Lightroom: Multi-User / Multi Computer (Shared catalog on a network)

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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.
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BenD

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Posted 7 years ago

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Sean Phillips

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

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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.
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Lee Jay

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

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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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...
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BenD

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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.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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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.
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Sean Phillips

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Yep, they've embedded the get satisfaction forum into their facebook page. Interesting...
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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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?
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Brett N, Official Rep

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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.
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Kevin Rank

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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.
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Dan Tull, Employee

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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.
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MAL Langbridge

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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.
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Rodney L Wright

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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?
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Mark Swink

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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.
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Gary Rowe

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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.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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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.
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Arne Keller

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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.
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john beardsworth

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

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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.
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Sven Beller

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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?
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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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.
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Sven Beller

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

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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.
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kada jawi

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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.
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Rob Cole

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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...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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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.
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Rob Cole

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

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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).
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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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
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"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."
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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.
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TK

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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.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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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.
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Rob Cole

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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.
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Lee Jay

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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
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paulwasserman

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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...
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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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.
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Dan Tull, Employee

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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.
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David Ritch

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

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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).
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Dan Tull, Employee

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

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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....
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Dan Zemke

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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
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Axiom

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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.
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TonyR

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Would love to see this functionality implemented. With multiple machines for capture/editing, a shared catalog on a NAS or server is an ideal situation (and saves from having to move a portable drive between machines with the catalog stored on it).
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Rodney L Wright

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Last year, I submitted a feature request that was received by Adobe to implement a multi-user version of Lightroom. In this forum, I discovered that the reason this has not been implemented is that the underlying database is SQLite which does not effectively imlement record-level locking. Also a comment given for not considering the now much more standard MySQL was potential cost...but that was dismissed in a subsequent comment.

I am a (volunteer) database administrator at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) and am coordinator for a major internal database using Microsoft Access. For years, MS Access has had no problem with record level locking and multiuser access. We are converting this database to MySQL and so far have had very good success. Multiuser access in MySQL works well.

If SQLite is the problem, I suggest Adobe seriously evaluate recasting Lightroom to use MySQL.

My personal reason for needing multi-user access is that I maintain a personal database of over 40,000 photos and this is growing very quickly as I add both family and air & space photos (I am also a docent at NASM and share responsibility for training new docents, so a photo database is important in that regard too.)

At home I have Microsoft Home Server and a small 3-client machine network (my machine, my wife's machine, and my laptop.) Currently, we have the Lightroom catalog installed on an USB connected external drive and move it from machine to machine whenever one of us needs to access Lightroom (and that is frequent.) Both my wife and I need concurrent shared access to the same Lightroom database. Record-level locking would prevent use both from working on the same photo at the same time. Being able to install the catalog on the server would greatly simplify life for us (and would help to ensure domestic tranquility by preventing conflicts over whose work is more important or highest priority.)

At NASM, we have an intranet implemented using MS server with Windows clients. We don't currently have Lightroom installed on our machines because it is a single-user application. I certainly would recommend it in a heartbeat if there was a true multiuser version available.

In regard to licensing, I think Adobe should consider a "family license" much like Micorosoft, Norton, McAffee, etc. This would authorize up to say, three concurrent uses of Lightroom using a single license.

Lightroom should also be authorized for organizations by selling licenses for multi-user versions. We certainly would be interested in that for our Education Department.

Please be advised that NASM has NOT authorized me to speak for them or to commit. Since I am a volunteer, any such interpretation of my comments would cause grief to me and to NASM. I appreciate your consideration in considering these suggestions.
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Rodney L Wright

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Well, it now has been nearly 2 years since I formally submitted a long list of suggestions to Adobe about future software. Primary among them was the suggestion to go to a multi-user networked version of Lightroom. Apparently, now that LR 4 is out, we see that Adobe has ignored all of those suggestions.
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Axiom

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That's simply because they don't need to care, these forums are full of our "needs" but they always have a convenient and uneducated reply.

I wonder constantly now why I bother spending thousands every few years on what is increasingly becoming poorer and poorer implementation of what once was an awesome thing.
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Dan Tull, Employee

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If we were to create a multi-user system for Lightroom, the database would be unlikely to be the exposed interface anyway. The exposed layer would probably be at a higher level than that (web service-like, regardless of the protocol particulars).

Note that even a multi-user MySQL installation doesn't just put a file on a network share and let file locking manage concurrent access. It has a network daemon and clients connect on a TCP port to make queries and get data.

