click here to register for the Dec 2022 Academy On Center Home | MyOnCenter Portal | Start an On-Screen Takeoff Trial | Request a Quick Bid Demo | Contact Us | SALES: 1-866-627-6246
   
 
Learn more about Searching
Looking for help for one of ConstructConnect's Other products? Login


Tools
Table of Contents

Can I Use "Cloud" Storage with Classic Products? - OST QB DPC

Views: 3821 Last Updated: 10/24/2022 03:07 pm 0 Rating/ Voters
Be sure to rate this article 5 Stars if you find it helpful!

Question

Can I store my data (images, databases, or backups) in "The Cloud" (a service such as: OneDrive™, Dropbox™, Google Drive™, etc.)?

Answer

The answer is a qualified "yes".

For our on-premises, Classic Products (On-Screen Takeoff®, Quick Bid®, Digital Production Control™)...

  • Images - you should have no problem but make sure you set your entire Plan folder to be available "Offline" (so a local copy is always available) - see your vendor for assistance. Also, if you are converting a large number of files, some cloud-services may update too slowly and will cause the image converter in OST to fail (remember, OST puts the "Converted" folder in the original file location).
  • Databases - at this time, On-Screen Takeoff, Quick Bid, and Digital Production Control do not support storing database in 'the cloud', even if there is a local copy on the hard drive. Most 'cloud' services place "locks" on files briefly when they update them (this typically happens when the file is closed or idle for some period of time) - this can cause problems with the program because the program will temporarily e unable to use a database. You could lose information or the program could stop responding. That being said, we have many users who store their databases in Microsoft's OneDrive - just remember, there is a risk so be sure you perform regular backups and run Compact & Repair often (see Related Articles for details on backing up/restoring databases and performing Compact & Repair) and make sure your database files are set to always be available "offline".

OneDrive - always keep on this device

  • If you choose to store your databases in OneDrive:
    • You must not share your database (Access-type) with anyone. Access databases cannot be used concurrently with On-Screen Takeoff or Quick Bid (you must use SQL Server type databases).
    • It's a good idea to move your entire OCS Documents folder to OneDrive and then set OneDrive to "Always keep on this device" so you don't have to try to remember to set each database that way.
    • Change your Tools > Options > Folders settings to match the location where you put your OCS Documents folder - it'll make your life much easier.
    • After moving your OCS Documents folder to OneDrive, you may have to relink existing Bid's Pages to the new location. See Fix Broken Page Links for details.
  • We have not tested or certified using Azure SQL databases in OST or QB - at this time, we cannot recommend their use and have not added Azure support to our roadmap. If you would like to submit a feature request to add support for Azure SQL, please fill out the form in: Suggesting a Feature, Improvement, or Change to a Product. (March 2022)
  • Backups - this is a great method to employ 'off-site' backups! Just change the "Backups Folder" in Tool > Options > Folders to the local folder that is synchronized with your cloud-service.
Warnings

Be sure to set your Cloud app (OneDrive, GoogleDrive, DropBox, etc.) to always keep a copy of your file(s) on your computer and not only in the cloud. If you should lose internet connection (even for a second or two) OST or Quick Bid will terminate unexpectedly (crash) when it tries to access a file.

Do not connect On-Screen Takeoff or Quick Bid to databases stored on remote drives (such as an individual or team network drives), that you access over the internet, even if you are using your company's VPN. You will not have a local copy of that file and you will likely experience performance and stability issues with the software. You could also lose a lot of work if the program cannot access a drive/database properly.

If you need assistance with copying files from your company's network to your local hard drive, please contact your IT Department.

What about Virtual Servers?

You may store SQL databases and Plans/image files on a Virtual Server provided your workstation and whatever server you are using for storage is on the same network. Connecting to an offsite server, over the Internet, will not work reliably.

Caution

If you run into problems, please remember, our Classic product line was not designed to support 'cloud' storage.  You are responsible for any troubleshooting and configuration, On Center does not provide technical assistance of any kind for these scenarios.  On Center cautions you to make sure your information is backed up properly in case something happens to your files/data.

You are responsible for the security of our data when you store it in "the cloud". On Center/ConstructConnect does not warrant your databases as "internet-secure" - you are entirely responsible for deciding who has access to the files you store in any Cloud service.

Options to setup database and bid sharing are included in each products' Help File/Online User Guide.  Also, review the Related articles for more information on Best Practices and SQL recommendations.



Product documentation (user guides) describes functionality in the latest version of each major release and may not match the functionality in the version you are using. Please check the Product Information and Downloads pages by clicking one of the product buttons above.

Something Wrong with this Article? Let us Know! Copyright 2021 - On Center Software, Inc. by ConstructConnect - All Rights Reserved.