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Thread: Central File Maintenance and New Local schedule

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    Central File Maintenance and New Local schedule

    Historically Autodesk has promoted the idea of creating a new local every day, or at least every time Central File Maintenance was done. This was more a reaction to corrupted central files, mostly (I believe) caused by older and very slow networks and older versions of Revit. With newer versions of Revit and gigabit networks, the need is really just not there I think. In addition, there is certain information that is stored in the local file and thus lost with each new local.
    • Current Workset is lost with each new local. If the last person to STC happens to be on a funky workset, then everyone starts on that workset with the new locals. Even if the new locals default to Architectural for the workset (the logical default) this can be frustrating for someone who is working only on the Finishes workset, for example. They have to remember to reset it after every new local.
    • Opened worksets are lost with each new local. You can configure your local to open with certain worksets not loaded at all, which can REALLY speed things up. Unloading MEP when you don’t need it, or Site, is really helpful. But you have to reset what worksets are loaded with every new local.
    • Startup view is reset. If everyone uses a simple view to SwC then at least file open isn’t slow, but it forces every user to then switch to a meaningful (for them) view.
    • Browser Organization choices are lost with each new local. We aren’t using Browser Org much yet, but if settings are lost regularly it may never get used. And not using it means more time and frustration due to ever larger view and sheet counts.
    Thus there is an argument for minimizing how often you create new locals, doing it often enough to minimize problems, and no more.

    My thought is to do this as standard practice
    • Central File maintenance is done weekly. New locals are NOT created, maintaining user settings. The Central File will still benefit from regular Audits, and when a user opens their Local and Reloads Latest, and data fixed by audit will flow to them.
    • At project milestones the Central File is created new, and all users create new locals. This provides some of the extra benefits of new files (central and locals benefit) but spreads it out a little more.
    • On really large projects (Redmond sized) new centrals and locals might need to be done monthly, but probably only during CD phase, or perhaps starting late in DD.
    • If there is a problem with the central file, then new locals are created after maintenance, as needed.
    • It may also be that we can look into better defining our Archive procedure. We of course need milestone archives, but weekly archives may be a bit redundant in that we are also backing up the central file, which effectively creates an archive. And Revit creates archives automatically, that is what lives in that folder with the same name as the central file. If we can save some time that is currently spent on this, and apply it to addressing warnings on a weekly basis, I think we will find that our models actually work better than ever.

    So, anyone have any thoughts? Have you seen problems recently with not creating new locals after doing a central audit? In THEORY if the audit fixes something in the central file, the local user should get that updated via Reload Latest prior to their own SwC executing, so it should not be possible for a corrupt local to re-corrupt a central. But it might make sense to do a Reload Latest first thing after Central File Maintenance, so you aren't working with that kruft up until you SwC.

    More than anything I am curious how many people are still doing daily new locals, and how many people have abandoned this. And for the latter, do you feel like your frequency of corruption has gone up as a result?

    Thanks!
    Gordon

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    We enforce new locals- not only every day- but flat out every single time you open the file. I dont have a ton of time to write, but heres a few things i HAVE experienced:

    1. Browser organization isnt much of an issue, since its a project setting and not a user setting. We have our browser sorted 3 folders deep beyond view type, without incident. But even WITHOUT getting new locals, those changes get pushed during SWC, so im not sure where the issue is.

    2. We do model maintenance and new central file creation every week. Again, irrelevant since they get a new local every time they open the file.

    3. Save view: We have one, so it doesnt matter when and how often they get new locals. They should go to the save view everytime they SWC anyway. It really doesnt add any time to switch views.

    4. Corruptions: Its hard to definitively say that one behavior caused one corruption, but i CAN say with certainty: Our projects where people refuse to make new locals all the time (out of laziness, as ive NEVER, TO THIS DAY heard a GOOD reason not to) almost ALWAYS face more corruptions than projects where they do it my way: Corrupted elements, people having out of date locals in the morning that work too long before a RL or a SWC (and if you do either of those at startup, its faster to get a new local), elements shuffling to inappropriate worksets (view worksets), people unable to work in the morning after someone worked late at night cleaning up workset placements.

    5. We turn off the recent files screen at startup (its junk), and we have "worksets to open" on Specify by default in all of our Central Files. So theyre getting the Workset pop up regardless, in the morning.

    6. Current Workset: I WOULD have said this was the one concession id give, but with the advent of the Workset selector being consistant on the screen (even if the location stinks), i just cant see why someone cant look down there and check it. It boggles the mind, to me. I look down there every few objects to make sure im where i should be, just like we used to do with layers.

    ---

    At the risk of sounding harsh, this entire debate comes up (with most staff members) because of laziness. Not you, obviously... Youre asking legit questions. But i havent heard a really compelling argument EVER, for not making a new local everytime you open the file. The bottom line is, if you didnt JUST create the local, its out of date. Opening a local and doing a RL isnt much faster than getting a new local, especially considering you have to be at the keyboard and attentive to initiate the RL after the stale local opens. OR, you get a new one, and youre checking and responding to phone calls and emails while its opening, and you know its up to date when it gets done.

