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Sharing Data between computers - Step by Step

Sharing ProSelect Templates and Pricing Data with other Computers in your Studio

Most studios use multiple computers in their studio operation. It's important that each computer using ProSelect has the most recent pricing and product
information available.

ProSelect uses three basic data sets.

  1. ProSelectData.xml file
    It's a simple text file, but it contains all your vital pricing information, paper sizes, template parameters and references to overlays, backgrounds, frames
    logos and more.

  2. ProSelect Resources Folder
    This folder contains your background images (used in styles and slideshow styles), template overlays, music, frames, library video content, room views
    and more.

  3. ProSelect Preferences file
    This XML text file contains your ProSelect preferences settings plus registration information and recently opened album list, window locations, etc.

In order for ProSelect data to be automatically synchronized between computers, all the computers must have access to the ProSelectData.xml and the ProSelect Resources folder.

Sharing Data in your Studio (using the "Shared Resources" folder method)

It's important that all computers in your studio are running the same version of ProSelect.

You'll need a LAN (local area network) with wired (not wireless) connections (speed and reliability reasons). See the article "Networking Basics for Photography Studios" for more information.

This requires a shared folder/drive that all computers have access to, with read and write privileges. It's important that each computer automatically login to this location on startup. Auto-login will save you a ton of headaches.

  1. Go to the computer that contains the ProSelect pricing and template data you want to share.
  2. You need to manually copy your ProSelect Resources folder to the Shared location first. This may take several minutes depending on the size of your resource folder and network speed. NOTE: This is important to do PRIOR to point 10, else the data file may be overwritten when you copy/replace the Resources folder in the shared location. And no one should ever manually access the resources folder unless they are an advanced user and are troubleshooting. You may consider adding a folder named "Keep Out" and locate your ProSelect Resource folder in there.
  3. Open ProSelect
  4. Before going any further, make a backup copy of your ProSelect Data file.
  5. Go to File --> ProSelect Data --> Export Data to: and save a copy of this file to your desktop.
  6. Open the ProSelect Preferences (On Mac, it's ProSelect --> Preferences. On Windows it's Edit --> Preferences).
  7. Go to General Settings --> Sharing
  8. Click Shared Data Folder button, then Setup.
  9. Under Resource folder location, click the magnifying glass and navigate to the shared drive/folder location (where you copied your Resource folder in point 2 above).
  10. Under the Copy Data File section, click "Send to Shared". This will copy your current ProSelectData.xml file into the new resources folder.
  11. Under Updating from Shared Folder, review the information and click "Always Update...".
  12. In the section "Saving ProSelect Data File Changes"... since this Computer is likely an administrator computer, choose Save on this computer and update the shared file immediately.
  13. Choose OK, then click Save.
  14. Save and Close the Preferences dialog.

Adding this data to the next computer

  1. Open ProSelect on the next computer you want to connect.
  2. Go to General Settings --> Sharing
  3. Click Shared Data Folder button, then Setup
  4. Under Resource folder location, click the magnifying glass and navigate to the shared drive/ folder location and find the folder named ProSelect Resources. Click "Open".
  5. Under the Retrieve Data File section, click "Get from Shared". This will point this computer to the resources and update the low-res resources on this computer. It also updates the local copy of the ProSelectData.xml.
  6. Under Updating from Shared Folder, click "Always Update the data file on this computer without asking".
  7. In the section, Saving ProSelect Data File Changes; This is where you decide if the user on this computer can make changes to the Price list and create and modify templates. To prevent this user from making changes, uncheck "Save on this computer and update the shared file".  If you want to allow the user to make changes and save them to the shared location, check the option.
  8. Choose OK, then click Save
  9. Close ProSelect and reopen it. Check that your pricing is correct and that your templates are appearing.

Sharing Data Between Multiple Physical Locations

If you have a studio with two or more locations or want to be able to work on pricing and create templates from home or while traveling, this is an option.

If you have more than one physical location, be sure you have separate ProSelect licenses for each location (in separate TimeExposure accounts - See the Sales Policy page for more on "How many ProSelect licenses do I need?"). These individual licenses can share the same pricing and resources.

To share between locations, you'll need to have a cloud storage account like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Using Dropbox (Dropbox.com).   

Dropbox is a cloud storage service that keeps a section of your hard drive, the Dropbox folder, automatically backed up to their cloud servers. You'll have a copy of the data residing on your local computer and the backup in the cloud.  For this process, you need to have the Dropbox desktop application installed on your computer.  When Dropbox is properly installed on all the machines for sharing, you will see a Dropbox icon on your System Tray (WIN) or Menu Bar (MAC).  A local Dropbox folder will also show when in File Explorer (WIN) or Finder (MAC).

You can have a free Dropbox account or a paid account. The difference is the amount of storage you'll need (and a few other features). If you want to share your ProSelect Resources with other physical locations, you'll most likely need a paid account. The size of the ProSelect Resources folder can vary from a few gigabytes to over a 100GB.

If you have a Dropbox Professional or Business account, there is an available feature called Smart Sync.  With Smart Sync, content on your computer is available as either online-only, local, or in mixed state folders.  If you use this feature, the ProSelect Resource folder MUST be set for Local Content.  Local content is downloaded and saved on the hard drive of your computer.  To choose this option, right-click on the ProSelect Resources folder and choose Smart Sync, "then Local"  (see illustration).

Dropbox Smart Sync

** Please see this important article Using Dropbox - beware! regarding using DropBox also.

To share synchronize your ProSelect data to multiple locations, you need to have the ProSelect Resources folder in the Dropbox folder. Follow the instructions above under "Sharing Data in your Studio". When you go to Point 9 (under the "Sharing Data in your Studio" section), choose your ProSelect Resources folder in Dropbox as your desired location for the ProSelect Resources folder. Continue with the rest of the process.

The computers in the other locations will need to use the same Dropbox account or use a Dropbox folder, shared from the source account.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Sharing via Dropbox uses more space on your local computers than a traditional network share because all of the resources reside on the local hard drive. If you only have a wireless network in your studio, using this option may help.
  • When you make a change to your ProSelect data, it may take a few to several minutes before that information is available to the computers in other locations. Your data needs to be uploaded from you, then downloaded to the other computers. This all happens automatically.
  • If you are using separate Dropbox accounts and a "Shared" dropbox folder, the other accounts need to have enough storage capacity to hold the resources folder.

Using Google Drive File Stream  (Google Drive)

The Google Drive File Stream app must be installed on all computers where data needs to be used.   All computers must have access to the Google Drive account or through shared access.

The ProSelect Resources folder containing the information you want to share must be copied to the Google Drive > My Drive location using Finder (MAC) or File Explorer (WIN).   Once the folder is available, you'll need to right-click the folder to access the sub-menu (see illustration below).  Choose Drive File Stream, then "Available Offline".   You can now proceed with setting up your preferences on your source computer, then, any other computers using the steps above.

Google Local Content




  KnowledgeBase Article: Sharing Data between computers - Step by Step  

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