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24 Messages

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4.4K Points

Sun, May 1, 2011 9:55 PM

411

Lightroom Classic and CC: Allow Catalog to be stored on a networked drive.

I'd love to make LR more multi-computer friendly. I have no doubt that there's probably database architecture issues and a host of other barriers... But I have to believe that the need for either multi-user or at at lease multi-computer use is widely desired. And yes, I know you can do the catalog import export thing but I find this less than ideal.

Responses

164 Messages

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5.2K Points

10 years ago

The Adobe folks are very aware of this one as a request, but i sure hope they're working on it...

24 Messages

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4.4K Points

10 years ago

Yeah, I know. I just wanted to get it out there in this shiny new facebook feedback forum since they seem to be paying attention to it.

946 Messages

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13.8K Points

What's a "facebook feedback forum"? I'm viewing this here:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

Champion

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882 Messages

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19.2K Points

Lee Jay, there is now a tab on the photoshop facebook page, that acts as an interface to this site. See: http://blogs.adobe.com/photoshopdotco...

24 Messages

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4.4K Points

10 years ago

Intersting. They must be linked. Check out Lightroom's Fan page and go to Feedback. That's how I've been accessing these comments. It's new (the Facebook part) so that may explain why you see a bunch of re-hashed suggestions. That's admittedly a little confusing.

Adobe Administrator

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15.4K Messages

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291.1K Points

That's correct. Last week we embedded a widget in the Photoshop and Lightroom Facebook pages. Although the interfaces are slightly different and reside on different sites, they share a common backend which allows users to see and rate the same content.

Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Digital Imaging

164 Messages

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5.2K Points

10 years ago

Yep, they've embedded the get satisfaction forum into their facebook page. Interesting...

Champion

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5.9K Messages

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103.8K Points

10 years ago

Agreed, the more people that vote for this the better.

It would likely help if you could explain the problems you're hitting as a result of the current setup, as it could affect the implementation and give more weight to your request. How would it work best for you?

Victoria Bampton a.k.a. The Lightroom Queen

www.lightroomqueen.com

Author of Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ and Adobe Lightroom - Edit Like a Pro books.

2.1K Messages

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32.2K Points

10 years ago

The best way to make Lightroom Multi-computer is to use an external hard drive. On this drive store your image files and your Lightroom catalog file. Then you have Lightroom installed on each of your computers, and just plug-in the Lightroom hard drive to use. This prevents issues with file locations, syncing edits between computers, and any other multi-computer issues that might arise.

164 Messages

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5.2K Points

This is definitely A way to do it, but I completely disagree that it's the best way.

The best way would be for multiple computers to be able to access the same catalog and image files over a network, with file and/or database locking to prevent problems with multiple users at the same time. Unfortunately this isn't available at the same time.

The second best way (for me) is multiple computers that access the same files over a network using a catalog that gets automatically synced on a regular basis. This method definitely runs the risk of issues due to the catalogs being out of sync, but for a low number of users (or for a very rigorous workflow) it works quite well.

Another method would be to use a portable hard drive, which is just plain annoying to have to transfer from computer to computer. This method is a distant third in my books...

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

I think Brett meant "the best way today" ;-}

4 Messages

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176 Points

We are a media department at a community college that uses Adobe products. We would love to be able to use Lightroom as a department with centralized catalog(s) on a network drive. Benefits are concurrent use, ability for all staff to search the catalog, inclusion in IT-driven backup, redundancy and recovery and ease of use. Non-IT Individuals responsible for database maintenance is not the best way to safeguard our college's photo collection.

