Syncing/saving quirks

I’ve gone through some of Trimble Connect documentation and It’s kind of hard to follow.
About a month ago we converted 100% of our projects and files from Google Drive to Trimble Connect since we all have pro accounts.

With syncing I’ve noticed that if I’m working on a model, and saving it along the way, that it will not sync that file until I’ve closed it. This seems like a “feature” not a bug. I don’t understand why, and is there a way to override that?

We’ve all set our sync schedules to “every 15 min” since it seems like the safest route. But now at the end of the day, instead of hitting ‘save’ and leaving, I hit ‘save,’ close SU and LO, force a sync, and wait until it finishes. Seems a bit cumbersome – does that make sense to anyone else?

And another thing I’m finding is that changes I’ve made the previous day sometimes don’t reflect when I open the model at the start of the next day.

Example: I fine tuned some cabinets last night, I saved it, did my sync song and dance, and left. I opened the model this morning and some of the changes were different. I closed it without saving, forced a sync, reopened and it was the same – some of the changes I am 100% sure I made did not save.

Obviously we’re scratching our heads and wondering if the move to Trimble Connect was the right decision.

Any insight here is much appreciated.

Thanks.

The first thing is that Trimble connect is not another storage device. It’s project software. Just copying the folderstructure into one big cloud location is prone to fail or disappointments, for it is not designed for that purpose.
You need to reevaluate your internal BIM-workflow.

That means, setting up permissions, dividing task or todo’s to team members etc.

The SketchUp files should be opened via [menu] File > Trimble Connect and not be saved, but ‘Published’ through the extension.
Opening from your local project folder ( that’s in this location: C: /Users/Your Username/Trimble Connect Sync/Your Trimble ID/Projects ) doesn’t 'lock’the files in the cloud upon opening. If you don’t use the TC extension and publish, I strongely advice to sync manually. That way, you avoid the issues you describe.

Besides temp file created by SketchUp, Trimble Connect uses temp files and windows probably, too!

The main goal of creating a BIM-workflow is to have centralised data, not ten’s of temp files waiting for syncing on clients machines…

Not knowing the exact workflow of your company, the best strategy is to create a Project for each…project.
Than decide who does what, create a main model and create seperate other models which you than could assign to team members. They can import the main model as reference (can’t be altered by them if loaded via Trimble connect extension ‘as reference’ ) do their thing, publish, import other colleuges work or the main model when updated, etc.

I’m kind of following …
And we do have all our projects separated into their own file trees under the main “Project” umbrella created by Trimble Connect. We don’t have a bunch of loose SU and LO files stored in there. I’m assuming that’s what you mean.

But are you saying that we should not store anything except SU and LO into Trimble connect?

Finally, when you say I should open the files “via [menu] File > Trimble Connect” where is this “menu?”
I’ve looked on Sync, the TC app, and TC online, as well as within SU … I’m not sure I know I’m looking for the right thing.

Thanks for the help.

Partly, If you create a new Trimble iD, there are no projects. You might have one called ‘Sketchup’ if you once used the free web app or trialed the pro version and that could be considered a the ‘main’ umbrella to which you refer.

Did you not create new projects? did you just added folders and files in the SketchUp project?

No, but you have to set up some sort of system that regulates: Who has permission to edit edit? If not and both Harry and Thom are altering file ‘X’ on their local Trimble Connect folder, which version would prevail when it’s time to sync? It’s not the same as editing some Google document at the same time, where instant edits are shown in the ‘live’ document.

So either both Thom and Harry would have to have their own upload location, or it should be managed that first Tom does it’s edit’s and then Harry (or viceversa, ofcourse)

I have one project for resources, for instance that we share to have the same material library and components.

Another project is for holding all the installers from SketchUp, For training I have set up projects for all kind of files. The file type is not the problem (btw. There are many types of fileformats covered to view in 3D viewers and 2D viewers, but .layout isn’t one of them…

The item should be in SketchUp, but only if you first have a new (empty) file open. han it would pop up in the File menu. The option to open or publish should be in the toolbar of the extension, too.

Ok, It sounds like we’re not doing to bad then.

It’s not a real big concern since there’s generally 3 of us on TC at the same time. I’ve got cabinet models open and editing, the architectural draftsman has his models open and editing, and the project manager is using general files (ie excel) and editing those. And 90% of the time we’re all in the same office together as well.

When we started TC, it created a folder tree of login ID > Projects. Inside of Projects we have created new folders per project, which have their own file trees inside them.

I’m still foggy on how to open my sketchup/layout files from inside TC - where I can edit and “publish” - instead of using my explorer folder to open files. When I try to use TC to open a file it opens it in a 3D Viewer.

Thanks

Ah, so you do have only one project.
You can’t create new projects by adding those in the folder on your local machine and than have it synced.It has to be done in the cloud.
The way it was designed is that the team on the job usually don’t have access to high-speed internet connections, and so by syncing by night, they would have the latest documents on the job site without the hassle of syncing continiously.

Do you all have a different email address (=Trimble ID) or do you all sign in with the same? The last is prone to errors as well.

I wonder how your Activities looks like in Excel (goto the Project in the cloud and in the Activity tab, hit the ‘export to excel’ icon on the top right.

I think we have multiple projects. When I go to Trimble Connect it says projects at the top, then North America, then a list of all our projects with little hard hat icons on all of them. I can only see the activity tab to export to excel when I click into one of the projects.

And we all have our own licenses and separate log-ins. We are also all an Admin, that’s on purpose.

