How My Docs Online File Locking enables collaboration in the cloud


Using file locking technology is important when you are sharing a file or document with others. A file lock is used to prevent two people from opening and updating the same document or file at the same time because that would result in one person’s updates wiping out the other’s.

Common file types that need File Locking for cloud collaboration include office application files like Word or Word Perfect, Spreadsheets like Excel, or Powerpoint presentations. Data files like QuickBooks or Access MDB/ACCDB files, CADCAM files like autoCAD or MathCAD, and Photoshop files are other examples of application files that often require effective sharing and collaboration.

On an office LAN, this happens automatically because applications can directly open a file on a LAN server, or even on a colleague’s Mac or PC if they are on the same LAN network. When you share a file “in the internet cloud” File Locking requires special software to do the same thing.

Don’t use email for collaboration

Often the first impulse when faced with a new file collaboration need, is to attach the file to an email, and wait for the recipient to save a copy of the file, edit it, and then send it back attached to a fresh email. While this might work when only two people are involved and the edits or updates are minor and few, using email will quickly become a problem for anything more complicated.

The Desktop App can handle any type of file

filetypesThe My Docs Online Desktop App can “Lock & Open” ANY kind of file. All versions of Windows and Mac OS X are supported, and you use the regular program for that file type on your computer, giving you a familiar, fast and powerful way to edit and update a shared file. When you are done editing the file or document you simply “Save & Unlock” so your colleagues can access it.

Web Folders an option for Word and Excel

Office applications (Word and Excel) can also use File Locking via Web Folders to make sure two people don’t edit the same document at the same time. Other file types must use the Desktop App.

If you and a colleague, for instance, both try to open and edit the same spreadsheet at roughly the same time, the first one to open the file can do so, and the second one will get a warning that another user has the file open for update, and all the second user will be able to get is a “Read-Only” copy of the file (until the first user closes it).

Web Folders and the Desktop App work together

The My Docs Online Desktop App and My Docs Online Web Folders work together on File Locking for the Word and Excel files that Web Folders supports. Collaborators can choose either application to “Lock & Open” a Word or Excel file.

What about security?

In the case of My Docs Online, access to an account via the Desktop App or Web Folders is secured using a Login ID and password. Also, SSL encryption is automatic.

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