THE AUTODESK INDUSTRY REPORT

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Autodesk Developer Blogs

A Guide to the Best Autodesk Developer Blogs

One of the most efficient ways to maximize the ROI on your Autodesk subscriptions is to leverage Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, that come with many Autodesk products.

The APIs allow developers to quickly implement custom features, functions, and workflow to maximize user efficiency and productivity. Programmers can automate repetitive tasks, integrate systems, documents, and data using an open API.

We start with one of the most valuable collections of Autodesk related blogs in the whole…blogosphere (is that still a word?), the Autodesk Developer Network Open.

This collection of blogs used to be restricted but now, thanks to Autodesk’s decision to “open” it, you have access to massive amount of leading innovators, thinkers and developers.

The site is expansive, and you don’t have all day, so our researcher’s picked favorites you could check out first.

Each blog was rated on the following categories:

  1. How frequently they publish
  2. The quality of writing & teaching
  3. How complete the API is (fully featured or partial)
  4. How long the blog has been in existence

The rating scale is below:

Frequency

If there is daily engagement = 6 pts, Weekly = 5, Monthly = 4, 3 Months = 3, 6 Months = 2, Yearly = 1

Quality

If content is long form with code samples and screen shots = 5pts, Short article, with few samples or screen shots = 4, Editorial advice, no code samples = 3, Basic directional advice, then send you somewhere for answers = 2, Doesn’t answer issue = 1

Completeness

If fully = 5pts, If partial, ranges from 4 down to 1 pt.

Age of the Blog

If 5 years or older = 5pts, 4 years = 4, 3 years = 3, 2 years = 2, 1 year or less =1

The Cloud and Mobile Blog Sites Inside of the Autodesk Developers Network Open

It’s a shame that most of the cloud platforms don’t have a fully featured API but Autodesk is working furiously to migrate users and apps to the cloud. The APIs are improving with new features and capabilities added every few months.

Cloud & Mobile DevBlog

The ADN DevBlog provides extremely helpful information regarding Autdodesk cloud and mobile development platforms. It is updated daily, which makes it a must-see everyday for developers. With all of the quality information provided, it is easily the top blog in the section.

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The blog received a 6 on frequency, 5 on quality, 3 on the complete API and 5 on the maturity level of the blog.

Overall, it has a near perfect score of 5.

The 3D Web Coder

Run by Jeremy Tammik, the blog does a nice job for a lone blogger. The website has a nice flow and each article provides a blurb on the front page to entice readers. This is one of the best overall user experiences for a blog in this group.

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It received a 5 for frequency, as sometimes it is every day, other times it can go a week without a post. It receives a perfect 5 on quality. It receives a 5 on how complete the API is and yet a 1 on age as it is a rather new blog.

The average score is 4.

The 360 View

Another clean website design, it is run by Mikako Harads with input from Manu Venugopal. It is easy to follow and also share with some social media integration, although it does have the standard WordPress blog feel to it.

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It receives a 5 in frequency. Posts come once or twice a week, but sometimes the posts don’t have anything to do with the subject matter. The quality is a 4. Clean screenshots and helpful information, but again sometimes it goes off topic. This gives the API a 4 and the maturity level receives a 2.

The average score is 3.75.

The AEC Blog Sites

The Building Coder

Another blog by Jeremy Tammik. He easily provides some of the best information that is simple to follow and contains quality illustrations. While not an everyday blogger, he is someone any Autodesk user should follow if you are using Revit for BIM, design, architecture, engineering or drafting automation.

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Frequency- 5 Quality- 5 API Completeness- 5 Maturity Level- 5

Overall Score: 5

AEC DevBlog

Monitored and maintained by the same quality individuals who offer up the Cloud and Mobile DevBlog, this website is great, offers outstanding coding information, and while a bit longwinded, is extremely helpful… but not quite to the same level as the Cloud and Mobile offering.

