Best practices in Tekla Model Sharing

Last updated April 2, 2020 by Tekla User Assistance tekla.documentation@trimble.com

Software version: 
2020

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 below.

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.

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

 

Install the 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 download the missing blocks later.

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.

Use GUIDs correctly 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.

Save local versions of shared models on your computer

We recommend that you save the local versions of shared models on your computer instead of a network drive for two main reasons:

  • The performance of shared models is better when the local models are saved on your own computer. This means that the models open faster, for example.

  • Saving shared models on your own computer prevents other users from accessing them and accidentally blocking important files.

If you still want to save local models on a network drive, use a private network drive that other users cannot access.

Create baselines regularly

The Owner of a model should create baselines of the model regularly. For example, you can create a baseline once a week.

We recommend creating a new baseline each time a new user has been invited to the model. This way, joining the shared model is faster.

Back 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.

Number model objects in Tekla Model Sharing

Numberingprocess of assigning position numbers to parts, cast units, assemblies, or reinforcement

In Tekla Structures, the position numbers assigned in the numbering are shown in marks and templates, for example.

a shared model has three main phases: reading in the changes made by other users, numbering a series of objects, and writing out the numbering changes. Always use the Number series of selected objects command when you number parts in a shared model. To avoid unnecessary work and conflicts, do not use the Number modified objects command.

Before you start numbering objects in a shared model, you should plan the numbering carefully. We recommend that you divide the model into phases, and each user only numbers objects within the phase they are working on. This way, you can avoid numbering conflicts in your shared models.

To number a phase, do the following:

  1. Finish the changes you are making in the phase that you are working on.
  2. Save the model.
  3. Read in the changes made by other users.
  4. Review the changes and save the model.
  5. Select the parts in a numbering seriesset of identifiers defined by the user, based on which Tekla Structures compares parts, assemblies, cast units, or reinforcement with each other during the numbering and gives position numbers

    Numbering series is defined by a prefix and a start number.

    The user can, for example, allocate separate numbering series to different phases or part types.

    that have been modified.

    You can create selection filters to select objects in a specific numbering series. For example, you can create a selection filterfilter used for defining which object types can be selected

    Selection filter chooses model objects or objects in drawings according to object properties.

    Selection filters can be standard or user-defined.

    For example, selection filters can be used to select parts for drawings or analysis.

    that allows you to select objects with the same assembly start numberfirst number of a numbering series

    .

  6. On the Drawings & reports tab, select Perform numbering > Number series of selected objects .

    Repeat steps 5 to 6 for different numbering series, if needed.

  7. When numbering has been performed successfully, save the model.
  8. Write out your changes immediately.

Use XS_FIRM and XS_PROJECT folders with shared models

Using project folders and firm folders in shared models is the easiest when you use a sub-folder in a Trimble Connect(1) application for information sharing and collaboration for construction projects that is based on the Trimble Connect platform

(1) Reference models are used in Trimble Connect application instead of using import and export.

(1) Trimble Connect application includes web, desktop and mobile clients, and the Sync tool, for example.

(2) Trimble’s platform for microservices in the cloud

(2) Trimble Connect platform’s microservices include services for uploading, storing, processing, and managing or consuming data. These services are meant to provide common solutions required by multiple applications.

project as the project or firm folderfolder that is used for storing Tekla Structures-related files customized for a particular organization

A Tekla Structures user can, for example, customize a company’s cloning templates and save them in a sub-folder located under the firm folder. After this, the customized cloning templates can be used in all projects carried out for the company.

.

The project and firm folder information is only updated from the Trimble Connect project to local versions of the shared models, not vice versa. In practice, this means that Tekla Structures downloads new files from the project or film folder to the local model and updates any changed files. If a local file is not in the Trimble Connect project sub-folder, it is removed from the local model.

When Tekla Structures detects a change between the local model data and the data in the Trimble Connect project or firm folder, you get the following notification:

If you click Yes, the model is saved and closed. Then, the local model data is updated and re-opened.

To set a folder in a Trimble Connect project as the XS_FIRM or the XS_PROJECT folder:

  1. On the File menu, go to Settings > Advanced options.
  2. Depending on the option, do one of the following:
    To set a Trimble Connect project sub-folder as Do this

    The XS_PROJECT folder

    1. In the Advanced Options dialog box, find the XS_PROJECT option.

    2. Set the value of XS_PROJECT to %CONNECT_FOLDER_SYNC%.

      %CONNECT_FOLDER_SYNC% points to :\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Trimble\Tekla folder sync\<folder>

    3. Note:

      If you use the same Trimble Connect project as the XS_PROJECT folder and for collaboration, you need to use a sub-folder that is separated from the Trimble Connect collaboration information as the XS_PROJECT folder. In this case, the sub-folder is set as %CONNECT_FOLDER_SYNC%\<folder>\<sub-folder of the folder>.

      For example, you could save the project folder under the Project settings folder with the name Project. In this case, the value should be set to %CONNECT_FOLDER_SYNC%\Project Settings\Project.

    The XS_FIRM folder

    1. In the Advanced Options dialog box, find the XS_FIRM option.

    2. Set the value of XS_FIRM to %CONNECT_FOLDER_SYNC%<ProjectID>;<region>.

      You can see the project ID in Trimble Connect for Browser:

      The region is the same as the project server location setting. The options are:
      • asia

      • europe

      • northAmerica

      So, for example, the value could be %CONNECT_FOLDER_SYNC%m1G-M21Ca_o;northAmerica.

      Note:

      If you use the same Trimble Connect project as the XS_FIRM folder and for collaboration, you need to use a sub-folder that is separated from the Trimble Connect collaboration information as the XS_FIRM folder. In this case, the sub-folder is set as %CONNECT_FOLDER_SYNC%\<ProjectID>;<region>%<folder>%<sub-folder of the folder>.

      For example, you could save the project folder under the Project settings folder with the name Project. In this case, the value should be set to %CONNECT_FOLDER_SYNC%\m1G-M21Ca_o;northAmerica%Project Settings%Project.

  3. Click OK to save the project or firm folder.
  4. Close and re-open the model to activate the new firm or project folderfolder that is used for storing Tekla Structures-related files customized for a particular project

    .

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