What’s New Webinar and Forge vs. A360

Following up on yesterday's discussion of What's New in the Revit 2019 API, here is a webinar invitation to walk through the results live from the product point of view.

I also share a high-level comparison of some aspects of Forge versus A360 for a total newbie thinking about building a solution for a client to manage 3D models and collaborate on them with sub-contractors:

Webinar on What’s New in Revit 2019

Join Autodesk Revit technical experts as they walk through what’s new and improved in the latest release of Revit for BIM.

See which customer suggestions made it into this version of the software and get a view into the Revit roadmap and the future of BIM in the AEC Collection.

Improvements include new tools for consistent, coordinated, and complete modelling for:

Register here for the free webinar, presented by Harlan Brumm, Revit Product Manager, Autodesk.

Revit 2019

Forge versus A360 and BIM360

Let's clarify some basic questions on differences between Forge and A360.

Question: I am looking into different possibilities to provide a client, a hospital owner, with a good solution to manage their 3D models and provide them to their (sub)contractors.

They want to use Revit and Navisworks to provide information about all the on-going internal refurbishment projects, add planning data and visualise which parts of the hospital need to temporarily relocate, are closed down, and so on.

They don't want to use Navisworks and/or Revit directly because of the UI complexity – it would probably force their employees to spend entire days pointing out something on the screen to the (sub)contractors.

Plus, in future, they will probably have alternate software to connect to the BIM models.

I've been looking at A360 and Forge.

I would appreciate a functional and economical comparison of the two.

For that, I need some technical and commercial information:

Technical questions:


Answer: We can provide answers to some of these.

However, some of your questions also indicate a certain newbie-ness and may reflect misunderstandings due to lack of basic web technology and common use best practice knowledge.

Your questions also indicate that you are confusing what BIM360 versus Forge is.

Note that A360 and BIM360 are end user products.

Forge is not. Forge is a platform for building applications.

Forge has no concept of a 'user'. It provides web services to a client. The client can be the viewer, or a web app. A web app can include the viewer. The cost for Forge services is paid by the client owner, e.g., the company running the app.

You could say that A360 and BIM360 are Forge clients, as well.

You have the choice of including them with your customer offering, or building your own clients that may or may not partially replace the functionality they provide.

If you want to integrate use of A360 or BIM360 with your own Forge application, it will probably need to access user data stored in one of the end user products.

In order to fully enable this in an efficient manner, you will need to understand and implement 2-legged and 3-legged authorisation.

Please read some background information on that topic, e.g., by searching the Internet for '2-legged versus 3-legged'.

One of the useful articles that leads me to is the StackOverflow discussion of the difference between OAuth 2.0 two legged and three legged implementation.

With that said, here come the quick answers to your questions:

My recommendations:

Response: Thank you.

I do actually know the difference between Forge (backend) and BIM360 (front-end implementation).

Perhaps I didn't state the question correctly.

The question I am researching is this:

One of the major issues my client has is that they manage a large set of buildings, over 100.000 square metres. At any given moment, multiple refurbishment projects are running with different design teams and contractors working on them. My client wants to provide all necessary information through 3D models. However, they don't want contractor A to see all specific information meant for contractor B, C, and D. And vice-versa.

In my opinion, the only way to do this with BIM360 is to provide each contractor with a tailored version of the Master Model that only contains the specific information for their project and use folder rights to give different contractors their own folder with their own tailored submodel. This would require some serious work in managing all those tailored submodels.

I was hoping Forge would allow me to build an application that would provide me with the means of visualising tailored versions of the Master Model based on which project a contractor is working on, and still keep a single Master Model without having to actually create physical copies as tailored submodels.

Does that make more sense?

Again: thanks a lot for your answers and clarifications.

I think I have enough info to give proper advice on this now.

Looks like the client can choose to start with BIM360 and may sooner or later run into its limitations.

Then, they might have to switch to Forge.