Worksharing Setup, Workflow and Maintenance in Revit 2011

Revised 11-1, 2010

The information contained in this document is time-sensitive as the technology and system requirements continually evolve. While D|C|CADD has made every attempt to validate all information, please verify and refer to the official Autodesk System Requirements posted on Unless otherwise noted, all information applies only to the Autodesk 2011 versions. Please let us know at if you spot an error in this document. Conceptual Overview and Terminology Worksharing in Revit is the mechanism which allows for multiple users to work in the same project at the same time, even though it is contained in a single file. In addition to allowing for multi-user access, worksharing also provides redundant backup files for recovery in the event of file corruption or some other potentially catastrophic loss of data. Additionally, by storing model components in multiple worksets, performance can be improved by only opening those worksets that are needed at any given time. Critical terms used with worksharing in Revit are: • Central File: The actual project file that is stored on the server. Once worksharing is enabled in a Revit project, the next time the file is saved the resulting file automatically becomes the Central File. From that point forward, users should not be working directly in this file. • Local File: Once the Central File is created, users can open it and save a copy of it as their Local File, which is the file they actually work in. Each user works in their own Local File, periodically updating the Central File with their changes and updating their Local Files with changes other users have saved to the Central File. • Worksets: These are groupings of project information, some of which are user-defined and some of which are controlled internally by Revit. Figure 1 on the next page illustrates the relationship between the Central File and the Local Files. It is important to stress that the Local Files should be stored on the users’ local PCs and NOT on the network. Remember that the Central File is the actual project; the Local files are simply the path through which the users access and modify the data that is in the project. In fact, as will be seen later in this document, part of the regular maintenance of the project is to delete and recreate the Local Files.

800.454.5499 Austin Dallas/Ft Worth San Antonio

however as the user you have control over the levels and grids and all model geometry in the project. You can either choose to rename these worksets now or wait until later if you prefer. Figure 2. The dialog box shown in Figure 2 will appear. 2010 Page 2 Figure 1. As soon as you need to have more than one person working on a project simultaneously. all get assigned to their own worksets. From the “Collaborate” ribbon click the “Worksets” button. family definitions. Revit will place all elements in your project in worksets.Revised: November 1. The initial Worksharing dialog. Most of these are pre-determined. views. it’s time to “flip the switch”. and click “OK”. settings. However the decision to enable worksharing is an easy one. . The steps listed below will outline the process to enable and set up worksharing in a Revit project: 1) Turn on worksharing. etc. By default levels and grids go to a workset named “Shared Levels and Grids” and initially all model geometry is placed on a workset named “Workset1”. The relationship of the Central File and Local Files Enabling and Setting Up Worksharing Worksharing is not enabled by default in Revit and once it is enabled it cannot be disabled.

A few things to note about this dialog: • The terms “Editable” and “Non-Editable” are misleading. This is where you can manage your worksets as well as check them in or check them out (see Figure 3). The Worksets dialog. “checked in”) and then borrow them as needed. Note that the initial “Workset1” has been renamed and additional worksets have been created. where the typical way of editing objects was by making their entire worksets editable. Figure 3. To do this. you should take the time to organize your model into those worksets. you should normally leave them “Non-Editable” (in other words. however. Initially. More on that later. although you can display systemmanaged worksets (“Project Standards”. “Families” and “Views”) if you need to. • There is a new “Visible in All Views” setting for worksets that was added in Revit 2011 – this will not be available in previous versions of Revit. simply . made the entire workset un-editable to other users unless the person who checked them out granted permission electronically to edit them. 3) Assign the model geometry to the appropriate worksets. Instead. click “OK”. There are a variety of ways to organize your model. This was recognized as an extremely inefficient way to work. They are left over from earlier versions of Revit. which is a transparent. Once you have created the worksets that you will initially need. depending on the way your office works and depending on the type of project you’re working on. so the functionality of worksets was changed but the wording in the dialog was not. except in rare cases you should not make an entire workset “editable”. Typically. Doing this. • Note that only User-Created worksets are displayed by default. Now that you have additional worksets defined. 2) Create any additional worksets that you will need. all model geometry is placed on the workset that is created when you enable worksharing. 2010 Page 3 The next dialog to appear will be the main Worksets dialog.Revised: November 1. Naming and organizing worksets is something that you should give some thought to. as will be seen later in this document. in essence checking them out. automatic process.

the Local File is not your project – that’s the Central . the workset it is currently assigned to needs to be “Editable” (checked out). 5) Activate the Worksets dialog again and set the status of all worksets to “Non-Editable”. This should be located somewhere on the user’s local PC. When placing curtain walls on worksets. check the settings for each user’s Revit Options. Figure 4. keeping the original file as an archived. That way you will not have to worry about the accidental inclusion of annotation objects with your selection. On the “File Locations” tab. This is one of the cases where you would actually make a workset editable. You’ll have to use the “Save-As” tool to do this (simply save to the same file saved in Step 4). Tip: use a 3D view with the Model Graphics Style set to Wireframe to select objects. and mullions) selected. The creation of the Central File is complete. The user files path specified in Revit Options. non-worksetenabled file. make sure that you don’t have any of their nested components (curtain wall panels. creating the Central File). (Note: You need to do this after saving the file. You may want to use Save-As to save it as a new file. 7) Close the file. including doors. A few things to be careful of when doing this: a. 6) Save the file again. 2010 Page 4 select a group of objects and change their “Workset” property in the Element Properties dialog. There are other safeguards as well which will be seen a bit further in this document. b. Creating Local Files Before creating your Local Files. then click “OK”. This is done to prevent a user from inadvertently opening the Central file and working directly in it.Revised: November 1. In order to move an object to a different workset. Since you are still in the process of setting up the central file and have not made them “Non-editable” yet. shown in Figure 4. you should have full control of all objects at this point. Avoid the understandable temptation to want to store Local Files in project-specific folders. because once the Central File has been created the normal “Save” functionality is disabled. c. This will cause it to become the Central File – make sure that you save it to a logical place on your file server and do not move or rename it once Local Files have been created. Make sure you don’t have any annotation objects selected. 4) Save the file. since they reside on the same workset as the current view and therefore cannot be changed. Remember. note the location for user files.

