Getting Server to list Catalogues linked to via aliases/shortcuts

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Manual: v7 - Server manual page 8, v6 - not described, v5 - page 229

Many IT staff dislike mixing data with applications, mainly as it complicates their back-up procedure. By default Portfolio is designed to serve catalogues

You've decided that rather than put your Catalogue in the Servers \Catalogs\ folder, you are going to use the option of placing an alias/shortcut to the Catalogue in the folder instead. Note the tip in the box-out top left of the v5 Manual (p 229) but omitted in v6. This indicates that any Catalogues with aliases/shortcuts in the \Catalogs\ folder will get launched when the Server App is started, in other words, when the Server 'service' is started.

So, you've also ensured that everyone has appropriate permissions for your new Catalogue's folder and image/preview folders as well. You've put a shortcut to the Catalog in the \Catalogs\ folder. The Portfolio Server service is running. However, the Catalogue doesn't show up in the Server Administration dialog. How do you 'refresh' the list?

The answer is simple if inconvenient. Whereas actual Catalogues placed in the \Catalogs\ folder are 'seen' detected and the list refreshed, you need to stop and restart the Portfolio Server app (i.e. the service) on its host computer. Note however, that you will first need to log off all the current users of the Catalogue(s) being served via that service, which is best done by unserving the Catalogue(s). When you re-start Server, the linked-to Catalogue is detected and served automatically as per the note in the Manual. You will now see linked-to Catalogues listed in the Server Administration's "Serve Catalog" dialog. Note that there is no way to tell which Catalogues in the list are in 'external' folders. As Administrator you'll need to keep a separate list.

What the tip should have said, and which would avoid the above issue, is that the alias/shortcut should point to the folder containing the catalogue, not to the catalogue itself. Using this method, the catalogue is detected as if it were in the Servers \Catalogs\ folder. Clearly, if using this technique you should ensure other files which might confuse Portfolio Server (or other not-to-be-served catalogues) are cleared from the folder.

One other important point you should note is that all clients needing the catalogue must also have access to both the source files unless you intend them to be read-only for many aspects of use.

Some users have reported that Portfolio Server running on NT doesn't recognize shortcuts (the PC version of aliases) but this may be due to some of the factors discussed above. Certainly, there's no problem under Windows 2000. However, note that under Win 2k (and possibly later Win OS versions), when the Portfolio Server service (re-starts) all catalogues in the external folder are served. This means you should only put catalogues in the linked-to folder when you wish to serve them and remove them after unserving them.

Question: Getting Server to list Catalogues linked to via aliases/shortcuts [FAQ00155.htm]
Last Update:- 31 May 2006

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