It's Pi Day so let's talking about an ever expanding pie — the home building market.
Part of Autodesk's success is based on the fact that long ago the original founders:
- Recognized the computer industry was shifting from mainframe computers to personal computers.
- Entrusted a wide dealer and reseller network to sell our software.
- Developed application program interfaces (APIs) that allowed our software's capabilities to be extended by third-parties.
These factors are still true today as we leverage the shift from desktop computing to cloud-based computing. Much like AutoCAD had an API that allowed AutoCAD to be extended, our web services are based on APIs that allow them to be extended. This is possible by what we call Autodesk Forge.
Forge is actually 3 things:
- Platform (APIs)
- Community of developers who uses those APIs
- Fund where Autodesk bestows grants to 3rd parties to develop the web service ecosystem
"What might someone develop with Forge APIs?" one might ask. How could someone incorporate 3D data into their own website?
Here's an example.
Houzplan connects landowners and architects for a smart and simple home building experience.
- Browse detailed information and live simulations of their preferred home designs.
- Choose a design that fits them best.
- Contact the architect regarding a design or other architectural service.
- Grow their business with new clients via the Houzplan network.
- Showcase their best home designs.
- Sell their home designs and architectural services.
Maybe it's the Tinder for new home building?
To the Houzplan website visitor, everything appears as part of the Houzplan website. The Autodesk Forge technology is under the hood. You may have already visited Forge-based websites and not even realized it. That's how these APIs work. For example, Houzplan does not have to develop its own large model viewing technology, yet they can display 3D models from architects to owners who may wish to have the design built on their land.
And similar to the way that Forge is a set of APIs from Autodesk, Houzplan also has a set of APIs. It is possible for individual architects to showcase their Houzplan-featured designs on their own websites. Here's an example:
APIs are alive in the lab.