8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 15, 2014 10:48 AM by Swiezakp

    Workgroup needs to access same catalog


      We just purchased and installed six Lightroom licenses on computers in our research lab.  Several of us work on the same project, using photos that reside on our network drive.  I have sadly just discovered that catalogs cannot live on the network drive and each individual user cannot see the edits, tags etc. that other users have made to a set of photos on the network drive.  This presents us with a big problem, as we all need to be working on the same catalog.  Is there any way to solve this issue or to work around it??  This will almost defeat our entire purpose of purchasing this software if we cannot figure out a solution.  Thank you for any suggestions!

        • 1. Re: Workgroup needs to access same catalog
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          The short answer is that you purchased the wrong software. Lightroom has not been designed for workgroup use. The catalog must reside on the computer where Lightroom is installed. It cannot be modified unless Adobe makes some sort of change in the future. The software I have seen recommended is called Daminion. I know nothing about it, but have seen it recommended several times. You can probably find it using Google.

          • 2. Re: Workgroup needs to access same catalog
            john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I suspect you've only seen Daminion recommended because it was mentioned once and was then repeated.....


            The original images can stay on the network but catalogues must be local. You might try working with each user having their own catalogue, then using File >Export as Catalog when finished on a job. This creates a small catalogue, and you then use the corresponding Import from Another Catalog command to bring it into e main catalogue. It's awkward and requires someone to take control of they workflow.

            • 3. Re: Workgroup needs to access same catalog
              uhcl-faz Level 1

              Thanks, I have been playing with it a little today and if I have my users 'save metadata' for the folder they have been working with (making sure catalog settings are set to 'include develop settings in metadata'), then always 'syncronize' any folder they are preparing to work with (including 'scan for metadata updates') -- it seems to bring in the needed info to the users catalog.  Correct me if I am wrong, but I think this must be done manually each time a user works with a folder.  It is a little clunky, but might do the job.  Has anyone used this method?  Or have other suggestions?

              • 4. Re: Workgroup needs to access same catalog
                john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                It'll work, but requires the team to follow procedures and communicate. You also lose metadata that doesn't save to xmp, which the Export/Import preserves.

                • 5. Re: Workgroup needs to access same catalog

                  You can try check "automatically write changes into XMP" under Edit -> Catalog settings, Metadata tab and then share folder via network. I didn't try it but as far i understand it when someone else changes something you will have information that matadata has been changed by "other program" and have opportunity to update it.

                  • 6. Re: Workgroup needs to access same catalog
                    john beardsworth Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    And just think what may happen. Person A does lots of work on a picture, the metadata saves, but person B is also looking at the picture and changes the rating or makes adjustments, so B's xmp saves over the work done by person A. So procedures and communication are critical - eg A shouts out that I'm using this folder, everyone else leave it alone!

                    • 7. Re: Workgroup needs to access same catalog
                      uhcl-faz Level 1

                      Yes, definitely need to work out procedure.  Luckily there are only a couple of us working on the same project at the same time (for the time being!) and I think we can work it out.  Wish there was a better solution though.

                      • 8. Re: Workgroup needs to access same catalog
                        Swiezakp Level 1

                        I think that working simultaneously on the same photo and live view changes is impossible.


                        Let me tell you what we figure out during group work. First of all we import all material on selected computer (automatically write changes into XMP selected) and synchronize global things like tags, camera calibration, noise reduction etc. We agreed to use the same ratting method and color flags.


                        Then we divided arbitrarily all RAW files into separate folders (one for each of us) and copied all files on each hard drive. Then each person import files to his Lr, keeping in mind responsibility for his sub-folder. After postprocessing we share only XMP's with others and use scan for metadata updates to see results. We used picassa album to comment results. Group leader fixes minor things or asked individuals to change something and send back XMP.