Tag Archives: Teamwork

Forgot to Reserve, now what!?

This happens to all of us from time to time. You are in window, door, skylight, curtain wall, or Cadimage Covering settings, working through a long list of changes and edits, only to realize… YOU FORGOT TO RESERVE!!!! Fortunately, there is a way around it! You can save the set of changes as a favorite, cancel out, then reserve and apply.

A couple additional tips:

  • Make sure you release all after the favorite is applied to avoid a conflict with other users
  • Make sure you either purge out the favorite, or put it in the correct subfolder after it has been applied, in order to keep things organized in the file

Common Teamwork Error

tw error.jpg

This is a common error in our daily teamwork operations, and an easy one to prevent. It is not always easy to fix, depending on how many people are in the project.

This error happens when one team member has a portion of a file reserved, and another team member modifies a subpart to that. Two examples of this are the embedded library and the attributes.

If one team member reserves the entire embedded library, and another team member loads an image or object to the embedded library, this can block the user who made the modifications from sending and receiving changes. Also, with regards to attributes, if one team member has an attribute type reserved, the other team member creates a new attribute, they will not be able to send their changes until the first team member releases that attribute type.

This gets complicated, however, if multiple attribute types are reserved, and modified, all by different users. At this point, ARCHICAD is caught in a catch 22 situation. User A can not release attributes, because Users B/C/D have modified those attributes. Users B/C/D can not send their modifications, because User A has the attributes reserved. When things get this tangled, we normally have to save someones local data to .pln, force quit, and kick them out of the file, so that other users can send and receive. This is definitely a worse case scenario, and should only be done if release all (by all team members) and send and receive does not work.

Now for prevention of this teamwork error. These are measures you can take to prevent this from happening in your projects:

  1. Never reserve all
  2. Always reserve the attribute type you are working on or creating a new attribute for before creating it. If someone else has that attribute reserved, request it before creating new attributes.
  3. Release all frequently. Any time you plan to be away from your desk, and periodically throughout the day, even while working on the file.
  4. Send and receive often, every hour at a minimum, to prevent loss of work should ARCHICAD get caught in a cycle of teamwork errors.

Delete Local Data

It is critical to keep your local data clean and current. The first step in doing this is to periodically leave the projects you are working in. This forces your local data to rebuild from the server data on the next open/join. This has all been outlined in our BIM manual under the Collaboration section. It is also outlined in part here and here. For more information on ARCHICAD errors and possible solutions, check out this article.

So lets assume you have a local data error that will not allow you to send or receive. The solution is:

  1. Save a .pln to your desk top, so that you do not lose any of your work
  2. Leave the teamwork project and completely close ARCHICAD
  3. Open ARCHICAD and “Browse for Teamwork File” and immediately click “Cancel”
  4. Go to the Teamwork menu > Project > Local Data Manager
  5. Delete ALL content from the list (libraries and project files). This will need to be done line by line.


As a bonus tip, you can set your work environment to schedule the local data clean up reminders under Local Data Manager > Options. This should be set to send a reminder every 30 days minimum, for projects older than 30 days. Always delete local data when prompted! Unless you are opening from a crash recovery, there is no need to ignore local data clean up warnings.

In 2017, we need to make it a goal to Send and Receive often (every hour at least); lets pay attention to the Teamwork protocols in our BIM manual and avoid lost work!

Teamwork Views, Drawings, and Layouts

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:

  1. Open BOTH projects, the one containing the view and the one with the drawing that needs to be updated
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Don’t Forget the Teamwork Palette

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   Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 1.54.29 PM.png  on the palette you can send a message to any team member:

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 10.57.20 AM

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.

Teamwork (BIM Server) Etiquette

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.

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 10.36.47 AM

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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

Work Environment & Teamwork Etiquette

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:

Work Environment CustomizationUser 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.Work environment release all

Updating and Refreshing External Content

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.51.25 AMDo you have trouble seeing the dwg’s, pdf’s and jpg’s placed from the file server onto your views and layouts? Does your drawing manager look like the above image?

Assuming the file has not been renamed or relocated the solution is simple. Regardless, the problem is not with ArchiCAD, it is with your work stations connection to the file server. Your finder may be connected to the file server via short cuts or favorites, but unless the finder is connected directly to the Shared FS01 root, the path will go undetected in ArchiCAD and the external content will show as missing. The reason is ArchiCAD can not connect half way through the path name, and the first directory of the path is the WWA-FS01.

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 9.52.35 AM

The solution is as follows: go to the finder, connect directly to the FS01 server destination under shared. If you do not see the directory link, go to All… and connect to the FS01 server from that menu. Once connected directly to the server, go back to ArchiCAD’s Drawing Manager and Check Status and Refresh the missing drawing files.

Easter Eggs

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:

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 2.49.34 PM

1 spaces added after a request:

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 2.50.20 PM

2 spaces added after a request:

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 2.50.43 PM

3 spaces added after a request:

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 2.51.06 PM

4 spaces added after a request:

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 2.51.28 PM

5+ spaces added after a request:

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 2.51.50 PM


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.

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