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Tom Klaber

Project Sharing - Where are we?

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16 hours ago, Tolu said:

Perhaps our message was not and has not been clear. I apologize for the confusion.

 

Here is a link to an FAQ post stating that File Stream is not supported:

The post says, "NOTE: When using Google Drive, keep in mind that Project Sharing is NOT compatible with "Drive File Stream". It will still work with "Backup and Sync"."

 

 

 

 

Sure - but Backup and Sync has been sunsetted for Gsuite - it is not available - so to say Google Drive is supported is somewhat disingenuous... It sounds like I have to go hound Google to get me some Delta Sync.  Unfortunately they are not as accessible as you.  

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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

 

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3 hours ago, Tolu said:

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.

 

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

 

 

I think part of the issue may be that Backup & Sync doesn't work with company-wide Shared Drives, only your personal My Drive. With G-Suite, it's useful to have Shared Drives for teams that aren't "owned" by individuals. I'm also not certain that Backup & Sync is always compatible with G-Suite (depending on the individual company's configuration maybe?).

 

https://support.google.com/drive/answer/7638428?hl=en

 

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@Tolu @tsw  

You are right - back up and sync is available - but again really only usable for personal accounts.  I think technically there is a way to use the client for business accounts, but not shared drives, and with no ability to control what folders are synced - so not a viable option for a company.  Since most common use case for using project sharing is when you have a team, and the most common use case of using google drive when you have a team is you are using the Google's G-Suite - which essentially mandates that you use File Stream.

 

So the equivalent would be supporting Dropbox but not Dropbox for Teams or Dropbox Business - whatever they call it. 

 

I am sure there are technical reasons why backup and sync is simpler - but if you were going to support one of GDrives protocols, File Stream would be the one with actual real world value. 

 

 

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So...

 

We had a big meeting on Friday.  And based on the comments here - we are biting the bullet and the hit to the wallet - and diving head first into Dropbox.  We had some issues with Project Files breaking - and having to be remade.  I am assuming this is just part of life - but if anybody has any tips on the best way to configure Dropbox or the PS files - we would be very greatful. 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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@Tolu 

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.  I called VW support and they said that this is a common issue and I simply needed to 'save as' a regular vectorworks file, erase the project file, have everybody erase their working files, and then recreate the project file.  Not a huge deal, but annoying. The issue happened twice in the first week, before we started to ask ourselves if it was worth it. 

 

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

 

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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?

 

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@Tolu

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.   So I do not really agree that cloud solutions still presume interent access.  I think most now have fairly solid previsions for offline workflows and modes.  

 

For us it is things like:

 

We have projects in upstate New York where there is very poor internet connections.  There are times when I need to go up there for site meetings and stay 2-4 days and need to work basically offline when I am there.  

 

We also have people who are from Italy, and have similar unreliable internet when they work from "home".  

 

There are also times, even in the city, when we are onsite, and need to open a VW file to discuss an issue during construction and will not have access to internet. 

 

Travel in general.  For me, I travel for committee meetings a few times a year (or did) and would use offline modes when working at airports, on planes, trains, or in Hotels where internet was spotty, or not easily available. 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 5/5/2020 at 6:24 PM, Tom Klaber said:

@Jacob@tangably.com 

We are reverting back to old school referencing because the Project Sharing just does not work.  We even did a Dropbox experiment, and were being forced 3 times a week to create new project files and working files because of errors and corruptions.  Certainly was not worth it for us to run 2 operate cloud storage to try and use a feature that was only partially functional.  


Still would love to see a File Stream solution - we would be more willing to try and sort out the issues if it did not require us to abandon our current cloud solution. 

 

 

Sorry to hear that it is not working for you guys either. Thank you @Tom Klaber for sharing your experience. We too are interested in using Project Sharing more consistently. But Many of our Clients are already set in their File Stream workflows. Maybe another year or another Service Pack things will be different.

 

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@Jacob@tangably.com 

That would be really great.

