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Thread: Briefcase as a small document management server?

  1. #1
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    Default Briefcase as a small document management server?

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if any of you had some figures or could point me to a document regarding the capabilities of the Zimbra 7.1.1 Briefcase features?

    I have a potential client of ~15 mailboxes wanting to use the Zimbra Briefcase to share and version files. I know that works fine but do we have stats on possible file size limits, version limits, number of files limits?

    I understand it's not Zimbra's core focus and it's not documentum, but do we have numbers hidden away in some document?

    Any help would be welcome.

    Thank you.

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    Default bump

    Does anyone have a clue?

    Thanks.

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    I am also looking into this with an account assigned to document storage and various users being given various rights.

    However there's currently a bug that prevents files in shared briefcases being renamed.

    It's been fixed but not released. I have no idea when it will be released, it says it part of 7.1.2 so I'm not sure if it'll be on any help to me on v6.x

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    Thanks for your feedback. If you do get to test with large quantities of files, do let me know what your results are.

    Thanks again!

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    I don't know if this is just me but I currently cannot search within most documents in the briefcase folder..

    I can search within .txt files

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    Thanks for the info... I'll keep that in mind too!

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    as it turns out I have a lot of sql database issues so the briefcase search is probably not a problem everyone has

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    Exclamation

    You won't get an answer because WebDAV for briefcase doesn't work well through 7.1.x. I've been battling this issue since 5.0 to no avail. DAV does work for all the other components because the information is just getting posted (CalDAV, CardDAV, etc.). It's not the same workflow as with using documents and collaborative editing. The great divide between browser and desktop still is a difficulty which is why companies like Zimbra and Google are trying to perform a paradigm shift into server side production through the browser-only solution. It's working because Microsoft recently came out with Office 365 enterprise that provides SaaS for all the current desktop products in Office. So, check your hardware or your data host or cloud provider and do that budget again on cost effectiveness. ROI is not as important as cost of resources which can turn into a time suck of your time. This can become like boats. Big holes in the water you throw all your money into.

    We need a one-stop shop especially for travelers. Open a browser, and the entire collaboration groupware system is available without having to interface with the desktop. We don't want them to have to save the file to the client machine and then have to remember to upload it back. Plus, if more than one staffer is working on a document at the same time there is no locking function (Check-in/Check-out).

    Really, when I've done extensive testing on this, I can get it to work but, ultimately, the major problem is with the timeout settings.

    So, what's a IT Pro to do? Check into Thinkfree.com Zimbra Collaboration Server Thinkfree Office Edition - YouTube
    http://gallery.zimbra.com/type/zimlet/thinkfree-office
    http://server.thinkfree.com/en/purchase.html
    They have a special Zimbra connector and their SaaS MS Office replacement looks and works just like MS products. Plus, they work on mobile devices. I already use it on both my Android phone and tablet. The question is can you get your staff to use it?

    What Zimbra really needs to do is take this seriously and find a third-party to buy out and integrate it into Zimbra. Thinkfree is a great product and would certainly give Google's Gmail/Drive solution a true run for the money as their editors are not that robust.

    Keep the dialog going. We'll brainstorm it out and hammer the RFEs into admission, not submission.
    Last edited by bmw; 08-20-2012 at 03:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmw View Post
    We need a one-stop shop especially for travelers. Open a browser, and the entire collaboration groupware system is available without having to interface with the desktop. We don't want them to have to save the file to the client machine and then have to remember to upload it back. Plus, if more than one staffer is working on a document at the same time there is no locking function (Check-in/Check-out).
    +1, this is a collaborative must

    Quote Originally Posted by bmw View Post
    What Zimbra really needs to do is take this seriously and find a third-party to buy out and integrate it into Zimbra. Thinkfree is a great product and would certainly give Google's Gmail/Drive solution a true run for the money as their editors are not that robust.
    It's pretty lame that this isn't already possible - what about Libre/Open office back end ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dik23 View Post
    +1, this is a collaborative must
    It's pretty lame that this isn't already possible - what about Libre/Open office back end ?
    In my office, folks are too afraid of anything but M$. I've tried getting them with Libre/OpenOffice but it failed on conversion from a MS Word created document that had embedded tables. It was our strategic plan, no less. Added pages, reformatting, etc. So, that possibility was a bust on demonstration alone. The fear is they will have to collaborate with another colleague in a separate organization and they'll have mangled documents.

    The workflow is important. For instance, in my office using MS File Server, it's open a document in any editor (MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint, LO/OO Writer/Calc/Presenter, etc) => edit the document => saving it goes back to the file server. We use every operating system, Mac, Win and Linux.

    In Zimbra, since it exists web-based, the threshold between the browser and desktop applications is a huge spanse. If we use Briefcase just the way it is, then everyone has to download the document and if associated with a desktop application will get saved to /tmp (Mac, Linux) or \temp (Windows). Then when they are done, will have to manually upload it back into Briefcase, that is, if they can find it. If I have to train them to save it somewhere else after it opens in an associated application, that is one more step in their efficient workflow plus they will just save it to the Desktop to be faster. Then we have duplicates all over the place which will eventually get confused with revisions. Just a mess altogether.

    The Zimbra WebDAV functionality has been very clunky for the four years I've been with Zimbra. I can make it work with third-party connectors like WebDrive but then one has to be installed on every machine. And, now, another item has to be maintained workstation by workstation thus defeating the whole idea of the collaboration system. But, those things work well. The problem with Zimbra WebDAV is that its timeout period is too short and then when it tries to reconnect it doesn't authenticate plus the document is then locked out. So, the ownership is lost and if the user is able to get it to reauthenticate, Zimbra WebDAV will not let the file be overwritten and this is different for each operating system.

    Now, working on this with some tech support a couple of years ago, and it's well documented in Bugzilla, they just stick with testing OpenOffice on Mac or Linux which is totally not helpful when 95%+ of the business world is using Micro$oft products. This is equally not helpful.

    So, looking around, I saw Thinkfree.com entree' into integrated office editors with Zimbra. It's a fabulous concept that runs in Java, too, but I wasn't able to get it working on Kubuntu (KDE) 12.04 (dev:null error) or Snow Leopard (Java really slow and crashing). Seems they are either using a skinned version of MS Office for their own editors or they are using Office 365 Enterprise version.

    The next and foolproof solution is Alfresco. It is not cost effective for the small business/organization as most of their clientele are medium to large business, government and universities. It's something like $12K for their service contract for their server if you want to host it yourself. They do have a community version that has pretty much the kitchen sink and they have every webinar from installation to usage to repair plus complete tutorials for the self-learned. Or, you can use their own cloud server which is far cheaper which would be the way I would be going. Just pay for more drive space.

    Alfresco has both a Zimlet connector for email attachments and a new Zimlet that is suppose to allow it to integrate with Briefcase seamlessly. I haven't tried it yet but looks promising. But, not sure who developed this as it is still a little buggy.
    Alfresco2 | Zimbra :: Gallery
    http://www.zimbra.com/forums/zimlets...mlet-beta.html

    One could also create a new component tab to replace Briefcase using iframe and some workaround for single signon, ie, log into Zimbra and automatically get logged into Alfresco. There is some good documentation on connecting Alfresco to the Zimbra LDAP. The WebDAV for Alfresco is flawless and with the Zimlet for attachments would make for a seamless workflow no different than what is current. Works just like Sharepoint only better. It's Pentagon-grade.

    That's all for now. I am finishing an upgrade to 7.2.0 and will let you know how WebDAV fairs.

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