Although IMatch is designed with individual users in mind, it comes with some network support built-in. This article describes how to setup IMatch in a multi-user environment.
IMatch is licensed per-user. If you want to use IMatch with multiple users, please be fair and make sure you purchase one license per user.
There are multi-license discounts up to 40% available. Please see the online shop for details and rates.
Addressing Folders on a Network
When you plan to use a database in a network environment with multiple users you should index folders on the network always using their UNC paths.
Do not index folders via drive mappings like M: or X:. Drive mappings can be different on different computers and even for different users on the same computer. What is drive X: for you can be something totally different for another user. Or the other user has no drive X: mapped at all.
If you instead use UNC shares in the form \\ServerName\ShareName\Folder to index folders on your network, the “address” of that folder is identical for all users on all computers. You can select these UNC shares directly in the Add Folders dialog box when you add new folders to your database.
An IMatch database can be shared between multiple concurrent users in read-only mode. This means that multiple users can open a database at the same time but all functions which change the database will be disabled.
In read-only mode you can browse the database, search for files, view files, open files in other applications etc. But you cannot add or update files, change categories or metadata in this mode. This is basically a browse-only mode.
When a user opens a database in writable mode, no other user can open the database until this user closes the database again. If a user opens a database in read-only mode, IMatch opens the database in read-only mode for other users automatically. A message is displayed to inform the user that the database is in read-only mode.
For your convenience, IMatch remembers if the database was in read-only mode the last time you opened it. When you open the same database later, IMatch asks you if you want to open the database in read-only mode again.
Single User Workflow
If you are the only user of the database, just open it or let IMatch open it automatically at program start. This is the default setting and gives you full control over the contents of your database.
This also works if a database is used by multiple users but not concurrently (at the same time).
If changes need to be made to the database contents (Adding new files, modifying categories or metadata etc.), one user opens the database in writable mode. This locks out other users until the database is closed again.
To use an IMatch database with multiple users at the same time, all users must open the database in read-only mode. To do this, check the Read-only box in the Database Open dialog box (Database Menu > Open command). IMatch remembers this setting and prompts you the next time you open the database if you want to open it in read-only mode again.
You can use standard Windows file system security features to control which users can open the database at all, and in which mode.
- Users without at least read access to the database file cannot open the database.
- Users who have read access to the database file can open it in read-only mode only.
- Users with read and write access to the database file can decide if they want to open the database in writable mode (default) or read-only mode.
You can change the file system permissions for the folder containing the database in Windows Explorer. Note: You usually need administrative privileges to change file-system security settings.
Always control access to the database file via the folder permissions.
IMatch needs to create temporary files and transaction logs in the folder containing the database file at run-time. This will be impossible if you give write access to the database file but only read-only access to the folder containing the database.