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Document check in and out

Posted on 2011-09-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
Hi all - I have an IIS 7 web-site connected to an Oracle database which stores MS Office documents. Users need to login to the site and are presented with a list of documents associated with a customer which they should be able to open read-only, or if they wish, should, check out the document for modification and when finished the document should be automatically uploaded back into the database.

Problem number 1 is that I do not want to leave a copy of the document on the local machine, and I cannot rely on the user to remember to delete the document so it needs to be automatically removed post upload.

Problem number 2 is the users will probably not remember where they downloaded the document to on the local machine, so the ASPX page would need to remember where to upload the document from.

I am currently looking at developing an Active X control to handle this, but that restricts the user to using Internet Explorer.
A Java applet which would auto-install may work but have no development experience in this.
Browser specific plug in's may be able to work, but again - no experience in this either.
A client executable could be made available for the user to download but that seems very messy.

Basically, I am hoping someone out there has had this problem and solved it either through custom developed code, or a commercial app. The documents need to remain in our internal database and accessed through the web server... ie: storing the documents in a cloud for on-line editing is not an option. Also - need the approx 250 users to be able to access and edit the documents through their iPads ideally, although that is something I am happy to postpone to a later date.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Question by:eosu
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Expert Comment

by:leakim971
ID: 36522855
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Author Comment

by:eosu
ID: 36522991
thanks for the comment leakim971...

we did look at Sharepoint which handled the check in and out quite nicely, but would be quite an overhead to manage on an enterprise scale for something like this.
My hope is really that someone has developed a Java applet that can be purchased which solves what must be a fairly common requirement!

eosu
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Expert Comment

by:for_yan
ID: 36523117

I think the only way to ensure that someone does not keep a copy of the file on his/her client machine
is not to allow them to download the file in the first place. Otherwise they can make a copy of it and puit it somewhere - there is no
way you can control that.
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by:eosu
ID: 36525936
thanks for_yan, but I am not worried about a user deciding to copy the file to a specific location, or deliberately share it via email etc. as that would be a direct action taken by the user. I am trying to prevent the inadvertent leaving of the document on the client through normal and proper use of the system.
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for_yan earned 250 total points
ID: 36525991
Still I dont think you can prevent it if you are sitting at the server to which clients upload the file.
You cannot delete the file on the client if you are on the server.
You may just send them some kind of reminder, after you receive the uploaded file
and if they need something from you (say confirmatioj of upload) then you can request them
to confirm that they deleted it and only after that send them the confirmation.
This will probably minimize the cases of forgetfulness.
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Expert Comment

by:leakim971
ID: 36526523
>but would be quite an overhead to manage on an enterprise scale for something like this.

I don't understand, Sharepoint is very scalable and very customizable

Additionaly, check this slide : http://www.slideshare.net/southlabs/share-pluss-ipad-client-for-sharepoint
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by:leakim971
leakim971 earned 250 total points
ID: 36526524
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Expert Comment

by:gordon_vt02
ID: 36529472
Normally, I'm a Sharepoint hater because MS has advertised it as much more capable than it truly is and developing for it is somewhat of a pain, but the situation you are describing is its bread-and-butter.  That IS the commercially developed application that does exactly what you are looking for.
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Author Comment

by:eosu
ID: 36554439
I am still thinking that this is possible with just a Java applet.. Will do a little more checking myself and come back in a day or so. Thanks all for the suggestions so far
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by:eosu
ID: 36979456
thanks all
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