making you a “Borrower”. Note: The Revit User Name is also specified in the Revit Options dialog. this is the file that the user should be working in. The “Open” dialog with a Central File selected to open. At this point. send an email or some other notification to the project team members that they can go ahead and create their Local Files. Worksharing Workflow For the most part. Revit automatically does this whenever a Central File is selected to open. Assuming that the user files location has been established as recommended above.rvt”. Once the Central File has been created and saved. Note that at the bottom of the “Open” dialog “Create New Local” is checked on as shown in Figure 5. under the “General” tab. Navigate to the folder in which the Central File was saved and select the Central File. This is desirable.Revised: November 1. Leaving this checked on will cause Revit to immediately save the file to a copy in your user files folder and make it a Local File when it is opened. Allowing Revit to automate the storage location of the Local Files is advantageous when it comes time to create new Local Files. Once . This all happens behind the scenes – you edit the objects as you normally would. By default it is the same value as the Windows log in name for the current user. editing objects in Revit with Worksharing enabled is no different than editing objects in any other project in which Worksharing has not been enabled. as will be seen in the next few steps. If someone else is currently editing the object (they’re either a Borrower or they “Own” the object because they made the Workset it is assigned to Editable). When you select an object to edit. as it prevents a user from accidentally opening the Central File directly and working in it. 2010 Page 5 File. Figure 5. the Central file will check that object out to you. your Local File will “ping” the Central File and check to see if any other user is currently editing that specific object. If not. Revit will create and save a Local File immediately upon opening. you will be informed of that fact and will be notified as to who currently owns or is borrowing the object. From this point forward. click the “Open” button on the Quick Access Toolbar (or use the Application Menu). preventing a user from inadvertently editing the Central File directly. The resulting file will be named “<CentralFileName>-<RevitUserName>. By default. the Local File has been created and the user can begin to work on the project.

relinquish all borrowed elements. and save your Local File. 2010 Page 6 they save their changes to the Central File and relinquish the objects. • If they made a Workset editable. • Make sure that you are creating objects on the correct Workset. • you have made changes in the model that you want to update the Central File with immediately.Revised: November 1. Figure 6. Note: You might want to check the synchronize settings by clicking the “Synchronize and Modify Settings” tool instead. so you should be selective as to when you do it. • you are leaving the office for lunch or at the end of the day. The default operation when you do this is for Revit to first save your changes to the Central File. . There are two ways a user relinquishes their objects: • If they borrowed the elements. Figure 7. Confirm that your settings match the defaults shown in Figure 6. The default synchronization settings. Critical things to remember when working in a Worksharing project are: • You should typically not make an entire Workset editable unless you truly intend to check out and “own” that entire group of objects. It is recommended that you save your Local File at normal intervals. the Current Workset control window. you can then update your Local file from the Central File and edit the objects. then simply synchronizing their file with the Central File will relinquish those elements. Remember that Synchronizing is a network-intensive operation and takes longer than a regular save. You can determine the current Workset by checking the window in the middle of the status bar at the bottom of the Revit window as shown in Figure 7. Simply select the “Synchronize Now” button on the “Collaborate” tab of the ribbon or on the Quick Access Toolbar. making it extremely difficult for other users to edit them. using the “Save” button. as if you were working in a nonworksharing Revit project. Synchronize when: • another user needs to edit objects that you have been editing (and that you are finished editing). they must make the Workset “non-editable” in the Worksets dialog. update your Local File with any changes other users have saved to the Central File. Synchronizing with the Central File is typically a one-step process.

Revised: November 1. 1) Open the Central File. This maintenance should be done when no users are editing the project and do not have their Local Files open. if not more often. look for in-place families and group definitions that are no longer being referenced. make sure that the content you are purging is not needed. In particular. 2010 Page 7 Central File Maintenance Periodic maintenance of the Central File is critical to keep the file size down and stability at a maximum. It is recommended that the following maintenance be conducted at least weekly. Opening a Central File for the purpose of periodic maintenance. . Figure 8. Be careful not to remove content simply because it is unused. 2) Use the “Purge Unused” tool from the “Manage” tab of the ribbon to remove any unused and unnecessary content from the file. Note also the options to make this a Central File after save and to set the “Open worsket default” to “Specify…”. 3) Save the Central File using the option to Compact the Central File as shown in Figure 9. Figure 9. clearing the option to create a Local File and enabling the option to Audit the file. Compacting the Central File.

5) Instruct all users to create new Local Files. 2010 Page 8 4) Close the file.Revised: November 1. This last step is critical to maintain stability and a more streamlined file size.autodesk.autodesk.pdf (Revit Model Performance Technical Note) http://images. Additional Resources You can find additional resources about Worksharing and Model Best Practices at the following http://images.pdf (Multi-User collaboration with Autodesk Revit Worksharing) .com/adsk/files/multi_user_collaboration_revit_8-10.