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Tolu

Vectorworks, Inc Employee
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Posts posted by Tolu

  1. We also have a failsafe where the PSS will release all locks after 8 hours. Having said that, if you think your internet is terrible (i.e., it drops frequently) and you have to simulate it by unplugging your network cable, then you have more significant problems. Project Sharing requires a fast and stable network connection. Please refer to our system requirements here: https://www.vectorworks.net/sysreq

     

    6 hours ago, CeeBee said:

    We tried this with the Project Sharing Server bundled in VWX2021 (ProjectSharingServerInstaller-602034-docker-image-555) and VWX2022 (ProjectSharingServerInstaller-602034-docker-image-549).
    Interesting Fact: The Project Server bundled with VWX 2021 seems to be a later release, indicated by the 555 and the datestamps of the files.

    No, it is the same build. 602034 is the important number.

     

    Thanks,

    Tolu

  2. Hi Christian, 

     

    Information about the Project Sharing Server are included in the Vectorworks manual. 

     

    45 minutes ago, CeeBee said:

    when a connection to the server while sending changes is disconnected

    With the Project Sharing Server (PPS), users do not need to mount the Synology NAS drive; we do not rely on the SMB/AFP connection. We use HTTP, which means each client's action (ex. commit, check out, etc.) requires a new HTTP connection - all without any user intervention. We use a checksum to ensure all data is received when sending changes. As such, there is no side effect to disconnecting the connection (ex. WiFi) while sending changes.

     

    There are many more technical (or implementation) details about the Project Sharing Server and how it works. For example, we also use web-sockets, so the Project Sharing Server is notified if Vectorworks is shut down/crashes. In summary, all those "Project File is locked," and "connection" problems you used to see with File-based Project Sharing no longer exist with the Project Sharing Server.

     

    45 minutes ago, CeeBee said:

    1) In the 2021 version the full file is transferred on sending changes - Is it planned that this changed in the future to a delta sync (or did it already change in 2022?)

    This is planned for a future release. 

     

    45 minutes ago, CeeBee said:

    Backup of Project Sharing file also seems to be happen by the client sending a full copy to the server, or? (Instead of the server making a copy before/after the commit locally)

    Currently, the client sends a copy of the Project File to the server. Yes,  the Project Sharing Server could do that work. However, we still support File-based Project Sharing. The Project Sharing Server is meant to be a direct replacement for our previous File-based solution.

     

    By the way, the Project Sharing Server is backwards compatible. You can use Vectorworks 2021 with the Project Sharing Server that comes with Vectorworks 2022.

     

    Thanks,

    Tolu

  3. Hi Sara,

     

    When using Project Sharing with a Cloud Service (VCS, Dropbox, etc.), Vectorworks will generate this error message if Vectorworks detects that the Project File in your cloud folder was renamed, moved, or copied using Finder or Windows Explorer. 

     

    Which Cloud Service are you using? 

     

    Vectorworks will prevent additional changes to the Project File (until you perform a reset) to eliminate data loss when this error is detected. Only an Admin can perform a reset. The Admin must decide which version of the Project File is the latest. If you are the Admin, check with your teammates to determine which Project File is the latest. Move the most recent copy of the Project File to your local cloud folder, and then perform the Reset. Alternatively, you can recreate the Project File.

     

    You can refer to this Project Sharing FAQ https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/articles.html/articles/faqs/project-sharing-faq-r427/, or you can visit https://university.vectorworks.net and explore courses on Project Sharing.

     

    Let me know if you have additional questions.

     

    Thanks.
    Tolu

  4. 3 hours ago, Christiaan said:

    What's the verdict on performance?

    It is dependent on your internet speed and the size of your Project File. If your upload and download speed is 10 mbps, and your Project File is 300 MB, your experience will be poor. However, Project Sharing Server will still function. Even with a cloud-service, like Dropbox, a 10 mbps internet speed will result in a poor performance.

     

    Below is an excerpt from the system requirements for VW2021 on Project Sharing:

    "As the network bandwidth increases, so does project sharing performance. Slower network speeds can still provide a satisfactory user experience if you minimize operations that transfer large amounts of data over the network (such as committing changes to the project file or refreshing a local working file)."

