Starting from version 9.0 RapidAuthor allows for creating publications that do not require browser plugins. These publications can be viewed with the help of Cortona3D Solo that is based on asm.js and WebGL/HTML5 technologies. Cortona3D Solo works in most modern web browsers on different OS (Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Mobile).
How to create publications that do not require browser plugins
You will need to select the publishing option “Use Browser Plugins” and choose "No" to create a new type of publication.
For non-plugin publications of complex projects, containing a lot of geometry, you may need to increase the size of allocated memory using the publishing option “3D Viewer Memory (MB)”.
By default, 128 MB of memory are allocated. If it is insufficient, an error message appears when viewing a publication. The option is effective only if the "Use Browser Plugins" option is set to "No".
Distribution of Cortona3D Solo
The users of RapidAuthor are granted the right to distribute the Cortona3D Solo library along with RapidAuthor publications.
By default, the Cortona3D Solo library is placed into the resource folder of the RapidAuthor publication. Alternatively you can upload Cortona3D Solo library to a dedicated URL on a web server. This URL should be specified in the RapidAuthor publishing option “3D Viewer URL”. In this case the Cortona3D Solo files will be cached in the web browser on first load, thus saving place and time on subsequent loads.
Your web server may need to be configured to return files with extension “.mem”. This is not a standard extension and your server may block it and return error 404 when such file is requested by a client. Also your web server needs to allow Cross-origin resource sharing (CORS).
Cortona3D Solo API
Cortona3D Solo API allows you to integrate Cortona3D Solo library into your own web applications. You will be provided with the following items:
- Documentation describing the API.
The license for Cortona3D Solo API grants you the following rights:
- Use API to integrate the Cortona3D Solo library into your own web applications.
- Distribute the library as a part of your own web applications within your company or/and to the third parties.
For pricing information for Cortona3D Solo API please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Republishing existing RapidAuthor content
Existing content created with previous versions of RapidAuthor should be republished to be compatible with Cortona3D Solo.
There are two different tools which can do this in the batch mode:
- Republish.exe – republishes all projects in current working space. This tool loads all projects one-by-one from the current working space of RapidCatalog/RapidManual and publishes them using publishing options defined in RapidCatalog/RapidManual. It is a batch mode equivalent of opening and publishing individual projects in RapidCatalog/RapidManual. Republish.exe is supplied along with RapidAuthor.
- RepublishLite.exe – republishes existing published content, located in a specified folder. This tool does not need source projects, it needs just VRML, 2D graphic and interactivity.xml files as a source. RepublishLite just re-generates HTML, CSV, PDF and other files, defined by the installed version of specification from these source files. In case of non-plugin publication it will convert CGM graphics to SVG format. To speed-up republishing, generation of some files may be skipped, e.g. CVS and PDF files. RepublishLite.exe is not included into RapidAuthor, it can be provided on demand.
Some older versions of library objects used in the existing projects should be replaced with their new versions from the Object Gallery. This includes the following objects:
- Label (replaced by Callout), Tighten Label (updated), Dimension (updated);
- PanelIMG (updated), PanelHTML (replaced with PanelText). These two objects should be replaced only if they were inserted into the project in RapidManual/RapidCatalog v. 5.1 or earlier versions.
Restrictions of Cortona3D Solo
There are several restrictions regarding the non-plugin publications:
- In the IPC publications, the rotation center is set to the bounding box center of the picked item, not the picked point.
- In the IPC publications, the Callout mode is unavailable.
- In the RapidManual publication, the zoomIn and zoomOut parameters of ‘Set Viewpoint’ action are ignored (zoom is not restricted).
- There is no support for audio in the Procedure publication (3D illustration of technical procedure) running in Microsoft Internet Explorer.*
- Technical publications can be viewed via HTTP. Viewing local files may require extra settings.*
- Some VRML nodes are not supported. The list of unsuported nodes is provided in the knowledge base. The list is the same for Cortona3D Solo and Cortona3D Viewer for iOS.
* This limitations are related to the web browser restrictions or technology limitations.
Comparison of publications that require plugins and plugin-free publications
Parameters of comparison
Publications that require plugins (support will be discontinued in Q3, 2021)
Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, Windows 10 Mobile, Android
Internet Explorer (support will be discontinued in Q3, 2021)
Internet Explorer (support will be discontinued in Q3, 2021), Edge, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari
Plugins, viewers, readers or other files required to display parts catalogs, manuals, etc.
Cortona3D Viewer, Cortona2D Viewer (plugins for Internet Explorer)
No plugins should be installed.
Required files will be automatically loaded into cache of the web browser.
Contents of publications
Set of files: HTML, XML, VRML, CGM, GIF, PNG, JPG, TIFF, HTML resources such as scripts, stylesheets, etc.
Set of files: HTML, XML, VRML, GIF, PNG, JPG, TIFF, HTML resources such as scripts, stylesheets, etc. CGM is converted to SVG while publishing. SVG is natively supported by most browsers.