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Old 05-12-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
ZachKC
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Default OT - How to create a webserver like interface for collaboration with my Biz Partner?

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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:19 PM   #2
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Good question, I'll field this one:

Umm...did you try taking out the cartridge and blowing on it?
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:20 PM   #3
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Good question, I'll field this one:

Umm...did you try taking out the cartridge and blowing on it?
**** me!
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:21 PM   #4
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:25 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:32 PM   #6
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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

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Old 05-12-2010, 02:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ZachKC View Post
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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:29 PM   #8
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I'll push you in the right direction.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storage_area_network
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:39 PM   #9
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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
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:44 PM   #10
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Hire one of those guys to wave your sign around on a street corner. That'll do it.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:04 PM   #11
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I don't even get that as a joke.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:05 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:13 PM   #13
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Have you tried the yellow pages
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:26 PM   #14
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Have you tried the yellow pages
I haven't touched a phone book in 5 years.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:31 PM   #15
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What does "We need the ability to store and remotely access files with more functionality than FTP" mean exactly?
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:39 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:40 PM   #17
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Talk to BroncoSteven he is good at that kind of stuff.
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:40 PM   #18
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Don't mullets have some sort of built in file transfer ability?
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Old 05-12-2010, 03:48 PM   #19
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Actually the guy want to talk to is Alec. He designs web interfaces.
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:10 PM   #20
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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
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Old 05-12-2010, 04:39 PM   #21
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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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:11 PM   #22
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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/Produc...82E16822136307

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.
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:01 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachKC View Post
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?
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Old 05-12-2010, 08:47 PM   #24
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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.
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:23 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZachKC View Post
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.
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