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rwallis
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:20 am    Post subject: Libraries and remote login Reply with quote

Without sifting through hours of video - could someone in the know please advise:


ISSUE 1
For a TW2 file, must the libraries be server based libraries? Is it possible to have a mixture of local libraries and a job specific server based one?

Scenario#1: loading across the internet - if I must load AC13 default library + office standard library + our add-on libraries (Cadimage) across the internet - that is a huge load that could be avoided as it is already on (my) laptop. It would be great if I only need to load the project specific library across the "net".


ISSUE 2
For a TW2 file, can I login in the office, save out my workspace, take it home and then only have to sync the changes over the net?

If so this is great as I can significantly reduce internet traffic, as I do not have to download the whole project over the net!


The combination of the above two would be fantastic - question is - is it possible?

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David Larrew
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Libraries and remote login Reply with quote

From my limited knowledge...

Issue 1
Due to logistics, TW files require all libraries to be server-based. Excerpt from AC13 manual... "A Teamwork Project uses two types of libraries: the Embedded Library plus the BIM Server Libraries. As for any ArchiCAD project, these libraries are listed in the Library Manager. Linked libraries cannot be used by Teamwork projects; this limitation is necessary to ensure that all users have access to all library objects, even when working offline."

The good news is that the BIM Server Libraries work similarly to the Delta Server technology for the TW file. After the first initial load from the server, only changes in the Library get sent to the local copy (local copy is loaded into your workspace)

Issue 2
Yes... This is the Delta Server technology. Just open the TW file on your laptop from the office, "Reserve" what you want in the file, close AC13, then go home and open the file to work. If you have your office BIM Server setup to work from outside the office (WAN), and you have a good internet connection from home, you can work on the TW file like you were in the office.

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Karl Ottenstein
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Libraries and remote login Reply with quote

What David said matches what I am aware of as well.

With regards to Issue 1: this can be a really frustrating issue, as the download of the full 13 library is quite time consuming without fast connections on both ends. Moreover, not only will the copy of the library occupy space on your local disk - even though you already have a copy of it - but for every project you join on a different BIM Server, you will get yet another copy of it. (All projects on the same BIM Server will utilize the same local copy of the library.) These copies end up on your back-up drive, too.

So: time and space is apparently wasted. Graphisoft's reasoning is that this is the only way to assure that every team member is using exactly the same libraries to avoid potential errors/conflicts. I am hopeful for a new method of addressing this in a future release - one based on a library GUID which could confirm that the local copy is identical to the server copy. This would be pretty easy for LCF libraries, but you'll note that the standard library contains a lot of parts and texture files that are outside of the LCF. Today, there would be no easy way to know that one team member's local copy of one of those files was different from the server copy (although a server synchronization option could address that).

With regards to Issue 2:

David assumed that you would save your workspace (really, your 'joined project') to a laptop. That works as he described, subject to some issues addressed towards the bottom of this Wiki article:
http://www.archicadwiki.com/Teamwork/BimServerRemoteConnection

(The article will change over time - but right now, the sections of interest are the "Please Note", the bit about IP addresses and the hosts file.)

But, just to clarify: you cannot save the joined project to a thumbdrive, portable hard disk, etc and then plug that in to a remote computer to continue. There is nothing in TW2 like the current 'draft' concept to provide portable files. Graphisoft is aware that many of us would like a "pack and go" option to permit this, and it is on the wish list.

Cheers,
Karl

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rwallis
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:10 am    Post subject: Re: Libraries and remote login Reply with quote

Thank you Karl for this information; it is exactly these kind of issues that will seriously test the adoption of Teamwork in offices.

