V2.0.1 Release Notes

We are happy to report a successful 2.0.1 release today!  This release is a minor increment to the UNIFI version but significant nonetheless! Over 100 bugs and requests were addressed, making this one of our largest bug fixing releases ever.  We were also able to deliver on requests made through our customer ideas site.  Six user requests have been marked as ‘Shipped’ that together garnered nearly 50 votes.  You asked and we delivered!

We thank you for your continued enthusiasm for the UNIFI platform!  Items marked in BLUE below came from our IDEAS PORTAL.  Add your ideas today!

Enhancements / Features
  • [UD-326] Enabled partial word searching.  Search terms that match the beginning of words will return those results. (Image)
  • [UD-298, UD-295] Added an option to Auto Start Unifi when Revit is opened.  The option appears in the Unifi Revit Add-In. We heard you loud and clear! (Image)
  • [UD-290] Several improvements have been made to the searching system. Results will be even more relevant. Take that Windows Explorer!
  • [UD-158, UD-98, UD-51, UD-267] Consistency improvements have been made to the interface. Dialogs, buttons, header bars and library selector menus are now more consistent UI wide.
  • [UD-400] The user management page has a new look with improved layout and license usage graph and corresponding user activity table.
  • [UD-300] The tag autocomplete menu no longer is limited by 10 items.
  • [UD-353] Mouse-back button functionality has been added to pages where the ‘back’ arrow appears.

Bugs:

  • If UNIFI is already open and a user clicks on the UNIFI icon (whether taskbar or desktop shortcut), UNIFI will no longer close and reopen.  Thank you D. Uy for reporting!
  • [UD- 264, UD-259, UD-305, UD-400] Several UI bugs have been resolved in the following areas: Library Selector Menu, Notifications column filters and date sorting.  Popup dialogs are now topmost to Unifi only.
  • [UD-401, UD-398] Following upload, some files were not showing up in search results or while browsing. Great find T. Merchel!
  • [UD-261] Elements not compatible with current Revit version were not appearing in search results.
  • [UD-266] Tag searches were case sensitive causing searches such as [Doors] and [doors] to return different results.
  • [UD-358] Saved Searches were not running if searching across libraries with a “ – “ in the name.
  • [UD-288] Some users were receiving messages that they do not have permission to access certain saved searches.
  • [UD-116] Some users were receiving a library permissions error when using individual Saved Searches that search across libraries the users no longer have access to. The Saved Searches will properly search across libraries only the user has access to and prompt the user to edit the search if the user no longer has access to any of the original libraries saved as part of the search.
  • [UD-289] Adding a tag to an In Progress content request caused the Request Content page to open the next time the In Progress request was opened.
  • [UD-313] J. Snyder reported that in some rare cases, uploads marked as approved would revert to pending status.
  • [UD-263] Library admins were able to approve uploads that were only part of libraries they were not an administrator of.
  • [UD-246] The Notifications button on the Library Management page opened the notifications page but didn’t filter the Uploads and Request tables by that library.
  • [UD-311] Users will now see the alert badge on the button for the Notifications page prior to actually opening the page.
  • [UD-292] F. Herbere reported that revision notes to existing elements were not appearing in the File History tab.
  • [UD-422, UD-271, UD-416, UD-385] Resolved several issues with inserting types from the Type Catalog dialog and the dialog itself.
  • [UD-299] Holding Shift while right clicking on an element, followed by clicking the delete button caused a crash. Thank you R. Bell!
  • [UD-327] Multiple categories for the same category were appearing in browse mode.
  • [UD-268] Users were unable to set an element as favorite if the element was part of a shared library.
  • [UD-350] Minimizing the Batch Export dialog caused it to disappear, locking users out of the Revit session. Removed topmost behavior to all applications, it now appears in the taskbar and minimize and maximize buttons have been removed.
  • [UD-233] Shared libraries didn’t appear in the Library Selector Menu until a restart of Unifi.
  • [UD-312] Some drafting views with long names were failing to export to Unifi.
  • [UD-119] Resolved a crash that resulted when inserting a drafting view, and clicking again to insert the drafting view.
  • [UD-290, UD-283] The Unifi temp folder utilized for uploads wasn’t getting purged upon successful upload.
Release Notes

V2.0 Release Notes + Unifi Analytics portal release

We are very happy to announce the release of Unifi v2.0 and the announcement of the new Unifi Analytics portal to public BETA!! This release also includes an industry first – Company to Company Library Sharing! Collaborate around your BIM projects in a new way, with content, providing a more data consistent design for your clients. This is a very exciting release for us and our customers as we further expand the value of the Unifi platform.

