To use the networked features of CatDV you need to purchase and install the separate CatDV Workgroup Server (or Enterprise Server) product. This is available for various server platforms and databases. You also need a Professional Edition license for each client that will be using the server. This page describes basic networking features common to the Workgroup and Enterprise editions of the CatDV Server, while the next page details the Enterprise Server.

Because most Internet firewalls block access to non-standard ports you normally need direct access to the server machine from each client machine via a local area network.

Initially the Server menu is configured in a safe mode to allow querying only. Commands which can write data to the server are disabled by default but you can enable these via Preferences if required.

Please read the Server Release Notes for details on how to set up the CatDV Server, including the Live HTML Publisher or Web Client if you have that, and for additional notes on how to work with the server.

Connecting to the server

Use the Log On To Server command in the Server menu and enter the hostname or IP address of the machine running the CatDV Server. When you press OK you will be connected to the server and the other Server menu commands will be enabled, or you may see a message that a connection failure occurred.

If you use the Enterprise Server you will also need to log on by typing in your CatDV user name and password. (You can connect without logging on but will only have limited access to the server.)

To check that you have established a connection with the server program view the Server Status under the Server Admin Panel to display some statistics about the operation of the server, such as how many catalogs and clips are contained in the remote database.

If you predominantly use CatDV connected to the server rather than standalone then you can configure it so the Server Shortcuts window is displayed on startup, providing convenient shortcuts for connecting to the server, performing queries and so on.

Publishing catalogs

If you have created catalogs and saved them locally on your hard disk you need to publish them to make them available to other users via the shared database. (Once they are stored in the shared database you no longer need the local catalog files, though you may choose to keep these files somewhere as a backup or in case you need access to them when the server is unavailable. Once published to the database you should make all your changes there, however, rather than in the local files, as the local files will not be kept in sync with the database.)

You publish a catalog by opening it and then using the Publish Catalog command. This will publish the catalog from the current window (even if you have just created it and it has never been saved to disk – if you don’t require a local copy you can then close the window without saving changes).

You can also publish an entire directory full of catalog files directly from your local hard disk by using the Bulk Publish Catalogs command.

Opening a remote catalog

Use the Browse Database command to view a list of all the catalogs in the remote database, including a short summary of the contents of each catalog. You can open a catalog by double clicking its name in the list. From this window you can also delete catalogs, or search for all the catalogs containing a particular keyword (in either the catalog description or the clip details).

You can also view remote catalogs via the Server node in the tree navigator. When you click on a catalog name you initially get a quick read-only view of clips in that catalog. To open the catalog fully you should right click and choose Open for editing.

Querying the remote database

Use Perform Query to enter search criteria to search for matching clips across the entire remote database. A window is displayed containing the query results, combining all the clips that match, even if they come from different catalogs.

You can play the clips, export them as a movie or send them to your editing application, print them out, or make changes to the clips returned, perhaps adding new logging annotations and then publishing the changes back to the remote database. You can also save a copy of the query results to a new local catalog file if you want.

Managing catalogs

Although all the clips in the remote database are stored in the same place, for convenience they are still grouped into logical groupings called catalogs. You should normally create separate catalogs for each tape, or perhaps each shoot or each project, rather than trying to store all your clips in one large catalog. This will make it easier to manage your clips. For example, you can use the Delete Catalog command in Browse Catalogs to delete a catalog from the database. (You also minimise the risk of creating a catalog that is too large to open reliably if you only have limited memory available.)

You can move clips from one catalog to another by dragging and drop them using the tree navigator.

If you have a lot of catalogs you can arrange them into folders using the tree navigator. Right click on the server Catalogs node to create a new folder, then drag catalogs onto a folder to move them. (Organising remote catalogs into folders involves renaming them, with a forward slash character to separate folder names.)

Publishing changes

When you open a remote catalog or perform a query and are working with the query results you can edit the clips in your window exactly as if you were working on a normal local catalog file. However, rather than saving any changes to disk with Save Catalog, you normally want to update the clips in the remote database instead, for which you use the Publish Changes command.

You can add logging notes, change clip names, make selections, select new poster thumbnails, delete unwanted clips, split a clip into two or create new secondary clips, and all these changes will be saved when you publish the changes. You can also create brand new clips, eg. by importing a file or using New Log Entry, but only if you have opened a remote catalog, not if you are viewing query results, as in the latter case it is not defined which catalog the new clips belong to.

Keeping in synch with the server

Once you open a remote catalog you actually work on a local copy of the clips and thumbnails from that catalog in memory on your machine. If another user on your network edits these clips and publishes their changes to the database you can use Refresh Window to update your window with the latest version from the remote database. The time at which the contents of the window were last synchronised with the remote database is shown as part of the window title. If you have had a window open for a long time it’s a good idea to refresh the window before starting to make any changes.

If you want to, you can set up automatic refreshes by entering a refresh period in the Advanced Functionality tab of Preferences. If somebody else has made changes to the catalog you are working on you will be prompted to load those changes. You can also enable tethering mode, where changes you make are automatically published to the server and changes from other people are automatically loaded if there is no conflict.

Resolving conflicts

If two users try to make changes to the same catalog or clips at the same time then only the first set of changes that are published will be saved to the remote database. The second person who attempts to publish changes will receive a warning message stating there were conflicting edits (eg. trying to add a comment to a clip which the previous user has just deleted). All the changes which can be saved without conflict are saved, and the main window is refreshed to show the current contents as per the remote database. Any clips which weren’t able to be saved are displayed in a new unsaved changes window. The second user then needs to manually re-apply those changes in the main window, deciding whether and how to resolve any conflicts before trying to publish the changes again.

Re-publishing a catalog

If you publish a catalog with the same name and creation time as an existing catalog in the remote database (and your local catalog is newer than the one in the database) then you will overwrite that catalog in the database with the newer one. Normally you should always use Publish Changes, as this automatically merges your changes and attempts to resolve any conflicting edits.

If you saved a remote catalog locally for offline working, however, and now want to publish changes that you made you can do this by overwriting the catalog held on the server with the Publish Catalog command. If you do this any change history associated with the old catalog will be lost, and if another user has the same catalog open they will be unable to publish their changes.