Alibre Options: How to Securely Share Design Data in Alibre Design Without Giving Up Control

6 Aug, 2006 By: Michael Todd

Use a repository to share data and set access permissions.

Alibre Design offers many collaboration tools that let you work with other Alibre Design users regardless of location. One of these collaborative tools is the ability to share your repository with any Alibre Design user around the world. The Repository feature is available in Alibre Design Professional and Expert, and it's a secure file storage and data management tool.

When you share a repository with another user, you can set access permissions so users can check files out, make changes and check them back in -- or they can just view the files. It's up to you. It provides an easy and secure way to share data, and it creates a history of changes. You can see who made the changes and roll back to a previous version if necessary. When set up properly, a shared repository is invaluable to a design team.

Sharing Repository Data and Setting Access Permissions
You can only share your repository with another Alibre Design user when you are working online in Alibre Design. To confirm that you are working online, go to the Alibre Design Home window. Select the File menu, and click Work Online. If it says Work Offline, then you are already online.

1. Open the Repository window. In the Alibre Design Home window, select Repository from the Window menu.

2. Select the folder you want to share in the Repository explorer (figure 1).

Figure 1. Select the folder you want to share.

3. Under the Tools menu, select Sharing/Security.

Note: The Sharing/Security menu item will be disabled if you have not selected a folder or repository.

4. In the Sharing/Security dialog box, click the Add/Remove button. The Add/Remove Principals dialog box appears (figure 2).

Figure 2. The Publish to These Users box includes your user name. In this example, aa38 is the current user.

5. You have three options for selecting the other Alibre Design users who have access to the repository data. You can scroll through the listed users (people who have made their user name visible to everyone) or your own contacts. You also may type an Alibre Design user name in the unlisted user field. After you select or type a user name, click the Add button. The selected user names appear in the Publish to These Users box. Click OK.

6. Select the new user names in the Sharing/Security dialog box to see what access permissions they have. Figure 3 shows the default permissions.

Figure 3. Default permissions for a repository folder.

7. So that the selected users can see new and existing items in a shared repository folder, check the Use Folder Policies as Default Item Policies option. The program prompts you to overwrite existing item default settings, and you need to click Yes to accept (figure 4). Now the selected user can see the files under the repository folder you are sharing.

Figure 4. Overwrite existing item default settings.

a. By default the newly added user is given read permissions. If that is all you need, click the Apply button.

b. Otherwise, check the appropriate permissions in the Policy area (figure 5).

Figure 5. Administrator permissions include Delete, Write and Read.

8. If you have not previously shared the repository the folder resides in with the user, then you must confirm that you want to share it. Click the Share button in the Share Repository dialog box (figure 6). It gives the other user, in this case aa48, the ability to see your repository.

Figure 6. The confirmation dialog box for sharing a repository.

9. Figure 7 is the final result as seen in the other Alibre Design user's Repository Explorer. The green lines next to the blue icon for the repository signify that the repository is located on another user's computer.

Figure 7. The shared repository as seen by the new user.

The shared repository only appears when both Alibre Design users are working online.

The repository is a powerful tool in terms of connectivity, utility and collaboration. It allows two or more online Alibre Design users to work from the same repository without having to physically store the files on the other user's computer. The security of the shared folders and files are in the owner's complete control, so there is no need to question who has access. Until next time, look for me online in Alibre Design.

About the Author: Michael Todd

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