Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Upgrade to Revit 2015

Should you upgrade? Yes!

Not enthusiastic about the new features in 2015? I'm not happy with the scope of what's new in 2015 either but when it becomes available I'll still install it and use it for the very next project and/or upgrade ongoing work too. I'll be happy to do so. I've never regretted installing and using a new release no matter how ambivalent I've been about how well specific changes met my needs or client's needs. Besides, my subscription fee entitles me to it and other new versions (Building Design Suites) so I owe to myself to take advantage of using them and getting as much mileage as I can out of them. It seems like cutting my nose off to spite my face to fail to use it.

Fwiw, I've noticed that I get quite grumpy if I have to use last year's version quite soon after installing and using the latest version. Even more so when I have to use an even older version, like 2012 for example. I'm using a five year old laptop with just 8 GB RAM and so far with Revit 2015 it looks like I can elect to continue to use it for another year. Revit's performance keeps improving with each release in contrast to and in spite of the aging tech of my laptop, at least as long as it (my laptop) continues to want to's hoping it's still happy to hang out with me!

My two cents, I'd upgrade, I'd use it...


cadalot said...

But don't you wait for the hotfixes and the first patch to fix the bugs!

Unknown said...

Well done Steve, I'd agree! I guess it depends what you have on subs, but if you have all the building design suite, with the improvements in the Revit & across the wider eco-system there is plenty to sing about, in my humble opinion. (not that it accounts for much these days). I would also agree, performance improvements alone are worth there weight in gold. I am running 2015 beta on a MacBook air with 8gigs of ram using parallels & I'm amazed. It won't open gigabyte data files, but I could work on a 150mb file without issues, allowing me to be truly mobile. As I said, that's just my view, nobody has to agree. :-)

Dave Baldacchino said...

I agree Steve. My grumpiness is mostly because it feels like all the analytical feedback we contribute has been getting us nowhere. Performance improvements are definitely always welcome. I would think that if they really made such improvements, then they should list it and not be silent about it because that is truly something you can attach a dollar amount to. I understand Autodesk is working a lot more on the collaborative front, cloud computing etc., but what use is it that we can collaborate better (yay!) when the tools we need to use while collaborating are broken, incomplete and inefficient (booo!)? But yes, we do need to work in the new version because there have always been undocumented fixes that we get and we have to continue finding things that don't work in the latest versions. Cheers!

Steve said...

No, I dive in. 14 years of releases and no show stopper issue made me regret doing so. Clients on the other hand are different story. Some hold off until the first update. I don't personally think it is necessary but I defer to their situation or constraints.

I recall one release a few years ago that posed some problems for some until the update was released. One in 14 years of releases and point releases is a pretty good success rate.

If people spent their time in the alpha/beta cycle actually testing features as much as they did making feature requests we could be even more confident that there is no need to wait for the first web update.

It is Catch-22, it takes longer to discover and require a need for an update the fewer people there are that are actually using it.

Oh, I think it is really unfair to spend years badgering engineers to use Revit but then refuse to upgrade to the latest release because "we don't want to, or want to yet".

Unknown said...

Hi Steve. I hold your thoughts on Revit in high regard. But here's another perspective on Revit 2015.

As a BIM Manager, I'll be asked to justify the work and cost of migrating 120-140 Revit users and 90+ projects to a new version. There are real, hard costs to AEC firms with each Revit version upgrade, outside of the annual subscription. Time to train, time to have IT deploy, time to migrate and test API's, time to upgrade projects, time to verify the upgraded project is accurate. Time = $$. For each project outside consultants have to agree to an upgrade -- this means a project meeting and more costs. To implement and upgrade to Revit 2015, I estimate it would be in the neighborhood of $64,000 overhead costs (we are a mid-size firm). Imagine the costs for a large firm? So firms often opt for a soft adoption: all new projects start in the latest release. This leads to compromises on older project productivity and the nightmare of maintaining multiple versions.

It is not an easy sell when a release is robust, really a hard sell for Revit 2015.

Steve said...

You don't mention the cost of not deploying the software. There is a cost, harder to quantify perhaps but it's there.

The soft roll-out is just one example of being practical and entirely reasonable to me.

I think I can make a case for each new feature from a user perspective. Like I said, I defer to my client's situation. My opinion remains that user's and their projects will benefit from each new release, no matter how subtle its features may be.

On the other hand I have seen IT departments that decide what the users need based on their own bias. IT is meant to serve a business. IT does not generate income on its own.

