Get started with Tekla Structures Open API

Updated: 7 Feb 2024

Get started with Tekla Open API

In this guide you will go through how to get started with Tekla Structures Open API (known also as Tekla Open API) and how to create your first Tekla Structures applications.



You need to purchase a Tekla Structures license to develop on top of Tekla Open API. If you do not have a license yet, or you would like to develop for 3rd parties,  join Tekla Partners Program. If you are a student or just evaluating Tekla Open API, download free Tekla Structures Learning from Tekla Campus.

See Policy page for summary of the license terms. Read also the full length copy of the End-User License Agreement on the bottom of the Policy page.

Looking to join Tekla Partners Program?

Then fill out and submit an online application form. 

Apply now

Prepare your setup

  1. To get started you will need to create a new Microsoft Visual Studio project
  2. Then you should install Tekla Open API and add assemblies to your project as references
  3. Next, add directives to namespaces of Tekla Structures assemblies

Start coding

1. Watch how to create your first Hello World application

After watching the video you will know how the using statements let you to reference to Tekla Open API and how to code and run a simple Tekla Structures application.

2. Edit existing code example

  1. Take a look at this code example that creates a beam to Tekla Structures model
  2. Take the steps described in the code example and run you first Tekla Open API application. Or download the source code and then run the exe.
  3. View the code and try to understand what's going on
  4. Make some small changes to the code and run the application again

Tip: Check our vast code example library

Use the source code as a starting point of your own application or plugin. Download the source code and modify it to fit your need.

3. Take the interactive Tekla Open API Basics elearning course Take this interactive Tekla Open API elearning course to learn basics of Tekla Open API.

To get started with your own application development take the Tekla Open API Basics elearning course. The course will teach you the fundamentals of the Tekla Open API. 

The course contains six lessons. In the first lessons you will learn what Tekla Open API is and create a new Microsoft Visual Studio project. The lessons will teach you how to work with different Tekla Structures model objects and their properties, and the last lesson gives an overview of 3D calculations and operations, and how to work with cuts and fittings.

If you are new to Tekla Open API, it is better start from the first lesson and then move forward.

4. Take a series of exercises

Now you are ready to go through series of self learning exercises that help you learn and practice some basic concepts of the Tekla Open API. The exercises work through some typical issues you will face. You will implement an application that creates a building frame and produces drawings from that.

5. Download Tekla Open API training slides

To understand more deeply how Tekla Open API works download Tekla Open API training slides. Training slides are targeted at those who knows Tekla Structures but does not know Tekla Open API, Microsoft Visual Studio or C# programming language too well. 

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