After decades of trapped data on desktop apps, design and engineering data will be liberated and accessible from virtually anywhere with a new cloud platform, Autodesk senior executive Jim Quanci said at AutoDesk DevDays today.

The experience Autodesk wants to deliver now is providing “data epicenters” so design and engineering data can be accessible from anywhere and by anyone who needs it. Because most designers and engineers use binary data, that information has historically not been easily accessible by general IT departments.

“Now you can present this binary information and present it to the rest of the business,” Quanci said.

This will completely change how businesses operate. The year-old platform doing it is called Forge, which is a set of cloud services, APIs, and resources for developers to quickly create the data-centric apps, experiences, and services.

Autodesk University began in 1993 as an Autodesk software user conference in San Francisco. It allows designers, architects, and engineers to come together and learn from one another and see the direction Autodesk is taking.

“Today a lot of companies compete but the way they are designing their business is old school,” Quanci said. “It’s about letting you hook up engineering data” so you can make that data part of the business.

Quanci cited a case study on Kodak to prove his point.

Kodak was a billion-dollar business, but quickly filed for bankruptcy after the launch of smartphones. The fundamental problem Quanci said, was that Kodak thought they were selling digital cameras.

“Developers make experiences. They don’t make things,” Quanci said.

Developers can now make these experiences on webpages with 2D and 3D data, integrated from many different systems.

“It is all possible with the Autodesk Forge APIs,” Quanci said. “This is truly amazing. This wasn’t even possible six months ago, now it is technically possible.”

Bryce Finnerty, CEO and Founder of HingePoint, said with the new set of Autodesk tools and capabilities, more real estate developers and designers will be able to make decisions based on real-time data.

“It’s been difficult for developers to stay on top of change orders and construction documents when they must rely on manual tasks,” Finnerty said. “This capability has been missing for a long time and going to revolutionize how we work.”

HingePoint, Autodesk, Forge

Autodesk discussed “data epicenters” where design and engineering data will be accessible from the cloud.

Autodesk wants to create high speed, collaborative processes that share information in a better way.

The marquee platform Autodesk is pushing is Forge, which is a cloud-based platform accessible by a web page and uses JavaScript and HTML5. It integrates all data from Fusion 360, A360 and BIM 360 docs.

While Autodesk is marching towards cloud adoption, the company thinks a combination of desktop apps and cloud adoption will be the most powerful approach for customers.

“You’re going to see a lot of hybrid stuff going on,” said Shawn Gilmour, who is driving Autodesk’s platform as a service strategy.

The big difference is that Autodesk’s new cloud platform Forge will give developers the ability to turn desktop apps into web services or build completely new cloud-based apps.

“You’ll be able to build much richer experiences for customers,” Gilmour said.


Read more about what happened at Autodesk University 2016 on the HingePoint blog at: