Announcements

All conversations in the Archive Forum are read only. For active conversations, please visit our All Forums page to post a topic or response.


Highlighted
New Contributor

Is there really still no way to stop others from editing open files?

We use Box for our business, but this duplication of files is starting to drive me insane.  Sure, it's nice that Box doesn't overwrite files, but it's not generally useful to make a duplicate - you then have to comb through both files trying to figure out who changed what (Microsoft Word and Excel being the biggest culprits, for us)... which except in the case of a big difference, means it's usually easier to just recreate the edits from scratch.

 

So is the only option still just manual locks/unlocks?  I mean, every other system we use throws up a lock notice and offers the 2nd person the option to unlock or to come back later.  It's shocking to me that a business-focused storage system like Box hasn't gotten to this point yet - unless I'm missing something?

Highlighted
Box Certified Professional

Re: Is there really still no way to stop others from editing open files?

@drhamad,

 

I feel a bit like I've come into the story in the second chapter. Can you explain what you mean about the duplication of files?

 

Bob

Indiana University
University Information Technology Services
Highlighted
New Contributor

Re: Is there really still no way to stop others from editing open files?

Box makes a big deal over the fact that if two people edit the same file at the same time, their edits won't be lost - it creates a second file and saves them separately.

 

The problem is, the end result is still two files.

 

The only way to stop that is to manually "lock" and "unlock" each file before and after you open them  - this will stop a second user from opening the same file.  But it's a completely manual system.

Highlighted
Box Certified Professional

Re: Is there really still no way to stop others from editing open files?

@drhamad,

 

I think you are conflating two things. Two users can edit the same document at the same time with the Office Online integration. This is limited to .docx, .xslx and .pptx documents. Multiple users can also co-edit Box Notes. At BoxWorks last fall they also demoed work they are doing with Google to make it possible to store Google Docs in Box and bring in their real-time co-editing capabilities.

 

NOTE: The Office Online integration also auto-locks the documents.

 

For all other file types you must lock a document to prevent others from editing it while you are working in it. This is the same as one might do on a file server. If another user chooses to open the document and make changes while it is locked (something that can be prevented by the first user when they lock it) and saves those changes it will either a) result in a duplicate file with the second user's email address appended to it if the original file is still locked or b) overwrite the changes that were made by the first user if the lock has been removed in the interim. 

 

If users are educated about the options for locking, including preventing others from downloading and limiting the duration of the lock, and of course communicate with each other, then most of the conflicts are mitigated. 

 

I realize this explanation won't obviate the need to train users on best practices, but I hope that helps clarify the various options at play.

 

Best of luck,

 

Bob

 

Indiana University
University Information Technology Services
Highlighted
Box Certified Professional

Re: Is there really still no way to stop others from editing open files?

@drhamad

To add to Bob's response, you can also lock files for a specific period of time. As long as you have an idea of how long you'll have the file open, you can choose a time that fits and not have to unlock the file manually.

MaryBeth

Highlighted
New Contributor

Re: Is there really still no way to stop others from editing open files?


@BobFlynn-IU wrote:

@drhamad,

 

I think you are conflating two things. Two users can edit the same document at the same time with the Office Online integration. This is limited to .docx, .xslx and .pptx documents. Multiple users can also co-edit Box Notes. At BoxWorks last fall they also demoed work they are doing with Google to make it possible to store Google Docs in Box and bring in their real-time co-editing capabilities.

 

Hi Bob - Correct, you are talking about a different feature. I am not referring to Office Online. I am not conflating two different things.

NOTE: The Office Online integration also auto-locks the documents.

 

 

 

 

For all other file types you must lock a document to prevent others from editing it while you are working in it. This is the same as one might do on a file server. If another user chooses to open the document and make changes while it is locked (something that can be prevented by the first user when they lock it) and saves those changes it will either a) result in a duplicate file with the second user's email address appended to it if the original file is still locked or b) overwrite the changes that were made by the first user if the lock has been removed in the interim. 

 

If users are educated about the options for locking, including preventing others from downloading and limiting the duration of the lock, and of course communicate with each other, then most of the conflicts are mitigated. 

 

I realize this explanation won't obviate the need to train users on best practices, but I hope that helps clarify the various options at play.

 

Best of luck,

 

Bob

 


 

That's correct, and that's what I'm complaining about - the fact that Box still doesn't have an auto-lock feature.  You're still relying on manual locks and "best practices" to deal with it, instead of Box automatically locking it when it's opened.

 

At the end of the day it seems like I'm going to have to drop Box in favor of something more specifically designed as a CMS, if I want to stop the constant multiple-file creation.  It just surprises me that there's so many posts about this issue over the years, and still no solution.

Highlighted
New Contributor

Re: Is there really still no way to stop others from editing open files?

This is a huge setback! Im trying to get my company to start using Box but cannot convince my boss because he wants an auto lockout when downloading the files and editing offline. He does not trust people to use the manual lock out feature and does not want to deal with the pain of getting two files everytime someone screws up!

 

AUTO LOCKOUT MUST BE A FEATURE! 

Highlighted
First-time Contributor

Re: Is there really still no way to stop others from editing open files?

Hi

 

This is a feature that I desperately need too. I can see this post was from a year ago, has there been any progress on making this a feature and especially through Box Drive?

Highlighted
New Contributor

Re: Is there really still no way to stop others from editing open files?

Nope