 

Release Highlights:

  • Unifi Analytics Portal BETA
    • Unifi in the web, its a intriguing idea… thats what we heard from our customers over the past year so thats what we did! Currently available to Company Admins only with plans to extend to all user types, the Unifi portal is where admins can visualize Unifi usage data from their entire global design force! Analytics, batch tag/library utilities, user management, reports & several other admin focused tools will be available during this Beta release.
    • FEEDBACK – Please provide your ideas to make this product better in our ideas app here: https://unifi.ideas.aha.io/?project=UWP
    • ACCESS – All Company Admins may access the web app here: https://app.discoverunifi.com

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 12.39.08 PM

  • Company to Company Library Sharing
    • How do we collaborate around design? Can we make it easier to share design assets between firms so our clients receive design and data consistency from project to project? As a building owner how can I easily share a single federated library of design content to my design partners across the globe? These are the questions our customers were asking and Unifi Company to Company Library Sharing is answer we created to help make our industry more collaborative around content!
    • All Unifi customers may “Share” a library with another Unifi customer for collaboration around projects. Full read/write access is currently available with more access permission rights to come soon. So what are you waiting for, start collaborating easier and provide more consistent designs to your clients!
    • All sharing must be initiated from the Unifi portal.
    • Both the sharing company & the recipient company bust be Unifi customers to take advantage of this feature.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 12.41.40 PM

  • Unifi 2.0
    • Several enhancements have been made to the Unifi desktop client including a replacement to the Alerts screen which has been redesigned as Notifications. Library sharing is now fully integrated and live! Full release notes below.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 12.43.15 PM


 

Unifi 2.0 New Features:

  • Industry acronyms now use the “OR” operator when being searched
  • Unifi Search > Filter > Category – You can now type a letter and the Family Category list will jump to location in the list. Your mouse scroll wheel will finally get some rest from scrolling through the large list of categories.
  • The Alerts screen has been redesigned and renamed to “Notifications”.
    • A new design with sortable and filterable column headers makes it easier then ever to sort through hundreds of content uploads or requests.
  • File Download – You can now multi-select elements from either the browse or search results view, Right Click > Download. A new dialog will present several options for downloading your RFA’s from the Unifi cloud.
    • Currently only RFA’s are available for download with more element types coming in the future.
    • You can download a single file at a time, or in batch!
  • Unifi now automatically starts with Revit. This has been a highly requested feature for firms who have rolled out Unifi and would like to increase awareness of Unifi across the firm.
    • Please note that Unifi will NOT pull a license from the company pool until a user logs into their account.
  • Single Sign On Enhancement
    • SSO customers will now experience a more seamless integration with Unifi. A new “Authenticate with Identity provider” button is available on the Unifi Login Screen which will allow the user to simply type in their email address. Unifi will then open a we browser based on the SSO choice the company has connected to Unifi’s API. The browser will take over from there allowing the user to login once and the token will be stored for all future Unifi starts until the SSO provider expires the toke. This will now make Unifi automatically log the user in as it starts without any user input of login information resulting in a happier workplace 🙂
  • Login Screen – Email form now has validation to ensure proper email format is entered.
  • Shared Libraries
    • Search – Library selector will now show both Company Libraries AND Shared Libraries.
    • Library Management – Shared Libraries will now display if available
    • Browse – Shared Libraries will now display if available. The library name will be shown with the company name who shared it in brackets; ie. “Furniture Library (ACME company)”. There will also be a shared icon on the tile for quick visual identification that the library is shared with your company.
    • Content Request – Shared Libraries will now display if available
  • Support > Request a Feature – Now takes user directly to the Unifi ideas website
  • Upload Page – Revised design with added selection of Company & Library to distinguish between shared libraries if they exist.
  • Unifi Installer – various updates have been made to the installer and the updater to allow for a better overall user experience.

