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Old 27-07-2015, 05:50   #1
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Multiple instances, different computers, sharing database?

First post regarding OpenCPN. Very glad to have found this software and hope to maximize its capabilities. Thanks!

I use OpenCPN in an office environment. I'd like to make it usable on multiple computers (Windows) but have each instance pull charts and waypoint data from one single location. Is this possible? I think the reasons should be obvious; not having to update charts in multiple locations as well as having access to all the same waypoint and route information from each workstation.

I'd bet that the solution is fairly simple, but after a bit of searching this forum I haven't found mention of this ability.

Thanks for any guidance.

Ethan
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Old 27-07-2015, 21:06   #2
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Re: Multiple instances, different computers, sharing database?

Ethan...
Sharing charts is trivial, just put them on a network shared disk and configure all your OpenCPN instances accordingly.
Your problem is the configuration file and navobjects (waypoints, routes, tracks), for obvious reason - the different instances will fight for them and try to overwrite each other's changes. Which in turn will lead to totally unpredictable results. For navobjects, in case they are more or less static, you can use layers and sync/share them using dropbox, sparkleshare or some similar tool suiting you.
How to handle the configuration file and navobj.xml (the file holding the "live" objects) depends on your exact needs - you can be happy with them being completely independent, synchronized by a script on every OpenCPN launch or you need them completely shared and substantial modifications to OpenCPN's code would be needed to make it feasible.

Pavel
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Old 28-07-2015, 02:53   #3
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Re: Multiple instances, different computers, sharing database?

I would like to see this issue fixed.

Basically, the first opencpn instance can act as a server, and every new instance a client. Also network clients possible. We already can do this for nmea data, so we could just extend that. The server would access the navobj.xml the same as it does now, but local clients would create a temporary file to serve as their navobj.xml. All clients syncronize navobj.xml over the network. That way if you have two computers and only sometimes one is on, it will work alright. The only problem I see is if you start two instances then close the first one, the local client will then need to switch to server mode... maybe also not a problem.
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Old 28-07-2015, 02:57   #4
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Re: Multiple instances, different computers, sharing database?

There is the issue of encrypted charts:

These are local/bound to an installation by definition and have to be there at runtime. No "server license".

Hubert
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Old 28-07-2015, 09:32   #5
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Re: Multiple instances, different computers, sharing database?

Thanks for the replies. I kind of figured the chart sharing was easy. I've already shared them from one computer to the other and it's working.

I typically only have one computer using charts at a time so simultaneous access to the navobj file isn't really necessary.

I think I'll have to look into the layers. As long as all the waypoints from the two OCPN instances APPEAR at each workstation, I'm accomplishing what I want. I don't necessarily need to modify the info from both.

Thanks!


PS - I can't seem to find the navobjects file. Where is it?
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Old 28-07-2015, 10:09   #6
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Re: Multiple instances, different computers, sharing database?

In directory of the log and the ini files.
Under Windows usually ....\ProgramData\ocpencpn
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Old 30-07-2015, 01:36   #7
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Re: Multiple instances, different computers, sharing database?

On an ECDIS you have a 'synchronize' option. Using this on one computer, will temp disable the otherone while copying the routes etc. When things are copied the second computer is doing a reread of files.
Something like this should't be to difficult I think.
On an ECDIS each station has its own set of chart copies, so loading charts will not be depending on a working network environment.
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Old 30-07-2015, 04:17   #8
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Re: Multiple instances, different computers, sharing database?

Yes, my idea was at least initially not to try to synchronize charts, but only for what is found in navobj.xml Any ideas on the best way to implement the user interface for this? Should it use the same socket as the nmea data?
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Old 30-07-2015, 12:28   #9
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Re: Multiple instances, different computers, sharing database?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
Yes, my idea was at least initially not to try to synchronize charts, but only for what is found in navobj.xml Any ideas on the best way to implement the user interface for this? Should it use the same socket as the nmea data?
Just my 2 c
How about when starting O open a TCP client trying to connect on ...255 with a server. If no connection found open a TCPserver listening on ...255 for a client. As soon there is a connection, also atleast 2 O's on the network open a extra tab in Options-Connections for detailed config.
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