Many of you recall Project Freewheel when it was on Autodesk Labs. Project Freewheel allowed anyone to view a DWF file using just a browser. Our goal was to see if 3D designs could be viewed using just the browser technology that was available at the time. The success of Project Freewheel led to the creation of Autodesk Freewheel, a production version, because "no one wanted to base their business on somebody's science project." Well a lot has happened since 2006.
Now our focus is on Autodesk 360. Though we still work on our desktop applications, the thinking is that internet connectivity is becoming ubiquitous and that the complexity and scope of design projects is growing large enough that moving the data around is becoming prohibitive. With that in mind, one way to collaborate is to leave the data in place and allow servers to act on it. This is pretty handy for teams that need access to one source of truth but can sometimes leave something to be desired when someone wants to share a subset of the data. With that in mind, there are no plans to make DWF files go away.
A common question is How do I share my designs with people who are not part of my Autodesk 360 Hub? Robert Dibetta is an Application Programmer/Analyst on the Cloud Ops Security & Compliance team. He recently shared the following with me.
I was able share a doc in 360.autodesk.com as Public, and then it had an EMBED option. I embedded it on a local HTML page, and worked.
The embed code looks like:
<iframe scrolling="no" frameborder="0" hspace="0" src="https://360.autodesk.com/Public/Embed?hash=be253600ed6e4b4089526e8436478836" width="430" height="619" allowtransparency="true" style="border: medium none;"></iframe>
Thanks Robert. This technique will allow Autodesk 360 users to share their designs on their own company web sites. Our customers can share their designs with their customers. They can create DWF files that contain only what they wish to share with the public at large. For dedicated teams that need full access, they can still leverage the convenience of Autodesk 360. With this in mind, our plan is to retire Autodesk Freewheel on January 31, 2014. So please start thinking about updating your company web sites. I guess one could consider it a graduation since Autodesk 360 is its replacement.
Design collaboration is alive in the lab.