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My Earthworks Machines Stopped Syncing

Question asked by Alan Sharp on May 29, 2020

I have heard this a few times over the last couple of weeks so I have been trying to get to the bottom of why this is happening. This is what I have found so far - and I managed to get a User in the UK up and running this week as a result of the research that I have done - so here goes

 

This problem appears to happen when people start to use Works Manager mixed in with traditional Data Syncing on some machines in their fleet. And this is really the key to solving the problem. There are a number of ways that you can solve the problem and I will outline those here for you

 

Background Information

In Works Manager, you create a project and then you add devices to the Project. When you do that, Works Manager on TCC creates a Group named WM-ProfilexXXXXXXXXXXX where the Xs are a combination of letters and numbers. That Permissions Group as the TCC Administrators, Brian Sweeney and each Device that you add to the Project in Works Manager in the Group. That Group is then assigned Permission to access the Project Folder in the Project Library on TCC. Note that this means that only these Users and these Devices can now access the information contained in that Project Folder in the Project Library - i.e. only those machines can sync with that Project on TCC, no other machines will be allowed to download data from that project folder.

 

The symptoms that people see on Earthworks 2.0 when they loom at the Technicians Page in Earthworks while Syncing is that the Machine hits TCC OK, is granted access, addresses the Project List and then does not sync data from the Project(s) on TCC. 

 

So you have to determine the following

  1. Is this machine in the Works Manager Project - If not, it will not be allowed to sync with that project because it will not be in the Permissions Group that is protecting that Project Folder
  2. Is this Project setup in Works Manager - If Yes, then it's Project Folder in the Project Library is being protected by a Permissions Group, and only Devices listed in the Permissions Group will be able to access the Project Folder to download data. If No, then the Project Folder on the Project Library should be governed by Permissions assigned to the project Library Filespace. Te Project Library Filespace on TCC should have AllDevices Group assigned to it, meaning that Any Device that is setup in TCC should be automatically added to the AllDevices Group and that Group should be assigned access Permissions to all Project Folders unless a Project Folder is assigned different permissions as those assigned by Works Manager above.

 

Side Note

The reason that Works Manager is assigning Permissions to Project Folders is in response to user requests to not have all machines synching with all projects, only to those where they have been added as Devices . By assigning permissions at a Project Folder level they have effectively solved that problem providedyou are using Works Manager to manage all your projects.

 

Second Side Note

When we developed the TCC Modern User Interface (for the Beijing Airport Project a few years ago), we made a decision to simplify the TCC User Experience by not exposing some of the more advanced TCC Administration functions like Organization Partnering, Visibility of Users across Organizations and assigning Permissions at a Folder level etc. These Advanced Admin controls are available still through the TCC legacy Interface available from the TCC Modern Menu system. Works Manager is now applying Permissions at the Folder Level, however those are not being exposed to you as Users unless you look at the filespace in the TCC Legacy system. You also cannot edit them unless you are in the TCC Legacy system (see below)

 

Resolutions

To Resolve the Issue of Machines Not Synching to / from TCC you have the following options depending on whether you intend to use Works Manager or Not in your processes

 

Continuing To Use Works Manager

If you are continuing the use of Works Manager, then Machines that are not Synching to a Project must be added to the Works Manager Project(s) to which you want them to synchronize. Simply use the Works Manager "Add Device" to add the Device to your Works Manager Project. This will mean that you will need a Works Manager Device Count capable of allowing this - if you have insufficient Device Count, talk to your dealer.

 

If you have insufficient Device Count, yet still want machines to Sync the traditional way to the TCC Project Folder in the Project Library, then you can use TCC Legacy, go to Administration and Manage Groups, find the Permissions Group created by Works Manager for the Project (see below how to track that down) and edit the Permissions Group to add either the Extra Devices to the Group (that are not assigned via Works Manager) or add the All Devices Group to the Permissions Group to allow all Devices to Sync to that Project Folder -  whichever approach you want to take here.

 

Repeat the above process for each Permissions Group that has been assigned to different Project Folders on TCC to get the correct Machine Mix for each Project resolved.

