In this article we can explore a Power User scenario where SharePoint libraries should be treated as Mapped Drives.
Your customer is a Power User and uses SharePoint library on a daily basis. His activities include the following:
1. Add / Update / Delete Folders and Files inside SharePoint Library
2. Move Folders / Files from SharePoint Library between Mapped Networked Drives
For example when a new project is started he needs to create a new folder inside library and copy all the project documents, setup files inside it.
All these occur in a frequent basis. He needs a more convenient option to work with his Library rather than a Browser window.
As the customer requires a much more Windows Explorer like experience, we can suggest the following solution:
· Mapped Drives to SharePoint Library
This solution provides the customer a Mapped Drive (for eg: S:) The customer can open the Mapped Drive using Windows Explorer and manage folders / files inside it. He can even copy / bulk copy folder / files between other network drives / local file system.
After implementing the solution you should be able to see a Mapped Drive in your Windows Explorer as shown below:
Creating the Mapped Drive
Now let us dive into creating the Mapped Drive. As the first step please create a Document Library in your SharePoint site and name it as PowerDocs.
After creation copy the Document Location from the browser address bar. You can exclude the ASPX path as shown below.
In my case the Document Library location is http://hp/PowerDocs
Let us move to the next step of creating the Mapped Drive. Open the windows command prompt and enter the following command.
NET USE DRIVE LOCATION
NET USE S: http://hp/PowerDocs
If the command was successful your Mapped Drive is ready. Now you should be able to see your Mapped Drive (S:) inside Windows Explorer.
You can try opening the folder, create folder, copy / paste files from your local file system.
Removing the Mapped Drive
Anytime you can remove the Mapped Drive using the Disconnect option from Windows Explorer.
Open the Windows Explorer, right click on the Mapped Drive and choose the Disconnect option as shown below.
The Mapped Drive should disappear after this step.
From the above image you can see that the Network Location group is missing. This confirms the removal of Mapped Drive.
Pre-Requisites of using Mapped Drives
Please note that following service has to be started in the client machine to make Mapped Drives work:
You can access the service using Windows Run Command Window > Services.msc
Make sure the service have the Status property as Started and Startup Type property as Automatic. Essentially WebClient service is the same pre-requisite for Open with Windows Explorer feature of Document Libraries.
Note: In the case of Windows Server machines used as client, you need to add the Desktop Experience feature to make the WebClient service available.
Warning on Large File Storage
As SharePoint 2010 stores files inside the Content Database, it is not recommended to store very large files inside it. Storing very large files might impact the performance, plus adding to the cost of storage and management.
Note: You can change the Maximum Upload Size parameter from Central Administration.
RBS represents Remote BLOB Storage. RBS enables SharePoint to store binary large objects inside external least cost storages. This will reduce the hassles of storing large files inside content database. For more information please use the References link.
In this article we have explored the scenario of using Mapped Drives to SharePoint Library. We can summarize the points of learning as:
· We can Map Drives to SharePoint Libraries
· Mapped Drives can be managed through Windows Explorer
· Mapped Drives provides more flexibility & convenience in interaction
· Mapped Drives requires WebClient service to be running on client machine
· Large File storage to SharePoint libraries are not recommended