I Can’t Read Your Mind, Revit

The editing request “feature” in Revit has officially been put on the NEVER EVER USE list in our office.  It joins the ranks of “Insert DWG File” and “That one vendor who called and claimed he was calling me about jury duty to try and trick the receptionist” (true story.)

For the most part, worksets and worksharing function far better than they have any right to.  It is a complicated and memory intensive process that for the most part just works. 

With proper team management, you can coordinate folks to work on different tasks so they aren’t stepping on each others toes.  However, every once in a while, you try to get an element to work on, but someone else has it “borrowed”.

Revit offers you the wonderful opportunity to place a request to the owner.  Hey!  That sounds great!  I’ll click this button and that guy will see that I need that wall and he’ll click “Sure, friend!  Take it!  I’m done with it!” and I’ll get the wall and everything will be great!

Except you click the button and wait.  And wait.  And wait.

See, there is no magical popup on the other person’s screen, which is what EVERYONE thinks it will do the first time I teach them worksets.  You should see their faces when I explain that their request does not create some instant message like blurb on the other person’s screen.  That it secretly hides the request in a very hard to find menu.  It’s like I showed them a cake, then told them they had to eat this carrot.  And not a clean carrot.  A dirty one, straight from the ground.

The Revit help files even say that once you place the request, you have to “Ask the owner to approve your request.  The owner does not receive automatic notification of your request. You must contact the owner.”  You have to ask!  The computer can’t ask for me?!  What?!

Sorry.  It’s been a long week.

Anyway, we had a big issue over the past weekend where Person A placed a request, didn’t talk to the Person B and then left.  Because it was Saturday, and who can blame them?  College football, man.  Person B then sync’ed and left for the weekend.  Hooray!  Good job, Person B!  You sync’ed and checked all your stuff back in!

You know there’s a “but” coming.

BUT, when Person B synced, the unknown requested element automatically reserved the element for Person A.  That’s what we call Revit being “helpful”.  We have a list of items of Revit being “helpful”.  Person C then needed to work on the element.  Both Person A and Person B were off doing some weekend stuff, Person C got (justifiably) frustrated, they called Persons IT, and someone had to pretend to be Person A, relinquish all, and then sync.

Obnoxious.  And it could have been solved by having Revit pop-up editing requests.  Yeah, I know that the Workshare Monitor can help… sort of… but that thing sometimes likes to report that I’m in the model six times, and no one else is in it, even though they are sitting right next to me and I can see their screen, so I look at the Workshare Monitor with a skeptical eye.

So, for now, we tell our folks to never use the place request button.  We tell them to use the phone, or to go see the other person, because it just isn’t worth the hassle.

3 thoughts on “I Can’t Read Your Mind, Revit

  1. Dante says:

    maybe a nice tip to know for worksharing:
    IF somone did not hit the relinquish all, and the person is not in the office, AND somone else wants to edit a element that is in use, but he just cant…. there is a solution 🙂
    go to the options of revit, and just change the username to the exact name of the person you want to immitate.
    restart revit, open the model and than relinquish all.
    go back to the options, rename back to yourself, quit revit again, and start it back up.
    Done 🙂
    now that person that was not in the office has relinquished all..

  2. Weston says:

    This is pretty much the sole reason we have installed an IM program on the computers in our office. Editing Requests is the most pointless tool.

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