Lightroom Classic CC: Restore Import from external catalog over LAN?

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  • Updated 2 months ago
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  • (Edited)
After the update to Lightroom Classic CC on both of my systems I am not able to import from the catalog on the other computer via ethernet. I get an error message that the external catalog seems to be a non valid Lightroom-catalog. On the other computer the catalog works.

I run Lightroom on an iMac and a MacBook. Usually I import pictures to my MacBook to sort and develop them - for example when I am traveling. From time to time I use the functionality "import from another catalog" on my iMac to get the new pictures from the catalog which is stored on the MacBook via LAN/WLAN. In the previous version this was working fine. Since the update to Lightroom Classic CC I see the error message above.

When I copy the catalog and the negative files from my MacBook into a folder on my iMac I am able to import them into the iMac catalog. So the issue should have to do with access via network.
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Felix Schrader

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Posted 2 years ago

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marco perotti

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Hello

you are in a big group.

I am sure that is a bug, one more of this terrible release .

We have to wait Adobe.

Have a good experience
(Edited)
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Sunil Bhaskaran, Official Rep

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Thanks for reporting, Felix.
We are looking into this.

Thanks,
Sunil
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Brandon Gross

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I'm having the exact same problem. We have a multiple photographer workflow that keeps the master LR catalog on the server and we export our collections from that catalog to multiple workstations. After the edits are made they are then imported back into the master catalog on the server. We have been doing this workflow for many, many years without any problem. Since upgrading to LR CC Classic we can no longer do this over the network. 

In order to get the catalog to import to the server, I have to move the master catalog to the workstation, import the edits to it (on the workstation) then copy the master catalog back to the server. The problem appears to be narrowed down to importing over a network; which has always worked in the past. 

We really need an answer to this as soon as possible since it is crippling our workflow. 

p.s. side note, I would also love for you guys to give us the option again to rename a catalog that has to be upgraded from an older version LR catalog. As it is now, we have to settle with the new catalog having a "-2" in the name while I would prefer the option to rename it to something easier to recognize. 
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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I agree it would be nice to have this option in the convert catalog dialogue, but you can rename the catalog after it has been created. Make sure the previews folders are also renamed identically as shown below.

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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Make sure you click the ME TOO button in the upper-right corner. 
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Brandon Gross

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Hey Todd, thanks! I have been doing that in the meantime but it's just another step to add to the list of things to do when importing a bunch of different sessions. LR used to have the option to rename a catalog when converting it but they removed it a few releases back and never came back around to adding it. I'm still holding out hope though :) Thanks again! 
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Mike Jennings

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I have a similar problem, importing from a catalogue on a USB drive. I have a similar workflow: work on pictures on a laptop when away from base, and merge into main catalogue when I return.

When I try to load direct from the USB drive Lightroom doesn't recognise as a catalogue, but when I copy the files to disk and load it starts loading. It's very slow

I'm feeling pretty nervous about this new version of Lightroom. Having invested so much effort with my current massive catalogue (too big for cloud) it doesn't really seem to be committed to supporting features I need.
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Brandon Gross

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I agree. I'm in a weird conundrum with LR. I use it every day and it is honestly a foundational piece of software for our business but for years each and every update has gotten slower and more buggy.

I want to like LR, don't get me wrong. It would be very difficult to run our business without it but I find myself moving closer and closer to the possibility of other software options. Which I hate, because I want to use LR... I just want to use a LR that is relatively stable and fast; which seem to have come at the cost of features in every update.

The entire software, unfortunately, feels like a giant tower built on a foundation of toothpicks. The continual decrease in speed and performance has made me leary of even updating when new versions come out since I don't know what new and shiny bug is lurking around the bianary corner waiting to crush our productivity and workflow. 

I just feel like it would serve Adobe and its users to spend a considerable amount of time improving the foundation of LR and on their bug reviews before releases. LR CC Classic is not faster and feels more like a beta version than a well-made production release. 

Adobe, I want to love LR... Please help me to do that. We're not asking for much; or for that matter even more features. Just give us a product that is stable and has speed before shoving more shiny things into it. 

Rant over... 
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Nils Kontz

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Import of catalogs from servers and external disks.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Shortcuts / LR Catalogue from server.Shortcuts do not work in many cases for example
turn images: CMD+, &CMD+.

Import of LR Catalogues from Servers, extern Harddisks and similar is not possible with catalogues created in LR Classic CC but catalogues created in older LR Versions are.

