Using a Laptop in a Networked Environment (Aurora Only)

This document shows you how to best use WinTOTAL Aurora on a laptop when working in a networked environment. You'll see how to make sure reports, contacts, billing, and tracking information stays consistent across the entire network.

Document 5080  |  Last updated:  03/05/2017 MJY

Using WinTOTAL on a Laptop with Your Network

Since laptops need to be used off the network, you shouldn’t install WinTOTAL from the network server as described in the WinTOTAL Aurora Networking Guide. Doing so would cause WinTOTAL to not be able to run when the laptop was disconnected from the network!  Instead, a laptop needs its own “local” installation. And while you can’t take it all with you on the road, most customers can get all the important data they need on their mobile desktop by combining file cabinet features with XSite synchronizing.

XSites have special features to synchronize contacts, orders, status, billing and tracking information so they can stay consistent.

Other databases stored on your server, such as your comps database, quicklists, images, etc, can’t be synchronized. However, our “Exact” product will let you copy these settings from your server to your laptop if desired. Go to for more information. Your network and laptop file cabinets are separate, but WinTOTAL has functionality for copying files between the two when you’re on the network. This is explained next.

Attaching a Directory to Copy Files to/from the Network

Once installed, you could use a special “attach directory” feature in the file cabinet to access files from the networked installation.

  1. First, you need to create a folder in your network version of WinTOTAL that can be used to share files with your laptop installations. To do so, run WinTOTAL from any permanent workstation, or from the server. In the Appraisal Desktop, right-click the Reports folder and choose New. Give the folder a name — “Laptop Share,” for example — and click OK.


  2. Next, connect your laptop — with WinTOTAL already installed to its “C” drive — to your network. Once connected, map a drive letter to the WinTOTAL directory on your server if you haven’t already. For example, map drive W: to \\server\alamode.

    If you haven't already configured WinTOTAL for your networking environment, you won't be able to complete this step.

  3. Now, to build the link between your laptop‘s WinTOTAL and the new shared folder on your network, launch WinTOTAL on the laptop.
  4. From the Appraisal Desktop, choose the Attach directory option from the Folder menu.
  5. When the Attach Directory screen appears, ensure the option for This computer only is selected, then click Browse.
  6. Navigate to the mapped drive for your networked installation of WinTOTAL (W:\WinTOTAL, for example), then, open the Files folder. Locate the subfolder that corresponds to the folder you created in the network version of WinTOTAL. For example, if you created a folder called “Laptop Share,” you’ll find a folder called “LAPTOPSH.FLD.”


    To maintain compatibility with some older systems and networks, WinTOTAL shortens folder names to 8 characters.
  7. Select the appropriate folder and click OK to return to the Attach Directory screen, and then click OK again.
  8. Now, type a name for your shared folder. Use something similar to — or even the same as — the folder name on your network drive, so you can easily reference that folder when you need it.
  9. Click OK and your new folder will appear your laptop’s folder list.

Using Your Laptop Share

Now that your laptop is ready for use with your network, here’s a brief description of how you might use them together.

Moving a Network Report to Your Laptop Share

Here’s how to move a file to the shared folder on your network:

  1. Open WinTOTAL on a permanent station attached to your network.
  2. Next, in the Appraisal Desktop, locate the report or reports you wish to open on your laptop.
  3. Now, just drag the reports into your shared folder, “Laptop Share,” for example. Once there, these files will be available to any laptop user who has attached a local folder to this network folder.

Getting the File into Your Laptop

Here’s how to get the file from the network to your laptop:

  1. Open WinTOTAL on your laptop while it’s connected to your network.
  2. Next, from the Appraisal Desktop, click on the attached folder, “Laptop Share,” for example.

Any reports you moved to this folder on your network should appear in the folder. Select the desired reports and drag them to a regular folder in your laptop’s file cabinet.

Now the report is on your laptop and ready for you to edit. It’s important to note that reports in attached folders must be copied to a regular folder before editing ‑ you can’t edit them directly from the attached folder.

Moving the Report Back to Your Network

Once you’re finished working with the reports on your laptop, just reverse these steps to move them back to your network.

  1. Open WinTOTAL on your laptop while it’s connected to the network.
  2. Copy the report(s) from the folder in your file cabinet to the attached directory that shows in your laptop’s file cabinet.

Now, when you go to one of your permanently attached workstations, you should see the files in the “Laptop Share” folder.

Notice that by dragging the report files from one folder to another, you MOVE them, rather than creating copies. This is important to ensure that users on your network do not modify the same reports while you’re working on them on the laptop. If that happens, you stand the chance of losing the changes made on one side or the other.

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