Years ago Microsoft coined the term "eating one's own dog food." They did this because they would publish the nightly build to all employees' machines. As a result, all employees were running the latest version of the Windows operating system. If a developer inadvertently introduced a bug, for example, one that caused a crash, it would be immediately apparent to everyone around the company and would create a sense of urgency to fix it right away. The process also provided an incentive for developers to be careful in their coding and testing to avoid the scourge of their fellow employees. Some Autodeskers prefer the expression "Drinking one's own champagne." but notice how Microsoft chose the term dog food. That implies that the end product was really intended for someone else, i.e., the dog, but employees (humans) should put themselves in the customers' shoes as part of the exercise.
I mention this because when it comes to Autodesk Forge, we eat our own dog food. Much like a desktop application like AutoCAD has an API (Application Program Interface) that allows AutoCAD to be extended, our web services also have APIs that allow them to be extended. This is possible by what we call Autodesk Forge.
- Platform (APIs) and supporting materials (sample code, manuals)
- Community of developers who uses those APIs
- Fund where Autodesk bestows grants to 3rd parties to develop the web service ecosystem
Although Forge is intended for our customers and 3rd party developers to be able to extend our web services, we use Forge for our own development. An example is the beta version of Fusion Production that is based on Forge. Here is Senior Product Line Manager for Smart Production, Ryan McMahon, who shared the news about the beta beforehand with us internally.
The goal for Fusion Production is to develop a single Forge-based offering that spans manufacturing planning, programming, and production by interconnecting specialist solutions. The vision for Fusion Production is to harness manufacturing data and make it visible, in real-time across the supply chain. The intent is to connect people, data, and machines to improve production efficiency and enable an agile response to demand. As such, a goal of Fusion Production is to integrate it with our desktop solutions over time so that these applications can also leverage the power of the cloud.
As we move forward, desktop applications will be able to leverage the cloud for analysis, simulation, collaboration, and tracking of large amounts of data via Forge. By using Forge ourselves, our goal is to avoid the scourge of customers and 3rd party developers by experiencing the APIs for ourselves first.
Breakfast is alive in the lab.