DocuShare User's Guide
5. DocuShare Files
Overview

Adding Files to DocuShare Viewing File Properties

Editing File Properties

Deleting a File

Retrieving a Deleted File

View Files in HTML

Editing the Location of a File

Managing Files through Versioning and Locking

Working with Files

Table of Contents     DocuShare Collections     DocuShare Calendars

Overview

DocuShare allows you to store and manage documents in many popular file formats and access those files via a World Wide Web (WWW) connection.

DocuShare provides a repository on an internal network server that is accessed through a Web browser. You can add files to this repository from your computer. Conversely, you can also download copies of these files from the repository and open or save them to your computer. You can manage access to these files by other users by setting user access permissions. You can also delete files from the repository, manage multiple document revisions, and lock files for safe collaborative authoring.

Because DocuShare provides this web-based repository, you can access, transfer and share files between groups located within an internal network. All the users need to use the DocuShare file repository is a properly configured Web browser and access to the internal network.

Files are downloaded from the DocuShare repository simply by clicking on the filename. If your browser is properly configured to open a file of this application type, the file's native application will open and the file will be displayed. You can then choose to save the file to your own computer, print out a copy from the application, or just view the file and close it when finished.

Note: Downloading does not transfer the actual file to your computer, only a copy. The original copy of the file remains in the DocuShare repository until it is deleted.

The DocuShare server comes with default settings to accept a variety of popular application file types, including:

DocuShare
Icon

Application

File Extensions

Microsoft Word

.doc, .dot

Microsoft Excel

.xls

Microsoft PowerPoint

.ppt

Microsoft Access

.mdb

Microsoft Project

.mpp

Adobe Acrobat (pdf)

.pdf

PostScript

.ps

Visio

.vsd

Compressed Files (zip)

.zip

Image File formats

.gif, .jpg, .pct

Rich Text Format (rtf)

.rtf

Executable files

.exe

Text or HTML files

.txt, .htm, .html

Note: This may not be a complete list of application file types or extensions for your particular DocuShare site. Contact your Site Administrator for a complete listing.

DocuShare only provides a repository for these file types. Because you are using a Web browser to access the files in this repository, it is the configuration of your Web browser that controls how these files are handled. They can be opened within the browser or application window or saved directly to your computer. For most of the proprietary application formats listed in the previous table, your Web browser requires helper applications to view these files properly. In most cases, these are the same applications that were originally used to create these files. Your browser must be configured to use these helper applications to view these files. This is essential for successful use of DocuShare.

For example, your browser may be configured to open the application Microsoft Word whenever you download a file that has the extension of ".doc". Your browser may also be configured to automatically save any file that has the extension of ".exe" or ".zip". To ensure that your browser is properly configured for these applications, see the section Helper_Applications in Chapter 1 for more details.

Windows Users have the option of utilizing the Windows Client and ODMA Client to view, manage, and edit DocuShare files directly from Explorer or editor applications. See Chapter 11, DocuShare Windows Client and Chapter 12, DocuShare ODMA Client for more information on these options.


Adding Files to DocuShare

You can add a file to any collection in DocuShare to which you have at least Writer access permissions. You must also be logged in to DocuShare to add a file.

New or edited files are sent (or uploaded) to the DocuShare repository using three different methods:

Use (or non-use) of the File UpHelper application is controlled by the "Use Helper for Upload" user property. See "DocuShare Users" in Chapter 2 for more details on this setting.

Adding a File to DocuShare using a Web Browser

To add (or upload) a file to the DocuShare repository using a web browser, you must be using a file upload enabled web browser (Netscape 2.0 or above) and your "Use Helper for Upload" attribute in User Properties must be set to either When Necessary or Never. You must be logged in to DocuShare and have at least Writer access permissions to the collection.

To add a file to DocuShare using a Web Browser:

  1. In the collection where you want to add the file, select Add File from the Add... pull-down menu. The Add File page appears.

  2. Click the Browse button. The Browse dialog appears.
    Note: If the Browse button is not displayed on this page, your Web browser cannot upload files. You must use the DocuShare File UpHelper to upload files.

  3. Browse for the file on your computer and select the file to add. You may need to adjust the files types drop down box to view your selected file type. Click Open or Accept. The path to the file is displayed in the File field.

  4. Fill out the fields on the Add File page. Refer to the table below for descriptions of each field.
    Note: While adding this file, if you are unsure of the purpose of a field, you can click on the highlighted field name for a brief Help description of the field.

