Web-based File Sharing (ShareFile)
ShareFile is a cloud-based file-sharing service intended for enterprise use, and is a secure alternative to DropBox (and other consumer-focused systems) for use by staff and faculty members of the Faculty of Medicine. ShareFile augments the internal departmental network drive (the N: drive), allowing the secure sending and receiving of files or folders, including very large files, to or from users outside your department, or the Faculty. The best method for file sharing within a department is to use the departmental network drive (the N: drive) provided as the Faculty's Network File Server service.
For most administrative users, the best way to access these network-based files remotely is to use secure Remote Desktop Access to their work computer. Where intranet-style internal file sharing and discussion is required, the University’s Learning Portal (Blackboard) is also available. Sharefile is meant to augment these services for specific purposes, such as file sharing to external contacts, but not to replace them for day-to-day internal use.
The core purpose for ShareFile is to allow an individual Faculty of Medicine staff and faculty members to securely share file, (including very large files, with people external to their department, or the Faculty. It is not intended to be used as a shared drive, as a departmental intranet, or as a document collaboration solution. Regular ShareFile users are known as “employee users” within ShareFile. Employee users can create any number of “client users” (external contacts) that they can send files to, but client user accounts are limited in their functionality: they can’t create root level folders in the system, use the “Send a File” and “Request a File” features, or use the Sync applications for Windows and Mac computers. Client users are primarily intended to be used to receive files from and/or provide files to an employee user. It’s important to note that ShareFile employee user accounts are meant to be used and managed by a named individual, and are not meant to be used as a generic or departmental account, or as a “shared drive.” Problems may arise where a single employee user account is being synced to multiple computers or mobile devices used by different people. ShareFile does not support live co-editing and group document collaboration as provided in consumer services such as Google Drive or Office365. ShareFile is run by Citrix, the makers of GoToMeeting.
Like DropBox, it offers:
- Access to files from any PC, Mac, or mobile device
- A simple local sync tool for Windows and Mac computers
- Mobile apps for iPhone/iPad and Android
- A mobile website for other platforms (such as Blackberry)
- The upload and receipt of large files (up to 10GB in size)
- Simple sending of large files using hyperlinks rather than attachments
Unlike the more consumer-focused DropBox, ShareFile offers advanced features like secure FTP compatibility (FTPS over SSL), a “Request a File” function, and substantially more security than DropBox. In addition, the Faculty’s configuration uses on-campus file storage rather than cloud storage. While Citrix operates the overall ShareFile system, individual user accounts within the Faculty of Medicine space will be assigned and supported by the Discovery Commons, which manages an enterprise account on behalf of the Faculty of Medicine as a direct cost-recovery service.
To request a ShareFile account, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the Sharefile instructional video: