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Online Collaboration

Online Collaboration

Online Collaboration

For anyone using any of the online collaboration or file sharing services for communicating and collaborating with the customer on a project, could you share with us what you have used, how you use it and what you like or dislike?

I'm using one now, which is one of the most simplistic ones, through an attorneys office for a project we are both working on for her customer. I see the value, especially for placing files and messages for everyone on the project to access.  I was wondering what some of the more complete services, which have some project management and other features in addition to the basic message and file sharing, are like.  

Most of my projects involve just myself, maybe one other engineer, and a few people on the customer side to use.


RE: Online Collaboration

There wasn't such a thing as an online file sharing service when I was part of a virtual company, comprising half a dozen engineers scattered around the USA and Canada.  The virtual boss just emailed files around, and we each beat on them and sent them back.

One problem we encountered was that we were using several different CAD programs, and all of those programs had different ideas about what constituted a valid file.  If I remember correctly, we first tried .dwg files but had to retreat to .dxf files... which still had problems but could be edited with an ASCII editor.  It took a while to figure out where each CAD program typically bollixed up its output, and how to fix it.  

The actual project went okay, with communication primarily by email and occasional phone calls, but I'm guessing it was not hugely profitable.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: Online Collaboration

I'm not really working on projects where we are going to merge designs from various sources;  I produce a design, and maybe scheduls, and the customer and others view and comment about it, we plan next steps ask, and answer questions, etc.  

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