It sounds like you are talking about Trimble Sync, which is managed by the Trimble Connect team, not by SketchUp. You are free to ask about it here, since a TC for Business account is included in our Pro subscription plan, but you may also get some good tips by additionally contacting the TC team directly about these issues, as they will have more inside knowledge about their products. I found this site: Trimble Connect Knowledge Center - Trimble Inc.
This might be good, too:
Trimble Connect User Forum - Trimble Inc.
And this Sync-specific search: Search - Trimble Inc.

So, having read this thread, I’m now wondering if this has evolved.

@MikeWayzovski and @Katya

Do you recommend that we always open a model by using File > Trimble Connect > Open Model… and then save it, by using File > Trimble Connect > Publish…

Or, if we have Trimble Connect Sync, can we open the file in our hard drives, work on it and save it and simply wait for Trimble Connect Sync to send the file back to server, for distribution. We wouldn’t be closing our files after a save like this. We would only save it and keep working.

Most of the times we have a stable internet connection, but sometimes (usually these days) we are not working at the office. From home, some of us have poor internet connections and on site, connections are really non existent sometimes.

Also, if I open a model from Trimble Connect menu, and save it, it is saving to an app data temporary folder. I’m duplicating all my diskspace this way. Wouldn’t it be best if this save was done in the original Project folder instead?

This way, if a Publish didn’t happen, the most recent file would sync to the server, until a Publish would finalize it.

Also, working offline, would allow us to store the file, until it would sync when we would have a connection, later in time, maybe days later.

Right now, I’m afraid of what might happen with syncs and I’m afraid files that are not being published, will revert back to their previous state, that is what is stored in the server.

EDIT: With google drive, we would work normally and Drive would sync in the back, with no issues except the time it would take to sync.

1 Like

There are basically three way’s of collaborating:

1. Solo

(lead) architect works on a model, can split the model in smaller pieces (Components) and can provide these little SketchUp models to others. Needs reloading when done. This is probably the current situation. Yes, you can use extensions like reference manager or download/save through various Cloud services like dropbox/google drive or even a network server. Known problems arise when opening a file directly from such a location, even if you have a file stream service active.

Backup or versions are provided by such (backup)service

2. Share

Design stage:
The lead architect sets up the main model and decides what parts should be modelled by others. This can be done by creating volumes in a site model, set up the project in the cloud, invite the team and create todo’s there.
You would need to save the file before publishing to the cloud (!) I am not sure why this is, probably some form of safety in case the first upload goes wrong. The lead architect can choose to save it on the desktop the first time for quick access, or in a document folder locally and then upload the model to the cloud manually, or click the ‘Sync now’ button in the sync app, but you would have to change some settings in Trimble Connect Sync, for it will look and create another (hidden) folder structured as the projects in the cloud in the Local AppData with the normal settings.

With SketchUp, you can open ‘recent’ models, but you would have to be aware that if you open that locally saved file, it might not be the latest version due to sync settings. That’s why I recommend to just open a file and then goto [menu] File > Trimble Connect > Open model when internet is good or if you don’t have internet, open the latest version locally (When did you publish and sync the last time?)

Either way, you have to be conscious about it

The team members open SketchUp (name it and save the file and then go to the Trimble Connect extension manager and import that main model as reference. Once a volume is occupied with a ‘true or real’ building or room, they would then ‘Publish’ their contribution to the cloud, so that it would have the right placement once viewed in the 3D viewer. No need to save locally once they start publishing, because their model is now ‘connected’ to the cloud project and saving it locally would actually create another instance of that model if it is not saved in the location where Trimble Connect Sync is getting the models from ( somewhere in the AppData)
If the internet connection allows it, always publish so that model gets ‘versioned’ in the cloud. If you do save and replace the existing file (in the AppData Trimble connect location!), only the latest version will get uploaded if you trigger a sync.
Of course, manually uploading saved versions (with the same or other name) directly to the cloud will be saved as versions.

Reference models are tagged with special reference tags. When publishing the smaller parts, it won’t be part of their model.

What’s important is that you can create comments, shar proposals with the client and take in account their comments and have an actual history of it. ( “But last week you said you would like to have the dining next to the kitchen?”)
You can set up revisions as well. If you decide which option to continue, you can add that to the revision and ask approval for it to the client. Or only share revision models to other collaborators (engenineers)

3. Real time

Working together in a realtime environment is currently not available in the SketchUp Universe (it does in Tekla and Revit) Think Google docs where you can edit a document realtime. One should take in mind that while this sounds promising, you still would have some kind of structure or set of rules (who get's to draw a wall here? etc.) Or it just evolves in a shooter game (bang! your're gone:) It can be fun, though, but shooting a few text characters in a text document is a different ballgame than messing in the 3D model (see all the multiple thread discussion)
1 Like

Too many details to digest, but I do get the bigger picture. Thanks once again.

I’m using TC as a replication of my desktop workflow in the Solo collaboration mode…

We don’t have sync issues because we never work on the model file directly. We insert it in our working model and reload it or save it externally. We do need to know who is working with what, so we split the model into component parts.

I’ll have to think on how to transition to the Share model with TC.

This guide is a good starting place for Sync questions: https://docs.sync.connect.trimble.com/
For Customer Support with Sync (but not with the Trimble Connect 2.0 extension through SketchUp’s File menu), you can also contact the Trimble Connect team at via: https://go.trimble.com/Connect-Support-Form.html or email them at connect-support@trimble.com
For the TC extension (SketchUp > File > Trimble Connect), though, this forum that you’re on here is definitely the place to ask.

2 Likes