When working with Central files, there’s a common mistake that users can commit which could result in loss of work. Understanding exactly what is happening is of paramount importance and can be the difference between a few minutes of lost work or a few hours.
Saving your work needs to become a natural habit. Lots don’t and then despair when a computer crashes. In most applications, using the keystrokes Ctrl + S saves your active document. However if working on a workset-enabled (workshared) project, only your local is being saved. That’s not so bad, but if you habitually use a scripted solution to create locals or use Revit’s Open dialog to point to a Central file, you can end up losing work in case of a crash.
With a scripted solution, if you run a shortcut to create and open a local file (such as in my previous post), you need to be careful in case of a crash. Let’s say you worked for 4 hours and saved your local 10 minutes ago. Over the last 4 hours you did not synchronize with the central file. So if you crash and run the shortcut as you’re accustomed to, you’ll end up with a new local that has 4 hours of “lost” work. You really need to just open the current local file instead and then synchronize as usual, losing only 10 minutes of work since the last local save. If you encounter a user that ran the script multiple times (happened this week!), then you’ll need to go to the Recycle Bin to retrieve the local with the most info. in it. Check the time saved and the file size.
Even more scary, if you use Revit’s solution, select the Central file (“Create Local” is automatically checked) and you overwrite your local when prompted…well, tough luck! You just erased 3 hours 50 minutes of work. There’s really no fool-proof way to prevent this: you still have to develop a basic understanding of the mechanics of working with workset-enabled projects.