136 Messages

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4.7K Points

I used to do so until it corrupted my database for some unknown reason.
I still have the catalog if you wish.
concerning the network option, you could simply use a lock mecanism. It is very effective.
Just log an entry in the DB or a file for the first user that opens it. As long as his session remains open that entry locks the catalog, any other user can view it but not modify anything in it.
during a session or if there is a crash, the user should be able to release the lock. In this case he looses the possibility to edit the database until he re-launch lightroom. In the meantime anyone that would open the catalog would of course lock it, unless you add an otpion to open in read only mode.
regards

PS : I just read a bug on jpeg and metadata. If you think this is not related do not hesitate to ask me more detail, I will be happy to help. Menwhile I will check all of my jpegs.

200 Messages

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3.1K Points

The performance on USB and even Firewire 800 drives is quite disappointing. Thunderbolt will likely help some users but we could use some help from Adobe. This is a real issue for pro users with multiple computers and photography studios with multiple computers. Craft a solution that power users will love.

2 Messages

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84 Points

It would have to be a hefty drive to take all your images as well as all your cats. then you will need to back it all up on another drive and if you are a paranoid like me you need another for a second backup. Much easier to sync on a home wifi. At present I export my images as a cat from my macbook to imac and that is tedious and a pain in the whatsit.

14 Messages

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570 Points

I'm wondering what you mean by a hefty drive? My system has an external 1TB drive that I use for housing Lightroom catalog and all of the photos.

Using an external drive for the photos and the catalog allows us to move work from one computer to another but limits us to only one person working at a time. That is grossly inconvenient and inefficient and is a slap in the face when you consider that storing a multi-user shared catalog and photos on a network drive would be much more convenient and effective.

It is about time that Adobe move Lightroom into the 21st Century! Networks have been with us for a long time now.

4 Messages

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212 Points

An external hard-drive is NOT an answer. Full network support is. Wow. I can't believe an employee posted a comment like that. It still amazes me that a product that is this mature, and in a post 2010 world, can be so completely network-unaware. This is a feature that should have been in 3.0.

Employee

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166 Messages

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3K Points

It is an answer, it's just got a different purpose than what you have in mind. What Brett is doing here is saying "this is the option you have that works right now" not "this is a great answer to multi-machine workflows" which I don't think he had any intention of implying.

So some kind of sophisticated sync feature that involves networking could be a far better "answer", but for somebody trying to figure out how to get by until that's implemented, Brett's answer is more practically useful.

1 Message

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80 Points

Except Brett's response doesn't address the problem.

The requirement is to allow multiple people on multiple computers to edit images from the same catalog at the same time (not necessarily the same image).

At best, Brett's suggestion allows editing of the same catalog at different times.

14 Messages

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570 Points

My concern is that Adobe shows no signs at all of recognizing the problem or working on a solution...not even a "We do intend to provide these capabilities in a future version."

It seems to me that the solution will require porting the application to a new software platform. MySQL is available out there in the public domain. Yes, such a conversion would require a lot of work on the part of Adobe and/or a selected contractor to them. Money, yes...time, yes. But if they don't commit to start this project, we'll still be talking about this need a decade from now. It has been 2 years + since I submitted my official requests on this and I was far from the first. This product will die on the vine if it is not updated to run based on a modern programming platform that already includes this capability.

But frankly, I'm getting weary with the waiting and lack of responsiveness from Adobe. Maybe a competitor will recognize the opportunity.

Is there anyone in Adobe who cares about Lightroom users?

20 Messages

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416 Points

If I find a new application that will match lightroom but give me the network option, I will drop adobe so fast they won't be able to put the plug in before everything washes down the drain.

3 Messages

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514 Points

10 years ago

I would like to see the ability to 'move' the LR 'system' to another location, such as an external drive, to be able to make this work (to make your LR system truly portable). Because, if you just copy the images and catalogue to an external drive you leave behind your presets and various other little bits'n'pieces needed to give you your full system.

And even with that, you still need to synchronise your plugin and webengine installations etc. It still requires too much 'tinkering and fiddling' to get it to work the same on multiple machines, and until networking is available I'd love to see this simplified.