For the rest it runs a bit faster

But overall it seems more like a downstep than an update.

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Lightroom Classic CC: Keyboard shorcuts for rotate left and right changed incorre....
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Brandon Gross

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I just downloaded the new update this morning ( version 7.1) and being able to import catalogs over a network still does not work.

This is crazy.

Adobe, you need to fix this bug. For any studio that has multiple photographers, this has created a messy nightmare in keeping up with catalogs. 
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Sunil Bhaskaran, Official Rep

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In Lightroom Classic, we use a certain database mode primarily for performance gain. This is a technical limitation we face on Mac.

Thanks,
Sunil
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Brandon Gross

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Thanks for responding Sunil. I'm curious, are you saying this database limitation makes it impossible to import catalogs over a network like previous versions?
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Sunil Bhaskaran, Official Rep

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That's right, Brandon.
It happens only on Mac.

Thanks,
Sunil
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Tommy Tonteri

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That is not correct, i have the same problem when trying to import from another catalog over the network between two windows machines. Laptop (on the road) -> desktop (main catalog).
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Brandon Gross

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Sunil, there has to be a mistake somewhere because that can't be right. Limiting users to only importing catalogs on the host computer completely makes the entire "import another catalog" feature useless. We need to import catalogs because we have moved them to another computer to work on. That was LR's answer to networked catalogs so many years ago.

This update is a gigantic step backward. It was supposed to increase speed and it hasn't. I just can't believe the database is what is limiting importing over a network. This should be something your engineers can fix (and absolutely should fix). It's not a mac only issue and it's not something minor. This is a gigantic bug in LR that needs to be addressed not passed off as a limitation that we all know is not a limitation; it's a database design error or a bug. Both can be fixed. 
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Brandon Gross

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Any update on a fix for this?
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Eric Shieh

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Same problem. Main catalog is now coming on 4 months of not being updated :(
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Jack DeBlanc

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Import over network does not work. Copy .lrcat over network and import does not work. Copy to usb thumb drive, move file to host and import DOES work. Likely a file permissions issue.
(Edited)
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Eric Shieh

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Any updates on this? Finally bit the bullet to update my main catalog with a workaround: Manually copy over the catalog file, then manually copy over image files, then re-attach missing files in thecatalog. What a pain! Old process was a single step.

Also, I wonder if this has anything to do with the deprecation of AFP networking on APFS devices with High Sierra. Right now, only SMB worlds with APFS.
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Christoph von Siebenthal

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Eric, there is a step between. I just tested following a bit lesser pain in the ass:
Be connected to my notebook through finder. 
Copy the external catalog as you do.
Open it and search the missing image files on the notebook.
Open the main catalog.
Proceed the import with the now local catalog
The files are then on the main computer with the edits.

I still don't know how to set the image-path to avoid moving the files one more time to have them at the right place in the main structure.

Perhaps, when Adobe, some day, comes back from the cloud, pays analystes and programmer instead of marketing managers and lawyers, we will be able to have:
- several catalogs open at the same time
- the ability of moving and copying from one catalog to another without headache. 
- and by the way, be able to remove, with proper precaution, at least empty folders from the disk structure.
(Edited)
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Christoph von Siebenthal

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Oops I underestimated The remaining programmers. It works know!
It removes empty folders. Of course with no information to the user at all.
Wy bother?
At least there is a message that the structure and files will be kept when a folder isn't empty. That at least, is even clever.
(Edited)
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Sunil Bhaskaran, Official Rep

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At this point of time, we are not at fixing this technical limitation.

Thanks,
Sunil
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Brandon Gross

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That is disappointing. You guys broke this software and your answer is simply "We're not going to fix it"

I would like to know why?
(Edited)
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Gruffydd Thomas

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Would their reason for not fixing it be that you are then more likely to move to Lightroom CC, the cloud-based version, where sharing catalogs, if I understand things correctly, is its raison d'etre? Cynical?
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Gary Rowe

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So, Adobe have removed previously-available functionality, but don't see this as a problem ... way to go, Adobe. Why am I not more surprosed?
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Christoph von Siebenthal

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@Thomas
How right.
Professional photographies are valuables. If they have to be kept outside my venues, than in a bank save and certainly not on a cloud. the very name of this digital "thing" says how undefined and unstable it is (meant to be).
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Brandon Gross

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What kind of time frame are we looking at for a fix to this issue?
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karelu

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Hi Sunil,

So from Adobe's view this is a "technical limitation"? Basicly you have removed a feature that was present is previous versions and was a feature that saved me a lot of time in the past! Now I have to export the files needed as an catalog, move it (over the same network!) to my main computer and import it there..

Karel.
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Eric Shieh

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I had the chance to test this over AFP networking and same issue occurred. So it appears that this is simply a regression: 1) Lightroom adds constraint preventing the use of catalogs over network for interactive work, 2) Import from catalogs over the network breaks.

At the least, the error message that the catalog is invalid is totally wrong.
(Edited)
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Christoph von Siebenthal

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And there is no mean to go on the street, before a judge, vote for an other party and, and, and...
Even buying by an other competitor isn't possible.
Western society and western economy has a very huge flaw here!
(Edited)
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Brandon Gross

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Sunil, what is Adobe planning on doing to fix this? Any time frame?
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Neville Guard

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I to am having this problem.  Sunil is your last comment of ADOBE is not fixing it still standing?  If so what other solutions can you suggest?  
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karelu

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom Classic 7.3.1: Catalogue import over network.

Since the introduction of Lightroom Classic it's not possible anymore to import a Catalogue stored on another computer over a network.

This is very frustrating and results in time loss as I have to copy the catalogue (over the network!!!!) to my local machine and then do an import...

Please put this on your (long!) bugfix for 7.3.2

Karel.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom Classic 7.3.1: Catalogue import over network (merging).

Karel,

Access to catalogs on non-local drives is not supported. If this worked in prior versions of Lightroom I suspect that was a bug and has been fixed. 

Consider adding your request to this thread: https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/multi_user_multi_computer

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Lightroom Classic 7.3.1: Catalogue import over network.
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Brandon Gross

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Hey Rikk,

I'm having a hard time not being angry over Adobe's stance on this issue. It feels like Adobe is more interested in justifying their choices rather than listening to the needs of their users. 

I have to say, I  can't agree with you that this was a bug that was fixed. Lightroom CC Classic broke much more than it ever fixed. Support for import over a network was never a bug. It was a feature added to address the user communities desire for network implementation of LR. 

I can understand why a networked version of LR would be problematic and expensive, as far as licensing for the stepped-up SQL license.  This is why Adobe gave us import catalog as a compromise that was cost effective and offered a stable solution to studios with multiple photographers and workstations. 

I'm not buying this was a "bug" that was fixed and I'm not buying that this can not be resolved. 

Your solution was to send Karel to the black hole of Adobe LR feature requests. We've been requesting a networked version of LR since its creation. We know it's not going to happen any time soon and Adobe knows the same. 

Your development team broke a feature we relied on heavily and has shown how unwilling they are to address the needs of the LR community by passing us off and shading over that this was ever a feature to begin with. 

I'm incredibly disappointed and I have a feeling I'm not alone. Just some genuine honesty from Adobe would go a long way but what would go much further is an inkling of effort in showing Adobe actually cares about this problem and wants to help. 

None of that has happened so far. 

I just don't get it. It seems like your development team is more interested in adding fluff features at the cost of stability and usability. 

If I had a pathway I would switch from you guys today. But I don't. And that's what makes me so angry is you all know that and exploit it. 

It is shameful how Adobe has given up on their professional users. 
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karelu

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Brandon,

Thanks for your support. If importing of a catalog was a bug and not a feature then I wonder what Adobe regards as a real bug!
It's just a waste of time that I have to copy the catalog over from my Macbook Air towards my iMac and then do an import instead of just import the catalog over the (wired) network. It worked for a long time until Adobe decided to rip out that feature. 

Since LR Classic 7.3.1 it's been dreadful to work with LR.. and I do hope that they update the current version with some serious bug-fixing. Hell... at this moment I don't need new features... Just bug-fix it and do some further speed optimization. A lot of photo professionals (most of them) would welcome an update which allows them to speed up their workflow instead of all the current frustration with new features resulting in (big) bugs in previous well working features.

Adobe... I'm paying a descent amount of $ / € / £ / .. and I'm expecting quality products as a result.

Karel.
(Edited)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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It would take a just a few lines of code to restore the ability of Import From Another Catalog to access catalogs stored on network filesystems (aka network drives or NAS).

Gory details:

LR catalogs are implemented using SQLite databases. Adobe changed the way LR 7 opens these databases, using SQLite's write-ahead logging (WAL) journal mode. WAL is significantly faster than the default journal mode used in LR 6 and earlier, but it doesn't work with databases (catalogs) residing on network filesystems. Thus, as a consequence of speeding up catalog access, Adobe also disabled the ability of Import From Another Catalog to read catalogs stored on network filesystems.