Exterminated Bugs:

  • Fixed an issue with slow or laggy experience opening the User Management screen when a company has 1000+ users. (Thanks Fergus!!)
  • Fixed an issue in search when the Search Favorites icon does not change when Favorites filter is toggled
  • Resolved an issue when Deleting a library and choosing to Move the content to another library the files were not being moved, rather stuck in purgatory…
  • Adding a tag to content where the tag already exists now triggers a new tag alert to the user
  • Resolved a bug where some users could not be removed from the “Automatic User Group”, this was less than optimal
  • Resolved a bug where file names were being truncated at a period “.” on a revision. This was bad “um kaaay”
  • Fixed some stability issues with Type Catalog files that would not parse due to white space or break lines in our cloud parsing engine.
  • Fixed a bug where Admins could not cancel their content requests, only Reject them which was just silly.
  • Fixed some UI consistency issues app wide, screen widths, text wrapping etc.
  • Fixed a bug where underscores “_” where not being shown in Browse – Small view mode

 

We truly hope you enjoy this release. Thank you to all our great customers who share our vision of organizing, analyzing, and distributing the worlds BIM content!!

The Unifi team is ready for the holidays! Its been an amazing year of collaborating with our customers to identify how we can provide their design firms value and enhance their BIM processes. So many of our customers are doing some really amazing things with technology to assist them with designing & constructing incredible buildings all around the globe. The Unifi team is honored to be a part of a industry that is full of passionate design technologists and practitioners!

 

Happy Holidays to you and yours,

/SG

Release Notes

v1.8.1 Release Notes

We are very happy to announce the release of Unifi v1.8.1. Lots and lots of bugs have been squashed in this version in our continual effort to provide a stable enterprise level application!

Exterminated Bugs:

  • Fixed a bug where a URL in file details was being truncated when clicked on and would not send the user to the correct URL in the web browser. Whats the point of a web link if it doesn’t work?
  • Fixed several areas where Unifi displays date so that it will display in the correct format per your region of the globe. (dd/mm/yyyy & mm/dd/yyyy)
  • Fixed an issue when renaming a User Group would not save the new name correctly, and for this we apologize.
  • Fixed an issue where Library names that began with underscores, did not show the prefixed underscore in the library selector on the search page. (Thanks Jason R!)
  • Resolved a couple issues with the Type catalog window:
    • No longer will inserting from a Type Catalog will it overwrite all existing types and their values, this was not cool.
    • Once types have been inserted into a project, and you select the family again to insert more types, all existing types in the model are highlighted in the Type Catalog interface.
    • Some Type Catalogs were not being displayed correctly due to various delimiters that can be used, whether a semicolon or comma is used, both are now displaying as expected.
  • “Star Rating Ascending” sort option was not displaying 0 (non-rated) content up top. This has been fixed.
  • During a content request, if an Admin dragged and dropped content into the screen to upload it, then canceled the request, that content was still uploaded to Unifi and available in search/browse. We have stopped this madness.
  • Fixed a bug where clicking on a tag from the File Details page was not firing off a new search.
  • Fixed an issue when a Admin is reviewing a batch file upload, and clicks the back button, the page is reset to the first page in a multi page review. It has been reported that this was making people throw things at their colleagues. In an effort to promote workplace safety this bug has been fixed.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed a user to create two saved searches with the same name.
  • Fixed a bug where renaming a Saved Search Group would allow you to create another Saved Search Group with the same name.
  • Fixed a bug where when logged out of Unifi with the app still open, and a user attempts to Batch Export content from a open Revit project, Unifi gets angry and crashes.
  • Fixed a bug where in some cases if an Admin changes the libraries of a In Progress content request, the library changes would not stick.
  • Fixed a bug where entering “<3” in the search bar was returning all results not just favorites. This shortcut now shows you just the content you love.
  • Added labels to the Identity Provider text fields so you know what info goes where when editing.
  • Fixed a bug when an Admin would Delete a library and choose to “Move files to another library”, the files where not being moved and stuck in purgatory. We are all happier now that Unifi does what it says it will do.
  • The Live Chat support has been removed from this release. We are planning to replace it with a more scalable solution, but for now it is now we feel its better to remove it than to have it not work consistently.

Have a new idea you would like to see added to Unifi? A new Ideas portal is now live and open to all customers! Your ideas matter, login and start submitting your ideas directly to the Unifi team today. You can vote on other peoples ideas and let the Unifi team know what YOU want us to build next!

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 3.39.18 PM


We truly hope you enjoy this release. Thank you to all our great customers who share our vision of organizing, analyzing, and distributing the worlds BIM data!!