  5. Click Apply.

The Add File page has the following properties:

Property

Description

Document

Specifies the path and name of the file you want to upload from a local or network drive to DocuShare. This is a required field.

Title

Specifies the title for the new file. The title can contain spaces and other punctuation marks. You should assign a meaningful title to the file. This is a required field.

Summary

(Optional) Specifies a short description for the file. The contents of this field are displayed below the title of the file on the DocuShare collection page.

Max Versions

Specifies whether DocuShare provides version control for the file. You can specify the maximum number of versions of a file that are retained in DocuShare as a record of the file's history. Enter 1 to turn off versioning (only keep one copy of a file at a time). If you add more versions than this maximum value, the oldest version is deleted.

Description

(Optional) Specifies a detailed description of the file, such as an abstract. The description may include a summary of the purpose and the audience of the file.

Keywords

(Optional) Lets you specify one or more words associated with the file. Keywords help categorize the different files and streamline searches.

Restrict Write

If you select Yes, specifies that the new file is created with write access limited to the owner, rather than being inherited from the collection.

Author

Name of the documentís author, which may be different from the owner submitting the file.

Note: There may be additional properties displayed on this page that are not listed here. They are specific to your DocuShare site. See your Site Administrator for details.

Adding Files to DocuShare using the File UpHelper Application

To add (or upload) a file to the DocuShare repository when using a web browser that is not file upload enabled (Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0 or 3.0) you must have the DocuShare File UpHelper application installed on your computer. See DocuShare UpHelper in Chapter 1 for installation instructions. Users of upload-capable browsers can also use this application to upload files, especially if they wish to upload multiple files to the repository.

Your "Use Helper for Upload" attribute in User Properties must also be set to either When Necessary or Always. Netscape users using the UpHelper application should set the attribute to Always. You must be logged in to DocuShare and have at least Writer access permissions to the collection.

The UpHelper application for DocuShare supports drag and drop addition of files and directories from your file management application. You can drag a directory into the UpHelper window and the directory structure will be maintained. This directory structure will also be recreated after upload into DocuShare. The directory name will become the name of the new collection; the files and/or subdirectories located within that directory will be uploaded into DocuShare and placed in that new collection.

To add files to DocuShare using the File UpHelper application:

  1. In the collection where you are adding the files, click Add File. A DocuShare Informational Message screen appears. When you click the click here to initiate helper application link, the DocuShare File Upload Helper dialog appears.

  2. Use the Browse option from the File menu or the yellow folder button on the toolbar to navigate your file system and select one or more files to add. You may need to adjust the file types drop down box to view your selected file type. Click Open or Accept to select the file. The selected file displays in the Upload Helper dialog window (see below). You can repeat this process for any additional files you wish to upload.

    You can also select a file or directory from your file management application and drag this over to the UpHelper window to add. The directory will appear as a sub collection of the current collection in the left dialog window and the contents of this directory will appear in the right dialog window. Refer to the illustration below for an example.
  3. For each file selected, specify a title and summary by clicking on the file name and editing the Title and Summary fields. The application automatically supplies a default title that is the file name without the extension. This title can be edited to a more meaningful title like "Minutes for 8/09/97 meeting".

  4. From the File menu, click Upload All to add all selected files, or select an individual file and click Upload to add just one file at a time. The blue arrow button on the toolbar can also be used to Upload All files.

  5. A status screen appears which displays the progress of the uploading process.

  6. When the upload process has completed, a final status window appears, giving you the option to Stay or Exit. Stay will leave UpHelper running, enabling you to send more file to the same Collection if you wish. The typical choice would be to Exit.

  7. Return to the browser, where the DocuShare Informational Message screen appears. Click the click here to refresh your view of the collection link to view the updated collection.

Note: After adding the file, you should check the access permissions for the file to make sure they provide the desired level of access for other users and groups. See the section Viewing and Editing DocuShare Object Permissions in Chapter 3 for more information on adjusting these permissions.

Known problems adding files to DocuShare with the File UpHelper application:

  1. If the upload process appears to complete successfully, but the file is not visible within the DocuShare repository, check your proxy settings to be sure that you are not using a proxy server to access DocuShare. See "Disabling Proxies" in Chapter 1 for more information on proxy settings. Restart your browser and repeat the upload procedure after adjusting the proxy settings.

