From Version TAD now has a generous and cooperative collaboration system.

You could get a maximum of 75 people to collaborate together on the same project. (hmmm… actually, in some situation, you can get even more than 75! See advanced note at the end)

Note that collaboration in TAD is not real-time.

That means it is not like the real-time collaboration you see; say in Google Sheets. In Google Sheets, two or more people can work on the same Google Sheets exactly at the same time; and each person can see the changes as they are made by other person.

We thought long and hard about this; and decided that the Google Sheets kind of collaboration is not practical and usually never needed when designing architectural projects. One main reason for discarding simultaneous, synchronous collaboration is that you need to be online all the time. That may not be practical in many developing countries; where the Internet is flaky.

Instead, this is how TAD does collaboration:

  1. Let us say we are working on a large residential complex. It has many buildings; say 3 Bedroom Flat tower, 2 bedroom flat tower and so on. Say 6 different buildings
  2. Let us say that each building design work is given to its own architect. Now, this is NOT to say that each architect makes a different TAD file which contains ONLY the building she has to work on. That would not be very practical; because each architect then will be totally blind to what others may be doing for their share of the work. Each of these architects would need to take decisions such as marginal open spaces, setbacks etc which may require reading off dimension information and other analysis of part of the project that someone else is working on. So working on each sub-project with a separate TAD file is impractical
  3. What we do instead is that we create a TAD file where we create 6 sub-classes directly under “Project” – One for each of the 6 buildings. Think that you are creating “sub-projects” but all the sub-projects are actually in the same TAD file.
  4. A Project property field-value will have to be set in that TAD file. The field is called “COLLABFOLDER” and the value given inside it determines where the partial data made when collaborating are to be saved. This is explained separately here
  5. Now six copies of the this specially preparedTAD file are made and distributed to those 6 architects. If the 6 people are working on different offices; then you will need to save as ASCII. Else a binary TAD file cannot be opened by the other people you give such a file to. TAD fiercely protects the binary data produced by your office.
  6. At this point, 6 different files with exactly the same starting data are available to those 6 architects. Now each one decides to work on the building assigned to them. The actual assignment is left to you – TAD has no demands on which architect should be assigned what sub-project. Obviously this is an administrative decision in your office.
  7. The only precaution each architect now has to take; is that they must lock the sub-project they have been assigned. That is done using the context-menu available in the class tree.
  8. Every now and then, the 6 architects will go to the respective sub-project class, right click on it; and from the context menu, save the partial branch data into the collaboration folder that was specified in the Project Properties
  9. Similarly, every now and then the same 6 architects will merge other architects work into their own TAD model which they are working. TAD cleans up whatever that was present in that sub-project; and brings in new data fresh from the collaboration folder.
  10. As you may have guessed; the collaborating architects can use a separate chat program and chat with each other; and that can trigger the aforementioned merging procedure that each architect can invoke
  11. After each merge, each architect will be able to see all the other architect's work directly in the file they are working on themselves!
  12. You can work out even more sophisticated use of this collaboration capability. For example; you could have one user doing the merging separately without ever participating in the design process… Such a person happily keeps noting down how the project is proceeding under the able hands of those 6 architects (Maybe the busy chief architect may want to do this, after delegating work to 6 others?)

Using this simple procedure; the 6 architects can easily design the entire project a lot faster than if it was to be done by just one architect.

This is a practical solution, as each architect holistically gets an idea of what everyone else is doing. At the same time, none of them need to be online at the same time (but if they want to, they can remain online too. We don't stop that either) So it is very generous in the way your Internet bandwidth is consumed.

This works on the LAN too. So the collaborating architects can work on the office LAN right there in the office itself! Just ensure that the COLLABFOLDER points to an absolute path such as m:\data\HousingCollaboration Where “m:” is the assigned disk drive letter of the shared folder on the LAN

TAD notices that the 2nd character is a “:” and so will use the actual LAN or computer path for the collaboration activities.

Collaborating across the Internet
If that colon is absent, TAD would assume that the collaboration is being done across the Internet. In such a case, TAD would expect a special code instead of a folder path for the value of COLLABFOLDER

You can get such a code from us here

Notifications using Telegram
If you are using the excellent Telegram chatting application, it is now possible to send collaboration notifications of the partial saves done by collaborators; by sending you telegram messages.

Notifications and Internal Group Chat
Collaboration notifications are also sent into the Internal group chat system that is integrated right into TAD itself. So if you have setup such an internal group, then it is possibly even more convenient than Telegram; because all the collaborators can type in their own messages too.

Collaboration between people on the same project can sometimes create tricky issues – for example; what happens when different collaborators happen to modify the same sub-project? You genuinely have the fear that someone may accidentally overwrite someone else's work. This is more possible when the collaborators are dispersed across the Internet. We have written a separate topic about this

Press F1 inside the application to read context-sensitive help directly in the application itself
Last modified: le 2023/04/22 20:59