Thursday, September 2, 2010

SnTT - Mapping a Drive in Windows to an NSF

Show n Tell Thursday

Admittedly this is to remind everyone you can do it. It's been a long time since I needed to, but since a client asked me about it yesterday I figured it was worth reminding everyone.

We all know one can add files to a database easily enough via a browser but what if you wanted it to be shared and let everyone find it, a la poor man's Lotus Quickr/Connections or LotusLive Engage File Sharing?

Jake once again saves the world. I am sure others have posted about it as well so if there are more references by all means leave me a link to them.

To repeat it all would not do justice, so I will discuss business cases. You can follow the link and thank Jake as well.

1) Customer asked to have a mapped drive. Oddly enough they will be using LL Engage but they wanted something local and not in the cloud. I recommended Quickr or a general notes db(journal/notebook maybe something from designed purely for holding attachments. One could then provide a link to the file, internally or a URL for external people. Keep in mind if it is in a NSF you can secure it and lock it down as much as possible, more granular than Quickr too, just not as pretty, unless you made a nice UI for the database.

2) Customer wants to share the file among others in an easily accessible way without emailing it, they get it, unlike this author from eweek's article.

If you don't make it possible for your employees to send large files to each other when their work demands it, then you're effectively giving them no option but to go outside of the enterprise, and incidentally outside of the security and audit trail that goes with it.

The easy solution is raise your e-mail attachment limit to something that will at least allow a PowerPoint presentation to be sent from one office to another. You should also probably provide some means of sending larger files with programs such as YouSendIt or Accellion managed file transfer products. "Organizations should be thinking about how they should outfit their employees with file transfer," said Accellion Chief Marketing Officer Paula Skokowski. "Employees would not be looking at work-arounds if the company provided them."

I hate hearing about this, especially in a company that uses Domino, Quickr, Connections or yes, even Sharepoint, yet so many companies still engage a whole other service just to handle a basic, free, built-in function and FREE capability.

3) Security/privacy. You can put so much in the cloud but the bottom line is there are some things people just do not want in the open...ever. So this is also understandable. Even with Domino security some people just say no. Accept it and work with them.

4) MAC users can't use Lotus Quickr Connectors so a drive mapping would work for them. BUT the great team at SNAPPS, thanks to Rob Novak for letting it be free, does have a solution, in their words:
Because we've built PandaBear on the Adobe Air framework, the same installation runs on Windows, Mac, or Linux.

So I suggested they try it out and get back to me.

Always help the customer get to where they want to go using the tools they already own and you will have a customer for life.