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Matt Overton

Recommendation: G-suite vs Dropbox for Vectorworks

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With the current Health issues effecting workflow we are generally looking to fix a few other issues we are having server wise.

Wondering if anyone has used G-suite or Dropbox to replace an in house server and how successful has it been?

 

G-suite is looking to be the better option to improve on email as part of the deal.

 

I've found a few posts from 2018 discussing it but didn't want to necro them but it seems timely to review.

 

Does it work?

Are there drop dead issues with either?

 

Do you use any of the services more interesting features to better organise your workflow around projects/ teams?

I've always wanted to get a project shared email box happening for each but to date it's been more management than the advantage.

 

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Any modern office should use both. G Suite is perfect for email, calendar, and collaborative document creation (e.g. spreadsheets), but it is not a good file repository. I find the browser app and desktop app awkward for third-party files and awkward in general. We ditched our server in 2011 and have run on Dropbox business ever since. I cannot imagine working on any other way. It has been extraordinarily reliable and flexible. Every file our office owns lives in Dropbox. Nothing on desktop, nothing local, nothing lost. I could go on and on about the benefits, and they were apparent long before Coronavirus. 

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Posted (edited)

We ditched our in-house server some time ago and started using Dropbox Business. Apart from occasionally having to wait too long for syncing we've been really happy with it. Access files anywhere. Works well with Project Sharing. 120 days of easy to use backup built in. But best of all, I don't have to manage server hardware and software.

 

We use Dreamhost for email and web hosting, an iCloud account for address book + email archive and nuclino.com for our wiki (which is very good).

 

G-suite sounds like a good option too (if you happy to deal with such a privacy-invasive company).

Edited by Christiaan
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While it doesn't work with Vectorworks Cloud services looks like we are going with Microsoft Office 365 one drive as it suits the clients we work with. Still might have end up with other services down the track. 

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Wondering if any of you have heard of anyone using 365 with Vectorworks documents?  Matt, I see you said you guys were moving to 365.  Any suggestions?  

 

I would like to move all our files to Sharepoint, but the issue I am having is that if we share a folder, that has Vectorworks files in it, and the user must first download the file, then they can open it.  

 

I would like a solution that Sharepoint will open the desktop app, be it Vectorworks fundamentals or viewer, so the user does NOT have to down load it to use it?  

 

Does Dropbox give you the ability to open from a browser to the desktop app?

 

Thanks for the help.

 

Kevin 

Edited by khertzog

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On 3/21/2020 at 11:15 PM, Matt Overton said:

While it doesn't work with Vectorworks Cloud services looks like we are going with Microsoft Office 365 one drive as it suits the clients we work with. Still might have end up with other services down the track. 

 

Dropbox doesn't work with Vectorworks? This seems to say that it does:

 

https://cloud.vectorworks.net/portal/help/pages/integrate-with-dropbox/?app=WEB

 

Looking into this now so any clarification would help! It seems like a lot of folks are using Dropbox with VW these days from what I've been reading.

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@khertzog If you haven't found the answers for yourself already, I'll try to offer some insight. One of the advantages to cloud services (in general, ie Dropbox, Sharepoint, etc) besides file sharing is the ability to not have all files stored or sync'd locally, as you've described. However, the way that these services work is that whenever you open a file (of any sort, not just VW) the file is sync'd to the local machine so that you can view or make change to the document. Some services offer previews of typical, everyday files (JPEG, PDF, docs, etc), but besides just previewing or printing a file, any document will most likely be sync'd to the local machine to perform work. Once changes are made to a document and saved, the updated file is pushed back to the cloud for storage.

 

So, no matter what cloud service is used, it is most likely a fact that a local copy will always have to be sync'd to your computer before you can open it. Sorry to crush any hopes 🙂 . Vectorworks Cloud Services does provide some ways of just viewing a model online through a browser and not doing any editing, if that is way you are going for.

 

Now, some cloud services will let you specify which files stay on your local machine at all times. This makes it so that at least the VW file will already be sync'd to your local machine and you don't have to wait for the VW file to both sync and open. These options are usually found by right clicking on a file in the file explorer. Sharepoint/Onedrive shows "Always keep on this device"(local computer) vs "Free up space"(keep on cloud unless opened):

Onedrive.thumb.png.1b24688c5643d7e8b2b01f3c8aedafbc.png

Dropbox does something similar with its "Smart Sync" feature, "Local" or "Online Only":

Dropbox.thumb.png.0aeaae1ad0e3dc095bbb6d05f69801ed.png

 

HTH.

Eliot

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Thank you all for the replies.  Very helpful!  At this point it looks like we are going to be using Office365/Teams/Sharepoint.  We will continue to learn and grow and see how this all comes together.

 

Thanks again for the help.

 

Kevin

 

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