    Im serious enough about it that ive contemplated having IT put "search and deleters" on all of the workstations to blow away the locals, LOL.

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    Forum Addict gdoherty0102's Avatar
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    I am curious about the creating a new local file every day and I had students that would do this and we still would end up with corrupt files at the end of the year....anyhow my real question is this.

    I am one of those who does not create a new local, instead I open my local file from the night before and once it opens I STC. How is this not doing exactly the same thing as copying the central file every morning and overwriting your old local as a new local?

    Another thing to bare in mind is that I am typically the first person in the project every and the last one to close out of it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Price View Post
    Historically Autodesk has promoted the idea of creating a new local every day, or at least every time Central File Maintenance was done.
    noob alert! Well, this and Aaron's post have just scared the you know what out of me! I have never created a new local while working on a project but will start doing so now. My question is this: what does "Central file maintenance" consist of? Because I've never done AnyThing to a central file during a project. I feel somehow lucky that I have not had a catastrophic event yet.

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    The regular maintenance we do is to audit and compress. The compression definitely impacts performance, and one of the major reasons to make a new local is to get that compressed version. Personally I wish Reload Latest from a compressed central would just trigger a compression on the local.
    The audit is perhaps overkill, as it does nothing but take time if you don't have problems already, but my sense is that small problems become big problems so regular audits are somewhat preventative.
    Others will also argue that a totally new Central file should be part of the maintenance schedule. I do that at phase changes, others I know do it weekly or biweekly.
    The last piece is to regularly look at your warnings and address them, which is probably the most important maintenance you can do. But this is model maintenance, not central file maintenance, it just tends to happen at the same time, done by the same people.

    All that said, the need is a function of project and file size, and a small project and team of one will not need to do it much, and will often not need to do it at all. Just know that if you start getting certain kinds of corruption problems, or can no longer SwC, then the need has come.

    Gordon

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    Forum Co-Founder Twiceroadsfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdoherty0102 View Post
    I am curious about the creating a new local file every day and I had students that would do this and we still would end up with corrupt files at the end of the year....anyhow my real question is this.

    I am one of those who does not create a new local, instead I open my local file from the night before and once it opens I STC. How is this not doing exactly the same thing as copying the central file every morning and overwriting your old local as a new local?

    Another thing to bare in mind is that I am typically the first person in the project every and the last one to close out of it...
    Its not the same thing, because... well... its not the same thing. Youre taking a file thats older, out of date, and may have MASSIVE changes to it, particularly if someone was doing model cleanup, and youre telling it to cram all those changes down the pipline during SWC, in addition to whatever baggage your local is carrying around. PLUS, it takes longer, since now you have to wait for it to SWC. i just dont see what its saving you. The "baggage" im describing is that- and i dont care what anyone in the factory says- once a local is 'pretty far gone" compared to the central, in regards to changes (like when a model manager works 6 hours at night cleaning stuff up), that local manages to *forget* things. it lets people borrow what they shouldnt, it waits til they try to save to declare incompatibility, its just lousy.

    Dave- Generally once a week we go through the models. We keep 3d views that show only one workset, so we can quickly find pieces on the wrong worksets. Redundant family definitions. Views named unintelligently 9get deleted). erroneous content and views get deleted. The file gets audited. We dont purge. The file gets recreated and compressed.

    Again, never heard a good reason not to do it.

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    Dave Jones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
    Dave- Generally once a week we go through the models. We keep 3d views that show only one workset, so we can quickly find pieces on the wrong worksets. Redundant family definitions. Views named unintelligently 9get deleted). erroneous content and views get deleted. The file gets audited. We dont purge. The file gets recreated and compressed.

    Again, never heard a good reason not to do it.
    thanks Aaron (and Gordon too!). I apologize in advance for what is probably a Really Stupid Question but how does one "create a new central file"? When you open a central file there are options to Audit, Detach from Central, or Create new local. Is it as simple as unchecking all of those options then doing a SaveAs using Make this a central file after save option?

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    Administrator Gordon Price's Avatar
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    Just that simple. Detach from Central is one of those semantic things. It really would make more sense if this actually said "Make a new Central" And if you check "Detach from Central" all it really does is check "Make this a Central file after save" for you, and inactivate the option so you can't change it.

    Gordon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Price View Post
    Just that simple. Detach from Central is one of those semantic things. It really would make more sense if this actually said "Make a new Central" And if you check "Detach from Central" all it really does is check "Make this a Central file after save" for you, and inactivate the option so you can't change it.

    Gordon
    thanks Gordon, I'm learning slowly but surely

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    Member Elisa's Avatar
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    Gordon, what have you decided on your standard practice? Any changes to your list?
    I'm curious if some of your thoughts changed after reading Aaron's set up.

    We currently do new central at each end of a phase, and one a month for larger projects. We do a new local each day, I like a new one each time I open the program, so at least twice a day, morning and after lunch. Like Aaron said, it's just as easy, and faster.
    Aaron I do like the idea of "search and delete"

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