How Vip Fargo solved data interoperability challenges based on in-depth knowledge of 3D data model and Autodesk Revit APIs

CCC uses a proprietary PLM system to control different processes throughout the company. The PLM system provides advanced capabilities for working with design data stored in the proprietary C3DX file format, while Autodesk Revit is used on large number of projects. For this reason, interoperability between Autodesk Revit and the PLM system became a priority issue.

ccc
Customer: Consolidated Contractors Company

Client
Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) is the largest construction company in the Middle East and ranks among the top twenty international contractors with revenue of more than $5.2 billion in 2011, offices and projects in more than 40 countries, and a work force of more than 150,000 employees.

Problem Statement
CCC uses a proprietary PLM system to control different processes throughout the company. The PLM system provides advanced capabilities for working with design data stored in the proprietary C3DX file format, while Autodesk Revit is used on large number of projects. For this reason, interoperability between Autodesk Revit and the PLM system became a priority issue.

Project Setup
Vip Fargo is an expert in handling 3D modeling data and also has an extensive background in developing applications based on Autodesk Revit APIs. This expertise allowed the members of the Vip Fargo technical team to quickly assess the scope of the project, based on the requirements provide by CCC, and propose the most effective solution based on the development of an add-in application to Autodesk Revit that enables export of Revit models to C3DX format.
After confirming the detailed specification with Product Definition specialists at CCC, Vip Fargo provided the client with a detailed development schedule, and a development team consisting of one Software and one Quality Assurance (QA) engineer.
cs ccc scr2

Project Implementation
At the beginning of the project, the QA Engineer developed a set of test plans to be executed at different stages of the development cycle, to ensure functional completeness according to the specification as well as final product quality.
Advanced functionality had to be developed in order to ensure conformation with the specifics of the data handled by the application, such as:

  • Feature recognition – not all geometry primitives in Autodesk Revit had an exact match in C3DX format, so some of the modeling constructs had to be identified by analyzing the geometry of the faces in the models;
  • Optimization of the processing of large amounts of data – large models in Autodesk Revit may contain millions of individual elements, so special optimizations had to be established in order to control the amount of memory used by the application and minimize conversion time.

During the second half of the project development cycle Vip Fargo provided CCC with regular application updates. This allowed the CCC QA Engineers and Product Definition specialists to experience functionality as it was being developed, in order to ensure correct implementation and also enable adjustment of the original requirements, based on early interaction with the product.
In order to keep everyone up-to-date with project progress, as well as review the status and issues of the ongoing development, regular weekly conference calls were set up with all the members of the development team. These provided an excellent platform for resolving issues in a timely manner.
cs ccc scr1

Conclusions
The quality of the work delivered by Vip Fargo and the overall efficiency of the development process exceeded client's expectations; this success was the result of:

  • Delivery of the final application fully implemented according to the specification;
  • Resourcefulness of Vip Fargo technical staff in identifying and addressing gaps in the original requirements and providing experience-based solutions;
  • Excellent project communication, which ensured that the customer always had upto-date information about project progress;
  • Responsiveness and efficiency that facilitated a short turnaround time during the stabilization phase of the project development cycle;
  • Project development completed well within schedule and budget.
Jun 17, 2014
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