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Working in a team best practises

New Here ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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Hi,

 

My company has about 8 designers all who use Macs on a Windows based network. We create roughly 500-700 different indesign files every year. All (or most) of the files have links in to other imagery and files and due to the nature of the way we work, it has to be accessible to all of the designers as people often pick up the work of others. We know that network file shares are not supported using Adobe products but it is the only way we can work with what we have to do as a business. Using cloud syncing is not really possible as the design files for each year are around 2TB in size and we never know what files we would need to sync locally on to the mac if we were to use cloud syncing. Not only that but it is our understanding that cloud syncing in Adobe creative cloud is not a shared resource that other deisgners would be able to see. So, my quesiton is, how do other people set up their systems to be able to deal with collaboration in design departments? What are the best practises? We know that Adobe only support copying files to the local Mac and workin on them there but this is a huge hassle as all of the links then have to either be updated OR the original linked files have to also be copied over to the local Mac. Our IT department have tried countless things to try and get Adobe to stop crashing when opening files over the network but they are out of options and not sure what they can do to assist us.

 

thanks,

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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quote

We know that network file shares are not supported using Adobe products but it is the only way we can work with what we have to do as a business.

 

While that may have been true many years ago, there should be no issue at all working on a network as long as it's robust enough to handle the workload.

 

If you are indeed having crashing issues there are other avenues to explore but I've worked with countless clients in the past using local network workflows. I'm not an IT guy but I'd be looking at permissions first and I would, as a troubleshooting step, grant admin access to the people having issues. If the crashing stops, you've got a place to start.

 

Other things to check are fonts, third-party plugins (especially if a font manager is in use), RAM (Adobe recommends 16GB) and corrupt preferences.

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New Here ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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Hi,

 

thanks for replying. All of the designers have full permissions on all of the files. We have tried SMB and also have in the past used Extreme Zip to use AFS. The server is on a gigabit link and all the designers have gigabit links to the server. They can copy files to the network fast and the ping speeds are all good (<1ms).

 

however, the newer macs are only 8GB memory but one wolud have thought the Mac would log something in the log files about running out of memory but this has not happened.

 

thanks,

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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It shouldn't crash, but the fact remains that those machines are not spec'ed to the minimum recommendation. FWIW, my desktop has 64GB of RAM. It's cheap enough to upgrade one of the machines to see if it makes a difference.

 

Have you looked at fonts? Plugins? 

 

I'm not enough of an expert to analyze them, but you might consider posting some of the crash reports to pastebin.com and then providing links here. DO NOT POST THE FULL CRASH REPORT HERE!

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Community Expert ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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Based on the specs you gave, I'd have no less than 32GB of RAM in my workstations, 64GB would be better. 

 

I can't imagine running even the smallest type of job with just 8 GB of RAM.

 

|    Bevi Chagnon   |  Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
|    Classes & Books for Accessible InDesign, PDFs & MS Office |

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Community Expert ,
Jan 28, 2023 Jan 28, 2023

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<1ms ping sounds good... on paper... when pinging - only small amount of data is used for testing - and ping only tests the speed between computer and server - not the throughput of the server.

 

When you open INDD file - a lot of information needs to be loaded from the server to the local machine - if drives on the server are not fast enough or data is scattered on many drives or few other people are trying to access server at the same time - 1ms means nothing. 

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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Have you considered a DAM (Digital Asset Management) System?

It stores all your files in a central location and through an app (and Adobe plugins) you can download to local through check outs, edit and upload through checkins maintaining file integrity and access for all.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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If you don't switch between designers few times a day 😉 I would suggest this kind of workflow:

 

1a) first designer creates initial INDD file,

1b) new designer downloads previous PACKAGE from the server to the local machine,

2) works on the file, links all necessary files - from local drive or from the network,

3) at the end of the day - he/she creates PACKAGE folder and synchronises it with the copy on the server - local copy should be kept for some time - just in case.

 

Then, when someone new needs to work on the same job - steps 1b) - 3) - if the same designer continues to work - steps 2) & 3).

 

Thanks to the step 3) - you always have a backup / copy in two places - local machine and server - so if someone new needs to pickup the job - everything is already on the server and you don't have to chase previous designer - and if something bad happens to the server - you have a copy on the separate machine.

 

You can modify step 3) a bit - upload to the server ZIPed PACKAGE folder - then you'll have more than only recent copy.

 

Another modification to the step 3) - if you can teach your designers how to do it - synchronise only Links and Fonts folders - then ZIP and upload INDD+IDML file to the server - you'll save space on Links - and will have more than one copy of the INDD+IDML files - date+time in the name of the package would be best - in the format YYYY-MM-DD_HH-MM - easier to sort and find latest version.

This could probably be somehow scripted/automated - no idea how on Mac but on PC it would be very easy.

 

Also, thanks to this approach - you can easily outsource your jobs remotely - PACKAGE will have everything in one place - less some fonts.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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No offense @Robert Tkaczyk but that sounds like a project management nightmare. That and linking to images on a server doesn't completely resolve the root issue. In fact, InDesign can flake out in this workflow if there is any server disconnects, ID locks up.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 27, 2023 Jan 27, 2023

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That's why I always say "work locally - backup remotely" 😉

 

You say "nightmare" - everything depends on the knowlede of the people working in your team ... if they can't do simple Copy & Paste operations or use ZIP tool ... well ...

 

On a PC - this would be extremely easy to automate - no idea how to do it on a Mac.

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 28, 2023 Jan 28, 2023

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Working locally is simply not an option in many organizations and the OP needs to be able to work using a network. As I said above, I've worked with countless clients with network workflows.

 

I'll stand by my initial response. Upgrade the RAM in one of the machines to test it.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 28, 2023 Jan 28, 2023

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We don't know EXACTLY how the OP works 😉 mentioning network use - doesn't mean CONSTANT need to be connected / use. 

 

So maybe OP can change a bit their workflow? 

 

Otherwise they would've to invest A LOT of money to upgrade their server, switch(es) , network cards and cables... 

 

 

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