Since most of our projects involve multiple buildings on a single site, we often rely on hotlink modules to place those buildings onto a site in separate Teamwork files. This means the site plan needs to be placed from one teamwork file to another.
This process is actually very simple to do. All that is required is to open both Teamwork files and use the organizer to link a view from one project to the layout of the other. With the file containing the layout book, search for the other open t/w file in the left hand column of the organizer. Lastly, you only need to click import to bring the view from one file to a layout of another.
Now comes the real issue, that is to update the views. In the past, we have run into the issue of this warning:
To effectively update drawings from a separate projects view map, start with the drawing settings. The drawing should be set to manual, or you will receive repeated update warnings and, in the best case scenario, a slow update for any externally linked drawings.
After extensive tests and trial and error, I have found the most reliable way to update a drawing. Follow these steps and it shouldn’t fail to update:
- Open BOTH projects, the one containing the view and the one with the drawing that needs to be updated
- In the project with the view, do a send and receive. Once you S/R, do not make any changes to the ARCHICAD file, do not even change zoom or pan the view. Even the smallest change to your local data will result in the “Drawing Checking Process has Failed” warning
- Immediately switch to the project with the drawing that needs updating. I use com+tab, rather than the mouse to avoid any accidental zoom or pan to the view.
- Once the layout/drawing that needs updating is open, simply right click and select update
Follow these steps exactly, and you will find it much less frustrating to update your external drawings.
If you don’t have the teamwork palette included in your work environment, you should. It is great to see who else is in the project, make reservations, release, reserve all, release all, send/receive… but one of the unsung features of the palette is the messaging and assigning feature. By simply clicking the “message” icon on the palette you can send a message to any team member:
This message can include a screen capture view created directly from the above dialogue. The teamwork palette also allows you to assign elements to a team member for review. This has been very useful to me, when I needed to ask a question to a busy team member.
The last thing you can do with messages is assign a task. You can request a team member s/r, release all, leave the teamwork project, receive changes, etc. This is very helpful to avoid the “hey can you send and receive” comments or “can you release all”, that get thrown around regularly and disrupt other users.
This is certainly not the only way to communicate, but it is a lot less disruptive than continually asking questions on mundane or non-urgent details.
The WWA BIM manual has a list of teamwork and ARCHICAD best practices. I want to reiterate some of those hear and give a little explanation of why we need to be aware of these practices.
- Send and Receive often; I recommend 2x per hour and whenever you leave your work station for any period of time:
- This ensures BIM server backup files are created
- More frequent S/R means quicker S/R times (less data synched at one time)
- In the event we experience a teamwork or BIM Server errors less data will be lost upon file recovery
- Other team members will be more up to date to the changes you have been working on, and can more easily coordinate their work with yours
- Release or release all occasionally:
- Whenever you leave your computer for breaks and at the end of the day
- Whenever you are finished with a specific task that required reserving large portions of the project
- This prevents other users from constantly requesting portions of the project that they may need to work on
- This prevents other users from kicking you out of the project because of your absence or unresponsiveness
- Do not reserve all unless you know you are the only one in the project; and release all when the task is done:
- A reserve all is necessary for coordinating some attribute changes (delete and replace), and should be a coordinated effort for the entire team. Notify other team members that you will need to reserve all for x-amount of time, and perform the task as quickly and efficiently as possible so that other team members can get back to work as soon as possible.
- Leave the project at the end of the week (2x per month minimum):
- The BIM server is reviewed for team members joined but inactive in the project for extended periods of time. These members are removed from the project to prevent file bloat.
- Leaving the project keeps the list of users in the teamwork palette to a minimum- and clearly identifies who is actively working on the project
- Leaving the project rebuilds your local data from the server next time you join
- Leaving the project reduces unnecessary teamwork file bloat and keeps the file running smoothly and efficiently
- Incorporate the teamwork palette into your work environment:
- The teamwork palette is more than just the s/r and release all buttons
- The teamwork palette gives an indicator that you are in fact working online, so time is not wasted working in a file that has been disconnected from the server due to a teamwork or BIM server error
- The teamwork palette is a great tool for messaging and assigning tasks to other team members as well as tracking requests and reservations made throughout the day
- The teamwork palette as onscreen view options which allow you to quickly identify what you have reserved or elements that are reserved by others
The WWA BIM manual work environment section describes what is permitted to be customized and what should remain as an ARCHICAD Default. As a reference, your work environment settings should look something like this:
User Preference Schemes, Company Standard Schemes, and Command Layout Schemes should be set to ARCHICAD defaults. Tool Schemes can be customized, but in most cases it is best to use the ARCHICAD default to avoid missing any new tools from software updates.
All of this is just to lead me into reenforcing our BIM manual general practices section on teamwork. This section states:
- Release all before breaks & at the end of the day or whenever closing the project
- When leaving a project send & receive then release all before leaving the teamwork project
- Only remain joined in teamwork projects you are regularly actively working on. If information or model elements are being copied out of another project leave the teamwork project without sending/receiving once the copy/paste is done.
- If prompted to save a PLN backup when doing a send and receive always save
- Leave the teamwork project at the end of the week
- Clean up local data for all projects and libraries every 30 days min. or when prompted
It is important to remember to release all as described in the BIM manual. This will prevent other users from needing to force you out of the project to access some elements you left reserved at the end of the day, which leads to local data and BIM server connection problems, and potentially lost work.
All this ties together in the Company Standard Schemes > Data Safety & Integrity portion of the work environment. The default work environment has a setting to release all when you close or leave the project.
Here is one thats just for fun. Many of you may have heard of or even played around with the ArchiCAD easter eggs. One easter egg that is kind of interesting is the additional spaces behind a teamwork message or request. Different spaces result in different message frames. My personal favorite is 2 spaces
0 space added after request:
1 spaces added after a request:
2 spaces added after a request:
3 spaces added after a request:
4 spaces added after a request:
5+ spaces added after a request:
One a more helpful and interesting note; when you send a message or request through teamwork, the default is for the message to show up temporarily. This makes the message easy to ignore or miss completely.
To send a request that stays on the screen check the box in the upper right corner of the request to make the message ! High Priority. This will keep the request up on the recipients work station until it is accepted or declined.