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Configure Sharing And Backup (Multiple Shops and Tools)



List Builder Forms (Multiple Shops and Tools)

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software
Configure Sharing And Backup
(Multiple Shops and Tools)





General Information About This Section

In several of our workshops and tools it is possible to use a shared configuration across your LAN. The default configuration is "normal" which means the data is not shared with any other user or computer. So, we arrive at the question of how does this sharing work? To begin with, we'll keep our main configuration path pointing to the "normal" or default data path on our own computer. That means your configuration data as well as your actual data will be written to its respective .cfg file. The same thing will be true for your sharing partner's computer--the configuration and actual data files they use will also be written to their "normal" or default location. The trick is to also write your data to the other user's configuration file and to let the other user write their data to your configuration file.

That means that each time you make a change in the data, that change will be written on your computer's .cfg and acutal data files PLUS it will be written to the other user's .cfg and actual data files. In a like manner, any change the sharing partner makes will be written to their computer's .cfg and actual data files PLUS it will be written to your .cfg and actual data files. In short, the two files will be synchornized at all times. HOWEVER, if both of you are on the computer, open the same tool at the same time, and make a change at the same time, the last one who saves data will see their change saved. The other user's change(s) will be lost.

Now, let's add another note as we discuss the configurations we recommend. Whether you have a sharing user or not, we ALWAYS recommend you configure a backup configuration path that points to some hard drive other than the one where your .cfg and actual data files are normally stored. Please, read more about this in the section below.

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Setup Sharing Configuration

Each workshop and tool where this is applicable will have a configuration menu option to see your current configuration path. (In cases where it is available, you may find a set of options that allow you to use a USB (or other) drive. We recommend this be used where available and possible simply because it is more accurate and more convenient for you. The USB (or other) drive options are explained below.)

The first step you'll need to accomplish is to know your sharing partner's user-id on your network. You cannot successfully establish sharing with a user whose network user ID you do not know since you cannot give them permission to modify your data. Note that this means you really must trust the sharing partner because you're going to have to give them the rights to modify your data at will. If in doubt...don't.

Note: for your convenience, actions to be done, at least first, on your computer are in brown print. Actions to be performed, at least first, on the sharing partner's computer are in black print.

Begin on your computer. Logon as the computer's administrator. Use the Configuration menu option to show your configuration path and scribble it onto a piece of scratch paper. Now, perform the steps for Windows Sharing Permissions below. If you don't know your computer's name, you'll need to find it for the next step, so let's do that right now. Go to your Windows Start menu and select the "Control Panel." There find the option for "Network and Internet" and select the option to "View Network Status and Tasks." On the top of the resulting screen you'll see "View your basic network information and setup connections." On the left hand side of this, about under the word "basic" you'll see the name of your computer with the notation "(This computer)" just below it. Scribble this name on your scratch paper, too, because you'll need to remember it. Close the Control Panel window.

Take your scratch paper and move to the sharing-user's computer and repeat the steps there that you just performed on your own computer. Look at the path you scribbled on the scratch paper. You'll have to change the drive path so it includes your network path rather than the local path you wrote before. As an example, let's say your computer's name is "Abby" and the path is:

c:\users\YOURNAME\AppData\Roaming\ITSBITS\Catapult....

You'll have to change the "c:" to something that will work across the network. Open the Windows® Explorer and, in the text box at the top of the window, type "\\" followed by your computer's name (as you scribbled it on your scratch paper earlier.) Now you'll see all the drives and shared information on your computer as it is visible over the LAN. Change the "c:" to read

\\Abby\Shared Path\users\YourName\AppData\Roaming\ITSBITS\Catapult....

The changes will have to align so that the path works, of course. Once this is completed, start the ITSBITS Catapult Garage software on the sharing-user's computer and use the configuration menu option to "Configure the sharing path." You'll see a window something like this:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Setup for Sharing Configuration File paths

Enter the sharing path you've worked out so that it points to your data path (across the LAN). Hit the "TAB" key and the "OK" button will show up. Click the "OK" button now and the sharing path configuration is completed.

Now you must do one more thing. Use the configuration option for Configuration Menu--Select Configuration To Use and click on the sharing option.

Return to your own computer with your piece of scratch paper in hand. Now, as necessary, repeat the steps you performed at the sharing-partner's computer on your own computer so that you know the sharing path to use to point to the sharing-partner's machine.

Enter the sharing path you've worked out so that it points to your data path (across the LAN). Hit the "TAB" key and the "OK" button will show up. Click the "OK" button now and the sharing path configuration is completed.

Now you must do one more thing. Use the configuration option for Configuration Menu--Select Configuration To Use and click on the sharing option. That's it...you're finished.

