Working From Home


Understand the key considerations when working from home to avoid file conflicts and other possible issues.

SpoolFab Folder Structure

Typically all data is stored in a folder called SFClients, to which everyone has access. Suppose there are two clients, Smith Company and Jones Company. For Smith Company there are two jobs, in folders called SMITH001 and SMITH002. The Data folder does not represent a client, it contains master files holding information such as available material names, dimensions, fitting descriptions, and the images used to represent items on drawings. For many users, there is only one Data folder and it is the basis for all jobs.

In the sample SFClients folder below, there are two client folders and four job folders. No two jobs should have the same folder name.

Each job folder is structured as follows:

How Drawings are Stored

FAB drawing 000001 is stored in a file called 000001.apf. This file is overwritten/updated each time you resave a drawing. During saving or resaving, several of the job’s database files are also updated, one each for Items, Welds, AutoLabor, and Extra Labor. The FabStatus or InstStatus file is also updated. Drawing files should not be renamed as this makes them inaccessible to SpoolFab.

Most Database Files are Dispensable

The Item, Weld, AutoLabor, and Extra Labor files are just summaries of what is in the drawing files. If these files are lost or become corrupted, they can be recreated by batch resaving all drawings in the job.

Using SpoolFab at the Office

You can install SpoolFab on multiple machines in your office and have all the machines access the same key and save to a common SFClients folder. You should just make sure that two users are not creating or modifying the same drawing at the same time. This is usually accomplished by assigning each user a specific range of control numbers to work on.

Using SpoolFab at Home or on Site

If you make a copy of the SFClients folder and you have access to one of the purple keys, you will be able to create and edit drawings independently. If you do this, you first need to make sure that you do not create drawings with control numbers that already exist or that might be created by others.

Contributing Your Home-Based Work to the Main SFClients Folder

Suppose you have worked at home on job SMITH001 and created 100 new FAB drawings, numbers 000111 to 000210. You have also modified existing drawings 000105 and 000106. When you get back to the office, you need to copy files 000111.apf through 000210.apf plus the two you modified, and paste them into the Fabrication folder of the corresponding job. If you include other files as well, it does not matter as long as no-one made edits to them while you were away.

After pasting the apf files into the Fabrication folder, you will need to resave those drawings so that their items, welds, auto labor and extra labor are included in the database files. Resaving will also add these drawings to the Status table, where they will be available for use in reports.

How to Select a Group of Drawings for Batch Resave

Assuming you have pasted those 102 apf files into the Fabrication folder ofSMITH001, you can select them for batch resave as follows:

Get into Fabrication drawings and select File, Make New List. Select all 102 files. As in Windows, use Shift-click to select groups of files and Ctrl-click to select individual files.

Batch Resaving the Selected Drawings

To run the batch resave, Select File, Batch Operation and check the Resave box as shown below. Then hit Proceed and wait for the batch resave to complete. Each drawing is loaded and saved in turn.

Once the batch resave is complete, you will be able to create item reports, weldreports etc. that include the drawings you added.