Sharing your environment with coworkers and colleagues

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#1 Sharing your environment with coworkers and colleagues

Description


In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to share your SkyCAD environment with others for collaborative purposes.

Topics covered

Sharing symbols, sharing catalogue, collaborative work, sharing environment.

 

Main content


When you install SkyCAD, a folder C:\SkyCAD Environments is created. This is where all the data and
settings are stored, including any additions or changes you make in SkyCAD. Everything, including projects,
symbols, components, layouts and
images are all stored in this SkyCAD Environments folder.
 

This SkyCAD Environments folder can be shared on a network or shared drive (e.g. Google Drive,
Dropbox, etc.) with an
unlimited number of users, meaning that multiple users can work using the same
environment at the same time. Data is loaded
onto a user's computer on an “on-demand” basis; i.e. when
SkyCAD is opened and a project/library/component/etc. is loaded,
the data sits in the user's computer’s
RAM, so no access to the network is required afterwards while working. This type of architecture suits
most collaborative work requirements, with the following limitation: when two users open the same file (project/symbol/component/etc.), the last user to save wins, which means the other user will lose the
changes they made and
saved. So, a certain level of communication and synchronisation is required amongst
users for this to work well if they’re working
on the same file.
 

If you’re going to share your environment with other users, we highly recommend sharing the entire
SkyCAD Environments
folder, not only specific sub-folders or files.
 

Sharing your environment on a WAN, LAN or VPN connection will decrease performance. Depending on
your WAN, LAN
or VPN specifications and your performance expectations, this performance reduction
may be acceptable.

 

These are the steps to follow to share your environment on a network or shared drive:

  1. By default, SkyCAD environments are stored under the folder C:\SkyCAD Environments. Copy
    (not move) this folder onto the network or shared drive, where all users will be able to access it.

    If your shared drive or network has a long path to begin with (e.g. C:\user\yourname\Dropbox), we
    recommend you move the shared drive folder as close to the root of your hard drive as possible
    (e.g. C:\Dropbox) by following your cloud service's instructions. Here's how on Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive.

    Ideally, place the SkyCAD Environments folder at the root of the shared drive; e.g.
    C:\Dropbox\SkyCAD Environments
    C:\GoogleDrive\SkyCAD Environments
    C:\OneDrive\SkyCAD Environments
  2. IMPORTANT:
    The environment directory gets quite deep, so be sure to place it within a directory with a
    short path length so none of its subfolder paths will be longer than 256 characters; e.g. a folder
    path such as '
    C:\company\user\yourusername\SkyCAD Environments' may be too long for SkyCAD to work properly.

     
  3. Once your SkyCAD Environments folder is on your shared folder/network, make sure it is locally available
    on your computer and not online-only. Using Dropbox Basic, this is true by default, so you wouldn't need to
    worry about it. Using a paid version of Dropbox, you should right-click on the SkyCAD Environments folder,
    and choose Make available offline.

     
  4. Start SkyCAD
     
  5. In the tree view, expand the properties of the root item; SkyCAD

  6. Double-click on the Current Environments Path field.
    The following dialog box should be displayed:


     
  7. Select the folder you copied onto the network or shared drive. The folder you should be
    SkyCAD Environments.

     
  8. Close and re-open SkyCAD
     

At this point SkyCAD is working on the network. Once you repeat steps 2-6 on every computer where
SkyCAD is installed, your collaborative setup will be complete.

It is important to ensure that all computers that are sharing an environment are always using the same version of SkyCAD.
Not doing this can cause instability issues.
Here is how to see which version of SkyCAD a particular computer is using.
This should be kept in mind when updating to a newer version too. All computers should be updated at the same time.