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The Autodesk Approach is to Augment Desktop Applications with Cloud-ba

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    Posted: 02.Nov.2017 at 04:00

As Chris Latimer noted in Bridging the Gap with APIs:
"Moving to the cloud can be a daunting task for many companies. Often, the justifiable enthusiasm around a public cloud strategy might be tempered with concerns about how cloud solutions will talk to mission-critical legacy apps that may be ill-suited for cloud migration, such as key systems of record for customer, transactional, and billing data. Cisco and Google announced a partnership that will enable organizations to extend their existing investments with innovative cloud services. The on-premises version of the Apigee Edge API platform will be part of the joint Cisco-Google solution to help companies more easily and securely expose legacy systems and data in a hybrid cloud environment. An example of this type of modernization is Autodesk, a company that has long been synonymous with industry-leading 3D design software for desktops."

As the world moved to mobile devices and cloud, we recognized the need to transform from desktop technology to cloud offerings. By leveraging modern APIs and Apigee, we have been able to enable our internal development teams to leverage our company's long-term software applications and resources for new applications and create entirely new, customized and connected workflows. That's one of the reasons we launched Autodesk Forge. Forge is our developer platform that offers Autodesk cloud technology via APIs and cloud services, developer resources, and connects the large community of developers, engineers, and designers who are digitally transforming the key industries they support — in design, media/entertainment, engineering, construction, and manufacturing.


We use Forge to develop our own web services and share those APIs (including documentation and code samples) with customers and 3rd party developers that want to leverage years' worth of legacy and current 3D data associated with projects.

Forge allows for connectivity between our legacy desktop applications and new cloud services.


Whereas desktop applications continue to handle the processing for modeling activity, we augment that with cloud-based services for:

  • Rendering so users can continue to work on their own PCs while rendering occurs using CPUs in the cloud.

  • Analysis and Simulation so a bank of computers, typically more powerful than a traditional laptop, can perform the analyses/simulations is less time.

  • Collaboration so a single source of truth can be stored in the cloud instead of exchanging ever-growingly-large data files that almost immediately become out of date.

The cloud offers the power of infinite computing and avoids the overhead associated with large files.

In addition, some of the new Autodesk cloud-based applications enrich the experience for existing, long-time users who may be at varying levels of their transformation to the cloud, while others extend our services into untapped markets, solving complex development/workflow, data, and user experience challenges for both long-time and new customers.

"Layered on top of a hybrid infrastructure, Apigee can help enterprises bridge the gap between the data center and the cloud. Apigee provides a single, unified API management platform that promotes consistent enforcement of API security, payload validation, traffic management, and many other common API concerns, regardless of whether those APIs are on-premises or in the cloud." [Apigee]

Autodesk is happy to be an Apigee customer. Apigee helps us authorize developers to use our APIs as part of our Forge efforts.

Thanks to Forge Marketing Manager, Nelle Sacknoff, who was my co-author on this blog post.

Desktop/cloud integration is alive in the lab.

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It's Alive in ihe Lab - Autodesk Labs blog by Scott Sheppard
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