Manual File Locking

I am wondering if there is any solution to the following scenario?...

I have a few clients working remotely over a relatively fast VPN connection. They are able to open and edit word files, pdf's, indesign files and most every file type over the network with little to no lag directly from out main data server at the main location.

However, I also have a few installations of Autocad Civil 3d in the remote office and when users attempt to open these files directly from the server they get unacceptable lag times during the opening process.

A solution is to simply copy the autocad file directly onto the users local computer, edit it, then upload it back to the main server. This works fine as the file itself only takes a few seconds to download/upload and they are able to edit the file without any lag from the WAN. However, this brings us to the main crux of the question...

When the user has the file on their local drive, the file that is on the main server is still able to be accessed and edited by others in the office. This brings the possibility of two versions of the file being edited at the same time and presents a problem. Is there any way that i can achieve a locking behavior similar to that which is observed when a file is being edited on the file that is still on the main server?

That is, I would like to have the scenario play out like this:

1. the remote user wants to edit a file so they down load the file onto their local machine.

2. the user then locks the original file on the server side so that there is no ability to edit this file.

3. the user edits the file locally.

4. when finished, the user unlocks the server file and copies his locally edited file to the server, replacing the original - unedited - file.

So, to achieve this I am looking for the ability, and/or best way to go about 'manually' locking a file as if it were being edited by a user.

Another way to look at this would be to figure out exactly why the autocad files take so long to open. It seems that they open and you are able to view the drawing on your screen, but then the program 'stalls' for about a minute and then all is good. I'm assuming that the program is doing some Xref resolution and other things behind the scenes.


Anyways, any help is much appreciated!
The users are suing Windows 7 clients and the main data server is running Windows Server 2003 R2.

-Atari911
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Atari911Asked:
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AnuroopsunddCommented:
you can have option of sharepoint server.
in that user have the functionality of checkout and checkin of the files.
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AnuroopsunddCommented:
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Atari911Author Commented:
Sharepoint: I would hate to have to setup an entirely new infrastructure just to lock files down. I always tend toward the philosophy of using a solution that does one thing and does it well, rather then the whole suite of features. Ill look into this option tho.

Subversion: would also require that we change the infra-structure of our data system.

Both of these solutions would possibly work but i am looking for a way to simply lock a file from use that can be done without much hassle on the users end.
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AnuroopsunddCommented:
solutions for file server locking.. have a look at below one.. http://www.peersoftware.com/products/peerlock/peerlock.aspx
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Atari911Author Commented:
This software was exactly what I was looking for. A little pricey but it performs!
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