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

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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 8 years ago

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Mark Swink

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No, it is not. That is what the users have been complaining about since the first release. Adobe has ignored this issue for years.
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Bob Dole

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Yes, Adobe Lightroom has grown into a professional photographers tool and we all know that as such, they only work for themselves. There is no need to have anyone else access the database. - Adobe Marketing

Lightroom was built on SQL Lite, a relic of a database that does not allow concurrent access. While lots of people buy Lightroom and sales have grown, we are aren't given the funds or the time to execute a database change - it is all about new features, that sells products. - Adobe Development
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Bob Dole

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Actually, this is not a technical problem, it is a management problem. If they wanted to change the DB they could, it is not that hard. In fact, I think they could go to a pointer model where all the picture data is kept in a file next to the picture with an index in every directory. It could work much like a source control system with individual file locks.

This would work much better than keeping everything in a SQL lite db.

The problem here is that Lightroom is built on a decade old technology. They've spent money improving the features, but nothing to improve the architectural structure of the program.
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Mark Swink

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Then maybe if we all stop buying the upgrades until such time as they do the database change, that will give them time to make the change. I am done with their upgrades until they get this feature working. If I have to be stuck with outdated software, why would I want to keep spending money on it?
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Magg

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Daminion Server works perfectly with Lightroom. You can edit your photos by LR and access your library by multiple users from multiple computers via Daminion.
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Holden Pollock

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Adobe,

Users have been asking for Lightroom to be multi-user capable for years. My understanding is the the core database architecture is SQLite. While it wouldn't necessarily be EASY, it really shouldn't be that hard for a company with the resources of Adobe to update the software architecture to be able to connect to a database other than the local single-user SQL database. With Lightroom being a workhorse for many working professionals with multiuser and enterprise requirements, it is completely unfathomable that Adobe isn't responding to customer demands for a workable solution to this issue. I for one have started my search to replace Adobe products in my professional workflow since you can't seem to get your act together on this issue.

I'm a part-time professional photographer who needs to be able to access a central catalog from multiple locations and share it with other photographers. I'm also a full time software engineer dealing extensively with database systems that scale from single user local implementations to enterprise-wide access across multiple locations with redundant and geographically diverse synchronized database servers. I am well aware of the issues that can be encountered with this type of system. I'm also well aware that there's an enormous body of knowledge and professionals available who can implement a scalabale architecture that can be configured to work with a simple database on the local machine or a more capable multiuser cloud-accessible solution. In my professional opinion it is clear that Adobe COULD meet customer needs on this issue if they chose to update from techniques borrowed from the last millennium.

And I see this as almost certainly being a management issue - not a developer issue - although if management continues to stick with the ancient architecture it WILL become a developer issue as the competent ones will leave for greener fields. C'mon guys, invest some of the monthly fees you are collecting from users while you still have them to update the product to at least keep up with technology!
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Holden Pollock

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Grrrrrr
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Christopher Thiede

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: Kataloge im Netzwerk.

Hallo,
es wäre schön wenn es in Lightroom möglich wäre einen Katalog von einem Netzlaufwerk zu laden, beispielsweise von einem NAS.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Google Translation: Lightroom catalogs in the network.

Hello there,
it would be nice if it were possible in Lightroom to download a catalog from a network drive, for example, from a NAS.
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NICK

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Allow network storage of catalogue files in Lightroom.

Anyone know why catalogues have to live on local storage? Network storage helps when sharing catalogues in a LAN-based team environment.
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Matthew Sawyer

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Does anyone know if this feature is even being considered by Adobe?

I manage a post production studio and we require network sharing to access catalogs, currently we are using Aperture and we want to jump ship.
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Holden Pollock

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If you read the blogs much this has been a common user request for more than 10 years. While it would take some work to rearchitect the database structure to accommodate this it's nowhere near rocket science in this mellenium. Adobe, are you listening to your customers?
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seanhoyt-dot-art

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You don't need Adobe to directly comment on this. Look at the last few major updates and notice that most of the upgrades have been very consumer focused: face detection, book, slideshow, maps, iPad.... There was a half-hearted attempt at performance with GPU that, from my angle, turned out for worse. So, multi-user enviro is very pro and isn't in line with what Adobe has been pushing out.
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Mark Bortz

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Lets forget multi user.

Lets just be able to store the catalog on a fileserver.

Local hard drive storage is so 1990's.....
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Matthew Sawyer

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agreed
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seanhoyt-dot-art

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A catalog on a fileserver that's being read/written by multiple people at once? Disaster.
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Matthew Sawyer

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nah mate, just on a fileserver not multi-user
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seanhoyt-dot-art

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One user at a time? Sorry, I read that comment too fast. Why would you want it to be on a file server with one client?
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Matthew Sawyer

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Thats alright mate, we all make mistakes. a fileserver, even with one user at a time would solve so many issues I have. It would be my biggest feature request right now.
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seanhoyt-dot-art

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Go on... on my end, my catalog is on my internal M.2 SSD and is maybe 10GB with 50GB of previews that revolve. Are you trying to go between laptop and desktop? If so, i've used sync software without issue (on gigabit local network) and I think people use Dropbox without issue.
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Matthew Sawyer

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I've got an issue on a bit of a bigger scale. We are a travel company with 60tb of photos split into 1 catalog per country. We want to store all of that on one raid and access it over the network. We use this workflow currently with Aperture.

