The EstimatorXpress 2017 January update (v9.05) brings some major new features to EstimatorXpress including an automatic Backup & Sharing folder which automatically backs up your estimates and also allows you to have access to the same estimates from multiple computers. (Sharing is only available if you have additional EstimatorXpress Live licences - see bottom of page for more info)

When you are using EstimatorXpress, the software saves your data into a folder on your local hard disk (usually your C: Drive).  Once you have configured your backup & sharing folder, each time you Close an estimate, the data is also saved to your backup folder.  You can set up this folder on a network, or use a cloud based service such as Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive.

Once you have your sharing folder set up on 2 machines or more, the same estimate can be edited from both machines without the need for repeatedly importing updated versions.  Once the initial import has taken place you can edit the estimate on one computer, close the estimate, and then open the estimate on your other computer and it will contain the changes made.  

In this video we show you how you can quickly set up an automatic backup & sharing folder, and how to then import shared estimates.

Technical Notes regarding the Backup & Sharing Folder

When you set up your backup & sharing folder you should select somewhere that is separate from your computer (other wise it would be a pointless exercise).  The simplest option for Backup only would be an external hard disk, or maybe a large USB memory stick. Using one of these, means that they can be stored separate from your computer thus giving you a reasonable level of data security.  If the external hard disk is not connected when you close an estimate, it simply will not backup the changes.  If you then open the estimate again and close it once more whilst the hard disk IS connected, then the estimate will be backed up.  If you are using the folder for sharing as well, then we would NOT recommend using one of these devices.

Using a network folder is a good option as these tend to be on well supported devices which often have their own further backups.  The other option is to use a Cloud based backup solution such as Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive.  The way these are usually configured is that they actually save the data onto your hard disk and then synchronise themselves with a cloud based backup copy.   This means that the backup can be done instantly by EstimatorXpress and your cloud solution will then synchronise the data up to the cloud when there is an internet connection.  Remember that you need to make sure your cloud backup solution is synchronising - this is not controlled in any way by EstimatorXpress and is purely a function of whichever cloud solution you are using.  Using a network or Cloud folder is of course the best solution for a sharing folder as it should be available to other machines via network connection or internet connection.

The  backup occurs when you click on the Close button from the Job Summary page in an estimate.  If your selected backup folder is not accessible at this time then the backup will not take place; your data will of course still be saved in the usual place on your hard disk.  If you go back into the same estimate at a later date and close it again when your backup folder IS accessible, the estimate will be backed up at that point with any changes that have taken place since the last time the estimate was backed up.

IMPORTANT!  If  you are not connected to the backup & sharing folder then your changes will NOT be seen on any other computers using the share folder.  If you then open up the estimate on a second computer and make changes, they could potentially be overwritten when the first computer links back to the share folder and saves the earlier changes.  We recommend that you always check that your connection to the sharing folder is active - if not, then make any other users aware not to make changes to an estimate that you have worked on.

To be able to open a shared estimate on one computer, it must be closed on any other computers.  You cannot look at an estimate simultaneously on 2 computers. If you attempt to open an estimate that is already open you will receive the follow message (The name and Builder ID will of course be yours).

Note for ProjectXpert Users

In ProjectXpert you can send the modified chart back to EstimatorXpress.  Once you have done this, you will need to go into EstimatorXpress. open the estimate in question and then close it.  This will save the modified chart to your sharing folder.   If you do not do this and the estimate is opened on another computer your chart modifications will not be in the estimate and your changes will be lost.