Clients don't hire their AEC firm because they've got a great IT department. They hire them because they want great design, a great building, they want their dreams fulfilled.

Brian Beck said...

The yearly upgrade cycle is a constant battle. Single application = small issues. The area that I feel impacted on is the "suite". Basically for us, 4 core applications that need to be "workflowed" and validated. How does a new feature in 3DSMax, Revit, Navis impact x,y,z. Do I wish like the rest of us we had wishlist item ## to implement? yes. We jump in, roll with the punches and git-r-done. Wait until they go away from the yearly cycle to the monthly key feature release "scrum team" scenario. Hello Adobe update...err Autodesk update

DaveP said...

Last year, the Mechanical guys were the ones pushing to update because of the new features they got.
This year I suspect it will be Structural driving the need.
Hopefully next year it will be us Archies again!

We usually wait for the first Service Pack, but only because it's such a pain to deploy. If it was easier to roll out the SPs, we'd probably go earlier.

Unknown said...

I tend to take a pragmatic approach to adopting software.

First, I won't upgrade the office immediately, but I will install it on my own computer immediately. By doing this I can troubleshoot the software and discover obvious issues first.

Then I wait two months. Typically if it's going to go wrong, within the first two months someone in another office is going to find it and also find an answer.

Then I'll let 1 project team start using it. We're going to upgrade anyway, I'll monitor their success and troubleshoot their issues... which is better than troubleshooting an entire office's issues at once. If after a few short weeks they seem to like it (and all the fixes are available) it will get rolled out. Worst case, it's mid-June or July.

The REAL advantage of doing it this way? It's really an employee management one. Progressive employees tend to not be too angry they have to wait 2-3 months to get new software. Technophobes tend to be happy when very few things go wrong with the software or you have a solution immediately for their issues.

Then during that first two month span (when I have the software on my own computer) I quietly put copies of their projects on another computer and upgrade them, just to see if they break. If a project team is REALLY going to benefit from a new tool, I'll expedite them getting the software and may even upgrade their current project. (Mostly, projects stay on their created version, but occasionally productivity gains trump that rule of thumb).

In short: My only rule of thumb is that I won't put my team in a scenario where AutoCAD 11 or 13 made them wish they had their old software back; that .NET turns their ribbons blank without a solution; that NVIDIA drivers cause their Revit to flicker, crash, etc without hope. I won't unintentionally set my team up for failure, when we can succeed with proper planning and perhaps 2-3 months of patience.

John Raiten said...

I also agree about installing right away. I have been using Revit since v5 in 2000. Every time I get a new version I upgrade right away, and even sometimes upgrade my projects too, instead of only starting new ones in the new version. Only once did I have an issue, but it was solved very quickly. Each release has always proved to be a better product, no matter how little or large the changes were. Plus as mentioned above. If you dive right in, you are always on the cutting edge of it and have a leg up (so to speak) than everyone else who drags their feet because they have the old AutoCAD mentality of upgrading.

Anonymous said...

No show-stopper for me yet, but if Autodesk heads in this direction of not letting us have the .exe to install independently of their control over the internet, the Revit show just might stop for me.

Anonymous said...

I should add that you will probably always be able to find a .exe direct download of Revit somewhere. Probably not even worth commenting on actually.

Richard Currie said...

Has anyone had experience migrating from Revit 2013 to Revit 2015? We have skipped installing Revit 2014 (unfortunately!) But will be waiting until patch 1 in August and going straight to 2015 now. Are there any known problems upgrading files across two updates at once?

Anonymous said...

Richard, make a copy of the 2013 project file and open it with Revit 2015, and then rename the new project with the added number 2015 and you will still have the 2013 version. There might infinitely be some differences in the project or template, but I've never heard of that being an issue.

Steve said...

One issue that skipping releases can bring about is that some projects may not upgrade, or may take a really long time to upgrade. The best bet is to do upgrades with a PC that has the most RAM in the office. Worst case it may require getting upgraded via the skipped release first. Then upgrade to the latest. The more releases the upgrade is traversing the greatest the likelihood it will be a problem.

Unknown said...

Hi, I have problem with Revit 2015 in Win 8.1. everytime I tried mass-in-place or component-in-place, it is always fatal error..
any idea how to solve this?
I tried with revit 2015 in building suite and the standalone installer one, I also already upgrade to release 3. but the problem still persists

DaveP said...

Just stumbled upon this post in a search. After R2, NOW what do you think about 2015?
Still "not happy with the scope of what's new" ?