  2. If you are using the Netscape browser and it hangs during uploading, check to see if the file is open in its associated application (for example, Word or PowerPoint). If the file is open, close it from the application, and then try uploading the file again.

Viewing File Properties

You can view the properties of a file at any time. You do not need to be logged in to view the file properties. However, you must be logged in to DocuShare to perform any editing functions that can be accessed through the Services page.

To access a file's Services page, click on the Services icon to the right of file in the collection listing. The Services page will appear, listing the file properties.

Properties include:

Note: There may be additional properties displayed on this page that are not listed here. They are specific to your DocuShare site. See your Site Administrator for details.

All of these properties (except the object ID, the creation/modification dates/times, and collection location) can be edited or modified by the owner of the file or a user with Writer access permissions through the Edit Properties function. To edit Appears In (collection location), use the Edit Location function.

The Services page provides access to editing and versioning functions, using these selections in the Edit... pull-down menu:


Editing File Properties

Many properties of a file can be edited or modified after initial creation. You must be the owner of the file or have Writer access permissions to edit a collection's properties. You must also be logged in to DocuShare.

To edit the properties of a file:

  1. Click on the Services icon to the right of the collection listing. The Services page appears.

  2. Select Edit Properties from the Edit... pull-down menu. The Edit File page appears.

  3. Edit the information. Refer to the property descriptions in the table below for details on the properties that can be edited through this function.
    Note: If you are unsure of the purpose of a field while editing the file properties, you can click on the highlighted field name for a brief Help description of the field.

  4. Click the Apply button. The Services page for the collection appears. The properties have now been updated to reflect your changes.

Deleting a File

Only the owner of a file or a user with Manager access can delete a file from the DocuShare repository. You must be logged in to delete a file from DocuShare.

Note: Opening or saving a file on your local machine does not delete the file from the DocuShare repository.

To delete a file:

  1. Click the Services icon for the file you want to delete. The Services page appears.

  2. Select Delete from the Edit... pull-down menu. The Confirm Deletion page appears.
    Note: If you change your mind about deleting this file, click Back in the browser to close the Confirm Deletion page.

  3. Click Delete to confirm. The Delete Successful page appears.

  4. Click the Click here to continue link to return to the page you started from.

The file is now deleted. You may need to Reload the page to see these changes.


Restoring a Deleted File

If you inadvertently delete a file from the DocuShare repository, the Site Administrator can easily restore it for you. All deleted content is sent to a trashcan accessible only to the Site Administrator. If you mistakenly delete an object, you must contact the Site Administrator and provide him/her with the necessary information. The Site Administrator is responsible for purging the recycle bin on an as-needed basis. After purging, you will be unable to restore items deleted, so be sure to notify the Site Administrator of deletion restorations as soon as possible.


View Files

The View option provides a conversion of files into HTML for immediate viewing without use of a helper application. Supported file types include word processing files such as Microsoft Word and image files such as TIFF. This conversion adds a View icon next to the Services icon for all files added to the DocuShare repository that can be converted in this manner. When you click on the View icon, the file in question is converted into HTML on the server and the converted document is then sent to your browser. This feature provides quick viewing access to the contents of files and does not require configuration of a helper application.

For a list of file formats that are supported by this feature, please see Readme.txt or contact your Site Administrator.

To view a file:

  1. Click the View icon for the file you want to view. The file appears in your browser window as an unformatted HTML file. Some file templates may provide frames and/or tables to display the contents of the file.

  2. To close the View display, use your browser's Back button.


Editing the Location of a File

The Edit Location command allows a user to move a DocuShare object from one location to another or allows the object to appear in multiple locations within the DocuShare repository. You must have at least Writer access to the object to change its location.

The location of an object is displayed in the Appears In property, which is displayed at the end of each Properties listing for an object. Using the Edit Location command allows you to edit the Appears In property.

This is a helpful command if you have added a file (or any other DocuShare object) in the wrong location and want to move it instead of deleting it and then re-creating it. It is also helpful if you would like the same file to appear in one or more additional locations. All DocuShare objects can appear in multiple locations at once. However, there is actually only one physical copy of the object in the DocuShare database; the system simply creates additional pointers or references to the object.

A negative side effect of this command is that if used incorrectly, you can orphan the object. Orphaned objects still exist within the DocuShare repository but are not accessible to users. Only a Site Administrator can recover orphaned objects.