     

    https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/articles.html/articles/vectorworks-2021-system-requirements-r829/

     

    • Like 1
  5. 7 minutes ago, Matt Hall said:

    Vectorworks confirms that google file stream hasn't worked for Vectorworks users (it worked for us for several weeks but then kept giving us errors to the point I had to split up a project and rebuild it)

    Google File Stream is supported. However, Google File Stream does not have Delta Sync, so its performance is subpar compared to VCS, Dropbox or Resilio. If you are/were having issues, could you please send me a direct message? 

     

    8 minutes ago, Matt Hall said:

    The Vectorworks solution has been to develop their server to transfer data a particular way that supports Vectorworks project sharing.

    This is great in that there is a project sharing system that Vectorworks supports, however one needs to be deliberate about what files are on their server and what are on an office server.  So it's not a very functional way for an office to work. 

    No, the Project Sharing Server allows you to put your files anywhere. We just need to know where the files reside. This is done by setting the "Projects Directory" to where your files reside. The Project Directory can contain any file (not just Vectorworks file). For example, you could set the Projects Directory to be the root folder that contains all your files. 

     

    11 minutes ago, Matt Hall said:

    If this is what Vectorworks has set up to make project sharing work, I'm assuming that I cannot trust a server other than the Vectorworks server to have success with project sharing.  So setting up an internal server (like NAS) to use project sharing doesn't seem to be an option. 

    We fully support installing the Project Sharing Server on a NAS. You can install the Project Sharing Server on a Mac, Windows, or a NAS device. Please refer to this link on how to install the Project Sharing Server: https://university.vectorworks.net/course/view.php?id=297

     

    12 minutes ago, Matt Hall said:

    I'm assuming that it is a given the all this needs to work for remote workers and not people sharing one office space.

    If you want this to work with remote workers that's when you need an IT department (or a network guy) to setup a VPN so that access to the Project Sharing Server is secured and authenticated over the internet. If you do not have a IT department, I recommend you use Project Sharing with a Cloud Service (e.g. VCS, Dropbox, Resilio, One Drive, Box, Google Backup & Sync, or Google File Stream).

     

    I hope this clarifies the conversation.

     

     

     

    • Like 1
  6. Hi @Christiaan,

     

    I agree it adds complexity. However, a solution that works out of the box, using your servers or machines without any maintenance, is non-existent. You will have to manage certificates at a minimum. Encryption relies on certificates. Certificates are tied to a specific domain. Vectorworks cannot give out a certificate that is tied to your domain. You have to purchase a certificate from a Certificate Authority and install it on your servers.

     

    This is why AWS, Windows Azure, etc., have a business. You pay a fee, and they handle all the security and certificates for you. The caveat is that you do not use your machines.

     

    38 minutes ago, Christiaan said:

    Have you tested PSS over VPN?

    Yes, we have been using Project Sharing Server over VPN for more than a year. When our office was closed last year due to the pandemic, anyone that wanted to use the Project Sharing Server had to use it over VPN from their homes. Besides, we did all our acceptance tests for VW2021 using Project Sharing Server over VPN.

     

    • Like 2
  7. 7 hours ago, Christiaan said:

    there is one other form of project sharing that we would like—and would in fact be our preference over all other options—and that's to host our own Project Sharing Server on a NAS or a Mac but be able to use it over the internet.

    You could do this today with the Project Sharing Server. You essentially have 2 options:

    1. Host the Project Sharing Server on your internal server, and open up the server so it is accessible over the internet. (This is not recommended because your connection is unsecured)
    2. Host the Project Sharing Server on your internal server, but only make the server accessible over a VPN. VPN will provide authentication and encryption.

     

     

  8. 1. Does she have the latest version of OneDrive installed?

    2. Does she have the Project File in her OneDrive folder? Is the size of the Project File the same as yours? Make sure you have "Files On-Demand" turned off? This ensures the Project File is actually synced to your computer.

