Save SQL Storage Space with SharePoint File Share Library

Have you begged, pleaded and/or offered your first newborn to your IT Administrator for just a sliver of network space in which to store your department's documents so that you can efficiently share files with each other?  Are you an IT Administrator looking at existing Network Shares containing gigs upon gigs of data that you are absolutely dreading having to port into SharePoint, knowing that it will eat up valuable SQL database storage?  Well, guess what? Bamboo Solutions has the answer for you!

With the most recent release of Bamboo Solutions' SharePoint File Share Library, you can continue to store your files in the network share but also make them available in SharePoint.  You see, the SharePoint File Share Library acts just like a standard SharePoint Document Library, only with one big difference: you map it to the network share of your choosing.  It's as easy as:

  1. Order the Trial Download of SharePoint File Share Library by clicking:

    Checkout and download the installation package to one of your SharePoint Web Front End servers.

  2. Using the provided installation wizard, install the SharePoint File Share Library into your SharePoint Farm.
  3. Create a new File Share Library in the Create window:

    You'll notice the familiar creation form where you define a title and description for the library, and what the New Document should contain.

  4. Open the Document Library Settings window from the Settings menu and click the File Share Library Settings link in the General Settings section:

  5. Fill in the settings as described in each section and save the settings screen.
  6. Wait not more than 5 minutes (up to 5 minutes depending on the size of the network drive) and, as if by magic, you'll have a mirror of the network drive displayed in the File Share Library.  Now don't worry, these are not the actual physical files that reside in your SQL Database; think of them as placeholders.  The actual files are still stored in your network drive.  When a user clicks on a file through the File Share Library, it will stream the file to the users' machine.

Here are some possible questions you may have:

  1. Can I store metadata with the items in the File Share Library?
    ABSOLUTELY!  Support for the inclusion of metadata is just one of the great things about File Share Library!  It acts exactly the same as a standard SharePoint Document Library, including the ability to add columns to the library to store metadata.
  2. What happens if I upload a file to the File Share Library?
    When you upload a file to the File Share Library, the file is actually uploaded directly to the Network Share and a placeholder is added to the File Share Library.
  3. OK, so what happens if I delete a file from the File Share Library?
    This depends on how the settings in the File Share Library were configured regarding the sync action.  Here are the available options:
  4. But what if a file is deleted from the Network Share, will I lose all of the metadata associated with those files?
    Nope!  We have a special column called Status that is hardcoded to the File Share Library.  Status defines the state of the file.  One of the statuses are Lost which means that the source file no longer exists.
  5. Since the physical files are uploaded to a Network Share instead of SharePoint, are the same restrictions (such as allowed file types and maximum file sizes) enforced?
    Yup, we still enforce blocked file types and maximum file size.  However, there have been many cases where customers want to upload larger files but they don't want to change the global file size limits.  Thankfully, in the latest release of File Share Library, we now provide a new option to bypass this limitation on File Share Libraries only.  This feature is disabled by default.  To enable it, follow these steps:

    A. Go to SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration and click Application Management tab.

    B. In the SharePoint Web Application Management section, select Mange Web aapplication features.

    C. Confirm that the correct Web Application has been selected and locate the feature Bamboo File Share Library Web Config Modification for Request Filtering.

    D. Click Activate.  Now all File Share Libraries contained in that Web Application can now upload files larger than the SharePoint FIle Limit.

For a complete list of bug fixes, new features and limitations, please refer to the release notes available at: http://store.bamboosolutions.com/KB/article.aspx?id=12385&cNode=1P7A4J

So what are you waiting for?  Give SharePoint File Share Library a test drive and let us know what you think!

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