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Best practices in Tekla Model Sharing

Last updated March 12, 2019 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

Software version: 
2019

Best practices in Tekla Model Sharing

Best practices in Tekla Model Sharing

To keep your shared models in good shape and to share your changes successfully, follow the Tekla Model Sharingcloud service for collaboration and for storing and sharing a model

Tekla Model Sharing is one of the Tekla online services.

best practices.

Note:

The users of the same shared modelmodel used for collaboration over the Tekla Model Sharing service

With a shared model, each user works with their own model and the changes are shared through Tekla Model Sharing. A shared model requires the use of a single-user model. The same model cannot be a shared model and a multi-user model.

need to have the same Tekla Structures version, and use the same latest service pack.

Note that in some situations, pour management has caused conflicts when reading in, even if the pour units have not been modified. These conflicts may result in objects being removed from pour units.

For general Tekla Model Sharing troubleshooting instructions, see Troubleshooting Tekla Model Sharing.

Collect model history in Tekla Model Sharing

Tekla Model Sharing collects model history on the actions in the shared model. Model history shows when the model has been changed, how the model has changed, and who has made the changes.

  1. On the File menu, click Settings > Advanced options > Speed and Accuracy .
  2. Ensure that XS_​COLLECT_​MODEL_​HISTORY is set to TRUE.

    Tekla Structures automatically sets XS_​COLLECT_​MODEL_​HISTORY to TRUE when a model is shared.

  3. Set XS_​CLEAR_​MODEL_​HISTORY to FALSE.
  4. Click OK.
  5. To view model history, do one of the following:
    • On the ribbon, clickand select an object in the model.

      The model history is shown in the Inquire object dialog box.

      If the Enable write out revision comment option has been selected in the Sharing settings dialog box, the revision comments are displayed as well.

    • Create a model history report.

      1. On the Drawings & reports tab, click Reports.

      2. Select a report templatetemplate that is used for creating a report

        that shows the model history.

        The name of the report template may vary in different environments. In the Default environmentTekla Structures environment that contains basic example settings that are not related to any standards specific to a country or a region

        , the report template is called Q_Model_History_Report.

      3. Click Create from all to create a report on all the objects in a model, or select one or more objects in the model and click Create from selected to create a report from the selected objects.

Offline usage history is stored according to the Windows domain user account. Note that in Tekla Model Sharing models, when you write out your changes to the sharing service, the changes are stored using your Trimble Identityuser account to Tekla online services and other Trimble services

For a Tekla Structures user, Trimble Identity is a single sign-on account which enables the user’s online identity management. The organization that the user’s Trimble Identity belongs to, determines the user’s access rights. Trimble Identity is needed, for example, for Tekla Campus and Tekla Warehouse, and to log in to Tekla User Assistance.

.

How object IDs work in shared models

Tekla Structures objects have an identifier that is shown as an object GUID, Globally Unique Identifier, that is also used in Tekla Model Sharing.

This means that features that do not use GUIDs need to be changed to use GUIDs:

  • Interoperability import/export actions:

    • FabTrol XML

    • ASCII

  • All other applications, macros and report processes that rely on static IDs.

Backing up shared models

We recommend you to back up the models used in Tekla Model Sharing. In case there are problems with a shared model, it is possible to select any user's local version of the model, or a model that has been backed up, and continue working using that model. Make sure that you have the complete backed up model in use and that the model folderfolder that is used for storing files associated with a model

Tekla Structures stores all files associated with a model in a folder it creates with the same name as the model database (.db1).

In multi-user mode all users access the same model folder.

includes, for example, drawings and different databases. This ensures that the model functions properly and you do not lose any data. If the backed up version of the model is old, reading in all the changes may take some time.

Back up your models according to your company conventions, for example, by using Windows Backup. You can also use the File > Save as > Save and create backup copy command to create a backup copy of the model. The backup copy will have the same GUIDs as the original model.

Note that the Save as command cannot be used for backing up the model. If you use Save as , the model gets new IDs and it has no relation to the original model.