    • Like 2
  9. 4 hours ago, str said:

    Thanks @Tolu for your prompt reply, I can see it but the .zip is 1KB and the .tar is 0 KB and not working (installing from Vectorworks2021-SP0-564899-SeriesBEG-installer4-osx.dmg). Should I download the dmg again?

    The docker installer seems to be corrupt. We are working to resolve the issue. Sorry for the inconvenience. 

    • Like 2
  10. 9 minutes ago, _James said:

    Hi @Tolu, thanks for the info. We were using project sharing with a direct connection to the NAS but have now switched to dropbox. I think our issues were to do with 2 things:

     

    - no VPN connection

    - slow internet speeds

    I suspected as much. Using Dropbox is the best solution for your setup.  The Project Sharing Server will not help you.

     

    Our hardware recommendations are here: https://www.vectorworks.net/sysreq. You need at least ~50 mbps.

     

    • Like 1
  11. @_James

    If you are using Project Sharing and working remotely, you should be using Project Sharing with a cloud service (Dropbox or Resilio provides the best performance). This setup is the best. 

    If that setup is not feasible, you will have to connect to a shared drive using a VPN, but your internet speed must be fast relative to your file size. 
     

    If you currently connect to a shared drive (Win, Mac, NAS) in an office or via a VPN, I recommend installing the Project Sharing Server on the shared drive. 

    With the Project Sharing Server (PSS), we no longer rely on the operating system (OS) when locking the Project File. With users using different operating systems and multiple file protocols (smb, AFP, etc.), there was no reliable way to lock the Project File. The PSS eliminates this problem. We now have a process running on the server or NAS that handles all operations on the Project File - this gives us full control, and it eliminates any surprises. Also, we no longer rely on smb and AFP with the Project Sharing Server. Vectorworks communicates with the PSS using HTTP, which works irrespective of the OS you are using. 
     

    You mentioned you had problems remotely connecting to a NAS. What were the issues? Did you get any alerts? Were you using a VPN connection? Understanding these problems might shed some light on the root problems, and I can provide a more specific recommendation.

     

    Thanks,

    Tolu

    • Like 3
  12. Hi @Tom Klaber, @Jacob@tangably.com, et. al.,

    On 5/12/2020 at 8:17 PM, Jacob@tangably.com said:

    Good to know that Vectorworks is committed to chasing the ever evolving cloud infrastructure. Thank you for the update. We look forward to the possibility -of using GDrive Filestream  with Vectorworks in the near future.

     

    As of yesterday morning, May 18, 2020, you can now use Google File Stream (GFS) with Project Sharing in Vectorworks 2020 SP3. You only need to shutdown and restart Vectorworks 2020 SP3 while you have an active internet connection to get the update. 

     

    Dropbox and Resilio are still our recommended cloud solutions to use with Project Sharing, followed by OneDrive. Dropbox and Resilio support "LAN Sync" and "Delta Sync," whereas OneDrive only supports (Delta Sync or Differential Sync). These three solutions are more performant than GFS.

     

    Please let me know if you have any questions.

     

    Thanks,
    Tolu

    • Like 2
  13. 4 hours ago, Tom Klaber said:

    No - I am not expecting miracles.  No need for me to commit changes when I am offline.  I just need to be able to pre-check out what I am going to work on - be able able to have access to those files while offline - and then commit those changes back when I have connection again without breaking anything.

     

    The biggest issue is simply having access to the file itself while offline, but I guess the working files should be locally stored anyway - so the use case of simply needing to look at a file while onsite is not really an issue.  Correct?

     

    Yes, if your Working File is saved on your local machine, you always have access to the file.

     

    In addition, when you open the Working File and Vectorworks detects that you have no internet access, it will prompt you to go off-line (see attached image). This prompt only occurs when you open your Working File.

     

    prompt.png

     

     

    Given the workflow you described (i.e., traveling and working without an internet connection), you can work offline. The message in my previous post was incorrect. I have edited it. I apologize for the confusion.

    https://forum.vectorworks.net/index.php?/topic/67293-project-sharing-where-are-we/&do=findComment&comment=351177

     

    When you are in offline mode, you are only allowed to modify layers or objects you already have checked out. When in offline mode, you cannot check out additional objects, and you cannot commit. 

