By: Jamie Owens
Today’s file systems range from local hard drives on our computers, servers, or cloud-based platforms like Dropbox, OneDrive, or A360 Drive. Most of these systems have a desktop application allowing you to sync between your computer and the cloud-based system to make the storage system easier to use.
What if you could not only share files but could view and markup your files online? What if you had a 3D model like a Revit project that you wanted to collaborate with others that didn’t have Revit? The good news is Autodesk has a solution for that, BIM 360 Team.
Autodesk’s BIM 360 Team is a powerful tool for collaborating with team members and clients and allows us to store any file type. Previously, it only permitted file posting through the web browser, meaning you always had to download and upload to post updates. The Autodesk Desktop Connector lets users upload files and folders to projects through Windows Explorer (There is also a Mac version).
If you are already using BIM 360 Team, then once you log-in to your hub and click on your user icon in the upper right-hand corner, you should see the Desktop Connector for BIM 360 bar.
Upon completing the installation process, a new directory appears in Windows Explorer. You will see any hubs to which you’re assigned, allowing you to access your project files directly within Windows Explorer.
With the Desktop Connector in BIM 360 Teams, you have the ability to:
- Quickly add folders and files to a project while working offline.
- Automate a backup process of files stored on the cloud.
BIM 360 Team gave us a lot of leeway with folder and file names, including the use of various characters like the forward-slash (/). Now that we are syncing to our desktops, Windows does not like some of these special characters and will give a warning to the folders/files and makes the folder/file inaccessible through the Windows Explorer.
- The Folder or Filename can be edited within BIM 360 Team and eliminate the invalid characters, making the folder or file accessible in Windows Explorer.
- To rename the Project in BIM 360 Team, you must be a Project Admin to the project.
Another consideration to keep in mind is that Windows still has a 260 character path limit. Meaning just like when working on a physical drive or server, the file and folder name along with the number of folders deep that a file resides starts to come into play.