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VW 2017 Resource Manager & dropbox

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I would also be grateful to understand how the "Workgroup" and "User" tabs actually work. The help section is very vague. Surely not another glitch?

Mark

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Try putting all of the files in a subfolder called "Libraries," then refresh. Keep the VW preferences looking at the "WGR Omniclass" folder as you already have.

There are three places from which VW pulls things:

  • Vectorworks' application folder (in the same place where all the programs on the computer are stored). This is all the default content.
  • Your User Folder (which I believe defaults to the location shown in the video above but can placed anywhere; I moved all my stuff into a Dropbox folder). This is all your customizations.
  • Workgroup folders. Essentially the same as User Folders, but I believe they only add resource libraries, and not things like workspaces. You can have multiple and they can be placed anywhere on your hard drive.

The trick, though, is that in all of these locations Vectorworks expects to see the same folder hierarchy. So in the Resource Manager it's looking for the "Libraries" subfolder in each of those locations. You can place VW files directly into the Libraries subfolder if you just want them to appear in the Resource Manager, but if you want resources to show up in other tools (such as gradients appearing in the attributes palettes), then they need to be in their respective subfolders such as WGR Omniclass < Libraries < Defaults < Attributes - Gradients < file.vwx.

I hope this helps!

(And anyone please correct me if I've mis-stated anything).

Edited by Andy Broomell

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User Folder includes mostly settings.
But everything customized too, if there is now workgroup folder assigned.

The Priority Hierarchy is :
User Folder
Workgroup Folder
App Folder.

So if you have the same File 3 times in the same path structure, the one with highest priority
gets opened and shown, all other ignored.
The only way to for example hide any defaults you don't want to see, create an empty V File
with same file name at a higher priority location.
I don't recommend to deactivate "show default content" until you have a complete copy of Libraries
in your workgroup folder. Otherwise certain plugin objects like heliodon will not work as they may
not find their default symbols and such.

To set the workgroup Folder like "2017" with a copy of the whole library folder, /2017/Libraries/ ...
You have to chose the path .... /2017/
Not .../2017/Libraries/ which I tried, to not always have to open the "Libraries" folder each time again
old Resource Browser, when you want to open workgroup resources,
as that way it will not be found ;)
(As that happened again when I tried to set my 2017 workgroup folder)

Edited by zoomer

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Only Project Sharing connects to cloud storage systems via their APIs. Project files can be stored in something like Dropbox. 

Nothing else in Vectorworks should be stored in any cloud storage location.

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16 minutes ago, JimW said:

Only Project Sharing connects to cloud storage systems via their APIs. Project files can be stored in something like Dropbox. 

Nothing else in Vectorworks should be stored in any cloud storage location.

I've stored my VW User Folder on Dropbox for the last two or three versions, and have never had any problems. I understand if it's not "officially supported" though.

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Ok, now I had time to watch the video to see what the problem is. Hadn't expected dropbox.

 

I have everything on SSD. But I allways thought, dropbox app as well as iCloud create a folder between apple HDDs that would work as any local folder. Not true ?

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In theory it should be no different and work fine, but in practice we have had many users that were not able to work properly with them, and since Engineering doesn't support doing it we don't recommend it on the support side.

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thanks for all the replies.  

JimW,  which is it?

1. yes, you can view dropbox folder through resource manager.

or

2. no, you cannot.  you have to stick with the "Favorites" way of doing it.

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Vectorworks inc does not officially support using Dropbox that way and does not advise doing so. 

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Digitalmechanics,

First, I see a "blank" in front of the Folder Name.
I don't allow myself any special characters in V, especially in Paths.
Some use special characters in their User Names. That may prevent V from running at all.

Second, as in my case, I think V just misses that "Libraries" Folder between given
Path and your Content Folders. Try to add that and pull your folders inside.
If that may not be enough, create even a "Defaults" Folder.
That works for my Workgroup Folder.


Jim,
I could imagine that there occur problems when synchronizing V working files.
Like a 250 MB file that will need 20 minutes to upload and you want to save that
file manually every 5 minutes ...
But just to read resource files like DM want's to do, I think the resource refresh will
only happen at V's start or when saving a new ressource, that should work ok for DM.

 

Edited by zoomer

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OK

I have to confess to being a little confused about setting up Workgroup files and folders. The Help section is very sketchy. Would anybody be able to describe a simple walkthrough on how to do this? With Dropbox or without, I'm not that bothered for now (baby steps!)

Much appreciated.

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Zoomer, i appreciate the suggestions but, the preferences tab that asked me where the WG folders are located said nothing about renaming anything.  it just asked 'where is the folder?'  to do anything else is secret knowledge that only a few people would know.  we should say "this is the WG folder" pow done. 

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The simplest way would be, that is how I started,
Make a path on your disk what will be your workgroup Folder. Like : YourDisk/....../Workgroup
EDIT : DO NOT COPY FILES AND FOLDERS FROM VW APP/LIBRARIES FOLDER.
Copy the whole* "Libraries" out of Apps/Vectorworks 2017/ into your Workgroup folder.
In V Preferences, add that Path YourDisk/....../Workgroup:
JUST ADD A FOLDER CALLED "Libraries" AND PUT YOUR STUFF IN FOLDERS THERE.

