Working from Home in Teamwork

by GRAPHISOFT and Greg Kmethy · updated: 01.16.2011

Teamwork for ArchiCAD 13 is based on a client-server technology, whose advantages include the ability to access project data over the internet, and support for offline work. Both of these features enable you to work in Teamwork projects from home or other offsite location. This article describes the following issues related to offsite work on Teamwork projects:

  • Taking your project home from work on a laptop
  • Working on a project from your home computer
  • Library issues related to offsite work

Take Your Laptop Home From Work

If you are in the office working on a Teamwork project from a laptop:

  1. Reserve the elements and data you will need. (This is necessary if you will be working offline once you get home.)
  2. Finish working.
  3. Do a Send & Receive.
  4. Close the project.
  5. Take your laptop home.

At home, you can work either online or offline:

Working online from home

This requires that you are set up with an internet connection to the BIM Server. (See How to remotely connect to a BIM Server)

  1. Open the project.
  2. Work as usual.
  3. Send & Receive changes after you complete your work session.
  4. Once you bring your laptop back to the office, just log in and continue where you left off.

Working offline from home

If you are not set up with an internet connection to the BIM Server – that is, if you do not “see” the BIM Server from home – your only option is to work on your laptop in offline mode.

  1. Open the project. (This will open your local copy of the project.)
  2. Work as usual. You can only work on data/elements you reserved while you were online (at the office), or you can create new data.
  3. Save the project.
  4. When you return to the office, open the project.
  5. Do a Send to ensure that your changes to the local copy are merged with the project on the server. If the project has changed on the server since you last were online, you will be prompted to do a Receive as well:

Changes.png

Work From Your Home Computer

Remotely connecting to the BIM Server

If you are in the office working on a Teamwork project, but want to later continue working on it from home, from a different computer, you must be able to access the BIM Server and its projects from your home computer. This means that you must be set up with an internet connection to the BIM server from your home computer. (See How to remotely connect to a BIM Server) There is no Teamwork “draft” file that you can save to a portable drive and take home.

  1. Finish your work session at the office.
  2. Do a Send & Receive.
  3. Close the project.
  4. At home, access the BIM Server using the same user name with which you last worked on the project.
  5. At this point, you are warned of a potential editing conflict, because ArchiCAD has detected the same project has been edited on a different machine. But if you have done a Send & Receive from the first machine (as directed in Step 2 above), then you will be fine: choose “Edit Anyway” to open the project.

Editing_Conflict.png

  1. Work as needed.
  2. Send & Receive changes before closing the project.

/!\ Important: Send/Receive should be your last action before closing the project, either at home or at the office; otherwise, you will not be able to merge any subsequent changes you may have made to your local copy, after you open the project the next time from the other computer.

Take Your local data to anywhere: Travel Pack

Travel Pack is a new feature in ArchiCAD 14. This function creates a portable copy of your local data from the current Teamwork project. By converting your local data into a Travel Pack, you can transfer project data and/or libraries to a remote computer and continue working there. Using the Travel Pack is recommended in the following cases:

  • You cannot access the BIM Server from the remote computer. In this case, the only way you can access project data is to bring it with you to the remote computer as a Travel Pack.
  • Your network or internet access is slow. Although you could download the project over the internet, it is much faster to have your local copy with you as a Travel Pack. When opening the local data, you only need to Send&Receive changes in order to synchronize it with the project data on the server.
  • You can access the BIM Server easily, yet the project’s BIM Server libraries are so large that you do not want to wait for the whole download. You can bring your libraries in a Travel Pack: create a new shared project adding the BIM Server Libraries you will need and pack it. After unpack on the remote computer, you will not need to download libraries

Travel Pack function can be reached under Teamwork > Project > Travel Pack > Create Travel Pack. For detailed info about how to create or import a Travel Pack, please consult the ArchiCAD 14 Reference Guide in the Help menu.

Working from Home: Library Issues

All libraries in a Teamwork project are either server-based (“BIM Server Libraries”) or else embedded in the project itself (Embedded Library). You cannot use any local libraries you may have on your machine.

When you first join a Teamwork project, the project’s BIM Server Libraries are downloaded to your local machine as local library copies. This process can be done remotely, if you are set up with an internet connection to the BIM Server. Be aware that joining a project for the first time requires downloading the project’s BIM Server Libraries in full, which can be time consuming and can require significant internet bandwidth.

Server libraries are not “portable” – they must be downloaded (albeit only once) onto each user’s machine as local copies.

However, once you have joined a project and downloaded the BIM Server Libraries, those libraries will not be downloaded again, as long as the local library copy remains on your machine (and as long as the libraries have not been modified on the server – see below).

  • Note: Even if you leave (and not just close) the project and later re-join it, full library downloads will be not be repeated if the local library copy has remained on your machine. In contrast to the local copy of the project, which is discarded when you leave the project, the local library copy is not discarded when you leave the project.

Thus, for example, if you are working on a laptop, you can take the laptop anywhere and continue working on the project, either online or offline, without encountering library problems, because your local library copy always remains available.

For information on recommended hardware for your BIM Server, see Hardware and software requirements for server computers and BIM Server install and configuration

If the BIM Server Library is Modified:

If any of the BIM Server Libraries are modified on the server, then the next time you do Send/Receive, your local library copy will be updated – but only with the changes; you will not download the full library a second time. However, if the changed library is an .lcf file, you will download the entire .lcf file.

{i} Tip: If your company library is changed frequently, then do not make it an .lcf.

Multiple Projects – Multiple Libraries?

Suppose you plan to join several of your company’s Teamwork projects. If those projects happen to use the same BIM Server libraries (for example, if they all use the ArchiCAD 13 library and the Company Library), then you will download those libraries only once: when you join the first project. When you join a subsequent project that uses the same library, you will not download those libraries a second time.

Note that this works only if:

  • you use the same user name when joining each project; and
  • the libraries in common are located on a single BIM Server.

Even if your projects are located on different BIM Servers, the libraries in common should be on the same, single BIM Server.

{i} Tip: To avoid users downloading multiple copies of identical libraries, keep all your libraries on one server.

For example:

Server A: Server B:
Project PA1 Project PB1
Library LA1 Project PB2
Library LA2 Project PB3
Project PB4

All the projects on both servers (PA1, PA2, PB1, PB2, PB3, PB4) can use libraries LA1 and LA2 from Server A. If you happen to join all the projects, you only need to download these libraries once.

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