Some like it hot: A little more detail behind the Autodesk Forge API

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This is a more detailed rework of a previous blog
post
.

“Feel the heat pushing you to decide
 Feel the heat burning you up, ready or not
 Some like it hot, and some sweat when the heat is
on…
 Some like it hot, so let’s turn up the heat ’til we
fry”
— “Some Like It Hot,” Power Station, Power Station,
1985.

Let’s say you’ve been an Autodesk customer for a long time.
You’ve got decades of your intellectual property captured in
AutoCAD drawings.
If you’d like to leverage that data to showcase your work to
your customers, then Autodesk Forge is for you.

Forge is our application program interface (API) platform
and supporting materials (sample code, manuals) as well as
a community of developers who uses those APIs. Although
Forge is intended for our customers and
3rd party developers to be able to extend our
web services, we use Forge for our development of the
cloud-based services that we offer. You can leverage Forge in
the same ways that we do.

Forge is defined by 4 groups of APIs:

  1. Design Automation API

    The Design Automation API gives you the ability to run
    scripts on your design files, leveraging the scale of the
    Forge Platform to automate repetitive tasks. The API
    currently works with DWG files, but we have plans to
    expand to file types generated by other design software.
    For example, this is a handy way to publish thousands of
    drawings to DWF or PDF. “Ordinarily, you would have to
    download all the files, run a script on them in the AutoCAD
    desktop software, and then potentially upload them all back
    to the cloud. Your efficiency would be bottlenecked by the
    processing power of your computer and your network
    bandwidth, and you would have to instrument logging and
    retry logic in your code to ensure that the entire job
    completed. With the Design Automation API, you can offload
    all that processing to the Forge Platform, which can
    process those scripts at a much greater scale and
    efficiency.” [Forge]

    The pieces of this part of the Forge API include:

    • activity – action (e.g., plotting DWG
      to PDF file or updating a CAD standard) that can be

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