Can you share a user catalog with multiple users on a common drive?


OldBarnDesign
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Does anybody have experience sharing a User Catalog among multiple users, say like in an office, if you have that catalog on a shared network drive? I know it's possible to export and import catalogs, but I'd like to make an addition to a User Catalog and it be seen by another user without having to export/import. At worst they would have to restart Chief to see any additions.

 

Thanks!


Cody 

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On 9/5/2022 at 12:54 PM, OldBarnDesign said:

Does anybody have experience sharing a User Catalog among multiple users, say like in an office, if you have that catalog on a shared network drive? I know it's possible to export and import catalogs, but I'd like to make an addition to a User Catalog and it be seen by another user without having to export/import. At worst they would have to restart Chief to see any additions.

 

Thanks!


Cody 

Far less problematic to export and import on each machine. Overwriting issues will occur and you may lose symbols permanently.
There is an advanced method but I do not teach this any more as it requires an advanced user to maintain.
Just drop new symbols into a shared folder and people can just drag and drop, very simple

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3 minutes ago, Joe_Carrick said:

Setting the user catalog to be synced via Dropbox or OneDrive should work.  Just be aware that any changes made by one user will effect all since it's just one file.  It's just a matter of specifying the location for the User Library in Preferences.

If both users are active then the updated catalog will auto rename and be lost in infinity unless actively checked and renamed back to user_catalog. Important to note that with a multi user setup

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16 hours ago, Renerabbitt said:

If both users are active then the updated catalog will auto rename and be lost in infinity unless actively checked and renamed back to user_catalog. Important to note that with a multi user setup

:blink::wacko::unsure::huh:

Just got to be smarter than what you are working with,... some good advice here!

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On 9/6/2022 at 3:35 PM, Renerabbitt said:

Far less problematic to export and import on each machine. Overwriting issues will occur and you may lose symbols permanently.
There is an advanced method but I do not teach this any more as it requires an advanced user to maintain.
Just drop new symbols into a shared folder and people can just drag and drop, very simple

Thanks Rabbit,

 

Right now I'm exporting my entire library and sharing it with my wife. Are you advocating that I export one symbol at at time as new symbols are added, then added them to her User library individually? The problem with exporting my entire library is that when I import it on her computer, I have to launch Chief on her computer, then go delete the old library then import the new one. Not hard, just a manual process.

 

 

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On 9/7/2022 at 1:35 PM, M-Reed said:

Cody. In most multi-user offices using CAD, someone is designated as the CAD manager. His reason for being is to maintain and insure the safe keeping of all plan files, symbols, and similar. Its just too easy to foul these files up when users are working.  I would have a certain trusted person handle the distribution of  copies of the main backup library after hours when all workstations are off and all files are closed. 

I am your neighbor and used to drive through Granbury on a daily basis going from Fort Worth to Hamilton.  We are seriously looking at pontoon boats for the lake! - Maxie

 

Thanks Maxie, that CAD manager is me! LOL. Right now it's just a two person outfit, me and my wife. We are both Chief users, but I'm the tech guy - I have 20+ years of software development under my belt which puts me in charge of keeping all our projects under revision control and managing all the library assets. Just trying to figure out the best way to do it with Chief.

 

I also noticed your "Texas Hill Country" location! Where are you now? Wimberley? Buda? Fredericksberg? Hamilton is a cute small town, once home of "Brushy" Bill Roberts, who claimed to be Billy The Kid! My wife designed (she's the one with the actual architecture degrees) and we built our home on Lake Granbury. We live on one of the canals and are in the middle of building out lake wall/dock so we can get a boat.  We moved to the lake to enjoy the water, looking forward to enjoying it! 

 

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On 9/6/2022 at 3:03 PM, DBCooper said:

I have not done it myself but it looks like you can change the location of the folder in your preferences.

 

Have a look at this tech article:

https://www.chiefarchitect.com/support/article/KB-03090/moving-library-content-to-the-cloud-or-other-custom-location.html

 

Thanks Cooper,

 

This could work because we have a network drive we both can access.Do you know if moving the User Library will break existing plans that make use of those assets? I guess I could run an experiment to find out, 

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Moving or even deleting the user library should have no effect on any plans.  There are a couple of gotchas though. 

 

If you have created any custom library buttons linked to user library objects, these could get unlinked.  It's pretty easy to relink them but if you have a lot this could be a pain.

 

If your user library has lots of custom materials, you have to also worry about the referenced texture files (and maps if you use them).  The material gets saved in the plan but the referenced files don't.  This means that if you are going to put your custom materials on the cloud/network, you will also need to worry about how to manage these referenced files.  I don't have any advice on the best way to do this since this is not something I have tried to do.  According to the article, the program will migrate these referenced files with the user library but this might only happen if they are being stored in the chief folders.  

 

Good luck.

 

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1 hour ago, DBCooper said:

If your user library has lots of custom materials, you have to also worry about the referenced texture files (and maps if you use them).  The material gets saved in the plan but the referenced files don't.  This means that if you are going to put your custom materials on the cloud/network, you will also need to worry about how to manage these referenced files.  I don't have any advice on the best way to do this since this is not something I have tried to do.  According to the article, the program will migrate these referenced files with the user library but this might only happen if they are being stored in the chief folders.  

If you are in the habit of creating a full backup of the plans in a dated folder and duplicating the folder (changing date only) for any revisions, then this issue would go away.  The AB, New, layout files will all remain the same name and all the referenced files stay in the folder.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I store my Data folder on OneDrive to share between my desktop and laptop.  I store all of my Referenced Files in the Data folder (Preference setting).  You'll experience the things noted above, but as you move forward, everything will become much easier.  I also keep all Chiefs files 'on my machine' for speed, as opposed to working directly from OneDrive.

 

If you have the program running on two machines, you'll probably see the User Library file appended with the computer name.  I assume Chief only references the original file, not the appended files.  I'd make the change on your machine first.  You may have to rename the appended file to keep the reference to the current file only.  I don't make library changes on my laptop so can't speak to that.

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