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Best Practices: Revit Worksharing

When operating in Worksharing mode, a Revit model requires the use of a Central file that is stored on a network location.  In a multi-site environment, the Central file is replicated across all the locations in order to provide users with LAN access to the file.  Users within each site copy the central file onto their Desktops, make updates locally and periodically save their changes to the Central file so that other users can see their work.   The path to the Central file is stored within the Central file.  When the file is replicated across all the sites, the path to the Central file is retained.  This can result in users saving their work across the WAN to the original Central file instead of the copy on their local file server.  

Solution 1: Utilize DFS Namespace

Users need to access the Revit files on their local file server through a Microsoft DFS Namespace. This can be done via a UNC path or mapped drive (does not need to be the same on all user workstations). The DFS namespace allows the path to the Central file to be generic and, when queried by Revit, points to the closest file server on the LAN.

Solution 2: Utilize Virtual Mapped Drive

Create a virtual mapped drive using the same drive letter on all user workstations (not to be confused with a standard mapped drive).  A virtual mapped drive provides a generic path to the Central file and prevents Revit from converting the path to its UNC format.  Because virtual drives do not persist during reboots, use the SUBST command via a login script to create a new drive letter that maps to the location where the Central files are stored.

Another way is to make a registry modification which creates the virtual drive that persists across reboots:

  1. Map a drive letter to the location where the Central files are stored (in this example we use R:\).
  2. Create a new registry entry "String Value" in the following key (in this example we use V:):

  • The Value name should be V:, where V is the new drive letter you wish to create.
  • The Value data needs to be in the form \??\R:\path, where R is the map drive created above.

You now have a new Local Disk drive V.

When a local copy is made of the Central file from the virtual drive, the path to the Central file will be the generic V drive and RevIt will not be able to convert it to its UNC equivalent.

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