My future hesitation with Rise - File Corrupted

Hey folks, 

I'm going to share my current experience. Work for a top 5 fortune 500 company and we've decided to select rise as a primary program. As we work on a multi-million dollar project using Rise with multiple teams, 3 lessons in a module just don't load. They ask to take control and it hangs.

Now my concern is this. One point of the cloud is protection from such issues. After numerous chats, QA is looking into it. Now not the best timing as we get set to present in 2 days, the 3 very lessons that are in limbo. In reality, this sort of thing can never happen with the cloud, it will kill software like this. Getting skeptical on this....

21 Replies
Matthew Bibby

This is why it is essential to have a solid backup strategy.

File corruption can happen at any time (regardless of the software used), so it is best to have both on site and off site backups. The last time I had a corruption issue with Storyline (SL2, a year or so ago) I only lost an hours work as I was able to roll back to the last good backup.

Obviously, this doesn't help with Rise as there is no source file, but I trust that Articulate has a good backup strategy in place.

Chris Wirick
Interestingly enough, it was my "solid backup strategy" that was blamed by Articulate as a possible cause for the corruption. I keep all my development files in Dropbox for redundant local/online storage. I was told by Articulate not to do that. ???

I'd never before used a product that was compromised by using Dropbox. Not until I used Articulate 360. After my corruption issues, which caused a lot of non-billable re-work and professional embarrassment (sorry Mr. Client, I have to redo a bunch of work on my own dime, but our timeline will slip), I went to a very kludgy solution where I worked my files locally, saved, then uploaded a copy manually to Dropbox on a regular basis (no, that's NOT how online backup is supposed to work). Add to that the fact Storyline would crash on me on a fairly-frequent basis, again creating non-billable re-work, and the entire experience was a bit nightmarish. The client decided to go elsewhere for future projects, and how can I blame him? :(

Of note is the fact my file corruption issues did not entirely disappear after I stopped working them directly from Dropbox, nor after severing all Windows<>Mac connections within my Parallels VM (as also recommended by Articulate).

The corruption problem cost me a lot of $$$ at the time and potentially cost me a lot of $$$ in the future due to a lost client.
Matthew Bibby

Obviously, this doesn't help with Rise as there is no source file, but I trust that Articulate has a good backup strategy in place.

Well, like they say, once bitten twice shy. I've not yet used Rise, but I can say my trust level will not be very high, having to rely entirely on Articulate to maintain the integrity of my files. (And the OP's experience appears to confirm my fears.)

Matthew Bibby

Hey New Mavens,

I agree that it is frustrating that we can't work on our source files in Dropbox, but Articulate has made it clear from day one that Storyline files should only be worked on from a local drive

I'm not sure why this is, but once you understand the limitation it isn't that hard to account for. For example, you could use software like Hazel (Mac only, but sure there is similar for Windows) to make a copy of your file and add it to Dropbox each hour or so.

That being said, I understand your frustration and it really sucks that this issue cost you so much time and money.

For the record, here is my backup strategy:

  • I have a Drobo 5D with a total of 64TB storage attached to my main computer. Half of this is used to backup my whole computer (in such a way that if my Mac dies, I can plug any Mac into the Drobo and boot back into my system in under 5 minutes) and the other half are redundant drives which contain a clone of the backup drives (just in case one of the hard drives dies).
  • I use Time Machine on my Mac to create incremental backups (with versioning) so I can easily roll back to an old project file if needed. 
  • I use BackBlaze to backup all of my files online. This means that if my house burns down or I get robbed, I'll still be able to access all of my files. It also means that I can easily access any of my files on my phone etc. while away from home.

While this is a Mac-centric approach, similar can be achieved in Windows. In my opinion, Dropbox isn't a solid backup strategy by itself. See here for just one example of why you shouldn't rely on Dropbox alone. This applies to all of these kinds of services... I'd say the same about BackBlaze. While BackBlaze has worked perfectly for me for years, I still wouldn't advise anyone to rely on it 100%.

I don't use Rise either as I have no need for it. But I do trust Articulate to manage Rise projects appropriately. Every time I've seen someone post about a corruption issue with Rise, it has been resolved promptly by Articulate.

Chris Wirick

I’ve not used Hazel, I’ll check it out. I’m also Mac-based. 

