Workgroup Guidelines and Suggestions
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Guidelines and Suggestions for Working Effectively in a Workgroup

When you use your Dropbox Sync Folder to synchronize your own NutriBase files across your own computers and you are the only person using NutriBase at any one time, there is little risk of getting “conflicted copies” of your files. Conflicted copies occur, for example, when two or more users open the same recipe, edit it, then save it at the same time. If you are the only user, you don’t have to worry about this.

The situation is different when you share your NutriBase Dropbox Folder with others. When you are a member of a workgroup that is sharing NutriBase Dropbox Folder, you run a risk of having two or more users save the same file at the same time – you risk creating “conflicted copies” of files. Dropbox will rename these conflicted copies for you to indicate that they are copies of the original file. If multiple users are editing the same file simultaneously, Dropbox will save all of the versions of that file as "conflicted copies" with the user's name, date, and time stamp. Dropbox will not try to merge or overwrite copies. This is because Dropbox doesn't want anyone’s work to be lost.

IMPORTANT: If you want to have a trouble-free experience using NutriBase with workgroups, assign each user a Workgroup Number,/a>. In addition to this important guideline, you should adhere to the following guidelines and suggestions.

1) Stay Synchronized When Using NutriBase. Best practice dictates that the members of your workgroup should edit workgroup data only while they are connected to the Internet. This keeps them synchronized with the changing data coming from other workgroup members. Do not permit members of a NutriBase workgroup to work off-line and resynchronizing at a later time - this will increase the probability of introducing problems. (The could be working =with a copy of a recipe that has already been updated since they opened it offline.)

2) Assign Specific NutriBase Folders to Specific Individuals. NutriBase allows you to organize your Recipes into their own Recipe Folders. Assign specific users to work in their own Recipe Folders. You could create a Recipe Folder, for example, named “Sally Smith’s Recipe Folder” if you like. Assign a Recipe Folder to each member of your workgroup. Note: These suggestions use the example of Recipes, but they also apply equally well to Meal Folders, PFI Folders, Client Information, etc.

3) Use Work Schedules. If two or more users need to work on the same Recipes (or other NutriBase files), it is best if work on them at different times. Have them agree to a work schedule. Or institute a formal internal policy – a "check in/check out" system - wherein only one person will be working on a particular Recipe at any given time. When using this approach, be sure to leave enough time between “shifts” to permit synchronization to occur.

4) Create and Use a “Finished” Folder. Create a “Finished Recipes” Folder to which users will place all their finished Recipes. By making it forbidden to edit Recipes in this folder, you help protect finished Recipes from further editing.

5) Restore NutriBase Backups With Care. If you need to restore a NutriBase Backup File, understand that the data on your computer, the Cloud, and then in all the other workgroup computers, will be replaced with whatever is in your NutriBase Backup File. You must notify all members or your workgroup to avoid using NutriBase until the Cloud is synchronized to the new data that has been restored.

6) Read and Understand the An Introduction to Web-Based Synchronization. Anyone using a web-based synchronization service should understand the basics of how this useful capability works. Understanding the basics will help you understand its limitations as well as its benefits.

7) Read your Synchronization Service's Documentation – Watch their videos. Each web-based synchronization service provides information about how their service works. These documents and videos reveal how to tell when all files have synchronized with the Cloud (all workgroup members must know this). Dropbox has a concise under three-minute video regarding their service called Dropbox for Teams that you might benefit from. Understanding your sync service’s documentation and videos improves every workgroup member’s value as a contributor to your workgroup’s goals.

Allowing members of your workgroup who don’t understand and observe these guidelines could potentially wreak havoc on your work. All members of your workgroup should understand and observe these good practice guidelines. By implementing these common sense ideas, you’ll be able to use your Sync Folder to keep your work flow flowing. Various services have different ways of handling “conflicted files” and you should know how your Sync Folder will handle these situations. It will also be helpful for you to read and understand the introductory copy to this document. If you understand how Sync Folders in general work and how your Sync Folder in particular works, you will be able to use it effectively and without errors. You will also understand why we call our guidelines “common sense” suggestions.

Consider Using a Business Account. If you are collaborating with a workgroup, you may want to forgo the free account and sign up with a paid-for business account. There are several reasons for this. For one thing, a business account normally permits you to allow multiple users with various access levels to share your Sync Folder. You can control who can delete files, edit files, or just view files. You can control access to particular folders and files. You can also track statistics about members of groups and see things like when they last logged in, how long they worked, etc. A business account will also provide you with additional space that can come in handy for facilitating other aspects of your business. Business accounts enforce a much higher degree of accountability than just sharing a folder with associates. If you are in business, you may find a business account to be the way to go. Business accounts normally require you to pay a fee of some sort but since you don’t need a lot of drive space to support NutriBase synchronization, you’ll likely be able to purchase the least expensive business plan offered.

Remember to Wait. Every time you set up a copy of NutriBase to use the Sync Folder, you must allow time for the new installation to fully synchronize with the Cloud before using this copy of NutriBase or setting up another copy of NutriBase on another computer. Any time you use the Restore function, you must allow time for the new installation to fully synchronize with the Cloud before using this copy of NutriBase or setting up another copy of NutriBase on another computer.

Backup Frequently. We highly recommend you make at least a daily backup of your NutriBase data. You can save your NutriBase Backup files to any location on your hard drive other than your Dropbox Folder. You can also save your NutriBase Backup files to removable media (like a flash drive). If you like, you can tell NutriBase to remind you to make backups on a schedule of your own making.

This topic updated 12/31/2015

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