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Thread: Sessions VS Projects

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3

    Default Sessions VS Projects

    Here is our dilemma. We have 4 estimators that all want to work on the same set of plans at the same time. If we use projects that is not possible. Since you need to check it out. Once one does the others cannot do takeoff. If we use Sessions we cannot change scale, add drawing to original set, or change each others take off. Does anyone else run into this work flow issue?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    679

    Default

    Hi Kgibson,

    Ultimately it sounds like you need to manipulate the drawings quite a bit since you mentioned Scaling Changes, editing others' markups (takeoffs) and adding new drawings.

    There's a couple things I can suggest, but there are other considerations, and ultimately it really depends on how much control you want to have, and your comfort level working with your collaborators.

    Since you have multiple estimators, possibly even working on the same sheet; do you expect each of them to calibrate the drawings before beginning?
    Their calibrations will override each other unless they are working with viewports. My suggestion is that you scale the documents first and tell everyone not to recalibrate the page.

    Are your estimators working within different disciplines, and are they differentiating each other's markups? Sessions were built for this, but Studio Projects can work as well, as long as they save copies of the file locally. You will be required to merge their markups in manually as a second step to the master drawing.

    Are all of your Set drawings in a single multi-page PDF, or are you working with individual sheets per PDF? If you are currently using one large file, you might want to consider breaking them up into separate PDFs for each sheet.

    If you are acting as document controller, you might want to consider setting up all the documents initially. You can combine both Projects and Sessions by first creating a Project, and then launching a Session for individual sheet (if the are separate PDFs). This way you have control over the content via checking the file out... but can launch a session for collaboration based on scale and specifications you require.

    This can obviously be a real long discussion,= and there is no correct answer. Hopefully though I've helped you narrow down what some of your requirements are and direct you toward what might ultimately work for your scenario.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    7

    Default

    We're experiencing the same issue. I've been tasked with figuring out the whole process to collaborate efficiently between our office and our partners and I can't come up with a satisfactory solution. Here's where I'm at:

    Projects have managers involuntarily stall the whole collaboration by not understanding the concepts of checking in and out. My various collaborators do not know what version control is - and even the simple way Bluebeam presents it is overwhelming to them. I cannot rely on them to use projects (alone) efficiently. Using a project to centralize sessions is perfectly fine - but sessions have issues of their own:

    Sessions doesn't let you edit the document itself - only the markups. It also locks up the markups on every documents newly added to it. Finally, it will not allow anyone to edit anybody's else markups. This means that many common operations are forbidden when collaborating: rotating pages, adding layers, adding status, etc. That would be fine, if an administrator could finalize the session, execute the changes and create a new session but then any existing markups will be locked to everyone - the only solution is to edit out every markups and have either one or each and every collaborators put their markups back in, the process is extremely tedious. Now that the session has about a thousand "live" markups, I'm also noticing Bluebeam starting to slow down - while a local copy of the same session is lightning-fast.

    The most common problematic scenario is this:
    • Team A create a session and adds Document A.
    • Team A and Team B adds markups to Document A.
    • Team A finalize the session to add a status/add a layer/rotate a page/update a plan.
    • Team A create a new session and adds the updated Document A.
    • Team B gets back to work and find that nothing can be edited anymore.
    • Problems occur!


    I've considered a lot of workflows and we keep hitting the same problem everytime: sessions effectively flatten documents added to them. All my issues with collaboration would be instantly gone if markups remained editable from one session to another. Please consider this, Bluebeam, because this is a major issue to us.

    Thanks for the consideration and I'll be happy for any comments or feedback.
    Last edited by cadmax; 02-18-2015 at 04:31 PM. Reason: Tone was unnecessarily aggressive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Cadmax, I could not agree more. It is bid day and our bid is due in 3 hrs. We have had 3 estimators working on the same project set for four days. I noticed one had made a mistake, the person that made a mistake is not in. So we cannot change anything with out according to bluebeam with out "taking it down". You also cannot change the scale. If we use projects we only are allowed to have 1 user do markups at one time. When we have large projects that is not possible. I don't like bluebeam response with having local copy's and having one master for projects. That seems like a large room for error if you forget to transfer something to the master set. Why can't the admin give right to certain users to be able to do what ever they want? Why can't I change a scale in sessions? Why can't I add a sheet in sessions. So from the sounds of it, I can either collaborate with no functionality, or work as a single user. Not very efficient.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    3

    Default Still nothing from Bluebeam?

    Quote Originally Posted by kgibson@dndbuilding.com View Post
    Cadmax, I could not agree more. It is bid day and our bid is due in 3 hrs. We have had 3 estimators working on the same project set for four days. I noticed one had made a mistake, the person that made a mistake is not in. So we cannot change anything with out according to bluebeam with out "taking it down". You also cannot change the scale. If we use projects we only are allowed to have 1 user do markups at one time. When we have large projects that is not possible. I don't like bluebeam response with having local copy's and having one master for projects. That seems like a large room for error if you forget to transfer something to the master set. Why can't the admin give right to certain users to be able to do what ever they want? Why can't I change a scale in sessions? Why can't I add a sheet in sessions. So from the sounds of it, I can either collaborate with no functionality, or work as a single user. Not very efficient.
    It is funny that this is one of the most common request while in beta as a I am.........Bluebeam responce? Cricket Cricket Cricket

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    22

    Default

    A couple years later, and I now am helping people to collaborate with Bluebeam 2015 Revu eXtreme. I'm making a Best practices page, and I thought I would have one STUDIO page, but after reading the above, and having someone Expire a session, I now think individual pages for Projects and Sessions might be the way to go. Does anyone have a set of Rules they incorporate for Projects and Sessions? My first Must do for Studio is Make a Project of your PDF first, then a Session if need be. A Must do for Sessions is Don't add an Expiration on the Session. Instead Tell all team members an Expiration date. Then on the time you desire, Make a Mark-up summary and then Flatten your .PDF. Pro's? Cons?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    22

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    Also, has anyone used layers to track markups by contractor or discipline? Is there an effective practice with layers?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    335

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kgibson@dndbuilding.com View Post
    It is funny that this is one of the most common request while in beta as a I am.........Bluebeam responce? Cricket Cricket Cricket
    Keith,

    I'm sorry to hear a thread/question you were waiting on went silent in our private, NDA-protected beta. I know I'd be frustrated if that happened to me.

    While we strive to be as casual, open, and (hopefully) unpretentious as possible, please understand that there are sometimes certain areas of our product road map that we can't comment on publicly, no matter how often we're called out.

    I will say that the beta group's opinion on this one is identical to the feedback we've received from the public at large - - and while the time certain efforts take to bring to market may be painful, we do listen.

    Thanks for your continued beta help, Keith. It's much appreciated.
    Last edited by BB Patrick; 02-24-2016 at 03:23 PM. Reason: added kgibson quote

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    8

    Default

    One thing I have noticed. We are using sessions for punchlist. If someone forgets to input a responsible subcontractor, or the wrong one, I can't change it. Also, if you have subcontractors using the session to update a punch item to "complete" for review by me, I might want to still go in and correct a responsible subcontractor, or add a photo without finishing the session. I have waited for everyone to signout, and made a local copy of the session's document. I go in and make a change on the local copy, where I am allowed to change other people's markups. I then delete the file in the session, and load the locally saved copy back to the session. It does break the link from the "Records" link that is created for the session, but at least you have a corrected document, and the session is still open.