October 10, 2016
by Tibor Lorántfy
modified at January 20, 2017

Getting started with API Development Kit

ARCHICAD API allows third party developers to create Add-Ons, which implement new functions for ARCHICAD users. To start developing ARCHICAD Add-Ons, you just have to complete a quick developer registration, and you will be able to download the API Development Kit.
The API Development Kit is available for both Windows and macOS platform (ARCHICAD runs on these two platforms). After a successful installation, you will find three main folders in the Development Kit:

  • The Support folder is the core of the SDK, it contains all the necessary libraries and header files. The subfolders named Inc and Lib contain the API header files and library.
    The Development Kit is shipped with several additional Modules to provide platform independent interfaces. They are not components of the core API (except for GSRoot and InputOutput), however we strongly recommend to use them instead of rolling in your platform-dependent functions. The Modules subfolder and on macOS the Frameworks subfolder contain these modules header files and libraries.
  • The Documentation folder includes documentation for the API, and also for other necessary additional modules. You can always find the most up-to-date API documentation on this site.
  • The Examples folder contains more than 20 example Add-Ons. They thematically demonstrate the different services of the API, and could be really useful for beginners to show the correct usage of the interface.
    For each example the main directory contains a project file for Xcode/Microsoft Visual Studio. After opening the project, you’ll be able to build that example add-on. These project files also serve as template files for creating your own projects.

The built Add-On is a special DLL on Windows (with .apx extension), and bundle package on macOS (with .APX CFBundlePackageType). The code of the Add-On is written in C/C++ language. You can read further details about the structure of an Add-On here.