AutoDesk Inventor Macro-Plugin-Add on
AutoDesk Inventor provides the means to create macros that perform tasks or actions a user normally performs via mouse or keyboard commands. These Inventor Macros are produced using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), a common scripting language used by many populate desktop applications, and as such have similar concepts and features.
Inventor Macros are often used to automate repetitive tasks or streamline more complex actions where a customised user interface can be designed to control or capture specific content.
The Inventor Macro VBA code editor is accessed via the Tools> Macro> Visual Basic Editor
Menu. There one or more macros can be created and stored within a drawing document or separately its own project (*.ivb) file. Since the VBA editor is integrated into AutoDesk Inventor, creating a macro can be straightforward with the Inventor drawing objects and their properties easily accessible via the Object Browser, great for prototyping a solution.
The Inventor Macro can be run from the Tools> Macro> Menu or assigned to a shortcut/button
AutoDesk Inventor Plugins (or Addins) provide much the same features however they are created using more advanced programming languages (VB.Net, etc). The code created is not visible to users, instead it is compiled into DLL files that can be loaded by Inventor.
Creating a Plugin/Addin rather than using VBA enables more advanced integration and a richer user interface.
AutoDesk provide template projects for use with external development tools such as Visual Studio. These templates include the required Inventor modules (APIs) that enable the drawing objects and their properties to be accessed. AutoDesk Inventor Plugins/Addins can be wrapped into a bundle along with supporting files and placed in specific locations Inventor searches in order to load either at startup or on-demand. These bundles can themselves be packaged into an installation script so they can be easily distributed.