Worksharing is the set of tools that allows for multiple user access to Revit projects. This video covers the overall terminology: what is a central model, local model, what are worksets and what does it mean to borrow elements.
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- In this video, we'll take a high-level overview of the worksharing process, and we'll focus mainly on the terminology that's involved in worksharing. So there's a lot of terms here, and it's a good idea to kind of get those out of the way first. Now, let's start with worksharing itself. Worksharing is a term that you won't actually see anywhere in the Revit interface. The only place you'll see it, is in the help file. So if you go to the Revit help and you search for worksharing, you'll see topics there related to that. But actually in the software, there's no mention of worksharing. So worksharing is really just a global term that kind of refers to the process of sharing work among a team of people.
So if you're in a situation where you and at least one other person need to work in the same project at the same time, then you need worksharing. Worksharing is what allows multiple user access to a single Revit project file. So let's look at the overall structure and terminology involved in a worksharing project. So we have a central model, we have local models, we have worksets, and we have elements. So let's look at each of those terms first. So let's start with the central model. The central model, or the central file, as we sometimes refer to it, is the master file that contains all of the project data for the project.
Now that file lives on the network server, and there should only be one of these, and that server must be accessible to all users in the same way. In other words, all of them need to access it through the same drive letter for example. This is very important so that it maintains the integrity of the central file. And the most important aspect of the central file is no user should ever work directly in this file. This is very very important. Now I usually like to say it this way.
Rule number one of the central file is nobody works in the central file. And rule number two is look at rule number one. It's that important. Okay, so where do we do our work? We do our work in a local model, or a local file. Now that local file is owned individually by each member of the project team. So each team member will have their own local copy. That local copy lives on their individual hard drive.
Right on their computer. Not on the network server. Now even though it's theoretically possible to put it in the network server, it's really not advisable. It should be a local file on the local hard drive. You should also think of this file as a temporary file because that's really how Revit thinks of it. And you should recreate your local copy every day. Now when you access a workshared enabled project, it will give you an option to create a new local. So we'll look at that in future videos, but that's exactly what you're going to want to do, and you're going to want to do that each time you access the project.
So that will recreate this temporary file. Only you can work in your local file. Nobody else. So if you tried to access somebody else's local file, Revit will generate a warning, and tell you that you can't do that because each local copy is tagged to a particular user. So the elements within your projects in a workshare project are accessed in one of two ways. The first way is using worksets, which is a named collection of related elements.
Now, the most common kind of workset is a user-defined workset, which is managed by the members of the project team. So you can create your own workset and you can put whatever elements you want in that workset for whatever purpose. Now we'll talk about the strategies and the reasons you might want to do that in the future videos. But there's also some built-in, or Revit-managed worksets as well. Now those you don't have to worry about too much because Revit will take care of managing those, but the user-defined ones are up to us to manage, and so there's certain strategies that we'll want to employ to make sure that we do that effectively.
So this is one way that we can access elements in our model, but if you decide you want to work with a workset, you have to check out the workset or make it editable, and that makes all of the elements, that entire collection of elements, checked out by you, or owned by you, and none of the other users will be able to access them while you have ownership of them. So a slightly less dramatic way to access the elements in a workshare-enabled project is to access them directly. So you can actually access each individual element, each wall, each story, each window, within your Revit model.
These elements can be borrowed. 'Borrowed' simply means that you would take ownership of just the one wall, or just the one door rather than an entire collection of elements. And this borrowing is typically done transparently. Which means that you just simply edit the model as you normally would, and as you select objects to edit, Revit will automatically borrow them for you if they're available. If you run into an element that's already been borrowed by somebody else, then Revit will warn you that you can't take ownership of that element, and we'll see that in future videos.
So to tie everything together, and to kind of finish the circle, we need to synchronize our changes on a regular basis. So to synchronize with central process makes any changes that you've made to a Revit project permanent in the central file. So it takes all of your updates and pushes them up to the central file, and makes them permanent. At the same time, it updates your local file to match any changes that have occurred since the last time you accessed it. So all of your other teammates are working as well, and as they synchronize with central, their changes are making the central permanent.
Those changes now get brought down to your local. And that's why we call this "synchronize" because it works both ways. Synchronize also gives you the opportunity to relinquish ownership of any of your elements or worksets. So this is really important because if you keep ownership you're locking everyone else out from editing those things. So on a regular basis we want to be in the habit of relinquishing. So in this course we're going to focus on all the skills you need to have in order to be a member of a workshare-enabled project team.
So if you're a user in that project team, then we're going to cover all the various things that you need to know to be an effective user within that team, and to understand how all the various features work. If you're responsible for managing a central model, or managing a workshare enabled team, then we'll have a separate course for that, which you can look for in the library.
Part 1 (Revit Worksharing: Users) introduces all of the terminology and techniques that you need to know to join and participate in a workshare-enabled project successfully. Learn how to create and edit local files, and connect and sync them with the central model. Plus, find out how to create useable collections of elements called worksets and detach files from the central project when necessary.
While the only way to truly master Revit collaboration is to participate in a worksharing project with a real team, this series is designed to give you the tools you need to collaborate with confidence and get up to speed quickly and efficiently.
- Creating a local file
- Editing a local file
- Synchronizing with central
- Understanding worksets and the Workset dialog
- Opening a model in detached mode
- Worksharing tips