Basics of the Synchronize Operation

How does the synchronization operation work behind the scenes?

The synchronize operation of the Media Gallery Manager (MGM) enables to quickly upload lots of images in a maintained folder structure. It is not necessary to walk through the tree structure and select all images that should be uploaded.

To successfully use the synchronize operation without hassle it is useful to understand the design principles of the synchronize operation and how a folder structure on a local harddrive maps to a structure of groups and galleries on Zenfolio.

Differences of local folders and the Zenfolio tree structure

On the local harddrive the images are usually organized in a tree structure of folders. Each folder can contain images and/or subfolders. Zenfolio organizes the images in a tree structure of groups and galleries. A Group can contain galleries and groups, while galleries can contain photos. Groups can be seen as nodes in the tree structure while galleries are leafs. On the local harddrive a folder can contain a mixture of subfolders and image files.

During synchronization MGM creates groups and galleries according the following rules:
  1. If a local folder contains one or several subfolders but no image files, a group is created on Zenfolio. The name of the group is copied from the name of the folder.
  2. If a local folder contains only image files but no subfolder a gallery is created. The name of the folder is copied to the title of the gallery.
  3. If a local folder contains image files and at least one subfolder, that folder is a node in the tree structure and therefore a group is created in the Zenfolio-structure. Due to a group can not contain photos a special gallery is created with the default title "Photos". All image files directly stored in that folder are uploaded into the "Photos"-gallery. The subfolder will be created as group or gallery depending on his child elements.
  4. If a folder in the local tree structure is empty this folder is omitted by the synchronize operation on default.

Synchronization and comparison rules

This chapter describes the synchronization mechanism and the rules how MGM maps the folder tree structure on a local harddrive to a structure of groups and galleries on the Zenfolio account during remote synchronization (or upload synchronization). The same mechanism and rules applies in a similar manner for the reverse direction during local synchronization (or download synchronization).
  1. During synchronization all image files of type JPEG, TIFF, PNG or GIF are supported. These are the file types that are currently supported by Zenfolio. Files of any other type are ignored.
  2. MGM's synchronization operation never deletes a photo or original image file, neither from the Zenfolio account nor from the local harddrive. Currently it is not possible to re-upload an image file using MGM, though this might be an option in the future.
  3. During synchronization the names of the files and folders on the local harddrive are mapped to element names and titles on the Zenfolio account, like the following:
    • folder name <--> name of group / title of gallery
    • file name <--> original file name of photo
  4. The synchronization operation always compares the tree path relative to the selected source folder and target group. E.g. The folder "session1" is a subfolder of the local path /Pictures/shoot1/, so that we have a source tree path of /Pictures/shoot1/session1/. On Zenfolio the path /Galleries/group1/shoot1 is existing as hierarchy of groups. The shoot1 group is empty. If we select the local folder "shoot1" as the source folder and "shoot1" on Zenfolio side as the target folder then the synchronization operation will create a new gallery "session1" as a child of the "shoot1" group on Zenfolio side and upload all images contained in the local "session1" folder to the gallery "session1" on the Zenfolio account. On the other hand, if we would select the "Pictures" folder as the source and the "Galleries" gallery as the target then a new group "shoot1" will be created as a child of "Galleries" and a new gallery "session1" as a child of "shoot1". So that we get a final path /Galleries/shoot1/session1/ on Zenfolio in parallel to the existing path /Galleries/group1/shoot1/. The later group remains empty and the images contained in the local "session1" folder will be uploaded to /Galleries/shoot1/session1/.
  5. If a synchronization is started without having selected a target group explicitly, MGM maps the hierarchy of parents of the selected source folder to the group structure on the Zenfolio account starting with the top level group (usually called "All Photographs" if the name of the group has not been changed by the user). The result of this mapping can be reviewed in the start synchronization dialog that appears after pressing the "Synchronize Remote" (or "Synchronize Local") button. If the determined target group is not the one you want to have the synchronization done to, abort the synchronization by pressing the "Cancel"-button in the "Start Synchronization"-dialog. Then select the desired source folder and target group and start the synchronization again.

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