So you’re developing software, and you decided to download the HOOPS Web or Native Platform trial and evaluate our SDKs. Now what? Let’s go over some ways you can make the most of your evaluation time and set yourself up for success.
1) Define an evaluation planBeing successful with your HOOPS product evaluation is a lot like successfully writing a good research paper. You will want to create an outline, write a draft, or in our case, create a proof of concept and then iterate until you have a polished outcome. We generally give the following guidance for new evaluators with regards to things to consider in your evaluation plan:
• What is the goal of this evaluation? Are you trying to prove a workflow or create a demo to get more buy-in? Perhaps you're looking to benchmark the tools against other options? It's essential to identify what exactly you would like to achieve in the time you have allotted.
• Do you have the time and resources to devote to this evaluation right now? If not, maybe consider holding off the start of your evaluation until you do. Having a dedicated chunk of time to work on your evaluation will improve the chances of hitting your identified goals
• Do you have a proper data set to test with? If you know one of the goals you identified is to import SolidWorks files from your customers, for example, will you be able to acquire a representative data set? Having one or two sample models to work with may not allow you to fully evaluate the import capabilities of the tool
• Do you have access to all the platforms and development tools that you expect to develop on? Planning to deliver a mobile application on iOS? Make sure you have access to the iOS development environment, along with appropriate hardware
• Have you identified any trade shows or important meetings that you need to be ready for? If you need to show your POC on a given date with a given set of functionality, you will need to prioritize what you work on in your evaluation
2) Get to know the HOOPS SDKs and the problems they solveTech Soft 3D has many different products within the HOOPS Platform. The first step is to know what product(s) is/are going to fit your needs. Here's a quick rundown of what each of our SDKs does:
HOOPS Exchange: CAD Data Import and Export
Whether your application is part of a multi-step manufacturing workflow or a stand-alone tool that authors proprietary data, you may find it necessary to import CAD data from other systems. Exchange enables you to pick and choose the formats you import/export and the data you use in your application. A great place to start is by building and running the provided samples, which cover basic to advanced usage of the HOOPS Exchange SDK. You can find these examples in your installation’s “samples” folder. You can also find more information about how to build and run the samples and what each sample does in our documentation.
HOOPS Communicator: Graphics Engine for Web Apps
Are you building a new engineering web application? If so, you will probably need to display and interact with CAD and engineering data. HOOPS Communicator allows you to easily add both WebGL and server-side rending of CAD, PMI, and custom data to your application.
A great place to quickly start learning how to implement HOOPS Communicator in your workflow is by checking out our source code-based tutorials.
HOOPS Visualize: Graphics Engine for Desktop and Mobile Apps
When you’re ready to build your next-generation desktop application, HOOPS Visualize is the tool you’ll want to look at for displaying and interacting with your engineering data. Visualize is a purpose-built engineering visualization tool that allows an application to use various display drivers across multiple platforms using a single code base. In addition, various input operators, view modes, and display types are built into the tool.
An excellent way to quickly get started with Visualize is to read through the programming guide after you have built the sandbox applications. This will allow you to write and test code as you read the programming guide.
HOOPS Publish: 3D PDF, HTML, and Standard CAD Publishing
If you want to author rich engineering data with interactive 3D PDFs and HTML or model export, you’ll likely want to use HOOPS Publish. HOOPS Publish can model file export to various industry-standard formats, including PDF, STEP, JT, and 3MF.
To get started with HOOPS Publish, we recommend utilizing the programming guide to get things up and running.
3) Get familiar with the learning tools providedDocumentation is a developer's best friend! Documentation is your best bet if you're stuck or need to see how something works. There are links for "Getting started" and "Tutorials" on each product doc page, which are great resources.
If you’re stuck, try our Knowledge Base. As an evaluator, you don’t have access to our support portal, but you do have access to our knowledge documentation. This is a great place to start if you have questions because there are articles addressing most of the common problems you might run into.
4) See what we have to offer in our labsThe Tech Soft 3D Labs have lots of valuable demos and code snippets that might be helpful to you during your evaluation time. Many of these projects don't have official support, but they are a good starting point.
5) Get engaged on the forumThis forum is another excellent resource for evaluators. It's a great place to go if you are stuck and can't find the answers to your questions. You can ask questions, and there's a lot of code and content available that may be able to help you.
6) Utilize the HOOPS Sandbox applicationsThe 3D HOOPS Communicator Sandbox is a wonderful resource. It has a live code editor where developers can quickly prototype functionality without needing to build an HTML page. It is excellent for testing our API and the code snippets. You also don't have to download anything to use the sandbox, which is a nice bonus.
HOOPS Communicator Sandbox: https://3dsandbox.techsoft3d.com/
The HOOPS Native platform includes various “sandboxes” for different UI frameworks, which are sample applications that act as a starting point for prototyping, testing, and learning the API. Each sandbox contains a viewport and a set of manipulation operators, such as rotation, pan, and zoom. The sandboxes are precompiled and ready to use from your HOOPS Visualize package.
You can find more information on the sandboxes here: HOOPS Visualize HPS Documentation