Sharing and connecting to UNC paths

Sharing a folder as a UNC path

To share your tools or data across an LAN, you need to share the folder containing your toolbox or data so it can be accessed using a UNC path.

Sharing a folder across the LAN is a common practice. To share a folder, right-click the folder in the Catalog window, click Properties, click the Sharing tab, then choose Share this Folder.

Connecting to an existing UNC path

There are three basic ways to access toolboxes and data that are found in a shared folder:

Creating documents and models that use UNC paths

If you are creating a model or map document that is to be accessed by others on your LAN, data within the model or map document must also be accessible across the LAN. If the data resides on your computer, you have two basic methods for making your data accessible:

The illustration below shows data in a model that is to be accessed by others on an LAN. The model resides in D:/MyTools and the data resides in E:/MyData. Since the model and data are on different disks, relative paths cannot be used. For the data to be found on the LAN, it must be referenced by a UNC path.

Use UNC paths to data in a model

Like data in a model, layers in a shared map document must also use UNC paths for the data to be found on the LAN, as illustrated below.

Map layer using UNC path

When you are building your model or map document, you need to add data by browsing or connecting to your shared folder (\\cogitator\MyData) as opposed to the local folder (E:\MyData). This way, the UNC path is stored rather than an absolute path.

All you need to do is to share the folder containing the data as described above, then browse to this folder when adding data. To facilitate browsing, you can add a connection to the shared folder in the Catalog window by clicking the Connect To Folder tool Connect To Folder and entering the UNC path to the shared folder (\\cogitator\MyData in this example). This will add another entry to your Catalog tree.

Two folders - one local, one UNC

Now when you add data, you browse to this UNC path and the UNC path will be stored in the model or document.

Related Topics

Published 6/7/2010