Workflow for using PlantDataManager and PlantReporter with BIM 360 projects



1. Have PlantDataManager installed This is important, because later we need the PlantDataManager Plugin to import the data of our engineering colleagues. 

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2. Have Autodesk Desktop connector installed (recommended, but not mandatory) 

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3. Check PlantDataManager Plugin Settings Make sure that the two following checkboxes are set as shown in the image. 

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4. Share your project 

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If you already shared your project, you skip this part. When you share your project the first time, the ACPlantTools folder and all sub folders will be shared as well. However, any file in those ACPlantTools folder will not be shared. 

5. Copy PIDTagFormat.xml file to BIM 360 project Copy the PIDTagFormat.xml from your local work folder: 

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to your BIM 360 folder. 

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This file contains the P&ID Tag Formats PlantDataManager needs in case you want to edit Tags in PlantDataManager. 

Engineering PC 

1. Have PlantDataManager installed 

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2. Have AutoCAD Plant 3D installed This is required, because PlantDataManager cannot yet open collaboration projects directly. 

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3. Have Autodesk Desktop connector installed (recommended, but not mandatory) 

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Workflow to edit project data by the engineer with PlantDataManager 


1. Check In all Drawings Make sure all drawings are temporarily checked in on all CAD PCs. This makes sure that the project data is checked into the cloud as well. 

Engineering PC 

1. Start AutoCAD Plant 3D and open the project No matter if the project is already in your local work folder or not, opening the project in AutoCAD Plant 3D ensures, that the project data in your local work folder is up-to-daten before creating reports or editing data with PlantDataManager. 

2. Close AutoCAD Plant 3D. 

3. Copy PIDTagFormats.xml to the local work folder Copy the PIDTagFormats.xml from BIM 360: 

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to the local work folder of our project. 

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4. Start PlantDataManager from your desktop 

5. Open your collaboration project from your working collaboration project folder 

6. Start editing with PlantDataManager 

7. Close PlantDataManager or close the project in PlantDataManager Make sure that you have “Ready for import” enabled. Otherwise your CAD colleagues cannot import your changes. 

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8. Copy PDMDataChache.dcf to the project in BIM360 The changes made by PlantDataManager are stored under: 

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and must be copied to the BIM 360 folder. 

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9. Delete PDMDataChache.dcf in local work folder To have just one single source of truth, the PDMDataChache.dcf should be deleted in the local work folder to not getting confused where the current file of the changes is. 

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Workflow to import the changes by the CAD user with PlantDataManager Plugin 


1. Copy the PDMDataCache.dcf file from BIM360 Docs to your work folder The CAD user copies the PDMDataCache.dcf from the BIM 360 folder: 

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To the local work folder. 

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2. Delete PDMDataCache.dcf on BIM 360 Again, to have just one single source of truth, the PDMDataCache.dcf should be deleted from the BIM 360 folder. 

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3. Start AutoCAD Plant 3D and open your project Typically, the PlantDataManager Plugin will inform you, that there are changes available for import. If this is the case, you can click on “Review Changes”. 

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If you don’t get this dialog, then open the PlantDataManager Plugin manually. 

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You will see the changes made by your engineering colleague. At the lower left-hand part of the palette you will see the drawing which contain the changes. 

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4. Open all drawings which contain changes 

5. Import changes 

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6. Save & Close drawings If the PlantDataManager Plugin is done importing the changes, you can save & close the drawings again.

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3 thoughts on “Workflow for using PlantDataManager and PlantReporter with BIM 360 projects”

    1. Carsten Beinecke

      you are correct. There is no API we can use. However, we are working on a solution for Vault and BIM360 over the course of the next months.
      Carsten Beinecke
      Product Manager PlantTools

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