Is Dynamo the new API?

I don’t think the API programmers should get scared just yet, but is there a day coming when visual programming will completely replace custom code?  Julien seems to think so:

“I firmly believe Dynamo could be used for many many purposes, and addin-like behavior is one…
Definitions are easy to share and update. Users can tune them with only some basic Dynamo skill. It is not the same with addins. It is a lot of work to manage and deploy. And users will not be able to tune things. Same thing for macros.”

Read more:
API or not API: addins vs Dynamo in Revit | AEC, you and me.


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Adam Sheather
10 years ago

The answer is no, if such a scenario was the case then Visual Programming would have replaced regular programming for general stuff years ago. Visual programming is great at simplistic flows, but just like Grasshopper extremely complex files (which are still extremely simplistic compared to many modest API addons) can only really be used by the people who created them without documentation or training or spending an inordinate amount of time understanding whats going on. These programs lack any real ability to organise information correctly or track flow. They are great for the basics, but for a Macro I can… Read more »

Luke Johnson
10 years ago
Reply to  Adam Sheather

Thanks for the detailed response mate, you hit on some excellent points. In some ways, I think the answer is "which one are you best at". One user feels comfortable coding, one feels more comfortable in visual programming, one can solve the problem using Revit / parameters / families. I guess coding remains the most "powerful" at least in terms of ultimate capability. Even Revit is code.

Adam Sheather
10 years ago

Exactly like anything it's which are you best vs learning the best tools for the job. Parts of dynamo are brilliant at doing some very specific things, our best example is our Framing creator is built on Dynamo and allows us to bring in 3D line based families, CAD files and 3D models and quickly select the object and build our framing up completely connected based on our analysis outputs into Revit or simply complex trusses engineers have design in 3rd party programs. On the other hand our template generator could not have been done in Dynamo without a huge… Read more »

10 years ago

Adam, you are write. as a coder guy. But your answer matches for around 0.5% of revit users in my company. That's my point. Visual programming is less powerful, it is not really coding in fact. but it as a huge potential for at least 50% of us here.We have a bunch of addins we use every day, addins that we're made by professional consultants. Best ROI so far. But as in the CAD days, when we needed every day some small LISP or like to automate tasks, Dynamo could help.Some will use definition, some will transform them. some will… Read more »

Adam Sheather
10 years ago

Couldn't agree more 🙂 we are attempting the same thing with (kits), quick manipulation and parameter feedback. We've actually had to build a lot of metric nodes as a lot of what's existing is all in Imperial, which our US projects only take up maybe 5% of time and much less in Revit.

I don't see code and API's disappearing, though if you haven't seen this JavaScript example below, it's another great example of Visual Programming tools up & coming.

Dan Tartaglia
Dan Tartaglia
9 years ago

Just saw this post, Dynamo can replace a lot of what a Revit 'add-in' can do but not everything (I guess it's possible in the future with enough development). You can also create Applications in Revit that run when Revit launches; this may or not be in Dynamo's future. One more aspect is the events in the API you can hook into (file open, view open, synch, ect).