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Last year we moved away from an internal file server and upgraded to Dropbox Business for the advantages that file syncing services provide. But the reason we chose Dropbox was mainly because it was familiar to us (we were already using a free account) and because some of the businesses we work with, including building contractors, were starting to use Dropbox. Now that I have a very busy year behind me I'm having a closer look at the options and in particular I've noticed a significant difference between how Dropbox and Box.com work with regard to collaborating with third parties: When sharing folders from Dropbox the data in the shared folder counts against the third party's storage space. This means if you want a third party to be able to alter or edit files in the shared folder they will need to upgrade to a paid account if they're to avoid hitting the storage limits of a free account (2 GB). When sharing folders from Box.com, however, the data in the shared folder does not count against the third party's storage space (although I believe some accounts limit the number of third parties you can share with). This is significant because it means you can work with people without forcing them to upgrade to a paid account. So I'm curious, what file syncing service are you using and why?
On November 16, global design and BIM software developer Vectorworks, Inc.’s Cloud Services was named winner of the Cloud Based Technology of the Year 2017 award for the Construction Computing Awards. Vectorworks Architect software was also named runner up for the Architectural Design Software of 2017 award. “Leveraging the power of cloud computing is a huge productivity improvement, saving hundreds of hours a year,” said Lyuben Hadzhipopov, cloud infrastructure manager at Vectorworks. “Before the Cloud, computational-intensive tasks like photo-realistic rendering could take hours and sometimes even days. This would cause huge delays in work productivity as designers waited for these tasks to complete. By subbing these tasks to the Cloud, the web can handle processing, leaving your local machine free so work and collaboration can continue as planned.” Improved Cloud Services were released in Vectorworks 2018 software this past September, and designers can now easily share designs, drawings and 3D models with clients and partners by using Google Drive, in addition to Dropbox, which was previously available. The Cloud Services web portal has also been updated for better file organization, along with an easier-to-use sharing interface and the ability to generate Web View Virtual Reality links of files in the cloud. Additionally, designers can now render a 360-degree view of a 3D model with the panorama feature, and then export the file to cloud storage, receiving a link to view the rendered panorama on a laptop, desktop or any mobile device. “Looking forward, Vectorworks is investigating new innovations to bring to its Cloud Services, like augmented reality capabilities and other collaborative capabilities, which would give Vectorworks users new ways to interact with stakeholders in the design and construction process," said Hadzhipopov. Vectorworks Architect is an industry-leading architectural design and BIM software that helps connect the entire design process from concept to construction in one platform. With Architect, designers can take on a project of any scale, from urban planning; to residential, commercial, hospitality, and institutional buildings; to interior renovations and fit outs. Known as “The Hammers,” the Construction Computing Awards showcase and reward the technology, tools and solutions for the effective design, construction, maintenance and modification of commercial buildings, residential and social housing and civil engineering projects of all sizes. The winners were announced at the twelfth annual gala event at the Radisson Blu Edwardian in Bloomsbury, London. Over 220 guests came to see the result of the readers’ online voting and judging panel’s considerations. A full list of the award winners can be found here. Videos and photos of the gala will be available soon, and there will be a full round up of the evening with a mention of Cloud Services in the November/December 2017 issue of Construction Computing Magazine. Details for the 2018 awards have been announced. The date of next year’s awards event is November 15, 2018; project submissions and nominations will open in early July. More information about next year’s awards event will appear on the Construction Computing Awards website in March 2018. To learn more about Vectorworks Cloud Services, Vectorworks Architect and other offerings, visit vectorworks.net.