This is my second of my three blog posts explaining the Forge business model. The three posts are:
Forge uses Cloud Credits
Today, I'll discuss the unit of 'currency' for Forge pricing - Cloud Credits (which I'll abbreviate to CCs for the rest of this post).
If you’re using Forge from an EBA Contract, then you can translate to EBA Tokens at a rate of 1 CC = 1 Token when reviewing the Forge consumption tariffs. on the Forge Pricing page.
Forge pricing is based on a consumption model. This means that a small number Forge API calls (specifically four endpoints at the time of writing) will charge you CCs when you call them. The CCs consumed are deducted from your total CC balance. The majority of the Forge APIs do not have an associated consumption cost.
Consumption models are very common in the web API world. For example, this is how Amazon charges web developers for using Amazon Web Services (AWS). The main difference between Forge and AWS consumption is that AWS bills customers for their usage in arrears at the end of the month, whereas Forge requires you to pre-purchase CCs to cover your consumption.
You can think of the Forge consumption model as being similar to driving your car. You go to the petrol station and fill your tank, then you can drive your car around (consuming the petrol) until you need to go back to the petrol station to refill your tank. If you’re an Uber driver, then you’ll consume petrol very quickly, and may have to visit the petrol station every day. If you only use your car for a weekly trip to the grocery store, then you can go for several months before you need a refill.
Similarly, for Forge, you buy CCs in advance. If your application makes lots of calls to API endpoints that consume CCs, then either you will have to buy a larger pack of CCs in advance (we offer volume discounts for purchases over 5,000 CCs) or you will have to buy CCs more frequently (the minimum purchase is 100 CCs).
- You can monitor your Forge CC consumption by visiting your Forge Usage Analytics dashboard.
- You can view your CC balance on your Autodesk subscription portal.
The advantage of a consumption model is that you pay for exactly what you use – and no more. The disadvantage is that you may have to use the APIs for a while until you fully understand what your ongoing consumption is likely to be. Obviously, if you’re using Forge as part of a web application for which you’re charging your users to access, then you need to understand your expected Forge usage so that you can ensure you’re not selling your application for less than it costs you to run. But this is no different to other web APIs and services – for example, it takes time to understand your expected AWS or Microsoft Azure costs until you’ve used those services for a while.
In my next post, I’ll discuss the actual costs for Forge API-by-API. For the rest of this post, I’ll dive into the detail of how Forge + Cloud Credits works. You might want to skip this next bit and come back once you’ve started using the APIs and seen some consumption.
Cloud Credits – The details
Buying more Cloud Credits
Your Forge annual subscription includes 100 CCs. If you need more than that during the year, you can purchase more either online or by requesting a quote and submitting a Purchase Order. You’ll find links to those two options on the Forge pricing page.
You can buy CCs online in packs of 100 from your Autodesk subscription portal. Click on the ‘Get Cloud Credits’ button. The screen should look something like this:
To buy a larger amount (and to benefit from a volume discount if you buy more than 5000 CCs at a time, you can request a quote and use that quote to submit a Purchase Order to Autodesk. You can request a quote from the Forge Pricing page:
Alternatively, you can buy Cloud Credits from your local reseller. Forge can consume any Autodesk Cloud Credits that have been assigned to the same ‘contract number’ as your Forge subscription. (
Note - You cannot purchase your annual Forge subscription from your local reseller – only supplemental CCs. Forge subscriptions are only available direct from Autodesk.
Prices for CCs vary by country and are discounted for higher volume purchases (over 5000). However, the nominal price of 1 CC in the US is 1 USD, which is a good starting point for your cost estimation. At this time, there is no mechanism for you to automatically buy more CCs. This means that you could run out of CCs if you don’t keep an eye on your consumption. However, we will contact you and give you an opportunity to buy more before we block your account’s access to those APIs that consume CCs.
Cloud Credits expire
Be careful how many CCs you buy, as they will expire on one of these dates – whichever is the sooner:
1. CCs expire one year after purchase. If you have multiple CC purchases in a year, each purchase has its own expiration date.
2. CCs expire if the Forge subscription on the same contract expires and isn’t renewed within 30 days. You can avoid this by setting your Forge subscription to auto-renew (if you purchased it online), or by ordering a new subscription in good time (if you bought your subscription by Purchase Order).
Forge will consume your CCs oldest first.
Cloud Credit consumption is not updated in real-time
The Cloud Credit usage displayed on your Forge Usage dashboard is batch updated once every few hours, so you will see a lag between calling a consuming API and seeing that consumption on your dashboard.
The same applies to your CC balance displayed on your Autodesk subscription portal. In addition, Forge only debits from your CC balance when you have consumed an integer number of CCs. For example, you will see no CCs debited from your account if you run a Design Automation API for Revit task for 9 minutes; but then 1 CC will be deducted if you then run an additional 1 minute job. (9 + 1 minute = 10 minutes = 1 CC (6 CCs per hour).
Next post: What does each Forge API cost?