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Using Bridge on server

Community Beginner ,
Dec 04, 2018 Dec 04, 2018

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Hi,

I would like to know if it's possible to use bridge on multiple computers with a shared server. Our aim is to share keywords, collections, labels and rating of files. Is this possible?

Thanks!

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Explorer ,
Dec 05, 2018 Dec 05, 2018

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Although I can't speak for your set up, I, and 5 other Mac users, use Bridge extensively for searching a network share and it works OK 99% of the time.

It's actually more reliable than using the Mac Finder I find, and although Adobe 'doesn't support opening files from a server', I have found no problems, other than the very occasional error, "cannot open file to as it's already open', which goes away after a couple of attempts.

Set up is:

Mac Pro Tower running SoftRAID 1+0 acts as a server, and runs the client version of MacOS (Yosemite), the Spotlight index is managed by this Mac automatically.

The 5 clients run High Sierra and access the server using the same account on that server, so permissions are the same for reading and writing to the server.

We search for files using bridge (making sure to select Spotlight searching, so it accesses the spotlight index on the networked Mac).

We don't use the Bridge Cache.

We add keywords to the files on the server using a centrally agreed set of keywords which we review periodically.

We only use keywords, but I see no reason as to why collections, labels and rating of files shouldn't work also.

The occasional issue with Bridge not finding a file is solved by just restarting Bridge or reconnecting to the network share on the Mac.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 06, 2018 Dec 06, 2018

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Thank you! I checked with two Windows computers and the keywords, rating and labels sync within the network.

Did anyone had experince in sharing collections? This could be very helpful.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 06, 2018 Dec 06, 2018

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Sort of. Bridge has almost no shared features. Keywords and labels are stored within the actual graphics files. Collections cannot be shared.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 11, 2018 Dec 11, 2018

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HI,

You can use Centrally manage a Bridge cache  feature which has been released as a part of latest Bridge CC release.

This helps in managing cache when files are shared across network and users.

Regards,

Abhishek Seth

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 11, 2018 Dec 11, 2018

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Hi,

Does this mean that the collections will sync automatically? Or it requires to import each time?

Thanks,

Maya

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Community Expert ,
Dec 11, 2018 Dec 11, 2018

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Collections cannot be shared between computers. You would need to create your collection on each computer.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 11, 2018 Dec 11, 2018

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Collections can’t be centrally managed/shared as the file is unique to each computer... However that does not mean that one can’t manually share and update the file between users in the work group in order to save manually rebuilding or updating complex collections.

A Collection is just an XML file with a URI path to the original file, like an internet address URL or similar to an alias on the Mac or a shortcut on Windows... These files are recognised with the .filelist extension and should not be confused with Smart Collections which end with .collection in their filename.

Here is the contents of the original collection on Windows from Bridge CC 2019:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8' standalone='yes' ?>

<arbitrary_collection version='1'>

  <file uri='bridge:fs:file:///C:/Users/<username>/Pictures/myfile.jpg'>

</arbitrary_collection>

And here is the same collection edited/updated for use on the Mac from Bridge CC 2018:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8' standalone='yes' ?>

<arbitrary_collection version='1'>

  <file uri='bridge:fs:file:///Users/<username>/Pictures/myfile.jpg'>

</arbitrary_collection>

So to transfer a collection (whether 1 image as above or 100,000+) all one needs to do is find/copy the appropriate .filelist file to the new computer and update each image URI path to a valid location on the new computer. The updating of the file path is a simple mass find/replace operation in any text editor such as TextEdit.app or Notepad.exe etc.

/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Bridge ?? ????/Collections

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Bridge ?? ????\Collections

Managing Keywords, Smart Collections and all other assets have similar dependencies. It is easy enough to export out the keywords to plain text file and import them into other Bridge installations in the work group, just as it is easy enough to edit a Smart Collection to make it work on another computer. However this is all manual work and one has to update each computer in the work group so that they are all manually “synced” with the same data. Protocols need to be put in place for editing existing assets such as keywords or adding new assets, so that management of the system does not become a nightmare.

Bridge has always been a “stand alone” piece of software and was never designed to work as a shared DAM tool that automatically syncs assets between multiple networked users. The new feature of an optional centrally managed cache is perhaps a first step into making Bridge a suitable tool for work groups.

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Community Expert ,
Dec 12, 2018 Dec 12, 2018

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This could probably be automated with a scripting language like Perl or AppleScript or Powershell, or even in Bridge, but if you truly need team functionality then you really want to invest in a network DAM system that is designed for this usage.

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