Thursday, December 07, 2017

How Often to Synchronize with Central - SwC

Grist from a recent support conversation..."How often should we use Synchronize with Central (SwC)? We have some users doing it every minute."

Well....every minute seems a bit much...but...

The number of people actively working on a file affects the truth of the statement too. Every 30 minutes, for example, is too infrequent in my opinion. My own habit is to SwC as often as I complete any given task. I tend to take small bites, tasks that are 1-10 minutes, and SwC as soon as they are done.

More frequent SwC is less data transmission than every 30 minutes, potentially. Replacing or reloading a title block for 1,000 sheets is not a small task and probably ought to be done at lunch, advising people to create new local files afterward. Otherwise each sync will need to needlessly update each local file's copy of the sheet's title block too, for everyone. If that is done while they are all away they just inherit the new version of the project with their new local file.

It's all relative though because the transaction comparison between syncing that kind of change and closing a model and opening it later is subtle. In fact opening a file again might be slower, but reasonable, depending on how many people are involved. It can be justified though, especially if they are out of the project anyway such as out for lunch or after hours etc.

I think it is more important to be aware of other users also using SwC, than imposing a specific time requirement. When more than one person uses SwC at the same time Revit has to parse those changes and it does so, more or less, in a single threaded manner, not like a multi-thread OS (though they are improving that all the time) doing simultaneous tasks. It has to reconcile changes and move to others once it is satisfied it can finish successfully. The more people forcing Revit to do that at the same time the slower it gets for everyone. That's where the advice to schedule or increase the time between SwC came from. One client decided to build their own tool so users can see if someone is syncing. A button on their Quick Access Toolbar parked next to the SwC button is red when someone is syncing and green when nobody is. Green means go for it.

Any sort of "Every 30 minutes" rule is often an over simplification, a rule meant to be easy to implement. In practice it can be just as harmful as helpful. If I slip and go 60 minutes or longer then that starts to slow down SwC times for everyone else too. Pushing and pulling data through a pipe takes time, smaller chunks of data generally take less time and less time to reconcile with the model too.

I'd focus on developing awareness of other users syncing as the priority and it's increasingly important the more users that are working on the same project file.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Revit Coordinate Systems Video

A lengthy exchange at Autodesk's User Forums about this subject reminded me that I've meant to create a short video to describe how they relate to each other for quite awhile. This morning I saw our cutting boards drying next to the sink and realized they could serve as metaphorical coordinate system planes (Project and Survey) work in Revit. I am curious if readers find it helpful.



The original post at the forum dealt with a few projects that had been modelled very far from Revit's Internal Origin/Startup Location. I looked at one of the project files and found the Survey Point and Project Base Point had been moved very far away while unclipped. The modelling started there, really far far away. They started to experience some of the negative symptoms that can occur and started looking for solutions...thus the original post. The short answer is they needed to move their model closer to the origin. No other way around it.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Consulting Work - December and January Schedule

I've been very fortunate over the years to find project delays, postponement or cancellations easy to deal with. This year each of those things have happened at the same time. As such I'm putting it out there that, to use the phrase from the very British TV show "Are You Being Served?", "Mr. Stafford are you free? Why yes I'm Free!"

I'd be pleased to hear about training, implementation, modelling ...anything Revity...that I can help with! Just send me an EMAIL.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Really hoping this isn't indicative of a cycle returning...