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This new feature looks quite cool. Is this a way to do project sharing without using dropbox, project sharing server, or other compatible platforms? As googledrive users, this is great news! We have been using free dropbox accounts as a workaround in the pandemic.

 

With googledrive integration for VW Cloud Services this could be really useful, but it doesn't appear that Cloud Services can access "Shared Drives" in google drive (i.e. a company 'server') only a users personal drive. Is this correct?

 

I had long thought Vectorworks should host project sharing files themselves rather than dropbox or other platforms so this looks great!

 

 

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
1 hour ago, _James said:

This new feature looks quite cool. Is this a way to do project sharing without using dropbox, project sharing server, or other compatible platforms? As googledrive users, this is great news! We have been using free dropbox accounts as a workaround in the pandemic.

 

With googledrive integration for VW Cloud Services this could be really useful, but it doesn't appear that Cloud Services can access "Shared Drives" in google drive (i.e. a company 'server') only a users personal drive. Is this correct?

 

I had long thought Vectorworks should host project sharing files themselves rather than dropbox or other platforms so this looks great!

 

 

 

Hello @_James

 

Yes exactly, you can use Project Sharing and Vectorworks Cloud Services together, no need for third party storage providers.  Project Sharing server has several additional advantages, but for an easy entry into project sharing using VCS can be handy.  I am not sure about the Google Drive integration with this (Google Drive + VCS + Project Sharing), will get more info.

 

 

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hello @_James

 

2 hours ago, _James said:

With googledrive integration for VW Cloud Services this could be really useful, but it doesn't appear that Cloud Services can access "Shared Drives" in google drive (i.e. a company 'server') only a users personal drive. Is this correct?

 

Yes, unfortunately, the Google Drive integration with Vectorworks Cloud Services doesn't support Shred Drives. We have a few enhancements submitted for this already, and I added your vote to them. This would be useful in other scenarios, but not specifically with Project Sharing. Vectorworks Cloud Services doesn't support sharing with "Sync and Edit" permissions for folders on integrated storages, because that would be redundant, complicated, and really not necessary. 

 

1 hour ago, Dave Donley said:

Is this a way to do project sharing without using dropbox, project sharing server, or other compatible platforms?

Yes, you no longer need Dropbox, or Google Drive, or project sharing server to do Project Sharing. All you need is a shared folder on Vectorworks Cloud Services that syncs to all project participants' desktop computers.

 

Best regards,

Iskra Nikolova

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Thanks for the replies.

 

12 minutes ago, inikolova said:

Vectorworks Cloud Services doesn't support sharing with "Sync and Edit" permissions for folders on integrated storages, because that would be redundant, complicated, and really not necessary.

Perhaps this is more at a technical level rather than a usability level but it would be useful for us to have this work on shared drives. Our office 'server' is hosted entirely on shared google drives. It would be great if .vwxp project files could remain on the shared drive so that anyone can access and work on them. It seems that now users will have to copy files they want to be project sharing files to their "My Drive" google drive, and then share it with colleagues who they want to work on the file with.

 

Just my thoughts/feedback but perhaps there are reasons unknown to me why this is not a good idea.

 

What would be easier for everyone is if GoogleDrive would implement delta sync and LAN sync!

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@_James,

Since Shared Google Drives sync to team member's desktop computers, it would be redundant for you to share the drive via Vectorwiorks Cloud Services, and have it sync to your computer from there. You use Google File Stream, correct? Vectorworks Project sharing supports Google File Stream, but since they do not have Delta sync, its performance will be worse compared to using Project Sharing with Vectorworks Cloud Services or Dropbox directly. 

 

So, your idea is if Vectorworks Cloud Services supports integration and sharing with edit permissions of Shared Drives, then you can sync the Google Drive to your Vectorworks Cloud Services folder on your local computer, hence utilizing the Vectorworks Cloud Services' delta sync? This is a lot of implementations on our side, just because Google Drive doesn't have delta sync 😁.

 

I hope this clarifies it a bit.

 

 

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2 hours ago, inikolova said:

Vectorworks Cloud Services doesn't support Shred Drives.

 

Wow, that caught my attention.

I even asked Apple Dictionary about those interesting Shred Drives.

It needed another post :

 

2 hours ago, _James said:

it would be useful for us to have this work on shared drives.

 

to get that there are no fascinating Shred Drives in reality that could

help accelerating VW Project Sharing over internet .....

