Category: Fileserver Access

Major Update to the Fileserveraccess Web Part

In 2008 I’ve released a Web Part, which enables your users to access files on your fileservers through SharePoint. Original post. This Web Part has been downloaded many times. With this new version, I’ve tried to deal with the most asked questions (like Kerberos), which will make the Web Part easier to use. Naturally new features have been implemented, to get you to upgrade to the new version.

With this release, the Web Part requires SharePoint Foundation / Server 2010. For the users who are still using WSS V3, please stick to the old version, or upgrade your farm 🙂

First some screenshots, so you know what I am talking about.

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Features

  • Download files from your fileservers via SharePoint
  • Download a folder with all containing files as zip-file
  • Upload files to a fileserver
  • Delete files from a fileserver
  • View the file properties
  • By default, the fileserver path has to be UNC. Local paths are not allowed, so a user cannot enter C:\ to access e.g. the web.config or other files on the local server
  • Multilanguage

Of coarse the access to the files is security trimmed. Meaning that if your users would not be able to access files with their logon from their client, they won’t be able from the Web Part!

Requirements

For authorization against the fileserver, the credentials of the currently logged on user is used. For SharePoint (and any other application as well), it is necessary to configure the WebApplication which is hosting the Web Part to use Kerberos instead of NTLM. Otherwise a server cannot pass the user credentials forward to a second server. This is called the “Double-Hop problem”. To get a glimpse about the topic, take a look at an article I wrote some time ago. Configuring Kerberos for SharePoint. That post has been written for SharePoint V3! But thereimage are plenty of Kerberos Guides out there for SP 2010. And a whitepaper from Microsoft: Configuring Kerberos Authentication for SharePoint 2010 Products http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff829837.aspx

If you do not configure Kerberos for the WebApplication, the Web Part will detect that, and show a notification in the properties section.

A small sidenote: If you are going to use local paths (meaning a folder on your SharePoint server), you can continue using NTLM. 

Another good starting point for Kerberos-Troubleshooting can be found here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/friis/archive/2009/12/31/things-to-check-when-kerberos-authentication-fails-using-iis-ie.aspx

Configuration

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To use the WebPart, you’ll need to at least configure a path. Files – and subfolders – from that path will be shown.

Additionally, there are some properties, which modify features of the Web Part.

The Paging size defines, how many files are displayed on one page. With the next three checkboxes, you can allow files to be downloaded as zip, allow files to be uploaded and to be deleted.

I recommend to leave the caching activated. Deactivate only, if you have specific reasons, because there will be more todo for your SharePoint server and fileserver.

Using a local path as source

In case you want to use a local path as source for the Web Part, you have to allow the path to be used. To do so, follow the steps below.

  1. locate the feature.xml file ("C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\FEATURES\FileserverAccess\Feature.xml")
  2. Edit the file in your favorite editor
  3. Look for the property with the key “AllowLocalPaths” and modify the value to correspond to the driveletter you wish to use
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    Replace “Driveletter” with e.g. “C”. You can specify more than one drive letters. In that case use a “;” as divider
  4. Save the feature.xml
  5. Restart your IIS (iisreset)

Remember that you’ll need to modify the file on all of your FrontEnd SharePoint Servers! After an upgrade of the Web Part, the file has to be modified again. If you do not allow local drives, the Web Part will show an error.

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This version is compatible to the old version. So you can simply upgrade the solution and benefit of the new features!

Download the new version for SharePoint 2010 (Foundation and Server): RH.FileserverAccess.wsp

Download the old version for WSS V3 / MOSS 2007: RH.FileserverAccess.wsp

Update March 2012

  • I did not get the Web Part working in my claims based authentication test-environment. Additionally, the Web Part properties will show the current user and authentication method. If you see Negotiate, your environment is set up correctly (for classic authentication).

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  • Another small update, which prevented the upload from working in Chrome

Access Fileserver Data via SharePoint

Update:
The Webpart is not (yet) working as expected. Ajax only works for postbacks. The initial load will take longer, if you have many directories. I am working on this…

Update2:
Almost done! Ajax is working fine. Ajax is registered, so you don’t need to modify the web.config yourself.
Todo: Performance.
Hang on just a little more.

Update3:
Done. I have worked on my Webpart. It will now be faster and it is working 🙂
If you have previously installed the Webpart, please uninstall it, and reinstall again. You can use the setup program.

Update3:
A new version has been released. Take a look at Major Update to the Fileserveraccess Web Part.

I guess everybody knows this scenario. You are with a customer or at home, and need a file from your company’s fileserver very badly. What can you do? VPN is not possible, and you can’t phone a colleague who can then send you the file via email because nobody is in the office. Don’t bother any more. The solution is here J

With my Webpart you can access files from e.g. your fileserver via SharePoint / Browser.

All you have to do is install the solution, activate and deploy it. When you drag the Webpart onto a SharePoint page, you configure the root path from which you want to share data, and your users are able to download the files through the Webpart.

All files and folders are security trimmed. Meaning you can only download files and see folders, which you would see on the directory itself.

Of course this Webpart is translated to English and German. If you want it in your language, contact me.

Sorting the four columns allows your users to find the files they are searching more quickly. The paging size can be configured in the Webpart properties.

This Webpart requires the .Net Framework 3.5 on your WFE (Web Front End) Servers and you have to modify your web.config files to use AJAX. There is an Installation guide here. Be careful to change the version number from Version=1.0.61025.0 to Version=3.5.0.0!

Installation:

After you have added the solution via stsadm, you have to activate the feature on your webapplication and site collection.

Update:

The Webpart can now be installed with a setup program. It will automatically adjust your web.config, so you don’t have to manually put in all AJAX configuration elements.

Before you activate the feature on your sitecollection, activate the feature for the web application in the central administration. This will do all steps for you.

Update 5.6.08:

A small update. Added danish language support (thx to Anja!) and a small performance tuning.

Update 19.6.08:

A small update. Installing the solution via installer does not work as expected. So I will have removed the installer, and uploaded a plain old wsp.

Update 29.9.09

If you are running your SharePoint Farm on a Windows Server 2008, you might want to read this KB article. I is titled "You cannot upload files that are larger than 28 MB on a Windows Server 2008-based computer that is running Windows SharePoint Services 3.0"

Update 12.01.12

Major Update to the Fileserveraccess Web Part

Download the solution here

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