(stretch) We are finally out of the box!
Prior to Revit 2008, Revit developers were kept in a fairly narrow box... You could only be added to the Tools + External Tools menu, and you could only be run when Revit was in "Modify mode" in the context of a document. The straightjacket was on!
As of Revit 2008, that's now gone... and while you don't have complete carte blanche to work in the application level, there are a variety of critical steps:
There is now the concept of External Applications, which are started when Revit starts (and shutdown when Revit shuts down). There are also now application level events for keeping tracking of when documents are created, opened, saved (which are important for a wide variety of applications which try to synchronize BIM data).
External Applications can add both menus and toolbars. Menus can be added to the top level, or wherever you would like within Revit.
From the application, you're now able to do several key things which were previously impossible:
- Open a specific Revit file
- Start a New Project from a Template (can you say "configurator"!?)
- Start a New Family Document
- Start a New Template
Also at the application level, event trapping is available for things like "OnNewDocument" "OnSaveDocument", "OnCloseDocument"...
(In this series of postings, I'll continue to provide short commentary on what's new in the Revit 2008 API, and why I think it's interesting).