Collaborate in a server project

 


When you store your NVivo projects on the server—multiple users can work on them at the same time. This topic explains how NVivo Server supports teamwork.

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How NVivo Server supports teamwork

NVivo Server supports authenticated user access—users are authenticated by their Windows user accounts, so you do not need to manage user passwords inside NVivo.

NVivo Server provides role-based security to control user access to the server and access to the project—refer to Control access to a server project for more information.

The NVivo Server allows simultaneous multi-user access—this means that everyone in your team can work on the same project at the same time. Team members can code, annotate, and link source content at the same time.

Each user can set their own NVivo application preferences—for example, you can choose to hide the waveform in audio/video sources, to use a larger font for viewing dataset sources, or to open nodes in Summary View. Your settings can be different from another user's settings, even when you are both working in the same project.  Refer to Set application options for more information.

NVivo Server 11 can host projects in NVivo for Windows 11, 10 and 9 formats. Projects in NVivo 11 for Windows format cannot be opened with earlier versions of the software. Everyone working in a shared project must be using the same version of NVivo. You can check which version of the software is installed on your computer.

If you are working in more than one team, you may need more than one version of NVivo installed on your computer to support projects in different versions. You will need a valid license for each version of NVivo that you are using.

NVivo Server supports team members working in a shared project using different NVivo editions (NVivo Starter, NVivo Pro and NVivo Plus). A project can be opened in any edition of NVivo, but unsupported features will not be accessible. Refer to Understand product editions for more information.

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Project user profiles in a server project

In a server project, your project user profile is created from your Windows user account—it is not based on your default NVivo user profile. All the work you do in the project is tracked against your project user profile.

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How access to server projects is controlled

Your access to a server project is controlled by the Project Owner (usually the person who created the project). The Project Owner can add you to a project user group that allows you an appropriate level of access to the project.

There are three project user groups in an NVivo project—Readers, Contributors and Project Owners. Each project user group has different permissions for the project:

  • Readers have the least permissions—they can only view the project.

  • Contributors can view and modify the project, but they cannot do 'project management' tasks.

  • Project Owners have the most permissions. They can modify project content and they can perform project management tasks— for example, modify project properties, and manage user access.

Refer to Control access to a server project for more information.

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How NVivo Server manages conflicts between users

When more than one user is working in a project, NVivo Server manages any potential conflicts between the users.

 'Edit mode' ensures that team members do not make conflicting changes to source content. You must have a source open and be in edit mode, if you want to modify the content—for example, edit the text in a document source, or add transcript rows to a video. When you have a source open in edit mode, other users can view the source, but they cannot edit, code, annotate, or link the content.  Edit mode also prevents conflicting changes to maps and reports.

Users can annotate, code and link sources without being in edit mode—any conflicts are resolved by the NVivo Server. For example, if two users try to edit an existing annotation, the first user to complete their changes is successful. The second user's changes are discarded, and the screen is refreshed to show latest version of the annotation.

Similarly, if two users try to change project properties, the first user to complete their changes is successful. The second user's changes are discarded, and the screen is refreshed to show latest version of the project item.

A Project Owner can choose to open a server project exclusively, locking out all other users. This is necessary when importing structure or content from another project. It can also be useful if you are making large scale changes, and want to be certain you can reverse your changes using the undo function.

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When do I see other people's changes to the project?

Using NVivo Server, teams of researchers can collaborate on the same project at the same time.

If you are working in an NVivo Server project, NVivo automatically refreshes your view of the project as you work, so that you can see your team members' latest changes.

When NVivo is 'idle' the workspace does not automatically refresh. NVivo refreshes your workspace whenever you perform common actions such as navigating to a different folder or opening a source or node in Detail View.

To manually refresh your NVivo workspace—click Refresh, in the Workspace group, on the Home tab.

If you attempt to make a change that conflicts with a recent change made by another team member, then NVivo will inform you of the conflict and refresh your workspace so that you can try again.

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When to open the server project exclusively (locking out other users)

If you are a Project Owner, you can open the project exclusively, locking out all other users.

You must open the project exclusively, if you want to import content or structure from another project.

You might want to open the project exclusively, if you want to make large scale changes to the project. In a shared server project, you cannot undo recent actions, when other users have made conflicting changes. Open the project exclusively, if you need to be certain you can undo your changes.

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