In need of a developer network
Autodesk’s success in the industry over the last 25+ years has not merely been due to core competencies around delivering design, visualization, simulation and digital entertainment products: it has also been due to our philosophy of providing flexible platforms to meet the needs of our customers working in multiple industries around the world.
Building open, customizable platform products is very much part of Autodesk’s DNA. We understand our customers have different needs, depending on their location and industry. We understand they need flexibility when integrating our solutions into existing infrastructure, systems and processes. We also understand their need to reduce costs, dependencies and risk.
The Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) provided by Autodesk’s products allow customers to tailor applications to their specific needs, driving a higher level of integration and automation. Our APIs also provide companies with the ability to provide complimentary solutions, helping meet their customers’ needs in a more agile and flexible way. Our thriving eco-system of developerpartners with software development competencies helps address the needs of our shared customers, as well as helping create valuablecompetitive advantage for the development partners and Autodesk.
A changing world
In the early days of computer programming, a software developer was often forced to wear multiple hats, performing the roles of programmer, designer and artist. The relatively low performance of computers meant little need for specialized personnel; it was possible for someone to create the next revolutionary software product or game in their garage, innovating on a platform with modest resources but also modest competition.
Nowadays, the path to success is not simply based on talent and innovation but also the investment. Innovation in our digital world is still about new ideas and concepts but they now tend to be realized on increasingly complex systems. While perhaps starting small – such as with mobile gaming – projects rapidly grow in complexity. And because of competitive and financial pressures, the challenge is now to produce increasingly complex, ever higher quality content; creating the need for production to be driven through modern, reliable pipelines, with higher optimization and contribution by multiple parties. This higher level integration depends heavily on APIs and interoperability between software products and not only between Autodesk solutions. But this doesn’t come for free: investment in software development and maintenance is required to reap the benefits of a modern production pipeline.
In recent years – especially since the recent economic downturn– we have seen more attention paid to reducing entertainment production costs. Companies are increasingly outsourcing or offshoring production to lower production cost locations. But such a shift can introduce significant challenges around quality and resource management: it’s often challenging to integrate teams working on opposite sides of the globe, with very different working cultures and toolsets.
At Autodesk, we believe the key to improved efficiency and effectiveness in production is to empower all participants with the appropriate tools for that workflow, whether standard or custom developed. Asset management, quality control, basic control checkpoints, and more … these are the type of things an API can address savingusers’ effortsbycapitalizing their IP into their code for easier usage and distribution, or making sure someone can repeat in a timely manner all steps required to remake a scene with different parameters but allow the new information to flow nicely into functional entities within an organization.
Building (on) a platform
Autodesk solutions bring together game design, art creation, game programming, and rendering solutions. Our Autodesk®Entertainment Creation Suite 2012 gives users the power to create modern, flexible pipelines that help support today’s projects and to scale for tomorrow’s opportunities. Each of the individual solutions comes with scripting capabilities and APIs which allow users to integrate and extend Autodesk solutions into a production pipeline, giving them greater flexibility to use the tool best suited for the job and enabling them to take on more challenging projects. Autodesk Entertainment tools are tightly integrated through Autodesk® FBX®2012 data exchange technology to form a cohesive, efficient pipeline solution.
Software development is a complex process: aside from the experience required to develop robust software, there are many challenges associated with effectively translating an end-user’s requirements into a software design and then implementing it. Both the design and its implementation are heavily influenced by the architecture of the underlying platform and the APIs it exposes. Gaining a deep understanding of the platform and its APIs can take a great deal of work but deliver considerable benefits. The resources provided by a developer network can make this learning curve much less steep, greatly reducing the effort needed to deliver an efficient solution.
The Autodesk Developer Network
Whether you are a commercial or individual software developer, Autodesk Developer Network (ADN) membership provides the software, support, and training to help you meet your customers’ needs. ADN provides resources whether you’re developing boxed solutions, custom applications or tools for internal use, providing consulting and system integration services, performing research, or writing or publishing learning materials.
- Access to thousands of potential customers visiting Autodesk websites around the world, where you can provide information about your company, set up links to your own website, and sell your products.
- Access to Autodesk sales partners around the world, including authorized resellers and distributors through sales partner conferences, personal recommendations, introductions, mailings and more.
- Invitations to attend and exhibit at Autodesk conferences, where you can develop relationships with Autodesk sales channel partners, as well as Autodesk sales, marketing and engineering teams.
- Invitations to exhibit at regional and national customer events, where you can develop relationships with the people who use Autodesk products every day.
- Additional joint sales and marketing opportunities such as direct marketing programs, tradeshows, PR, and more (programs vary by country and by industry).
- Business development consulting by Autodesk industry experts to help you grow your business.
- Access to Autodesk software via download from the ADN extranet (for software development, marketing and support use only), including beta releases.
- Web based technical support provided by experienced Autodesk software engineers.
- Web based access to hundreds of source code samples and thousands of solutions to common development challenges.
- Invitations to confidential ADN Technical Conferences where you can learn about Autodesk products, technologies, API’s, and development strategies.
- Opportunities to attend regularly scheduled API training classes.
- Personalized API Consulting.
Additionally, through specific surveys, the ADN team attempts to discern what is most important to developers when developing their solutions, whether related to a choice of programming language or the need for a specific API feature, or something else entirely. The team also delivers custom and personalized on-site API trainings and will collaborate with your development team to help make you more successful. They also present at industry conferences such as GDC and/or SIGGRAPH® to share information on API enhancements and the direction taken by Autodesk products.
For more information about the Autodesk Developer Network, visit www.autodesk.com/adn
An M&E conference at AU 2011
Last but not least, it is with pleasure that I invite you to the first ADN Sparks® conference at Autodesk University 2011. Take this opportunity to introduce yourself to new products, people, and techniques at the premier conference and exhibition for Autodesk product users and developers. The ADN Sparks conference is free to attend and will be followed by a one-day developer lab, where you can meet API experts and architects from our Engineering teams to discuss and help solve your important API issues. I would also encourage you to attend AU and meet us there.
With close to 20 years experience in management and technology, Marc Petit leads Autodesk Media & Entertainment as Senior Vice President. In this role, Petit manages the Media & Entertainment division and guides the development and marketing of Autodesk’s leading 2D systems and 3D software solutions, including Autodesk Inferno, Flame, Smoke, Lustre, Toxik, 3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder and Mudbox.