Regarding "issue 1", I can see the logic of "consistent libraries" BUT
- AC12 library here (incl design tools from CADIMAGE) = 192MB on my C drive.
- Our office custom library (mainly due to textures) is up around 4GB
So in a country like Australia where internet connections generally have a download limit we will (both 'personal' accounts and company accounts) run out of allowance when opening a file over the internet (general approach here is for the ISP to speed limit you to say, a 56K modem(!) or charge you an arm and leg, when you go over your allowance!).
You mentioned we only have to download the libraries the first time - is AC13 intelligent enough to remember a previous download (say a few days earlier) and update that one, or is a fresh download of the project library triggered upon each new opening of a file?
The more one considers the implications, the more unworkable GS's approach seems.
I suspect CADIMAGE and other add-on makers must be upset - there is one way to reduce this headache and that is to load a minimal library set...which has implications for them....(i.e. their non-use!)
In our office we use a login script to sync all libraries on workstations with the server. Job specific libraries are the only ones that load across the network when we open a project. Even in the office we will now face a huge increase in network traffic, as whole libraries are downloaded every time we open a new file. Surely this has an effect on open file times?
Aside: on the BIM server we now must have heaps of storage for all the (duplicate!) libraries for each project? With the increased network traffic, I can see a dedicated server must be almost mandatory.

Regarding "issue 2", this too is very disappointing. For those who don't bring our home computers into the office, the loss of the ability to take files home on removable storage is a big step backward.

I can only conclude by saying these are significantly serious to warrant attention in a hotfix rather than putting us off to AC14 - or later!

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Wokka
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:31 am    Post subject: Re: Libraries and remote login Reply with quote

I don't like the way this is heading.....
I do a lot of remote work for my Architectural clients, usually just taking the whole file home, working on it and sending it back with Skype or FTP. I thought TW2 was going to be a great addon for me. I haven't done a lot of research on it yet so please forgive my ignorance..
Does this mean every time I want to log on to a particular file, I have to download the Archicad library (R12 with Cadimage 200MB), plus the actual file (up to 150 MB)? Is it a 'once off' download, and even after logging off, closing down, opening up again, do I need to download it all (the libraries) again?
I understand send/recieve is much much better and that's great.
Once again, excuse my ignorance, I'm trying to wrap my head around this stuff again with big deadlines looming...... Shocked

edit, bugger Smile After all that typing, rwalllis just beat me too these questions..........

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Karl Ottenstein
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:41 am    Post subject: Re: Libraries and remote login Reply with quote

Really unfortunate to have a download (or upload) quota that results in speed down-ramping! I lived with that for years when I only had satellite internet access ... which would have prevented me from doing much of my work these days, as once they slowed you down, it was slow for days.

rwallis wrote:
You mentioned we only have to download the libraries the first time - is AC13 intelligent enough to remember a previous download (say a few days earlier) and update that one, or is a fresh download of the project library triggered upon each new opening of a file?


The path to the library is basically <servername>/<library name> So, no matter how many projects you 'join' on that server, there will only be one copy of the library downloaded - when you join the first project.

If the library is changed - a hotfix or a local edit, then the new version needs to be uploaded to the server by someone ... then all joined users will receive whatever has changed (it could be a big LCF, or just a single part) when they do a Receive Changes.

Quote:
I suspect CADIMAGE and other add-on makers must be upset - there is one way to reduce this headache and that is to load a minimal library set...which has implications for them....(i.e. their non-use!)


I don't think so. Those libraries are not so big, and again would be downloaded once, regardless of the number of projects ... assuming one worked with only a single BIM Server.

Quote:
In our office we use a login script to sync all libraries on workstations with the server. Job specific libraries are the only ones that load across the network when we open a project. Even in the office we will now face a huge increase in network traffic, as whole libraries are downloaded every time we open a new file. Surely this has an effect on open file times?


A synch approach like that is a pretty standard procedure (or should be). But, now, that only affects solo projects, not TW.

The traffic will be great if a number of people join at the same instance - 100's of MB will likely be transferred upon first joining a project. (There is no traffic issue after this initial joining.) But, it has no subsequent effect when opening any of the various projects that one has already joined. Opening an already joined project is pretty instantaneous. Again, the library will not be downloaded when you open, nor will it be downloaded as you join each shared project. It will be downloaded just once when you join the first project on a particular server.

You can stay joined to as many projects as you want for as long as you want. As long as you've released your reservations, you have zero impact on the project. If you open such a joined project, it will check the server to see if changes need to be received, etc, but the libraries will not download again unless they were changed on the server.

Quote:
Aside: on the BIM server we now must have heaps of storage for all the (duplicate!) libraries for each project? With the increased network traffic, I can see a dedicated server must be almost mandatory.