If you use the Save as command, the model history is not copied with the saved model.

Restoring shared models

If a shared model has problems that may cause loss of working time, a company administrator can delete the model versions that have problems using Management Console for Tekla Model Sharingweb-based tool for administrators to manage all the organization’s models shared with Tekla Model Sharing

The Management Console for Tekla Model Sharing requires a valid Trimble Identity and administrator rights.

. It is also possible that a user of a shared model restores a previous version of the model in Tekla Structures , and that model is used in Tekla Model Sharing.

Management Console for Tekla Model Sharing provides a web-based access for administrators to manage all shared models of an organization. An administrator can lockto prevent unwanted action in a model or a drawing

It is possible to lock model objects, reference models, and drawings, for example.

a model and name one user as the lock owner who can investigate the model in Tekla Structures. Once the lock owner finds the problem, the administrator can delete the model versions that are causing the problem, and then unlock the model so that it can be used normally again.

While the model is locked, the sharing commands in Tekla Structures are available as follows:

  • The Read in and Write out icons have yellow arrows. Only the lock owner can use these commands.
  • On the File menu, the Read in , Write out , Create baseline and Users commands are available for the lock owner.
  • In the Shared models dialog box, the Edit model , Manage users , and Remove model from cloud commands , and joining a particular model are available for the lock owner.

For other users the sharing commands are not available.

If a user of the shared model has already read in or written out any of the model versions that the administrator has deleted, Tekla Structures shows the Write out and Read in icons with red arrows for this user. The sharing commands on the File menu are not available. The user needs to rejoin the model.

If a user is not using any of the deleted versions, the user does not need to rejoin.

Note that it is also possible to revert to an earlier version of the model without further investigating it. The administrator can lock the model in Management Console for Tekla Model Sharing , delete the versions that are not needed or that contain errors, and then unlock the model. After this, the users need to rejoin the valid version of the model.

Note that when model versions are deleted, the changes that have been made in those versions are lost from the model. The changes that should be included in the model need to be made again and read in.

Another option to take a previous version of the model into use is that a user of the shared model performs the following steps:

  1. Join the model again.
  2. Read in the packets until you have reached the preferred level in the model history.
  3. Exclude the model from sharing.
  4. Start sharing and invite other users again to the model.

    Ensure that all the users within the model start to use the restored version of the model.

Cache service for Tekla Model Sharing

Tekla Model Sharing Cache service downloads model data from the Tekla Model Sharing service and caches the data in the file system inside a LAN. Using the cache service reduces the use of the Internet, resulting in faster download times when the same data is requested more than once. Note that the cache is not used for packets that are written out.

The cache service needs an Internet connection to download model data from the sharing service. The first time a user fetches a packet it will be loaded to the cache service. Any following requests to the same packet will then be served fast from the cache service inside the LAN.

The cache service is useful even if there is only one Tekla Model Sharing user in the same office. For example, rejoining a model is faster as the model data is available in the cache service. In addition, the model data is always loaded as small data blocks. This is useful if the downloading is interrupted for some reason, because the cache service can just later download the missing blocks.

If there are several Tekla Model Sharing users in the same office, we highly recommend you to install the Tekla Model Sharing Cache service. The cache service is recommended especially in regions where the download speed may be limited.

The image below shows how the model data is stored to the sharing service and used with the Tekla Model Sharing Cache service.

Software and system requirements for a cache installation:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2, or later
  • .NET Framework 4.5.1

Install a cache service in the following way:

  1. Ensure that you have an active Windows computer or a server with enough disk space to store the cached model data.
  2. Download the Tekla Model Sharing Cache service installation file from Tekla Downloads.
  3. Run the installation file and follow the steps in the installation wizard to complete the installation.
    • The default cache folder is C:\TeklaModelSharingCache. If needed, you can change the folder destination.

      Ensure that the destination folder has enough disk space for the estimated usage of the service. The required disk space can vary from a few gigabytes to terabytes, depending on the amount of Tekla Model Sharing users and the size of the models.

