DenisonDrywall

Chief Architect X7 Jobs On Nas

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This is actually a two part question...

 

We are revamping our office, adding more users, computers, etc and I want to store Chief Architect job files on a NAS.

Model we are looking at is Synology 214+

 

Has anyone done this before and/or run into any trouble?

 

This brings up my second question. I've set up a new user workstation and for the time being the user is accessing the files from another desktop. (until we get the NAS or not)

She is having an issue where it tries to auto save then says the file has been disconnected but it's no where to be found. I'm assuming this is because they are not being stored on the local machine? 

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I know this doesn't answer your question (and more than likely doesn't help) but here's what we do:

 

We have 10 copies of CA.  We save all files to a combination of 2 servers.  Occasionally we run into issues where 2 users have the same plan file open.  It's bizarre and doesn't happen to every plan.  The only way you know if they are, is if someone goes to save and it throws up a bunch of errors.

 

We also have issues with CA locking up.  Don't know if it's because of servers, workstations, CA, what...but ever since X6 we've had random sporadic lockups.  I brought it to their attention, but of course it's our fault...

 

Some CA people have said that CA does not network well...they recommended saving locally and then backing that up.  The obvious problem with that is if you have multiple locations with multiple people accessing and changing files, then how do you know if you're working with the most current.

 

Again...not sure if that helps you out, but that's our situation.

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Yeah this is a little disappointing. I just spoke to support and they definitely don't support CA in a network environment. That is unfortunate and it would be nice to see some kind of sharing/network support option available. I guess we might be sticking with local install for the time being and using the NAS for backups, then reassess when more users need the data.

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Not sure what the down side is,  but can't you use dropbox as a way to network.   Admittedly I am ignorant when it comes to networking,  but I have had good success sharing files with clients by using dropbox.

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For us specifically in rural Iowa, internet connection isn't that great. So online sharing tends to hurt. My original plan was to implement something easily accessible for multiple users. Down the line new employees might want to edit/view a job file. Instead of having to download/upload/move file etc you could just access the job file on the network share, save, and the next person could jump right in no problem. Obviously you will run into issues with this as Hamlin mentioned, which is understandable. We will work with what we've got, I was just hoping it was a supported feature.

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Network sharing requires specific file checkout and locking - which Chief doesn't provide.

There are a couple of ways to deal with this using internal procedures and rules:
  1.  Establish a File (Excel, Notepad, .....) with a List of Projects and who if anyone is currently using what.

       a.  This is pretty much a manual process that requires each user to check-out and check-in.

  2.  Use some custom Macros to maintain a list of Files & Current User. 

       a.  This could automatically log the file, date, time & when the file is opened by any user.

       b.  If the file is already in use:

            1.  A message could be displayed indicating the current user, etc.

            2.  The second user would need to exit. - not an automatic operation.

       c.  When a user is ready to save/exit they would need to display another text macro to log out of the file.

       d.  None of this is 100% foolproof but it's IMO better than nothing.

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Setup an actual file server with "library" capable sharing software.

 

My preference is SharePoint, but there a dozens of options that can be installed locally.  NAS devices (even with their internal Cloud service--Synology's is Cloud Station), are not known for robust features as you will find on an actual server.

 

jon

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Typically (at least in the past) if I had a file open and someone else went to open the same file, it would come up with an error saying it's already in use.  To me...this is taking care of that "checking out".

 

It still mostly works that way...the only problem is that on occasion we are able to access one file on two different machines at the same time.  It doesn't happen all the time though...

 

Why is it such a huge issue for Chief to run on a network?  It used to work perfectly pre-X6 era...now all of the sudden we have problems.

 

This is what I don't understand, and what I've tried to find out from Chief, but everyone there beats around the bush and says that it's a problem on our end...even though we used to never have issues with it.

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We have 10 users (2 draftspeople and 8 PM's), most are computer literate...others...wellllll.....

 

Anyways, trying to train someone that now you have to check out a plan to check sq-ft of sheathing, or now you have to to do a joist layout...or now you have to check it back in after you wanted to look at the plan for 3 minutes just seems like a waste of time.  Sometimes I have a customer that stops in and wants to look at their plan and someone else has it open.  I call them, they close it and 30 seconds later we're ready to roll.

 

If you have to check it out and back in, then that seems like it would add way more unneeded steps.

 

In Excel or Word if you try to open the same document on multiple machines it says you have to open it in read only.

 

Sorry...this is an EXTREMELY sore subject for me.  So I just bite my cheek and we handle the problems as they come along...

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Depending on the OS, you could look at PeerLock, SharePoint, etc.

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You should call Chief Architect Sales, they have been selling networked versions of Chief for years, they know what then works and what does not.

 

DJP

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