- Tekla Structures
- Share models and files
- Working collaboratively within a Tekla Structures model
- What is Tekla Model Sharing
What is Tekla Model Sharing
After December 31st 2022, the Tekla Model Sharing service (including the on-premises server) can no longer be accessed using Tekla Structures versions 21.0, 21.1, 2016, and 2016i as outlined in our end-of-life policy. Learn more about this and related changes here.
What is Tekla Model Sharing
Tekla Model Sharing enables efficient global collaborative modeling within one Tekla Structures model. Tekla Model Sharing gives users the freedom to work with the same model at the same time in different locations and time zones.
With Tekla Model Sharing you can work locally and share the model changes globally. For example, one Tekla Model Sharing team of users can work in New York, one in London and one in Bangkok. They all contribute to the same model, working around the globe during their office hours in different time zones while the model keeps building up all the time.
In Tekla Model Sharing each user has a local version of the model on their computer or on a network drive, and the model data is shared and synchronized over the Internet using a Microsoft Azure cloud sharing service. When a model is shared, it is connected to the cloud-based sharing service. You can check the status of the service at any time.
Even though the changes are shared over the Internet, you do not need to be connected to the sharing service all the time. You need to be online only when you want to write out or read in the changes. This enables offline work if your Internet connection is not always available.
Tekla Model Sharing requires a single-user model.
A model cannot be simultaneously shared and used in multi-user mode. If you want to start using multi-user mode as a means to share your model instead of Tekla Model Sharing , you need to first exclude your local version of the model from the sharing service and then convert it to a multi-user model.
The excluded model has no connection to the original shared model in the sharing service. This means that if you exclude your local version of the model from the sharing service and start to use the model in multi-user mode, you cannot later merge the original shared model and the multi-user model.
Prerequisites for Tekla Model Sharing
Before you can start using Tekla Model Sharing and share your models, the following prerequisites need to be met:
- Internet connection
You need to establish a connection to the Tekla Model Sharing service to perform any model sharing actions.
- TCP port 443 (the default HTTPS) outbound must be open.
If an HTTP proxy is used, it must support HTTP 1.1.
- TCP port 443 (the default HTTPS) outbound must be open.
- Trimble Identity
All sharing actions require authentication, and the authentication is done with Trimble Identity username and password.
If you do not have a Trimble Identity , go to Tekla Online services and click Log in.
All sharing actions require a valid Tekla Model Sharing license. Tekla Model Sharing licenses are tied to users' Trimble Identities. The organization's administrator assigns and manages the licenses in the Tekla Online Admin Tool.
- Tekla Structures
The users of the same shared model need to have the same Tekla Structures version, and use the same latest service pack.
Tekla Model Sharing licenses
Tekla Model Sharing requires a valid Tekla Model Sharing license.
Tekla Model Sharing licenses are assigned and managed in the Tekla Online Admin Tool. To obtain a Tekla Model Sharing license, contact your organization's administrator. For details about model sharing licenses, see Manage Trimble Identities and Tekla Online licenses.
Tekla Model Sharing uses enterprise-type licenses that are purchased as a yearly subscription. The license use is limited to a maximum number of concurrent users. A license is reserved when a user starts read in or write out in a shared model. The license is released within three hours after the user logs out of Tekla Structures by shutting down Tekla Structures.
Note that users can work on a shared model offline without reserving a license. Licenses can be temporarily assigned outside of your organization to any users.
The configuration, type and maintenance status of your Tekla Structures license has no effect on your Tekla Model Sharing license. Keep track of the number of licenses and users as well as your license expiration dates to ensure continued service.
How Tekla Model Sharing uses the sharing service
When you start to share a model using Tekla Model Sharing , the model is connected to the cloud-based sharing service.
To send model changes to the sharing service, you need to write out.
To fetch other users' model changes from the sharing service, you need to read in.
When you read in other users' changes, the updates to your local version of the shared model are delivered to you as incremental packets. This means that when you read in, the data that is fetched from the sharing service is merged with the data on your computer. You need to read in all shared changes before you can write out your own changes to the sharing service.
Note that there is no central model in the sharing service as such, only a model instance that consists of a model baseline and incremental updates. You cannot open the model in the sharing service or access any files.
The image below shows how the model data is stored to the sharing service. Each user fetches the model data from the sharing service to their local versions of the model when they read in. User authentication is based on Trimble Identity.
