A Frequently Asked Question


How can I realize Multi-User-Tagging in a local network?
Valid from XYplorer v19.80 onwards

Multi-User-Tagging (MUT) means to share XYplorer’s file tagging (Labels, Tags, Comments, and 16 Extra Tags) within a network among different members of a team, among different client computers. If one user annotates a file in his place, the other users will see it in their places. And if so configured, this will happen in real time.

The following 4 steps are all it takes to create a MUT network:

  • Step 1: Understand the Structure. Each team member needs a copy of XYplorer installed on his local Windows. The tags database is a single file that will be kept in a central location accessible to each member of the network. That location would typically be an UNC path pointing to a shared folder, for example "\\North\Share\XY\SharedTags.dat". Nothing to do yet, just understand the structure.
  • Step 2: Connect to the Database. Now create the shared database using the command Tags | Load Tags Database.... Enter the full path, e.g. "\\North\Share\XY\SharedTags.dat" (use any name you like). If the database does not exist yet using that command will create it, else it will open it. Now that the database exists each member of the network can connect to it using that same command Tags | Load Tags Database... and same full path in his XYplorer instance.
  • Step 3: Show the Columns. To each member: To actually see the tags in the file list do the following: Go to folder containing tagged files or files to be tagged. Select Details View in the file list. Then use command View | Columns | Show Columns... to show the columns (tags) you are interested in. Note that you can drag the columns to new positions if you please.
  • Step 4: Automate the Synchronization. The finishing touch is to have any changes in the shared tags automagically appear in each member’s XYplorer instance in real time. To enable this feature the checkbox Tools | Configuration | Information | Tags | Auto-refresh tags has to be ticked in the member’s XYplorer instance.

If all is set up right, each member of the team will see the same tags on the same files, and if any member changes any of them, the others will see the change in real-time in their instance of XYplorer.

In a MUT network all your team members will see up to 16 freely definable Extra columns like these.

Remarks

Of course, each team member needs a copy of XYplorer installed on his local Windows.
The tagged files are not modified at all. All information is and stays in the database on your server.
The tags database is kept in an ultra-simple, human-readable, processing-friendly, future-proof, and optionally portable format. Really, it’s so simple, a caveman could do it (if you gave him a text editor).
The administrator is responsible for a sensible rights management. If a user should only read but not write the shared tags database you can specify so in his Admin.ini file (located where his XYplorer.exe resides). Add these lines to that file (adjust the path, of course):
[AccessControl]
ReadonlyTagsDB=\\North\Share\XY\SharedTags.dat
Here’s how you can handle universal vs local mapping (UNC vs local format of a mapped network path). For example, in a situation with two mappings you would add this to Admin.ini:

[UniversalLocalMapping]
Count=2
ULM1=\\VEGA\Share1>X:
ULM2=\\VEGA\Share2>Y:\Docs
The 2nd line means: If your mapped network path "Y:\Docs" points to "\\VEGA\Share2" then any taggings you do in "Y:\Docs" are stored in the tags database under "\\VEGA\Share2".
The above notes are valid from XYplorer v19.80 onwards. For earlier versions see here.