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View Full Version : OT - How to create a webserver like interface for collaboration with my Biz Partner?


ZachKC
05-12-2010, 01:14 PM
So as some might know I have a photographery studio with another guy. Our recent surge in business has been great but it has caused a bit of a blind spot in our ability to share, manage, and get out files.

We need the ability to store and remotely access files with more functionality than FTP and more scalability than Dropbox. We exceed even Dropbox's pro spacing limits hit pretty quickly with all of our work.

So if I am at the studio...in the field...or at home I want to be able to play with and manage the files as needed. I use a program called Lightroom that builds catalog databases and would need to save directly to this drive without saving it locally and then uploading it.

We have a computer we could dedicate to turning into a server but is that the best option?

Is there another solution? What would the user interface look like with different options?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

PRBronco
05-12-2010, 01:19 PM
Good question, I'll field this one:

Umm...did you try taking out the cartridge and blowing on it?

ZachKC
05-12-2010, 01:20 PM
Good question, I'll field this one:

Umm...did you try taking out the cartridge and blowing on it?

**** me!

Smiling Assassin27
05-12-2010, 01:21 PM
<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/6dAHhr5xreQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/6dAHhr5xreQ&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

Drunk Monkey
05-12-2010, 01:25 PM
Find a web based solution. If you are into photography focus on that and outsource the tech to people that specialize in it. We saved a ton when we got rid of all our servers and the people that used to manage them.

bfoflcommish
05-12-2010, 01:32 PM
Find a web based solution. If you are into photography focus on that and outsource the tech to people that specialize in it. We saved a ton when we got rid of all our servers and the people that used to manage them.

after reading this all I thought of was

http://www.underconsideration.com/brandnew/archives/holiday_inn_logo_detail.gif

Que
05-12-2010, 02:05 PM
So as some might know I have a photographery studio with another guy. Our recent surge in business has been great but it has caused a bit of a blind spot in our ability to share, manage, and get out files.

We need the ability to store and remotely access files with more functionality than FTP and more scalability than Dropbox. We exceed even Dropbox's pro spacing limits hit pretty quickly with all of our work.

So if I am at the studio...in the field...or at home I want to be able to play with and manage the files as needed. I use a program called Lightroom that builds catalog databases and would need to save directly to this drive without saving it locally and then uploading it.

We have a computer we could dedicate to turning into a server but is that the best option?

Is there another solution? What would the user interface look like with different options?

Thanks for any help you can offer.

My wife is a photographer and obsesses about this sort of thing (Lightroom is a regular topic at the dinner table). I know she makes heavy use of SmugMug. I'll ask her and get back to ya.

Ratboy
05-12-2010, 02:29 PM
I'll push you in the right direction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storage_area_network

enjolras
05-12-2010, 02:39 PM
SmugMug is an excellent choice. It likely does more than what your looking for (it has a lot of cool portfolio tools), but it does sport unlimited storage.

* note: I'm not a photographer, but I did work at Photobucket for a short stint;)

Kaylore
05-12-2010, 02:44 PM
Hire one of those guys to wave your sign around on a street corner. That'll do it. :thumbs:

ZachKC
05-12-2010, 03:04 PM
I don't even get that as a joke.

ZachKC
05-12-2010, 03:05 PM
As far as smugmug goes. I don't need anything for fullfillment of prints or portfolio website type stuff.

More so a file management and workflow system.

Thanks for the help so far! Keep it coming.

GreatBronco16
05-12-2010, 03:13 PM
Have you tried the yellow pages???

ZachKC
05-12-2010, 03:26 PM
Have you tried the yellow pages???

I haven't touched a phone book in 5 years.

enjolras
05-12-2010, 03:31 PM
What does "We need the ability to store and remotely access files with more functionality than FTP" mean exactly?

ZachKC
05-12-2010, 03:39 PM
What does "We need the ability to store and remotely access files with more functionality than FTP" mean exactly?

With FTP you can just download and upload. You have to save things locally and then transfer them. We are looking for things to be saved and kept right at the source.

theAPAOps5
05-12-2010, 03:40 PM
Talk to BroncoSteven he is good at that kind of stuff.

Houshyamama
05-12-2010, 03:40 PM
Don't mullets have some sort of built in file transfer ability?

Kaylore
05-12-2010, 03:48 PM
Actually the guy want to talk to is Alec. He designs web interfaces.

elsid13
05-12-2010, 04:10 PM
So it sound like you are looking for hosted DMS (Document Management System). Some thing like this: (it use MS Sharepoint but I have no idea if the hosting company is any good)

http://www.alentus.com/hosting/sharepoint.asp

Que
05-12-2010, 04:39 PM
ZachKC - okay, spoke to the wife. She suggested smugmug.com but also posting over at dgrin.com. What you need is pretty common and the folks over there will have some good suggestions on existing services.

Fedaykin
05-12-2010, 05:11 PM
My rate is $250/hr for consulting services, applicable against development costs if you sign a contract with me.. ;)

More seriously, are you looking to be able to save documents from anywhere in the world or just in collaboration with someone local?

In either case my free advice is: "hire a professional". Unless you are very comfortable with the technologies and practices of data managment, you're asking for trouble if you try a do it yourself solution.

But if you insist, rbrtsmth pointed you in the right direction (some sort of network attached/access storage) for what you are looking for. Many companies now sell out of the box devices which integrate a significant amount of good data management best practices (redundancy, etc.) all in a "black box" solution.

Something like this (which I picked randomly only as an example) may be what you are looking for:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136307

But again, this type of solution probably doesn't meet all of your data management needs (such as off-site redundancy) and if your goal is to save across the internet, you're better off with a hosting service.

broncosteven
05-12-2010, 08:01 PM
So as some might know I have a photographery studio with another guy. Our recent surge in business has been great but it has caused a bit of a blind spot in our ability to share, manage, and get out files.

