I’m coming to Autodesk Forge DevCon – a pre-conference before Autodesk University. As in the last year, it will take place at AU2019 in Las Vegas just in a few weeks from now. I’ve been attending all DevCons starting from the very first one in San-Francisco in 2016. According to Jim Quanci, Director of Autodesk of Development Network, about 20% of attendees are coming just to visit DevCon to learn about Autodesk Forge Cloud platform. If you never heard about Autodesk Forge, take a look – it is a development cloud platform from Autodesk which is fast becoming a foundational part of the Autodesk cloud platform.
The theme of Forge DevCon 2019 is Digital Transformation. While it is not surprising these days, it is interesting to see a trajectory Autodesk platform was taking for the last few years. Started as a foundation of Autodesk Fusion 360, it expanded with tools and APIs.
The thing I’m especially interested to learn this year is Forge Design Automation. He is a passage announcing the news.
Design automation lets you access the full power of Autodesk’s core product engines to get more work done faster and more reliably. Manual, repetitive and error-prone tasks can be automated, freeing people to work on the hard stuff that requires more engineering expertise. This Forge service also enables connections of tools and tasks into complete workflows. Design automation allows you to connect business systems to powerful web services to accelerate your work process and improve your business flexibility.
Design Automation APIs allow you to access Autodesk’s core product engines and integrate them into your processes and applications. Using the APIs you can leverage virtually all the capabilities provided by Autodesk’s AutoCAD, Inventor, Revit, and 3ds Max engines, with plans in the works to expand to other engines.
You can learn more about Forge Design Automation here.
For example, you can access Autodesk Inventor APIs as a Forge Service. You can plug a custom code and iLogic rules, set automatic responder and make many other things.
My special interest in Forge Automation APIs comes from the side of organizing processes that can span across multiple applications in an organization. As we can see the industry moving to SaaS applications, still the question about transition is one of the most critical. How to leverage the data that was accumulated for years in SaaS platforms. How to allow new SaaS application developers to pull resources and re-use existing applications?
Autodesk Fusion 360 and Forge Platform were evolving for the last seven years from isolated applications and services into connected eco-system. As a platform, Forge is available on the public cloud and allows companies and teams to collaborate and communicate. The ability to plug different services and applications in an open way is one of the most interesting characteristics of Autodesk platform development.
What is my conclusion? Cloud and SaaS is the future. However, I think many companies these days are asking about how to move from a current status quo of desktops applications and single database-driven systems into a new multi-tenant SaaS world. The key aspect of this process is not only to provide new tools but also to support a transition path including hybrid models to leverage data and existing applications. It looks like Autodesk is focusing on how to deliver a hybrid cloud model to support desktop-SaaS migration over time. I’m sure will learn more at AU2019. Just my thoughts…
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud-based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups, and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.