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Dropbox alternative No conflicted copies

Posted on 2014-02-11
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Last Modified: 2016-07-07
i have a customer who wants an alternative to dropbox.
There are about 5 users who often work on the same files simultaneously.
So they have major issues with "conflicted copies"
So if user 1 is working on a word document, user 2 cant open it at the same time.
ie - the file is locked.
he would also like to be able to make files read or read write only.
basically he wants file permissions like having an in house Microsoft server except cloud based.
I havent tried it but maybe Office 365 offers this?
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Question by:crangle22
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39849738
Yes, office365 will do what you want.  You do have to have both the software (word, excel, outlook) along with the online versions of the same. The online versions do not have all the capability that the desktop versions do.  But you can have multiple people editing the same document and see their changes live.  It is pretty cool.

You will need to use sharepoint along with ms word.

There is going to be some learning curve.   You are essentially getting server functions but in the cloud.  I think you can do the same thing with google apps for business.  It is like driving an automatic car vs stick shift.  One is easy and one takes some thought and you have more control.
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Author Comment

by:crangle22
ID: 39850061
thanks Scott. but is there a way to lock a file?
ie - if user A is working on a doc, user B cant access the same file
he or she gets a message to say the file is in use or something similar?
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39850513
I don't remember. I'm sure you can. I had a client that used office365 for a month and decided on using google apps so I can't get back in to verify.

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/office365-sharepoint-online-enterprise-help/document-collaboration-and-co-authoring-HA102772333.aspx
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Author Comment

by:crangle22
ID: 39851797
can someone clarify this? i spent a while reading the blurb from the link above but couldnt find a straight answer.
i tried google drive but that seemed too messy.

" but is there a way to lock a file?
ie - if user A is working on a doc, user B cant access the same file
he or she gets a message to say the file is in use or something similar?"
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 400 total points
ID: 39852042
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Author Comment

by:crangle22
ID: 39855802
thanks Jeffrey. I'm trying to get to grips with it! it will take me a few days but i will report back.
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by:crangle22
ID: 39855911
Jeffrey. one thing. the customer is currently using Google apps for their email.
Will this cause an issue/conflict with office 365?
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Author Comment

by:crangle22
ID: 39856166
Jeffrey. The more I think about it, the more
I think we are using a sledgehammer to crack a nut! All he wants is the file sharing feature. Not all the other stuff which he doesn't need. And it's pricey! So any other ideas? I'll keep googling!
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
Scott Fell,  EE MVE earned 100 total points
ID: 39856200
>And it's pricey! So any other ideas? I'll keep googling!

I have given you a nice alternative to office365 http:Q_28361748.html#a39849738

You can use google apps for business.  The paid version is still going to be $50 per year per user (You can share with others outside of your domain).  Google drive free version will also allow you to do this.  The main difference is the amount of storage you get and not using your own domain.

Google Apps/docs/drive is very similar to MS Office 365.  They start out at a similar price, but by the time you do all the add ons for MS, it is more expensive.  However, there are more finer controls.  The Google flavor is more like Henry Ford, you can have whatever you want as long is it is what we offer...  You don't have as much granular controls but for 90% of the people it is enough.   Because there are less controls, it is also easier to use.
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Author Comment

by:crangle22
ID: 39856301
scott, i have been testing google drive but having similar issues to dropbox.
user a & b, both have the same file open.
neither is warned that the other is working on the same file.
so only 1 users changes are being saved.
i might be doing it wrong?

http://www.makeuseof.com/answers/resolve-google-drive-conflict-errors-text-files-windows-pc/
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 400 total points
ID: 39857431
Jeffrey. one thing. the customer is currently using Google apps for their email.
Will this cause an issue/conflict with office 365?

You can certainly just use the SharePoint Online component of Office365.

Its definitely NOT pricey -- only about $36.00/year per person.

Jeff
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by:Scott Fell, EE MVE
ID: 39857468
Jeff, do you need the "office365" portion to be able to edit simultaneously?
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Author Comment

by:crangle22
ID: 39857907
jeff, i will try it. looks very complicated though! are you sure it will lock out user B if user A is working on the same file? this is the only functionality i need. Scott, I dont want to be able to edit the same document simultaneously, like google docs can. No collaboration required!!
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 400 total points
ID: 39860655
I am POSITIVE that you can Check Out/Check In documents in SharePoint.  I have numerous clients who use this feature all the time.

It's really not complicated, since most everything is set up for you by default.  Of course, there is much more you can do with SharePoint, so there are lots and lots of things which can be created or configured, but you can ignore all that stuff and just concentrate on document libraries.

Jeff
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Author Comment

by:crangle22
ID: 39867012
i have been testing box.com & egnyte but not there yet! has anyone tried these?
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 39868880
I have a client that uses box.com but you cannot automate their file locking like you can in SharePoint.  I've only looked at Egnyte and it does seem to be a good product, I just don't know how strong they are as far as sticking around for the long-term.

There are plenty of other competitors such as Huddle or ShareFile (by Citrix).

The question is -- do you want to experiment with something that may not work for your organization?  Or go with something that is proven -- SharePoint has been around for over 10 years and has been improved upon year after year.
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Author Comment

by:crangle22
ID: 39888352
jeff, i'll have another look at sharepoint but it seems overkill as they are only interested in that one function. I was think of just setting up an old fashioned offline file share using one of the pc's as a file server
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Accepted Solution

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Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 400 total points
ID: 39889728
If all of the sharing is IN the office, then there are plenty of other options.  But standard file share doesn't prevent a version conflict.  If one person opens a file, the next person opens it in "read only".  The first person saves their changes, and then the second person is forced to "save as..." but chooses the same name and overwrites the first person's changes.  Not a good fix if you are having that kind of problem already.

But you can check out some of these which have "version control":
http://document-management-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

Jeff
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Author Closing Comment

by:crangle22
ID: 39987549
thanks lads. didnt quite find what i was looking for so have gone back to old fashioned server file sharing! amazed there doesnt seem to be a simple solution.
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Expert Comment

by:Member_2_7966755
ID: 41692822
Hello,

We need the same simple solution to prevent conflicted copies. We are a three person, nonprofit office. We use dropbox to share all of our files. When person 1 is working on a document and a person 2 tries to open the same file, we want a warning is issued that the file is in use and a read only version is available to person 2. For several years we used something called "conflicted copy pro" which was perfect - but stopped working about six months ago, possibly due to updates in dropbox.

I noticed that these posts were from two years ago. Is there by chance a better, simple solution like this currently available?

Thank you for any assistance you can provide! We are a small, nonprofit office and are looking for something free or inexpensive.

Shirley
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 41697449
Shirley,

Please do not post a comment to a closed question as no experts will see it.  

Instead, post a NEW question by clicking the "Ask a Question" button at the bottom of the original question window.
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