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Windows Sharing Permissions

Next, use the Windows® Explorer and navigate to your data path. Using your mouse, right-click on the folder where your data will be stored and select the option "Properties." Now click the tab for "Security." Assuming the sharing partner's name is not already present, you'll need to click the "Edit" button to bring up a window something like the one at left: ITSBITS Catapult Garage Sharing Users Permissions Here you'll need to click the "Add" button. This will give you a small window something like this:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Sharing Users Permissions

Begin by being sure your first box shows "Users, Groups..." If it does not, use the "Object Types" button to change it. Next, look at the location text box. It should show your network (ours is partially blacked out in the image here for security purposes.) If it doesn't show your network, you'll have to change it so that it does. Use the "Locations" button to find it. Finally, enter the user's name in the large text box, then click on the "check name" button to be sure your entries are correct and that the system can find the user name information you've entered. Once you've located the user information, click the "OK" button to return to the window like the one at left. Here you'll need to highlight the sharing-user you just added, then click the "Allow" check box for "Full Control." Finally, click the "OK" button to apply the permissions change. If you're asked, click to apply the change to sub-folders and files. (The resulting change may take a minute or two to be applied.) Now you can close out of the Explorer and you're done with this step.

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Backup Configuration

We recommend that you always use the backup option so that there's a backup copy of your configuration and actual data. The backup path should point to a file path on a different hard drive so that if yours should fail, it won't take both copies down with it.

To configure the backup path, use the workshop or tool's configuration menu and select its option to configure the backup path. When selected, this will show you a window something like the one below:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Backup path configuration
(Part of screen blacked out for security reasons.)

Enter the path you're going to use into the text box in this window. (You can also paste the path into the textbox by clicking on the appropriate button.) After you have the path in the textbox, hit the TAB key to show the "OK" button. Click on the "OK button to exit from this window and save your new configuration.

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Configuration Paths Using USB Drive

You can use a USB drive to help you configure your sharing and/or backup file paths from one computer to another. You just have to be aware that the path you'll write to the USB drive from any of these options is a "Raw" path usable on your machine. It will require that you change the drive path to contain your computer name and the drive ID used across your LAN. This usually looks something like this:

\\ComputerName\ComputerDriveID\YourUserID.Domain\AppData\Roaming\ITSBITS\Catapult\filename.cfg

Let's begin with an example of how you'd use these options. Say your computer has the ITSBITS Catapult Garage software up and running but now you want to share the data with another computer. Start the workshop and use the Configuration menu option. Now select the option to "Write config file path to USB drive." This will show you a standard Microsoft Windows© folder-navigation window asking where to find the USB drive. Navigate to and select the USB drive, then click the "OK" button. You'll be notified that your .cfg file was written to the USB drive. ITSBITS Catapult Garage software configuration file written to USB drive Now you can take the USB drive to the other computer and read it there as described below.

At the other user's computer, start your ITSBITS Catapult Garage software, logon to the Personal/Private Information Workshop. Now use the Configuration menu option. Select the option to "Read Raw share path to use from USB drive." This will bring up a standard Microsoft Windows© file-path-navigation window asking where to find the USB drive and the .cfg file you want to read. Navigate to the file you wrote to the USB drive from your computer, then click the "OK" button to read from the file.

Now you have the raw file path that was used on your computer for the configuration file data showing as your sharing file path. It won't work here, of course, so go back to the section on Configuration--Set Your Share Path and change the "drive:" part of the file path so it points back to your computer.

Now there are three things you have to remember.

When you have finished this operation, each computer will point to the other computer's .cfg file as its share path.

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Configuration Menu--Select Configuration To Use

You can use this option to specify whether the program is to share data with another user or not. Notice that you MUST have configured the share path before you set this option for sharing...otherwise sharing will not work.

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Emergency Information Workshop Share Path Configuration

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Transport Backup Path Using USB Drive

When you're setting up someone else's computer, whether for sharing or not, you may want to let them use the same backup file folder on the LAN that you're using. This is particularly true if your backup path is on a common backup drive somewhere else in the LAN, i.e., on another LAN computer, a SAN, etc. Use the menu option to "Configure" and click on the option to "Write Backup path to USB drive." This will show you a standard Microsoft Windows© folder-navigation window asking where to find the USB drive. Navigate to and select the USB drive, then click the "OK" button. You'll be notified that your .cfg file was written to the USB drive. Now you can take the USB drive to the other computer and read it there as described below.

Go to the other computer that you're setting up and start the ITSBITS Catapult Garage software and logon to the Personal/Private Workshop. Use the menu option "Configure" and select the option to "Read Backup Path from USB Drive." This will populate the backup file path on the other person's computer with the same backup path you have configured on your own computer. Now, depending upon your setup, you may have to correct the file path. If so, see the instructions under Configuration--Set Your Backup Path above and make the corrections.

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