I have a SharePoint 2013 foundations site setup and being used as a file server for a client. They access it via "explorer view" to keep things as simple as possible since many non-technical people access it. This setup works great for internal/external access from Windows based devices.
The problem we are running into is when a user adds a new file or document to sharepoint through the explorer view it does not automatically "check in" the document. This is expected default behavior because we have "Require Check out" enabled (found under "versioning settings"). We are using the "require check out" feature to stop users from working on the same file at the same time ( a problem they were having with a "cloud" file share service) so we are unable to disable this feature.
I have done some research and see that the issue is because the files that are added require some meta data be added to them the first time they are checked in. This meta data is added if the user uses internet explorer to access the SP site and manually checks in the documents. We have discussed forcing the users to add documents via the browser only to fix this problem, but it has made clear that is not an option.
What I am wondering is if we can somehow assign a null value to this "required" meta data so that documents can simply be dragged and dropped into sharepoint through the explorer view and have them checked in/able to be viewed by other users immediately without having to manually check them in.
A second/add on request from this would be to setup a "power" user in SharePoint that would be able to use a "view" to see all documents not checked in for the first time, then let that user force check-in as a backup to the above posed solutions (should a user figure out a way to break the "fix").