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Shared files w/  file locking, maybe OWA public folders?

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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Our lan admin just showed off OWA public folders as a means for field users to view & edit a collection of excel files.

The only problem is that if I open one of the files for edit, then another user opens the same file, he won't be notified that I'm working on it till he tries to save changes, and then there's a big mess trying to merge two sets of edits.

A work-a-round I came up with is to create a sub-folder called "These Files Being Edited".  Then, if I want to edit a file, I MOVE the file into that sub-folder, THEN open it.

Of course, people would need to potentially first look in the parent folder, then look in the sub-folder if the file is not there.

Essentially, we need some way for field users to map a drive to a share on our file server.
We don't do VPN because we don't have fancy access control rules, and the vpn laptop would be on our internal network - a scary security threat.  

This morning, I saw this network attached storage device whereby the users run a client setup.exe, and are then able to access shared data on the hard drive.

http://www.buy.com/prod/iomega-storcenter-ix2-200-network-storage-server-marvell-6281-1-ghz-2/q/loc/101/219956356.html

It seems silly to buy an external hard drive when we have a pix, iis, isa, exchange 2007, and file servers running in our vmware infrastructure.

Maybe there's some cloud drive which might solve our problem better?  (like Amazon or google docs?)  (But, it seems like a bad idea to rely on 3rd party for storing data, when we have a fairly fancy network.

So, any solutions to this problem?

All ideas very much welcome and appreciated.

Mike
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