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Get Better with BIMcloud for EDU #3

Gabriella Monteiro
Graphisoft
Graphisoft

We've created this article to help you improve your workflow with our teamwork software. If your university has already ordered a BIMcloud for EDU service these are some tips and tricks you can check out to assist you in using BIMcloud. In case you want to order this service for your university please contact the GRAPHISOFT team at Edu@graphisoft.com  or  your local partner.   


TEAMWORK CHECKLIST

This checklist is a workflow for using a teamwork project which will help all participants work together more smoothly. Have fun 🙂

  • Open project  
  • Receive – to receive changes from teammates 
  • Reserve - to work on a specific part of the project 
  • Make changes 
  • Release - to allow teammates to make changes 
  • Send – to send changes to teammates 
  • Repeat the process if necessary but always Send & Release at the End. 
  • Close project 
  • Leave the project once a week instead of just closing it.* 

*This action prevents different problems as it deletes the local data cache when performed. 


FEATURES

Teamwork Menu:

 In the menu bar you can find the Teamwork Menu which holds the commands necessary in collaborative work such as Send & Receive, Release all and Reserve all. You can also find the teamwork palette here. 

Reserve: 

If you are working on a certain part of the building it is important to reserve it so that you have the rights to change it and so that your changes do not clash with someone else’s. You can reserve specific to allow other teammates to reserve the elements they are working on. 

 

 

Release: 

When Reserving an element, it is just as important to Release all your work when you are done especially when you are logging out of your project. This allows your teammates to receive what you have done and make changes themselves if they need to. 

Send & Receive: 

It is also important to Send your changes so others can have access to them and vice versa. If you click Send & Receive you also get access to any changes other people could have made. 


TIPS AND TRICKS

Locking the teamwork palette:

   It can be helpful when working on a team project to lock the teamwork palette to your work area. You can do this by clicking the teamwork palette on the Teamwork dropdown menu. Once the teamwork palette shows up on your screen you can drag it and lock it anywhere on your work area. Now you can have quicker access to the Send & Receive button, to messages and to the user list so you know who is active on your project at all times. 

Roles and Permissions:

 Essentially BIMcloud works with roles (Architect, client. Engineer, etc...) these roles all have different types of permissions. Some can delete files; others can view files, etc... check the permissions you have so you know what you are authorized to do with your project. 

 

 

Collaborating with different licenses: 

If a person has an EDU license, they cannot collaborate with someone who has a full Archicad license. 

Tips on how to collaborate: 

When you are working with a group on teamwork there are some tips which can be helpful to create a smooth teamwork workflow.  

Start by planning and organizing. To do this create a file that everyone has access to, this can be a worksheet on your shared Archicad file. This is where you can write all the below info. 

  1. Set goals and tasks  
  1. Decide on a timeframe,  
  1. Assign the tasks to people in the group 
  1. Report what has been done or changed based on dates. Keep track of what has been done and who did it. This way you are all on the same page. 
  1. Rules – make sure everyone has access to and follows the rules you have decided on as a team. 
  1. Cooperate and communicate. 
Either send or receive. Don’t send and receive all the time.

 This is a tip which can help you use less network and sending or receiving won't take so long if you do them individually.  

Make your own backups:

 Even though there are backups done by the server, BIMcloud for EDU can only hold a certain amount of these, so make sure to save your file once a day or as frequently as you find necessary. 


FAQ

The library I would like to use is not available on BIMcloud and I am not allowed to upload it. What should I do? 

If you are not allowed to upload a unique library to a BIMcloud for EDU folder you should check with your BIMcloud for EDU administrator if you have the correct permissions for uploading libraries. Also check if you are selecting the correct folder for upload. If you are trying to upload a unique library to a folder which you don't have the correct permissions for, it will not allow you to do so. 

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 Can Archicad upload files with missing library items to BIMcloud for EDU? 

In theory, yes, in practice it makes no sense to upload projects with incomplete libraries. So, make sure that you use the Standard Archicad libraries of the respective version and replace the local libraries with the BIMcloud libraries before sharing them. If you've edited your project with individual libraries, you can simply upload them to your team folder with the new BIMcloud for EDU and link them to your teamwork project. 

 What do I do if a teammate has reserved an element and I cannot reach them to release it? 

