Configuring AECOsim Building Designer #6 – Roaming Users

The next step in networking AECOsim Building Designer is making an individual's user preferences accessible from any machine that they log onto.

If your Windows system has implemented Roaming Profiles the user preferences can be stored there, the techniques described below can be adapted to use Roaming Profiles.

In this article I'll store the user preferences alongside the Company Dataset and other resources on the E:\ drive.

  1. Create folder E:\Users_OnNetwork.
    In this create a folder for every user named to match their Windows username.
    To check the correct name for a user, when logged in as that user open a command window type 'set' then enter set, a list of Windows Environment variables and their current values will be displayed, USERNAME= will be shown near the bottom of the list.

  2. Copy the BuildingDesigner.ucf file that you modified in Part 5 into this folder.

  3. Each user folder must also contain a sub-folder called 'prefs' containing a subfolder 'dwgdata' .
    The Windows xcopy command can be used to copy these from a template, see below.

  4. Open ZZ_CompanyConfig.cfg and add the lines:

    _USTN_USER = E:/Users_OnNetwork/$(USERNAME)/

    The first line redirects ABD to use the copy of BuildingDesigner.ucf now located in E:\Users_OnNetwork\<username>\, the second redirects ABD to store preferences files alongside it or in the prefs subfolder, rather than the default location: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Bentley\AECOsimBuildingDesigner\8.11\<UniqueString>\.

Using a template to create user folders

Create a template set of folders containing the sub-folders and BuildingDesigner.ucf in a suitable location on your network, F:\Installation\Templates for example. This can be copied and renamed manually. However, if like me you dislike this kind of repetitive task the following xcopy command can be run from the user's login and will copy the files into the the E:\ drive creating the user's own folder correctly named by use of the %USERNAME% Windows Environment variable.

xcopy "F:\Installation\Templates\UserTemplate\*.*" "E:\Users_OnNetwork\%USERNAME%\" /E /I /H /C /Y

This can be taken a step further by incorporating this line into a batch file that only needs to be double-clicked by the user to complete the task. I'll come back to this in a future article.

Copy from the template to Windows Roaming profiles using the %APPDATA% Environment variable.