When a recent update to Autodesk Desktop Connector forced a migration to Autodesk Docs, file paths were generally change like this:
FROM – C:\Users\USERNAME\BIM 360\YOURFOLDERS
TO – C:\Users\USERNAME\ACCDocs\YOURFOLDERS
If you were doing some interesting tricks with BIM 360 Docs, and sharing and federating Revit models as non-initiated files on BIM 360, you may find that links were broken and “Not Found” in Manage Links after that latest Desktop Connector installation.
But don’t worry! You can just set a symbolic link to point from the old BIM 360 Docs location, to the new location. The Command Prompt script looks like this:
The moment after this script was run, I was able to hit Reload from Manage Links in Revit and the new location was detected and links were loaded successfully. Note that they still appear in Revit as if they are in the old location, but really it is reading the latest data from Autodesk Docs, and that new location is being updated by Autodesk Desktop Connector.
Previously, this was all working with the old Desktop Connector and b360provider.exe (I think?) but the new versions of Desktop Connector seem to have broken the ability to ‘browse’ C4R Revit models on BIM 360… and guess what? There is no Solution. This functionality is in fact ‘by design’. You can copy and paste a non-C4R Revit model to BIM 360 Docs via the connector, and that RVT will be visible in Windows Explorer. But if you have C4R initialised Revit models on BIM 360 Docs, they will not be visible under the BIM 360 (Preview) node in Windows Explorer. You can only view those C4R Revit files in their folder structure by navigating through Revit 2018.3 or newer.
This is the feedback from Autodesk:
Revit cloud models (C4R models) are not supported in Desktop connector. They won’t be showing up in Desktop Connector. Published C4R models are only available in Revit and Docs.
I went looking for another answer, but there really isn’t one. Below is a list of steps I took to play around with the Desktop Connector installation. In the end, the only way I can foresee being able to ‘automate’ onsite BIM 360 Docs backups will be to leverage the CollaborationCache folder. You will need some Revit API know-how to forcibly populate this through some BIM 360 Reload methods (refer here). Unfortunately this will be a flat list of files without descriptive names, so there will have to be some workarounds and cleanup scripts in place (we already have a system of BIM 360 file management in VirtualBuiltApp). I intend to post some more about these workarounds in future.
Keep reading for excessive detail on my Desktop Connector journey …
Uninstalled this old version. Interestingly, there were 3 different uninstall processors triggered? Like I had three different versions installed?
Also tried removing this folder and reinstalling:
I found a pile of errors in the diagnostic logs:
CDX pipleline builder output
Output=Warnings received from AddInStore.Rebuild
Could not connect up a part in a pipeline to its neighbors: AddInAdapter Name: "ISecureSettingsProviderViewToContractAddInAdapter" Location: "AddInSideAdapters\Comet.AddInFramework.DataSourceProviders.ProviderAdapters.dll".
and a few of these
Could not connect 2 valid add-in model parts.
While inspecting an assembly, caught a BadImageFormatException: The file is not a valid binary: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Desktop Connector\AddIns\ADriveConnector\AdWebServices.dll This occurred while inspecting assembly C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Desktop Connector\AddIns\ADriveConnector\AdWebServices.dll.
While inspecting an assembly, caught a BadImageFormatException: The file is not a valid binary: C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Desktop Connector\AddIns\ADriveConnector\AdWebServicesUI.dll This occurred while inspecting assembly C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Desktop Connector\AddIns\ADriveConnector\AdWebServicesUI.dll.
I scanned through the Registry and deleted old references to Desktop Connector.
Found this link with the command line switches: here
Tried an install from elevated command prompt:
C:\Temp>DesktopConnector-x64.exe /install /quiet
Note: you do not actually need the Desktop Connector to collaborate on BIM 360 Revit projects in the cloud. You only need Revit 2018.3 or newer, and the relevant license for Revit Cloud Collaboration (too hard to keep track of the names but I think ‘BIM 360 Design’ is the current terminology).
You will be able to see this link in Revit 2018.3 or newer:
When ‘linking’ Revit models, CAD files, and other resources, you will see this option when working in a cloud workshared model:
These models will be temporarily stored in the CollaborationCache folder:
If you are still running a relatively small SSD (like 512gb), you might see that your C drive fills up pretty quickly while working on a large BIM 360 Design Revit cloud worksharing project. See below image, where the CollaborationCache folder is using almost 50gb of space on my machine:
While I realise that the SSD is the best place to have that data in terms of performance, if you don’t have the space available you may consider moving your CollaborationCache folder to a secondary, larger hard drive. I used a symbolic link to do this, with the script below:
if exist "%localappdata%AutodeskRevitAutodesk Revit 2018CollaborationCache" rename "%localappdata%AutodeskRevitAutodesk Revit 2018CollaborationCache" CollaborationCache.old
mklink /d "%localappdata%AutodeskRevitAutodesk Revit 2018CollaborationCache" E:C4R
if not exist E:C4R MD E:C4R
robocopy /mir "%localappdata%AutodeskRevitAutodesk Revit 2018CollaborationCache.old" E:C4R
This creates a folder called C4R on your E drive, copies the CollaborationCache over, and sets up the symbolic link. To use it:
Sync all Revit instances and shut down Revit completely
Make a CMD from the code above and run it as Administrator (elevated privileges required for mklink )
In Explorer, confirm you have the symlink and delete the .old folder :
Install beta version of a plugin for Desktop connector that allows access to BIM 360 Docs under a separate link
From the help:
This plugin is a connector that establishes BIM 360 Docs as a recognized data source for the Desktop Connector – making it available in your desktop folder and file structure for easy file management.
As with Desktop Connector, this means your BIM 360 Docs files are replicated in a connected drive. You can manage files in BIM 360 Docs through the connected drive, just as you would any other folder on your machine. Changes made on the desktop are automatically uploaded to BIM 360 Docs.
Over the years, Autodesk has provided various means for us to access, sync, backup and share files. Most recently we used “A360 Desktop” (see end of this post) and more recently “A360 Drive“. Autodesk recently released the Autodesk Desktop Connector, which allows you to:
Manage remote files from your desktop
Connect to Team Hubs
Work offline or online
Desktop Connector gives you access to your production A360 data. Using Desktop Connector to modify files that reside in production A360 will automatically sync changes, updating your production file in A360.
You will see a link on your BIM 360 Team hub like this: