Construction Cookbook

IT Admins, Project Managers, and Application Managers have a lot on their plate, and we’ve compiled some ideas on how to proceed with specific topics that matter most to you in your role. We’ve also provided links to guides and articles so you can quickly get to work.

Skip Ahead to...

IT

Project Managers

Virtual Design and Construction (VDC)

Estimators

Foremen and Superintendents

Applies to All

Egnyte for IT

Egnyte deployment options

  • Deploy hybrid at the jobsite: It’s often most efficient to configure Storage Sync and synchronize the project folder from the Egnyte cloud onto the device at your location. Once the project folder is seeded to the device, power it down and dispatch it to the jobsite.

App mass deployment options

  • For Desktop Users: You can install and configure the Egnyte Desktop App on all users laptops in your organization. Common examples of mass deployment tools include SCCM solutions or through the use of Group Policy Objects (GPO)
  • For Mobile Users: You can install and configure the Egnyte Mobile App for your employees by using a Mobile Device Management (MDM) service.

Use drive letters with the Desktop App

  • Users may have existing network drive letters that map to department folders or project folders. With the Egnyte Desktop App, you can map the corresponding drive letters to different paths on Egnyte. For example, let’s say P: originally referred to \\HQ-filer\Projects\2019\US-West sub-folder on your Windows Server. With Desktop App, you can configure the same drive letter P: to refer to a path within Egnyte, /Shared/Projects/2019/US-West.
  • Applications can access the Egnyte Desktop App drive letter in the UNC format. For example, in your domain acmeinc, you can access the Projects folder under Shared by the UNC path \\EgnyteDrive\acmeinc\Shared\Projects.
  • You can also configure drive letters on the Desktop App by using mass deployment scripts described above.

Replace Microsoft DFS namespace with Egnyte

  • Global Namespace: Microsoft DFS Namespace allows you to view different on-premises network servers underneath a single logical drive letter. When you migrate to Egnyte, your Egnyte cloud domain serves as the single content repository for accessing data across your organization.
  • Before you migrate the data to Egnyte, set up the top-level folders structure in a way that enables easy access for all users in the organization. For example, you can create top-level department folders to reflect your business organization (/Shared/Sales), or you can create folders based on regional offices (/Shared/US-East).
  • Consider importing existing AD groups or creating Egnyte security groups based on your organization structure. Then assign group permissions to the top-level folders.
  • Install Desktop App on users’ laptops and configure drive letters to point to one or more folders. For example, you can configure P: for /Shared/Projects/2019 and Q: for the user’s private folder /Private/jdoe

Track user activities with alerts and notifications

  • You might want to keep track of user activities within Egnyte for various reasons. For example, a Project Manager might want to be notified as soon as a subcontractor uploads a bid. Egnyte allows you to configure notifications and send alerts to Project Managers and collaborators on different user actions like uploads, updates to existing files, deletes, file rename and more.

Delegate specific administrative roles to Project Managers

  • You can elevate Project Managers’ accounts or other non-administrator user accounts with specific project-administration capabilities. This enables Project Managers to add and manage users and manage the operational logistics pertaining to a project folder.
  • Assign Owner Permissions to the Project Manager on a specific project folder. This allows the Project Managers to assign permissions for other users and groups within the project folder.
  • Assign ownership of specific groups to the Project Manager. This enables the Project Manager to add or remove members from the groups that they own.

Archive completed projects

  • Projects that have been marked complete and are no longer accessed by users can be easily migrated to an archive domain. This gives you the flexibility of increasing storage on your active domain. Users who want access to files in the archived projects can be selectively given access in the archive domain. Alternatively, you can always bring the project back from the archive if it becomes active again.

Set proper security

  • Use the integrated reporting and auditing to help you track changes, gather essential information, or understand and manage your risk. General reports are available to Admin Users, and Power Users with the can run reports role, while audit reports are only available on domains which have purchased this feature.

Retire FTP and file servers

  • There is no need to maintain separate FTP servers (FTP/FTPES/SFTP) and file shares anymore because they are integrated into Egnyte. User credentials and folder access is controlled centrally just like everything else.

Determine the project folder structure

  • Choose the right destination for your project folders: The goal is to ensure that users can easily navigate to and between project folders. Many of our construction customers create a /Shared/Projects folder. Within the Projects folder, you can think of different ways to create sub-folders to further categorize your project folders.
    • Current versus Archive: If you have a number of project folders and want an easy way to distinguish between current and archive folders. For example, /Shared/Projects/Archive
    • Sub-folders named by the year: An easy way to navigate to the project folders based on the project date
    • Sub-folders named by regions: If you have teams working in different locations. For example, US-West, Canada


  • Create project folder templates: Your company might work on different types of projects (for example, Design-Bid-Build or Design-Build). Each project folder can have a unique folder hierarchy, structure, and permissions. In such scenarios, consider creating a /Shared/Project Templates folder. You can create different project folders inside the Templates folder.