When you restart V, Ressource Manager will see changes and ask to refresh the catalog.
Now you should see your "Workgroup Libraries" at the bottom, contain new elements.
(The exact copy of what you see also under "Vectorworks Libraries", coming from inside the App Folder)

*As the Workgroups Folder has Priority, V will use these Files and ignore the ones from the App Folder.
So if V gets a SP with Library Updates, it will still use your old and maybe customized files in Workgroup, as longs as there
is the same File with same name.
So better is that your Workgroup only contains your Custom Files

Edited by zoomer

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24 minutes ago, digitalmechanics said:

Zoomer, i appreciate the suggestions but, the preferences tab that asked me where the WG folders are located said nothing about renaming anything.  it just asked 'where is the folder?'  to do anything else is secret knowledge that only a few people would know.  we should say "this is the WG folder" pow done. 

Well, that is one of those things where V chooses other proprietary ways to do things as you are used to do elswhere:

I understand it in a way that the Path of a Workgroup Folder, from a Vectorworks view, in reality has to be :
Path/..../WorkgroupFolder/Libraries > including your content.

But the path you have to set in the Dialog has to look like :
Path/..../WorkgroupFolder (only)
But it has to contain a parent "Libraries" folder, that holds your Content Folder, in your WorkgroupFolder.

Edited by zoomer

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Digitalmechanics,
I personally can't better the Vectorworks user experience but please try to :

1. Create a Folder called "Libraries" in your Workgroup Folder as you set the path in V Prefs.
2. Temporally move a bunch of your resource Files into it
3. Restart Vectorworks
4 Tell if you see those files in Resource Manager now

Edited by zoomer

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no way,  i started to do that then it said i needed to reregister my VW so i canceled it all out and deleted the "Libraries" folder i made on dropbox.  i don't have time to fiddle with this stuff.

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You mean you added an EMPTY Folder called "Libraries" into your workgroup Folder
(The one assigned as a path in V Prefs)
Dragged some of your resource files in there,

and now V asks you to reregister ?

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I tried to make a more understandable use of Workgroup Folders,
the way that I understand these, here :

 

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Just reading this thread for the first time.   I'm currently transitioning our 8 CAD user firm over to VW2018 from VW2016 and this has me questioning the setup we've been using with DropBox for years.   I just tried to find my original posted questions on VW with DropBox but my account is only showing back to 2011 so I can't pinpoint the date.  It looks like VW2011 was when I first started putting our entire LIBRARY in DropBox.   I'm not remembering when the USER folder was first introduced but it could have been about this time.   I'm quite sure WorkGroup Folders didn't exist then either.    Since the fall of 2010 I've never thought to change what wasn't broken.  Perhaps its time to modernize.

 

Since VW looks in the Application Folder for a folder called LIBRARY this is where I do my customization.   I've attached an image of the folder structure.

Here are the steps I've used:

1- Ignore the User Folder

2- Duplicate the VW Application's LIBRARIES folder and rename it LIBRARY(original) to preserve it.

3- Customize the copy of the LIBRARIES folder with all my accumulated Third Party and Custom Content.  

4- Copy this entire Custom Library into DropBox.  The copy in the Application Folder is renamed as LIBRARIES(dropbox) to preserve it outside of DropBox.

5- Create a new Folder called LIBRARIES.  This is the folder VW will look to.   Within this folder create shortcuts using identical names to the original folder names but link each to the LIBRARIES located in DropBox.  Do not create a shortcut for the FAVORITES folder, however.  This must be unique for each station as the file paths are unique to each user.

6- Repeat step 5 on each of our CAD stations.  

 

In this setup each VW station is automatically looking to identical DropBox libraries right down to the DEFAULT folder content.  Add a wall type to DEFAULT content on DropBox and within minutes its available inside the Default content of each user.   If network or internet access goes down or if people go off site then everyone still has their full LIBRARY in their local DropBox.   If they go online from off site then DropBox will update to our latest content that may have been added from the office.

 

The only downside this has created is running Service Pack updates.   I have to 'uncouple' the system from Dropbox by renaming the original folder back to LIBRARIES.  I then swap the names back after the update.  This leaves open the chance that if the update modifies library files I miss out on using that portion of the update.  I try to catch when this happens so I get the new content into our DropBox.   Honestly, I only remember an issue one time with regard to the Section Mark default content not working without the new SP file.  Otherwise this setup has worked very well for the past 7 years.   I suppose the other minor downside is that all my custom content files are mixed in with the system files and needs to be kept straight.   

 

I've seen other posts where people have tried to put their USER folder into DropBox but then got errors.   I'm of the mindset that the USER folder should remain unique to each of my 8 users and not be the shared element in this setup.  

 

What are the compelling reasons for going a different way with my VW2018 setup but getting the same function?   Since we skipped over VW2017 this will be our first experience with the new Resource Manager which I suspect could make all the difference.

 

 

 

VWDropBoxSystemFolder.jpeg

Edited by Joe-SA

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