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April 28, 2009

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I think Autodesk have put the cart before the horse on this issue.

Rather than thinking about how users can share content, Autodesk should be concentrating more on how users can manage their *own* local content stored on their LAN.

Autodesk needs to apply the same principals and displayed information they have done for Seek (online) and somehow build that into the Autodesk products to search a local folder structure.

Ditto

I agree totally.
We have a management problem with keeping various content libraries available. I'm sure others do things differently, but we have 3 possible libraries available for each project - bit of a nightmare for our users to search:
1. Metric library as supplied by Autodesk - this gets totally replaced with each version (but old libraries also kept available as content varies dramatically each year - possibly depends on what is ticked with the content install)
2. company library which we keep separate from the Autodesk supplied library. Our company library only contains families that our BIM managers have vetted or created, and all families follow a strict naming convention and a folder structure like the best Autodesk supplied metric library (v2008 or 9.1 I think. v2009 & 2010 Aus metric library structures are a mess again).
3. We also have project libraries which any user can add to or edit - hence full of stuff of unknown usefullness to others.

I just can't think of a better system that allows us to manage and annually update part of the library without disturbing our company library.

I think the thread on AUGI makes some great points, and i think its commendable that you are all actively seeking out our opinions. I hope they can really implement some of our suggestions!

It's time for manufacturers to come to the table and start building quality Revit families. And that will require them to be proficient at family building -- just like a lot of CAD blocks out there are crap, families (what with the 3rd dimension) can be awful or fantastic.

We don't use Seek. We've already got products in mind and our efforts on Seek haven't got us what we're needing. So like the others, an in-office content management tool would be awesome.

Wes, point taken about local content management. Two questions: what "products" were you referring to? And can you say more about your efforts to work with Seek and where in particular did it fall short?

I think even with manufacturing "quality" content is an issue. Manufacturers generally like very high quality content that may not appeal to many firms. Not only that the symbology and overally look may not be aligned with current company standards. Manufacturered content would need to be built to a strict set of rules worldwise otherwise people will simply grab items shift and shape them, and not bother downloading the latest version of the product as it would require time to upgrade.

"Manufacturers generally like very high quality content that may not appeal to many firms."

I'm not sure if I am reading Adams comment correctly (?), but I can see how manufacturers who produce content will think that having a "highly detailed" family equals "high quality", when this is not necessarily true.

I've seen quite a bit of manufacturers content over the years which is so highly detailed that it has a negative performance on the project. So this then comes back to how external content affects your own projects.
I reckon you would almost see competitions between manufacturers of "my content is better, or more detailed than yours", but in reality they all suck because they are unusable.

Here, we have small housing projects in which we *can* have fairly detailed families because the PCs can handle it, but on the high-rise projects this same content has to be absolutely bare bones information to portray the minimal amount of information, to provide maximum performance.

So while a shared online family might be as accurate as can be, and may even meet company standards, the level of detail that goes into it is still an issue, and still very much company and/or project driven.

Online, shared content will only ever be a starting point, or for limited use. And this is why more focus should be directed towards local content management by Autodesk. Local content management is the place where the rewards will be mostly gained for the customer, not online.

The way I see it, services such as Seek are nothing more than a marketing tool used to encourage misguided manufacturers who don't understand the final consequences their "quality" content has in a production environment.
As a result of these manufacturers producing content, Autodesk now have more leverage to entice new users (who typically don't know any better) over to Autodesk products, by advertising how much "quality" content they have available for users to download.

So it's not really about content for the customers, but rather marketing material via a service for Autodesk.

Lack of local content has been a pain for user outside of USA centric CD deliveries by Autodesk. Good work put in years ago (aka v7 and 8) have not been kept up to the point where stuff on the official 2009/2020 cds are obsolete, non code compliant etc such as to turn prospects and users off from buying Revit and if they do, forcing them to have to make families straight away - eek! for a new user.
Turbosquid is doing a good job here providing an alternative delivery method - should be promoted by Autodesk over manufacturer's market driven Seek.
As to the new feature allowing an Omniclass code parameter field - we have lobbied for years to have the Assembly Class product index system opened up/documented/user file specified for other non-USA Geo conventions.
Instead we get yet another hard-wired facility that is not used in our part of the world which is successfully/heavily Revit focused/adopted in the building design industry. We wait again.

I wouldn't trust an online content library that allows uploads by just anybody. As mentioned in the previous posts, the problem is with inconsistent family creation, dissimilar parameters, too much detail built into the file, and unnecessarily heavy files to name a few.

What might be useful for a firm during the early stages of implementation is a simple clean library that is built to strict parameters and keeps the families lean and basic. Beginner firms could use that with confidence, and build on them for their own libraries as they increase their expertise.

Firms that have been using Revit have developed their own standards and an online library is of limited use.

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