1.4 Key Features of iFolder

Before you begin to use iFolder, it is important to understand the following key features:

1.4.1 iFolder Sharing

Typically, when you work in multiple locations or in collaboration with others, you must conscientiously manage file versions. With iFolder, the most recent version of your files can follow you to any computer where you have installed the iFolder client and created an iFolder for them. iFolder also allows you to share multiple iFolders and their separate content with other authorized users or LDAPGroups. For more information on shared iFolder, see Shared iFolders.

The iFolder client supports sharing by synchronizing files across multiple computers through a central server. It allows you to do the following:

  • Share files across computers

  • Share files with others

  • Own multiple iFolders

  • Participate in multiple iFolders that other users share with you

  • Participate as the owner or a member of iFolders in multiple accounts

You work with iFolders directly in your file manager or in the iFolder browser that is part of the client. Within the iFolder, you can set up any subdirectory structure that suits your personal or corporate work habits. The subdirectory structure is constant across all member iFolders.

Shared iFolders

An iFolder is a local directory that selectively shares and synchronizes files via a central server with user-specified users. The iFolder files are accessible to all iFolder members and can be changed by those with the rights to do so. You can access your iFolders across multiple workstations and share them with both individual users and LDAPGroups.

You decide who participates in each iFolder and the level of access for each member. Similarly, you can participate in shared iFolders that are owned by others in your collaboration environment. When you share an iFolder, member users with the Write permission can modify the directory structure, and those changes apply to all copies of the iFolder. Each user can locate the shared iFolder anywhere on his or her own computer if it satisfies the requirements in Section 8.1, Guidelines for the Location and Use of iFolders.

1.4.2 iFolder Access Rights

The iFolder client supports the owner and three levels of access for members of an iFolder:

IMPORTANT:Members of an LDAPGroup inherit the access rights set for that group.

  • Owner: Only one user serves as the owner of an iFolder. This is typically the user who creates the iFolder. The owner user can use the iFolder client to transfer ownership to another member of the iFolder.

    The owner of an iFolder has the Full Control right. This user has Read/Write access to the iFolder, manages membership and access rights for member users, and can remove the Full Control right for any member.

    If an LDAPGroup owns an iFolders, all the member users of that group are given the full control right.

  • Full Control: A member of the shared iFolder, with the Full Control access right. This member has Read/Write access to the iFolder and manages membership and access rights for all users except the owner.

  • Read/Write: A member of the shared iFolder, with the Read/Write access right to the directories and files in the iFolder. This member can modify a file, but the local changes are synchronized to other members’ copies of the iFolder.

  • Read Only: A member of the shared iFolder, with the Read Only access right to directories and files in the iFolder. This member can modify a file, but the local changes are not synchronized to other members’ copies of the iFolder.

Any iFolder user or LDAPGroup can own some iFolders and be a member of other iFolders. As an owner user, you always have the Full Control right. As a member user, your level of access in each shared iFolder can differ, depending on the access granted to you by any member with the Full Control right.

1.4.3 LDAPGroup Support

iFolder supports LDAPGroups. You can share iFolders with LDAPGroups. Members of the LDAPGroup can create, own and share iFolders with other individual users or other LDAPGroups.

1.4.4 SSL Support

Novell iFolder allows you use a secure channel to synchronize between iFolders on the server and on the local machine. You can enable secure channel for both regular and encrypted iFolders.

1.4.5 Merge

With Merge, you can consolidate the iFolder data and minimize the data transfer between the iFolder client and the server. Merge also allows you to move an existing folder to a different location on the client machine. For more information, see Section 8.8, Merging iFolders.

1.4.6 File Synchronization

When you are connected to the server, iFolder can synchronize iFolder membership and files in the background as you work. When you set up an iFolder account, you can enable Remember My Password so that iFolder can remember the password on that machine, and next time when you launch iFolder, it automatically connects to the server and synchronize the data without prompting for the password.

You can configure the iFolder client to run automatically each time you log in to your computer’s desktop environment. The session runs in the background as you work with files in your local iFolders, tracking and logging any changes you make.

You can synchronize the files manually or at specified intervals.

iFolder also has delta synchronization capabilities. When you make any changes to an iFolder file, only the deltas or changes are synchronized to the server. In other words, delta synchronization only retrieves updates since the last synchronization between the iFolder client and the server. This increases the efficiency,because it reduces the synchronization time.

1.4.7 Encryption

iFolder provides higher security for your confidential iFolder files, to protect them from intentional or unintentional access by unauthorized people. In the past, data security was not ensured on the server side, so the data was accessible to the administrator or to anyone who gained unauthorized access to the server. In addition, when you access iFolder files via an ISP provider, there is a chance that an unauthorized individual can inadvertently stumble across your confidential files. Now, you can encrypt and save your files on the server, and retrieve them through a passphrase known only to you. If you forget your passphrase, the Recovery agent you have selected during the creation of the encrypted iFolder helps you recover your data. The figure given below gives you an idea of how iFolder recover your lost data.

Figure 1-1 Passphrase Recovery

For more information on encryption, see Managing Passphrase for Encrypted iFolders.

IMPORTANT:You cannot share an Encrypted iFolder.

1.4.8 Migration

Novell iFolder provides a simple, hassle-free migration from iFolder 2.x to the iFolder client for Novell iFolder 3.7. The Migration Wizard provided in the iFolder client helps you migrate the existing iFolder 2.x data to iFolder 3.7 and later quickly and easily. For more information, see Novell iFolder Migration And Upgrade.

1.4.9 Upgrade

Novell iFolder 3.7 provides a simple upgrade from iFolder 3.x to the iFolder client for Novell iFolder 3.7. For more information, see Section 6.2, Upgrading iFolder 3.x Clients.

1.4.10 Default iFolder

iFolder allows you to set up a default iFolder when you configure a new account. Whenever you configure a new iFolder account, iFolder automatically checks for the presence of the default iFolder. If you have not created a default iFolder, iFolder prompts you to create one. If it already exists, the iFolder client prompts you to download. You are also allowed to ignore both these options. For more information, see Step 5 in the Section 7.3, Configuring an iFolder Account.

1.4.11 Enhanced Web Access

iFolder provides an enhanced Web interface that allows you to access your iFolder files on remote servers. With the Web Access console, you can use a Web browser to access your files on the iFolder server from any workstation without the iFolder client. The Web Access interface enables you to perform all the operations of the iFolder client.

When compared to the previous iFolder versions, iFolder 3.7 and later versions lets you create, browse, share, upload and delete iFolders via the enhanced Web access console. Mobile users can also make use of this facility through the Web.

1.4.12 Synchronization Log

The synchronization log displays a log of your iFolder background activity, such as uploading and downloading files for different iFolders, policy violations, excluded files, and non-synchronized files. Whenever a synchronization error occurs, a synchronization log window is displayed listing all the error messages.To view the log of your background activity, you must open the Synchronization Log from the View menu.