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Frequency- 5 Quality- 4 API- 4 Maturity- 3

Overall Score: 4

Infrastructure Modeling DevBlog

Another DevBlog offering. It is nice the bloggers break up their content in this fashion. It allows the reader to find almost exactly what they want in a more focused way. It has some nice information and great screenshots, but again can be longwinded.

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Frequency- 5 Quality- 4 API- 4 Maturity- 3

Overall Score: 4

Civilized Development

Issac Rodriguez sometimes mans this blog. It is not regularly updated. More
or less, whenever Issac wants to update it. Some of the information is helpful, but as it has not been updated since May of 2014, it really can’t be considered up to date. Past backlogged blogs might prove helpful, but for newer content, other blogs, or the Autodesk Community Forums, should be utilized.

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Frequency- 1 Quality- 3 API- 3 Maturity- 4

Overall Score: 2.75

AutoCAD DevBlog

DevTech covers AutoCAD in this blog. It is clean, easy to follow, and while there is a good amount of scrolling involved (no individual pages, just one long blog post), but still easy to use.

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Frequency: 5, Quality: 4, API: 4, Maturity: 3,

Overall Score: 4

The Manufacturing Blog Sites

Mod the Machine

This blog appeared in the Cloud and Mobile Sites offering as it does provide helpful information over several different topics. Brian Ekins and Adam Nagy do a nice job assisting with information, although the front page can become a bit cluttered as individual articles remain in full on the front page instead of leading to sub pages. It is absolutely worth checking out though.

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Frequency: 5, Quality: 3, API: 3, Maturity: 2

Overall Score: 3.25

It’s all just ones and zeros

One of the better named blogs, Michal Liu and Doug Redmond provide some helpful information. There is a bit of scrolling involved with the site and some of the API information is lacking, but for general pointers on key subjects, this is a nice little blog.

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Frequency: 4, Quality: 3, API: 3, Maturity: 1

Overall Score: 2.75

Manufacturing DevBlog

The guys at DevBlog are back for another helpful venture into Autodesk and how it can assist working professionals. It is a bit more in depth than some of the other blogs, which is great for manufacturers and designers working in this field.

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Frequency: 5, Quality: 5, API: 4, Maturity: 3

Overall Score: 4.25

The Media and Entertainment Blog Sites

Around the Corner

3D Studio Max and Maya. Run by Cyrille Fauvel and Naiqi Weng, this media based blog offers some nice file and coding insights and helpful external links for further information. It could use some screenshots for illustration purposes, but in general, some very helpful Autodesk tools and pointers.

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Frequency: 5, Quality: 4, API, 4, Maturity: 3

Overall Score: 4

GetCOREInterface

The blog by Kevin Vandescar does look like something created in Corel, at least with the front cover. There are all sorts of helpful links and pointers here, although most of the links take a reader to different websites.

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Frequency: 3, Quality: 3, API: 3, Maturity: 2

Overall Score: 2.75

Through The Interface

Kean Walmsley mans this blog, which really is great to read. Broken up well, clean and helpful Autodesk information. This is a must read for platform users.

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Frequency: 5, Quality: 5, API: 5, Maturity: 1

Overall Score: 4

Bonus – A Business Development Blog Site

Dances with Elephants

Jim Quanci has a fun filled blog and great tidbits of pointers. It isn’t updated frequently (or at all recently), but backlogged information might prove useful to users. But in Jim’s defense, he is very generous with his time and has a great responsibility as director of the Autodesk Development Network ( ADN) and we applaud Jim for the wonderful work he does to serve Autodesk developers.

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Frequency: 1, Quality: 3, API: 2, Maturity: 4

Overall Score: 2.5

Conclusion

There are some truly helpful blogs out there published by Autodesk and we are again grateful to all the authors that take time to share their knowledge with us.

While some are updated on a daily basis, it really comes down to a personal choice for each developer and reader. Some might decide they like the style of writing and method of instructions better on a newer blog that isn’t updated as frequently.

Regardless, these blogs are sure to enlighten and assist with Autodesk software automation and projects.