The 2012 releases will soon be out the door, and with them, all the excitement of the new features. We, the API team, have also very exciting news for you. We worked very hard for the past year to deliver new features and enhancements to you. Keep reading if you are curious about what’s new with the AutoCAD Civil 3D API.
The major API feature included in the 2012 release is the Surfaces .NET API. This feature was very limited in the COM API, and some will say very hard to use. The Surfaces COM API exposed the feature functionality at a very low-level, making it very hard to use even for experienced users. Using it gives me the creeps, and I find it very hard to do anything useful with it. The good news is, it is all in the past.
With the Surfaces .NET API, we took a step back and looked at the feature functionality to determine what users will want to do with the API. We redesign the interface to provide real abstractions that are easy to use and give you all the power. Long gone are the arrays of doubles required to interact with points and triangles. Now, there are surface vertices and surface triangle objects that provide the necessary interfaces to get the job done. We also looked at features customers were requesting and implemented them in the new .NET API. It took us quite some time to get it done, but I am sure you and all our customers will be very happy with the new implementation.
Back in the 2011 release time-frame, we had several customers reporting huge performance degradation when using the Corridors API. We have always told customers to move from COM to .NET as new APIs become available, but doing so with the Corridor API was near impossible because of the performance issues. We worked hard profiling Corridors, and sure enough, the API was consuming most of the resources available in high-end machines. Once we found the bottlenecks, we started refactoring the code to improve it and make memory management better. The results are outstanding, and you will notice them on your first run. These improvements were made available with the AutoCAD Civil 3D 2011 SP1 release, but 2012 includes other fixes and improvements. As an example, we added support for ‘SetAxisOfRotationCrownPoint’, ‘SetAxisOfRotationInformation’, and ‘SetAxisOfRotationSERange’ to the ‘CorridorState’ object.
You will also find other minor, although important, improvements in the new 2012 API. You will find support for new alignment entities that were added to the feature. We added new overloaded methods to the ‘AlignmentEntityCollection’ class to have more control adding curves and spirals, and expose the label type for the alignment indexed PI label style.
Finally, we completed support for existing features where we might have missed some functionality or new functionality was added. We improved the QTO API to add support for sectional, volume and quantity takeoff results, and added support for the new rotate label feature in 2012. And, we completed the Styles and Settings API, so you can access all styles and settings exposed by Civil 3D 2012.
This was a great release, and I want to congratulate my team for their effort to make it possible. There was a lot of work to be done, but they pull it out, most important, they maintained stability and quality. With the new features and improvements, I am sure our customers will be very happy to upgrade.