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Thread: Zimlet Suggestion: A Tab To Display the contents of 'My Documents' directory

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  1. #1
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    Default Zimlet Suggestion: A Tab To Display the contents of 'My Documents' directory

    Recently a client of mine has decided to do an all-over upgrade. He presently has Windows SBS 2003 with Remote Web Workplace.

    I've pitched him on the benefits of Zimbra/Samba solution and he's diggin' it.

    The only thing he can't seem to live without is the Remote Web Workplace bit. I don't think it's necessary to have the RDP window for remote logins but, if the users could view/attach the docs stored in their home directories then, I believe, small business owners would have one more reason to switch.

    I'm not sure how to get a vote going but can we hear from the community on this?

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    Default

    I'm not familiar with the microsoft product, so I'm guessing a little here. Do you mean so that a user at home, could connect to the work Zimbra server web client, see their email and contacts as normal and be able to switch to another tab that shows files stored on the work fileserver / user desktop pc ?

    My initial reaction to this would be worries over bandwidth, but if such a thing already exists in SBS then I guess that's not an issue. I think it'd be possible to do this though.

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    Would it be feasable to access the 'My Documents' folder via webdav installed on the Samba fileserver? Apache has mod_dav for this.

    If Samba is on the same server as Zimbra, just put another instance of apache with mod_dav on another port (say 88).

    As an alternative, what about FTP? Any web-browser (even Internet Exploiter) could handle that! It'd probably end up as a 'read-only' solution but would at least give them access to those files (and maybe more) from anywhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonallport View Post
    Would it be feasable to access the 'My Documents' folder via webdav installed on the Samba fileserver? Apache has mod_dav for this.

    If Samba is on the same server as Zimbra, just put another instance of apache with mod_dav on another port (say 88).

    As an alternative, what about FTP? Any web-browser (even Internet Exploiter) could handle that! It'd probably end up as a 'read-only' solution but would at least give them access to those files (and maybe more) from anywhere.
    1) Webdav: I'm not sure what that is; I'm still somewhat green with Linux.

    2) I don't think FTP would work. They've been spoiled like children who are jacked up on candy. If you give them something that they are not expecting the tears will flow, my friend...the tears will flow.

    You know how the end users are. You have to be careful not to 'brown' the money, because one of them is the check signer It's gotta be smooth.

    OR maybe I'm not following you. Please explain the WebDAV thing further.

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    Have a look at:
    mod_dav - Apache HTTP Server

    and

    WebDAV Resources


    "WebDAV ('Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning')...[is an]...extension to the HTTP protocol allows creating, moving, copying, and deleting resources and collections on a remote web server.

    Microsoft calls it 'Web folders' and implements it badly! Basically it's a way of doing file access over http. Zimbra uses WebDAV to expose things like attachments and briefcases for file-based stuff. Search these forums for posts on how to do that.

    My thought was that you could use DAV to connect to users''home' directories via the browser interface. I'm no expert either so I think we need another contributor at this point...
    Last edited by jonallport; 08-12-2009 at 09:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirk View Post
    Do you mean so that a user at home, could connect to the work Zimbra server web client, see their email and contacts as normal and be able to switch to another tab that shows files stored on the work fileserver / user desktop pc ?
    Pretty much, yes. Or, maybe have the option to load those documents into the Documents or Briefcase tab. Possibly a third tab. Keep in mind, I ALWAYS redirect the users My Documents folder to a mapped drive on the samba server. The end users are working those clients all day long, and those clients get violated in the worst ways - we all know this. It's just good design fundamentals to keep files accessible to the user but resident on the server. Then, the client computer becomes unimportant. Any problem can be fixed with a 10-minute ghost job, then they're back to work. But, I digress...

    Either way, Zimbra is a mail server, I don't want to suggest getting away from it's core services by adding an RDP window like RWW. If I had a hi-level wish list it would look something like this:
    1) Should be able to define a path to a users documents:
    a) An Administrator should be able to apply this path for all users from the Admin UI; example: /homes/%u%; or
    b) Each user could select this on a per-need basis from the User UI to define a path from their home directory to to the Zimbra window.
    2) Ability to view list of documents in home directories
    3) Ability to select a check box to attach documents to emails
    4) Ability to save attachments to this space (whatever you would call it) and those attachments would actually be saved to the users' home directory.

    Again, Zimbra's core service is email. I don't want to suggest we turn it into Frankenware, but the zimlets are making it seem like a widget with a universal adapter. If it's possible to get this functionality, I'd be making more/easier sales right now - that's what I'm saying
    Last edited by todd_dsm; 08-11-2009 at 09:13 AM. Reason: missed folder redirection...

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    Default I like the general idea

    WebDAV sounds like a great suggestion then. And, if it's already being used to some extent, then it should be comfortable to expand on.

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    Default 688 Views and...

    No more thoughts on the subject?

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    I would love to hear more about this and perhaps vote for this to be on the ToDo list. I am really suprised that Zimbra have not implemented this already. I know that Group Office has been doing this for years. If Zimbra would utilise this feature, whereby the end user can have access to his/her emails and documents and thus work independently of the office and MS Outlook, it would be the greatest product on the market IMHO.

    Is there a wish list that we can use?

    Andrei

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    Default Filed an Enhancement Request in Bugzilla

    Thanks for that mozg31337. I've taken the next step and filed this in bugzilla. Here we can vote on this. Please keep in mind, this isn't for the linux folks in the valley, this is to help small businesses to be weaned away from the MS tit.

    Please go vote!
    Bug 40956 – Enhancement Request: A place To Display the contents of 'My Documents'

    Thanks for your time everyone.

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