How can you set up private content collaboration without a cloud solution?
How can you build a cloud-like content collaboration solution with your own file servers?
Today's employees, including those who work in the office or from home, want easy and mobile access to information available to them from the devices of their choice. Content collaboration means that employees can access, share, sync and collaborate on files from any device, including cell phones, laptops and desktops.
The most common content collaboration solutions on the market include Microsoft SharePoint, Citrix ShareFile and Box for the enterprise market segment. For small and medium businesses, there are other options such as Dropbox, Egnyte, and various other file sync and share solutions.
However, these solutions are all in the public cloud market, which means that enterprises must upload or download content from these publicly hosted services to meet content collaboration requirements.
These solutions are not private because any company using the service has data hosted by these services.
Private content collaboration is not new. It may not have been called Private Content Collaboration, but organizations around the world all use Windows Active Directory and Windows File Server at some point to collaborate with their internal employees. Some may have successfully migrated to Microsoft SharePoint, but the majority of midsize companies and corporations still use an on-premises Windows IT infrastructure for private collaboration.
It's very common for organizations to use both the internal Windows File Server for private collaboration and simultaneously use external services such as Box, Citrix ShareFile or SharePoint for external content collaboration. For some organizations, running multiple services side-by-side is easy, and managing multiple data stores is relatively straightforward. However, many organizations have had to make some sort of human effort or apply cumbersome business rules to combine disparate data repositories into a cohesive data source.
Have you ever wanted to combine internal private collaboration and external content collaboration into one solution?
A technical publisher specializes in the documentation of sophisticated machinery, including submarines, satellite communications and aircraft. For existing customers, very tight integration was already established between the companies, so that all document transfer is done over the intranet (site-to-site VPN) and controlled by Windows Active Directory. However, when first shaking hands with potential customers, it was not easy to receive the data in a secure way. A solution was needed that could receive large amounts of data without having to use a third-party hosting site.
If you already have Windows Active Directory and Windows File Server, setting up a private content collaboration solution is easy. All you need is file server mobilization software that leverages your existing identity service (Active Directory) and data store (Windows File Server) to create a cloud-like solution with features like file access, sync and share directly on your existing Windows infrastructure. As shown below, the file server mobilization software (all-in-one server or a server farm) sits between the outward-facing firewall and the inward-facing firewall. The software adds remote access, file sharing, file synchronization, and offline editing capabilities to the internal file servers and the Windows infrastructure IT.
Triofox - Enterprise architecture
Using the reference architecture described above, organizations can target specific file server network shares that become data stores for online content collaboration. External partners and potential customers can upload relevant data via the web interface, which is then transferred directly to the selected file server network shares for internal editing. After internal editing, the resulting documents can be stored on the same file server network share for download by external parties.
In this way, internal employees and external business partners and pre-sales customers can collaborate directly with the company's own storage and identity infrastructure without having to use a third-party public website. The end result is a private content collaboration solution that is integrated directly into the company's infrastructure.
With the Gladinet Triofox solution, the cloud file access solution is interoperable with existing file server network shares and provides offline folder capabilities. It includes integration with Active Directory, cloud drive mapping, global file locking and NTFS permission control. These native integrations make the file sharing solution an extension of the current file server rather than another data silo that takes away data.
The mapped drive over the HTTPS channel to the corporate file server is an important feature. Employees are familiar with a mapped drive and no additional training is required.
Corporate users already have corporate identities in Active Directory and the associated Active Directory federated service and SAML single sign-on. They don't need additional credentials to access a file sharing solution.
Most file sharing solutions provide manual file locking in the form of "file check-in" and "check-out". Gladinet provides automatic file locking by detecting requests to open files. When Microsoft Word opens a file, file locking is automatically initiated and automatically terminated when file editing is complete.
Integration with Active Directory and NTFS permissions makes it easy for system administrators to set up permission control. The permissions features make the Gladinet solution stands out among its peers.
With your Active Directory as the identity provider and your Windows File Server as the data storage, the following features are added by Triofox to create a private content collaboration solution!
Make it easier for your teams to collaborate with customers successfully:
Instead of sending files as Outlook attachments, files and folders can be shared as links via Outlook.
Improve performance for large file transfers by sending only the changes made instead of synchronizing the entire file.
Files and folders can be turned into weblinks and accessed from web browsers or any mobile client.
Weblinks can be generated for web browser-based upload to receive files and folders.
Policies such as expiration dates and read/write permissions can be attached to file sharing.
File-sharing can be as easy as right-click on a file from within Windows Explorer.
Shared folders have optional secure data room features to enable view-only permissions that disable downloads.
Define different permissions for folders at different levels of the directory structure.
The destination email domain is one of the white list parameters that control who can receive file-sharing invitations.
The destination IP Address is another parameter to control who can be the receiver for a file-sharing action.
Integrates with Office365 to take advantage of built-in co-editing features.
Keep track of important changes and events in the system.
Maintain compliance and control by keeping track of all management tasks and activities.
Keep track of all file-sharing activities. For example, it's easy to see who is sharing what with whom.