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Store and serve projects to/from OneDrive or Dropbox

Hello all, this is to demonstrate how to configure Omniscope Evo to store and serve files from OneDrive or Dropbox folder.

OneDrive is the Microsoft file hosting service and synchronization service that allow you - exactly like Dropbox - to work with your file locally, automatically managing file versioning and sync to the cloud.


For this guide, the preconditions are : you have OneDrive or Dropbox signed in on your Windows machine, you have Omniscope Evo installed and running on the same machine.

For the rest of the article I will refer to OneDrive, but you can achieve the same with Dropbox.


You have 3 ways of integrating Omniscope Evo with OneDrive:


SOLUTION A:  Use a OneDrive folder (or subfolder) as Omniscope Sharing folder


This is the recommended way to set up Omniscope so it saves and serves files directly from a OneDrive folder.

Whichever folder permission you set up in your OneDrive folder will be implicitly honoured by Omniscope when accessing files on the OneDrive folder.


You just need to open the Omniscope Admin app and configure your Sharing folder to be your OneDrive local folder, e.g. c:/users/Antonio/OneDrive . See instructions article here 




SOLUTION B:  Sync Omniscope Sharing folder (or subfolders) to OneDrive


This is the solution ideal to users who want to store all their projects on their local machine, and have some folders linked, backed up and available on OneDrive too.

To set up this on Windows we have to create a directory junction, something that is available on Windows to sync any folder, in this case it will allow us to sync the Omniscope sharing folder (or a subfolder) to OneDrive.

To do so
1. Open the command prompt (Run "cmd.exe" as Administrator)

2. Type the following command:

mklink /j "%UserProfile%\OneDrive\Folder name" "PathToYourOmniscopeSharingFolder". 


You need to substitute the 'Folder name' portion with the name which will link the Omniscope sharing folder to the OneDrive storage. As well insert the path the Omniscope sharing folder or subfolder you want to sync. For example:

mklink /j "%UserProfile%\OneDrive\Omniscope files" "%UserProfile%\omniscope-server\files"

Once executed the command, you should see a message like this, saying the junction has been created: 




You can verify in your OneDrive that a link has been created:

and if you open the folder link (Omniscope files in my case), you will see the same files available in the Omniscope Sharing folder.


Be careful: the link is bydirectional. If you delete a file from the the OneDrive folder it will be like deleting the file directly from the Sharing folder.

To stop the syncing, you just need to remove the folder link (e.g. 'Omniscope files') from the OneDrive folder. This won't remove your actual folder Omniscope Sharing folder.

The good thing is that this is a hard link, so it doesn't take double space on your drive.

You can repeat this process for any folder on your local hard disk you want to link in OneDrive.


Once the link is set up you will use Omniscope Evo locally, and whatever project you create and edit it within the Omniscope Sharing folder will be synced and available on OneDrive too - bearing in mind this works the other way around too.




SOLUTION C:  Work directly on projects on OneDrive (or any external folder) outside the Sharing folder (Local installations only).


This is the solution when you want just to quickly access or open a file located outside the Omniscope Sharing folder, any local folder - a OneDrive one too.


1. Add folder/file link in the Projects page / Sharing folder.

Although this could be an optional step, this is a convenient way to create a special link that allows Omniscope to show your OneDrive location right on the Projects page, visible whenever you start Omniscope / launch your browser say on your laptop.


To add a link, open your notepad and create a file with a "url" extension. For example call it "OneDrive.url"

Then add the following content, basically a shortcut to your local OneDrive folder, typically called OneDrive in your home directory.


[InternetShortcut]
URL=/_my_drive_/C:/Users/Antonio/OneDrive/


of course customise the path. Note: keep the "/_my_drive_/" special prefix, it's for Omniscope to understand you want to serve a local resource outside the scope of the root Sharing folder. Also note this is only allowed when running and accessing Omniscope from the same local machine. (For more about Projects sharing folder configuration see the article here ).


Using Windows File Explorer, place this "OneDrive.url" file in your Omniscope Sharing folder. It should look like this:


2. Open Omniscope, create projects in the OneDrive folder

If you start Omniscope or launch your browser (by clicking on the Omniscope Evo icon, or if running already, on the system tray bottom right icon), the projects page will show the OneDrive link


the icon is telling you it's a link.

If you click on it, Omniscope will navigate to the OneDrive location, and show the content of the OneDrive folder.

Note for Omniscope the OneDrive folder is like any other folder on your machine, the "Users > Antonio" breadcrumb in this case - only for me, when accessing my private local Omniscope installation - will allow me to navigate and show the contents of any folder.


At this point you can just click the plus button to create your file in OneDrive.


2.b Move a project to OneDrive and access it locally

Say you don't want to create the OneDrive link as described above. You have already created your project but want to move it to OneDrive.

Simply cut and paste your IOX project in File Explorer from the current Sharing folder location to the OneDrive folder, and then just double click the IOX file. Your project will load up in a new Omniscope Evo browser window.
Again, this behaviour is only available on Windows and on your local private Omniscope installation.


3. Let OneDrive manage file versioning and sync / back up to the cloud

At this point, any edit you do in your projects will be automatically and transparently synchronised by OneDrive.

You can carry on working locally with Omniscope on your projects in the OneDrive directory and allow the Microsoft service to look after the cloud synchronisation.




Known behaviours and things to ignore

When working on a project, executing a workflow or building your magnificent dashboards, if OneDrive tries to access the file, you could see this warning when opening the OneDrive app:

If you click on the item, it will show 


but don't worry, that's actually a good thing, it's telling you Omniscope is locking the access to your project workflow execution data to prevent another app (even another Omniscope) to mess with your data and prevent file corruption.

Once you finish up working with your project, after your project session expires (tipically within 5 minutes) the lock file will disappear and OneDrive will be happy as a clam.



Final notes / alternative

This is something you can replicate for other apps, like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.

OneDrive trick: if you like - although not recommended - you can bypass the local to cloud OneDrive synchronisation to save and serve projects directly to/from your cloud folder. To do so you have to assign a specific drive letter to it using network mapping in File Explorer - article here .


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