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Christiaan

Notes Database, project sharing, relative path and Dropbox

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We're running into a nasty problem with the callouts and keynotes in that the 'relative path' setting for the database doesn't seem to be working. Couple this with Dropbox and Project Sharing and you have a recipe for disaster. Every time somebody opens their working file or tries to manipulate the notes they all go haywire and the user needs redefine where the database is again for every single note.

 

The problem appears to be that it's effectively looking for the database in

Users/Dropbox/Database.xml

Instead of:

Users/[username]/Dropbox/Database.xml

 

Anyone else experiencing this? Any thoughts on how to workaround? I wondered about moving the Dropbox folder to the Users folder but I'd have to mess around in the Terminal to change the permissions on the Users folder to achieve that.

 

Edited by Christiaan

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I've found a short term workaround, which is to move the Dropbox folder to Users > Shared on each computer.

 

There are still one problem, which is more obvious now that I've fixed the first issue, and that when somebody opens their Working File and refreshes they then need to double-click on the Keynotes (or right-click and check out) before working with the Callouts in any way. Otherwise the Callouts will ignore the fact that they're linked to the Keynote and render the text directly in the Callout, despite Place As Keynote remaining checked.

Edited by Christiaan
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Due to the COVID pandemic, we had to switch our project file to Dropbox, and now I have 500+ callout notes in a shared Project File that have lost their database. I am trying to figure out how best to proceed with working with a shared Notes Database. I think we set up the file with absolute paths (not knowing that we would all be working remotely). 

 

VW Help Documentation on this topic is fairly vague. For example, the section on the Reconcile Note Command says,

 

"The Reconcile Notes command handles differences between the database and the notes in the drawing. For example, if database callouts have been placed and the database is edited afterward, differences must be reconciled." 

 

Alright then. In real-world terms, what does this exactly mean? Does the tool help you locate databases that have changed paths? Or is this function more geared toward making sure all the callout note instances are consistent if someone changes it. A video demonstrating the various functions of the notes manager system would be truly helpful.

 

@Christiaan Does that mean we should abandon our attempt at doing database management on a project using Dropbox? Should I have our team VPN into the server so that the file links directly to our server instead of the cloud? What do I do with all the notes that are now linked to somebody's user Dropbox folder?  How do they get reconciled? 

 

Given the fact that work and most project files have moved to the cloud, some guidance from the VW team on this topic would be vastly appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

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This is one reason I've avoided the Notes Database. I don't want to hijack this thread, but the Notes Manager used to work. Now it's awful, hard to use, and frankly, I hate it.

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On 1/25/2020 at 1:36 PM, Christiaan said:

There are still one problem, which is more obvious now that I've fixed the first issue, and that when somebody opens their Working File and refreshes they then need to double-click on the Keynotes (or right-click and check out) before working with the Callouts in any way. Otherwise the Callouts will ignore the fact that they're linked to the Keynote and render the text directly in the Callout, despite Place As Keynote remaining checked.

@Christiaan Is Place As Keynote checked in the Working File? Note that it is a document preferences it could be set differently for each Working File.

We are not able to reproduce the problem you are describing here. Please any additional information or steps to reproduce it would be helpful.

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On 4/13/2020 at 6:58 PM, Hugues said:

@Christiaan Is Place As Keynote checked in the Working File? Note that it is a document preferences it could be set differently for each Working File.

We are not able to reproduce the problem you are describing here. Please any additional information or steps to reproduce it would be helpful.

 

@Hugues yes, Place As Keynote was checked in the Working File. I will try to reproduce but I suspect this aspect of the problem needs a few different things in place before it happens.

 

Are you able to reproduce the relative path problem (VB-167842)? Because that is easy to reproduce. And it seems to me my solution of putting the sync folder in the Shared folder is a security risk, especially if people are using laptops with multiple users.

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Has anyone found a solution for this? We are preparing to go back into lockdown and when we put our notes database file on Dropbox, it doesn't work at all. If I work on the file and connect the notes to the Database file on Dropbox. It uses the full folder chain down to users/my computer name/project number....But when my colleague tries to update a note, it can't find the database from her computer because it is users/her name/project number....