Champion

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5.9K Messages

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103.8K Points

10 years ago

You can also use the 'Store Presets with Catalog' checkbox in preferences to store the presets on the external, and you can install your plug-ins located on the external too.

I do agree though, all of the current options are workarounds, and hardly ideal. Externals are also generally slower, and more risky as they can become detached, corrupting the catalog. It's not a great solution. It needs work, because more and more people are using multiple computers and home networks.

Victoria Bampton a.k.a. The Lightroom Queen

www.lightroomqueen.com

Author of Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ and Adobe Lightroom - Edit Like a Pro books.

4 Messages

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120 Points

10 years ago

II would like to be able to have my files in a database or other file system on a NAS or a server.
That could be backed up centrally.
I would also like to be able to export a part of the database to a laptop and work on it and then later re import the pictures back into the database.
Likewise I would like to be able to be on location and download pictures from my camera to my laptop, when I return back home I would like to be able to add these to the database.

1.3K Messages

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22.5K Points

Do you know about File > Export as Catalog, and File > Import from Catalog ? These do what you are asking for.

1.3K Messages

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22.5K Points

Do you know about File > Export as Catalog, and File > Import from Catalog ? These are what you are asking for.

4 Messages

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120 Points

Thanks John, i will have to try that out again, but that only solves part of my problem (getting pictures on and off the laptop).
Having the database on a server to be used in more than one PC at the same time vould be helpfull and allow for better backup and security for the pictures. If the database was on a server it could be on a expandable disksystem (eg. iSCSI or SAN) that would allow the database to grow as pictures are added.

27 Messages

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1.3K Points

10 years ago

I agree that there is a need for a catalog setup that can be used on at least a desktop and a laptop.
Currently I use a "master" setup on my desktop, and a copy of the catalog on an external hard drive which only has access to the previews (not the originals). This I use mostly on a laptop. Apart from the fact that Lr it is much slower than on an internal drive I have the problem of keeping the previews on both computers up to date. I have a feeling that Lr not always detects all photos that need a preview refresh when choosing the menu command "Previews - Render standard size". After developing some photos on my desktop, copying the catalog to the external drive and rendering the previews from there I do get some "grey cells" (instead of previews) later when I have disconnected from the originals indicating that also the previews are missing.
Does anyone have any experience with that?

Champion

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5.9K Messages

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103.8K Points

Sven, drop by one of the Lightroom Forums www.lightroomforums.net or http://forums.adobe.com/community/lig... and we'll look at that in more detail. There are a few possibilities that I have in mind, a corrupted preview cache being one, although you could be right about it not updating the previews correctly. It'd be worth investigating separately anyway.

Victoria Bampton a.k.a. The Lightroom Queen

www.lightroomqueen.com

Author of Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ and Adobe Lightroom - Edit Like a Pro books.

27 Messages

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1.3K Points

Hi Victoria, thanks for your suggestion. I've posted the topic here:
http://forums.adobe.com/thread/851835
Hope that helps.

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

10 years ago

FWIW, there is a current workaround that fools LR to believe that a catalogue on a shared network drive appears to be on a local drive.

One can, for instance, make a drive letter substitution using the Windows command shell, e.g., "subst A: N:\Lightroom" which would make any catalogues on the network drive "N:" in folder "Lightroom" available through drive "A:".

An alternative uses a symbolic link.

Of course, performance will suffer and only one user can use one catalogue at a time. Accidental concurrent access might even be automatically excluded by LR's use of a "lock" file.

Use at your own peril.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

I know several people who've tried this and said it worked, but none I know have reported performance benchmarks nor if any problems had been encountered after using it this way for a long time. I'm still wondering how much peril there might be, and what kind of performance hit there might be - networks can be pretty zippy these days... If anybody tries this, *please* report your experience to the rest of us...

