Why a small team benefits from a CORE Server

By Bethany Maddox, Customer Support Specialist

Working at the head of our Customer Support team, I have the opportunity to talk to many of our customers. I often talk with long-term users and find that over time their needs are changing, and their CORE deployment needs to change to meet their growing needs.

A few weeks ago I talked to a customer who has a small team, but a critical need to work collaboratively. There are only two Systems Engineers in this group. They save their c90 files on a shared drive and only one of them uses the file at a time. They’ve found that from time to time, the file becomes unstable and they need to revert to the previous version of the file.

It’s important to understand that c90 files are not intended for data exchange from one machine to another. Even though they aren’t transferring the file, their situation is exactly that. As they’ve found, sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. C90 files are made specifically for the machine that created them.

When transferring data from one machine to another, one should always use xml format. This requires exporting the data to xml, a process that takes much longer than the quick save of the c90 file. The speed and ease of saving a c90 file is its huge benefit. Its risk is the corruption that the file can become unstable over time.

Never fear. In the event this corruption occurs, I can help customers to recover the changes to their data that were made after the time that last copy of the c90 file was saved. We have a recovery log feature that captures this data and it can be read in for data recovery. In 6 years at the helm of our support team I’ve never lost data, and I don’t intend to start.

This is a great backup mechanism. However, we don’t recommend depending on it to protect the integrity of your project data. This is because the recovery log only captures elements, element attributes, and relationships. Information on your diagrams (beyond elements and relationships) can be lost. This includes, but is not limited to, node alignment, colors, behavior constructs, notes, shapes, and the use of images. Some of this information is critical to your project.

For these reasons, we strongly recommend the use of a CORE Server. This application can reside on any machine that is accessible to both of the client machines and hosts your data repository. Server-grade hardware is nice, but for a two-person team, any modern desktop will do. The CORE Server is going to allow live, real-time collaboration. Further, because one won’t be exchanging data files, there is no risk corruption of the file. Just log in, do your work, and log out!

The CORE Server automatically creates backups every weeknight to further protect data. Most organizations have IT policies and procedures through which these files can be further protected by getting backed up to another physical machine. We strongly recommend this.

We know that the model is critical to your project success and we take the protection of that data seriously. Our support team is always happy to discuss your deployment and what configuration best meets your needs!

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