Hunting the Elusive BIM 360 Trial Hub...

Matt Dillon

Architecture and Engineering, All, BIM 360, BIM360, Construction, Create a New Hub, A360, Account, BIM 360 Team, Hub 0 Comment

The process to create a new BIM 360 Team hub and associate it with a subscription account is not difficult, but it is not well-documented. At least, the first step - creating a valid trial hub that can be associated with a contract - is not well documented. Again, it's not hard if you know what to do, but if you don't know... you could just possibly lose your mind trying.

First, you need to create a trial hub. This may seem a bit counter-intuitive; if you've already purchased the entitlement why should you need to create a trial?  Because a hub is always initially a trial hub, until it is associated with a subscription contract. If that seems a little counter-intuitive, you're not alone in feeling that way. But that's the way it is. (Note - if you already have a trial that you started before you purchased your entitlement, and it has administrative functionality, you've already done the hard part - so you can skip to the end of this article and follow the link for instructions on associating it with a subscription account.

To create your trial hub the right way, do the following.

  • The Contract Manager must log into accounts.autodesk.com and assign the BIM 360 Team entitlement to a user that does not currently have a BIM 360 Team entitlement and who is not currently a member of any hubs. If you need to, go ahead and create a new user account - I use bogus gmail accounts to do this, myself. (I wonder how many gmail accounts out there are created as a result of this workflow...)
  • The user should get an email from Autodesk indicating that their access has changed, or that they have been added as user account. Following the email will take them to their account. If they are a new user they will be prompted to create a password first. (Note: Sometimes it takes awhile - maybe days, believe it or not - before the email from Autodesk comes though. If that happens and you're like me -impatient -just navigate to accounts.autodesk.com, sign in with your user ID, which should be your email address, and click on the "Forgot Password" link. You will immediately get an email with a link to reset your password, after which you will be granted access to your account.) Once on your account page, whatever you do, do NOT attempt to access your BIM 360 Team entitlement from your accounts page. Sounds perfectly logical to do so, doesn't it? Not if you're trying to create a new hub it isn't. What you will see if you try to access your entitlement will look something like the image below, or a slight variation:

If you have existing contracts that have already been assigned a hub, you will see the hub URLs on the right. Don't follow those links!  Doing that may result in you becoming a member of the hub that the link takes you to, and you can no longer use the current account to create a new one. You may also see another notification to the effect that you have no contracts available. That just means that the contract for which you have the entitlement does not currently have a hub attached to it.  Additionally, there may be a link at the bottom of the page to sign in and create a hub now. Don't click it! THAT will create, without warning, a useless "pseudo hub" that will work fine, except it has no administrative functions, and cannot be associated with a contract, like the one shown below. Note that the address is "myhub.autodesk360.com". The "myhub" indicates that it is essentially... useless.

Clear as mud? To put it simply - once you have activated your Autodesk account, do NOT access your entitlement from the account  page if you are setting up a new hub. Instead, continue on...

  • Whatever you do, do not sign in, even though that may seem like the logical thing to do. Instead, click any of the links to "start your project" (Yeah, I know - you're trying to create a hub, not a project. What's a word, anyway?). If you are a user who has not ever been a member of a hub before, then it will immediately create your trial hub. If you already have access to a hub, it will not create a new hub, but will just take you to your default existing hub.
  • Once your new trial hub is created, note the URL in the address bar of your browser. You'll need that to associate it with your subscription account.
  • As a final test, click on your user icon in the far upper right of the screen. If you have already set up your Autodesk profile, it may have your profile picture there - otherwise it will just show your initials or something similar. When you click on the icon, you should see three editing options: "My Account", "Settings" and "Admin". "Admin" is the key - if this is present, then you have a valid hub that can be assigned to a subscription account.

Once you have created the trial hub and have written down the URL, your Contract Manager can associate it with a subscription account, and it will no longer be a trial hub, but a fully functional BIM 360 Team hub that will stay active as long as you maintain your entitlement subscription. That particular step is well documented, so rather than rehash it unnecessarily, I will simply refer you here for instructions:

https://knowledge.autodesk.com/search-result/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/A360-Team-Contract-Assignment-Workflow.html

A couple of notes:

  1. As stated previously, you must be the Contract Manager when logging in to follow the procedures in the link above.
  2. The Contract Manager must have a BIM 360 Team entitlement with the account they are trying to associate assigned to themselves. (This can be re-assigned to someone else once the hub and contract are associated to each other).
  3. The contract may not be visible to the Contract Manager as available for assignment immediately after assigning themselves the entitlement - it may take an hour or two to show up. Be patient. You have no choice...