To share your tools or data across a LAN, you need to share the folder containing your toolbox or data so it can be accessed using a UNC pathname. Sharing a folder across the LAN is a common practice. To share a folder, right-click the folder in either ArcCatalog or Windows Explorer, click Properties, click the Sharing tab, and choose Share this Folder, as shown below.
There are three basic ways to access toolboxes and data that are found in a shared folder.
- In ArcCatalog, use the Connect to Folder tool found on the ArcCatalog standard toolbar.
- In ArcCatalog, type in the UNC pathname in the Location combo box, as shown below.
- Anytime you add data to a model or map document, or browse to data in a tool dialog, the Connect to Folder tool is available in the Add Data dialog box.
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, then you have two basic methods for making your data accessible:
- Use the ToolShare folder structure, place your data in the ToolData folder, and use the Store relative path names option for tools and map documents. With this method, the data is stored relative to the model or map document. When a user on the LAN connects to the ToolShare folder, the data is found relative to the folder. (If a user wants a copy of your model or map document, they need to copy the entire ToolShare folder in order to get a copy of the data.)
- Share the folder containing the data so it can be accessed using a UNC pathname, then ensure that all references to data in your model or map document use this UNC pathname.