So SQLite isn't the reason we don't have a multi-user system, it's the reason we don't do multi-user by just putting the catalog files on a network share.

Besides, multi-user Lightroom isn't just about the catalog data. There's previews, the original image files (neither of these are in the lrcat file), and lots of other pieces that would have to be managed as well.

If the task of making Lightroom a multi-user, multi-machine system is a book, the SQLite versus MySQL part is a footnote. Ok, maybe a short chapter. :)
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Louis Sherwin

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Thanks Dan for clarifying some of the issues involved.

It occurs to me that this topic probably could be split in two separate but related discussions.

1. Multi-user - Two or more people working on a shared catalog and image database. This requires a client-server architecture with the necessary file locking etc. This is not the common use model but would be highly desired by anyone with a small studio and one or more assistances up to an organization managing a large archive.

2. Multi-computer - One person working with one or more catalogs. I think that today this covers a large majority of Lightroom users. Many of us regularly use a lap top computer in the field to start working on the days images and then want to have a say to simply merge this back into or main catalog on the desktop at home.

In either case you should probably treat the previews more like cache than "data". They are being regenerated all the time anyway as you make edits so it make sense to me that my previews would always be localized to my local computer user workspace.

-louie
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Timo S.

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Exactly! I don't need a multi-user-environment but just an easier way of synching my catalogue between desktop and laptop computer. Right now, the only way I can do this is: Before I take my laptop somewhere, I synch my LR catalogue from my desktop to my laptop so it matches it exactly. Then I can work with LR on my laptop. After that, I sync my laptop's catalogue back to my desktop and continue to work there. So, every time I switch computers, I need to sync my catalogue.
It would just be so much easier, if there was a sync feature in Lightroom that would allow to sync and contribute in both directions (let's say, for example by keeping always the most recent edits of both machines).

Cheers,

Timo
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bcdavis75

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Totally agree with that... it's much more about being able to seamlessly switch computers. I've managed this by using synctoy between PC's but that always made me nervous. I'm trying to see if I can get a dropbox based solution to do the trick.

Anyway, a fully integration "move everything to laptop" button would be great.
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Louis Sherwin

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Jay,

Good point to consider for the Multi-user use case. Even then especially when you are edting most of the your work is going to be local to the client system you are on. You really don't want to have the client constantly updating the previews for every edit. That's what I was thinking about.

To your point there should be a way to "release" work back to the server that would also update the server previews so that additional clients would not have to re-render finished work just to browse the image database.
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Patrick Cunningham

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I don't really want to share a catalog, because the laptop won't be attached to the network most of the time. A shared catalog would be OK as long as each computer keeps a copy of the preview files, and changes to develop and metadata are only permitted when the machine is connected to the network. But I do need to be able to reconcile the same image on two computers.

There are ways of doing it without sharing the catalog - basically things to help me instigate a regime of self-discipline. Colour coding of folders in Lightroom (this has already been discussed), and/or the ability to lock/unlock folders would help greatly, so that I can more easily keep track of which images have been 'sent' to the desktop - then I know not to do any more adjustments or metadata on the laptop.

Another requirement is to be able to export a collection (from the laptop) in a way which only exports membership of that collection, instead of overwriting all the metadata in the target catalog (on the desktop), because I sometimes do a selection on the laptop after the images have 'gone' to the desktop - where they may have been added to other collections and may have had more develop work done. I don't want to clutter the catalog with loads of virtual copies either.

Patrick Cunningham
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Greg Hunt

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I think that there is a third case:

- Home NAS with a single user

These things are becoming more and more common. I understand the imperative to keep the system operationally simple, just enabling network access to the database would lead to people who have been trying to use it as multi-user software complaining vociferously that they were innocent victims of Adobe when they corrupted their databases but there should be support for common high-end hardware configurations. Locking need only be done at the file level and imposed by the application not the database, no finer granularity is needed, but from discussions above it looks like the locking APIs are a mess.
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Bob Meyer

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I don't have a need for a multi-user catalog, but a multi-computer catalog would sure be handy. Sometimes I want to do some quick edits while sitting in the family room with my laptop. For more serious editing sessions, though, I'll be on my desktop. It would be nice to have the same files, and the same catalog, accessible from both.
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Rodney L Wright

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So, is the bottom line that Adobe is not currently considering creating a multi-user version of Lightroom? Or is it under consideration for a future version?
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Rodney L Wright

