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    Autodesk Deployment File

    Does anyone have experience in setting up Revit and Autocad Architecture from a server, and did you use the Autodesk Deployment file?
    Are there any issues to be aware of?
    Thanks,

    Chuck
    Bettisworth North

    #2
    We create deployments all the time from a server. For both ACA and Revit. We dont use their deployment EXE for Revit though, we make the deployments through the program.
    Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
    @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

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      #3
      Chuck, there are indeed some things to be aware of. The depth of the answers depends a lot on how in depth you want to get with tweaking the Deployment. But a few quick comments are...

      1: When you build your Deployment, there will be an option to not download content. Revit will ignore your setting and download anyway, unless you manually edit some XML files in the Content folder of the Deployment.

      2: When you build your Deployment Revit will create an XML file called Revitini.xml that seeds the User Data Cache with an INI file, which is then copied to the user's Roaming Profile on first launch. If you don't manually edit this XML file you will get a new "feature" that will make updating user INI files very painful later.

      3: If you dig around you will likely come to the conclusion that you can seed the Deployment with things like custom Keyboard shortcuts. You can't, it is all a tease.

      4: You can address #3 and other issues by using scripts (WindowsScriptHost or Windows PowerShell, etc), but because Autodesk still puts the UserDataCache folder in Program Files, rather than ProgramData where it belongs, you may run into some unfortunate security issues with scripting.

      5: In general, Deployments are about a 50/50 split BIM Manager/IT Manager task. You need someone in a BIM Manager hat to decide what to do, but you will need someone in an IT Manager hat to actually get it done, i.e. XML editing and VBScript and the like. It can be done, it is really powerful once it is done, it is non trivial to do.

      Best of luck!
      Gordon
      Pragmatic Praxis

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        #4
        Gordon,

        Thank you very much, My task is to compile information for a smooth transition from our current BIM software (Archicad) to Revit and ACA. The information you have provided seems to be a solid start that I will build on.

        Take Care,

        Chuck
        Bettisworth North

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          #5
          Dont mistake Revit for being like ArchiCAD in the way it also-sort-of uses ACA. You would do well to pick one: Revit, or ACA. Trying to mix the two is going to be similar to trying to play a trombone using a foghorn to blow through...
          Aaron "selfish AND petulant" Maller |P A R A L L A X T E A M | Practice Technology Implementation
          @Web | @Twitter | @LinkedIn | @Email

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            #6
            To add to Aaron's comment, if you are looking at Revit and ACA because you are buying the Building Design Suite, I would strongly recommend that you not even install ACA. You have the option to install base AutoCAD instead, and this is a much better scenario. As far as I am concerned there is nothing that ACA does that Revit doesn't do better, when looking at the big picture, and nothing that you need to do in native DWG that can't be done in raw AutoCAD rather than ACA. And there are all sorts of things that ACA does that will make life a living hell. Customization and installs being the biggest. AutoCAD in general has never been easy on either front, and ACA is much worse. So coming from ArchiCAD I think your best bet is to strive to be a 100% Revit office as the primary tool, with raw AutoCAD available for things like cleaning up DWGs from the client before using them as a reference in creating existing conditions models, cleaning up manufacturers DWGs before using them as a reference in detailing, poking around in consultant DWGs to trouble shoot their behavior in Revit, etc. I think a realistic ratio in a very successful office would be 99.9% of staff hours are in Revit, .1% of staff hours in AutoCAD, and ACA at best exists on a single virtual machine, in a purely stock install, for no other use than to export to a dumbed down DWG with no ACA "intelligence" at all. And honestly, you don't really need that if you can get the poor sods supplying an ACA based DWG to make it useable before they send it.

            Gordon
            Pragmatic Praxis

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              #7
              Twice-Gordon,

              I used Architectural Desktop for three years at previous employment and I am aware that ACA is what ADT was. The principal at that office recognized the limitations of ADT and utilized the walls, doors, windows in plan only. We drew all elevations with 2d lines, and we did not utilize the Autodesk file organization, rather, we compiled individual sheet files and xref files into a project folder.
              Even though we are using a BIM software now and allow the software to organize all the files, we still at times, utilize acad for proposals because we are still learning BIM. It is my firm belief, that in due time we will make the transition totally to BIM when we become more efficient as an office using it. As you can imagine, some are still learning, and we don't have to luxury of time to make many errors along the way, only to be repaired by the more experienced users.
              At no time will we even try to use ACA in 3D setting,..after using BIM for three years here, but I can tell you that ACA walls, windows and doors will make 2D drafting faster than single 2D lines, which is what we still use besides BIM.

              To summarize; Revit is the software that we will be striving towards for all projects, however, we have to pay the bills with what is proven for our office at this time.
              Another note: We are upgrading 17 seats of acad 2008 to 2012, 10 new seats of Revit and 5 new seats of ACA and we will retire Archicad.

              I sure appreciate your input,...can you direct me to an individual or organization to assist with the install these products on our server?
              Bettisworth North

              Comment


                #8
                I love ACA to death, do trust me when i say this:

                If you like using ACA even just for drafting plans quickly during proposals, go in to Revit. Do the same thing with walls and doors and furniture, etc. Dont look back. Its much much much much much better, at...... just about everything. Even if you have to "half draft" it, do it in Revit. Youll understand why once you see how much easier it is to work with.
                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

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