     

    The only limitation that exists today (Vectorworks 2020 SP3) is that you have no option to go offline explicitly. We will look into providing a solution in a future version of Vectorworks.

     

    • Like 1
  14. 40 minutes ago, Tom Klaber said:

    Then it might make more sense for VW to support it. 

    Following the feedbacks, we will support Google File Stream in the not so distant future.  However, as I have previously said, without "LAN Sync" and "Delta Sync" (or Differential Sync as Microsoft OneDrive calls it), the performance will not be the best. 

    • Like 1
  15. 20 hours ago, Tom Klaber said:

    FileStream (and I am sure Dropbox is similar) allows you to choose what is locally synced and what is kept fully on the cloud.  So 75% of our server is totally cloud based, but everybody has local syncs of the important project files. That 75% you do not have access to without internet, but the 25% of important stuff you always have access to - internet or not - and it just syncs the next time you connect.

    Thanks for the explanation. I now understand your workflow. For the 25% files, it seems you still want to be able to commit your changes while offline. Is that correct?

     

    Currently, there is no explicit way to work offline. We'll look into adding support for that in the future. However, when you are offline, you will not be able to commit changes to the PF. Besides, you will only be able to work on objects you already have checked out.
     

  16. 2 hours ago, Tom Klaber said:

    We had an issue where layers were locked and marked as checked out by users even though they were not.  The force release also was not available.

    This means someone created a new object on the layer, and then discarded their Working File. Please let me know if this happens again.

     

    2 hours ago, Tom Klaber said:

    Is there anyway to work offline?  To check out layers ahead of time - work off line for a while - then resync?  

    No, not if you are using Dropbox. The premise of using a cloud solution is that you are always online, and that your Dropbox client is always running.

    Could you please elaborate on your workflow? Why do you want to work offline?

     

  17. 1 hour ago, Tom Klaber said:

    We had some issues with Project Files breaking - and having to be remade.

    Could you please elaborate on the "Project Files breaking"? What error message did you get?

     

    1 hour ago, Tom Klaber said:

    I am assuming this is just part of life

    No, this should not happen if things are properly setup. 

     

    1 hour ago, Tom Klaber said:

    any tips on the best way to configure Dropbox or the PS files

    No major configuration is required, but here are some tips to follow.

    1. All users must have the Dropbox client installed
    2. Create the Project File in a folder within your local Dropbox folder, and then share that folder with the appropriate users. You cannot share the Project File directly.
    3. Once the project file is in the cloud folder, leave it there, and never make any copies. Do not duplicate it. Do not rename it. If the Vectorworks program detects multiple copies of a project file, an alert is displayed that the Project File is locked, and an Admin would have to reset it.
    4. When a user opens a working file connected to a project file shared on the cloud, the user must have an active internet connection, and the user’s Dropbox client must be running.

     

     

     

     

  18. 2 hours ago, Tom Klaber said:

    but Backup and Sync has been sunsetted for Gsuite

    I am unsure where you are getting this information. Google Backup and Sync still works for me on MacOS and Windows. I have it installed on my MacOS and Windows machine. I can sync files to my Gmail account in Drive.

     

    2 hours ago, Tom Klaber said:

    It sounds like I have to go hound Google to get me some Delta Sync.  Unfortunately they are not as accessible as you.  

    When I searched for "Google Backup and Sync", the first hit I get is this link, which allows me to download and install Backup and Sync.

    https://www.google.com/intl/en-GB_ALL/drive/download/backup-and-sync/

     

    Could you please clarify what you are seeing?

     

    Thanks,

    Tolu

     

  19. 1 hour ago, tsw said:

    Trying to decide on OneDrive (free) or Dropbox (paid). The speed isn't too much of an issue since we usually only have 3 users on a project, but if there is less chance of corrupting the project file on Dropbox it might push us in that direction.

    Either of the two solutions would work (Dropbox would be faster, however). If you already have OneDrive, try it and see if you are comfortable with its performance. Please let me know if you need help setting it up.

     

    Thanks,

    Tolu

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