File System Question/Trick

davidpm used Ask the Experts™
We have a Linux computer serving SMB shares to our win2k/XP/98 workstations. It works great.

We use MS Word and OL Express for email and client correspondence. It makes a lot of sense for us to keep the word documents filed in a folder system that has directories for each client and project folders under the client folders. This way if a client calls we can find their proposal or contract. This works great but what if they don't call. It seems to me that with all the tools available on the Linux side we could "invent" a way to let the “Open” proposal folder be copied or linked to an Open Proposal folder. This way we could always find the original under the client name but also go to the open folder to see only the open projects.
We have thought of hard and sim links, perl/cron job triggered off of a code word in the folder or file name or robots type trigger file. Nothing that screams elegant has been thought of.
The ideal scenario would be if we created a folder \\samba1\clients\smith-Co\Project1 and for some reason we could view this folder also in \\samba1\clients\Open Projects\smith-Co\Project1 with the same contents.
Any change, to any file, in either Project1 folder would be replicated to the other Project1 folder. When the project is completed we could remove Project1 from Open Projects and if was the last open project for smith-Co the smith-Co folder in Open Projects would disappear also. The folder \\samba1\clients\smith-Co\Project1 would still be kept of course. It is easy to drag a email from OLE to a folder, it creates an eml file which would be “replicated” the same way if appropriate.

How do I make this happen? I have a talented Linux guy working for me. We can write code. I would like to make this a simple solution and not turn it into a big project.
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to automate it in any way you have to tell the system
the current status, no matter if you work with plain files
or an overkill solution with a database, say am ORacle DB and the Oracle Internet Filing System. You can spend a tanker of money to do what you want.

Your problem is that the current filesystems are hierarchical databases with one key: the path. Symlinks
can work around it though.

A simple solution would be to create the project folder in the directory of the client and have a STATUS file in there. It contains the word "Open" if the project is still open.

Now do the perl/cronjob thingie and check all projects of all clients for the STATUS file. If the status is still "open", let it create the symlink to "Open Projects". Run this every two hours or so, depending on the number of clients/projects you have in total (if you have A LOT, then run it once a night, since then you got so many projects you don't care much if one is closed today or tomorrow.)



That would work

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