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Multi-user editing Office documents at the same time

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Last Modified: 2019-01-16
We have a shared mapped drive on Windows Server in which we need to be able to give multi-user access to some Windows Excel and Word documents. This will enable them to be collaboratively edited at the same time.

What's the simplest approach to achieve this?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
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Commented:
Office 2016 with SharePoint has some ability to collaborate.

Look at this article here for details.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/document-collaboration-and-co-authoring-ee1509b4-1f6e-401e-b04a-782d26f564a4
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Commented:

Author

Commented:
Many thanks to you both, am reading through these articles. Suspect some more questions to follow.
David FavorFractional CTO
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
Depending on data complexity, number of concurrent users, how you resolve multiple people changing same data...

Might be best to setup a WordPress system with normal data table row locking, so every one can read any data.

Then to change data, only one person can lock a row(s) for editing.

Generally you can get away with collaboration for a handful of people working shared assets where it's rare more than one person will ever actually update the document simultaneously.

If you have many users constantly modifying the same docs, likely you'll have to retool your document storage + format.

Tip: For highly parallel data (many constant, simultaneous users) might be best to maintain a raw data format + then generate your Word + Excel output files from your raw data format.

There are many tools to generate docs from raw formats.

https://asciidoctor.org is free, fast (to generate output docs) with most complex output file support.

You can also run LibreOffice in headless mode for many more formats.
Walter CurtisSharePoint AED
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Commented:
If you have SharePoint 2013/16 with an office online server set up you will have document co-authoring for documents stored in SharePoint. Just move the files from the file share in to SharePoint.

Good luck...

Author

Commented:
Unfortunately it's SBS 2011...

Author

Commented:
Hi - I'm concentrating on the Excel solution for starters. Due to the nature of the files the client doesn't want to share them in the Cloud. So we have set up a test XLSX file on a local, restricted shared folder on the SBS 2011 server.

When I try to save it following these notes the "Share Workbook" button doesn't appear on the Review menu. It I add it in manually to the toolbar it then doesn't allow me to share it with other users???

Can anyone elucidate?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
From the document I posted above:

Quote  "To co-author with others, you need a shared storage area.  OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server are shared storage areas which enable co-authoring."

I do not think SBS2011 qualifies for co-authoring. That server came well before Office 2016.  So you need the approach of using a shared storage area.

Author

Commented:
I am not allowed to save this in the Cloud. Do I have any options then? Very many thanks.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
No. You need shared area support, so in your case co-authoring collaboration will not work. Sorry.

Author

Commented:
Can I install Sharepoint on SBS 2011, and if yes is it overkill for this task?
Business Consultant (Owner)
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This one is on us!
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Author

Commented:
Very many thanks again.

Author

Commented:
Many thanks for everyone who helped out. As usual the bleedin' obvious requires superior knowledge and am grateful to you all.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
You are very welcome and I was happy to help you.
Walter CurtisSharePoint AED
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Commented:
Quick Note - SharePoint foundation is a part of SBS 2011.
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