The server will not have duplicates. The workstation will. The workstation will have the standard libraries (that you are synching), and when it joins a project from the server, it will get another copy of all of those libraries. But, there will only be as many copies as there are servers - not as many copies as there are shared projects.

That said, projects on the server are stored in a database, not in a single PLP file, and they are stored in such a way as to facilitate rapid delta updates. This results in additional storage consumed over a comparable PLN file. So, yeah, the server should have ample fast storage, memory and a good connection. See the specifications here:

http://www.archicadwiki.com/Teamwork/BimServerSpecification

and additional notes specs here (under the 'well equipped' section that addresses projects of different sizes):

http://www.archicadwiki.com/Teamwork/BimServerConfiguration

To browse related articles about TW2, visit the root article here:
http://www.archicadwiki.com/Teamwork

Graphisoft staff are busy fleshing out all of the topics there, and of course, more info will be added to even the existing articles with time and experience.

It looks overwhelming, but it really is pretty simple and fun. But, every firm has a different network. Some firms who have only creative staff (as opposed to an IT person, or a tech-head like me) may find the setup to be challenging or may just be uncomfortable with getting things organized ... and so may want to get help from their reseller, or from any number of us who do consulting.

Quote:
Regarding "issue 2", this too is very disappointing. For those who don't bring our home computers into the office, the loss of the ability to take files home on removable storage is a big step backward.


I think nearly everyone will agree.

Cheers,
Karl

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Re: Libraries and remote login Reply with quote

Wokka wrote:
Does this mean every time I want to log on to a particular file, I have to download the Archicad library (R12 with Cadimage 200MB), plus the actual file (up to 150 MB)? Is it a 'once off' download, and even after logging off, closing down, opening up again, do I need to download it all (the libraries) again?


I think I answered in my response to rwallis. Right ... 'once off'. When you open again, there are no big downloads - only a 'receive changes' happens.

But, your question is a little different, Warwick. Like Erika and me, you will work with potentially many remote clients. As noted, that AC12 or AC13 library may be on the server for each of your clients... You will have to download the library from each server (client) as part of joining projects on that client's server.

So, you will have as many copies of the core ArchiCAD library as there are servers that you are joined to. Working with 12 different firms to help them out with their schedules? Well, assuming the base library is loaded in each project, you'll end up with 12 copies of the library on your workstation - one per server. Won't matter at that point if you are doing 1 project or 10 for each firm, but you'll get one per server.

Karl

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rwallis
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:16 am    Post subject: Re: Libraries and remote login Reply with quote

Thanks Karl for all this info. - I think I'm getting the picture now.
As I would only connect with my firms BIM server I may as well do this in the office first time, so I do the "BIG" download then.

If I read correctly, subsequent connections to our BIM server will only be 'delta' ones - so a lot less (unless someone updates an LCF file or the like - as that would constitute a massive 'delta'!).

I'm feeling a bit better now I understand that the Library is for all projects on that server. That really underscores the "one BIM server in an office" approach - rather than 'piecemeal serving' from various PCs in the office. (Which I was leaning toward anyhow given the level of user control/management etc that is required/available).

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Wokka
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 1:30 am    Post subject: Re: Libraries and remote login Reply with quote

Karl,
Thanks for the clarification!
Assuming 3 jobs for the one client. Each with server based Archicad library, company library and server based job specific libraries.
I have to firstly download the job files (no mem stick, dvd etc).
Does Archicad only download 1 copy of Archicad, 1 copy of company library, and 3 versions of job specific libraries? or
will it download all of them 3 times.....

Cheers

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Karl Ottenstein
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 2:19 am    Post subject: Re: Libraries and remote login Reply with quote

Wokka wrote:
Karl,
Thanks for the clarification!
Assuming 3 jobs for the one client. Each with server based Archicad library, company library and server based job specific libraries.
I have to firstly download the job files (no mem stick, dvd etc).
Does Archicad only download 1 copy of Archicad, 1 copy of company library, and 3 versions of job specific libraries? or
will it download all of them 3 times.....


You're welcome ... rwallis, too.

Right, it would only download the AC and company libraries once. Each job-specific library would potentially be downloaded, but in ArchiCAD 13, job specific libraries are sort of thing of the past, as 13 now has 'embedded libraries' - so anything job specific should be embedded into the project file itself.

Cheers,
Karl

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