Working collaboratively on documents has now gotten easier, with users able to lock documents to avoid their changes from being overwritten by others.
The need for file locking
Syncplicity is used and appreciated by a large number of business users for working collaboratively on documents of all types, both within the organization and with external partners, customers and suppliers. The solution allows users to work easily together on the same files, ensuring a single point of truth, while ensuring the security and ownership of the content are not compromised.
One frustration for users is losing their recent edits, because they’ve been overwritten by another user who happened to edit the same file at the same time, or because multiple different copies of the document have been created with each user’s individual changes. Either way, feedback from users has been that they wanted a way to avoid getting into these situations.
File locking and unlocking in Syncplicity
The recent release of Syncplicity includes a new feature: “File locking.” When a user wants to ensure only they can update a file, they can select the file (in the web UI, the desktop or in the mobile client) and select to “Lock File” for a specified amount of time (five minutes, 20 minutes, one hour or two hours).
During that period, they can be certain that no-one else will overwrite their changes. When they have finished working with the file, they can either wait for the lock expiration period to end or can explicitly select to “Unlock” the file. The file will then be available again for others to edit. And if at any point they need more time, they can extend the lock duration; it’s as easy as that! Other users will be able to see whether a file is locked and for what duration.
Having the lock automatically removed after a set period ensures that if a user forgets that they have locked a file, they will not indefinitely prevent others from being able to work with the file. Learn more about going beyond basic customized content experiences on Syncplicity.
What are my other options?
As a reminder, Syncplicity already includes a number of other existing features to help users work collaboratively without stepping on one another’s toes. Learn more about real-time document protection and backup.
- The possibility for the administrator to determine on a granular basis what should happen if a conflict occurs; either the most recently modified version of the document can be kept or Syncplicity can be configured to create a separate version for each user, by appending the user name to the file name.
- The AppTab in Office documents displays in real-time when other users are viewing or editing or have saved a version of the document,
- The integration (both in the web UI and from the desktop) with Office 365 online editing, to allow real-time concurrent editing of documents.
File locking this takes precedence over these other features.
How can a user start using this functionality?
This functionality is currently under “Technology Preview,” and will be Generally Available (GA) shortly. At that point, the functionality will be available for all customers, but until then if you’d like it enabled for your tenant, please reach out to Syncplicity support. Once enabled, the functionality will be accessible from the web user interface and is included in the soon to be released desktop client for Windows 6.2 and the mobile client for iOS 4.9.
Download the latest version of the Syncplicity desktop client.
The latest version of the mobile client for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store.
If you’d like further information regarding this feature, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager who will be able to assist you.