Thursday, March 03, 2011

Local Files - How Often?

Various versions and years have intervened between now and when I wrote these earlier posts.
I recently responded to a query about how often local files ought to be made with this:

I think that new local files should be created each morning and used throughout the day. The next morning should repeat the process. The current solution implemented in Revit supports this thinking by allowing people to easily create a new local (by default) and append a time/date stamp to previous local files when creating a fresh one each morning. For a little history (my own perspective):

My original reasoning for new locals each day years ago was never about corruption (the query suggested that new local files were necessary due to frequent corruption) but about faster loading and not having to remember to use Reload Latest or wait for that either. Opening a central and doing Save As back then meant waiting twice for the files to open (still does now technically). Going back a little further even (for me) the practice of copying the file and pasting it instead of "open/save as" was about "faster" too.

Sporadic team involvement meant inconsistent local file "sell by dates". Mine was current but "Joe’s" is three days old when he opens it because he’s been out of the office for the last two days. If he starts in that file he’s got two day's data to "Reload Latest". If he creates a new local he’s in sync within the window of other people working "today", between when they started and he arrived and started...pretty close to in sync.

File corruption that I encountered from time to time "went away" when people made new locals each day too. Happy coincidence, definitely. Necessary? I don’t know, but it worked to resolve those situations. The corruption probably had more to do with inconsistent participation and "sell by dates" out of alignment than the central/local file arrangement itself. In the end, it was easier to "eat an apple a day" (make a new local) than to wait and see if the issue would arise again.

Since the addition of the new local file option I’ve abandoned other "custom" local file techniques but I still create a new local each day, it isn’t any slower than opening an existing local file and I don’t have to remember to use Reload Latest. I am getting older and my memory isn’t what I remember it to be.

Now where did I put my cane and glasses?

1 comment:

Dave said...

For me, its more a matter of consistency than speed. If I make a new Local Copy EVERY day, then I don't have to think about it. "Did I make a Local yesterday? Have I made one this week? When did I last work on this project?" If I make a Local every morning, it doesn't matter when I last made one. I just do it even if I "don't need one".
One other thing this saves you from is if anyone needed to SaveAs and make a new Central - unbeknownst to you - you don't find out about it until you SWC. We've had people lose an hour of work because of this.

"Consistency is more efficient - even if it may take longer"