One of the more often overlooked benefits of cloud computing is that it provides a mechanism through which all kinds of data that was previously inaccessible can now be made part of multiple mainstream applications.
Case in point is Autodesk, which at an Autodesk University 2016 conference this week added augmented and virtual reality services and a new rendering application programming interface (API) to its Forge platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment.
Scott Reese, vice president of cloud platforms for Autodesk, says the reason Autodesk built its own platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment is to make the data created using its tools more accessible to a wide variety of third-party applications spanning everything from customer service and Internet of Things (IoT) applications to new augmented and virtual reality experiences.
“Our goal is to make our IP (intellectual property) available as a service,” says Reese.
To date, Reese says 9,000 developers have already created over 4,000 applications on top of Forge. That PaaS environment, says Reese, makes use of APIs to access proprietary containers and microservices that Autodesk built Forge around, says Reese.
Obviously, there is no shortage of PaaS environments these days. But that may not matter so long as a fair amount of interoperability exists between PaaS environments. After all, that customer service application trying to access Autodesk data via an API is more than likely now running on top of its own PaaS implementation.
Rather than getting lost in the mechanics of those PaaS environments, many developers might well be advised to keep their eye on the primary data integration prize instead.