One of the most frequently asked questions I get is "How do I get started programming with DWF?" People have heard about the DWF Toolkit and wonder if it is the solution for them. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn't. Many people's needs are better suited to using the API of the viewer instead.
If you are interested in working with the API associated with the Autodesk DWF Viewer and Autodesk Design Review or the DWF Toolkit, then you should visit the Autodesk Developer Center. There you will find developer tools, code samples, a list of other 3rd party vendors, and other resources. The site has been divided into sections:
- Create Your Own Application – These sections are intended for hardcore C++ programmers who wish to download the free Autodesk DWF Toolkit and build their own application. The Autodesk DWF Toolkit can be downloaded at DWF Toolkit download page.
- Embed DWF Files into Applications – These sections are intended for Autodesk DWF Viewer or Autodesk Design Review users who have DWF files and wish to integrate them into HTML pages or Microsoft Office documents.
An Open Standard
DWF is an open standard. Some people confuse "open" with "proprietary." Autodesk listens to its customers in terms of making changes to the format instead of following a slow-moving committee process. I guess that makes DWF proprietary; however, Autodesk provides the DWF specification, and even the source code for reading and writing DWF files, to anyone free of charge - even competitors. How much more open can you get? Furthermore DWF is based on other industry standards such as ZIP/ZLIB, XML, JPG/PNG/bitonal-G4-Tiff, and HSF. So although there is no specific ISO standard's body for DWF itself, DWF is an open standard made from formats that are industry standards.
The openness of the format contributes to an overall ecosystem around DWF. The ability for Autodesk and others to provide solutions around design data is what allows DWF to go beyond the paper.