For the past year, as I mentioned in my previous blog post (which was published a long time ago), I’ve been working on Autodesk InfraWorks; specifically, in a new REST API that allows third-party applications to access model data from a published AIW model. With the 2015 release cycle, the REST API has moved to a technology preview state, and we want to open access to the preview to all developers out there interested in integrating InfraWorks Web-Services with their applications.
Augusto Goncalves has published a very nice post to get everyone started. Augusto is also coordinating access to the preview, so you should contact him directly (he is so nice, that he has posted his e-mail in the article) or your A.D.N. representative inquiring about the program. The requirements are simple. All we want is a brief description of how you intend to integrate the service. You should read Augusto’s article and watch his presentation, but before you go and do that, I want to explain what this new API is all about and which opportunities opens for Autodesk, InfraWorks, and third-party applications.
It doesn’t take much to get excited about Autodesk InfraWorks after you have seen a demo of the product or tried it your-self. To say that it is one of the coolest applications I’ve seen in many years, might be a bit of an understatement. The way the product has been evolving and the myriad of new features that have been introduced in the past year make it a serious contender against any Infrastructure product out there. But the secret behind the product is its data. InfraWorks is as good as the data you feed it. The better the data is; the better it gets.
InfraWorks is a data driven application.The workflows and tools it provides are targeted to rapidly aggregate data from many sources to create the initial models. As the user interacts with the application, more data is aggregated to enable user to rapidly create conceptual designs. Once the initial concepts are added, the data can be tweaked to make it more accurate. In InfraWorks, everything is about the data.
The initial goal of the InfraWorks REST API is to enable third-party applications and services to access the data users are creating and publishing with InfraWorks. Third-party applications can build on top of this API and evolve the user experience providing new ways in which the data is consumed, analyzed, or reported. All of this without being bound to a specific platform or technology; not even bound to a specific version of InfraWorks. The InfraWorks Web-Services REST API, at least in its initial release, is all about the data.
The REST API provides new means of integration creating opportunities for collaboration, mobility, virtual reality, or any other application you can imagine. The world of technology is changing, and it is changing at a faster pace than we perceive. What we though impossible just a few years ago, today is a reality, and the InfraWorks REST API enables InfraWorks and third-party applications to become part of that future.
Like with any new technology, there is still a long way to go, and many things we still need to learn. That is why we are releasing this technology preview. We want you to start using it, to start building the future, and to provide us with feedback, so we can make it even better. Now go ahead and check Augusto’s presentation, contact him with your great idea, and request access to the API; and when you build the next cool product, let us know about it. Of course, let us know about any bumps on the road you might find, so we can smooth them for others coming behind.