Our customers need more content to be successful in creating a complete BIM. Simple as that.
In the Revit world we call content Families. We know that there needs to be more Families available out-of-the-box (OOTB) in Revit MEP, we have a team whose sole purpose is to create and manage Families in Revit MEP, and I openly solicit requests for new content on our discussion forums as well as direct customer interactions.
Even with that infrastructure getting up and running, I know that there’s no way we can build all required content ourselves. There’s just too much variety in the disciplines of the MEP market, and each country in the world.
To try and help with this issue in the MEP world, outside companies have cropped up to help our customers meet their content needs. Companies like Broutek and Revit-Lution, hope to help create the needed content. While they will help to add to the pool of available content, there is a day coming when there will be lots of it available. When that day comes, it will not be a question of creating a piece of content, but actually finding that content quickly, and ensuring its quality.
Sites like Revit City and BIMWorld already exist a clearing houses for content. We at Autodesk just recently released a Technology Preview on Autodesk Labs of thing called Content Search.
What is Content Search? In short, it is a search platform to locate content for use in Autodesk products. Because there are disparate sources of content available today from; Autodesk, 3rd parties like Revit City, and in some cases manufacturers themselves, the search experience can be daunting. We’ve even found that some customers just don’t bother looking and try and build it themselves. Content Search exists to make this experience much simpler, akin to a Google search.
I’ve said it many times in discussions, but there’s just no downside to widely available content for our applications. We do our part to add to this realm, but there is just so much we can do. Many design software communities have a robust community that contributes to the greater good of more available content; our hope is that Content Search will help to progress this goal for our products. For this reason I’m really excited about the potential of this search platform.
Content Search today offers two search experiences.
- Traditional Search - The user enters in search terms and gets results based on those search terms.
- Browsing Search – The user navigates through a taxonomy to get to the right content. Today taxonomies like Master Format and UniFormat are embedded in the search engine.
As I mentioned earlier, this is currently an Alpha Technology Preview. This means that you’re not seeing the finished product, just a work in progress. We currently have only targeted the US AEC market, and have not aggregated all available content sources. The goal here is to solicit feedback on the concept, and how it can be the best source possible for Autodesk customers.
For feedback you can e-mail the Content Search team, or post items on their discussion forum. Enjoy.