased directly from Autodesk. You can’t buy it from an Autodesk reseller.
The current price for an annual Forge subscription in the US is 100USD (prices vary by country). Your Forge subscription comes with 100 Cloud Credits (CCs), which are consumed as you make calls to Forge APIs. You can buy additional CCs as you need them either via a purchase order or from your Forge subscription management portal. These are standard Autodesk CCs, so you can buy them direct from Autodesk or you can buy them from your local Autodesk reseller. (Ask your reseller to add the CCs to the same contract as your Forge subscription).
That's all for this post - which is the shortest of the three. In my next post, I'll explain the Forge consumption model (which API costs how much) and how to buy and use Cloud Credits in detail.