Question

CAD Integration API for integrating to 3rd party CAD/PDM systems


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We have a customer that runs Autodesk Vault and will integrate that to IFS Pdm.

I have found an existing integration interface to third party CAD/PDM systems in IFS10 - foundation help pages.

We need to tell an integrator how they can reference the API provided by IFS, but the information presented by IFS is quite scant.

IFS headlines this as “CAD Integration API for integrating to 3rd party CAD/PDM systems”.

I wonder if anybody has used it and if there are more information about it. I’m also interested in if anybody else has integrated IFS10 to Autodesk Vault.


4 replies

Userlevel 6
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Hi Per,

Thanks for asking here.

This API that we have described in the documentation was made for the integration we made together with the company Etrage. They developed a plugin for SolidWorks and some other 3D CAD tools, as I remember it, and the primary areas for the integration were PDM and Docman. Basically engineering parts (and BOMs) and documents.

"The API", consists of activity handlers (that's what is listed on the page) in our middle tier and exists only for Apps 8, 9, and 10 (i.e. we have no specific CAD integration APIs for IFS Cloud). I will not explain here how to work with activity handlers when integration with IFS here, since this is not specific to this API/these activities. I would hope that is documented elsewhere in the technical documentation. Basically, you use any of the Access Providers that we have for different languages (I think we have one for PL/SQL, one for Java, and one for C# but memory fails me.)

To see the details of each activity I think you need to use IFS Developer Studio. I know these APIs were once part of some API or interface explorer, but I have a vague memory that we stopped listing activity handlers there and that we only show service handlers or even only Biz APIs.

As for these APIs, I think that Etrage eventually opted for directly accessing our PL/SQL layer using the .NET access provider. At least for some parts where performance was critical. I actually think that is what I would do, too, for Apps 10 and below, although it might feel like a hack (and the PL/SQL APIs are not supported in the same way that the activity handlers are...).

Hope it helped at least a little bit.

/Mathias
 

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Hi Mathias,

If our customer prefers to run Odata/Restful API:s then we don’t actual have any use for the “CAD Integration API for integrating to 3rd party CAD/PDM systems” supplied by IFS R&D? Instead of this we should aim for the relevant projections in the “API explorer” in the Aurena interface? To run the IFS R&D integration mentioned above would be to run “old style”? Have I understood it correctly?

B.R

Per

Userlevel 6
Badge +12

Hi,

Forgot that they were on Apps 10, sorry… Then I would go for OData/REST since the activity APIs are a dead end. The thing that was good with those we added for the CAD integration was that we tried to collect useful attributes together. So perhaps with the old API you could save what you want using one activity but with OData you might need more, in some cases.

Make sure to read our official statements about the promises we make about our APIs when it comes to changes.

/Mathias

 

Userlevel 6
Badge +12

Here is our current API usage policy:

https://docs.ifs.com/policy/APIUsage.pdf

 

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