I have sent feedback to Google asking for Delta Sync.  Microsoft recently announce that they added it to One Drive, so hopefully that is a feature coming soon.  Then it might make more sense for VW to support it. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
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.
 

Edited by Tolu
Last paragraph is a incorrect

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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. 

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@Tolu 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.

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12 hours ago, Tolu said:

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?

 

 

 

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?

 

Thanks Tolu!

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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.

 

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One of the biggest limitations we currently find is Title Blocks. If anybody needs to edit anything even associated with a single Title Block then they need to sign them all out.

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7 hours ago, Christiaan said:

One of the biggest limitations we currently find is Title Blocks. If anybody needs to edit anything even associated with a single Title Block then they need to sign them all out.

Hello @Christiaan,

 

Could you tell me what exactly are your steps that cause all TBBs to be checked out?

 

Keep in mind that document wide data, such as Project Data, Document Options, etc. are linked to all TBBs and modifying such that is normal to require the checkout of all TBBs in the document.

 

Anyway, we are working on some improvements on the Title Block Border for the future versions of Vectorworks.

 

Best Regards,

Nikolay Zhelyazkov

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@Nikolay Zhelyazkov

 

1.  Changing the draw or stack order of any design layer causes every titleblock to be checked out. 

2.  Exporting PDFs from the file menu requires every titleblock to be checked out. I think this is because of a dialogue box in the export command that resets plugin objects prior to exporting.

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Hello @cberg,

 

12 minutes ago, cberg said:

1.  Changing the draw or stack order of any design layer causes every titleblock to be checked out. 

- Title Blocks have a field Page Number in Sheet Data that is automatically calculating the stacking order of the TBBs in the document. When you change the stacking order the affected TBBs with changed stacking order require checking out. If you do not want this to happen, make you TBBs not active, by unchecking "This Title Block is Active" in the OIP of all TBBs. This will also cause Total Num Sheets field to change, because it is automatically counting the number of active TBBs in the document.

You can also turn off "Auto Generate Page Number" in the Sheet Data of all TBBs, instead of making them inactive, and this should fix your issue too.

 

14 minutes ago, cberg said:

2.  Exporting PDFs from the file menu requires every titleblock to be checked out. I think this is because of a dialogue box in the export command that resets plugin objects prior to exporting.

- I was not able to reproduce that, but I suppose the you can try turning off the option in export PDF that resets all plugins. If this does not help, could you send me a test file with which I will be able to reproduce it?

 

Best Regards,

Nikolay Zhelyazkov

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Ideally, I think it would be good if database information - such as Project Data would not require the checking out of the instances of the objects that access and use that information.  The user can "check out" the database, but the objects will not be required to be.

 

Scenario:

If I am updating a door / or space object info - do I need to also have the viewport where tag is located checked out as well?

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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

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There are some experienced project sharing afficionados on this thread so can I ask how you go about retrieving uncommitted changes made in a working file? It seems that when using a backup you still need to do a cut & paste. Easy enough if the changes are all in one part of the file / on the same design layer. Much more problematic if the changes are between viewport annotations, design layers and whatever other miscellaneous uncommited changes which could be all over the file.

 

Is there any way to do it without having to do a cut & paste between files? Simply overwriting a crashed working file with a backup (as you would do when working on a normal .vwx file) is not best practive for project sharing.

 

In this thread @rb-arch suggest changing preferences to not use backups at all rather simply overwrite the original working file every 50 operations. What do you do? We are embarking on a large project so we want to get this rolling the most efficient way. Thanks.

 

 

 

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Hey everyone. Any response to the above post would be appreciated. 
 

the key question I guess being when retrieving uncommitted changes to a Crashed working file does it still require a cut and paste from a backup. Or can the the crashed wf simply be overwritten with a backup? 
 

Keen to know what the best practice / work flow is for project sharing thanks.

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You can still commit and release from the backup copy,, after that you can delete the file and create a new from the Project file
Is a good practice to create a new working file, almost every day or so..

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