How to integrate BIMcollab with Dropbox

How to integrate BIMcollab with Dropbox

Dropbox can be used, in combination with BIMcollab, as a basic Common Data Environment to share models, reference models and other documents within your team.

Integrating BIMcollab with Dropbox allows you to:

  • Manage from BIMcollab your team member’s access to model files shared via Dropbox 
  • Automatically open the correct and most recent models in BIMcollab ZOOM

Next to a BIMcollab account you need to have a Dropbox for Business account. An integration can only be setup by a Project leader who has administrator rights on the Dropbox for Business account.

Follow these 5 steps to set up a Dropbox integration with BIMcollab.

Step 1: Select the project 

Login to a BIMcollab account and select the project you wish to integrate with Dropbox. Go to Settings and then click “Integration”

Step 2: Connect with Dropbox

Select Dropbox as your integration and use the ‘Sign in’ button to sign in your Dropbox account. Then click “OK” 

BIMcollab will automatically create a root ‘BIMcollab’ folder as well as a sub-folder for this project. Should integrations be setup for multiple projects, then these will all receive their own sub-folder.

Step 3: Give access to teammembers

Provide access to Dropbox to those team members who will require it: 

Team members who have the role of Editor or Project leader will have read and write access to the project folder on Dropbox. Reviewers and viewers will have read access only.

Permission to access Dropbox can be updated at any time.

Note: The team members don’t require a Dropbox for Business account. A personal dropbox account is sufficient to access the project. Only the Project leader who is setting up the integration needs administration rights on the Dropbox for Business account.

Step 4: Install Dropbox on your desktop

To be able to share and access the files via Dropbox, all team members should install the Dropbox desktop application on their computer. Once installed, the ‘BIMcollab’ folder will be available.

Note: Do not use the Dropbox “online-only” mode. The BIMcollab folder must be synced locally to allow ZOOM to open your models.

The folder can now be used to share models, IFC reference files, point clouds, PDF documents, etc.

Step 5: Open models in ZOOM.

Start BIMcollab ZOOM and connect to the BIMcollab project with the Dropbox Integration. BIMcollab ZOOM will automatically detect the correct local Dropbox folder and adds any supported files, including IFC reference files and point clouds, to the navigation tree.

By default all models will be unloaded. However ZOOM will remember which files are loaded and automatically loads the same files the next time you connect to the project. This load-status is personal and can be different for each user.

When a model is given a prefix or moved/rotated, this will be stored in the project. After synchronizing with BIMcollab Cloud, these file-settings in the navigation-tree will be available for all team members. Synchronizing these file-settings to the cloud can only be done by project leaders.

Note: We advise to prevent the use of move&rotate since they can make the use of viewpoints unreliable, Instead make sure models are positioned correctly in their authoring tools.


Updating, adding and removing models from your project

  • When a new modelfile is placed in the project folder on Dropbox, Dropbox will take care of sharing this file with all team members. Next time you connect ZOOM to the BIMcollab project it will find the new file and adds it to the project. Same with removed files, they will be shown in red as ‘missing'.
  • If files were added or removed while ZOOM is connected to the project, it won’t detect these automatically. Click on the synchronize button to renew the navigation-tree.
  • When a loaded model is updated in the Dropbox project folder, ZOOM will detect that an update is available and highlights the model in the model tree. The user can reload the updated model any time he wishes by right-clicking the file.
  • When files added to the navigation tree are not in the Dropbox folder, they will be added as “local files”.  This means they won't be shared to the project and they are only visible for the user who added them.
ZOOM will automatically highlight updated models