2.2 Multiple User Installation with a File Server
NeoFinder is very flexible when it comes to sharing data between multiple computers, as you can freely chose the location of the NeoFinder Database folder where NeoFinder stores its catalog files.
This chapter will show you how to set up NeoFinder on multiple computers in a network, to use a common shared database.
The NeoFinder Database Folder
NeoFinder needs a data folder to store all your catalog files. For every volume you catalog, NeoFinder will create one database file containing all the interesting information about this volume and all its files and folders.
Instead of using a fixed location, NeoFinder allows you to use any folder on any volume for this database. This enables NeoFinder not only to share catalog data with other Macintosh users in a network, but also with computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, using the separate abeMeda for Windows (see chapter 2.3)
By default, NeoFinder creates and uses a folder named "NeoFinder Database" in its NeoFinder in the "Application Support" area. That is perfectly enough for the users of a NeoFinder Private License.
Please notice that you must have a valid Business License for every Mac that will run NeoFinder! Storing catalog files on a file server is only possible with a NeoFinder Business License.
Please create a folder on any of your server volumes that should contain the shared catalog data. Maybe name it "NeoFinder Database" or something like that.
Then install NeoFinder on one Mac, as described in chapter 2.1.
After you have run NeoFinder, and activated your License, go to the NeoFinder Preferences, and change the Database Folder so it uses the new folder that you have created in Step 1.
Now repeat this very same procedure on every Mac you want to use (and you have NeoFinder licenses for!).
As NeoFinder uses the regular Preferences mechanism of Mac OS X for this, you can use a management tool like FileWave or Apple Remote Desktop to distribute these settings to all machines.
If you don’t have a dedicated file server, you can simply use Apples File Sharing to set up one of your Macs as the server for NeoFinder.
Apple has a nice guide on how to do that: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204445
NeoFinder is also available for the iPhone and iPad. Sending the catalogs to the iOS device can be done in several ways, read more
Things to consider
This will only work if you have a multi-user Business License for NeoFinder! You must have one license for every Macintosh computer in the network you want to launch NeoFinder on. It makes no difference if you store the NeoFinder application on your file server, or locally, although the second is preferred.
As NeoFinder relies on shared files to work in a network, you should keep some things in mind.
It is always a good idea to keep write access to the catalog data folder to a minimum. If two copies of NeoFinder change the very same catalog almost at the same time, results can be unexpected. In most company structures, that is no real problem.
One or more administrators work with the catalog data, add new catalogs, or modify existing ones. The vast majority of users will use NeoFinder only to browse and search the catalogs. In this case, it is a good idea to make sure that those users can only read from the catalog data folder, but have no write access there. How to do that depends on the Server software you are using. Please consult the user manual of the server software to read how to change access rights for data folders.
Also, you can have NeoFinder update the contents of the Database Folder for you automatically! You can control that feature in the Inspector for LIBRARY. If you turn on “Keep looking for changes”, NeoFinder will continuously check the whole Database Folder for any new or modified catalogs, folders, or other changes.
If you use a Windows server, the performance and stability of NeoFinder does depend on the quality of the server software. The Services for Macintosh in Windows 2000 and Server 2003 seem to have problems with the AFP protocol that Macs use to talk to the server.
For best operation, make sure your server software supports AFP level 3.3 or newer. If you have problems, try to use a Mac as a file server and see if it works better for you.
Your next steps with NeoFinder:
3. Catalog your volumes
4. Organizing your catalogs
8. NeoFinder Workflow Integration