We operate a server running Windows 2000 Professional which a number of engineers access via Dial-Up networking, and are looking for some help in controlling file updating. Microsoft 'Briefcase' (or Off-line Files under Windows 2000) almost does what we want, but neither system will indicate that a file has been copied out to someone's Briefcase and *may* be in the process of being updated (i.e. that ownership has temporarily been transferred to a remote user). It would seem possible to set up a system (like a modified Explorer) which would flag up files in a different colour if they had been copied out, with the file's properties on the server indicating who that user was. If the file was also set as Read-only, it could not be written over until the remote user had finished with it. At present, Briefcase and Offline Files only indicate that changes have been made to both copies when the files are synchronised, and by then both copies may have inadvertently been modified. It would be difficult to make the system really foolproof, but an indication that a file was possibly in use would be a great help. We assume that more and more small companies must be operating as we do, so is there anything out there that could help?
Phil Haughton