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How is the Multi-User Function used?

  • Software:

    Autodesk Advance Steel
  • Module

    All
  • Question:

    How is the Multi-User Function used?
  • Type:

    General
  • Difficulty:

    *

Answer


1. Preparing to work in "Multi-User" mode

The model should be saved in a place accessible for all users.
Before starting to work in Multi-User mode, open an empty template and save it locally, for example, as "User-dwg".

2. The "Multi-User" toolbar

After activating the "Multi User" button on the "Advance Steel" toolbar, the following toolbar appears on the screen:

How is the Multi-User Function used

How is the Multi-User Function used

3. Connecting to the Master Model and "checking out" the model objects to work on

How is the Multi-User Function used

After activating the "Connect to the master model" button on the "Multi User tools" toolbar, a tree with directories and sub-directories will appear in which the storage space of the master model is controlled.

Note:
The master model can be controlled in a local network, as well as on a ftp server (via Internet). The storage space for the master model must be available as a drive in the structure of directories.
The connection must not be a user-to-user connection.
Then, the model can be opened. Pay attention that at this point, when selecting a part of the model, like a normal AutoCAD block, the model reacts as a unit.

How is the Multi-User Function used

There are four selection options available for "checking out" model objects:

1) Checking out the objects completely by manual selection.
2) Checking out the objects completely using search and filter criteria.
3) Checking out the objects partially by manual selection.
4) Checking out the objects partially using search and filter criteria.

Note:
Completely checked out model objects are locked for any further use in the master model. The complete access to the properties of these model objects is available in the "Advance Properties" dialog box (Profile, Material etc.).
Model objects can be several times partially checked out.
This aspect is important for the definition of the transition area and of the transfer points between users. Partially checked out model objects can be completely modified, but the access to the object properties in the "Advance Properties" dialog box is restricted.

How is the Multi-User Function used

Red: Axes A-B completely checked out by User 1
Blue: Axes C-D completely checked out by User 2

The model objects in the area between axes B and C can be partially checked out by User 1 and User 2 for full processing.
After selecting the model objects and confirming the selection with "Enter", the selected model objects are highlighted with contrasting colors. It is not relevant whether the model objects were partially or completely checked out. The layer-configuration of the objects is identical.

How is the Multi-User Function used

How is the Multi-User Function used

By clicking the "Turn off other objects" button, model objects that have not been checked out can be hidden.
At this point the constructive editing of the selected model area can be started.
By clicking the "Turn on all objects" button, the hidden model area becomes visible again.

How is the Multi-User Function used

4. Transferring the constructive editing from a user to the master model

If the "Check in & keep checked out" button is activated when editing the checked out model area, the effect is similar to a buffering when working on the model. The construction elements added meantime by using parameter connections are transferred to the model and are immediately visible for everyone.

How is the Multi-User Function used

By clicking the "Check in" button, the model objects checked out from the master model are restored.

How is the Multi-User Function used

Note:
For both described cases a connection to the master model should be created (local network or via Internet).
The new unconnected model objects must be first transferred to the master model before checking them in, by clicking the "Add objects" button.

How is the Multi-User Function used

The particularity of the checking in procedure is that the elements presented in the standard layers receive the same color structure like the rest of the elements of the master model. See the following presentation.

How is the Multi-User Function used

If model objects are checked out from the master model by several users, the current editing status can be made visible on the local computer by clicking the "Reload Master model" button.

How is the Multi-User Function used

5. Final indications for the work with the master model

If the master model is opened while editing it, the following warning message appears, saying that for the moment the model contains objects checked out and modified by other users.

How is the Multi-User Function used

By using the "Mark checked out objects" button, the checked out model objects can be displayed in the master model.

How is the Multi-User Function used

You have the option to immediately mark all checked out model objects and, also, to search model objects by user:

How is the Multi-User Function used

When selecting "All Users", the completely checked out model objects are marked (the objects colored red in the model).
The selection of a specific user can be made in the following dialog box:

How is the Multi-User Function used

In case a specific user has a computer crash, the administrator responsible for the master model can cut the connection to the user in question by clicking the "Cancel check out" button. It is a very powerful tool that should be used only in emergency situations.

How is the Multi-User Function used

The same dialog box appears as when selecting a user by considering the checked out model objects.
By selecting the corresponding users and by confirming the selection with OK", the checking out for the selected user is terminated.

Final note:
All work that has as purpose the creation of fabrication documents from the model (Numbering, material lists creation, NC-files generation, drawing creation) should finally succeed exclusively for the master model. The necessary changes in the model can succeed through the user that, according to the definition of the working area, is responsible for the corresponding part.