Overview: Data Sync

TrialDirector 360 includes a powerful tool, named Data Sync, which allows cases to be stored in a shared location enabling shared case management among team members assigned to a case. With Data Sync enabled, when a case is created it can be stored on a network or shared location that all team members have access to.

There are two major benefits of creating a case and enabling Data Sync for the case:

  1. For Data Sync-enabled cases, team members who are invited to a case can, at the same time:
    • Add parties, issues, designation types, and exhibit labels to the case
    • Invite additional team members to the case
    • Add documents, multimedia, and transcripts to the case
    • Annotate case documents and transcripts
    • Create or import clips, create designations, add notes
    • Run case reports
    • Present the case using the PRESENT module
  2. Data Sync-enabled cases also allow users to disconnect from the network, bring the case files to their local machine, work offline, and then reconnect to the network and synchronize their changes to the case upon reconnecting to the network.

Learn more about how Data Sync works by watching the Data Sync video, below.

Data Sync - Disconnecting and Reconnecting to the Networked Case

A major benefit of Data Sync is the ability to bring files locally, disconnect from the network, make changes offline, and reconnect to the network, synchronizing the changes you made when offline. The following diagram presents an overview of how a user disconnects from the network and reconnects to the network, while the other case team members continue to work on the case. This information is covered in greater detail in the sections that follow .

 

It is crucial that you understand how conflicts are handled when an offline user reconnects to the network after being disconnected and working offline. In this example, the user going offline is the Trial Consultant who disconnected in order to take the case into court and present evidence at trial. Keep in mind that synchronization takes place when the Trial Consultant reconnects to the network. Here's what happens:

  • Items added by Trial Consultant while offline are added to Data Sync Case
  • Items added by Other Team Members while Trial Consultant was offline are now viewable by Trial Consultant
  • Items changed by Other Team Members AND Trial Consultant à Trial Consultant changes are maintained, Other Team Member changes are lost. If the change made by Other Team Members is a change to the item’s ID, when the Trial Consultant reconnects – they will see the changed Item ID
  • DO NOT DELETE CASE ITEMS WHILE THE TRIAL CONSULTANT IS OFFLINE - If the Trial Consultant changes an item while offline, and other team members delete the same item, the Trial Consultant changes are lost because the item no longer exists in the database

Data Sync for Shared Case Management

One crucial concept that you and other team members need to understand when working with Data Sync-enabled cases is that there is no exclusivity or locking happening when you are working on case files or areas of the EVIDENCE module. For example:

  • Multiple users can work in the same explorer (Documents, Transcripts, Clips, etc.) at the same time.
  • Multiple users can edit the same document at the same time.
  • Multiple users can create clips from the same transcript and/or annotate the same transcript at the same time.

Changes to the case are stored at regular intervals. Users are notified when case changes are present by a bell icon in the corner of the screen. Users can choose when to refresh their case view, but the changes are already present behind the scenes. Clicking the bell only refreshes the user's view of the case. For answers to frequently asked questions regarding Data Sync functionality, see FAQs: TrialDirector 360 Data Sync.

Data Sync: Basic Shared Case Management Example (All Team Members Online)

The example which follows describes a typical case and how multiple users contribute case items (transcripts, documents, workbooks, multimedia, etc.) to the case In this example, there are 5 team members subscribed to the case. At this time, all team members are connected online and working on the case. Keep in mind, the users subscribed to the case can have any role in your organization. This is only an example case and group of team members.

  • Sheila (Administrator) - Creates the case and invites several team members to the case.
    • Matt (Administrative Assistant) - Receives an invite to the case and begins adding case items to the case. Matt completes the following tasks in the case:
      • Adds PDFs and images (exhibits A-H) to the case.
    • Tom (Paralegal) - Receives the invite and begins added case items to the case. Tom completes the following tasks in the case.
      • Adds PDFs and images to the case. (exhibits I, J, K)
      • Adds transcripts to the case. (Transcript 1 and Transcript 2)
      • Links transcripts to exhibits that Matt added to the case.(B, G linked to Transcript 1)
      • Links transcript to exhibit he added to the case (K linked to Transcript 1)
      • Creates clips. (T1_1, T2_1, T2_2)
    • Mary (Trial Consultant) - Receives the invite, and invites Max (Trial Consultant) to the case. Mary also completes the following tasks in the case.
      • Adds PDFs and images to the case (exhibits L, M, N)
      • Adds a transcript to the case (Transcript 3)
      • Links transcript to exhibits Matt added to the case. (D linked to Transcript 3)
      • Links transcript to exhibits Tom added to the case. (K linked to Transcript 3)
    • Max (Trial Consultant) - Receives the invite from Mary, another Trial Consultant. Max completes the following tasks in the case.
      • Adds PDFs and images to the case (exhibits O, P, Q)
      • Creates clips from transcript Tom added to the case (Clip T2_3)
      • Creates clips from transcript Mary added to the case (Clip T3_1)

The following diagram provides a basic overview of the case work completed while all 5 team members were working online in the case.

Data Sync: Case Management Example (One User Offline)

Continuing with our previous example, Max, the Trial Consultant, has to go offline (we'll cover his changes while he's offline in a moment). While Max is offline, the other team members continue to make changes to the case.

Sheila (Administrator):

  • Adds PDFs and images (Exhibits R, S)
  • Makes changes to Exhibit A

Matt (Administrative Assistant):

  • Links exhibit N to Transcript 3

Tom (Paralegal)

  • Adds clip from Transcript 1 (Clip 1_2)

Mary (Trial Consultant)

  • Adds Transcript 4
  • Deletes Exhibit P

As stated previously, Max (Trial Consultant) has to go to court. Max opens the case in Case Manager and clicks the Bring Case Data Local button. The case files are copied to his local drive. Max works offline while in court and on the way to court. While he is offline he makes a number of changes to the case.

  • Adds a Quick Mark to Transcript 2
  • Makes changes to Exhibit P
  • Adds a clip from Transcript 2 (Clip 2_3)

The following diagram describes the case work completed while 4 team members were working online in the case and while Max was offline making changes to his local copy of the case.

Data Sync: Case Management Example (Offline User Rejoins the Network)

Continuing with the previous example, Max returns to the office from court and rejoins the network. When Max rejoins the network, the changes he made while offline are automatically synched into the case. When Max's view refreshes, he can also see the changes that were made while he was offline. The following diagram shows Max's changes being synched with the case. A key point to note is the following:

  • Max changed Exhibit P while offline
  • Mary deleted Exhibit P while offline

The changes that Max made to Exhibit P were lost when he synched his case back to the database. If a case item is deleted while a user is offline, and the offline user changes the same case item while offline, the changes made by the offline user are lost because the case item no longer exits in the database. While team members are offline, users that are still connected to the network should NOT delete case items.

Important: Max is now synched up with the Data Sync Enabled Case. If he needs to go offline again, he will need to click the Bring Case Data Local button. When he does so, only the changes since the last time he brought local will be downloaded

More Information about How Deleted Items are Handled

Because shared editing is allowed for the same case item (transcripts, documents, clips, etc.), when one user deletes a case item(document, transcript, clip, etc.) the changes are synchronized every 20 seconds. This means that if another user deletes the transcript that you are actively working on, the next time you attempt to save changes to that transcript you will see an error message that states "Changes could not be saved." When you click the bell icon, and go back to the Transcript Explorer, the item is no longer displayed in the Transcripts Explorer. For answers to common questions regarding Data Sync, see FAQs: TrialDirector 360 Data Sync.

 

Related Topics

Workflow: Disconnect from and Reconnect to a Data Sync Case

FAQs: TrialDirector 360 Data Sync