 

This set up makes no sense. When the database file is sitting in the same folder, why does it need to find the entire folder chain? As long as it is sitting in the same folder, it should just directly connect to it. Is this at all possible to do?

 

I should add that we can't work on the VW files directly from Dropbox. Way too slow. We download the VW files to our computer and then want to link to the Database. Either it should be able to find that file on Dropbox without issue, or we should have a simple way to point to it so that all of the notes stay linked. Having to double click on each note and update them is insane.

Edited by SDLaw
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The only way we deal with this is by using the Reconcile Notes command in the "Text" pull down menu.  Once you check a sheet out,  reconcile notes for the active layer.  That will ask you for the location of the notes database for notes on the sheet.  After relinking to the Dropbox database, the callouts are properly linked.  

Edited by cberg
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19 hours ago, cberg said:

The only way we deal with this is by using the Reconcile Notes command in the "Text" pull down menu.  Once you check a sheet out,  reconcile notes for the active layer.  That will ask you for the location of the notes database for notes on the sheet.  After relinking to the Dropbox database, the callouts are properly linked.  

 

That is the best VW thing I've learnt this year. Thank you for pointing out!

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21 hours ago, cberg said:

The only way we deal with this is by using the Reconcile Notes command in the "Text" pull down menu.  Once you check a sheet out,  reconcile notes for the active layer.  That will ask you for the location of the notes database for notes on the sheet.  After relinking to the Dropbox database, the callouts are properly linked.  

Thank you for this answer! But I am a little confused. If I have edited the notes and I do this, will it update the database with my edits? If one of my team mates updates the notes and I want to add those newly updated notes to my plans, how do I do that? In other words, is it updating my notes on the plan or is it updating the database? Is there a way to choose?

 

Edited by SDLaw

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If you have made callout notes that are not in the database, the "Reconcile Notes" command will add those note to the database so others can use them. There are a bunch of options that can help you filter the results.  If others link to the same database, their callouts will also be available to you.  When you make a callout you have an option to have it link to a database or link to "None," which will make it unique.  

 

Sometimes there is a conflict between two notes, and an error message appears.  The message says something like, "This note was also changed by someone else. Please choose which version to save..."  No matter which option you select, you cannot fix this problem without finding the conflicted callout and deleting it.  Maybe somebody else knows how to fix it.  I've asked this question for years, and nobody at Team VW seems to fully understand this functionality. 

 

Keep in mind, if you are working on a shared server (not Dropbox) , you don't have to go through the Reconcile Notes process.  The permissions should work automatically.  That said, the reconcile notes command helps you track down some of the problems with the callout database. 

 

When you select Reconcile Notes, this is the dialogue box you get.  In a project sharing environment, it is best to check out the layer, and select Active Layer.

 

1294093498_ScreenShot2020-11-12at10_31_21AM.thumb.png.5a4650808cd5406d7bc57e0295942f22.png

 

When the following dialogue box appears, I typically select "No".  Unless you are pulling notes from multiple databases.

 

 

314160389_ScreenShot2020-11-12at10_31_47AM.thumb.png.72b1ffc3c0bc05030dba502ac7a4dd3c.png


 

 

Usually when I find notes that need to be reconciled, I go back to the database and Update > them from the "Notes in Database" at the left.  If the note is not in the database, I update it from the list on the right.  Once the note is in the database, I make sure to update additional instances from the "Notes in Database" from the left.  I find it results in fewer conflicts/errors. 

 

But if the note doesn't have a database you can add it to the note database by selecting the <Update button.

 

It would be useful if there was a way to highlight the conflicted note so that we could know where it is. 

 

 

1821898842_ScreenShot2020-11-12at10_32_42AM.thumb.png.72e1226e92f0d98a7b1f13845ad9fc98.png

 

This is the error message that I can't resolve.  And nobody at VW seems to know how to resolve either.  

 

1044450228_ScreenShot2020-11-12at10_22_08AM.thumb.png.6834add203549c252e8a995dce410d55.png

 

Edited by cberg
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