First, use Request to ask your team member to release the element. If you cannot reach your team member and urgently need the element there is an option to Remove that person from the project. Once this is done any elements he had reserved will be released. However, it is important to note that if the person being removed has made a lot of changes to the project or essential changes and has not sent these, once he is removed those changes will also be lost. For this reason, this is not a best practice to remove a person from the project and should only be done in case of emergencies. If needed you can find how to do this here: Force User to Leave a Teamwork Project (graphisoft.com) 

 

What do I do if the BIMcloud for EDU server is not reachable?  
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If the BIMcloud for EDU server is not reachable, please check your own internet connection first. Your firewall, a proxy server (or other software/hardware) may also block your connection. The second possible cause is that you tried to access the BIMcloud for EDU server during maintenance. Normally, however, you will be informed by e-mail in advance, should maintenance work take place on the server. While the BIMcloud for EDU server is not reachable, You can continue to work on your file in offline mode and click "Send & Receive" at a later time. If you click "Send & Receive" during maintenance times, you may lose data. We therefore ask you not to work on your project during these times. If you need to keep working, please go offline and send your data afterwards. 

A short guide to working offline mode can be found here: Working Online/Offline in Teamwork | User Guide Page | GRAPHISOFT Help Center 

 

What do the warnings with the build number mean? 

There are three different build number warnings. 

  1. If you see the following warning:

This means that you have already installed a newer Archicad update. You can simply access the teamwork file by clicking "Continue" and save it with the higher/newer update. Afterwards, this teamwork file can only be opened with this build number (the corresponding Archicad Update). 

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2. This warning also means that you have already installed a newer Archicad update and the teamwork file is still saved with the previous update. However, you cannot drag the teamwork file up to the higher build number because you don't have enough rights to do so. This happens when you have been assigned the role of architect. B. In this case, only teammates with the project manager role can save the file and, if necessary, bring it to the higher build number.

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3. The third warning regarding the build number is as follows:  

In this last case, you still have an "old" update, not the latest. So you should update your Archicad and install the appropriate update. You can reopen your teamwork file as usual. In general, make sure that you inform your team members beforehand if you want to update the file as a project manager. 

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 What is a build number and why does it matter which one I have for collaboration?

A build number corresponds to a certain “Archicad Update” when collaborating make sure to use the same version of Archicad as your peers. It is possible to collaborate on a project with someone who is using a different build number if there is less than a 10 unit difference between building numbers. Eg: 5005 and 5015 can still work together. But 5005 and 5020 cannot work together. Only people in the same project need to be using the similar versions. 

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To find which build number you are using: under the archicad menu bar > Help > About ARCHICAD.

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A screen will appear and the build number will appear in the upper left corner.

What does the snapshot message mean? What should I click on?

 

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These snapshots are regular backups of your project to the BIMcloud for EDU server. Please always click "Continue" to save the snapshot. The user does not choose the timing of these backups. It is the admin of the BIMcloud for EDU who will schedule these in. There are a max number of snapshots that stay saved in the server. Check with your admin what is the maximum number in your case. 

What should I do if I receive one of the following error messages or my Archicad crashes when I open my teamwork file?

  

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or when your Archicad closes suddenly, and you receive a bug report 

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If you receive any of these error messages when you open your file, please clear your local cache and then open or rejoin the teamwork project. 

To do this, you should open a new Archicad file and go to the top menu: Teamwork > Project > Local Data Manager. 

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You can delete the project(s) here and then try to open/join the teamwork file from BIMcloud for EDU. 

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How do I backup my own local backups from my teamwork file? 

  

If you're working in a teamwork file, we recommend that you regularly create your own local backups of your file. In other words, you should save your teamwork file as a local PLN file at least once a day. 

In what scenarios might I need this extra backup? 

   

Imagine you use our BIMcloud for EDU and assume a file breaks just before submission, it's late at night or on a weekend and we're not reachable. Then you can only continue working again after we have restored the automatic backup on our server. With your own data backup, however, you have the possibility to access your stored files independently at any time and can continue to work outside our office hours at the level of your last data backup. 

Of course, we also make regular backups and backups of your files, but they are not retrieved as quickly as your own backups – especially if we are not reachable at night or on weekends. 

Backing up a teamwork project as a PLN file is easy! 

When you work in your teamwork file, you simply go from the: Drop > Save menu as... 

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Next, you can give the file an appropriate name, select the desired storage location, and select the file format "Archicad Solo Project" (PLN file). Then you just click On Save. 

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If you would like to have the file you have saved on the BIMcloud for EDU server, you can simply re-share your project with your teammates. To see how to upload projects onto the BIMcloud for EDU server refer back to the "Get to know BIMcloud for EDU #2" article

In general, however, it is important to create your own local backups of your projects on a regular basis, so that you can also retrieve an older project file if necessary. We also recommend this if you are working on a project in one-to-one work. 


SUPPORT

I have a different question. Who should I contact? 

In case you have a unique question or a support issue, please contact the GRAPHISOFT team at Edu@graphisoft.com or your local partner.   

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