13 Messages

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370 Points

It worked for me, however the performance was not very good. In the end I decided to keep the library on my notebook since that is where I do all of the editing, and to only keep the actual photos on the server. This also meant that the thumbnails are not stored on the server but on the laptop, and that made a huge difference. However I am using WiFi, so that is probably the reason why it is so slow over the network.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

Thank you! - I wonder how it would be with a good solid "n"-type wi-fi connection (designed for wireless HD video streaming...) - dunno how quick those are for frequent little tidbits, like misc quick-accesses to catalog...

Champion

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5.3K Messages

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95.4K Points

SQLite makes use of frequent, small I/O operations, and the performance of those can get killed by network latency (time to send a single packet). Wireless networks, even N networks, have much higher latency than wired networks, and thus I'd bet good money that LR catalog performance would suffer over an N network. Wifi N is reasonably good at video streaming, because packet latency doesn't matter, only total throughput (bandwidth).

Photshop Elements (since v6) also uses SQLite for its catalogs, and I tried an experiment running it over a 100Mb Wifi network. Performance was horrible.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

feature request for this site: ability to "gold-star" comments as well as original replies ;-)

13 Messages

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370 Points

Yes, that's my experience too. Performance isn't very good, eventhough I am using a N network. Plugging in the external drive helps a lot, but having the files on an internal hard drive... (esp. if it is fast...). Only do it if you really have to, and you could try to (automatically?) sync the catalog file (+ thumbnails perhaps), just make sure the location of the catalog as well as the location of the photos stays the same on both computers. And yeah, having the files on the computer you usually work with helps too, since otherwise the loading of the RAW files will take a while too (depending on the network of course, with a 1 Gbit connection it might not be that much of an issue anymore).

Champion

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5.3K Messages

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95.4K Points

10 years ago

Lightroom uses the SQLite database engine. A couple of years ago, I investigated the issue of running SQLite with database files residing on network volumes, and I found numerous people advising not to do it. The advice all seems to originate from this paragraph at the SQLite site:

http://www.sqlite.org/lockingv3.html
-----------
"SQLite uses POSIX advisory locks to implement locking on Unix. On Windows it uses the LockFile(), LockFileEx(), and UnlockFile() system calls. SQLite assumes that these system calls all work as advertised. If that is not the case, then database corruption can result. One should note that POSIX advisory locking is known to be buggy or even unimplemented on many NFS implementations (including recent versions of Mac OS X) and that there are reports of locking problems for network filesystems under Windows. Your best defense is to not use SQLite for files on a network filesystem."
-----------

But I didn't find any seemingly reliable reports of anyone who actually experienced corruption that could be definitively attributed to a Windows file server. That doesn't mean there aren't any, of course.

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

Thanks, John, that's very useful information. It appears that one could stay out of trouble by making sure that there are no access conflicts. I understand that even commercial studios use the network "trick" without problems.

Champion

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5.9K Messages

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103.8K Points

Dan Tull did do some tests and managed to repeatedly corrupt his catalogs beyond repair, just as a result of the network connection dropping at the wrong moment. That's not to say that they won't find a way round it, but there are legitimate reasons why it hasn't happened yet.

Victoria Bampton a.k.a. The Lightroom Queen

www.lightroomqueen.com

Author of Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ and Adobe Lightroom - Edit Like a Pro books.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

If I remember correctly, Dan Tull was experimenting with simultaneous accesses to see whether the sqlite locking problems would indeed be prohibitive, as referred to above by John Ellis, and since there were problems, it confirmed the hunch that a full-blown network solution was not feasible for now. He was *not* testing the one-at-a-time "trick" as is being suggested here for the interim, which from what I've been able to gather, may not be problematic.

946 Messages

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13.8K Points

Here's the quote:

Quote:

>FWIW, I did actually add a switch (briefly) to allow support of a catalog file on a network share (basically just lifting the block on it) and managed to corrupt the catalog beyond repair (and if you Google around for my name, you'll find I know a few things about repairing catalogs) when testing it under stress conditions. SQLite is fundamentally dependent on sound file locking guarantees to ensure data integrity and network file shares don't cut it.

