Global File Locking

File Locking is a very important feature for online file access and team collaboration to eliminate conflicts. It is essential for end-users to control global concurrent online access to files by using file locking to maintain consistency.

Why Dropbox file locking doesn't work?

Why Dropbox file locking doesn't work?

For file locking to work properly, the software needs to know the user's intent first (such as double click on a file), and then check the conditions such as whether or not the user has access permission or the file has been locked. When all the conditions are checked, it is OK now to serve the file or reject the intent. This is why the virtual drive mapper is very important because it knows the user is trying to open the file before the file is served to the user.

However, in the Dropbox's case, the files and folders are already synchronized into the user's local Dropbox folder. Once it is local, the end user can do whatever they want to do to the files, file locking becomes an after thought and thus there is no Dropbox file locking for local files. You can shutdown the Dropbox desktop agent and you can manipulate those files, disregarding file locking completely.

Virtual Drive Mapper to the Rescue

At work, we are used to a mapped drive to corporate file server network shares. Within the mapped drive, we have experienced file locking. For example, when we clicked on a file that is being edited by colleagues, the Windows explorer notifies us that the file is locked.

Having a drive letter mapped virtually to cloud drive is a fundamental design requirement for global file locking. With a drive letter, a user's intent (double clicking on a file) is detected by the drive first and thus a centralized global file locking mechanism can kick in to protect files. 

With Gladinet, if you shutdown the desktop agent, the virtual drive is gone as if it were an external drive unplugged. This tells you that Gladinet integrates well with the local operating system to present the remote files virtually and control remote file access properly.

Virtual Drive Mapper to the Rescue

File Locking Requires Cloud Drive!

Cloud Drive Mapping

A solution that adds iPhone application, web browser interface, Windows mapped drive and Mac Finder volume to Cloud Storage and turn Cloud Storage service into a corporate cloud file server solution. 

Drive Mapping

Creates a mapped drive on user's desktop without the need of using a VPN.

Mobile Sharing

Provides mobile applications for file and folder access from mobile devices such as from iPhone or Android phones.

File Locking

Lock files-in-use or checking out files for offline access. Either way, file locking is a necessary feature for team collaboration.

Web Interface

Web browser based file manager is an important part of the solution. it is responsive, interactive and very easy to use.

Global File Locking and Cloud Drive Mapping Working Together

Global file locking features and cloud drive mapping features shall be discussed together because file locking is built on top of the cloud drive.

Remote Drive Mapping


Remote Drive Mapping

Gladinet provides a drive letter mapping to the files and folders an employee has access to. The drive mapper is available without the need of using a VPN.

Seamless Access

Use Windows Explorer or Mac Finder to access remote files as if they were on your local desktop.

Automatic Locks

Files are automatically locked when edited and automatically unlocked when the editing is done.

Lock Management

Locks are intelligently managed across online and offline scenarios with fail-safe algorithms.

Distributed File Locking


Distributed File Locking

Gladinet controls global concurrent access to files by using file locking to maintain consistency.

Configure Concurrent Access

Define default locking behaviors in your environment. File locking can be exclusive to prevent concurrent access or shared to allow access after notification of locked status.

Consistent Collaboration

Multiple users can use the same file without worrying about inconsistent changes or other corruptions from uncontrolled concurrent access.

File Locking with Offline Access Challenge!

In the local area network, file locking is easy to understand because file servers are always available and desktop machines are always online. When a user is actively working on a file, the file can be automatically locked because the user clearly shows intent to work on the file exclusively, thus locking out file modification by other employees.

However, in the modern days, when access files online and over the Internet, an offline mode is introduced as compared to file access on-premise inside the company firewall. Employees may need to work on the file on the laptop, close the laptop lid, drive to the airport and come back later to continue modifying the file. At Gladinet, we call this offline file editing support.

With automatic distributed file locking, the file locking agents will need to maintain a healthy heartbeat with the centralized Gladinet locking authority. If the endpoint device goes offline, the centralized Gladinet locking authority can release the lock if the lock can't be successfully renewed.

Offline File Editing

In order to support offline file editing, the following features are included as part of the global file locking feature in regards to offline file editing mode.

Manual Check-in & Check-out

Right click on a file to check-in or check-out can maintain manual file locking without the need of periodically renewal.

Version Control

Modifications to files are kept as old revisions in case they will be useful in the future.

Conflict Detection

When employees go offline and continue to modify files, the source version of the modification is recorded for later comparison.

Ready to boost mobile productivity with "global file locking" and enable workforce to work from home today?