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BIM 360 Docs Release Notes Archive

Many customers have asked for the ability to lock (and unlock) project documents in order to support work-in-progress design workflows as well as to avoid over-writing the final version of a record document.  We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new locking feature for drawings, models, and files managed in the “Project Files” folders.  Users will need “Edit” and above permissions to lock and unlock files, and all users will be able to see who has locked the file.  

2017 July B Locking Menu.jpg

Lock option available in menu for users with “Edit” and above permission

2017 July B Locking Icon.jpg

“Locked” icon visible in list and thumbnail view

2017 July B Locking Tooltip.jpg

All users can see who has locked the file

2017 July B Unlock.jpg


2017 July B Activity Log.jpg

Locking and Unlocking tracked in the Activity Log

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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. Avatardave.shepherd



    Hi Clinton,

    As you are aware, the BIM 360 Product Managers regularly review the constructive comments here, such as you’ve made, as part of the drive towards continuous improvement.

    Given the priority, as you say, ‘to reduce frustration and make the product more intuitive to use’, we especially welcome feedback from our customers and partners, such as Applied Software.

    Kind regards,


  2. Avatarclintonjcook




    Having spent years supporting many project teams on the BIM360 products. I feel with a great level of confidence that this is going to generate a lot of unnecessary emails to project administrators.

    Also in my situation I uploaded a single sheet pdf and hit the error message very quickly via the pop-up message. Another thing that concerns me is why is the logic of the program to spend a lot of time processing the document then return an ambiguous email message minutes later. Why cant it just check the file names of the files that are being uploaded, determine if there is a match to a locked file or not and immediately display a locked file message to the user.

    Below is the hypothetical example of the process a user may go through to try to resolve something that is working as intended. The email subject should not say it failed processing because it didn’t, it simply didn’t process because the file was locked. 


    First I got the pop-up, now I get the email with the subject BIM360 Docs Failed processing. I still think an error occurred so since it failed I will likely attempt the action again in hopes that it will take it the second or third time. I dont click on the “View Results” button because I already know the results because you have told me. “It failed to Process because the service encountered a problem. ” I finally get frustrated with failed attempts to re-upload. Each time it fails and I receive the same email.  I read the email and am prompted to help the BIM 360 Team diagnose the problem. Because I would like this “Problem” to be resolved so that I can perform my job I need to go and find out how to send a report to the support team, but I am not sure how to do this? I go to the Docs website and begin looking and find the question mark icon in the top right and click on Contact Support, but in chrome I receive this error. 

    Capture 2.PNG

    Frustration level is now rising, but I am persistent and think maybe it is just a browser issue so I switch to Mozilla Firefox, but yet again I am hit with the exact same error message. How am I supposed to get help for the problem that occurred? I decide to read the email more carefully. I see at the bottom a hyperlink for “BIM 360 Help”. So I visit this site in search of how to send this report to the support team. All I immediately see is documentation of the product so I search the search bar for “Support Ticket” I find a page that shows this. 


    Because I really dont want to pick up the phone I decide to follow the instructions for the Autodesk Account option. I log into my account follow all of the instructions below then I am hit with this message. 

    Capture 4.PNG

    It says its not offered for non-subscribers? I think maybe our company didnt pay for the technical support. So I click on the link “Not sure what support options you have?” and this message appears. 

    Capture 5.PNG

    I know I am at least a subscriber to BIM360 Docs, after all, I am the project admin for my project. I guess I will just have to call phone support since I cant find the email support. I call phone support and log a case only to find out that the product is working at intended and it was simply locked. 

    If I was to immediately click on “View Results” in the email and was to see that the file was locked. Why display a pop up, then send an email and require someone to click on a link to see what the error was after the email you sent already told me that the service encountered a problem. In addition the user would have to know to hover over the exclamation point located in the publish log in order to see that it was not an error but was in fact just caused because the file was locked.  Why not just display the error message in the pop-up and save someone the time of trying to figure this out. 

    As Docs is progressing in the direction to become a world class product small things like these need to be addressed to provide immediate feedback to subscribers to reduce undue frustration and make the product more intuitive to use. 

  3. Avatardave.shepherd



    Hi CJ,

    You may be aware that, although the error message is not specific, Docs issues an automatic e-mail linked to the Publish Log

    Hovering over the exclamation mark reveals that locking is the cause of the failed overwrite. The Publish Log can accommodate a full variety of system responses



    Kind regards,


  4. Avatarcjcook



    I have been testing this and it is going to be really confusing for people that may not understand what is happening. The error message is really unhelpful and appears that an error occurred when in actuality the system is working as intended. It might be better to explain with the error message something similiar to “the file is locked by “John Doe” you are unable to upload another file with the same name.”

    This is the error appeared for me when I tried to override a file that was already locked. 


  5. Avatarjonathan.conway1990



    Ah makes sense and noted, set up 2 users for any demos!

    Thanks Dave.



  6. Avatardave.shepherd



    Hi Jonathan,

    Respectfully, I don’t think that the file locking feature was intended to prevent the ‘locker’ from overwriting their own work.

    In your screen capture, you rightly demonstrate that the lock doesn’t prevent you from overwriting your own work.

    In contrast, to see the function of the lock requires a different user to yourself logging in to Docs and trying to overwrite your locked file.

    I’ve tried this and, as designed, the file lock prevents different users from unintentionally overwriting each other’s work.

    Kind regards,


  7. Avatarjonathan.conway1990



    Hi Joan,

    Great addition but it doesn’t work for me. See the screen shots below. I locked the file then uploaded and it created a new version!

    BIM 360 File Locking SS1.pngBIM 360 File Locking SS2.png 



  8. Avatarlee.zebedee



    Awesome news Joan. 🙂

    Arcadis will be delighted….so thank you from the A-team!


  9. AvatarAndrewWoods.PT.BMan



    This is an excellent addition to the tools available to the Document Controllers etc.

    This is great step in the right direction; but we still need an undo feature as it’s all too easy to make a mistake and not be able to correct it. If a file with a long upload version history was deleted by mistake it would be nigh on impossible to rebuild that history.

    Keep up the good work; new features are always welcome.


  10. Avatardave.shepherd



    Hi Joan,

    Many thanks to you and your team for what, to date, is easily the most important new Docs feature in support of collaborative workflows.

    The File Locking feature guarantees that the work of any designer or team who is first to open a file is not inadvertently overwritten by those who open it subsequently.

    In a nutshell, this means that Docs now supports *sequential* model and drawing collaboration.