>So, while it would be (was) be easy to "just allow it" for power users, I'd basically be committing myself to spending all my time helping people whose catalogs were damaged when their network hiccuped at the wrong moment.

>Which unfortunately means a robust catalog on a network share feature is much harder and more risky than it seems on the surface without even getting into the multiple simultaneous users aspect.

>Dan Tull
Lightroom QE
Adobe Systems

25 Messages

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924 Points

10 years ago

As TK says above, "Use at your own Peril". Adobe specifcally says that use of the catalog on a Network drive is not supported, so personally I wouldn't even fiddle with any of the workarounds, even for single-user use.

Here's just one of many references on adobe.com: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/406/kb406369...

Champion

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5.3K Messages

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95.4K Points

10 years ago

This is about the same level of uncertainty I discovered a couple of years ago for another use of SQLite. Thought the SQLite authors refer to "reported" problems of the Windows locking primitives, I found supposed Windows experts dismissing such problems when the server side was implemented by Microsoft, as opposed to a third party. We don't know the details of Dan Tull's experiments -- were they with a Windows client, a Windows file server, or some other NAS common in large companies? Did they invovle concurrent accesses or just randomly dropping the network connection?

Given all this, I don't think we can authoritatively state that a Windows 7 client running with a Windows 2003 file server would be problematic. And similarly, I think anyone who experiments with this should be prepapred for possible problems.

Employee

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166 Messages

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3K Points

If I recall correctly, my experiment was a Mac file SMB share with a single Windows XP client. I pulled the cable in the middle of an import and the next time I tried to open the catalog, it was corrupted such that I was unable to fix it in the usual way (doing a SQLite .dump into a new catalog). It wasn't great for performance either, but I didn't investigate that in detail as I was primarily concerned with validating or dispelling concerns about robustness against network failure. Our use of SQLite has changed significantly since then, so it's possible the results of repeating that experiment may be a bit less dire than previously. It's also possible that the (relatively new) WAL mode might be more resilient against this condition. My experiment is more than a little dated at this point. It's probably over 4 years old now.

6 Messages

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152 Points

It might be worthwhile to consider using a database with a bit more power, such as MySQL.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

Any idea what the MySQL commercial license for OEM vendors would cost? If my memory serves me correctly, this option was considered but rejected due to competitive cost concerns (I'm vaguely remembering a post about it on the *other* forum, which you will have a hard time finding since the search is broken there).

Employee

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166 Messages

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3K Points

Cost was never among the reasons I've heard for not using MySQL.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

I thought I remembered that's what Jeff Schewe was claiming. I could be remembering wrong (or maybe he was wrong...).

I'd be interested in what reasons you have heard, if you could & would....

5 Messages

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454 Points

9 years ago

Please retain a single-user implementation of LR. If you (Adobe) decide to implement a multiuser implementation, make it a separate deliverable.

Most of your customers are unlikely to ever have a need for a multiuser catalog (especially one that supports concurrent update). Please don't foist significantly decreased performance and higher complexity on folks who would receive no benefit from a multiuser implementation.

Dan

111 Messages

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1.3K Points

If you don't need it, you don't use it. If you need it you have the option.
There would be no performance impact in "single user mode".

so please don't "foist" your "opinion" about what people may or may not need when plainly you can see people need this as an option - myself and my computers being one of them.

That you may not require such a feature means you have one machine you work on. And that's great for YOU.

Don't knock a practical feature for the rest of us that require multiple access to our data. Especially since "network sharing" is not a "new" concept.

That adobe cheaped out and went with "free" SQLlite is what is causing the issue - they didn't want to use a proper full SQL implementation, and that decision is the "truth" behind their described "database issues" over a network.

So. Their reasoning is poppycock. My filemaker and other sql databases aren't destroyed when a "network" hiccup occurs.