To edit the location of a file:

  1. Click the Services icon for the file you want to delete. The Services page appears.

  2. Select Edit Location from the Edit... pull-down menu. The Edit File Location page appears.

  3. For the Appears In field, a scrolling list is displayed that contains all DocuShare collections to which you have at least Writer access. The file's current location is highlighted.

    Note: Use caution when deselecting locations. Deselecting improperly can create orphaned files. Be sure that at least one location is selected in the scrolling list before selecting the Update Locations button.

  4. Click the Update Locations button.

The Services page for that file now appears and the new location(s) is/are displayed in Appears In. If you don't see this change reflected on the Services page, click Reload on your browser to refresh the page display.


Managing Files through Versioning and Locking

DocuShare supports the complete range of a document's life cycle, including collaborative authoring of a series of drafts, and final archival publication of a completed work. When working on an important document over time, such as a product's functional requirements, you may want to retain an ongoing record of all past versions of the file. When working as part of a team, you may need a way to control who is currently working on a given file and thereby prevent the other team members from making conflicting edits. In many other cases, you may simply want to store and exchange individual copies of files without any of the traditional document management overhead. By using DocuShare's versioning and locking features, you can manage each individual file in the most appropriate way.

Version control maintains a record of a file's history. For each past version, it retains a copy of that version, the identity of the user who put that version into DocuShare and when it was done, and an optional user-supplied comment about that version. The number of past versions that are retained by DocuShare (i.e., the length of the file's history) is specified by the file's Max Versions property. Setting Max Versions to N causes DocuShare to retain at most the last N versions. If N versions are currently stored, then adding a new version will cause the oldest version to be deleted. You can track and download a specific file version by viewing the file's history. All previous versions of the file are available for download and edit. You can change the value of Max Versions at any time, but this action does not reconstruct prior versions.

When you set Max Versions equal to one, versioning is effectively turned off and the history is empty.

If you are collaborating on a file with other users, you should lock the file in DocuShare when you are working on it. This is a standard document management procedure that indicates to other users that you are working on the file. Locking a file prevents other users from editing it at the same time and adding a new version. When you lock a file, a tiny padlock icon appears next to the file's Services icon. You can also unlock a file without creating a new version (discard any changes made since the last version).

You must be the owner of the file or have at least Writer level access to upload a new version of a file. You must also be logged in to DocuShare.

To edit and add a new version of a file to DocuShare:

  1. From within the collection listing, click on the file's CheckOut icon . This will lock the file, preventing other users from editing it, and open it in the appropriate editor. Alternatively, you could click on the file's Services icon and from there, select Lock to lock the file and click on the file's Title to download the file to a temporary location on your computer.

  2. When you are finished editing the file, on the file's Services page, select New Version from the Edit... pull-down menu. The Upload New Version page appears.

  3. Click Browse.

  4. Browse for and select the updated file, then click Open or Accept.
    The path to the edited file appears in the File field. You can also add comments in the Comments field.

  5. Click Apply.

  6. The New Version Successful page appears. Click the Click here to continue link.

The updated version of the file is now unlocked and in the DocuShare repository. You can verify that the updated version is in DocuShare by clicking on the file title to open it and check for your edits.

To unlock a file without adding a new version:

  1. For the file you want to unlock, select Unlock from the Edit... pull-down menu on the Services page. The Unlock Successful page appears.

  2. Click the Click here to continue link.

To view the version history of a file:

  1. From the Services page, select History from the Edit... pull-down menu. A table with all version numbers, the date and time each file was created, its owner, and any associated comments are displayed.

  2. Click on a version number to download that version of the file.

Working with Files

Two tips to remember about files:

  1. 1. Like all other DocuShare objects, files have an individual File Handle number, identifying them as unique objects within the DocuShare repository. Because each file is a unique object in the repository, even if you add a file that has the same name as another file, it will be a unique object in the repository. For example, you could have three files in your collection, all named "Test." To DocuShare, they are all unique objects with different handle numbers.

  2. If you are the owner of a file, you could download a file from the repository with the intention of updating the file to contain new information. You would have the file open in its helper application, perform the required updates and then select Save in your application. But selecting Save will not save this file back to the DocuShare repository; it will only save the file to your computer. To add this updated file to the repository, you must upload the newly edited version of file to the repository, using the procedures in Adding Files or Managing Files Through Versioning and Locking. Alternatively, you can use the DocuShare Windows Client, which provides an on-line editing capability.
Managing Files Through Versioning and Locking. Alternatively, you can use the DocuShare Windows Client, which provides an on-line editing capability.
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