Autotask Workplace - Syncing projects to or from alternative locations

Note:
This feature is restricted to administrative users only.

By default, all Projects sync to your Autotask Workplace Online folder.

However, your Autotask Workplace Online folder can be set to sync with Project folders located anywhere on your local drive, an external drive or a network drive. These synced local folders provide all the same features and functionality as a Project. In fact, a local folder that is synced becomes a Project within the Workplace Online.

This article describes sync options between your Autotask Workplace service, and local (or network) folders. It contains the following sections.

 

Local folder syncing

Local folder syncing allows any folder on your computer to be synced with the Autotask Workplace Online service, enabling you to sync Projects to locations most convenient for you. These folders can be located anywhere on your local drive, an external drive, or a network drive. These synced local folders provide all the same features and functionality as a Project. In fact, a local folder that is synced becomes a Project within Autotask Workplace Online.

To set up syncing of a local folder on a PC, proceed as follows.

  1. Click on the Autotask Workplace Online icon in the system tray and, from the menu, click Preferences.

Note for Apple Mac users:
If you are using an Apple Mac, then click the Autotask Workplace icon in the menu bar, and select the Open Workplace Preferences... tab. Select the Folder Syn' tab, then skip the rest of this section and go toSyncing a Project with a local folder.

The Autotask Workplace Desktop Agent opens on the homepage.

  1. Click the Preferences button .

The Preferences page opens.

  1. Select the Folder Sync tab.

The Folder sync page opens.

Proceed to Syncing a Project with a local folder.

 

Syncing a Project with a local folder

From the Folder Sync tab, to sync a Project with a local folder, proceed as follows.

  1. At the bottom of the page, click on Sync Project to sync a Project with a local folder.

A dialogue box opens, with three options displayed.

  1. Select the required option:
    1. Create Project from local folder
      Select this option to create a new Project in Autotask Workplace Online from an existing local folder.
    2. Sync Project to local folder
      Select this option to sync a Project from Autotask Workplace Online to a local folder of your choosing.
    3. Merge Project with local folder

Select this option to merge a local folder with a Project. This is particularly useful if the local folder becomes disconnected from the Project. It allows the two to be quickly reconnected.

  1. Refer to one of the following three options, as appropriate:
    1. Creating a Project from a local folder, or
    2. Syncing a Project to a local folder, or
    3. Merging a Project with a local folder.

 

Creating a Project from a local folder

Selecting the, Create Project from local folder, option opens the following dialogue box.

  1. Click Browse, and locate the local folder to convert into a Project.

The folder path is displayed in the Folder Path textbox under Pick a local folder to sync.

  1. Under Pick a name for this new Project, type a name for your Project.
  2. Click Create Project to convert the folder into a Project and start syncing.

Note:
A Project can be created from an entire drive, if you have the appropriate permissions at the root level of the drive, and if you have sufficient storage quota.  This allows for an entire network drive or external drive to be converted into a Project. As a general precaution, we recommend keeping the number of files in a Project to less than 100,000.  While there is no limit on the number of files a Project may contain, performance will be affected when Projects exceed this suggested number of files.

 

Syncing a Project to a local folder

Selecting the, Sync Project to local folder, option opens a dialogue box with further options.

  1. Click Select Project to view Projects available to sync.

Note:
Only Projects that are not already synced locally will be displayed as available to sync. If you wish to sync a Project that is already on your machine to a different location, then the Project must first be un-synced via the Autotask Workplace Online preferences.

  1. From the list, click to select the Project to sync.
  2. Click either:
    1. Selective SyncSelective Sync allows you to specify which folders within a project are synced to your Mac or PC. This is especially useful when you only want sub-sections of large projects to be synced to your local machine. Clicking Selective Sync opens a dialogue box containing a folder tree. Select the folder(s) you wish to sync, then click OK.
    2. Full Sync – Click Full Sync if you wish to sync all folders within a Project.

