1.1 What Is Novell Filr?

Novell Filr is an enterprise file management tool designed to share files by leveraging your security infrastructure, both internally and externally. Filr gives you access to corporate files (including files that are located on mapped drives) and lets you access them from a mobile app on a mobile device, from a desktop application on your workstation, or from a web browser.

1.1.1 Filr Applications and Appliances

The following sections provide information about the distinction between Filr applications and appliances.


Filr applications are client interfaces that allow users to access the Filr software. There are three Filr applications:


Appliances are prepackaged software bundles designed to reduce installation and configuration overhead. Components that make up a Filr site can be deployed either as a single appliance for small deployments or as multiple appliances for larger installations. Filr appliances run as virtual machines within a VMware, Hyper-V, or Xen environment. For more information, see Section 1.1.2, Filr Components.

1.1.2 Filr Components

A Novell Filr site consists of three major components. In very small deployments, each of these components is part of the Filr appliance. In large deployments, the software, the database, and the search index each runs as a separate appliance.

Filr Software

The Filr software is a customized version of Apache Tomcat. This software provides the web-based functionality you use as you access the Filr site through your web browser.

Filr Database

Filr supports using a MySQL or Microsoft SQL database. You can either install the MySQL database appliance that ships with Filr or configure Filr to use your organization’s existing MySQL or Microsoft SQL database. (Using your organization’s existing MySQL or Microsoft SQL database is recommended for enterprise installations.)

The Filr database is used for storing information about the Filr site and its users:

  • Structural information about folders and files

  • Identification information about folders and files (for example, titles, descriptions, dates of creation/modification, and users associated with creation and modification)

  • User profile information (for example, full name, phone number, and email address)

The Filr database disk space requirements are relatively modest, because the database is not used for storing files.

Search Index

The search index is a high-performance Java search engine built with Lucene technology. The search index contains pointers to the actual data stored in the Filr file repository. The index enables the search engine to perform very fast searches through large quantities of Filr data.

1.1.3 Filr Storage

Data for the Filr system is stored in three areas:

MySQL Database

The MySQL database is used to store MySQL data files, including tablespace data files, tablespace log files, and binary log files. It is also used to store comments on files and folders.

The MySQL database can be part of the all-in-one appliance (small deployment), can be configured as a separate appliance (large deployment), or can be leveraged on an existing MySQL database.

Data Storage for the Appliance

When you set up Filr (either as a single appliance in a small deployment or as separate appliances for a large deployment), you configure data to reside on a hard disk.

The following data is stored for each appliance on the hard disk:

All appliances: Web application certificates for Jetty and Tomcat and the Ganglia RRD database

Filr appliance: Data for the Filr appliance (located in the /Cachefilestore and /conf, /extension, /filerepository, /temp direcotries)

Search index appliance: Data for the Lucene search index appliance

MySQL database appliance: Data for the MySQL database appliance

For more detailed storage information, see Filr Appliance Storage.

Configuration Data for the Appliance

Configuration information for each appliance is stored on the appliance itself, and can be exported during and upgrade process and then re-imported.

For more information, see Section 9.0, Upgrading Filr.

1.1.4 Using Novell Filr

Novell Filr lets users work with files in important ways:

Filr allows users to access, share, and collaborate on files that are in two key locations:

Files in Net Folders

Filr gives users easy access to folders and files on the corporate file system. Corporate files can be files on a user’s home drive, files on a mapped drive, or files on a remote server. Filr gives users seamless access to these files, regardless of their location. You as the Filr administrator define which corporate files users have access to.

In Filr, users access these corporate files by clicking Net Folders in the masthead. For more information about Net Folders, see the Novell Filr 1.2 Web Application User Guide.

My Files

Users can upload files directly to the Filr site for personal use or to promote collaboration; they can create folders to better organize files. For more information about how to upload files, see Adding Files to a Folder in the Novell Filr 1.2 Web Application User Guide.

Files and folders that are located in a user’s My Files area are visible only to that user by default. Users can make files and folders available to others by sharing them, as described in Sharing Files and Foldersin the Novell Filr 1.2 Web Application User Guide.

The My Files area can contain two types of files. Users can access these files by clicking My Files in the masthead.

  • Personal Storage: You can configure Filr to allow users to add Personal Storage files to the My Files area. These are files that users have uploaded to the Filr site and do not exist on an external server; instead, the files are on the Filr server itself.

  • Home Folder: You can configure Filr to display users’ Home folders. Files in users’ Home folders are synchronized from the corporate file system.