Data Exchange Connectors: what they are, new releases, and more!

David Smolker David Smolker November 3, 2022

5 min read

Earlier this year, we introduced a new cloud-based sharing capability — Data Exchange. Data Exchanges enable you to share your data more easily across the apps and teams you work with every day. Through exchanges, you and your partners can work with the subsets of data you need – instead of entire design models – across Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Inventor, McNeel Rhino, Microsoft Power Automate, and other third-party products.

At Autodesk University a few weeks back, we underscored our commitment to unlocking your data to dramatically improve how you collaborate on your projects – this included highlights of our recent Data Exchange enhancements and releases. For those of you who might have missed those updates or were unable to make it to AU, we’re excited to share those with you here, plus what you can use today and expect in the near future. Check out the links to keynotes, classes, and customer presentations at the bottom of this page for even more details.

What are Data Exchange Connectors?

When we first introduced Data Exchanges, you could Create, Manage and Update exchanges with published Revit models in Autodesk Docs, meaning you’d need to wait for your RVT files to upload and process on the cloud. With our app connectors, you can engage in the same data sharing workflows directly from Revit or Rhino, without having to first upload your models to the cloud – meaning you can share and consume the data you care about even faster, in the environment you’re most comfortable with.

Since announcing these connectors, we’ve heard two common questions: how connectors compare to other interoperability solutions, and what kind of license is required to use Data Exchanges.

First, how does the Data Exchange Connector for Rhino compare to Rhino.Inside.Revit, as both address interoperability between the two apps? Rhino.Inside.Revit enables a powerful integration between the two, all running on a single machine with licenses to both sets of software. Scott Davidson at McNeel put it well, saying:

“Rhino.Inside.Revit is quite a bit different [than the Rhino Connector] in that [the former] is a live integration of Rhino and Revit as someone is working on their desktop” (“Autodesk links Revit to Rhino with new connector”, AEC Magazine)

In contrast, Data Exchanges are cloud-based and provide global collaborators a secure method to access shared data. A Rhino Data Exchange provides a durable connection to your distributed team where they can share and consume geometry and parameter data, without requiring access to the original design file, or authoring app.

Second, as an exchange viewer or consumer, you only need to be added to an Autodesk Docs project – and given permission to access the exchange – you do not need a Docs license. For example, if a partner working in Revit shares an exchange, you can consume the exchange in the tool you use – be it Rhino, Inventor, Power Automate – without requiring you to have a license of Revit or Autodesk Docs.

You can learn more about the Revit and Rhino Connectors in the blog posts below as well as try out the integrations by joining the Public Beta today.

Building the ecosystem with you

Over the first half of this year – and then at AU – we listened to customer feedback and requests about the workflows that matter to you – and what apps you need to connect. Here are a few steps for you to get started and contribute to the Data Exchange conversation.

Try Data Exchanges. First, try out our existing Revit Publish workflow and Power Automate or Inventor Connectors, which start to open up the world of business process automation and design-manufacturing apps to collaborative, exchange-based workflows.

Join the public beta for the Revit and Rhino Connectors. We have a forum where you can post your thoughts, suggestions, workflow requests and any bugs you’re encountering in the new connectors. This is a great way to be in touch with the development team directly.

Tell us what you think. Third, as we build out our connector ecosystem, we want to hear from you. If you have suggestions for future Data Exchange Connectors, take this short survey or reach out to us at via email. We will be publishing a public roadmap soon so that you can see what we’re working on and provide suggestions on what you’d like to see next. Stay tuned – we will share the link in a future post.

As for what we’re working on for the near future – expect feature and experience enhancements to our existing connectors; new Dynamo and Grasshopper Connectors; plus better developer tools (APIs and SDKs). We’ve collected so much helpful feedback and ideas from many of you thus far, and we’re excited to continue along this path, with you.

If you’re interested in hearing more, sign up here for the Autodesk Developer newsletter!

Data Exchanges @ Autodesk University

Check out these Data Exchange highlights from AU 2022. If you want to get your hands dirty with exchanges, we recommend following the product demos and technical instruction classes.

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