We thought about syncing just the catalogs to every computer locally and relinking the photos across a network but its not a simple task and requires constant relinking and setup with new terminals.
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Yarrago !

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We use Lightroom in the home environment and use it to catalog all our photos in a single location with metadata. We have multiple computers in the house however because Lightroom is designed for single install use it means that its more difficult for us to share and often means it gets less use then it otherwise would. Often it would be handy for us to be using the same catalog from different computers at the same time. It is not that important if the non-primary computers have lower performance (increased latency to the database), since we could then use the primary computer for operations that required more performance when we need it, but other users could still be reviewing and selecting the photos that they like and adding there relevant metadata at the same time rather then the slow sequential process that we do now all having to share the one machine which we also use for other things further diminishing the time that we are able to share and utilise light room. We would only need access to the library and map modules in this situation (develop would also be a nice to have but not necessary for us), all other modules wouldn't actually benefit us from this mode, as the main reason that we want to share is to add our personal metadata and select the photos that are meaningful to us (we can definitely share the primary computer for the amount that we use all of the other modules - we aren't often wanting to be developing different photos at the same time).
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john beardsworth

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If you are a CC subscriber, take a closer look at Lightroom Mobile and also Lightroom Web, its browser-based sibling at https://lightroom.adobe.com.

Log in with your account and you get limited Library features (ratings and flags) and since Monday LrWeb has Develop features too - tone, clarity, HSL/BW, crop etc. Obviously that's not everything you mention, but it's probably more than you expected.
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Yarrago !

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Thanks for the information, unfortunately I'm on a traditional license and also the features that I would find most useful are keywords and map tagging (the ratings and flags would be a step in the right direction).

What is the latency like in this model? Do all photos have to be preuploaded or do they get downloaded on demand from the PC when required (I have way to many photos to make preupload, TB's, even the catalog and standard preview renders are in the 100 GB order).
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Miguel Rohnin

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I guess the fastest way now to incorporate such feature into LR is to split your workflow into DAM + RAW Editing, and continue using LR for batch RAW adjustments and select a pure DAM solution for multi-user access.

Most of DAM solutions are targeted to enterprize level and toooo expensive for small groups or single photographers. But a few titles can be considered as candidates for including into your workflow:

- Apple FinalCut Server
- Canto Cumulus (mature and solid product, but a bit higher priced)
- Daminion Server (relatively new product)

The first product was discontinued by Apple, but probably it is possible to buy it on ebay. It is focused on videos but can be also used for images as well.
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David Rader

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I wish Adobe would just say if it's in their plans one way or another to allow a networked catalog/database with multi-user support. I've been trying to find a solution to this issue for years and I hate to use separate software to access the photos and color-correct them. I suppose I could set up one computer to run Lightroom and let each other computer access it via remote one-at-a-time. It seems cumbersome and it doesn't make sense why Adobe wouldn't add this feature, considering I would purchase more Lightroom licenses. As of now, only 1 PC can access the catalog in a usable fashion, so that means only 1 Lightroom license makes sense. Upgrade this software to multi-user and I'll order additional licenses/seats! And if you're not going to help out your loyal users (of many years!), please, throw a dog a bone. Give us a suggestion that works well or at least give us your thoughts on the issue.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I can't speak for Adobe, but considering they've recently added Develop adjustments in a web browser using http://lightroom.adobe.com, it would be a reasonable guess that future multi-user solutions would involve cloud sync rather than local network sharing. On the other hand, that's a really positive step in the direction of multi-user use.
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Howard Campbell

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I don't think it's reasonable to require my entire repository of images to go to the cloud. Pushing hundreds to low thousands of high rez images to the cloud, just a single shoots worth, will take a long time. Fiber speeds to the backbone don't come cheap.
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Yarrago !

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I agree with both David and Howards sentiments here.

I think uploading to the cloud is just going to be to slow (latency + transfer time) for at least the foreseeable future (10+ years).
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Bob Dole

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You are not going to be able to upload picts to cloud, but the database and references could be in the cloud.
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Colin Bowern

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Shared catalog stored on a network drive.

Move the LIghtroom catalog system towards a model that allows multiple people to access a catalog and images on a network attached storage device. Gigabit wired access makes data transfer reasonable and a shared storage system makes more sense for multiple people working on the same photo set.
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Mark Swink

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ColinB, this is what we have been asking for for years. Adobe has consistently ignored our requests. This is why I haven't upgraded any Adobe software for over two years. If they ever decide to provide the features users are requesting, I'll be happy to purchase upgrades.
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Robert Ardill

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Hi ... I have a little batch script that I use to allow two PCs to use the same catalog (but not at the same time obviously). The images are on one PC (but they could be on a network drive). It's important that the location of the folders is specified as a network location (in the Lightroom catalog), so that either PC can access the images without having to remap the folder locations.

