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BIM 360 Docs Release Notes Archive

BIM 360 Docs Update: April 27, 2017

Joan Allen
April 28, 2017

The April 27, 2017 BIM 360 Docs update delivers major improvements for uploading, reviewing, publishing, and viewing PDF drawings and design files.  We have completely redesigned the PDF upload experience and now provide a single project-level “publish log” for managing your uploads in one central location.  In addition, we have added the highly-requested ability to upload and view linked Revit models and DWG files with XRefs!  And, for those of you that access your projects on your iPhone or iPad, we released a new update (V2.3) this week, too!

PDF Drawing Upload – New Experience, New Capabilities

We have completely redesigned the PDF upload, review, and publishing experience, with faster processing and support for both multi-page PDF files as well as multiple single-sheet PDF files.

We have also made it easier to track the status of your uploads with a project-wide Publish Log.

  • View, at a glance, the status of your project drawing and model uploads
  • Select links to take action as needed on in-progress uploads
  • Cancel uploads and remove completed or cancelled jobs from the list
  • Access “legacy” folder-level Publish Logs if needed

April B Publish Log.jpg

If you are uploading multiple single-sheet PDF’s, you can apply the same “template” (previously known as “title block template”) to multiple files at once instead of having to publishing them individually.

  • Select a previously-defined project-level template and apply it to the files upon upload
  • If you don’t have a template, you can define it using the first file and then apply it to the remaining files (multi-select and apply any template) 

April B Single Sheet PDF 2.jpg

April B Single Sheet PDF 5.jpg

We have also updated the “Review” page, to make it easier to review and publish your drawings.

  • Start reviewing when some, but not all, files have been processed
  • Review the results, make edits as needed, and save your edits (especially helpful if you have hundreds of drawings to review – save your changes and come back later to finish)
  • Publish or cancel

April B Review Page.jpg

When your files have successfully published, you can view the results with a summary (available from the “view” link in the Publish Log).  You can also view this summary in the confirmation email.

April B Publish Summary.jpg

 April B PDF Publish Email.jpg

Linked File Upload – support for Revit linked files and DWG’s with XRefs

Designs created using Revit and AutoCAD, with multiple team members working on different aspects of the same design, frequently include “linked files” (for Revit) and “external references” or “XRefs” (for AutoCAD). We now support linked file upload in BIM 360 Docs, and this capability is available for both “Project Files” folders and “Plans” (sheet extraction) folders.   To upload your linked files, simply select the “Linked Files” option in the upload drop-down menu, select your files, and confirm which file is the “parent” (or “host”) file.  Once the design is ready for viewing, the parent file will display the linked file data. Please note that this option is not available for drag-and-drop upload; in that case, the files will upload separately.

April B Linked File Upload Menu.jpg

April B Linked File Upload Steps.jpg

April B Linked Model Upload Confirm.jpg

  • “Project Files” folders: Docs will display the complete parent 3D model, including the linked data from the other files.  You can also view the individually linked models (e.g. Architectural, Structural, MEP).

April B Linked File Upload in Project Files Spotlight.jpg

  • “Plans” (sheet extraction) folders: Docs will display the complete parent 3D model, including the linked data from the other files.  Note that only the 2D sheets defined in the “parent” in Revit will be extracted for viewing (if there are 2D sheets in some of the linked files, these will not be visible unless explicitly linked into the parent model in Revit).

April B Linked Model View.jpg

BIM 360 Docs iOS App

This week we also released an updated iOS app (V2.3).  This update includes additional support for RFI and workflows, including the ability to filter and sort the RFI list and the ability to navigate directly to an RFI from an email link.

April B iOS 3.jpg

                                                                     

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Joan Allen

Joan leads product management for BIM 360 Docs. Joan is a registered Civil Engineer with over 25 years of experience in construction management and technology for the AEC industry. Since joining Autodesk, she has focused on delivering innovative, cloud-based solutions for connecting AEC project teams and improving project delivery workflows, including Autodesk BIM 360 Glue and Autodesk Buzzsaw.

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  1. Avatarspaneru

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    very informative 

  2. Avatarcjcook

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    If you are managing your different drawing disciplines in different folders such as Archtectural in a folder, Mechanical in its own folder and Electrical in another folder and you receive a entirely new multi-page revision drawing which includes all disciplines there is no way to upload and manage those without first pre-processing and breaking the files up into pdf’s by discipline and upload each discipline pdf into the same folder.  If I was to upload the entire PDF set to a generic folder and then try to move the individual files into the appropriate folder it will not work, because the error message comes up that says there are files in the folder with the same name.

    There needs to be a way in which the program can break up an entire 500 page file into individual files and I can place each of the files in the appropriate folder without first having to pre-process the document. This is the only way you can effectively manage drawings which are broken into individual folders as most project teams do.  

  3. Avatarjoan.allen

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    @Bill.Knittle – thanks for the comments and insights.  We will take these into account as we proceed with future enhancements.

    @molamphyd – rename and prompting the user about which sheets will “stack” (before publishing) is on the product roadmap.  This release was bigger than it might seem on the surface, as it also included new back-end processing for performance and resiliency.  Now that this is done, we will be able to proceed with more front-end improvements.