    Screen_Shot_2019-06-13_at_1.23.07_PM.png

  • Set up permissions for the project template: First, consider creating Egnyte security groups for your project contributors. For example, you can create groups such as Project Managers, Designers, Estimators, Field Workers. With security groups, you greatly simplify assigning permissions to sub-folders within projects. In addition, you can delegate Project Managers to manage group membership through the project lifecycle.
    • Apply Fixed Folders property to sub-folders within the project folder. This ensures users do not accidentally delete or rename top-level folders within the project folder.

      Screen_Shot_2019-06-13_at_1.25.05_PM.png
    • You can also turn-off inheritance at any sub-folder if you don’t want sub-folders to inherit from the parent.


  • Add descriptions to sub-folders: Consider adding descriptions to top-level folders within the template if you want to add brief how-tos or other details to sub-folders.

    Screen_Shot_2019-06-13_at_1.29.09_PM.png

  • Automating project creation from 3rd party systems: You can automate project folder creation from your CRM software as soon as the project is initiated with a prospect. Leverage Egnyte APIs to create custom scripts to automate the workflow as well as setting up groups and permissions for the project.

 

Egnyte for Project Managers

Provide field workers with access to Egnyte

  • For jobsites with a good internet connection: Field workers can install Egnyte’s Mobile App on their smart devices and directly access files from the Egnyte cloud. Additionally, they also can access files on Egnyte with the Desktop App.

  • For jobsites with a poor internet connection:
    • Many of our construction customers deploy small form-factor server hardware and configure Egnyte’s Storage Sync solution at the jobsites. Field workers can connect to Storage Sync and access large design files such as AutoCAD, Bluebeam, and Revit even when there is no internet connectivity.
    • Mobile workers can mark specific files and folders for offline use so they can access and edit anywhere. They can also mark photos and videos for bulk upload when they are back online.

Upload photos or large scans from the jobsite to Egnyte

  • Field workers can use the Egnyte Mobile App to capture photos at the jobsite. These photos are automatically uploaded to a designated folder within Egnyte. The widget works even in offline scenarios and ensures that photos get uploaded when the internet connection is restored.
  • If your estimators capture large videos with laser scanning devices, they can transfer these files into a Storage Sync at the jobsite. Storage Sync can be deployed on small form-factor hardware platforms and easily transported between different jobsites. If there is no internet connection at the jobsite, the estimator can connect Storage Sync to the internet at a later time and let the files upload to Egnyte.

Share design models between other contractors and field workers

  • Field workers can upload design documents to Egnyte either through the Egnyte Mobile App, Desktop App or on to the Storage Sync device deployed at the jobsite. You can set up folder notifications to automatically alert when a field worker uploads content to that specific folder.

    External users or contractors who have been assigned Egnyte Standard User Accounts cannot use Desktop App or Storage Sync at the jobsite.

Set up project folders

  • Create a project folder from a template
    • Select the project template folder and choose the Advanced Copy option. This allows you to choose a new name for the destination folder. If you want to retain the project template permissions, choose the “Keep Source Folder Permissions” option as shown below.

Invite external contractors access to the Project Folders

  • If the project requires collaboration with external subcontractors or people from outside your organization, you can create and assign Standard User Accounts (Guest accounts) for these users. Standard User accounts allow external subcontractors to upload, download or view files within one or more project sub-folders via the Web UI or mobile app. Once the project assignment completes, you can revoke the Standard User account for the subcontractor.

Manage RFIs and Submittals

  • Send folder links if you want the subs to view and download detailed information about a project.
  • Send upload links to bidders or subs from whom you’d like to receive quotes. They can securely upload files to a specific folder within your project folder. The bids are organized by the submitter and are time-stamped to easily keep track of changes.
  • If you use PlanGrid for RFIs and Submittals, enable PlanGrid integration with Egnyte to synchronize files between PlanGrid and Egnyte. Alternatively, if you use SmartBid for this purpose, you can enable the SmartBid Integration with Egnyte.

Create Tasks to track work items

  • Tasks allow you to assign and track specific work items that you want someone to complete. For example, a Project Manager wants the subcontractor to provide more details in the Submittal. So she creates a Task on the file and assigns it to a subcontractor to complete by the end of the week. The Project Manager and the subcontractor will receive email alerts with the due dates and the key actions that need to be completed.

    Screen_Shot_2019-07-10_at_11.50.00_AM.png

 

Track Project Activities with Activity Streams

  • You can keep track of project activities at any given sub-folder within a project folder. This provides useful information about your project contributors and the time when the users performed the file operations. This can be viewed through the Web UI and the mobile app.

