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BIM 360 Release Notes

The latest BIM 360 Document Update delivers these highly-requested document control and collaboration capabilities:

  • Additional permission level, “View Only,” that allows viewing but not downloading
  • New permission management user experience
  • Support for file locking and unlocking in Desktop Connector

Introducing the New “View Only” Permission

We have added a new permission level to BIM 360.  The new “View Only” permission provides greater control over project documents by allowing viewing while restricting the ability to download and use outside of the project collaboration environment.

Permissions now available in BIM 360 Document Management:

  • View only (New!)
  • View/Download (previously known as “View” or “View Only”)
  • Upload only
  • View/Download + Upload
  • View/Download + Upload + Edit
  • Folder Control
Note that the new “View Only” is an additional permission level, and any project member with the previously-labeled “View” permission (that allowed download) will not experience any change in behavior (but the permissions is now listed as “View/Download” ).  For more information regarding permissions in BIM 360 Document Management, please refer to this help topic.

New Permission Management User Experience

We have also completely redesigned the user experience for managing folder permissions.  This design provides greater visibility and control over the permissions granted to individual team members, roles, and companies.  The features and benefits of this new design:

  • “Flyout” menu – this provides the ability to set folder  permissions while maintaining visibility into the folder contents.
  • Expand Role and Company permission settings – provides the ability to see the individual users that have been granted permissions via Role and Company settings
  • Filtering and sorting – provides the ability to view by permission level or type (user / role / company) to more easily review the permissions granted.
  • Search – provides the ability to search for an individual user and review the permissions that have been assigned.


Improved Collaboration with Desktop Connector File Locking

We have added support for file locking and unlocking in Desktop Connector.  This provides greater support for collaborative workflows using desktop applications such as AutoCAD and other authoring apps.  Now desktop users can be confident in the status of documents managed in BIM 360 and can lock and unlock files while editing and saving a new version.  Desktop users can also see the current locking status of a file (if it is locked and the user who locked it).

Version of Desktop Connector is now available and can be downloaded from this page.



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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. Avatarchris.conroy

    Hi, I performed some testing of the lock function myself and found some very dissapointing results.

    I logged into BIM 360 Docs using two different accounts, my work account (user1) and my personal account (user2).

    I was able to lock a document as user1 and then see that it was locked in Desktop Connector (user1) and online as user2.

    However as user2 I was still able to edit the locked document and user1 still sees the version increase and the edits in the document, both online and in desktop connector regardless that user1 has the document locked.

    Then I tried locking the document as user2 and opening the document via Desktop Connector as user1, I was able to open and make an edit, however when I saved and closed Desktop Connector advised that there was pending actions that couldn’t be completed and the version number did not increase for either user. Then as user2 I opened the document online and added several paragraphs of text, saved the document and returned it to BIM 360, then I unlocked it.

    User1 can then see that user2 has increased the version and can view the changes online.
    As user1 in DC I then applied the pending actions, this resulted in the changes that had been made by user2 whilst in control of the locked document being overwritten by the changes by user1 who had accessed a locked document.

    Can you please advise what the intent is with this function because as I see it at the moment it is completely useless, in fact it may cause more problems now than if it wasn’t available at all. A discipline coordinator may purposefully lock out models for long periods of time so that they cannot be overwritten, a federated model for example, if another user was edit and then apply pending actions then anything that had been done by the coordinator would be overwritten.

  2. Avatared.bellman

    Joan, thanks for the update. I really like the new permissions UX!

    That said, any update on getting a ‘List’ permission, either as a project-level setting in DM or as a separate permission at each folder, so that users with permission to a sub-folder but not the parent can at least see the parent(s) in the structure above? ‘Upload only’ is close but needs to be without the ability to upload.

    Thanks again

    1. AvatarJoan Allen (Post author)

      Thanks for the feedback, Ed! Displaying the folder “path” is under consideration for the roadmap.

  3. AvatarChad-Smith

    What was the justification behind not including a permission level for View + Upload?
    I had to imagine that this was considered and knocked back.

    1. AvatarJoan Allen (Post author)

      Hi Chad,
      Based on all of the customer feedback and research, the permissions we have today should support the various customer workflows and scenarios. We strive to make the permissions easy to understand and use, and consciously try to limit complexity whenever possible. T

  4. Avatarrholland951

    Also, I’ve just seen on the support section that the following limitation apply to the ‘View-only’ permission setting. View only permissions have the following limitations:

    Can’t view image files
    Can’t use Desktop Connector
    If view settings are not set to BIM Viewer PDFs can’t be viewed on mobile.
    Will these be resolved so they are enabled within a future update? Or is it ‘by design’?

    1. AvatarJoan Allen (Post author)

      Hi Ryan, the primary reason for the “view only” permission is to block the ability to download the “source” files. For Desktop Connector, simply viewing actually downloads on the desktop (cache), so we had to block that. Desktop Connector provides access to View+Download and higher permissions. For mobile, the actual data that you view (in the viewer) are not the “source files” but rather viewables that were derived from the source file that are optimized for viewing and interacting (2D and 3D). So we allow viewing and saving for offline use. The only case we don’t allow are non-drawing PDF’s with the “browser” setting (in Project Files folders) because that actually downloads the source PDF. I hope that this information helps, and please let us know if you have additional feedback.

  5. Avatarrholland951

    Hi Joan,

    Thank you for these updates, the view-only permissions setting, in particular, is a great addition.

    It would have been helpful for this update to have changed the ‘publish markup’ setting, to make it an independent permission setting. For example, a specific User may need to add markups for others to interact with in which they need to be granted the ‘Edit’ permission level, but they don’t necessarily need to be able to upload/edit documents within the folder. Adding ‘Publish Markups’ as a separate checkbox next to the ‘Permission Level’ would be a great addition.



    1. Avatart.shiels

      I was hoping this would have changed with the new permissions setup, it’s a real struggle to force any kind of process when we have to provide all users with full edit permissions to all shared folders in order to be able to publish markups.
      Currently it’s a trade off between Collaboration and Security/Process. Are there any plans to change this?

    2. AvatarJoan Allen (Post author)

      Thanks to both of you for the feedback. We intend to address this in the future.

    3. Avatarrobincapperw

      Agree with Ryan, would still like to see a share link view only which doesn’t consume a license for enterprise use. Eg we have 9000 staff who should be able to view, but having 9000 licenses is not realistic

    4. AvatarDwayneNittyGritty

      Totally agree with Ryan on this one. The limitations around markups are bottle-necking some of our workflows.