You can install a separate Tekla Model Sharing Cache service that downloads and caches the model changes on behalf of the Tekla Structures client workstations. The cache service speeds up the workflow as users can fetch the changes to their local versions of the model from the LAN instead of the Tekla Model Sharing sharing service. The cache service is useful especially when there are at least two Tekla Model Sharing users in the same office, and in regions where the download speed may be limited.
Get to know Tekla Model Sharing basic working methods
Tekla Model Sharing is available in all configurations of Tekla Structures. You can find all the Tekla Model Sharing commands in File > Sharing.
To start using Tekla Model Sharing you need to have:
- Tekla Structures installed
- Personal Trimble Identity that is connected to a company account
- Internet connection to share and download changes
- Valid Tekla Model Sharing license
Tekla Model Sharing uses enterprise-type licenses that are purchased as a yearly subscription. The company administrator assigns Tekla Model Sharing licences to the users in Tekla Online Admin Tool.
How does Tekla Model Sharing work?
Tekla Model Sharing requires a single-user model that is shared. When a model is shared , it is connected to a cloud-based sharing service. Each user of the model has a local version of the model on their computer or on a network drive.
When you work with a shared model, you do the modeling and editing offline. You need an Internet connection when you want to share the changes that you have made to the model and when you download changes from other users of the model. Typically, you may want to do this a couple of times a day to keep everyone updated. Model changes are collected to packets that are very fast to download and upload.
The shared model has a baseline that contains the whole model. The model has one or more owners who typically create the baseline once a week. Joining the baseline is beneficial for users who join the model when there already are many changes made.
How do I join a shared model?
You can either join a model someone has shared with you, or you can start sharing your own model. The shared model has an Owner who can invite other users to the model. The Owner can send an email notification to the invited users.
You can also join a model you have been invited to without the email notification. If you have been added as a user to the model, you will find all the shared models in which you are a user in File > Sharing > Browse shared models. Just select the model from the list and click Join. The model is downloaded, and you can start working with it.
How do I keep my model up to date?
When you want get up to date and receive the changes made by the other users of the model, you can Read in the changes from the sharing service. You can either go to File > Sharing > Read in , or click on the Quick Access Toolbar.
The Read in icon shows the number of packets that are available to be read in. Only the changed data is read in. Each packet contains one or more changes done by another user. After reading in all the packets, the changes are listed in a table at the bottom of the screen.
The changes are color coded:
- Red for deleted objects
- Yellow for modified objects
- Green for new objects
How do I share my changes?
When you have made changes to your local model, you can share your changes to other users of the model by writing out the changes to the sharing service. Before you write out, you always need to read in first if other users have made changes to the model. This is done to solve any conflicting changes made by other users.
After you have read in, you will see a green arrow on the Write out icon. You can now write out your changes.
When you write out, only the changes that you have made are sent to the sharing service. These changes are then available for other users to read in.
How do I share my model?
In addition to joining models other users share, you can start sharing your own model.
Open a single-user model that you want to share, or create a new single-user model. Before you can start sharing your models in Tekla Model Sharing , you need to be logged in with your Trimble Identity in Tekla Structures. If you are not logged in, the Trimble Identity log in dialog box opens.
Go to File > Sharing > Start sharing to open the Start sharing dialog box. You can invite other users to join the model and send an email invitation to them, or you can add users later. When you start sharing, you become the Owner of the model.
When you start sharing your model, a model baseline is uploaded to the sharing service. The baseline is a snapshot of the current state of the model.
Who can use the shared model?
With Tekla Model Sharing , you can add new users to your shared model without limitations. Tekla Model Sharing has four roles that define what a user can do in the shared model.
- When you share your model, you automatically get the Owner role. You can invite more users and assign appropriate roles for them. In a typical situation you may have one or two owners who can control everything in the shared model. The users of a model and their roles are listed in File > Sharing > Users. The Owner can change the roles if needed.
- Editor can perform all modeling and drawing tasks.
- Viewer role is targeted for those who just want to follow-up on the project.
- Project viewer is for those who use the model information and need to update the fabrication status, for example.
The permissions of each role are shown in the table below:
|Modify objects and drawings||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Invite/remove users, change roles, baseline, exclude from sharing||Yes||No||No||No|
Owner has all permissions, Editor has all permissions except model administration, Viewer can only read in, and Project viewer can read in and write out, but cannot modify objects or drawings, only the UDAs that do not affect numbering.
In addition to the Owner , the company administrator can list all the shared models of the organization and the users and their roles in the web-based Management Console for Tekla Model Sharing. The administrator can change the roles in Management Console without opening Tekla Structures.