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Revision List Update

Revision List Update

I'll start by saying that this is such a hotly discussed topic and so many people have had to find work around that I'm quite surprised this hasn't been visited more thoroughly by Autodesk. I apologize if I sound a little antagonistic throughout, but I want to highlight to necessity for action on this issue, as inaction on this feature has continually resulted in far more man-hours on a given project than anyone in Autodesk seems to be aware of, as evidence of the inaction on the topic.

 

There are several issues with the current revision setup as it lends itself more towards whole, per project issuing, when in fact the common practice is to issue on a per sheet basis. While the Revisions dialogue does have a "Per Sheet "option, this is only a bandage that just gives us enough functionality to brute force our way to make it work, and even then not every time.

 

I propose the functionality of the Revisions management system should be altered to allow the following:


1) Setting of a major and minor sequence per revision, mimicking the functionality of a two tier bullet list in Microsoft Word and other word processors. In this system, the minor sequence, where used after a major sequence, would include the most recent major sequence value as a prefix (e.g. 0, 0A, 1, 1A). This will nullify the requirement we and likely many others face to find a workaround with current sequences where two sheets do not have the same sequence of revisions or two sheets have the same sequence value with a different revision (more on this issue below). In the Revisions dialogue box, we would simply choose if a revision is a "major" or "minor" sequence as a drop down parameter in the window, and the automation would go from there. As such, the revision number would n

 

2) Setting a sheet based instance parameter for revision prefix, such that if "Per Sheet" is selected in Revisions dialogue window, the prefix will instead be generated from the sheet's instance value instead of a single, non-dynamic value that only functions appropriately in some cases. This is an extreme issue that completely prevents us from using Automatic Revisions on sheets if we're modifying existing drawings from the client and the client requires us to use the drawing's most recent IFC revision as a prefix. One sheet might be rev 1, while another is rev 2. Suddenly we have conflicting prefix values for two drawings that are always issued at the same time, forcing us to either change the prefix between printing each sheet each time we print (which, no) or completely forgo the use of revisions in the first place until such a time the revision history has grown beyond any revisions with said prefixes.

The issue in number one can be best highlighted in the attached image. Drawing 1 (top revision list) and Drawing 2 (bottom revision list) are not always issued at the same time, but are during major issues. All associated issues are color coded to further illustrate this point. The first two issues are both IFR, but Drawing 1 needs one more unscheduled IFR because the client had additional comments to resolve after rev B while Drawing 2 was was returned with no comments. The following revision for both is IFA. We can accomplish this by simply not selecting a given revision in the "Revisions on Sheet" dialogue box.

 

But now we have our dilemma: there may be intermediate IFRs and occasionally IFAs if the client makes a decision to make a major design change in a part of the building after any one of the IFC revisions, such that a 0A or 2B may be present in any drawing, but not necessarily all. How does one skip a 0A on one drawing when that is a required part of the sequencing for another drawing? Without using prefixes on a purely alphabetic sequence (which fail as soon as you have two instances of intermediate revisions between IFCs, e.g. 0A, 1, 2, 2A, 2B, 3), you don't. This is admittedly more commonly an issue with architectural disciplines due to the client's increased interest in their output, but may account for some issues in other disciplines, and occurs more frequently than you would think within the projects I've worked on. So far, the best workaround I've found for this issue is to set revisions to "Per Project," which allow the skipping of revisions not on the drawing.

 

But if we use that workaround, then we get a different dilemma: in the initial, pre-IFC phases, we would end up having to skip the third Revision Sequence value on Drawing 2 because, sequentially in relation to the project, that is not the right revision, but then that would cause Drawing 2's revision history to display as "A, B, D," which is incorrect to our typical CAD standards, and not acceptable to our clients. As such, the revision history, as shown by the attached, color coded image, does not seem to be physically possible with Revit's current Revisions management system.

 

These two dilemmas are mutually exclusive, and only occur when you attempt a solution for the other.

 

The ONLY two full, no-workaround, acceptable solutions for this are 1) to revise the revision management system within Revit in a similar fashion to any word processor's bullet numbering system (as outlined above), or 2) to create a separate plugin to manage revisions the way we need and map titleblock labels to shared parameters managed by that plugin. Since the issues I've highlighted above seem to be prevalent in any and all forum threads I've found over the past year regarding revision management in Revit, I would say the fix should be done in Revit, and not fall on the end users to "make do."

6 Comments
CFNBen
Advocate

Can you provide me with an official document to explain the revisioning system you work with as I am afraid I cannot make heads nor tails of the description you've offered. 

 

I am based in the UK and we are working to ISO 19650 which we have found an easy and efficient workaround by highjacking the 'Issued to' and 'Issued by' revision parameters for the 'Status' and 'Revision' in the ISO 19650-2 2018 (as seen in the below screenshot).

Page 41 of ISO 19650-2 2018Page 41 of ISO 19650-2 2018

 

This allows for our revision schedule for each sheet to appears as below: Revision table in Revit title block (please excuse formatting)Revision table in Revit title block (please excuse formatting)

paul.t.macknight
Advocate

Here are our new document (top) and existing document (bottom) revision numbering requirements. One issue is, client requirements, where applicable, overwrite this. Meaning that existing drawing revisions may need to appear as 1.A instead of 1A.