The Unifi team is already working on Unifi 2.0 which is being released at Autodesk University Dec 2nd-4th!! If you are attending AU be sure to swing by our booth and try out the new Unifi yourself at our demo center!

Happy-Thanksgiving-from-The-Twinery

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

SG

Release Notes

v1.8 Release Notes

We are very happy to announce the release of Unifi v1.8. Highlighted in this release is the beginning of our graphic styling project including new colors, logo, and several UI/UX enhancements to make your experience using Unifi more enjoyable and streamline your efficiency!

A new Ideas portal is now live and open to all customers! Your ideas matter, login and start submitting your ideas directly to the Unifi team today. You can vote on other peoples ideas and let the Unifi team know what YOU want us to build next! To top it off a brand new Unfii website has been launched, check it out!

New Login Screen

New Unifi Login Screen

New Features:

  • New logos, color palette, and branding graphics have been updated across the Unifi application.
  • New Unifi Ideas Portal has been launched! Start submitting your ideas today – https://unifi.ideas.aha.io 
  • New DiscoverUnifi website is up and live, check it out here–> https://www.discoverunifi.com
  • Admins can now edit the Library of a Content Request! (Thanks Fergus!)
  • Type Catalogs now display sorted exactly the same way as Revit does. Previously it was sorted per type name by default. (Thanks Ryan!)
  • New User Information button added to the top header bar of Unifi. This will show the currently logged in user and allow them to logout. More features will be added to this button very soon!
  • Dates displayed across the Unifi application have been set to the users local date/time format. (Localization of Data/Time)
  • Added several stability enhancements

Exterminated Bugs:

  • Fixed the Unifi installer to now show the current Unifi version in the Windows Add/Remove programs dialog. Previously it was stuck on v1.6..for some silly reason.
  • Fixed an issue where if a library was removed from an existing saved search the user or admin was never alerted of this. If this scenario happens Unifi will now display a human readable error message.
  • If a user was once part of a User group then removed, they would still have access to that User Groups permissions. We have fixed this so Unifi Admins across the world can now stop pulling their hair out.
  • Fixed an issue where in some cases newly uploaded content would not immediately be shown in searches and browsing.
  • Fixed an issue where some content requests where not showing up for Company Admins. This annoying behavior has been resolved.
  • Fixed an edge case of company saved searches not appearing once all libraries in a company were deleted. This would never happen in reality, but hey we fixed it anyway.
  • Fixed an issue where the sorting options for a saved search were not working. Whats the point of sorting if it doesn’t work?

 

We truly hope you enjoy this release. Thank you to all our great customers who share our vision of organizing, analyzing, and distributing the worlds BIM data!!

The Unifi team is already working on the next release. We will not sleep, sleep is for the weak…and that is making us walk around the office like…the undead.

zombies!!

Enjoy your Halloween!!

Cheers

SG

Design Cloud

Unleash your design teams with Single Sign-on

In the rapidly growing world of cloud powered applications and web apps, IT teams are finding new ways to manage the ever growing list of tools their users need access to. With this growing user demand for cloud based tools and utilities several of the worlds top AEC firms are moving toward SAML based Single Sign-on (SSO) user identity tools.

What is Single Sign-on? “a property of access control of multiple related, but independent software systems. With this property a user logs in once and gains access to all systems without being prompted to log in again at each of them.” – Wikipedia

The chart above shows a typical top 20 list of apps for an organization. https://www.onelogin.com/blog/legacy-iam-cloud-fail

The chart above shows a typical top 20 list of apps for an organization. https://www.onelogin.com/blog/legacy-iam-cloud-fail

When it comes to configuring and customizing apps used by every employee it makes sense for IT teams to spend weeks doing deployments. When you start moving down the list to the apps that only a certain department needs access to it may not make sense to make large investments in on-premise software and deployments. This is the point where IT personnel in AEC firms across the globe are trying to find a middle ground between security, providing their users the tools they need when they need them, and speed of deploying these tools. No IT team wants to be a barrier to their colleagues, but they are the gatekeepers of a firm. They must keep data security and employee access to this data a top priority.

Single Sign-on identity providers such as OneLogin, LoginRadius, OKTA, and PingIdentity are leaders in providing a single source of truth for users access to various cloud applications across an entire design firm.

Cloud identity providers are built in the cloud for the cloud, making deploying cloud software a breeze. Most SSO providers have app stores where you can search for thousands of existing cloud software and connect the two quickly and easily.