 

Very nice typo 🙂

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21 hours ago, inikolova said:

Since Shared Google Drives sync to team member's desktop computers, it would be redundant for you to share the drive via Vectorwiorks Cloud Services, and have it sync to your computer from there.

 

@inikolova I think the issue James is identifying here is logistical rather than technical. Many of us now use (or want to use) a file syncing service to share *all* company files. In doing so we can maintain a logical folder structure that includes Vectorworks Project Sharing files *within* project folders.

 

A dilemma some VW customers now face with VCS project sharing support is that if they choose to use VCS they will then need to keep their VW project files in a different folder directory to everything else. 

 

One solution is VCS integration with third party sync services that have delta sync (as you have with Dropbox) but another would be for VCS to compete with Dropbox etc as a general file syncing service. That way VW customers could keep all their files in one place, on VCS.

 

Edited by Christiaan
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@Christiaan and @_James,

 

Thank you for the clarification! Could you provide a list of items that you think Vectorworks Cloud Services is lacking when compared to the third-party providers you are using currently? I would like to add these things to our list of future improvements.

 

Best regards,

Iskra Nikolova

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@inikolova two major things that stop us from even considering VCS for hosting all our company files:

1. Space, 20 GB doesn't come close to being enough space and there's no transparent or easy way to upgrade

2. No choice of data centre. We would need to be able to choose an EU-based data centre.

 

We actually use Resilio Sync because we have unlimited data for a great price and very high security, because files aren't hosted on a central server. VCS can't really compete with that using a central server approach.

 

As for things we love about Dropbox:

- Sharing files via link (Resilio doesn't have this)

- Paper, a nice markdown editor. I really miss this about Dropbox but I've also got my eye on a project called Anytype, which is a decentralised answer to Notion.**

- Microsoft Office integration is nice. It will tell you if somebody else is viewing or editing a file you've just opened. Perhaps you could implement the same for MS Office but also for VW files.

- Mobile apps with all the bells and whistles

 

Other thoughts:

- Is VCS (or at least VCS Project Server) perhaps an opportunity to build real-time messaging into Project Sharing?

 

** Anytype is a really interesting project actually. I'm hoping it might work with Vectorworks. They said they have plans to introduce delta sync but I don't know enough about how the IPFS protocol works to know if it will simply work with files like VW.

Edited by Christiaan
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I don't think a company like ours would ever consider hosting everything on VCS so I think working with other systems is the right approach. We are too tied up in google docs, gmail, gcal etc. That said, if Google were to implement delta sync we would just stick with google and use project sharing straight of our shared drives and VWs efforts on this would be wasted, at least for us anyway, as we don't use cloud services at all currently.

 

It's a very difficult problem to solve, so I don't envy you @inikolova!

 

p.s. I'm a big fan of Notion but didn't know about Anytype - thanks for the tip @Christiaan

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Agreed, it's no easy task, but I reckon they could nab quite a few practices away from third party services if there's enough added value when working in Vectorworks. Some companies will look at it from the other direction, they'll start using VCS for VW because it has added value and then question why they use other syncing services for the rest of their files.

Edited by Christiaan
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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Thanks, @Christiaan and @_James,

 

I appreciate the dialogue. I agree that there will be different needs in both directions and we need to find the right balance. 

 

Please keep your ideas and suggestions coming! When supported with real life scenarios, they are most helpful, as they help us understand your needs better. 

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And the BIGGEST feature that would make me quit Dropbox instantly would be a link that could be shared (messaged, emailed, whatever) that would open the linked file from my local copy of the depository.

 

Dropbox links will only open the file in the web browser.

 

If it has to open in a browser then there needs to be a link to "Find in Local Data Storage"

 

I will give up everything except rapid and reliable sync for that function.

 

I have looked at all of the cloud sync options and can not find one that has this functionality.

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9 hours ago, Christiaan said:

** Anytype is a really interesting project actually. I'm hoping it might work with Vectorworks. They said they have plans to introduce delta sync but I don't know enough about how the IPFS protocol works to know if it will simply work with files like VW.

 

Woofmoo... OpenDoc returns

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
1 hour ago, Pat Stanford said:

And the BIGGEST feature that would make me quit Dropbox instantly would be a link that could be shared (messaged, emailed, whatever) that would open the linked file from my local copy of the depository.

 

Can you help me understand why this feature would be useful to you and how you would use it? 

 

1 hour ago, Pat Stanford said:

If it has to open in a browser then there needs to be a link to "Find in Local Data Storage"

 

 

The Vectorworks Cloud Services desktop app has a button that allows you to locate local files on the web. Are you looking for the reverse link basically? But you expect this to work for links that you share with other team members as well? So, from the shared link, the recipient would be able to add the file to their file list, sync to their desktop computer automatically, and then they can directly open the local file from there? 

