Project Library Folder in BIMcloud

by Ed Brown and Nha Vi Nguyen Thy · updated: 07.04.2018

The Past

In v21 and older versions libraries had their own page in the BIMcloud Manager and the library list was flat. it was possible to control each library’s access individually with detailed permissions, but it was hard to manage libraries from a project’s standpoint.

V22: Introduction to library folders

In v22, after an upgrade or new installation, the first hint of the new feature will be the note the Libraries page has moved.

After the info dialog is closed the libraries will be found under projects.

In v22 the default Libraries folder is first found on the top level of the Projects page.

The first experience with sharing a library from ARCHICAD only slightly differs from older versions, but there are new features that can be enabled.

New library features

Where to find existing libraries

Existing BIMcloud libraries during the upgrade process are moved to their folder under the Projects page.  The original name for this folder is “Libraries” and it may sort into the middle of the Projects page.

How to use project folder settings to set a default project library location

As can be seen in the above illustration, two project specific libraries are shown – HyperLibs and MuseumLibs. If a project is shared to the HyperLoop folder, it will upload new libraries to the “HyperLibs” folder and similarly  projects shared under the “Museum on the Bay” folder will upload new libraries automatically to their project-specific library folder called “MuseumLibs.”

The Library Folder setting for each project folder controls the library upload behavior. Specifically, the “Museum on the Bay” folder was set up as can be seen below:

In addition to setting the default project library with the “Select folder” option, there are 2 other options for library folder actions that can be defined for any project folder.  The “Use inherited” action results in any parent folders’ rules being used.   The “Defined manually from ARCHICAD” setting will force the user to choose where to upload any new libraries.

When a project is shared, ARCHICAD fills in the location of where any new libraries will be uploaded based on the action set in the containing folder.   See the below illustration.

Considerations when adopting the new workflow

Considerations for library features in older ARCHICAD versions

ARCHICAD versions 19, 20 and 21 coexist with the new feature, but do not take advantage of it. These legacy versions will always locate the original library folder created during the upgrade process which is marked by a special icon. No matter whether it is renamed or moved to a sub-folder; v19, v20, and v21 will find their respective libraries.  Additionally, any new libraries shared from these legacy versions will be uploaded to this default library.

Considerations for library features in BIMcloud Basic

BIMcloud Basic does not provide project library actions in folders and does not allow sub-folder creation.  A logical consequence of this is that the BIMcloud Basic library will never be found in sub-folders and will operate similar to older versions of ARCHICAD.

Considerations for library features in BIMcloud

ARCHICAD version 22, on the other hand, relies on hierarchy and rules specified in folder settings of BIMcloud to determine library linkage. This reliance upon hierarchy should be considered whenever folders are renamed. In general, if project library folders are in use it is not wise to rename containing folders.  For instance, below is a project with a library linked to “Competition/Museum on the Bay/MuseumLibs.”   When the containing “Competition” folder is renamed to “Competition 2018” not only will libraries of projects using the MuseumLibs library folder go missing, so also will any library of a project in the Hyperloop folder that relies on its “HyperLibs” project library.

If the folder hierarchy can be considered static from the standpoint of the project libraries, there will be no need to re-link project libraries. Always consider when re-naming folders whether there are project library folders lower in the folder tree.

Best Practices

  1. If you would prefer to see your standard library folder at the top of the Projects folder, rename the “Libraries” folder before sharing v22 projects[1]. This way you do not have to relink each v22 project that uses the default BIMcloud libraries.
  2. Avoid renaming BIMcloud folders that contain library folders lower in the folder tree. If you do rename such a folder, then you will need to re-link project libraries that depend on the changed path.

[1]In both BIMcloud and BIMcloud Basic the library folder may be renamed.  In the examples an underscore was added to the library name to have the library folder appear directly under the Projects root.   This works since lexically the ‘_’ sorts before the letter ‘A’.

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