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  1. #1
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    I am wondering if it is possible to host a file on a server online and then use that file on a computer without having to download the file?

    Background and further explanation:
    In my office, we have 10 computers, each with Microsoft Word loaded on them. The files we use are all stored on a drive that we all have access to. So file xyz.doc can be used by anyone in the office (assuming only that they have the correct program, Microsoft Word, loaded on their computer. Pretty basic.

    I am wondering if it is possible to use this same principle over the internet? Can you create an online location where these files can be stored and used. So when I open up Microsoft Word, instead of navigating to the m drive (for example) I would navigate to this drive on the internet to open the file.

    If this would be possible, I could work from anywhere with internet access.


    Thank you for any thoughts in advance. I have looked into using a ASP but it seems worthless since we already have own the programs. FTP is also an option but I would really like to just use it over the internet rather than creating all these copies downloading and uploading.



    This is way over my head. I'm just wondering if its possible and maybe a brief explanation of how it might be done.

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    To use the same principle over the internet, you would require a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection. Many companies do this to have International Intranets.

    PS - While you CAN open a network file and edit it and save it in its original location, it's not suggested. If two people try to access it at once, you'll have issues with overwriting of content.

  4. #3
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    PS - You can also set up a server for RDC for using software such as Quickbooks across multiple locations. That way, you could have each user log in to the same RDC account to use the Quickbooks server - and there are no issues with overwriting... you only have the problem of concurrency that way (only one user can use the server at a time).

  5. #4
    WDF Staff smoseley's Avatar
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    PPS - You can also use repository software such as Git or Subversion for centralized file sharing. These are popular in software development, because they have version control, change tracking, and merging capabilities. They store a local version of files, as well, but maintain updates on the central server / repository as well.

  6. #5
    Junior Member jeffatrackaid's Avatar
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    Also, you may want to check into a technology called WebDAV.

    From their site:

    What is WebDAV?
    Briefly: WebDAV stands for "Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning". It is a set of extensions to the HTTP protocol which allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote web servers.

    While this protocol is being replaced by others, it can still be very useful.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    If you have access to the file permissions on the server that will be hosting the documents, you can setup a secure share... File shares are easy to implement, allow you to open, edit and save to the same lovation.

    Security is the main issue. If you don't have some level of security ( require a login to access the directory ) , then you open the server up to anyone and everyone to not only get your documents to possibly take control of the server and any resources that that server has access to.

    You can accomplish the same thing with asp but asp.net would be better as it has document handlers built it.

    Using just the web services has limittations, but does allow security while the docs are being accessed and saved using ssl, certificates, etc.

    I recently setup document system for a client, using asp, ssl . Using asp makes sure only one copy of the file can be edited ( checked out ) at a time. Simple interface to upload when dome editing, and renames the original to keep a version control in place. Opted
    Not to do the file share as you can't run that under ssl.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Still working on the .net version, haven't quite worked out the version control part yet, but looks very promising.


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