CAD APIs Training
You can customize CAD applications by adding custom programs written in any of several programming languages that run within CAD software, including AutoLISP, C/C++, VB/VBA/VB.NET. CAD applications offers several API's : AutoLISP, DCL – Dialog Control Language, DIESEL, COM, VBA, ObjectARX, .NET
AutoLISP is a interpretive programming language that you can use to call CAD commands, system variables, and dialog boxes. AutoLISP greatly extends the commands and functionality that are available in CAD applications. You can load and use Encrypted AutoLISP file in CAD applications
DCL, DIESEL, COM
DCL is an acronym for Dialog Control Language, a separate programming language that you can use with CAD application to create custom dialog boxes.
DIESEL is a rudimentary macro expansion. It is an acronym for Direct Interactively Evaluated String Expression Language. DIESEL is used in menu macros and toolbar macros. It also allows to customize the status bar. The DIESEL interpreter takes a string, processes it, and returns a string.
COM is a software architecture developed by Microsoft to build component-based applications. COM objects are discrete components, each with a unique identity, which expose interfaces that allow applications and other components to access their features.
The .NET API enables you to manipulate CAD application and drawing files programmatically with the assemblies or libraries that are exposed. With these objects exposed, they can be accessed by many different programming languages and environments
Advantages to implementing a .NET API for CAD
Programmatic access to CAD drawings is opened up to more programming environments. Before the .NET API, developers were limited to ActiveX® Automation and languages that supported COM, AutoLISP®, and C++ with ObjectARX. Integrating with other Windows® based applications, such as Microsoft Excel and Word, is made dramatically easier by using an application’s native .NET API or exposed ActiveX/COM library. The .NET Framework is designed for both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. Visual Basic for Applications was only designed for 32-bit operating systems. Allows access to advanced programming interfaces with a lower learning curve than those for more traditional programming languages such as C++.
ObjectARX is the most powerful of the various CAD APIs, and the most difficult to master. The ObjectARX programming environment includes a number of dynamic link libraries (DLLs) that run in the same address space as CAD application. You can use DLLs to create new commands that operate exactly the same way as native AutoCAD commands