SST_1808 – Cloud Services

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For some time, Vectorworks has offered cloud services as part of the Vectorworks Service Select (VSS) subscription. Most users know that VSS gives them a free upgrade each year, but what about the other things that are included?

This manual will be looking at the cloud services part of VSS.

What Are Cloud Services?

VSS includes:

  • Tutorials
  • Desktop application
  • Nomad smartphone application
  • Remote smartphone application

As part of VSS, these are services that you pay extra for. VSS pays for the Cloud Services, extra library resources, and your next version of Vectorworks. This makes it well worthwhile.

You get to your Cloud Services by going to the Vectorworks website, clicking on the Log In button and choosing Cloud Services. Your login will be the same as your VSS login.

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Once you have logged in, you should see the homepage. It includes a menu that enables you to jump between the Cloud Services and VSS, a menu to control settings and login information, and settings to integrate your computer with the Cloud Services portal.

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One of the main features of Cloud Services is the ability to save your documents and library files online. Once stored online, they can be shared with other people. This is not a unique service; saving and sharing files online is also provided by services such as Box and Dropbox.

The Cloud Services feature that other services do not provide is the ability to process your files online. This means that you can upload a Vectorworks file to Cloud Services and have Vectorworks process the PDF files and a 3D model for you.

Cloud Services can be integrated with your Vectorworks desktop application.  When you start Vectorworks there is a Cloud menu at the top right, just before the Help menu. You can use this to sign in, manage your Cloud Services folder, launch the Cloud Services website, run Cloud Publish, etc.

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Tutorials

The Cloud Services tutorials are excellent. They’re so good that there is no need for me to repeat the information that they contain. I do highly recommend that you look through the tutorials when you need help with Cloud Services.

Access the tutorials from the top-right corner of the website.

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The tutorials are organized in three parts: Uploading, processing files, and collaborating with others. I’ve had a look through these tutorials and they really do cover everything you need using a very simple approach.

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Desktop Application

The Cloud Services desktop application runs in the background of your computer, managing the synchronization of the services. One way of using the services is to have a Vectorworks Cloud Services folder on your computer. Any files stored in this folder will automatically be synchronized with Cloud Services on the Internet. When you add a file, Vectorworks will upload it for you. When you save the file, Vectorworks will upload the new file.

You do not have to use the desktop application in this way. You are able to turn off synchronization so that you only upload files when you want to. To upload files, you open the Vectorworks Cloud Services website and manually upload them.

  • From Vectorworks, go to the Cloud menu and choose Settings…

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This will open the Settings dialogue box where you can manage the general settings (such as having it remember your login information, running on start-up, and sending error logs to Vectorworks).

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The next tab, Computing, controls the location of your Cloud Services folder on your computer and it also tells you how much storage you have used online. By default, you get 20 GB of online storage.

Originally, only VSS users could get cloud storage from Vectorworks. Now, anyone can get 5 GB of free online storage from Vectorworks. This means that your clients could also get some free storage.

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The next tab, Schedule, controls how files will be synchronized between your computer and the cloud storage. You can choose to have PDF versions of your files generated manually or on specific days or at specific intervals.

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The last tab is all about the technical aspects of your connection.

There is some great protected information here that is only available to paying subscribers. You must be an active paying subscriber to see it, but you can  Subscribe here.

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