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    2 firms, 2 locations, 1 central file (2010)

    We (a UK based practice) have come to the end of our role with a local firm on a job out in Australia - but given "the times" and some spare capacity - our director has offered to extend our role (for more fee) to assist with the final wrapping up of (ID) documentation.

    However, the delivery deadlines are bottle necking around us, and the Australian outfit have been seduced by the idea of worksets and wish to employ them to get every hand on deck and the work out the door.

    To date we've bounced seperate, non-workset'd, architecture and interior models for each of the 8 units; first manually through FTP, then through a daily sync'd NAS, and now online (Aconex)... and (until now) relocating a central file has never come up as an issue.

    Our first hurdle is that we're working in 2010 - and even if we were to upgrade the models to 2011 so late in the day (which we won't) we (my firm) have yet to begin investigations into Revit Server... and there's no money in the pot to entertain infrastructural changes (ie. Riverbed, etc).

    Personally, I'm worried to introduce worksets to the models as it is, with "their" approach to protocol and team-work being, how shall I say, different (?) to "ours" and foresee more pain than gain.

    But the fact remains something needs to be actioned, and before the end of next week.

    I've done (local) tests and have gone through all the motions and hassles that relocating central files bring ("save as" central, users & local files losing "sight" of the central file, workset ownership breaking) - so know daily sharing of the central file through Aconex is a no go.

    Our VPN connection is just too slow to even consider, so I'm starting to think RDC'ing to their office workstations might be our only option although that will require quite an open and frank discussion between our respective IT & IP bods.

    Or have I missed something?



    PS : Q : When you share (workset'd) models with consultants, do you typically share the central file, a local, or what?

    #2
    I would highly recommend the workset approach. (?? How were you able to have more than person working in the files? )

    Upgrading to RAC 2011 ( or 2012 since it's two-three weeks away or so ) would allow the use of Revit Server over a WAN so that both offices could all work simultaneously.

    We have just set this up with our 3 offices here in USA.

    But with the deadline you have, all of that setup and rollout would be a huge challenge.

    So--I'd stick with this plan:

    Enable worksets
    Divide up the models and tasks with both offices/teams
    Post the files to FTP at least once or twice a week and link them.

    A bit clunky but doable. This will allow the "all hands on deck" approach to happen.
    However, just remember, the more people you throw at it, the more potential choas you must manage.

    For sending Revit files to Consultants, do the following:

    1. Open from Central, and click Detach from Central
    2. Go to Manage Links, and remove all Linked files
    3. (optional) Purge Unused
    4. Save

    Then post to the FTP site.
    Last edited by cliff collins; March 31, 2011, 03:01 PM.
    Cliff B. Collins
    Registered Architect
    The Lamar Johnson Collaborative Architects, St. Louis, MO
    Autodesk Expert Elite

    Comment


      #3
      Enable Worksets, and Upgrade to 2011. You guys are kicking yourself in the nuts not doing either.

      2011 = Epic Win compared to 2010. In every way imaginable: Performance, stability, ease of use, features, etc.

      Worksets = THE ONLY way to work. Even when i do projects for fun at my house, i workset them. Its just... better in every way.

      Given your deadlines and implied financial situation, i wouldnt bother with Revit Server right now. (It has a price to get set up, and it doesnt matter if its worth it, if you cant bleed a rock). Its great, and we love it, and its not THAT expensive to set up, but it still requires SOME things to set up... A server at each location (virtual or otherwise), another copy of Windows Server 2008, etc. Cost is cost.

      But worksets and 2011 is a no brainer. You make think you are doing yourself a service avoiding both, but you arent.
      Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
      @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by cliff collins View Post
        How were you able to have more than person working in the files? )
        We haven't been. My predecessor invested considerable effort in painting worksets as the spawn of satan so we've operated on a 1 person = 1 building mentality for ages. Although resourcing has tended to see that go up to 1 person = 4 buildings. And we're not talking small buildings here either. :crazy:

        Originally posted by cliff collins View Post
        Upgrading to RAC 2011
        Originally posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
        Enable Worksets, and Upgrade to 2011. You guys are kicking yourself in the nuts not doing either.
        Alas, it's simply not an option - project protocols win.

        Originally posted by cliff collins View Post
        So--I'd stick with this plan:

        Enable worksets
        Divide up the models and tasks with both offices/teams
        Post the files to FTP at least once or twice a week and link them.

        A bit clunky but doable. This will allow the "all hands on deck" approach to happen.
        However, just remember, the more people you throw at it, the more potential choas you must manage.
        Originally posted by Twiceroadsfool View Post
        Worksets = THE ONLY way to work. Even when i do projects for fun at my house, i workset them. Its just... better in every way.
        Oh believe you me I know this - but like I said - I'm fighting against nonsensical legacy.


        ...BUT...

