Have you been thinking about cutting the cord to your server? Need an alternative to a slow virtual private network (VPN)? Want a cloud solution for sharing your Land F/X files with all your employees? A shared online folder might be just what you're looking for. We'll go over what shared online folders are and how they work, why they're such a great option, and how to set up your Land F/X installation for the best possible performance with your office's shared online folder.
Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)
- What is Land F/X Cloud
- What is not Land F/X Cloud
- What is a Complete Cloud Solution
- What is a Shared Online Folder (SOF)
- Why Should You Use a SOF
- Mapping a Letter Drive
- Subst Command
- What SOF Can You Use
- The Big Three: Google File Stream (Google Drive), OneDrive, DropBox
- Enterprise: Panzura, Egnyte (not Carbonite)
- Others: Box, SugarSync, Amazon Drive
- Things to Remember:
- Map the Drive
- Full Read/Write for Users
- Keep a Local Copy of the LandFX Folder
- Sync in Real Time
- Our Recommendations
0:00 – 3:45: Intro/TOC
Important note: We'll be using multiple LandFX folders and multiple shared online folders in these examples. You should not have multiple LandFX folders or multiple shared online folders. You should only have one LandFX folder and one shared online folder for that LandFX folder. (3:15)
3:46 – 4:30: What is Land F/X Cloud
Land F/X Cloud is your Land F/X projects, templates, and Preference Sets – the part of Land F/X you can't see when looking at your files. If you move to Cloud Data, you're moving these items from your computer or server onto our servers.
If you are on Local Data, these items are stored in the MySQL (Multi-User) or SQLite (Single-User) database that runs in the background.
You can see the backups of your active database by looking in the folder LandFX/data/backup.
4:31 – 5:10 What is not Land F/X Cloud
Your drawings have always been and are still your responsibility.
Your backups are saved in your LandFX folder. Land F/X cloud is only your active database.
Your custom items: blocks, details, fonts, hatches, images, lighting, patterns, layers
5:11 – 5:51: What is a Complete Cloud Solution
To have everything Land F/X –related in the cloud, you'll need another service running on your computer. We need to move the LandFX folder from your computer or server into a cloud service such as Dropbox, Google Drive (Google File Stream), Egnyte, etc.
The idea is to get everything you would need to use Land F/X into the cloud, so if you need to set up a new computer for any reason, you only need an Internet connection and your passwords.
Traditional network configuration (5:31)
In a traditional network configuration, your LandFX folder is on a single server to which all workstations connect – often over a VPN, which is notoriously slow and cumbersome.
5:52 – 6:14: What is a Shared Online Folder (SOF)
A shared online folder (SOF) is an application that runs on your computer and synchronizes folders from your computer to their servers, and to any other computer with that application installed.
No need for a VPN – just an Internet connection!
6:15 – 7:38: Why Should You Use a SOF
- Eliminate VPN
- Eliminate Server
- Share custom Land F/X data seamlessly
- Fast setup of new workstations
- Roll back changes
- Recover from disaster faster
- Backups saved in the cloud
7:39 – 10:35: Mapping a Letter Drive
You'll need a mapped letter drive for your SOF LandFX folder.
Our Drive Mapper tool will create a mapped drive with an easy-to-use graphical interface (no more fighting with Windows command line).
It also creates a startup script that re-creates your drive mapping every time you restart your computer.
For most SOFs, you can use the localhost command to create a mapped drive for a local resource.
Subst Command (9:40)
Certain SOF applications do not allow the use of the localhost command to map a letter drive (specifically Google Drive/Google File Stream and OneDrive). For these specific SOFs, the subst command will have to be used to create a shortcut mapped drive. Unfortunately, the subst drive only lasts until the computer is rebooted. Our solution is a startup script that the Land F/X Drive Mapper creates for you.
10:36 – 34:57: What SOF Can You Use
Almost any SOF program should work for Land F/X. The idea is once you switch to the Land F/X cloud, you only need a way to share your files.
The trick part: You have to have access to a local copy of the LandFX folder, so no cloiud-only options.
Also, it needs to be synchronized in real time. So DFS, Nasuni, and their ilk are off the table because they batch their syncs.
The Big Three: Google File Stream (Google Drive), OneDrive, DropBox (11:37)
These aren't necessarily the nest choice – only the most popular.
- Dropbox (12:00)
- Google Drive/Google File Stream (15:31)
- OneDrive (19:01)
Question: Do SOFs have the ability to check out a file so other people know the file is open? (14:00)
Answer: For that to work, you would need to be working on the Web version of a file because it has to be able to tell everybody else that you're working on it. But because Land F/X needs to be working on a local copy, you're not actually using the one on the Internet – you're using the one on your computer. AutoCAD does something along these lines by creating a hidden file that indicates it's opened by someone else. We've also added similar logic for our detail system.
Question: Should we have a separate admin OneDrive account to be the original folder owner, and then share that with the employees? Does it use individual space in a shared folder? (21:39)
Answer: D it that way has its advantages. Rather than having it just one of your users being the origin of the LandFX folder, having it be an admin account allows it to be passed on to a new admin as one is hired. Conversely, if it's on a user's account, you're typically going to deprecate that account when they move on to a different job, so you may have issues with losing connection in that case. Yes, it can potentially use individual space on user computers.
Enterprise: Panzura, Egnyte (Not Carbonite) (24:15)
5 users or more and have IT? These may be better choices for you.
- Carbonite: No longer works as a SOF for Land F/X. (24:35)
- Egnyte (24:59)
- Panzura: (29:12)
Others: Box, SugarSync, Amazon Drive (34:19)
34:58 – 38:06: Things to Remember
Map the Drive (34:58)
Full Read/Write for Users (35:35)
Keep a Local Copy of the LandFX Folder (36:00)
Sync in Real Time (37:00)
38:07 – end: Our Recommendations
Don't be afraid to call an IT professional to help with your configuration.
For small businesses, we recommend Dropbox.
- Easy to install
- Easy to share files
- Drive mapping is straightforward
- Good support
- Simple permissions
- Only for file sharing
For large businesses, we recommend Panzura:
- Real file locking
- Excellent support
- Scales infinitely
- Backup solution
- Users just see their letter drive
- Requires IT admin
Our recommendations on ransomware protection (40:14)
Dropbox demonstration (42:14)
Question: Can a local server have the shared online folder set to be available offline? If so, can that local server just share all that content over the local network and prevent the need to install the shared online folder on every workstation? (50:52)
Answer: Yes, this is possible. In fact, that's Panzura's default configuration. However, note that this setup can result in slower performance.
Why moving to cloud is the way to go – especially moving forward (53:05)