No one who knows has indicated whether this sacrifice of functionality in favor of catalog performance was thought through ahead of time or was an afterthought.

But there is a simple fix that allows both the use of WAL and importing from catalogs on network filesystems. Normally, SQLite stores the WAL journal mode inside the database itself, and once stored in the database, there is no way for a program to open a database stored on a network filesystem to turn off the mode. But it's a very simple matter for LR to always keep the database in the default delete mode whenever the database is closed, putting it into WAL mode only when it is on a local disk and open.

Right after opening a database, LR would do:

if not pathIsOnNetworkVolume (catalog.path) then 
    do SQL command "pragma journal_mode=WAL"
This provides the desirable performance improvement if the catalog resides on a local disk, but still allows catalogs on network filesystems to be opened. 

Right before closing the database on exit, LR would put the database back into default mode:

do SQL command "pragma journal_mode=DELETE"
With this, the Import From Another Catalog command would once again be able to import catalogs stored on network filesystems, as it has been doing in all versions prior to LR 7.

Now, some engineers with a little knowledge might object that the developers of SQLite warn against accessing SQLite databases over the network, due to deficiencies in some implementations of network file locking. In general, that's a complicated subject as it applies to LR. But for importing from a network catalog, it's a non-issue, since the SQLite warning only applies to writing network databases, while the Import From Another Catalog command only reads the databases.

I tested the feasibility of this solution with MacOS LR 7.3.1, using SQLite to remove to remove the WAL journal mode from a catalog, and LR was able to successfully import from it, just like LR 6.
(Edited)
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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No one who knows hasindicated whether this sacrifice of functionality in favor of catalogperformance was thought through ahead of time or was an afterthought.
Given the LR updates bug history I'd have to say with regret it was the latter. John, good analysis of the situation with a viable solution! If Adobe is worried about "protecting" users from potential catalog corruption due to network issues they could offer it as a Preferences option. Adobe could implement a warning popup with reference to potential issues and perhaps a Web link with more details when it's selected. Then it's up to the user to decide yea or nay!
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Those warnings might be appropriate for allowing LR to open catalogs on network filesystems, but they're not necessary for importing from catalogs over the network. The SQLite documentation makes clear that the problem is faulty implementations of POSIX file locking -- if two processes or threads simultaneously modify the database at the same time, and the locking is faulty, then corruption could occur. But read-only accesses can't possibly cause corruption, regardless of the locking.
(Edited)
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Thanks for clarifying. So there should be no issues with restoring this capability as you've outlined. Hopefully someone from Adobe Engineering is reading this post!
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Brandon Gross

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Thank you so much for taking time to share a solution to this problem! I really hope Adobe is looking into this and takes it seriously enough to implement it. 
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Brandon Gross

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Any update on a fix for this, Adobe?
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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The issue is still open but I do not have an ETA to share. I have escalated with the team. 
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Official Response
The team has carefully reviewed the outstanding issue regarding import from an external catalog over a LAN and will not be making any further changes in current (7.x) functionality or planned future functionality in this regard. Though we realize it may have been possible to do this in previous versions, Lightroom was not designed nor intended to allow the import of an external catalog over a LAN.

Thank you for your patience while we researched this request.

(Note: edited to include versions beyond 7.x)
(Edited)
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Gary Rowe

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So when will 8.x functionality be available? The idea of a program in this day and age not being able to access a file over a network is risible.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Gary, I've edited the official reply to address future versions so it is clearer. 
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karelu

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"Though we realize it may have been possible to do this in previous versions". May? It WAS possible. And it's a pity that it was left out. Importing over network is a read-only situation.So corruption of the to-be imported catalog is a no-issue.

Anyway... I hope that in a future Lightroom Classic edition it will be implemented again and I do understand that this function will not be a 7.x feature.

Karel.
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karelu

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Just giving this thread a bump in order to keep it alive.

Over the weekend shoots on location. Imported the shoots into Lighroom Classic from my camera onto my Macbook. Did first selection and first edits.

Came home and had to export the catalog onto a USB drive, attach the USB disk to my iMac and then import the catalog into my main catalog on my iMac. Waisted valuable time!

Come on Adobe... Untill the release of Lightroom CC we had the possibility to import a catalog over the network. Since the release of Lightroom CC (Classic) this feature was removed and we were told that this was a "bug"...

Please implement the bug again.

Kind regards,
Pro Photographers around the world.