What’s New in Revit 2021.1 for IT Managers

The Autodesk® Revit® 2021.1 release features a new end-to-end modern deployment experience for administrators that significantly improves the speed and reliability of your product installations.

You may have already seen parts of this new deployment experience with 3ds Max and Maya, but let’s take a closer look at the experience you will see with Revit 2021.1. A faster deployment experience allows your users to get up and running more quickly than ever before. With the old Deployment Wizard, you had to download the entire product (or worse, an entire Suite of up to 45GB)  before you could even start creating the deployment. The online deployment creation tool makes it fast to configure, and more importantly fast to download only what you want in the deployment (image below). Unselected items will not be downloaded and included in the deployment.

[IMAGE: Deploy only what you want with Revit 2021.1.]

Some deployments are three times faster to create from start to finish. Deploying to computers is also faster, as the installer is up to twice as fast as prior versions. We’ve also made it significantly easier to get updates into a deployment. You can simply specify what version of Revit you want in the deployment, and we will automatically include exactly what you need. No more hunting around for updates to include in the deployment. When you deploy out to your computers, it will determine what’s on the machine and install only what is necessary to get the machine to match what’s specified in the deployment. For new computers, it will install everything.  For machines that already have what’s in the deployment, it will simply exit quickly.

[IMAGE: Specify the version of Revit you want and deploy without having to hunt for updates]

The new deployment experience is also much more reliable, meaning that installs finish successfully the first time and uninstalls actually remove everything that was installed. The new installer does a better job of keeping track of installed items and successfully cleans the machine afterwards. We’re also minimizing the impact of prerequisites to make sure they are installed with fewer errors.  

You might be asking: “What happened to the old Deployment Wizard that came with Revit 2021?” Frankly, it’s going away soon. If you already have a deployment for Revit 2021 that you created using the old Deployment Wizard, we recommend that you continue to use that deployment for your Revit 2021 installations to all your computers. You can add Updates (more specifically, Patch Updates) by downloading and modifying your existing deployment to include them as you have done in the past.  

We also recommend that you take a look at the new online deployment creation tool by creating a deployment in a new local folder, and take a look at how it can work for you. Notice that you only have the option of Revit 2021.1 or later with the online tool. Next year with Revit 2022, the downloadable installer will no longer include the Deployment Wizard. The online deployment creation process will be the only option. 

These new tools and processes are early versions and we are constantly working on improvements. I’m super excited about what our vision looks like because I know it will improve how you manage deployments, saving you time and effort.  At the same time, we realize that changes like this can take time and energy for both IT staff and the CAD/BIM/App Managers out there. We’ll do our best to keep you informed of what’s happening, provide documentation, and most importantly set expectations for you so you’ll know what to do when change arrives. We look forward to solving many of the installation challenges you have been having over the years.  

Author: Danny Polkinhorn