Cloud Storage Terminology Question

Hello DONATION advisors. We are finally getting to programming the cloud storage option that has been discussed in previous blogs, most recently https://donationusers.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/cloud-storage-details/.

It occurred to me to wonder whether the terminology we were using was ideal for all users. The particular wording I’m wondering about is talking about “getting a reservation” on the database when you start the program, and “releasing the reservation” when you exit.

Getting a reservation refers to what you (or your program!) does in this new storage option to specify that you are going to be using the database, and nobody else can do so until you release it. After that, the latest Internet database backup is downloaded to your computer for you to work on. When you exit, your modified database us uploaded as an Internet backup, then the reservation is released so another user can use it. The “official” copy of the database is always the latest Internet backup, or the one on one user’s computer that they have the reservation for.

At first I thought that wording using “reservation” was clear, because everyone knows about things like restaurant or travel reservations. But those are always for things in the future, whereas what we are talking about is something immediate.

Would “taking ownership” and “releasing ownership” of the database be clearer? Or introduce other possible confusions?

Any other wording ideas for that concept? Thanks.

13 thoughts on “Cloud Storage Terminology Question

  1. Hi Dan

    I’m fascinated by this discussion. I thought you had a multi-user version of Donation, in which case locking the files with uploads and downloads shouldn’t really be a problem as the data could be access from the cloud and the program lock at record level?

    Anyway for what its worth most collaboration cloud-based software uses terms like “Download” and “Download & Lock” – but of course they allow you to work on the file online

    John Dolman 519 841 5694

    • Thanks, John. We do have a multi-user network version, but it’s designed for local area networks, and allows multiple simultaneous users. While it’s possible to set it up to run over the Internet, it’s complex, and can be slow.

      The cloud storage solution is basically a major improvement over the “Transfer your Data between Computers” mechanism used by many users who have multiple installs but just one database that they copy around and take turns with. It avoids the danger of them losing track of who has the current “official” copy and having two people make simultaneous changes to different copies of the database, which then can’t be merged.

      I sort of like the “lock” word, except that someone might think that if they have the database locked, that means even they can’t make changes to it!

  2. Dan… Either of those terms works for me. Also “taking over” or “assuming control” and “releasing” would describe the situation well. Glad to hear this option is still on the table and forthcoming!

  3. Dan:
    What you are proposing is the same as Sage Drive where the database is stored in the cloud, downloaded when in use and then updated when released. There can only be one user at a time as the active database is on only one computer and all others are locked out.
    I have found that it does not matter what words are used as there will always be someone who does not understand. I prefer the words similar to “assuming control” and “releasing control”. Although I am open to any wording.
    This will definitely benefit some of my clients as we have had the wrong copy updated on a few occasions.
    Thanks
    Clyde

    • Great, thanks Clyde. I was aware of a couple of other vendors that did similar things, but with whole programs, but their offerings never quite worked for our needs. I will check into Sage Drive, which I was not aware of. (Perhaps it’s only for use within Sage products, as opposed to a separable feature.)

      • Yes, it is available only for the Sage 50 CDN program at this time. But the concept is great. Always accessible data.

    • I just read about Sage Drive. I think it may allow simultaneous access (though only one in the “Manager” role) so I guess that means it’s a somewhat different approach.

      • Not available as I understand it with simultaneous access for the Canadian Products at this time. Yes, it is coming and it is available in other parts of the globe.

  4. May I suggest “taking possession” and “releasing posession” as possible wording. It is more immediiate than the reservation concept.

    • Thanks Michael, but I think that might be a bit too long a phrase. I’m also worried that people might take the word “locking” to mean that they couldn’t edit any data! As I think an earlier commenter said, any phrase we use will have the potential to be misunderstood, so we are just picking something that we hope will be the least misunderstood.

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