Axcient Help Center

Managing File Locking and File Sync Warnings

x360Sync allows users to place locks on files and folders in Team Shares, giving subscribers the ability to set read-only permissions on shared content. This feature prevents other Team Share subscribers from editing and overwriting content while changes are being made. Users can place locks on a whole Team Share, a subfolder in a Team Share, or a file in a Team Share. When an item is locked, a lock icon is placed over the file or folder, alerting other Team Share subscribers that it is in read-only mode. Administrators have the ability to unlock any file or folder. Locks are enforced across desktop clients, the web interface, and mobile devices.

Benefits

The file locking feature is useful when an end user wants to prevent other user accounts from accessing items when changes are being made, preventing file sync warnings. Additionally, this feature allows for the creation of read-only Team Shares. For example, you can create a read-only Human Resources Team Share that houses employee forms and policies; end users can read and download files, but cannot edit or delete files.

Configuration Options

To give end users the ability to lock files, you must first turn on the File Locking policy for an organization within the Policies page of the Settings tab. Administrators can configure the file locking feature in a number of ways, depending on the needs of the individual organization.

For example:

  • Administrators can decide to turn on or off the Auto Lock feature for individual Team Shares.

    When the Auto Lock feature is turned on for Team Shares, subscribers are automatically prompted to lock supported Microsoft files each time they are opened. If this feature is turned off, users must remember to manually lock and unlock files and folders using the desktop client’s right-click context menu.

  • Administrators can configure the Use Filesystem Permissions policy to determine whether locks are hard or soft.

    When hardlocks are configured, the desktop client changes the NTFS permissions on Windows, or HFS Plus permissions on Mac, in order to prevent changes by other users. These permissions allow for a much stronger lock, and are especially important for File Server Enablement environments where mapped drive users must be notified by the filesystem when a file is in use.

    A soft lock does not utilize NTFS permissions or HFS Plus permissions, and instead allows a user to make changes to his or her local copy.

Tip

In most instances, it is recommended that administrators enable hard locks and turn on the Auto Lock feature for Team Shares. This configuration ensures the best possible user experience, and helps prevent file sync warnings.

Expected Behavior
  • This feature applies to .doc, .docx, .xlsx, .ppt, and .pptx files. This feature also applies to .xls, .odt, .ods, and .odp documents if the documents are opened with LibreOffice or OpenOffice.

  • This feature is not supported for Word for Mac and .xls files opened with Excel.

  • This feature is only accessible from the desktop client installed on local machines.

Locking and File Server Enablement

If a Team Share has been mapped to a file server through File Server Enablement, locks will be honored both in the Team Share and on the file server. If NTFS permissions are modified on the file server, however, these modifications will not be honored in the Team Share.

Additionally, when you specify a network path as a source for File Server Enablement, the content on the network path will not support the Auto Lock feature.

File Sync Warnings

If an end user does not utilize the File Locking feature, he or she might encounter a file sync warning. End users are responsible for resolving their own file sync warnings. Two different file sync warnings can occur if end users do not utilize the file and folder locking feature:

  • Collision—A collision occurs when one file is modified in two different places at the same time. When this happens, only one of the revisions will successfully sync to the server, and the other revision will be marked as a collision. For example, User A and User B both open the same file from two separate locations, without locking the file. User A edits and saves her file, and this new revision is synchronized to the server. User A edits and saves her file again, and this updated revision is again synchronized to the server. User B is now editing an older revision of the file. When User B saves his revision of the file, it will not synchronize to the server, and will instead be marked as a collision.

    You can optionally turn off the manual collision resolution feature on machines that are not monitored daily (for example, file servers). For more information, please reference the How to Manage Machines section of the Guide.

  • Locked Change Warning—A locked change warning occurs when a user attempts to modify a file that has been previously locked by another user, either at the file level or the folder level. For example, User A locks a file and the file is marked with a lock icon. Later, User B opens the file, ignoring the lock icon, and begins modifying the file. When User B attempts to save his revision, it does not immediately synchronize with the server, and is instead marked as a locked change warning. When User A unlocks the file, User B's revision will automatically synchronize to the server without any additional action on his part. This type of file sync conflict only occurs if hard locks have not been enabled through policy settings.

Allowing End Users to Overwrite Collisions

By default, when an end user encounters a collision, he or she is able to resolve the collision by either renaming or deleting their own local copy of the file.

In addition to these two default options, you can optionally turn on the Allow Users to Overwrite Collisions policy, which allows end users to resolve collisions by syncing their own local copy as the latest server revision. For more information, please reference the How to Update Polices for an Organization section of the Guide.

For more information on how end users resolve their own collisions, please reference the End User Guide.

Monitoring File Sync Warnings

Important desktop client events—including collisions and collision resolutions—are visible within the Windows Event Viewer and the OS X Console utilities, allowing you to proactively track activity and address issues that directly affect end users.

Within the Windows Event Viewer, the following events can be found in the Application section, and are categorized at the Information level. The Source of these events is listed as the name of the branded desktop client.

Event Type

Description

Event ID

Service Start

The desktop client service is starting.

512

Collision Created

A collision is logged.

768

Collision Resolution

The collision is resolved.

769

Collision Failed

A collision was logged, but the conflicting content disappeared while attempting to resolve. Please contact Axcient Support.

770

Collision Message

A message has been generated in relation to a collision event.

771