Browser-Based Multi Cloud Document Collaboration With Enterprise Controls

Last week I told you about the new SME File Fabric Workflow Approval feature.  Today’s topic is another new collaboration feature, Share for Edit.

Before I walk you through an example of how the new ‘Share for Edit’ document feature works, let’s review two points about the SME Enterprise File Fabric:

  • All of the File Fabric’s features work across any combination of the more than 50 storage clouds and storage systems that we support.  This means that our collaboration features work equally well whether your organisation is using S3, OpenStack Swift, Ceph, Microsoft Azure, an internal SAN, or all of these, to name just a few of the many possibilities.
  • The File Fabric’s security and governance features include powerful controls to ensure that file sharing is done safely and in compliance with your organization’s data sharing policies. In a moment we’ll see how some of these controls affect Share for Edit.

Now for that example:

Sue and Bob work for the same organisation.  Sue is in charge of developing a design for a new product.  The design work is in its preliminary stages, and for now she is keeping the design documentation in her own private folder.  Although she is not yet ready to share the bulk of the design work, she wants Bob’s input on some early design ideas. Here is how her folder looks in the SME Web File Manager:

Sue wants to invite Bob to add his comments to the “Design Study Draft for Input” document. She selects the document, clicks on the sharing icon, selects “By URL or Email”, and chooses the “Send links by email” tab.  Then she ticks the “Internal sharing for edit” box:

Notice that two other options, “Expires” and “Set Password”, are pre-selected and cannot be de-selected.  These options have been set by the organisation’s administrator to enforce the organisation’s file sharing policy, and will be applied every time a user creates a file sharing link.

Sue sets a password for this link, selects Bob’s email address from the on-screen lookup list, and adds a quick note.  She ticks the box to have the password sent to Bob in a separate email (our Enterprise File Fabric also has a nifty option for delivering passwords by SMS).  Then she clicks the “Send Email”:

A few seconds later Bob gets an email with the link to the file:

and another email with the password.

He clicks on the file link, logs in to SME and enters the file password, and finds the file loaded into the Zoho integrated web office editor, ready for editing:

After Bob makes his changes he saves the file in Zoho, and the new version appears in Sue’s directory.

From Bob’s and Sue’s perspectives that’s all there is to sharing and editing the file.  For the Enterprise File Fabric, though, there was an additional behind-the-scenes step:  When Sue created the link to share the file for editing, her action was recorded in the organisation’s Audit Log, giving the organisation administrator a record of her action:

The new Share for Edit feature complements the other Enterprise File Fabric collaboration features such as Business WorkSpaces for external sharing of content, Shared Team Folders for internal sharing of content, and File Approval, giving users a new option for quick, easy collaboration using only the browser.  It offers a unique combination of efficiency and control, making it ideal for the enterprise.

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Dan is COO at Storage Made Easy. He has been working with the founders since the company was launched.