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  • Project Sharing - FAQ

    PVA - Admin

    This article contains a number of frequently asked questions and answers in regards to Vectorworks 2016's new Project Sharing feature. If you do not find the information you are looking for below, please feel free to contact us directly HERE.


    Can I still use layer and resource referencing?

    When you share project files and use referencing, keep in mind the following rules:

    -Project files can be referenced into other project files and regular Vectorworks files; resources referenced from the file cannot be modified.


    -Regular Vectorworks files can be referenced into project files. For example, a symbol library can be referenced into a project file; resources referenced from the file can be modified.


    -Working files cannot be referenced into any other files; they are temporary files that can be deleted at any time.


    -Place the reference file in a location accessible by the project file and all users working on the project.


    -Relative reference paths are relative to the location of the project file, and the referenced file must be on the same volume as the project file.


    What if I need to leave the network that the project is on? Can I still work on the project?


    Yes, Project Sharing includes a Work Offline mode in case you need to take a laptop on a trip or you temporarily lose access to the network containing the project file. When in this mode, changes will ONLY be saved to the working file directly and any layers you have checked out will not be available to other users until you reconnect to the project and release them.


    If Vectorworks detects a loss of connection to the server, it will prompt you to begin working in offline mode.


    What if I want to see who made certain changes to a project?


    The History feature within the Project Sharing dialog will let you search not only for users, but by specific layers to either focus on ALL of a specific user’s changes, or to focus on which users made a change to a particular layer. Since you can add comments when checking out layers, editing layers or releasing layers, you can also search this comment history, so including useful keywords in the comment is advised.


    What should I do if my working file has become corrupted or I can no longer commit to the project file?


    1. Do a Save A Copy As (Not just "Save As") of the working file and turn it into a regular VW file.

    2. Have the administrator force release the layers that were checked out.

    3. Delete your working file (you should have your changes in the "saved as" regular VW file).

    4. Create a new working file from the project file.

    5. Check out the necessary layers

    6. Copy and paste the changed elements from the regular VW file to the new working file.


    Can I see changes made by other users live, in real-time?


    Not yet. Currently only after another user Commits changes to the project and you Refresh your working file will you see their new changes.


    Can a user with Fundamentals use Project Sharing?


    No, Project Sharing is only available in Architect, Landmark, Spotlight or Designer.


    Can I convert a Project file back to a regular Vectorworks file?


    Yes and no. You cannot “convert” a project back into a regular Vectorworks document, but you CAN use File > Save a Copy As (Not just "Save As") in order to create a non-project version of the working file, which from then on will function just like a regular Vectorworks file. The original project can then simply be archived or removed at your discretion.

    NOTE: Make sure that when using Save a Copy As, you then select the VWX file format to save as, not the default VWXW format:

    screen shot 2015-10-07 at 3.23.28 pm.png


    Can I store the project file on cloud storage? Google Drive, Dropbox or OneDrive?

    Yes, you can put project files (.vwxp) in Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box folders.


    NOTE: When using Google Drive, keep in mind that Project Sharing is only compatible with "Drive File Stream" if you are using Vectorworks 2020. It will still work with "Backup and Sync" on previous versions.


    Can I change the permissions for users that currently have layers checked out?


    Yes, but you should ALWAYS make sure that a user releases their layers and commits any changes before their permissions are altered to prevent a situation where a user is attempting to commit a change in an area they no longer have access to.

    Can I have more than one working file at once?

    Yes, but the Layers you checked out are restricted to the working file you checked them out in. A user cannot check out a layer in Working File 1 and then modify that layer in Working File 2.

    How is my user name determined?

    This is your computer's login name. If you attempt to access a Project file from more than one computer that you log into with two different login names, you will have to be added to the project file twice, once with each user name. 

    What network permissions are required for users to access the location where a project file resides?

    Full access. Read, Write, Rename, Delete, Create, etc. 

    Vectorworks uses a “safe save” technique for saving files, in which the previous version of the destination file is maintained until the last possible moment, to avoid potential file damage during save, such as by a hardware or network failure. To support this in a networked environment, permissions must be correctly set to handle the required file operations. In particular, the following two conditions must be fulfilled: 

    1) The user must have permission to delete files in the destination folder. This is usually the case when the user has write access to the folder. However, some network server configurations using fine-grained control (e.g. with Access Control Lists) may need to be specifically configured to allow this, by assigning “delete_child” permission to the folder. See (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201416) for more information. 

    2) Files created in the destination folder must inherit the permissions of the folder itself. Server installations that use Access Control Lists may need to ensure that “file_inherit” permission is set on the destination folder. (Note: On OSX Server, ACLs may need to be explicitly enabled. See https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203574 )

    What are the system requirements for using Project Sharing?

    In addition to the normal Vectorworks System Requirements
    We recommend 1Gbps network connection to the Project file, but 100Mbps will normally suffice. The performance of Vectorworks when working on a shared project over the network will depend on the available network bandwidth. If the network bandwidth is insufficient, operations that transfer large amount of data over the network will be slow. We recommend at minimum a Fast Ethernet (100Mbit/s) network connection. For large projects, Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbit/s) networks are highly recommended for a fast and fluid experience. Slower networks can still provide a satisfactory user experience if operations that transfer large amount of data over the network, such as committing changes to the project file or refreshing a local working file, are kept to a minimum.

    With OSX 10.9, Apple has made SMB the default protocol for connecting to network shares, moving away from the previous standard, AFP. We have observed some issues with SMB on OSX that cause permissions to be set incorrectly. If you experience problems with saving to a network share, attempt to connect via AFP to see if that solves the problem. From Finder, select Go->Connect To Server. Enter the prefix “afp:” prior to your share address. For example, “afp://myserver.address.net”.



    How should I start using cloud storage?


    Best practice: Move your VWX file into the cloud folder and then convert to a Project File. Second best is to move (*not* copy) your PF to the cloud folder.  Once the project is there, leave it there, and never make any copies.


    Bad practice: Making copies, renaming, working on the file outside of Dropbox, or anything else you do in Finder/Explorer.


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    User Feedback

    Is there a way to manually prompt to work in 'Offline Mode' while currently connected to the network? I am having frequent crashing problems (using Vectorworks 2017 SP4) and I assume it is network related.


    Rather than disconnect from the network completely to force it to go into offline mode I am hoping there is an option to manually switch to offline mode. For other reasons I still want to stay connected to the network to access other file resources and so on.


    My current workaround is to check out the layers on the shared project file and close that file while working in a separate copy of that file (but as a non-linked regular vectorworks file) and then copy paste back into the shared project file when I open it again. That's not an ideal method but the only way to deal with the constant crashing and get any work done.


    Please advise if there is a manual prompt to 'work offline' mode without literally having to disconnect from the network. Thank you.

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