What are the top 5 reasons for looking into a SSO solution for your design firm?

  1. Lowered IT costs
  2. Improved security
  3. Increased workforce productivity
  4. More utilization of mobile
  5. Improved user experience

Design technology is moving rapidly and how AEC IT personnel adapt to it will be critical over the next few years. Security, ease of use, and scalability will be key factors of which technologies we choose for our design firms. This is why you will find the Unifi app in each of the four providers app stores listed above with more to come upon request! We have listened to our customers and made Unifi compliant with the SAML 2.0 protocol which will allow you to integrate Unifi with any compatible Single Sign-on provider.

I would bet we end up seeing more AEC software leaders move down this path eventually with SSO. SSO integration is just the beginning, its a fully connected world and API’s can turn a great product into a powerful platform. We fully plan to continue to expand our platform integration options further with various API’s and integrations into some of the most popular platforms such as Slack and Trello! More to come on that front in a future post.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment or question below.

Release Notes

V1.7 RELEASE NOTES

Updated: 1.7.0.2 released 10/7/15 (bug fixes below)

We are very happy to announce the release of Unifi v1.7. Highlighted in this release is the rollout of new cloud infrastructure across the Amazon AWS backbone including a completely new search engine! This new search engine project (codenamed Dewey) is all about enhancing the user experience with faster browse and searching speeds on a global scale. The Unifi team has invested heavily into a new search engine technology which is extremely scalable and reliable, two major factors we take very seriously for the Unifi product. Our ultimate goal is to provide you with an enjoyable experience when finding content for use in Revit projects!

Library Browsing v1.7

Library Browsing v1.7 now shows total amount of categories available

What does this mean for your designers?

  • Our internal metrics show that current Unifi search times average 2 – 8 seconds globally depending on the size and complexity of the search. The new search engine testing metrics show global search times that average .5 seconds regardless of the size or complexity of the search.
  • A new “Search information bar” has been added to the top of the search and browse screens which displays how many results are being returned. This bar will also tell the user if any content is being hidden due to a incompatible Revit year among several other informative notes. You will notice the information bar also appears while browsing letting you know how many libraries or family categories are being displayed in the UI.
  • The new enhanced search engine now shows reduced results the more words you add to the search bar making it easier than ever to quickly refine your search to exactly the type of content you are searching for.
    This is something the majority of our users have been asking for so you got it! Your searching will be even more intuitive then ever with the intent on getting you to the right piece of content faster than ever.
Screw Chillers search example v1.7

Screw Chillers search example v1.7

New Features:

  • New Amazon cloud servers added to global cluster making international search times quicker (More improvements in this area are coming soon!)
  • New Elastic search engine added (More improvements in this area are coming soon!…can you say integrated parameter searching!)
  • Hidden results will now be displayed in the Search Information bar, users can click a link to see all incompatible Revit families
  • URLs in Family parameters will now be hyperlinks within the Unifi File Details page. (thanks Ji-Yong)
  • Library Admins can no longer delete libraries (thanks Fergus)
  • Changed the way the Favorite icon works. The favorite (heart) icon will now toggle your favorites filter to quickly see only the items you have favorited in the current results screen.
  • Any incompatible (future Revit version) families are now displayed greyed out and are unable to be inserted by the user.
  • Added several stability enhancements

Exterminated Bugs:

  • Resolved a bug where certain files could not be uploaded do to inaccurate file header data within the RFA file
  • Fixed some wonky text that would display in some system family names
  • Fixed a bug in the content request screen where when the ‘Specific Standards’ option is selected, but no text is entered into the textbox Unifi would get angry (thanks Fergus)
  • Resolved a bug where in some cases opening a PDF from a content request would crash Unifi
  • Resolved a bug where certain formatted type catalogs would not insert correctly (thanks Blake)
  • Fixed some labels in the Content request screen that were confusing
  • Fixed a bug where some file details would appear blank if not parsed yet in the Unifi cloud. If a family is still being parsed on the cloud you will now see a “In Progress” message indicating that the cloud is still busy herding the kittens (thanks Jason)
  • Fixed a bug with rolling back a file to a previous revision
  • Fixed a bug where when a pending file was deleted, it would still show in the Batch Upload Review screen
  • Resolved a timeout issue when if a User does not use Unifi for 30 minutes Unifi would release the licenses and the app would not log the user out. (thanks Blake)
  • Resolved a bug where certain fill pattern parameters values where not being displayed correctly in the file details page

Known Bugs: We will be working quickly to resolve these known issues in v1.7. 