    Best Regards,

    Joan 

  4. Avatarmolamphyd

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    What about being able to re-name a file on the web and it transfers to the iPad (in lieu of deleting and re-adding / re-importing)?

    What about being able to see if a drawing is going to stack / version on another drawing during the processing steps?

  5. AvatarBill.Knittle

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    Joan,

    The “Linked Files” workflow in the “Plans” folder worked the way I expected after some technical troubleshooting. I discovered that if you have existing Sheets published from the “Parent” file, they had to be deleted in order to get it to work correctly. During the first run of the feature, the Sheets in the  “Parent” file (a Revit plumbing model) did not publish and version. However, the Sheets in the Linked File (the Revit architectural model) did publish and version. That being said, I was exploring the technique of using the “Publish Sheets” feature in Revit 2017.2 to select specific Sheets I wanted Docs to publish in lieu of all the Sheets in the file. In the real-world, only sheets that need be re-released with revisions be issued. I’m not sure whether it was existing documents, I missed the toggle for which was the “Parent”, or  Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to screen capture the results of the first run.

    I tend to agree with Chad when it comes to the nomenclature of “Linked Files” in the “Project Files” folder if I understand the roadmap. If this is the area of the project where “WIP” files are to live, It is my impression that “Linked Files” should work like linked files in Revit. My suggestion is the current C4R and Team relationship whereby the live and linked models are hidden from Docs and exposed to Revit via C4R but, milestones are published to Docs as work progresses. Alternatively, Chad’s idea of emulating the “Merged Models/Append Files” feature of Glue/Navisworks also works for me when models are not utilizing C4R. In my example, the architect and plumbing engineer upload their models separately and merge/federate them within Docs.

    I would also like to see the Model Browser treat the “Linked File” as a single category in the Model Browser so that it can holistically be hidden in the published 3D view. Something similar to Visibility/Graphic Overrides in Revit or the Selection Tree in Navisworks. I see a lot of overlapping features from desperate solutions converging towards Docs.

    Like the effort and the direction! Needs some tweaking!

  6. Avatarjoan.allen

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    Hi Chad,

    Thank you so much for the detailed and thoughtful feedback on the terminology and functionality of the “Linked File Upload” feature.  I’d like to provide a little insight into our thinking behind this feature and also where the solution is heading.

    Today, Docs supports manage, publish, share, and review workflows.  The “Linked File Upload” feature extends those capabilities by enabling designers to publish and share their complete designs, including the aspects of the designs that are linked in from other files / external references, exactly as they have defined them within the design authoring application.  We require that these linked files be uploaded together – so that they can be processed at the same time in the cloud – to ensure that the complete design is available for sharing and reviewing. 

    As indicated in the Product Roadmap, we plan to extend the capabilities in Docs to support “work in progress” design workflows.  These plans include direct connections between desktop authoring applications and Docs.  This will provide designers with the ability to access and update the “parent” and “linked” files directly managed in Docs.  By combining this ability with the permission control in Docs, we can support connected, collaborative workflows while retaining the designer’s ability to control, from the authoring application, when to publish and share the latest design (including all linked files) for review by the project team.

    I’d also like to address term “merged models” and how we are thinking about that concept.  The ability to combine, for the purpose of review and analysis, 2 or more separate models is a distinct and important concept (supported today in Navisworks and BIM 360 Glue).  While I can’t yet comment on specific roadmap details in this area, I want to assure you that we understand the importance of providing this capability in the BIM 360 solution.

    Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts on the latest release.  We take your comments seriously, and truly appreciate your valuable insights.

    Best Regards,

    Joan Allen

    Sr. Product Manager, BIM 360 Docs

  7. AvatarChad-Smith

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    As I was reading through the list, I got excited about the Llinked File Upload. But upon testing it I felt let down.

    Even though this is a valiant effort and certainly a vast improvement over how BIM 360 Team handles Asssembly files, the term linked is simply wrong.

    At best I would be calling this Merged File uploads.

    I understand that this is to solve the issue of missing data from links when auto-generating sheets, but it could be so much more.

    Linked suggests that the linked files are indeed linked. Even though in Project Files the links are also viewable on their own, they are not linked.

    I have been long waiting for the ability to upload individual (Revit) files into a folder, and have their true linked relationships be retained just as they were in the design product. This way the individual files can be updated.

    I can see that when updating a very large project that files which have no changes will still need to be selected for uploading so the parent file is complete. This seems quite inefficient.

    Same again in the Plans.

    I feel that should the Project Files have true links, then a file (such as Structure with MEP file links) could be published into the Plans section.

    At a later stage the Structure or MEP files could be individually updated, and because they already understand their link relationships, these files could be re-published into Plans with relative ease.

    If there was true linking this now paves the way for BIM 360 Glue Merged Model functionality. Or instead add additional functionality for creating Merged Models.

    Docs should support this merged model functionality. If the other Glue features are then built over this as an additional ‘product’ then so be it. But true links/merged models should form the core part of Docs.

    The story of how models exist and behave in Docs still feels muddied. And calling this current non-linking functionality as ‘Linked’ isn’t helping.

    I truly appreciate the openess of the Docs roadmap, but maybe the future of how model management is expected to be handled could be expanded upon for us to better understand where this is/might be heading.

    Thanks.

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