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Creating the Integrated Data Environment

At its core, the integrated data environment is about bringing together different systems, platforms, and common data environments (CDEs) that various team members utilize during a project to improve collaboration among architects, engineers, general contractors, subcontractors, and others. These CDEs could be platforms like Procore, Autodesk, or Microsoft 365, where project-related documents and workflows are stored. Unfortunately, the problem with CDEs is that when several are being used on a project, workflows fall apart, duplicate data entry is unavoidable, and a single source of truth is unobtainable due to the lack of integration between the environments. An IDE aims to centralize these workflows, data, and people from different CDEs, with the project at the center. It provides a cohesive environment for collaboration, control, and governance, enabling teams to access information easily and take informed actions. Read on to learn how better system integration will improve the way AEC project teams work together and how an IDE is leading the charge.

Tech Thought Leaders Discuss Better System Integration

During a recent podcast episode, ProjectReady’s founder and CEO Joe Giegerich and Head of Development Shaili Modi-Oza, analyzed the concept of an IDE and its potential impact on the AEC industry. They discussed how modern technologies, such as cloud computing and APIs, have made it possible to bring together the disparate project information stored across CDEs into a single, unified user interface – successfully creating a single source of truth.

This blog post delivers an overview of the duo’s discussion and highlights key points and insights. However, if you would like to listen to the full episode, click the play button on the podcast player below or click here to access the show, learning objectives of the episode, and read the full transcript.

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Simplifying Tech: How To Build An IDE

How APIs Facilitate Better System Integration Across The AEC

APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) play a vital role in the creation of an IDE. What we are seeing today, according to Modi-Oza, is that many modern CDEs are making open APIs available, including RESTful APIs, that follow a standardized format for accessing and interacting with data. These APIs ultimately make it easier to retrieve content from different systems and facilitate seamless integration and collaboration. By defining relevant data points across systems that are to be connected, an IDE can bring together information in a meaningful way that supports effective project management.

The Evolution of APIs

While APIs have been around for some time, the newer generation of APIs has brought significant advancements. These modern APIs, including RESTful APIs, have become more standardized and secure. They typically use authentication mechanisms such as access tokens and refresh tokens to ensure secure access to data. Moreover, these APIs often return data in a JSON format, making it easier to interpret and process. Newer APIs are also designed for scalability, capable of handling large volumes of data and interactions, thus enabling enterprise-level integration.

Event-Based APIs and Webhooks

Webhooks, a type of event-based API, have become crucial in ProjectReady’s efforts to continue the evolution of modern IDE development. Unlike traditional APIs that require manual crawling or data retrieval, webhooks are triggered automatically when specific events occur. This event-driven nature allows the IDE to track changes and updates in real-time without the need for continuous data querying. Webhooks make it possible to capture only the relevant and updated content, enhancing the efficiency and scalability of workflows within the IDE.

Successful AEC System Integration Is Not Possible Without Governance

For those looking to bring data and information together from different CDEs into an IDE, ensuring proper security and governance is essential. Governance is vital to ensuring that the data and information that’s accessible can be trusted and that only the right people have the right access to the right information at the right time. Furthermore, to be effective, an IDE should respect the existing security measures implemented by the CDE and enforce data access limitations accordingly. ProjectReady’s IDE rises to these challenges by deploying roles-based governance and security that ensures compliance across connected systems while granting security-trimmed access to information by users as defined by an individual’s role and responsibilities on a project.

Next Steps

ProjectReady’s IDE represents a transformative step for players in the AEC industry by empowering organizations to overcome the challenge of managing project information scattered across multiple systems. With the support of modern technologies and APIs, an IDE delivers seamless integration, collaboration, and governance. By bringing together data, workflows, and people from different CDEs, organizations can leverage a single source of truth, enhance efficiency, visibility, and control over their projects. The future of the AEC industry lies in the adoption and implementation of integrated data environments, unlocking new possibilities and driving successful project outcomes.

Ready to see how an IDE can improve the way your company works on projects? Click here to schedule a free demonstration today. Or, if you want to read more, check out the following resources.

You can also click here to check out Part One of The Art of the Possible podcast series, “Solving The Challenge of Siloed Data In The AEC.”


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