    • The default TCP/IP port number for the cache service is 9998.

      Use this port number when you configure Tekla Structures client workstations to use the cache. This port is the main communication and control channel to the cache service.

    • The default TCP/IP port number for internal communication is 9001.

      This port is automatically fetched from the cache service, and it is used for the actual data transfer.

    Network access

    You need to allow inbound traffic for TCP/IP ports (defaults 9001 and 9998) for the cache service host.

    If the ports cause conflicts or other problems because of other services or a firewall, you can change the ports to some other ports.

    The cache service needs an Internet connection to download model changes from the sharing service.

    Note:

    If you later need to modify the installation, re-run the TeklaModelSharingCacheService.exe installation file and select Repair. You can then change the previously set cache folder or port numbers. To use content from the previous cache folder, copy or move the needed content to the new folder.

  4. Check that the Tekla Model Sharing Cache service has started.
    • Locate Tekla Model Sharing Cache from the Windows services by using, for example, the Computer Management console compmgmt.msc or the Services management console services.msc.

    • Use Windows Event Viewer to verify that there are no errors from the service and that there are Information messages showing that the service has started.

  5. Configure Tekla Structures client workstations to use the cache.

    In Tekla Structures , on the File menu, click Sharing > Sharing settings.

    In the Sharing settings dialog box:

    • Name is the name of the computer on which the cache is installed. To check the computer name, click Windows Control Panel > System and Security > System .

    • Port is the cache service port number that you have set when you installed the cache service. The default value is 9998.

Troubleshoot the cache service installation

If you cannot connect to the service from Tekla Structures :

  • Ensure that the Tekla Model Sharing Windows Service is running.

  • Ensure sure that the firewalls do not block TCP/IP ports configured to Tekla Structures , for example 9001 or 9998 when you use the default ports.

If the service does not start:

  • Check the Windows Event Viewer's Applicationpart of Tekla Structures functionality that is developed in order to extend the capability of Tekla Structures but that is not included in the Tekla Structures installation

    Log for possible errors.

Rejoin the model if the model is not saved after write out

If there are errors in writing out changes to the sharing service, you may need to rejoin the model. Tekla Structures will show you an error message if the errors in the write out could cause database inconsistencies and corrupt model data.

When you write out, Tekla Model Sharing does the following:

  1. Saves the model.
  2. Prepares the incremental packet. The data in the model folder is not changed yet.
  3. Uploads the incremental packet to the sharing service.
  4. Saves the model again if the incremental packet is uploaded successfully. Local model data is updated with the needed information.

Tekla Structures will not show you an error message if there are errors at any step before step 4. The sharing service has not received the model update yet. You can try to write out again as the model folder does not contain any data that would prevent the write out. If there are new updates available for the model, first read in the updates and then try to write out again.

If there are errors at step 4, Tekla Structures shows you an error message advising you to rejoin the model. After joining, you can check from the sharing history that your write out was uploaded to the sharing service.

Errors at step 4 mean that the model may not have been saved correctly, and model data may be corrupted or lost. The model has several different Tekla Structures databases each of them with their own baseline. If there are errors, the Tekla Structures model does not have all the needed information of what has been shared.

How to get support for sharing issues

You can contact Tekla Structures support to solve Tekla Model Sharing issues.

When you deliver your model to your local support for investigation, ensure that you include the following:

  • The model. Zip the model but do not save it anymore before delivering it.
  • Give Viewer permissions to Tekla Structures support by inviting tms-support-no-reply@tekla.com to the model.

    Remember to remove Tekla Structures support from the users after the model has been investigated.

  • Detailed description of the problem.

    Include steps to reproduce the problem if possible.

  • Images and screenshots.
  • Which Tekla Structures version you are using.
  • Which environment and role you are using.

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Comments

by Giorgio De Lorenzi

I think that the use of same Service Pack should be added to the list.

by Tekla User Assistance

Thanks for your comment, we'll look at this.