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New Contributor

Different Collaborators in sub folders

We have one master folder called Valuations and within it we have say ten or twenty different folders for each valuation. Some of the staff needs to be given access to certain folders only. Is there any way in which I can give them access to some sub-folders but not others. Since our files are linked we need to maintain the path ..\Box Sync\Valuations\ABC so we cannot have them create the ABC folder in the root. 





Box Certified Professional

Re: Different Collaborators in sub folders



Box uses waterfall permissions. Simply put, that means that the permissions you are given in one folder flow down to any folder or asset below it. They can only expand, not contract. This means that if you want some staff to have rights to some subfolders but not others, you will not be able to give them rights to the parent folder. This means that each individual will have folder for each project they are on. If there is any way to group the staff you could create folders to organize groups of valuations and add them to the organizing folder. Otherwise it will just be one folder per project.


It sounds like you will need to weigh which is more important, the hard-coded path or the issues raised by all staff having access to all valuations.



Indiana University
University Information Technology Services
New Contributor

Re: Different Collaborators in sub folders



Thanks for the feedback. Its a big limitation in Box it seems. 

Most of our work is done in Excel where the path becomes hard coded itself. So if one user makes the file the links are as per his PC. 


The issue with having all staff access is the exponential growth in data usage that we have seen. We have certain limits on our net usage and we have large files. So if someone is working on an Excel file of 30 mb, the moment he saves that file it starts syncing on 15 PCs. 

Box Certified Professional

Re: Different Collaborators in sub folders



I understand the pain point here. While we could dig down on the issues with the waterfall permissions I think the core limitation here is actually the need for a linking path in Excel. This is causing you to over-, and some would say mis-, use Box Sync. Box Sync is mainly intended for offline access of content. That's why it syncs nothing by default. You must choose intentionally what content you want to sync. When it is launched Box Desktop will ameliorate that issue by giving you a direct mapped drive to Box content. You can have your file path and the content is not synced to the local machines.


If data usage is the concern here, then you needn't worry. Box Sync allows you to sync at the subfolder level. Everyone can be a member of the parent Valuations folder but only sync to their machines the subfolders they are currently working on. Even if they have access to an old valuation project that is done, they should unsync it. They can always use the web UI for a quick lookup of information. As long as loose content in the parent folder is not getting updated, nothing will sync down to client machines unless it is in the specific subfolders they have synced.


Let's say for example, I am a staff person with access to projects A, B, D and H. These are all subfolders of Valuations. A and B were closed in the second quarter. D is wrapping up soon and H is a new one. Here's what I see in Box via the web:

  • Valuations
    • Project A (not synced)
    • Project B (not synced)
    • Project C
    • Project D (synced)
    • Project E
    • Project F
    • Project G
    • Project H (synced)
    • ...

Here's what I see on my computer

..\Box Sync

..\Box Sync\Valuations

..\Box Sync\Valuations\Project D

..\Box Sync\Valuations\Project H


If someone working on Project G updates something. It doesn't impact me at all. Heck, if someone goes back and drops a file in the Project A folder, it doesn't impact me at all either. Of course since I was on that project I'd probably turn on notifications for that folder so I'd know if someone changed something, but it wouldn't push that change down to my computer.


Box Sync is misunderstood and misused. That's why its days are probably numbered. If you'd like to speed that demise in your organization you can look at commercial products like ExpanDrive. Otherwise you can wait for Box Desktop to come out in the spring.





Indiana University
University Information Technology Services