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It seems to me that lots of reasons have been given for why a multiuser version has not been accomplished in the past. That said, a rebuild of Lightroom to make it multi-user would move Lightroom from a niche to a major consideration for small to large organizations where data synchronization are essential for any organization wide solutions. I think Adobe should consider how this will improve its competitive postion in the market and go for this major increase in functionality.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Have you guys looked at Adobe Carousel? It's the start of multi-user, multi-computer, multi-device workflow.
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Rob Cole

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So, if I got it right, in a few years or so, we may actually see Carousel be the multi-user version of Lightroom... in the global cloud, or local-cloud/p2p/lan...(?)
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Sean Phillips

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That's exactly my thought Dan!
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kada jawi

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Same here. I think I'd rather have a locally installed Lightroom (on all the computers I want to use), but with a cloudish backend, that might sync all the settings + when necessary the files I want to be working on. Or if I'm on the go I could press a sync button and it sends the files to a fileserver running at home (or in the cloud). But such a system would have to be very flexible, which could make it rather confusing to use I suppose?

I can see myself using a backup/cloud service run by Adobe, where all my photos are stored (encrypted), something like Backblaze/Mozy/Carbonite/..., but with a photography focus and a tighter integration into Lightroom (it should be competitively priced (perhaps slightly above the aforementioned services, when you have a Lightroom license there are discounts or vice versa, ...) and offer backups of other files too... especially media files, but also documents). Perhaps Acrobat.com could be integrated into it, so that when we have backed up our Word documents that way we can, online, access these files and modify them, Acrobat.com documents are automatically synced with your computer too, ... I think that would be really awesome.
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bcdavis75

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Hey Jeff. I'm excited about the potential of Carousel. Recognizing that it's just "a start" I'm holding back my criticisms to this--I think it would have been nice (speaking personally) if the the "start" had been a feature set more geared towards lightroom's serious or pro users. What I mean by this is addressing RAW file workflow, and as Sean Mentioned, more of a LAN based synching solution.

Carousel seems like and circle on Adobe's big Venn diagram of partially overlapping products; and it certainly introduces some features and Ideas that will satisfy certain types of users. But for me, there's just not a point in engaging yet and therefore, difficult to give constructive feedback.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Sure. I knew the *current* file support angle of Carousel would be a deal-breaker for most pros, but the synchronization aspect would show that we're investing in multi-user, multi-computer, multi-device workflows. Because Carousel is heavily tied to Tablets and Phones, raw file support wasn't in the cards for that workflow with those devices as 1.0 release - but realize that what's underneath is a subset of Adobe Camera Raw (the subset that these devices can drive in a performant manner) and that the rest of the engine can be engaged later on. Hopefully that gives you an idea of the trajectory they're on.
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Walker Blackwell

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Adobe already has this programmed for Bridge using MYSQL and full access control and locking permissions. (They did a too complicated job in my opinion) SQlite can literally be emulated on top of mysql. The only piece would be to add a few lines of code that point lightroom to a TCP socket and network share containing the files; and have a little listening port that keeps your local copy of LR up to date on what files other users have clicked on. (or that could just be part of the sqlite db presented to the client) The "server" could be any dumb sql backend + sqlite emulator layer + a file store. All the "processing" could be done by client computers at ingest and outclick. If you want to dumb it down even more, use some userland Fuse implementation of SQL so Lightroom doesn't even have to know it's going over TCP. You would have to optimize it.

I run networked LR catalogues this way by putting them inside writable DMG files hosted on a fiber server 5 miles away from my desk. It works like a charm and haven't had a corruption once since I started 3 years ago. (only one client at a time mind you.)

This mutli-user thing is totally normal workflow and there is no reason why a networked DB would cause any performance slowdowns or be a trouble to build. Local cache/ripping would have to certainly be implemented but how much time does it take to upload a 3 megabyte jpg to a central cache file? Less than 1/2 of a second at gigabit. I could see a multi-client interface actually increasing the speed of Lightroom in the future by farming out intensive tasks to multiple idle computers just like Final Cut does today.

As long as the server is running memcached and is powerful enough, I don't see this back and forth of part of the db being a problem at all really. SQlite can run multi-user as long as their is a layer between it and the client. So build a layer that presents Lightroom clients with their "individual" sqlite db. That individual sqlite db is really constantly updated by all the other users and the only sql that is unique (and that the client caches in memory) is each client's opened files. Networks are fast enough.

Walker
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Rich Meade

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Are you guys (Adobe) working on a solution to allow Lightroom to work from a networked hardrive?
Seems like an obvious next step, so places like my studio can run multiple machines and reference the same catalog...

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Network Catalog.