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Citavi team

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Citavi team

Postby slaterish » 2017-02-14 13:03

System information: [ Citavi Version 5.x Beta, Windows 10, English, Firefox 43 or newer, MS Office 2016, Acrobat DC ]

I've got a very small research team - 3-4 depending on project.
We want to share a Citavi project and all have Citavi licenses.
At the moment we simply all use a project which is located on Dropbox and we each download it to our local HDDs to use. This is clearly not good for all kinds of reasons, but mainly because one of us then has to sync them all...
I obviously want to use Citavi Team. As I understand it this cannot be used with Dropbox and similar.
I have therefore bought a seagate personal cloud because the Citavi manual says you can use Citavi Team 'on a Windows network share (LAN) that all team members have access to', or - a few lines below - on a 'network drive'.
However as soon as two people try to use it, and then refresh it, it crashes and the whole database has to be repaired.
If a shared NAS on a local network is NOT a 'network drive' can you please tell me what is? And if it is a network drive, can you please tell me how to make it work??

I've spelled this out in detail because I have now spent days trying to make Citavi Team work for a small team, and if it can't support a team I shouldn't have bought it, but I can't now get out of it because we can't export our notes to Endnote (see my other thread.....) which would allow us to shared the bibliography as a team

Re: Citavi team

Postby Sebastian Pabel » 2017-02-14 14:29


While a local consumer NAS is in general a "network drive" in the sense that data can be stored and read by all members of the network, it needn't be a network share in the sense that it is safe to store a SQLite database on it.

Citavi Projects are file based SQLite databases. In order for multi user access to work properly, every time user A makes a change in the project, this change must be written to the file and during this time the file must be locked, i.e. made inaccessible, to all other team members, so that no-one can make a change at the same time. This lock is realised on the file system level. In effect it's a bit like setting the project file "read-only" for the very short time the change is actually written. Once the new data is safely inside the file, the lock is removed.

There are many modes of access to files on network shares. Some of them don't support this file locking procedure properly. Additionally, all major operating systems have their own file systems and there are specialised ones for networks as well. Not all of them do what Citavi expects them to do.

The one safe combination is SMB/CIFS as protocol (i.e. a Windows network share) and NTFS as file system. With this, file locking should always work. With protocols like WebDAV or incomplete Samba implementations things are quite certain to go awry.

Moreover, there are consumer NAS systems with special features like cloud integration, that take the Dropbox issue from the local computer to the network share.

I couldn't find any specifications of the Seagate Personal Cloud, so I can't say whether it can be configured in a way that it provides a reliable SMB/CIFS share.

Best regards

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Re: Citavi team

Postby slaterish » 2017-02-15 10:17

I have checked the settings for the Seagate Personal Cloud: it has the SMB protocol selected as a windows ‘file service’. The status indicator shows that it is turned on. But TEam sharing still crashes.

What do I do now?

I'm actually extemely upset: You advertise Citavi as a ‘Team’ software. The manual and other published information say that it will work with a windows drive share. It is very far from clear that it won’t work with most drive shares and that one needs to check protocols (and in fact I’ve got the right protocol it seems and it still doesn’t work). At the very least Citavi needs to give very very explicit instructions and provisos online about the severe limitations on any possibility of file sharing - ie, the problem is not just about compatibility with Dropbox but with sharing on pretty much any network drive.

My research team has all their notes in Citavi, as well as references. We have just been informed that we cannot get these into Endnote without a laborious process that no one has time for of pasting each individual one into thousands of Endnote records from a Citavi text export – so we are locked into Citavi effectively but cannot share it as advertised.

So – can you please help us make the damned thing work as advertised.

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