 

Screenshot 2021-04-08 at 21.10.09.png

34 minutes ago, Christian Fekete said:

What are the added functions on VCS that dropbox does not have

 

The biggest thing that VCS has that Dropbox doesn't is Cloud Processing. You can offload time consuming renderings to the Cloud, so you can continue to use your local Vectorworks while the Cloud is doing the rendering. Vectorworks Cloud Services also offers viewers for panoramic images and videos with VR viewing options. VCS has 3D model viewer with AR viewing option, presentation feature that allows you to link panoramic images to create a virtual walkthrough experience, and many more. In other words, Vectorworks Cloud Services is a cloud storage solution geared towards industry workflows. 

 

1 hour ago, Pat Stanford said:

As a possible work around, would it be possible to use Aliases/Links to allow the VW Projects to be physically stored on VCS while still showing (and possibly be accessible from) the general cloud storage option?

Please try it with caution. The Vectorworks Cloud Services should be able to work with shortcuts/aliases, but I have not checked it after the sync functionality was completely reengineered. I would not be surprised if there are problems. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, inikolova said:
4 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

And the BIGGEST feature that would make me quit Dropbox instantly would be a link that could be shared (messaged, emailed, whatever) that would open the linked file from my local copy of the depository.

 

Can you help me understand why this feature would be useful to you and how you would use it? 

 

4 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

If it has to open in a browser then there needs to be a link to "Find in Local Data Storage"

 

 

The Vectorworks Cloud Services desktop app has a button that allows you to locate local files on the web. Are you looking for the reverse link basically? But you expect this to work for links that you share with other team members as well? So, from the shared link, the recipient would be able to add the file to their file list, sync to their desktop computer automatically, and then they can directly open the local file from there? 

 

I run a small company. There are about three of us who use Dropbox full time. I get Word documents and Excel files continuously for review. Right now we mostly email the entire document around because if you only send a Dropbox Link, then to see the file you are forced to view it in a web browser. I already have a copy stored locally on my hard drive. Why should I have to click the link, manually look where the file is stored on Dropbox, then navigate to that folder and open the document. Or click the link, download the file (so I now have a second copy on my local hard drive). The system should be smart enough to have some kind of a UUID embedded in the link. If the UUID is already on my local drive then access that. If it is not, then provide an option to either download the file or to show it on the web so I can decide what I need to do with it.

 

Yes, something like the reverse of the "locate local files o the web" would be great. Even greater would be for the local version just to be used without the two extra steps of showing the file on the web and then clicking the button to show the local copy.

 

Thanks for listening and asking. That responsiveness is one of the things I most like about Vectorworks.

 

UPDATE:

 

My main inbox currently has 1627 emails. Of those 96 contain Word docs as attachments and 77 contain Excel files as attachments.

 

From March I have 2756 emails saved (does not count Spam or deleted emails.) Of those 42 have Word attachments and 44 have Excel attachments and 466 have PDF attachments.  

 

A not insignificant portion of my emails are basically just because it is easier to send the whole file that to figure out where each file is on Dropbox.

 

ps. 113 of the March emails are notifications from this forum about new posts that I am saving. I delete most of those.

 

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8 hours ago, Pat Stanford said:

Very interesting ideas.  As a possible work around, would it be possible to use Aliases/Links to allow the VW Projects to be physically stored on VCS while still showing (and possibly be accessible from) the general cloud storage option?

I thought about this, but other than it being risky as Inikolova suggests I work in an office where people do not understand what an alias is and simply will not use it.

 

Whilst the cloud processing of VCS is cool, we do not use it as we don't do big renders in VW - perhaps that will change with forthcoming 3rd party options. Even then though, it seems like it only becomes quicker to do it this way when you have a big batch of renders to do (or one very detailed one over 10 minutes or so) which again is rare for us. What would be more helpful is if the power of the local computer could be supplemented by cloud rendering when we want to update all viewports in a document, for example to update all the sheets after a period of working in design layers.

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14 hours ago, inikolova said:

The biggest thing that VCS has that Dropbox doesn't is Cloud Processing. You can offload time consuming renderings to the Cloud, so you can continue to use your local Vectorworks while the Cloud is doing the rendering.

 

We never use this because it doesn't update the viewports. It only produces a PDF.

Edited by Christiaan
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