You’ve been developing solutions based on Autodesk desktop software for years. Business is booming. Your customers love your products. Why should you care about what’s going on at Forge DevCon?
You’re a desktop software developer. You have plenty of work stacked up for your company’s next software release. How can you persuade your boss to send you to Las Vegas for a week?
Hopefully, this blog post will give you the answers …
What’s this Forge thing, again?
If you’ve been paying any attention at all to Autodesk desktop software releases over the last few years, you’ll have noticed that:
- Autodesk now has a large portfolio of web (SaaS) applications
- Autodesk ‘desktop’ software is increasingly making use of web services and integrations with the Autodesk web applications to deliver new features and increase customer productivity.
Putting it simply, Forge is Autodesk’s platform of web services APIs and web components that you can use to extend your desktop software in the same way – or to build your own web applications that integrate with the Autodesk web application products. Think of the Forge APIs as Lego blocks – take the ones you need to build your product, leave the rest on the table.
Need to present your customer with an interactive 3D model of your design? Easy. Want to generate a Bill of Materials from a Fusion or Inventor model? No problem. Need to integrate BIM 360 into your own workflows? Done!
The Forge APIs are the same APIs that Autodesk use in our own products, so you’re drinking the same champagne as we do.
Ok, but why will coming to Forge DevCon help me?
There’s a steep learning curve to climb if you’re relatively new to web development (or even if you know web development, but are new to Forge). Coming to Forge DevCon is a great way to get help to quickly climb that curve, by:
- Asking for 1-1 help and advice from our team of Forge experts at the Forge Answer Bar.
- Working through self-paced tutorials, or working on your Forge projects with help from an expert at our Forge DevLab.
- Learning Autodesk’s strategy for Forge from our Senior Executives and Product Managers.
- Attending in-depth classes on the details of particular Forge APIs (including soon to be launched APIs), and also classes specifically for desktop developers migrating to web programming.
- Listening to early adopters explain how they’ve used Forge to create new businesses or transform their existing products.
- Meeting members of the Forge team and fellow Forge explorers like yourself.
I’m an AutoCAD developer. How will it help me?
Well, I already mentioned that we’ll have several classes on migrating your desktop (e.g. .NET) development skills to the web, including how to use the Forge APIs to create ‘hybrid’ add-ins.
If you’re developing products that enhance collaboration, then you can learn how to use the Forge Viewer to help your customers share and markup DWGs, or to save their work (and your application specific data) to A360.
Or maybe you’d like to batch process DWGs using the Design Automation for AutoCAD API. You can even use the Design Automation API to extract your custom application data (for example Xdata or Xrecords) so it can be displayed by the Forge Viewer when it loads your DWG.
And what is this Project Fabric that the AutoCAD team have been working on?
And what about Autodesk University?
Forge DevCon runs over two days during AU Las Vegas week (November 13th-16th). Monday 13th is a dedicated Forge DevCon day, when we have 25 Forge-focused classes available for you, as well as the Forge Village (networking/expo area), Forge Answer Bar and AR/VR Playground. Tuesday 14th is a joint Forge/AU day, where another 23 Forge DevCon classes will also be open to AU attendees. Tuesday is also Forge DevLab Day. DevLab is an informal workshop where you can drop is for as long as you like to ask questions, work on your projects, or work through some self-paced tutorials on Forge APIs, web development or machine learning – all with the help of experts from the Forge team.
But why go home then? The Autodesk University conference (Tuesday 14th – Thursday 16th) offers a huge expo hall, parties, and hundreds of classes aimed at all levels of expertise and covering almost all Autodesk (desktop and web) products – including a full track of ‘Software Development’ classes.
Where do I sign up?
Read this other blog post for details of the different ways you can sign up for Forge DevCon: Forge DevCon only; Forge DevCon + AU; or adding Forge DevCon to your existing registration if you already signed up for AU, but forgot to buy your Forge DevCon ticket. Register to AU before October 16th (earlier bird offer) and save 425$.
I don’t live in the US, and I don’t plan to visit. Where else can I learn about Forge?
Although Forge DevCon at Las Vegas is by far our largest Forge conference, we have several other Forge DevCons around the world, and associated with local Autodesk University events:
- Forge DevCon Tokyo – in Japanese.
- Forge DevCon Darmstadt – in English.
- Forge DevCon Beijing – in Chinese, and not associated with an Autodesk University.
We will also have a Forge booth at Autodesk University Bangalore.