    Screen_Shot_2019-06-13_at_1.37.28_PM.png

Integrate with industry-leading applications

  • Users on Egnyte can work on most applications except for databases. Some of the most commonly used construction applications include:
    • AutoCAD
    • Navisworks
    • Revit
    • Civil3D
    • Plant3D
    • BlueBeam
    • ArcGIS

      We are continually adding more partner integrations. Click here to see the most up to date list.

Egnyte for Virtual Design and Construction (VDC)

Deploy Egnyte for use with design teams

  • Design files can be complex and most designers have workstations with significant horsepower. Install the Egnyte Desktop App on your designers’ workstations in order to create and edit design files on Egnyte. The Desktop App provides a drive letter interface that maps to project folders within Egnyte. Users can navigate to these folders through Windows Explorer and open the project files from AutoCAD just like how they work today. Here are some relevant notes for working on design files using the Desktop App:
    • If the design files have external references (XREFs) to other files, these references will work with the Desktop App as long as the referenced files are located in any project folder on Egnyte.
    • The external references can either be absolute paths with the drive letter as a prefix (for example, P:\Projects\External Links) or relative paths within Egnyte’s /Shared folder hierarchy.
    • If the external references within the AutoCAD file points to a network share in the UNC format (for example, \\server\share\project\link.dwg), the reference will no longer be valid if the AutoCAD file and associated external references are copied to Egnyte
    • When a designer opens a file, the Desktop App locks the file and all its external references; no other users will be able to edit these files until the current user closes the file.
    • File updates appear in real-time on Egnyte

  • If you work on large design models (>100 MB) or if you have over 15 designers at a given office, consider deploying the Egnyte hybrid appliance Turbo. This reduces the time it takes to open and save large files on users’ workstations.
  • If you work on Revit central models (Revit worksharing) and all your Revit collaborators are within a single office, deploy Storage Sync to host the central files. Storage Sync hosts the central files within the office and allows for Revit synchronization between the local and central models.
  • Users can view 2D or 3D models on Egnyte when you enable Autodesk Forge integration on Egnyte. This allows reviewers to view these models even if they don’t have AutoCAD or other software installed on their workstations.

Integrate with leading construction applications

  • Users on Egnyte can work on most applications except for databases. Some of the most commonly used construction applications include:
    • AutoCAD
    • Navisworks
    • Revit
    • Civil3D
    • Plant3D
    • BlueBeam
    • ArcGIS

      We are continually adding more partner integrations. Click here to see the most up to date list.

Egnyte for Estimators

Capture large amounts of data with laser scanning devices

  • Transfer these files into a Storage Sync at the jobsite. Storage Sync can be deployed on small form-factor hardware platforms and easily transported between different job site locations. If there is no internet connection at the jobsite, the estimator can connect Storage Sync to the internet at a later time and let the files upload to Egnyte.

Use links to upload and download bid packages

  • Send folder links if you want the subs to view and download detailed information about a project.
  • Send upload links to bidders or subs from whom you’d like to receive quotes. They can securely upload files to a specific folder within your project folder. The bids are organized by the submitter and are time-stamped to easily keep track of changes.

Egnyte for Foremen and Superintendents

Upload photos or large scans from the jobsite

  • Field workers can use the Egnyte Mobile App to capture photos at the jobsite. These photos are automatically uploaded to a designated folder within Egnyte. The widget works even in offline scenarios and ensures that photos get uploaded when the internet connection is restored.
  • If your estimators capture large videos with laser scanning devices, they can transfer these files into a Storage Sync at the jobsite. Storage Sync can be deployed on small form-factor hardware platforms and easily transported between different job site locations. If there is no internet connection at the jobsite, the estimator can connect Storage Sync to the internet at a later time and let the files upload to Egnyte.

Access and Markup plans on mobile devices

  • Field workers can access plans or design files via the mobile app. They can also tag a collaborator on a file with @mention to send an email containing the link. Each party receives notifications when collaborators make changes. Plus, anyone with folder access can use the Egnyte activity stream to view recent changes to files and folders.
  • Use the Bluebeam Revu integration with Egnyte to view, edit and markup drawings from an iPad or other smart devices.

Integrate with industry-leading applications

  • Users on Egnyte can work on most applications except for databases. Some of the most commonly used construction applications include:
    • AutoCAD
    • Navisworks
    • Revit
    • Civil3D
    • Plant3D
    • BlueBeam
    • ArcGIS

      We are continually adding more partner integrations. Click here to see the most up to date list.

Applies to All Construction Teams

Work in offline or low bandwidth areas

  • You can mark specific folders for offline access on the Desktop App or the mobile app. This will ensure users have access to files even when they are offline. Changes to files are automatically synced with the cloud when the internet connection is restored.
  • Alternatively, users can access data hosted on Storage Sync even in offline scenarios. Changes to files are saved to Storage Sync and will automatically get synced to the cloud when the internet connection is restored.
Egnyte Community

Egnyte Community

Want to connect with other Egnyte users and our Egnyte team? Share ideas and ask questions in our Community .