        I'm just not seeing what worksets would do for us with Cliff's proposed workflow? We already have a model for each discipline, and tasks are shared, with a time-difference that (conveniently) facilitates no overlap of handovers, and we use a convenient file exchange process daily. Or are you proposing segmenting (non-workset'd) models down further into zones ?

        To reclarify; the issue is that one of our eight buildings stands out from the rest (most of which are done and dusted) - it's a good three times bigger, and having suffered stagnated sign offs, all of it's documentation has backed up. Whereas before one person could keep it ticking over, we now need more than one person working on it at a time; 3/4 in Australia, who then then hand over to the UK for 2/3 people to have a go... and repeat.

        What I don't know - is where to keep a central file (in one fixed location? or constantly move & remake it?) to allow that to happen.
        Last edited by snowyweston; March 31, 2011, 03:18 PM.

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          #5
          You should at the very least turn on worksets, you don't really have to use them at all. Just use element borrowing and have everything go to a default object workset. I've work on very large projects with 4 team members in this manner and havent had a problem.

          If you do a central file setup over a wan you're going to have lag because of the communication needs between the central and local files. I'd recommend remote desktops for the best speed. That way the local and central file can reside on one server. If you're going to go the WAN route you'll need hardware accelerators and you may also benefit from Revit Server or Projectwise.

          One other option to consider is doing it remotely using a cloud service if you're worried about the offices getting along. There are services out there providing Revit editing in the cloud.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by servids View Post
            I'd recommend remote desktops for the best speed. That way the local and central file can reside on one server.
            When I'm back in the office Monday it'll be my first "to try" option; I simply posted in the hope there was "a fourth way" (to RS, WAN & RDC)

            Originally posted by servids View Post
            One other option to consider is doing it remotely using a cloud service if you're worried about the offices getting along.
            This is certainly something I've been looking into of late given the seemingly slow uptake, (and low confidence in) of Revit Server.... but again, that kind of thing needs working into project fees & annual budgets - it's not something I can just green light - especially with a closed-shut cheque book.

            Comment


              #7
              I would heed the advice of those above .. they are all GREAT RECOMMENDATIONS, however I do feel for your time crunch so I am going to offer up another alternative, .. http://www.box.net. Free for "personal" use, $15 a month for business.

              I've used the app and its actually pretty slick, it utilizes your internet connection to keep everyone in sync. and it only takes a few minutes to setup.

              Just a suggestion, .. I would still break it up as mentioned and sync the central with box.net .. just a suggestion. Good luck!
              bim cad tech com

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by joseguia View Post
                I would heed the advice of those above .. they are all GREAT RECOMMENDATIONS,
                Appreciated, and maybe it was my lunchtime pint that's clouding my understanding - but I still can't grasp how :

                "Enable Worksets" = "How to handle changing a Central File's server/location daily, so that it is transparent for (local) users".

                What did I miss?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Woah, hang on for ONE second.

                  Lets get a couple of things straight:

                  1. Were all suggesting Worksets as a means to have more than one person in the file at a time. Now, having reread it, you are saying the people that need to be in it at the same time are in different offices. None of our solutions (besides a very pricey and complex Cloud Computing solution, Or Revit Server, or WAN/Riverbed, or RDC) are going to do that. Upload/FTP/Box.net, etc, will not help with that. Globalscape has a solution that i know works (but at that point, youre changing your "project protocol" anyway, which seems like a silly reason to not upgrade and get on RS at that point. Anyway, GS is not supported (i dont think), so any issues and you wont get support.

                  Jose, if Box is working for you guys as a place to host a central file live and work with SWC, thats great. But i know a lot of people who are having it NOT behave as expected, since there is a time lapse in communication with central. I would strongly advise against this method.

                  2. Regarding moving the central daily? No big deal. FTP it. open with Detach from Central, Save as, Synch with new Central (created during save as). It takes three minutes.

                  3. There is no unreliability with Revit Server. My GUESS is slow uptake is because the v1 required Server 2008, and everyone is on 2008R2 (us included). We are using it anyway, and weve had next to no issues with it whatsoever. Its extremely fast, we have three offices running on it, with large projects, linked files, the whole nine yards. Its beautiful. Slow uptake = people afraid of the unknown. Nothing more.
                  Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
                  @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Were all suggesting Worksets as a means to have more than one person in the file at a time. Now, having reread it, you are saying the people that need to be in it at the same time are in different offices
                    Aaron, excellent point, .. the BOX solution will undoubtedly NOT work in this case. Also, depending on the size of the model, .. BOX will also not be the right solution. I would look to stay sub 100 mbs, preferably smaller.

                    We also have had luck syncing the file, .. assuming the interval was set right.
                    Last edited by joseguia; March 31, 2011, 05:18 PM.
                    bim cad tech com

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