Whether you’re just starting out your Revit journey or a seasoned professional, you’ve most likely worked with shared parameters in some capacity. Almost every Revit user has experienced some level of frustration when working with shared parameters and one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome is the management of the shared parameter files themselves.
Challenges When Working with Shared Parameter Files
Autodesk requires Revit users to create and store their shared parameters in a text file. This text file is a tab-separated values (TSV) file which is structured specifically so that Revit can process the metadata about each shared parameter. This metadata includes globally unique identifiers (GUIDs), names, groups, data types, and more.
The simple fact that we are required to manage these parameters in a plain text file introduces several complications including:
•Sharing this text file with a large group or multiple offices
•Multiple and duplicate text files
•Duplicate or conflicting shared parameters
UNIFI Can Help Manage Your Shared Parameter Text File
The good news is, as of UNIFI Pro 3.4 and Portal 2.11, our users now have the ability to manage the text file which contains their company’s shared parameter definitions. This tool is included with a license of UNIFI Pro at no additional cost.
Let’s look at a few ways that this tool can help you maintain your shared parameter file.
Staying Up to Date
We want you to be sure your team has access to the latest and greatest shared parameters easily, so we’ve enabled the ability to “sync” the shared parameters that are defined in the cloud with the shared parameters for each user that are stored locally.
The new Update Shared Parameters button (as of 3.4.0) on the UNIFI tab will display a red badge over the icon to notify your team if there are changes to the shared parameters in the cloud. Simply click this button to download the current shared parameter file from the cloud and point Revit to that local copy.
Once a user clicks this button, UNIFI Pro will download the updated shared parameter file from the cloud and store it locally on the user’s desktop at C:\Users\CURRENTUSER\AppData\Local\UNIFI Labs\DiscoverClient\. This tool also points your Revit application to the shared parameter file that was downloaded.
Also note that when viewing shared parameters within Revit, your application is already pointing to the shared parameter file downloaded through the UNIFI add-in.
Catch Conflicting/Duplicate GUIDs
As updates are implemented to the shared parameter file, admins will have the ability to upload a new file. UNIFI will automatically compare the current shared parameters with the shared parameters in the uploaded text file and check for duplicate GUIDs. If any conflicts are found, the Resolve Conflicts window will appear, allowing the uploader to choose which version of each individual parameter should be maintained.
Update History and Version Control
We’ve given our users an easy way to maintain a historical record of changes to the shared parameters as well. Simply navigate to the Update History tab in Portal and you will see the history of all changes made to the shared parameters.
Hover over any version of the shared parameter file and the actions menu appears which allows admins to download, restore, or delete any version of the shared parameter file. Deleted versions of the text files can be retrieved using the Show Deleted Versions button in the top right of the screen.
In addition to uploading shared parameters, admins can also edit parameters directly in Portal to rename, change the assigned groups, edit the descriptions and more.
Compare Changes Between Versions
As part of a complete change management system, admins also have the ability to see what has changed between two versions of the company shared parameters.
Select two versions in the Update History to enable the Compare Selected Versions tool. This highlights any shared parameters that have been changed, added, or removed and displays the old (-) and new (+) values of each shared parameter that has been changed.
Additional Features to Come
While this tool already provides value in helping manage your firm’s shared parameters, you can be sure that there are many more features to come in future releases. Our roadmap for this tool includes the ability to create new parameters directly in Portal, define parameter templates, and beyond. Please be sure to subscribe to our blog to get updates on the latest with Shared Parameter Management at UNIFI!