 

By doing this the machines should synchronize again with the Project Folders. 

 

 

Stopping Use of Works Manager and returning to Old Methods Using TCC only

In the text below, I address what the UK customer ended up doing. I am not saying "Dont Use Works Manager" and I am not telling you to "take it out of your work process". In this case the customer was desperate to get back to "normal working" as they had experienced last year and wanted to do a smaller / lower level test using Works Manager on a smaller project with just a couple of machines, while leaving the rest of the company projects on the existing TCC approach that they Know and Trust until they have worked out how best to use Works Manager.

 

I am still looking into one issue that may or may not be a problem, it did appear with the customer in the UK that I was working with, that an Earthworks 2.0 Machine would connect to TCC and would Sync with Project Folders that had no Permissions assigned that had names that appeared alphabetically before the first Project that had Permissions assigned. They however appeared to stop synching at that point, meaning that Project Folders that had names starting with letters after the first project with Permissions would not get synchronized. So on the face of it, the Works Manager approach to putting Permissions Groups on Folders appears to have created a problem with Earthworks Machines Synching across multiple projects. The only solution I found currently that works was to remove the Permissions Groups created by Works Manager and to not use Works Manager at all - please be aware that this may or may not be 100% correct, Trimble teams are looking into this and I will report back when I hear from them.

 

Even after the User in UK removed the Devices from the Project in Works Manager and Deleted the Project in Works Manager, they were still seeing some issues on a couple of machines. It appeared that there is some additional connection between a Device and Works Manager once the Device has been "Claimed" by Works Manager - I have not found out what that is yet (again I have asked Trimble Team to let me know what they find here so I can report back). In these machines, we found that by making a record of the Device Setup on TCC, knowing what Password was used by the Machine, and then Delete the Device in Works Manager (which deletes it in TCC from the Device List) and then using TCC to re-establish the Device we were able to clear the "Failure to Sync" problem and all machines were once again Synching with TCC as they were earlier in the year. In this

 

How to Correlate the Permissions Group Names with the Permissions assigned to a project Folder

The Works Manager Project as you add Devices creates a Group on TCC that adds the Administrators, Brian Sweeney and the Devices that you add to the Works Manager Project. To access these go to TCC Legacy from the TCC Menu, then select Administration in the Bar at the left side of the screen, and then Manage Groups.

 

The naming of these Groups is something like the following

 

 

The ones starting with WM_tm::profilex .... are the ones created by Works Manager. From this it is hard to tell which Project they belong to as there is no reference to the project Name in the name of the Group. If you however click the icon between the Padlock and Trash Can (the Permissions Report), you can see where this Group has been used - as shown below

 

In the above example the Resource Name column shows "Works Manager Demo" as the Project to which this Permissions Group has been assigned.

 

If you click on the Padlock Icon, this will open the Group allowing you to see the Users that have access to the Group - you will see the following - this editor should also show you the Devices that have been assigned, but for some reason it is not showing them here (see below to see how to check that)

 

 

If you close the above pane, and double click on the Group in the list you will see this display and this shows you the devices that are assigned to the Group (I have logged this in as a defect today along with a few other issues that could do with resolution)

 

 

It is from here that you can Add Devices to the Group - hit the + icon

 

 

 

and then select Groups if you want to add AllDevices or hit the Devices Tab and select the individual Devices that you want to add to the Permissions for the Project Folder. Once you have added a Device or Devices to the Group, the Group Permissions of the folder is instantly updated, and then you can try to Sync Your Machines again.

 

This should resolve the Sync Issues that you are seeing. If you need to discuss, please call me on my Cell +1 720 323 0481 (US Mountain Time (GMT+7) or email me (alan.sharp@rockpilesolutions.com) for more help. If you try these solutions, please let me know what you find works for you and post it here. I am feeding this info back into Trimble daily now so I hope we can see improvements quickly.

 

Thanks for those who have reported in issues so far, it is helpful to see / hear what you are seeing

 

Alan

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