The Sync Project to local folder dialogue box reappears, with the selected Project visible in the Pick a Project to sync textbox.

Note:
The Project Loader allows you to pre-populate a Project with files you have locally, and then download the remaining files from the Autotask Workplace service. This may save time and bandwidth.

  1. Click Browse to specify the location of the local folder that this Project will sync to.  

The folder path is displayed in the textbox under Pick a destination for the Project.

  1. Click Sync Project into local folder to complete the process and start syncing.

 

Merging a Project with a local folder

This option is particularly useful if the local folder becomes disconnected from the Project. Merging the two will allow them to be quickly reconnected. For instance, if you need to replace a machine that is hosting a Workplace Desktop instance syncing to a network volume, this merge option can be used to get Workplace Desktop on the replacement machine back into full operation very quickly.

Selecting the, Merge a Project with a local folder, option opens the Merge Projects dialogue box.

  1. Click Select Project to view Projects available to sync.

Note:
Only Projects that are not already synced locally will be displayed as available to sync. If you wish to sync a Project that is already on your machine to a different location, then the Project must first be un-synced via the Autotask Workplace Online preferences.

  1. Click to select the required Project, then click OK.

The Merge Projects dialogue box reappears, with the selected Project visible in the Pick an existing Project textbox.

  1. On the Merge Projects dialogue box, click Browse, to Pick an existing local Project folder to merge with.

A dialogue box appears, containing a folder tree.

  1. Navigate to the local folder that you wish to merge the Project with, then click OK.

The Merge Projects dialogue box reappears, with the path to the selected local folder visible in the Pick an existing local Project folder textbox.

  1. On the Merge Projects dialogue box, under Choose how you want to merge Projects, click Options.

The merge options dialogue box appears, listing three options:

  • Merge the local folder with the Autotask Workplace Project – All files and folders are kept and, for the same file, the most recent updated version is kept.
  • Sync the Workplace Desktop Project into the local folder -  The local Project folder is synced to become identical to the Workplace Project. Use only if the Workplace Project is correct.
  • Sync the local Project into the service Project - The Workplace Project is synced to become identical to the local Project folder. Use only if the local Project folder is correct.

  1. Select the required Merge option, then click OK.

The Merge Projects dialogue box reappears, with the selected Merge option visible in the Choose how you want to merge Projects textbox.

  1. Review your choices, then click Merge Projects.

The two Projects are merged into one.

 

Further helpful notes

The following notes may provide helpful additional information.

  • If a local folder that is synced to a Project is moved, renamed, deleted or unavailable (network & external drives), the Autotask Workplace Desktop Agent will prompt you and request that you fix the sync errors.  From the Autotask Workplace menu, available from the menu bar / task bar, select Fix Sync Errors.  The dialogue box that opens will allow you to correct the path to the Project on your local machine, or unsubscribe from the Project.
  • Syncing a local folder to a Project will not be permitted if:
    • it contains a folder which is already syncing with a Project, or,

    • it resides within the folder structure of a local folder that is already syncing with a Project, or,
    • it resides within the Autotask Workplace folder.

To illustrate this concept, refer to the folder structure in the image below. If the folder in green is syncing to a Project, then syncing of the red folders to a Project will not be permitted. Only the blue folders could be synced to a Project. To sync a red folder to a Project, then the green folder must first be un-synced.

  • When syncing a local folder on a share drive (for instance network drives) to a Project, the person who initiates this process becomes the owner of the resulting Project within Autotask Workplace.
Should another Team Member subsequently attempt to convert the same folder to a Project, they will receive a warning that the folder is already being synced and will be provided the option of being able to take over ownership, or cancel the operation.
  • Pay careful attention to the data within volumes or folders that are synced to Projects, taking note of file types that should not be synced.
  • External drive mounts may not be added as an External Project Folder when running in "Service Mode". When running as a service, the agent runs as the "root user" not as "the user". Network drive mounts created by "the user" are not necessarily available to the agent running as "root user".