  • Queuing large batches of files for upload (2500+) is taking several minutes as the files are checked on the servers to see if they already exist first. We fully intend to make this wicked fast, but right now its not.
  • Sorting by Star Rating is not working properly in the filter dialog. Fixed v1.7.0.1
  • The “TC” icon shown overtop of the preview image, when in the file details page, is not aligned properly. Fixed v8
  • The “TC” icon is not shown in the search results view, both in Grid mode or Row mode Fixed v1.7.0.1
  • New user activation emails may take up to 24 hours for the recipient to receive it. We are working with our 3rd party mail system to get this back to instantly send upon user creation. Fixed v8
  • If an Admin rolls back to a previous revision of a file, the parameter values do not update in the File Details page to show the current versions parameter data values.
  • On very large searches, while results are still loading and the user opens up a file details page, the information can take up to 10-15 seconds to populate. This is not acceptable to the instant gratification generation and will be fixed. Fixed v1.7.0.1 instant gratification achieved!
  • The “delete” button on a new saved search has been changed to “Cancel”, you can’t delete something that doesn’t exist. Fixed v1.7.0.2
  • Newly uploaded content may be shown as a revision to previously deleted content with the same name. This is a case of content identity theft, and has been resolved. Fixed v1.7.0.2
  • Automatically adding users to user groups was not working in some cases. Fixed v1.7.0.2
  • File underscores are not being removed from the content display name causing problems with finding the content while searching. (Thanks Ryan!) Fixed v1.7.0.2
  • Uploaded and approved content was sometimes not available in the search engine. Fixed v1.7.0.2

We truly hope you enjoy this release. Thank you to all our great customers who share our vision of organizing, analyzing, and distributing the worlds BIM data!!

The Unifi team is already working on the next 1.8 release which will include new highly requested workflow features! Stay tuned for more update news soon!

Cheers

SG

Nine Practices for a Faster, Smarter Revit Experience

Large projects often succumb to slow load times, performance issues and bogged-down file load times. Revit relies heavily upon file access and manipulation, so surrounding software settings can greatly enhance performance. Your quick, easy Revit experience needn’t require intensive computer reformats, either. Many of Revit’s optimizations are accessible within the program. The following practices optimize the Revit experience, reducing load times and input lag:

 

Practice One: Avoid User-Uploaded Content

BIMopedia’s blog inspects the many ways users can optimize their experience, focusing on reduced load times and overall program strain. One of its top suggestions identifies user-upload websites as a key factor of Revit slowdown. BIM, or Revit “family” websites feature a wealth of useful content, but each download adheres to different parameters. Each embedded family may cause performance drains due to its used objects. Keep away from community uploaded content, especially when efficient families aren’t their high priority.

 

Practice Two: Remove Unused Options

Revit houses a slew of in-depth options to generate customized operation experiences. However, its multitude of inactive, invisible design options can greatly slow down the program. To maintain a “clean”, optimized Revit experience, search out any unused design options.

Additionally, locate any unplaced views and remove them. Though unused, these views still increase Revit’s overall data use—creating performance issues and big file sizes.

Practice Three: Utilize Room Separation Lines Wisely

Revit’s room separation lines divide its rooms where no bounding objects are present. They’re quite useful, but they can overlap with future bounding objects, including:

  • Walls
  • Columns
  • Roofs
  • Ceilings
  • Floors

Room separation lines, while inherently useful, should be minimized with room-bounding elements when appropriate. Just remember, however, to keep the bounding objects sorted and optimized appropriately.

Practice Four: Minimize Rendered Lights

Revit Clinic’s list of rendering performance enhancements suggests reducing unnecessary artificial lights. A project’s rendering time is fragile, and numerous light groups will slow its processes significantly. When you can, turn off your project’s artificial lights.

Practice Five: Compress Your Revit Files

Revitstore’s tutorials place importance upon compressing Revit’s project files. Revit’s files are already compressed before access, but used, expanded files can inflate to twice the file’s original size. Sometimes, Revit fails to recompress a file. When this occurs, the program’s performance is reduced due to increased processing needs.

Be sure to select Save As when compressing a file, as relocating a saved file often enacts Revit’s natural, compressing tendencies. Additionally, remember to compress your project’s Central File on occasion.