Here is the script I use:

net use \\remote-pc "password" /user:username /persistent:no
IF EXIST "\\remote-pc\Lightroom Catalogs\*.lock" (
echo Lightroom running in remote-pc
pause
exit
)
xcopy "\\remote-pc\Lightroom Catalogs\*.lrcat" "this-pc\Lightroom Catalogs\" /Y /D
"C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Lightroom\lightroom.exe"
xcopy "this-pc\Lightroom Catalogs\*.lrcat" "\\remote-pc\lightroom\Lightroom Catalogs\" /Y /D
exit

The same script should be used on the other PC.

I know that this is just a workaround, but it does make it quite easy for two (or more) PCs to use the same catalog and access the same images without having to carry external drives from PC to PC ... or whatever.

We use a gigabit ethernet and the performance is excellent.
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Magg

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Bernhard Weichel:
"how can Daminon access the LR-Catalog. "

Daminion can't access directly to LR-Catalog. But both programs can manage the same photo archive and exchange data via XMP.

LR's hierarchical keywords and other metadata are visible in Daminion, and visa verse.
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Steve Clark

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom 'mobile' sync to second computer.

I can't imagine I'm the first person to think of this, but I would love to be able to check a sync box next to collections (and hopefully smart collections and FOLDERS) on my main desktop computer and have them sync OTA to a second computer.. I'm often on the go and currently export/import satellite catalogs for active or current work. I'd love to just be able to check a few boxes and go to bed knowing that tomorrow what I need will be on my secondary computer waiting for me.
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Lee

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I FINALLY figured out how to store a catalog on a network drive on Windows (I'm using Windows 10)!
You need the following software: http://www.ntwind.com/software/utilities/visual-subst.html

Here are the steps:
  1. Create a drive letter mapping to the network share. This is necessary to make the share visible to the Visual Subst software.
  2. Download and extract Visual-Subst (http://www.ntwind.com/software/utilities/visual-subst.html)
  3. Run Visual Subst and click on the magnifying glass on the bottom right. Browse to the network mapped folder (or a folder above it) that you want to store your catalog in.
  4. Select a drive letter to associate with the folder and click the "PLUS" button. 
  5. The drive will show up in Visual Subst and is now accessible as a catalog storage location in Lightroom. In Lightroom you simply select a folder on the drive that is mapped using Visual Subst. 
ENJOY!
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"how to store a catalog on a network drive on Windows (I'm using Windows 10)" 

For others who might read this, here's a summary of the last five years of discussion in this thread:

Beware that there is a large amount of uncertainty about the reliability of Windows and Mac workarounds for placing catalogs on network drives. An Adobe engineer did cursory testing more than six years ago and found, at least in one configuration, that catalogs could get corrupted.  Since then, no one has reported any kind of extensive testing that would provide assurance about network catalogs.

The underlying database technology used by LR, SQLite, was not designed to run with database files located on network drives, and the SQLite developers have explained why many network-storage services are not suitable for SQLite.  However, some network-storage services are likely suitable, but no one has reported the testing needed to establish any confidence. 

The testing required to establish reasonable confidence is more than a few people running with network catalogs for a while in a few configurations. The technical problems would be expected to arise only in unusual circumstances on only some kinds of storage servers, e.g. when the network connection to the network storage fails, the server is very overloaded, etc., and even then, the failures could be infrequent.

So if you decide to use one of the Mac or Windows workarounds, make sure you have reliable (tested) backups!

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Geoff Vane

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

The Lightroom Catalog is used as a newsroom photo system here. You need to make it a network catalog a.s.a.p. ! This has been asked 5 years ago and is long overdue!
(Adobe should create a newsroom system and realtime graphics machine. Hurry, there is much money to make and many graphists to please)
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Geoff Vane

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Adobe should create a newsroom system. Network LightRoom should be part of it. We desperately need net work LR. Now we constantly have to synchronize catalogs manually.
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Gerry O'Sullivan

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I have just hired someone to man my picture desk and bumping into the problem having  more than one person working with a catalogue at a time... cant quit believe that this has not been resolved.  What are Adobe doing ?  All photographers cat all be one man bands, can they??

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Geoff Vane

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Adobe could strike hard with a Newsroom system: think of it, video editing, subtitling, photography, archiving with metadata and keywords and realtime graphics. Amazing that they haven't conquered that terrain yet.
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derekbez

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Just want to add - please do not consider the shared catalog concept over the internet, cloud sync, or anything like that.  It must be LAN local area network.

The internet might be ok if you're working at home or in your office, and you live/work in an area where there is reliable, fast broadband.  

When travelling - in hotels or guest houses or cruise ship - it's just not feasible to even remotely assume that a suitably fast and reliable internet connection will be available.  And don't forget there is the rest of the world might not have the coverage of broadband we're used to in our homes.