Lightroom in a business environment

chrisb4711

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Together with various work colleagues I use Lightroom to process images. Is it possible to keep the images in a 'central' location for them to be accessed and worked on by more than one person?
 
Together with various work colleagues I use Lightroom to process images. Is it possible to keep the images in a 'central' location for them to be accessed and worked on by more than one person?
No, not really. Lightroom is not multi-user. It stores the edits in its catalog, and that catalog must be local (images can be on a NAS). The only way to do this would be to automatically save metadata to files on each computer, and to always use 'Read Metadata from File' before you start making edits. In theory that would work, in practise it won't. People will forget this, or two people will work on the same image at the same time and lose work.
 
No, not really. Lightroom is not multi-user. It stores the edits in its catalog, and that catalog must be local (images can be on a NAS). The only way to do this would be to automatically save metadata to files on each computer, and to always use 'Read Metadata from File' before you start making edits. In theory that would work, in practise it won't. People will forget this, or two people will work on the same image at the same time and lose work.
Many thanks for your quick reply. Much appreciated.
 
Also... depends which Lightroom. Lightroom Desktop (the desktop client of the LR Ecosystem) has a new Local mode that acts like a very simple file browser. As it writes immediately to XMP and doesn't use a catalog, it could potentially be used for a multi-user workflow. You'd need to organize mainly based on folder structure, and its other organizational tools are quite limited (e.g. no multi-folder search) so it's not an option I recommend to most people yet, but I could see it working in a business environment where images are very job-specific. I could have run our multi-user studio on it.
 
Agreed. Some communication would be needed.
 
Also... depends which Lightroom. Lightroom Desktop (the desktop client of the LR Ecosystem) has a new Local mode that acts like a very simple file browser. As it writes immediately to XMP and doesn't use a catalog, it could potentially be used for a multi-user workflow. You'd need to organize mainly based on folder structure, and its other organizational tools are quite limited (e.g. no multi-folder search) so it's not an option I recommend to most people yet, but I could see it working in a business environment where images are very job-specific. I could have run our multi-user studio on it.

Another Lightroom Desktop option would be collaborative editing, i.e. put the images to be collaborated on into an album then share that album with all the other users in the group (setting the "Can Edit" switch). All users would be able to see the work of all the others, and could use the Versions feature to allow them to work on the same image without destroying the work of any other user who may have worked on that image. Yes, communication is needed, but better still would be having the discipline to save named versions before and after editing an image.
 
Considering that Adobe offers enterprise/departmnet versions of other Creative Cloud applications, Lightroom sticks out as single-user only. IF I understand the technical issue, IF, it is that the catalog uses sqlite3, which is a database that doesn't support networked access. Not sure if it supports multi-user or multi-application use on the same system. I suspect that rewriting Lightroom so that the catalog uses a different database would be a herculean effort. License fees may become an issue.

So I suspect/am afraid that Lightroom will remain single user for the foreseeable future.
 
Considering that Adobe offers enterprise/departmnet versions of other Creative Cloud applications, Lightroom sticks out as single-user only. IF I understand the technical issue, IF, it is that the catalog uses sqlite3, which is a database that doesn't support networked access. Not sure if it supports multi-user or multi-application use on the same system. I suspect that rewriting Lightroom so that the catalog uses a different database would be a herculean effort. License fees may become an issue.

So I suspect/am afraid that Lightroom will remain single user for the foreseeable future.
SQLLlite is a single user database. That means that there is no user login security and table locking to prevent two or more users from accessing the same record simultaneously. Other databases (MySQL, SQL Server. DB2, Oracle etc.) have the user security built in. It would not be difficult to port the Lightroom tables to one of the other client Server databases BUT you need to have the server management piece found in Client Server databases. This it the part missing from Lightroom Classic and the part most difficult to build and manage. Each customer house would need to have its own database analysts and network servers in place. to manage the server piece of Lightroom. These servers would need to conform to a set of specs specified by Adobe. And the database (Oracle MicroSoft etc.) would need Licensed by the customer. If I had to guess, the annual licensing fee for just the Adobe Lightroom part would be more than $100,000USD in addition to the Licensing costs of the Database Software and the additional staffing requirements. Database analysts are among the highest paid positions in the IT industry. Not a practical solution for a few Lightroom users in a small company. IOW, the market is not really there.
 
SQLLlite is a single user database. That means that there is no user login security and table locking to prevent two or more users from accessing the same record simultaneously. Other databases (MySQL, SQL Server. DB2, Oracle etc.) have the user security built in. It would not be difficult to port the Lightroom tables to one of the other client Server databases BUT you need to have the server management piece found in Client Server databases. This it the part missing from Lightroom Classic and the part most difficult to build and manage. Each customer house would need to have its own database analysts and network servers in place. to manage the server piece of Lightroom. These servers would need to conform to a set of specs specified by Adobe. And the database (Oracle MicroSoft etc.) would need Licensed by the customer. If I had to guess, the annual licensing fee for just the Adobe Lightroom part would be more than $100,000USD in addition to the Licensing costs of the Database Software and the additional staffing requirements. Database analysts are among the highest paid positions in the IT industry. Not a practical solution for a few Lightroom users in a small company. IOW, the market is not really there.
Cleetus,

Thanks for this explanation. I did not even consider how a different database would require a company to have database analysts, etc.

When I worked for a company that had a security product that required a database, we found that the only customers who were really interested were those large customers who already had database admins, etc. Midsized businesses, no real interest. And I suspect that a lot of creatives and ad agency people work in small and mid-size companies.
 
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