January 28, 2021

Revit: Tip When Making the Transition from Network to Named User Licenses

Here is something of which I wish I was aware prior to the change over from network to named-user licenses. If all of your users were already set up with BIM 360 Design licenses (which were always named-user) and were always signed into Revit with their Autodesk Account, then this will not be an issue for you. But if you have users that are not signed into Autodesk Account when using Revit under a network license, chances are that their default Revit user names are not the same as the Username on their Autodesk Accounts. Make certain everyone synchronizes and relinquishes all object ownership in all Revit models while still using a network license BEFORE you change them to named user.

Once on named user, your users have to be signed in, and their Revit user names will be "locked" as the Usernames associated with their Autodesk Account. If that differs from their previous user names, they will not be able to synchronize their old local files, nor will they be able to create a new local under their old user names so that they can relinquish ownership of objects.

The users may be able to copy/paste unsynchronized changes, and the central file can be opened detached and then a new central file can be created from the detached copy to get rid of ownership issues (once everyone who can synchronize/relinquish does so), but nobody really wants to do any of that.

You might think no one would ever close Revit having only saved changes locally, or without relinquishing all ownership, but you would be wrong. I have already run into this twice.

January 24, 2021

Network Licenses, Options File, Adding Users to a Group

Not sure I really need to record this knowledge for the future, since we will soon be out of the Autodesk network license business completely. All but 30 of our network licenses made the jump to named-user licenses last Thursday. Perhaps I will post something about that experience, once the dust settles and my anger subsides. Returning to the subject of this post, I needed, for the first time, to set up an options file to limit access to those remaining 30 licenses for those running Revit 2016, since the 2016 (and older) releases of Autodesk software have to be uninstalled and reinstalled to change the license type. In my opinion, that is too much work for something that will no longer be "of right" licensed in two or three months. But we do have a few active projects in Revit 2016 that the project teams do not want to upgrade (or do not want to upgrade at this point in time, due to imminent deadlines). The problem is we were not able to convert everyone over to named user licenses for 2017 and later versions before the end of the grace period, and the unconverted users were taking all of the licenses.

What I discovered this evening/this morning is that when specifying the user names for the group I was creating in the options file, you do NOT include the "@" and the computer name as part of the user name. I had always seen users being reported with their Windows login name followed by "@" and then the name of the computer on which they were running the software that was asking for the license, so I foolishly assumed that was how the user name should be specified. But when I reread the license with the new options file in place, I was not able to get a license myself, and someone who had a license checked out who was on the list was also denied. I panicked, and put back the old options file. I looked at the instructions again, and noticed that the examples only had a user name, without any machine designation. I then added my user name, without a machine name in addition to my user name with a machine name, reread the license, and I was able to get a license. Then I removed my user name with the machine name, and it still worked. Adding the other user with out the machine name allowed that license to also be checked out, convincing me that was the correct approach. So now all users that I want to include have the"@" and machine name removed, and I am fairly confident that will work. I guess I will see Monday morning.