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The Autodesk App Store—information for Autodesk Inventor developers

This guide is for developers and content providers new to publishing plug-ins and other content on the Autodesk App Store—either free, trial or for paid versions. It outlines best practice guidelines and a few requirements for publishers to follow when creating products for the Autodesk App Store. These guidelines are designed to ensure that users on the Autodesk App Store have a consistent experience when downloading multiple products from the store.

Requirements

You will be presented with a detailed list of requirements for publishing on the App Store when you first register to be a publisher. The information that follows is a summary. If there are any differences, then the online Publisher Agreement takes precedence.

All content types

Most of the information we need from you is collected via the web form you complete when submitting your content. This includes gathering information to create a HTML Quick Start page that is included with the download of your product and viewable online. Other requirements are as follows.

  • Compatibility

    Your product must be relevant to (and usable with) Inventor 2020 and must run on any Windows operating system supported by Inventor 2020. You can also indicate the compatibility with Inventor 2019/2018/2017.

  • HTML help page

    The information you provide on the documentation form when you submit your app is used to create a standard format HTML page. This information must allow the user to quickly understand how to use your product. You can reference additional information (for example, additional help files posted on your website) from the standard HTML documentation. This HTML page will be created using information you provide when submitting your product to the Autodesk App Store.

  • User privileges

    We strongly recommend you make use of the standard App Store app installer we create for you. The default user privilege for the store apps is Windows 7/Windows 8.1/Windows 10 Admin User. The installer we create for your app will require elevated user privileges to install. If you don’t use our standard installer template to install or if you do not wish to have elevated user privileges for your app installer, then this must be very clearly documented in the description of your product displayed on the store. Your product must be 'ready to go' as soon as it is installed. It must not require the user to manually copy or register files, or manually edit settings (such as support paths).

  • Ready to run

    If you use a licensing system then it must allow your product to run as soon as it is installed by the user. This means either instant activation (for example, online activation), or your product must run fully functional for a time-bombed grace period that is long enough for you to send activation information to the customer.

  • Product stability

    The new registry-free add-in mechanism greatly simplifies the automatic installation steps. Your product should be stable, and not behave or alter the behavior of Inventor in a way that we deem unsuitable (for example, blocking standard functionality, blocking the functionality of another add-in, causing data loss, and so on).

Add-ins

Additional requirements for add-ins are:

    • Use the registry-free add-in mechanism, and we use a standard bundle installer template to deploy content downloaded from the store.
    • We can help you migrate your app to use this mechanism: Your add-in should add relevant UI elements to the Inventor ribbon bar where applicable. Translator add-ins should use the standard translator add-in mechanism for Inventor.

DevTV

Registry-free Inventor add-ins—Illustrates how to set up registry free add-ins for Inventor, and also how to format the install folder ready for publication in the App Store.

Part and Assembly Libraries

Additional requirements for component libraries are as follows.

    • Your libraries (in ipt/iam file format) must be installed in a subfolder of the following folder:
      • Windows 7/8.1/10:%PUBLIC%\Documents\Autodesk\Inventor (typically C:\Users\Public\Documents\Autodesk\Inventor)

    Again, we'll create the MSI installer for you and we can help you modify your libraries so they work in this new location. You just need to provide the content.

    • Your library must add relevant UI elements for your add-in to the Inventor ribbon bar. The ribbon bar UI must either provide access to the library components, or launch a help file explaining how to access it.

Stand-alone applications and other content

There are no additional requirements for products that are not integrated with Inventor. If you wonder what kinds of products this might include—consider eBooks, video tutorials, industry- specific calculators, connectors to Cloud based services and the like.

Guidelines

  • Use the ribbon bar

    Adding ribbon bar elements for your application is recommended when relevant, but how would you do this will depend on your add-in design:

    • As a minimum, your add-in or content library can add a panel to the Add-Ins tab that either invokes the main command defined by the add-in or displays a help file explaining how to use the library.
    • Add-ins that install a single panel should normally add that panel to the Add-Ins tab.
    • Add-ins that create several ribbon bar panels may prefer to create a new tab-specific to that add-in (and normally with the tab name being the name of the add-in).
    • You can add any other UI elements via your add-in (for example, menubars and toolbars) as well, but you should still include a basic ribbon bar UI where applicable.
  • Use the registry-free mechanism

    We strongly encourage you to make use of the registry-free mechanism to deploy your add-in.

     

    You can also download some of the free add-ins already available on the Autodesk App Store and study their format, the Autodesk App Store for Inventor.

  • Use delay loading

    Unless your add-In absolutely has to load as soon as Inventor launches, you should design it to load only when it’s needed. This is to minimize the impact of installed add-ins on Inventor start up performance. The .addin mechanism makes it very easy to set up demand load settings for your add-in.

More information

The ADN team is here to help you be a successful publisher on the Autodesk App Store. We’ll do whatever we can do to help you. If you have any further questions after reviewing these guidelines and the other documentation on www.autodesk.com/developapps, email us at appsubmissions@autodesk.com.

 

Thank you for participating on the Autodesk App Store.