Cloud-based Library Hosting

This is available from version 15.3 onwards.


Deployment Options

When choosing how to deploy the Triaster solution, there are two options:

  1. Use of an on-premises server which the customer will provide themselves. This is particularly suitable for customers with sensitive data which must remain on site

  2. Use of a cloud-based server which is provided and maintained by Triaster. This  is more suitable for customers who don’t wish to have the overhead of maintaining and updating a server themselves


Overview

With the cloud-based offering, the process mappers will install Visio and Process Navigator on their local machines in order to create and edit maps. These maps will then be saved into a local Dropbox folder containing Sandpit maps; this is synced with the corresponding map store folder on the server. The library administrator will manage the permissions on the Sandpit maps folder for each mapper. Each mapper will need to log in to their own Dropbox account in order for the shared folder to be available.

The cloud-based server is a Microsoft Azure virtual machine. This can be scaled from a single-core machine with 1.75GB up to a 32-core machine using the latest processors and 448GB of RAM, as your needs develop over time.

Installation

The Distributed File Locking mechanism must be enabled by opening Process Navigator and choosing Tools -> Options, selecting the Beta Features tab and ticking the Enable Distributed File Locking box. Generally, this will have been done at installation time.

File Locking

When a user opens a map, a lock file is created; if another user opens the same file, it will be in read-only mode only. The lock file will be in the format ~trMapName.~txt. This file can be opened with Notepad if a mapper needs to see what which user currently has the file open. The content of the file is “TriasterPublisher locked file on 08/12/2015 16:25:27 local time, 08/12/2015 16:25:27 GMT” .If a user attempts to load the map in Analyst Edition, the map will not load.

It is important that mappers do not manually delete these files; if a lock file has been created and not removed when the map has been closed (for example, by an automated publication process), the library administrator will need to manually remove the unwanted lock file.

Conflict Files

If two users open a map at exactly the same time, it is not always possible for a lock file to be created. In this case, and if both users attempt to save changes to the map, only the first user will have their changes saved successfully.  The second user will not have their changes saved and instead a Dropbox conflict file is created. The conflict file will be named <MapName> (<Username>'s conflicted copy <date>).vsdm, (for example Pay Invoice (John Smith’s conflicted copy 2016-01-06). The unsaved changes from the second user will be within this conflict file.

If Process Navigator finds a conflict file within the multi map root, that file will be given the extension of “.badname” so that it is easier to spot and to prevent the conflicted file from being published.

If one or more conflict files have been created, it is recommended that you contact Triaster support for advice. The conflict file will need to be compared with the saved version and the changes merged from the conflicted file into the saved file.

Conflict files can also be created when a map is opened but the user is not connected to the internet. It is strongly recommended that mappers avoid working on maps while offline. If offline editing of maps is necessary, mappers will need to be aware of the risk of conflict files, particularly if other mappers can be editing the same maps or a publish may be happening.

FAQ

  1. What if I already have a Dropbox account, for example for personal use? Each Dropbox account will have its own separate folder on your local machine

  2. What happens if I edit a map when I’m not connected to the internet? Other users will not know that you have the map open and so there will be an increased chance of a Conflict file being created (see above). When you next connect to the Internet, Dropbox will try to sync these 2 different files.

  3. What happens if I accidentally delete maps? Contact Triaster support who will be able to restore the maps from Dropbox’s backup system.

  4. What versions of Visio does this feature support? All that are currently supported.

  5. How secure are my files? Microsoft Azure meets all the internationally standards on data security including ISO/IEC 27001/27002:2013. For more details, please see the Azure website https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/support/trust-center/security/

  6. Do you support OneDrive or other file syncing mechanism? We are currently working to expand the range of file syncing that we work with. Please contact Triaster support and we will be able to advise you on how your needs could be met.

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