Advantages of Using the New Desktop Connector With C4R

Mike Massey

Architecture and Engineering, All, Revit, BIM 360, Construction, Collaboration 0 Comment

Autodesk BIM 360 Team has added the Desktop ConnectorDesktop Connector is a desktop service that integrates Autodesk Team with your desktop folder and file structure for easy file management.

The files in Team are replicated in a connected drive.  You can manage files in Team through the connected drive, just as you would any other folder on your machine. Changes made in the connected drive are automatically uploaded to Team.

Desktop Connector for Team adds new workflow and features for Collaboration for Revit(C4R) users as well.  With the new Desktop Connector, C4R will be able to link in files that are outside of the C4R Cloud.  Previously, C4R users could only link in Revit models that were hosted in the C4R cloud.  Users had to go through multiple steps to get models outside of the C4R cloud or CAD files into the C4R cloud.  The linked in models or CAD files had to be in the cloud so other users in different locations could path to a common location.  The fact that C4R was only for Revit files made linking in CAD files cumbersome.  Users had to import a CAD file into a blank Revit file and then put that model into the C4R Cloud to link.  This workflow is simplified with the addition of Desktop Connector.

C4R users can now drag files (any file types) into and then link files from the Desktop Connector.  Other C4R users will have the same connected drive through Desktop Connector, eliminating the need to post files into the C4R cloud.  This is a huge addition and change in workflow for C4R users.  CAD files now can be linked into C4R projects without having to create a "dummy" Revit file for them to reside in.  The CAD files can easily be modified and copied to the Desktop Connector for updates and revisions.

Another key advantage Desktop Connector gives solves one of the biggest concerns when working with other disciplines.  The fear of having the live model in the C4R cloud has been a huge concern.  Users were concerned that users from other companies could open and modify the live model.  Now users can publish or copy models to Team and then that model can be linked into other C4R models through the Desktop Connector.  This would be a static published version of the model, as opposed to the live model but it would give the ability for concerned users to retain the live model on their servers.

Below is a list of how Desktop Connector changes the workflow for different types of projects.

One company using C4R from remote locations.

  • Model is hosted on C4R
  • Model is published (as a captured project in time) to Team for non-Revit users to review.
  • Disciplines models can be uploaded to Team using Desktop Connector and then Linked into Revit.
  • Users are able to upload CAD and or Revit files to Team easily using the Desktop Connector, through windows drag and drop
  • AutoCAD and Revit Files uploaded to Team can then linked into Revit using Desktop Connector.

Multiple Disciplines Option 1

  • All Discipline models are hosted on C4R.
  • Model is published (as a captured project in time) to Team for non-Revit users to review.
  • Discipline models are linked into Revit from C4R. (This is the live most current version.)
  • Desktop Connector creates a .viewable file instead of a Revit file because of the multiple links in the Revit model.
  • Disciplines not using C4R can upload models to Team using Desktop Connector and then Linked into Revit.
  • Users are able to upload files to Team easily using the Desktop Connector.
  • CAD files are able to be uploaded to Team and then linked into Revit using Desktop Connector.

Multiple Disciplines Option 2

  • All models are hosted on C4R.
  • Models are published to Team for non-Revit users to review and to allow linking of published models.
  • Discipline models are linked from the Desktop Connector.
    • This is a static published version of the model
  • Desktop Connector creates .rvt files. (ONLY IF THE PROJECT DOES NOT HAVE ANY ACTIVE LINKS COMING FROM C4R)
  • Disciplines not using C4R can upload models to Team using Desktop Connector and then Linked into Revit.
  • Users are able to upload files to Team easily using the Desktop Connector.
  • CAD files are able to be uploaded to Team and then linked into Revit using Desktop Connector.