 

New Document RevisionsNew Document RevisionsExisting Document RevisionsExisting Document Revisions

 

My biggest issue with the current system is that we shouldn't have to hijack existing parameters to serve our needs, the numbering system should be flexible enough to allow any sequencing we could possibly need out of the box. If we have a sheet with rev 1B IFR and 1C IFA, another another sheet with rev 1B IFA, then they both go to rev 2 IFC, the current sequencing system breaks, as stated above. This means we have to hijack other parameters, create our own (which we would have to anyway to fill in information required by the client), or go to a purely manual entry table, which is where we're currently at because the people generating the titleblocks have to custom build the revision history table for every project due to different fields required by the client, and re-hijacking parameters to suite our needs is just pure insanity.

paul.t.macknight
Advocate

I can tell by the lack of votes on this, either nobody has clicked on this, no one wants to bother reading through the admittedly lengthy and and maybe even verbose post, or they have their own workarounds to deal with the lacking Revision management system and don't feel a need for this because they don't understand my firm's particular issues with this.

 

So, TL;DR version:

Current Revision management system is too restrictive with what constitutes a revision sequence. Even the ability to "craft" our own limits us on a per sheet basis if Sheet 1 has a rev 1C while Sheet 2 does not. Currently the only ways to make that work that I'm aware of is to either not do that in the first place (impossible with our projects), make a convoluted sorting system, or to not use the sequence number in the first place and either hijack an existing parameter or make our own (in which case, why even have the ability to create a sequence pattern in the first place?).

 

My suggestion is to simply have two sequences instead of the current one, which can each be either numeric or alphanumeric values. Each sequence would relate to one of two Rev Types (can be a Revision instance parameter) that would replace the "Numbering" field. Rev Types would be as follows:

    1) Primary Revs (typically IFC 0, 1, 2, etc) and Secondary, or Intermediate

    2) Revs (typically all non-IFC, namely IFR and IFA, A, B, C, etc).

By splitting these out into two revision sequences, we could then choose if the Revision in the "Sheet Issues/Revisions" window is a Primary or Secondary revision, after which it would automatically generate the sequence value of the revision based on the two sequences. The image below is how it would appear.

 

Revit Idea Board - Revision Management System Update.png

 

As a warning, I plan on reposting this any time it comes out of the "Gather Support" fails without enough traction to actually gain Autodesk's attention, as this is a much needed fix that not all firms have the hours they're willing to allot to a person to create a firm specific workaround, forcing users like myself to forgo the entire Revision management system entirely. I would take some personal time to figure this out, but unfortunately this can't be a personal priority outside of work right now.

CFNBen
Advocate

I hate to say it but I remain confused about the revision system you use as a whole. Your explanations might be good but I can't make heads or tails of it.

 

Do you follow a system which has some official guidance? For instance, if I wanted to submit the idea to Autodesk to get them to make Revit compatible with the revisioning system we use, I would point them towards IS019650 which is the official document(s) that we follow for revisioning. 

 

If you could provide the document(s) or a link to the document(s) then perhaps someone (like me) could get their heads round the system you use?

paul.t.macknight
Advocate

I posted the two tables we are required to use as an explanation from our internal CAD standards document, which is primarily driven by client requirements. As such, I cannot refer to you a specific standard, but the above tables (from my comment 3 weeks ago) are fairly typical of all our projects.

 

It may be that there's something fundamental that no one in my office understands about the Revision management system, but I find it hard to believe that not one of us has figured it out yet, though that may be the case. I may have misspoke or used misleading language in my previous posts, but from how we've attempted to use it, the issue I outlined should be independent of what revisioning system, such as ISO19650, is used. This is because the issue is not in our inability to dictate the exact sequence based on our revision system, but instead is due to the way we are required to issue documents by our clients.

 

Our standard is to issue documents based on their scope. This means documents from Revit are issued per sheet, not per project. As such, each sheet set per scope may have a unique sequence of revisions. Let's use your system as an example (I apologize for any errors due to my unfamiliarity with the system):

Scope 1 issues as follows: S2-P1, S3-P2, S3-P3, S4-P4, A1

Scope 2 issues as follows: S2-P1, S3-P2, S4-P3, A1

Scope 3 issues as follows: S2-P1, S3-P2, S4-P3, S3-P4, S4-P5, A1

 

Scope 1 required two review issues in a row, Scope 2 went through smoothly, and Scope 3 had a hiccup where the client made a major design change that caused an extra go around of review followed by approval before it could be issued for publishing. All 3 scopes of work are occurring at the same time, in the same model, with the same discipline. How do/can you set up the above revision sequences such that you only need to adjust it once (when initially creating it) and can use OOTB revision parameters as they are intended to be used by Autodesk?

 

In my experience, you can't. At least, not without constantly going in and reworking the revision sequence every time a prefix changes, or an issue's revision is used on one sheet but not another, etc. The point of BIM software such as Revit is to give designers the ability to automate as much as possible, but having to use the above sequences all at once is anything but automatic with the current Revision management system. Again, I could be missing something fundamental about how it works (without adding in my own revision sequence parameter and just ignoring the automated one), but I doubt I've missed it every time I've revisited this issue in an attempt to understand how to address it.

paul.t.macknight
Advocate

Epiphany moment, my suggestion could also be implemented more simply with two alterations than incorporating the changes I outlined with my photoshopped image of the Revisions window as follows:

 

1) Include a checkbox inside of Alphanumeric Sequence tab that allows the most recent numeric sequence value to be concatenated in front of the current Alphanumeric sequence value. Label could read "Include Numeric Value Before". As an added option for Alphanumeric values coming first: "Include Numeric Value After."

 

2) Allow the Rev Prefix/Suffix fields to be controlled on a per sheet basis rather than a per project basis.

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