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From the Labs: Project “Angara” – API access to search, analyze and fix your content’s data

Hello everyone and welcome to the first post from our new blog series – “From the Labs”. These posts are focused on new features and products that are currently in development at UNIFI, which we hope will provide our customers and the broader BIM community with a glimpse into some of the innovative ideas on our roadmap. I get to be the first person here in the office to write a post for the blog, so that’s pretty exciting. We hope anyone who is passionate about advancing BIM will find this content useful, but warning….we may geek out a bit, so put your technical hat on and bear with us.

In this first post, I want to share a recent use case we have started working on, which was inspired from a customer who wanted a way to tie their internal costing systems to their content in order to streamline some of their estimating efforts. That need led to a project we’ve been internally referring to as “Angara”, an external API for accessing the UNIFI platform. The API will let users manage their content programmatically, enabling actions like creating and updating parameters across multiple design formats, as well as selectively enabling access to content based on real world events, like material prices and product availability changes.

One aspect of implementing this API required a way to search Revit parameters in the many files they store and manage in UNIFI, a data lake we’ve nicknamed Baikal. (Thus the name Angara after the river that flows from Lake Baikal in Russia). The final piece of this puzzle comes from work we began working on months ago, which lays the foundation for generating content dynamically from code. Put together, this whole stack of features will hopefully bring some much needed automation to what is otherwise a very tedious job, as I’m sure anyone reading this who has been responsible for finding updating Revit parameters one by one knows! While the API is still currently under development, our team is really looking forward to seeing what you all build on top of the API, there’s bound to be some pretty cool stuff to come out of all this.

The video below shows a few simple curl requests to the API. I start by searching OOTB content from Autodesk, then by using the usual filters like tags and categories that you would look for in UNIFI normally. And then, finally I’ve got a parameter search. This is all we have available for users at the moment, so reach out to us at support@unifilabs.com if you are interested in testing out the API before we release it more widely. Up next is getting transformations hooked into the API!

 

Until next time,

John Jones

UNIFI Labs Teams Up with ENGworks to Connect Building Product Manufacturers with AECOs

UNIFI Connect to Provide Content Hosting Solution to BIMXchange Users

UNIFI Labs, the global leader in cloud-based BIM content management and creation, is excited to announce a strategic content hosting partnership with ENGworks, an internationally recognized Building Information Modeling (BIM) service and solutions provider. The partnership will support the ongoing growth of UNIFI Connect as the building industry’s premier source for publicly available, quality controlled manufacturer content for architectural, engineering and contractor (AEC) firms.

As a member of UNIFI’s strategic partner network, ENGworks will leverage their strong relationships with leading global manufacturers to help add the highest quality and most in-demand manufacturer products to UNIFI Connect. “ENGworks is a well-respected content creation partner in the building product manufacturing community. We are thrilled to be working with their team to connect the high-quality content they create for leading manufacturers with our AEC customers through UNIFI Connect,” shared Michael Rolnick, UNIFI’s CEO.

As part of the partnership, ENGworks will be retiring their BIMXchange content management system by the end of 2017. All active BIMXchange users will be provided with a nine month complimentary trial of UNIFI’s cloud-based content management, as well as receive support in migrating their content over to the UNIFI platform. Christopher Di Iorio, ENGworks’ CEO, stated that, “We are excited to take our expertise in content and tools and push it to the world’s users through a robust UNIFI platform that services the end user needs.”

About UNIFI Labs

UNIFI is the essential cloud platform to create and manage digital building content. The UNIFI content creation team utilizes a unique blend of industry knowledge and proven expertise to create BIM assets of the highest quality, which are used by the world’s leading design firms. The UNIFI content management platform ensures data consistency and anywhere access to BIM content that is directly integrated into Autodesk Revit workflows. Learn why leading architectural, engineering, construction and manufacturing organizations trust UNIFI as the complete solution for their building content management needs at www.unifilabs.com or contact us at 702.527.6460.

About ENGworks

For almost three decades, ENGworks has continuously developed new processes, tools and services for Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Trade Contractors, Construction Managers, Manufacturers, as well as Owners and Operators. Today, ENGworks is an internationally recognized Building Information Modeling (BIM) service and solutions provider.

Our Goal is to help our clients design and build better projects by saving construction costs and time through implementing the full potential of BIM; we have taken cutting edge technology, sharpened it, and then applied it to everything we know about BIM technology and the AECO Industry.

For more information on ENGworks, and the products and services they offer, please visit: http://www.ENGworks.com/

Media Contacts:

ENGworks: Lance Gardner, lance.gardner@engworks.com, 918.406.5924

UNIFI Labs: Dana Marotto, dana.marotto@unifilabs.com, 415-722-9775

How Do You Define SUCCESS?

Success is a relative term.  Broadly speaking, it means that a goal has been achieved or a milestone has been met. But, when you get down to the details – the definition is really specific to the individual, or in UNIFI’s case, unique to the goals and workflows of the organizations & end users of our content management software and creation services.  Architects design structures, manufacturers build products – but how each individual approaches their craft is unique.  The same applies to how our varied group of customers define success by using UNIFI.

Sure, a few common themes emerge across many of our customer success stories – including a single source of content that can be accessed from anywhere, streamlined workflow of searching and inserting content into Revit models, scalable & secure content administration, & high quality BIM content built to end user needs.  But, when you work with firms as diverse as Stantec, SSOE, KTGY, Interior Architects, Legrand, Harvey’s Plumbing – you really get a sense of how success is defined by each firm, its BIM leaders and all of its users.  For example:

  • Stantec made content security and access its #1 priority.
  • Harvey’s Plumbing, a small contracting firm with a huge content library, needed a speedy & scalable solution with anywhere access.
  • Interior Architects relied on UNIFI’s content on demand services to meet its clients’ demands.
  • KTGY wanted to have a single source of content to present a unified face across all of its offices.
  • SSOE applied its value-based culture on getting the biggest bank for its click.
  • Legrand wanted to “WOW” its customers with its manufacturer content.

One of our favorite moments of working with customers is sitting down with them after their initial rollout of UNIFI is complete, or after they’ve completed a content project and walking through the challenges each firm faced and then overcame to ultimately achieve success in their own unique way.  As you think about your own content management challenges, we encourage you to read through these case studies in our Success Story area – we bet you’ll see a bit of your own firm in them, as well as some differences.  We look forward to starting a conversation about your content needs and how UNIFI can help you achieve the same levels of success – on your terms.  

Success Stories