We need the ability to store and remotely access files with more functionality than FTP and more scalability than Dropbox. We exceed even Dropbox's pro spacing limits hit pretty quickly with all of our work.

So if I am at the studio...in the field...or at home I want to be able to play with and manage the files as needed. I use a program called Lightroom that builds catalog databases and would need to save directly to this drive without saving it locally and then uploading it.

We have a computer we could dedicate to turning into a server but is that the best option?

Is there another solution? What would the user interface look like with different options?

Thanks for any help you can offer.


Nopt sure if your asking how to build an interface into Lightroom or even where Lightroom data is hosted/stored.

If you want to access this stuff remotely you need to find a host on the Internets, some sort of web/cloud hoster. If you host the data on a local copy of Lightroom then you likely need a Server and or NAS but that doesn't solve the problem of remote access via web.

I did a Server build for a Tax accountant recently with a Server, PC's MS security domain. I don't think you need all that for 2 guys but still not sure what your looking to do.

Can you talk less about Lightroom (I don't know what that is) and more about what you want to do at the widget level for me so I can figure out what would work for you?

Mr. Elway
05-12-2010, 08:47 PM
I use a program called Lightroom that builds catalog databases and would need to save directly to this drive without saving it locally and then uploading it.

Based on what you said I would be thinking simple remote file share + vpn. If you use a web based service it will almost certainly require you to save the files locally and then synchronize online.

Not sure who provides that sort of service but it has to be a pretty common need for smaller companies without a dedicated infrastructure.

Rock Chalk
05-19-2010, 11:23 AM
So as some might know I have a photographery studio with another guy. Our recent surge in business has been great but it has caused a bit of a blind spot in our ability to share, manage, and get out files.

We need the ability to store and remotely access files with more functionality than FTP and more scalability than Dropbox. We exceed even Dropbox's pro spacing limits hit pretty quickly with all of our work.

So if I am at the studio...in the field...or at home I want to be able to play with and manage the files as needed. I use a program called Lightroom that builds catalog databases and would need to save directly to this drive without saving it locally and then uploading it.

We have a computer we could dedicate to turning into a server but is that the best option?

Is there another solution? What would the user interface look like with different options?

Thanks for any help you can offer.


You cant play with files on a web server without downloading them first, saving a local copy, editing them, then re-uploading them unless you have remote access to the server. Even if you find software that allows you to do that, technically speaking it will download the file in a temp directory, and then re-upload it when you are done just like FTP but without getting and putting. Web servers just do not allow you to edit files directly on their servers unless you are directly on the server.

If you have access to a remote server you can download them on the server, edit them and them upload them back but its the same thing. The only difference is they aren't being downloaded to your computer. Furthermore, if you are editing images your remote server is going to need a copy of Photoshop installed on it (I assume you use photoshop) in order to edit them properly.

Now if you aren't talking about editing the images themselves but rather just the meta data and their category, location on the webserver there are plenty of solutions that can be done from pretty much anywhere. Of course, the BEST solutions are always the custom ones that fit exactly your needs but they are also the most expensive solutions.

chickennob2
05-19-2010, 11:55 AM
You cant play with files on a web server without downloading them first, saving a local copy, editing them, then re-uploading them unless you have remote access to the server. Even if you find software that allows you to do that, technically speaking it will download the file in a temp directory, and then re-upload it when you are done just like FTP but without getting and putting. Web servers just do not allow you to edit files directly on their servers unless you are directly on the server.

If you have access to a remote server you can download them on the server, edit them and them upload them back but its the same thing. The only difference is they aren't being downloaded to your computer. Furthermore, if you are editing images your remote server is going to need a copy of Photoshop installed on it (I assume you use photoshop) in order to edit them properly.

Now if you aren't talking about editing the images themselves but rather just the meta data and their category, location on the webserver there are plenty of solutions that can be done from pretty much anywhere. Of course, the BEST solutions are always the custom ones that fit exactly your needs but they are also the most expensive solutions.

If it's the latter, couldn't he just ssh into the server and use basic linux commands?

DrFate
05-19-2010, 12:09 PM
With FTP you can just download and upload. You have to save things locally and then transfer them. We are looking for things to be saved and kept right at the source.

What exactly is the issue with working with files locally and then uploading?

ZachKC
05-19-2010, 02:49 PM
You cant play with files on a web server without downloading them first, saving a local copy, editing them, then re-uploading them unless you have remote access to the server. Even if you find software that allows you to do that, technically speaking it will download the file in a temp directory, and then re-upload it when you are done just like FTP but without getting and putting. Web servers just do not allow you to edit files directly on their servers unless you are directly on the server.

If you have access to a remote server you can download them on the server, edit them and them upload them back but its the same thing. The only difference is they aren't being downloaded to your computer. Furthermore, if you are editing images your remote server is going to need a copy of Photoshop installed on it (I assume you use photoshop) in order to edit them properly.

Now if you aren't talking about editing the images themselves but rather just the meta data and their category, location on the webserver there are plenty of solutions that can be done from pretty much anywhere. Of course, the BEST solutions are always the custom ones that fit exactly your needs but they are also the most expensive solutions.
Are you familiar with Dropbox?

Rock Chalk
05-19-2010, 04:34 PM
Are you familiar with Dropbox?

Glorified FTP. You save it on your HD, it uploads it to the server and the next time another of your devices needs it it downloads it.
You may not realize thats what its doing but that is exactly what it is doing. Its just a fancy Organization program that uses FTP behind the scenes.

lifeafter elway
05-19-2010, 05:18 PM
Is there not a way to use a NAS with remote file access?
We have something similar at work, I can connect to the server at work from home in the case I need to get to something.