Friday, March 03, 2006

The New Productstream 5.0 API

While we're speaking of new APIs, the new Autodesk Vault/Productstream 5.0 API is out in beta... and I've had a preliminary look. (They do a nice job in this group with documenting the changes between releases, so they make it easy for me).

Vault and Migration of Apps
The Vault portion of the API has stayed generally the same, with only a couple very minor exceptions (a couple of additional parameters for whether to pull hidden files, some additional methods relating to the new security model)... Pretty easy to migrate any existing application forward.

Speaking of migration - if you're like us and you like writing apps that work across multiple versions of Vault/Productstream - you'll like the new InformationService webservice... It will query a server and tell you which version of Vault is running there, as well as whether Productstream is there or not (we could do that before, but only with .NET HTTPRequest tricks, because the Web Services used for the API were release-specific - so you got nasty SOAP errors when you tried to connect to the wrong version of Vault/ProductStream).

The big thing in this release is the security model (that there is one - beyond your login)... Administrators can now define groups, as well as permissions at the folder level on groups or individuals). So the Admin and Security Service have been updated to reflect that.

For Productstream, this is the release where they promise to start "settling down" - and not changing the API so much from release-to-release.... As with Vault 3 to Vault 4, they've renamed many (like 100+) of the methods and properties associated with Productstream.

They've also added support for some of the new Productstream features like Watermarking - and some nice utility functions for finding ReleasedItems associated with a given ItemMaster...

All in all, it looks nice (other than the massive rename) and I look forward to using it on this year's projects.

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