Practice Six: Don’t Import Files

When possible, link your files. Don’t import them. Often, information from other software packages is needed for current model projection. Importing adds all information into the current model, reducing overall performance. Linking files, however, will locate needed files without changing them mid-project.

Practice Seven: Use Worksets

Worksets improve workflow and performance. They create easy-use environments for link opening, work separation and access. Of course, your Revit model needs to be well-structured before a workset is accessed. It also needs to be “broken down” into smaller worksets. A workset’s 3D views assist tracking, reducing performance-damaging processes needed to visualize projects.

Practice Eight: When Possible, Use Detail Lines Instead of Model Lines

Model lines in abundance can be mistaken for drawing errors. While not inherently a performance-draining problem, drawing errors create a need for more processes, more tracking procedures and more data. Detail lines, however, are intelligible and quick. They enhance Revit’s optimization in the long run.

Practice Nine: Use Selection Boxes

Selection boxes, when used in views, crops away unneeded geometry. Often, Revit users experience downtime and performance losses from intensive rendering weight. Selection boxes are very intuitive, and they can be used for:

  • Daylight portals
  • Linked files
  • Lights

Rendering boxes feature enhances rendering times without creating confusing project parameters, too, making their use entirely conducive to a clean, efficient project.

 

Source

http://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/revit-products/troubleshooting/caas/sfdcarticles/sfdcarticles/Improving-performance-of-Revit-projects-s.html, http://bimopedia.com/2013/04/02/5-tips-to-reduce-bad-performance-in-revit/, http://www.revitstore.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=108:speeding-up-your-revit-session&catid=37:tips-and-tricks&Itemid=55, http://www.revitcity.com/forums.php?action=viewthread&thread_id=29803, http://revitclinic.typepad.com/my_weblog/2010/11/10-tips-for-improving-revit-rendering-times.html

Hidden Parameters: The Key Under the Mat

Locking parameters inside of Revit content is sometimes a necessity: getting logic to work properly requires some gears to turn and parameters that hold and relay data. In very complicated families that include arrays, moving components, or even error messaging if multiple incompatible options are chosen, the amount of parameters can quickly build up. Revit has a built-in solution to hide those parameters, to keep families clean and only present information that will be important to users of the content: hidden parameters. Little known and under-utilized, hidden parameters can really clean up content when used properly. The best part is it only requires one extra step after the parameter has been made – so they’re fast, easy, efficient, and add functionality. What more can you ask for in a modelling technique? As an example I will be making a simple box with three types of different dimensions and colors, locked out, with the “key” hidden from the user.

The process of creating a hidden parameter begins like a normal shared parameter. When adding a parameter to a family, select the “Shared” option instead of family. It might make sense to create a new file specifically to hold hidden parameters, to keep them segregated from other shared parameters and to make them easy to access. There is no obvious way to tell if a shared parameter is hidden without loading it into a Revit project, so a separate hidden parameters file would make that distinction: any parameter within the file, will be hidden. No guessing or testing involved. For this example I made a new shared parameter file simply called “Hidden Parameters” and a group within the file named “Constraints”.

Hidden Parameters 1

Hidden Parameters 2

Create a new file if needed. Groups can be added to the file once it is made.

Revit Quirk Alert: An important note here before continuing is to go through the entire creation process, including the step to make the parameter hidden, before adding the shared parameter to a family. If it is added to a family before being turned into a hidden parameter it will be visible.

Add any necessary parameters to the file as they are required: there is no limit on the data type of a hidden parameter. Once any parameters have been created and added, they can be used inside of the family as normal. Since these are shared parameters, I prefer to name all of my hidden parameters with a “z” in front, such as “z Type”, “z Width”, “z Model Number”, etc. This will put them at the bottom of the parameter list inside of a project and also signifies that the parameter is hidden in the family editor.

Now for the final step (really, that’s it!): open the shared parameter file in a .txt file editor such as Notepad. The first thing you’ll see is a message to not edit the file…

Just ignore that.

You’ll then see a list of parameters as well as how they are organized inside of Revit and some data that lets Revit know how the parameter is used. Change a single value: the second integer. It will be a “1”. Change it to a “0”.

 

Hidden Parameters 3

Save the file and you’re done. Now that parameter is hidden in a project when added to a family.

For my example I made two hidden parameters: “z Type” and “z Material”. The visible dimensions are locked out using z Type, and the material (which can not be locked – just the nature of material parameters since they are unable to use formulas) is hidden so it cannot be modified in a project.

