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(T0358) Storing Attachments Outside the Database Using the Filesystem Method

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Preface

This article is about one of several methods of storing attachments outside the database, which exists in addition to the default of storing attachmenst directly in the database. For more general information on attachments and links to the other methods of storing attachments outside the database, see (T0130) Attaching Files, File Attachments for details on attachments in general.

Filesystem Method

The filesystem method allows you to designate a centralized location outside the database where attachments can be stored. The centralized location should be a network location, such as a UNC path or mapped network drive, to which all users will have access. We strongly recommend obtaining training or consulting when setting the database up to use filesystem attachments and especially when changing an existing filesystem attachment setup.

To set this method up, and designate locations, open the Company Preferences window and navigate to the Company pane on the left. On the right hand side, there will be a groupbox for Attachments; the filesystem method is the second option, "Store attachments in a Windows Shared Folder".

When selecting this option, it is mandatory that you open the correspnoding Attachment Preferences window (using the button below the options) and configure your attachment folders. These locatoins should be subfolders of a network location, such as a UNC path or mapped network drive, to which all users will have access.

Differences from the Links Method

There is an older method of storing attachments outside the database called the "links method", which we no longer recommend. This method has the following advantages:

  • All attachments added through the ServiceLedger application are guaranteed to be stored in some location under the designated top level folders. (With the links method, users could accidentally link attachments stored in any location, including their own local computer's desktops etc.)
  • Files added to the designated location outside of ServiceLedger (e.g. moving a file in Windows Explorer) will automatically be available to the ServiceLedger application as filesystem attachments. (With the links method, only files added via ServiceLedger application are visible, even if other files exist in the same folder.)
  • If attachments must be moved to a new location, it is feasible to update the attachment preferences with the new base location and have the system expect to find the attachments in their new location. (With the links method, the URL is set at the time a record is attached and cannot be changed without detaching and reattaching each individual file.)

For this reason, we recommend the filesystem method as a replacement for the links method.


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