I do use Time Machine for backups as well as Dropbox. The problem is when Time Machine backs up your virtual machine, it doesn’t seem to do it in a way that allows you easy access to individual files that reside on your VM. And Articulate told me to turn off all the sharing functions in Parallels, so I can’t store my files in a shared Mac/Windows directory (which would work fine with Time Machine).

I used to have Backblaze but thought I’d just use Dropbox for my offsite storage, since I was already paying for it. I also have a OneDrive account with my Office subscription and thought about trying to use that to redundantly back up my Dropbox files   .

I have always wanted a Drobo but have yet to part with the $$$ to get one.

I’m curious what about Articulate software makes it a no-go with Dropbox. As I mentioned, I’ve never had an issue with Dropbox-stored files for any other application. What makes Articulate stuff so delicate?

Matthew Bibby

Hazel is a very handy tool. I've used it for a bunch of different workflows over the years. Although these days I mostly use Alfred workflows. 

You are right about Time Machine and VM's. Virtual machines are treated as a single file in Mac OS so each time you change a file, Time Machine would want to back up the whole VM so by default Time Machine excludes them.

I use VMWare Fusion instead of Parallels and have a shared folder enabled. I don't ever work on Storyline files from the shared folder, but do use it to pass files to Mac OS so that they can be backed up properly. You could use a tool such as File Juggler to automate this process on the Windows side of things.

And yes, Drobo's are prohibitively expensive, especially once you factor in the cost of all of the hard drives, inc. a SSD for the accelerator bay. But it's a business expense for me and I suspect the time that it has saved me when things go wrong would have covered the cost by now. 

No idea why Articulate software doesn't work well with network drives. Hopefully, someone from Articulate can clarify why this is. It's definitely not just an Articulate thing, I've seen this apply to other software as well.

Justin Grenier

Great conversation, all!  It's an issue of both network latency and path length.

As in:  F:\My Projects\Today's Project\Long Project Name.story actually means \\MYDOMAIN\MYSERVER\MYSTAFF\MYDRIVE\MYPROFILE\My Projects\Today's Project\Long Project Name.story (and often much worse).  Long path names are really difficult for most applications to deal with, and while open, .story projects themselves are made up of many nested levels of organized content.

Matthew is correct that both Flash and Captivate have prohibited working from a network drive for quite a long time as well.

Chris Wirick
Justin Grenier

Great conversation, all!  It's an issue of both network latency and path length.

As in:  F:\My Projects\Today's Project\Long Project Name.story actually means \\MYDOMAIN\MYSERVER\MYSTAFF\MYDRIVE\MYPROFILE\My Projects\Today's Project\Long Project Name.story (and often much worse).  Long path names are really difficult for most applications to deal with, and while open, .story projects themselves are made up of many nested levels of organized content.

Matthew is correct that both Flash and Captivate have prohibited working from a network drive for quite a long time as well.

Yes, but in the case of Dropbox it should just be referencing the local file that resides on your hard drive. Dropbox may be syncing that file as a duplicate to an online location, but what difference should that make to Articulate?

Justin Grenier

Agreed, Chris.  Dropbox is a tougher nut to crack, and we're not exactly sure why we've seen it cause so many problems for folks.  Instinct says that it should help (not hurt) your backup strategy.

It could be that Dropbox isn't great at knowing when Storyline has a file open, and so it's causing damage by attempting the backup of an in-progress project.  ...or it could be vice-versa--that Storyline needs to do a better job of signaling that a file is in use so that other applications don't try to meddle with your content.  It could be something else entirely.  In any case, it's something we have an eye on, and we're always looking to improve if we can isolate the root cause!

Phil Mayor

Not really a help, I have used Dropbox on my Mac with file sharing switched on since original beta of Storyline 1 never had a corrupt file yet. I also keep my Parallels VM on a separate external SSD with Dropbox on another SSD, so Storyline probably thinks they are network drives because of the way sharing works.

McKesson User

Been around since the beginning of storyline and I have my own workflow. I migrated to rise for a number of reasons, one being cloud based. I keep a simple frame of mind, if I pay for a cloud service, it's their responsibility to keep it secure and safe. If it breaks, they fix it. My initial issue at the front of this was fixed within a few hours, kudos to the rise team.

Working with development files (i.e. AI files, storyline files, etc), I never store on a network. That business has corrupted an absurd amount of files in the past. So I do mid-point copies as backups throughout a day of processing. Needless to say, I have an 0 corruptions in the last five years.