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Amorphous - Julian

Ongoing Project Sharing Issues: A record from one issue to another.


We have getting a chronic project sharing problem . Model objects, viewports and sheets regularly disappear from our shared project file. 


No matter the size and complexity of the file, we get this problem.


This happens between 1-2 times a week across different projects. 


Anyone else getting this issue? Is this something Vectorworks can fix in upcoming releases?




Some background:

- Our shared server runs Mac OS Server 5.2 on Mac OS 10.11.6 El Capitan, with 'SMB Sharing only' turned on in File Sharing.  

- We tried upgrading our server to Mac OS 10.13 and Mac OS 10.14, but permission issues were even more severe (in both SMB and AFP).
- We then downgraded back to Mac OS 10.11

- Previously, when we ran File Sharing on AFP in Mac OS 10.11, this 'disappearing model' issue didn't seem to occur. 

- Due to other services we have to run, we had to switch File Sharing over to SMB from AFP

- Sharing files in Mac OS with both 'AFP and SMB' turned on doesn't work, and not recommended by our Vectorworks distributor.



Edited by Amorphous - Julian
Changed the title to reflect the evolving project sharing issues.

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hi @Amorphous - Julian,

Here to share our office experience with Project Sharing. What we’ve learned is that a lot, much more than we could believe, depends on server and network configuration and even more when it comes to save&commit which is a key operation.

We have been operating for a long time in a Mac OS Server environment, since it was still a Os and not a cheap and fragile app, as it is now. In several years - especially at the beginning - we’ve pushed it as much as we could, with advanced configurations (e.g. network home folders) and professions advice on set up and management.


12 months ago, planning server hardware replacement, we decided to “downgrade” from a server configuration to a nas configurations, given that we were mostly using our server for file sharing only, having slowly moved any other “service” (mail, calendar etc) to cloud services. After quite a long research (we also came from a long frustrating time with project and file sharing issues on Mac OS server,  which got worse after the new Apple file system was introduced on some clients and smb also pushed on the Apple side also), we moved to a mid-high range Synology NAS, following also testing and suggestions by VideoCom, our localized VW distributor. High range Synology NAS apparently have a better afp/smb file management.


Most of our issues, which were similar to yours, have since than disappeared: no more file permission issues, no more save and commit issues, much higher stability. We still find Project Sharing not intuitive in some parts (e.g. when prompting confirmation about updating wall styles to unaware users) but working on detailed drawings in a similar configuration (small firm, max 3 people one file) is much better now.


I must admit we still have the “fear” that sharing may not reliable especially under deadlines (due to some unexpected behaviors we experienced in the past, which drove us to crisis situations) but in the last 12 months, after the move, no big issue was raised working with Project Sharing.

Not sure this could help you, but on our side it has been quite a positive surprise, and a big step toward an efficient management of time spent on design rather than on IT technicalities.



Edited by STR

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[UPDATE 23/01/2020]


After a rather good run for 2 months, we have the issue of our ENTIRE model disappearing from the Project File again. 


At the time of this issue, we had two people working on the model, both Working Files for both users were intact and at around 2GB even after 'save and commit'.


When the third person opened the Project File, we realised the there was a problem- Almost everything in the model disappeared. 

The Project File size suddenly went from 700MB to 350MB. Screen shot of the model with all classes and layers turned on enclosed. 



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On 12/29/2019 at 5:33 AM, STR said:

hi @Amorphous - Julian,
Not sure this could help you, but on our side it has been quite a positive surprise, and a big step toward an efficient management of time spent on design rather than on IT technicalities.


Hi @STR, thanks so much for sharing this. We too have spent a lot of time on IT technicalities to make Vectorworks work smoothly for our office, which I would love to minimise.

To solve the file permissions issues, we migrated a number of times since 2018 from Mac Mini Server, to Synology NAS server, and back to a Mac Pro Server again.


We went from OS X 10.10, to 10.11, to 10.12, to 10.13 and 10.14. And finally reverted back to 10.11 OSX Server. This was a very time-consuming process. 

Our conclusion, like yours, was that the newer versions of Mac OS server were very problematic.

We gave Synology NAS a go with a reasonably good device  at the time (DS1517+). However, we didn't seem to replicate the success that you got. That said, it was back in 2018 and their AFP/SMB permission handling may have changed. 

See post below on all the iterations of Hardware/OS we went through below. Since this is still an ongoing issue, I'd like to look at any options to eliminate the unexpected nature of our workflow. May I ask:

- When you had similar issues, did you ever get file corruption with parts of the model disappearing?
- What Vectorworks version do you currently use?

- What Mac OS version do your terminals use?
- What is the Synology model you currently use? 
- Does your Synology device support 10GBe networking? If so, what save and commit times do you get from it for say 2GB VWXW files?



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