Hidden Parameters 4

Hidden Parameters 5

Dimensions locked and materials changed by hidden parameters. Note that there is no “Constraints” category in the Type Properties.

Custom Preview Images

So, you’re plugging away at work and your best Revit user submits the best door family they have to Unifi.  Awesome!  The system is working, the users get it!  But then you see the preview image!  Oh yeah, they are one of those who like a black background in Revit!  Sigh!  At least it’s not magenta!You could reject it and have it fixed, but you still need to validate it.  Best option: approve the content and fix the image yourself!

Unifi can help with this due to its ability to capture custom images.  Yep, any image shown on your monitor can be assigned as an elements preview image.  Editing the image is totally optional, but there may be times it needs to be done.  You definitely do not have to edit every image on every piece of content.  Steps for this are outlined below or check out this quick video!  No sound in the video, sorry!

  1. Start up a test project or open content.
  2. Modify view.
  3. From an item’s detail view, select “Edit File” from the buttons in the top right corner.
  4. Make sure the image you wish to capture is open on your screen.
  5. Click on the “Capture Image” button that appears below the item’s image. At this point, Unifi will hide and your monitor(s) will be blued out except for a small clear square near the center of the main monitor. A “Save Image” and “Cancel” button will appear at the top of the same monitor.
  6. Click on the clear square and hold the mouse button down as you move this square over the desired image.
  7. Click on one of the corners to resize the square if you desire. The square defaults to the minimum allowed size. The image you select will be resized to fit into the item’s icon.
  8. Click on the “Save Image” button to import the image into the item detail. After a moment, your image will replace the one that was previously shown.
  9. Click the green “Finished” button to save the changes.


Thanks for your time.

Chris Ridder – BIM Manager – GBD – LinkedIn – @cridder_


This is a post by a guest contributor not affiliated with INVIEWlabs. The opinions expressed are that of the contributor not INVIEWlabs. 

New Feature: Collections!

…actually, it’s been there the whole time! Read more below:

This is shaping up to be a big week for us at INVIEW labs! I am currently in-flight to DC to attend the first inaugural Building Content Summit (BCS) AND RTC. As co-chair of the BCS, it has been AWESOME to see the amount of interest in the event from all segments of our industry! I look forward to participating in this first meeting of the many content-minds out there. At RTC, The team at INVIEW labs will also be showing off our latest work on Unifi – plan on stopping by our booth so we can meet you!

As a product designer for Unifi, I take deep pleasure in seeing Unifi being used in so many ways by our amazing customers. Simple, yet flexible tools are the best tools. We measure each proposed feature against this core principle and we are proud of the positive feedback we receive from our customers that confirms the value of this.

We developed our simple meta-tag feature to fulfil many different needs. In Unifi, tags can be applied automatically upon upload, or manually anywhere an element appears. Consider the following uses of tags:

  • Improving search results – Search results are heavily influenced when a search term matches tags.
  • Searching – Many of our users enjoy searching by tags. By typing a bracket “[“ in the search form, users are given a drop down list of all tags. This is filtered down as you type.
  • Collections – “What? Collections? There’s no collections feature in Unifi..” you say. Let me explain below..

..but first, a bit about the Saved Search feature. Search criteria can be saved for perpetual use later. For example: a normal search for “Double Glass” will probably return many results. But if you add a Category filter of ‘Doors’, then your results will be greatly reduced. If you want to perform this search often, you can save the combined search term “Double Glass” AND the Category filter of ‘Doors’ together as a Saved Search. This is very powerful because any new content added later that fits this criteria will automatically appear when you open that saved search. It’s like an automatically updated folder!

When Saved Searches include certain tags in the criteria, they basically become collections. For example: want to organize a collection of ‘Living Room Furniture’? EASY! Just apply a tag that describes the collection (“LR Furniture” perhaps?), then create a Saved Search that only looks for that tag. From that point on, all living room furniture will be displayed by opening that saved search (provided the elements have the tag applied). Want to make the saved search available to everybody? Simply make it a Company Saved Search. So, YES, Unifi has a collections feature and these CAN be shared with your whole company! Unifi has a collection feature!

Again, these are simple tools that can be used in many different ways. Let us know how YOU use these features. I’d love to know!

Stay tuned throughout this week as we’ll be blogging about RTC!