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Drop box concurrent file access

Posted on 2016-10-18
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Last Modified: 2016-10-18
Hi

It would seem that if two people are accessing a same file, Dropbox won't warn either user, but will save different copies of this file.

Is this the normal behaviour for Dropbox ?

Is it possible to enable a network server type of behaviour where only the first person to access the file has R/W access while all subsequent users are warned that the file is in use and are only allowed a R/O access ?

thanks
yann
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Question by:Yann Shukor
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Expert Comment

by:Kimputer
ID: 41848297
Files locking the way you describe happens on local computer and Windows Servers.
Now you add another layer (being Dropbox), where the client only check the local Dropbox folder, and syncs the file when it's different than the file in the cloud.
During this procedure, it doesn't care if a file is locked, or if it's being accessed from another PC/location.
The whole point of dropbox is that you have a copy online and don't lose your files. It wasn't designed to be a Windows Server competing product. There's no way the Dropbox client knows off all the people online who accessed the file first, and who closes the file (and therefore the next one can edit it).

If this is regarding Excel files, and they're pretty simple, I suggest Google Sheets. It won't be read only access though, it's fully online, and everyone has access at the same time. But at least you will see all the changes happening in real time.
For other file formats, there's not a real solution for you (other than changing to work on Windows Server, in a LAN or VPN environment, and also let the server do the cloud uploading).
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Assisted Solution

by:Yann Shukor
Yann Shukor earned 0 total points
ID: 41848549
Thanks Kim

What's wierd is that Dropbox creates duplicates simply because the second person has opened the file, not because that other person has modified anything

I suppose we should be thankful that the duplicate copy system exists
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Accepted Solution

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Kimputer earned 2000 total points
ID: 41848731
It's all explained here btw https://www.dropbox.com/help/36
Read the workaround for tips on how to avoid it in the future.
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