What is a Workspace File and How do I Use it?

In Maptitude 2019, the main file type that your work is saved in was improved. Most of your work will now be saved in Workspaces instead of Map files. This improvement will have major benefits in nearly all parts of the software, especially for file management and sharing among large organizations.

It is important to note several important points to begin:

Why Workspaces instead of Maps?

In Maptitude 2019, we moved to using Workspaces instead of maps as the main file type to more accurately represent how our users were interacting with the software. In a similar way to how Microsoft Excel has Workbooks instead of individual sheets, we found that our users often had a more project-driven approach and the ability to include multiple maps and tables into one file made more sense.

If your project just has one map then you can obviously save a Workspace with just that map, but if you want to add a table or a layout or chart to the project, the Workspace approach makes that easier to manage.

Compressed Workspaces (*.wrkz) vs Uncompressed Workspaces (*.wrk)

Probably the biggest improvement for Maptitude 2019 was the inclusion of Compressed Workspaces. In past versions of Maptitude, in addition to each map being saved separately, each layer created in that map saved several files to the users’ computer, all of which were necessary to send the map to another user. This made sharing difficult as well as causing Desktops or Documents folders to fill up with excess files.

In Maptitude 2019, we introduced the ability to save your projects as a Compressed Workspace. The advantages of Workspaces over maps was discussed above, but there is a second, larger advantage of Compressed Workspaces, which is the elimination of excess layer files. If you choose to save your project as a Compressed Workspace that will be the only file that is created for that entire project. As well as reducing the number of files saved to your project folder, it also eliminates the need to share multiple files with other users. You can just share the single Workspace file and all the information needed for your work is in that one file.
Certain users brought up that they prefer the system of having individual layer files saved separately. This can be useful in situations where saving individual layer files that can be updated independently was necessary. An example case might be a situation where a layer is updated daily by one user and placed onto a shared network drive. If this layer were added to a Compressed Workspace, the layer would not update since the layer is saved locally. In this case, there are three options:
  • The user updating the layer could save a Compressed Workspace to the network and then the other users can save a copy of that updated Workspace daily
  • The users could return to the old behavior of working with layer files by saving their Workspaces as Uncompressed Workspaces. See How do I Choose the Type of Workspace I am Saving?
  • There is a hybrid option where the workspaces being used are still Compressed Workspaces, but individual layer files can be saved so that they are not saved inside the workspace file. This means that the layer will update in the map if the file is updated. This is done by saving the layer file as a CDF layer and is discussed further in How do I Make a Layer in my Compressed Workspace its Own File?
Note that the above discussion is about the layer file (*.dbd) being updated. This has nothing to do with the Update Linked Records feature, and you are still able to use Update Linked Records with Compressed or Uncompressed Workspaces. For details on Linked Records, see: https://www.caliper.com/learning/media/linking-and-updating-data/

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