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rcarch

Sharing information of a network (using MacOSX Server)

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Our firm is on the verge of growing over the next 4 months to multiple seats of VW 2008. What are other firms doing in terms of server setup and multi-user environments? I am particularly interested in hearing if anyone has started using the User Folders in the VW Preferences. I have not had the opportunity to work with it yet, but it looks like there is some potential there. Our biggest obstacles have been in sharing the default libraries, notes databases, etc. I would love to hear some scenarios from larger firms that are using VW too.

Thanks very much!

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i was really hoping we would have some feedback here, Rich. I guess when we start figuring it out we can answer our own inquiry!

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You posted on a weekend so it probably got buried. I have some comments for you which I'll post if I get some time.

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My guess is that there are lots of people doing file sharing, but few using OSX Server. Server and Client both have similar capabilities as far as sharing files go. Server puts a better operator interface on things like setting up a Web or mail server.

It also has better tools for handling 10s to 100s of users, or if you want clients to boot off the server.

For an office of less than 10 people, you really don't need more than a dedicated (or mostly dedicated) Mac Mini set up with file sharing turned on.

You might want to post your request again and leave off the Server part and see what kind of response you get.

Pat

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We are by no means a 'larger' firm, but I will share our setup...

We have a total of 6 employees, with 4 employees on CAD (VW 12.5.2, Mac OS 10.4.7-if it works, don't change it).

Our Principal Architect does no CAD, nor does our Admin.

Server is a Mac running Mac Server 10.4, with 2 hard drives, one for the Server system, user accts. The other is for the office use, the drawing files, memos, etc.

Users are bound to the server thorough Directory Access, so they get all log on/user info from the server. This is called Network Homes. (home directories reside on teh network) This works nice, as we can move stations, and still have our setup (preferences, etc) available at the new station. Bringing on new machines is simple, and then any use can use it, immediately. This also keeps all data, both user and server, on a single computer for very easy backups of all data. Even if someone saves a file to their desktop, it is actually residing on the user desktop, on the server HD, not the physical machines HD. The client computers are only good for the applications and the processors.

Using server, we share the Office HD (or portions) to the client machines. This iis through a share point, setup in Server, which mounts automatically to the desktop of the client machine on login. This includes libraries, details, and anything else we need to share with multiple users, including the VW Workspaces. We add the libraries/details to the VW Resource Browsers, and away they go...

We do not use 'User Folders'.

It is a bit hard to describe the entire setup, but this works for us. Mac Server also has built in options for remote log in, or VPN (virtual private networking) so I, or anyone else can work from home/road. Helps to admin the server from home, on the weekends. But since the boss does not see you 'working' while you ae at home, it is a struggle to describe how you were able to leave early on friday, because you put in hours over the weekend on the server.

Personally, being educated in architecture, but having a love for computers, it made it a simple choice that I take care of the server. Problem is, this is all admin time, and then the boss sees your non-billable hours shoot up, then you need to educate your boss. Most of the time, the system just work great. I can get 8.5 hours a day into billable time, and very little time is needed on the server. But when something goes wrong, you are the one to get all the pressure, as then all your CAD employees are sitting around... There are people who are specialists in server setup, and they are worth the money, if you want to go that route, that is an option too. The moral, if you want to take on the admin of a server for a small A/E office, it is not bad, but it can be a large draw on your billable hours, especially setup, and routine work/backups.

If you need more detailed setup info on the server itself, I can go there.

HTH, but it turned into a long winded unclear post. Apologies, I need to get back to work...

Spinner

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OK - Maybe I should have been a little clearer on my post, so I apologize!

I am really interested in how firms are using VW in a network environment. You know, WGRefs, User Folders, etc. How do you get multiple people working on the same job at the same time? How you do you use the Notes Databases, Finish Schedules, etc.?

We are pretty well set up in the server side of things, but thanks for the posts regarding that info. It is always interesting to see how others are doing it.

I have read a lot of earlier posts about some of this, and it seems that others are having some of the same issues we have had, and I know there are some real skilled CAD managers and the like out there. BTW - If anyone of you wants a job...

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Folder Structure for each job...

-JOB ARCH/STRUCT (holds architectural/struct file, Sect/Elev file)

-JOB MASTER (holds all master info ie. title block file, master notes files, etc. These are W/R into the Arch/Struct.

-JOB SITE (all site grading files)

-JOB DETAILS (all project details)

-JOB TITLE SHEETS (all title page, title 24, gen. nts.)

-JOB misc (holds memos, and other non VW stuff.

With the multiple files, it is a pain when PDFing, but it allows 4 or more people to be working on new job, arch/struct, elev/sect, site, title, master sheets, etc. Now W/R updates even if the file is open by another user. It always was a fun afternoon when we would yell across the office to have someone save and close a file, so we can get the changes updated by workgroup referencing....

Our system was setup on VW9 and really the only major changes in our process was with the addition of viewports. To be honest, we do a lot of work the old, saved sheet per page way.

That is our method, which relies heavily on W/R. Cut and past is a no-no in our office.

HTH again,

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Richard,

Check out the Ellicott Heights project on the new BIM in Practice web page at nemetschek.net. It can be accessed from the Support menu at the top navigation bar or from the Architect product page. This project and white paper should give you an idea about working on large projects in groups/teams.

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I am not sure if this is the correct forum for my question, but we are using OSX server and we are having trouble with VW2008 seeing files on the server. Let me elaborate. When I open up a server mounted volume to search for files i get a list, say file a, file b..... When I am in VW2008 and go to reference another file (DLVP) i see files that i have saved from VW to the server (say a copy of current file), but not files that i have moved from my desktop to the server mounted volume. Is there some sort of cache involved in the file browser within VW? Any help appreciated.

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This sounds like a permissions issue. You should be able to see them, but not access them though. I would start with Get Info on one file, make sure that eveyone has read-write access and then restart VW to see if that helps.

In all truth, we had to hire an ex-Apple engineer to fix the issue for us...

HTH

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