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Teamwork / RemoteConnections


Troubleshooting checklist: Remote Connections

by TimMorse, MartonKiss, updated 2012-02-28


To remotely access a BIM Server via the Internet you will need the following:

  • Static public IP address or name: a static public IP address or name that you can use to reach your network and access your BIM Server

  • Open network ports: on all devices in the path between the internet and the computer hosting your BIM Server (the ports that are used by the BIM Server)

  • Forwarded ports: properly forwarded ports on the router that connects the BIM Server computer to the Internet

  • Static local network IP address: for the computer that runs the BIM Server behind a router

  • Internet address: filled internet address field in BIM Server settings


Step 1: Confirm public name/IP address

To be able to access the BIM Server easily via the Internet confirm that your external IP address is static or you have a properly set DNS name. This is not as big of an issue in large offices since you will normally have a few static external IP address to choose from. If a humanly readable DNS name is also set then the client can access the server even more easily.

Example: the IP address of google.com is 74.125.226.199, but it is much easier to remember the DNS name: google.com

For smaller operations you can normally find your external IP address by looking at your router settings. Or you can visit one of the many sites that show your external IP address.
For example: http://www.whatsmyip.org/


Using Apple routers simply open AirPort Utility and select the router that is connected to the Internet. The IP address is listed on the upcoming pop up. Other routers mostly have browser based administrative utilities. Study the user manual that came with your router for the IP address of the administrative utility.

Most ISP's (Internet Service Provider) use dynamic IP addresses. This means that your external IP address changes on a hourly/weekly/monthly basis. This is an issue if you need to access the computer and you don't know the new address. There are two options to solve this problem:

  • static IP addresses can be ordered from most ISPs for a small fee; also they can provide information about how often your IP address changes
  • there are services that offer static names for dynamic IP addresses, like DynDns for a small fee. Do note, though, that Graphisoft technical support will not provide support if you have a dynamic IP address. Thus, this option is not considered at all in the remainder of this article.


Step 2: Router and port forwarding configuration

If you have a router then probably that device will connect directly to the Internet. That device routes the traffic in both directions: between the computers on the local network behind the router and the computers available on the Internet.

As your router receives all incoming traffic, the TeamWork related traffic should be forwarded to the computer that physically runs the BIM Server. For that you need:

  • a static local network IP address for the computer that runs the BIM Server (THIS IS ESSENTIAL). Most often, this is accomplished in your router's settings interface within the DHCP settings where you can specify an IP address that is always assigned to the MAC address of the BIM Server computer.
  • forwarded TeamWork ports

The default ports that are used for TeamWork communication are:

  • Service Name/BIM Server module

    v16

    v15

    v14

    v13

    To be forwarded

    Discovery port:

    6005

    6005

    6005

    6005

    this port is only used on local networks

    Management:

    16002

    15002

    14002

    5988

    (./)

    Model:

    16001

    15001

    14001

    9991

    (./)

    Messaging:

    16004

    15004

    14004

    61616

    (./)


Example of port forwarding in Apple's AirPort Utility:

  • portforward.png

Note: here all traffic that the router receives on 15001 port is forwarded to the 15001 port of the BIM Server computer (10.0.1.201). It is enough to forward TCP traffic. (not UDP) Create such rule for each used ports. Some routers allows you to define port ranges, such as 15001-15004 - TCP - > Internal IP.
You can read more about port forwarding NAT in this Wibu Server related article: WibuKey/WibuKeyOverInternet#Setting_NAT

Note, too, that if you run more than one BIM Server, for example to host some projects on one server and others on another to spread the computing workload, that additional installed BIM Servers will have to have different port numbers assigned to them than the defaults above, and those ports would have to be forwarded according to the proper machine's static LAN IP address.


Step 3: Add Internet Address to BIM Server Preferences

Once you have confirmed what your external IP address/name is, you want to put that into the Internet Address field under Preferences on your BIM Server Control Center.
Larger offices may have a domain name which they can put into the internet address instead of an external IP address.

For example: bimcomp.graphisoft.hu

01-BIMPreferences.png


Step 4: Connect BIM Server

Next you will want to have your outside user try to connect to your BIM Server.

They will want to open ArchiCAD and then go to the Teamwork option at the top of the screen. From there they will choose Open/Join Teamwork project and then go down to add a BIM Server.
Once there they will first want to set up their user name. They will click on the 2 people on right hand side of the dialog box.

02-JoinTW.png

Then they will be asked to choose a BIM Server and to type in their User Name and Password.

03-Login.png

When they choose a BIM Server they will want to go to the bottom of the drop down and choose Add More BIM Servers....
On the next dialog box they will choose Add BIM Server Manually.
Here they will want to type in either the office's External IP address or, if you are using one, the Domain name.

05-AddBim.png

Once you have finished that you will type your user name and password and then you should see that BIM Server become a selectable server in your Choose a BIM Server drop down list.

Once you have chosen that server it will start to populate the list of projects located on that particular server.


Unable to connect?

If you are unable to connect to the server there are a few standard things you want to try out:

  • Make sure that you are connecting to the same port as the BIM Server when you add a server. The default for that is 15001.

  • On the BIM Server you want to check and make sure you have an Internet address typed in. This can be found on under the BIM Server Control Center -> Preferences and under the advanced settings drop down.

  • Make sure the computer hosting the BIM Server only has one IP Address. If it has multiple IP addresses the BIM Server may try to communicate over a different one then intended. (E.g. disable the Wifi connection of the BIM Server computer if wired ethernet connection is also used.)

  • Make sure the necessary ports are open on your firewall and on your router. Having any of the BIM Server ports block will cause connection issues.

  • Call your ISP provider: they might be blocking communications over the necessary ports that the BIM Server requires.

  • If you have a good understanding about computers you can try telneting into the ports to see if they are open
    Do this by typing into your command prompt window: telnet *your external ip* *port number*

    telnet 82.15.222.111 15001

    If you are connected you receive a similar message:

    Connected to bim-server.company.com.
    Escape character is '^]'.

    To exit Telnet after getting a successful connection message (or not), press ctrl-C.


Telnet

  • On Windows: Windows Vista and 7 turns telnet off by default you will need to turn that functionality on in order to do this.
    telnet.PNG

  • On Mac you can use telnet, but it is more convenient to use Network Utility to check that a port is open. Here is an example to perform a port scan:

portscan.png


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