Folder Structures – Best Practices at the Root Level Folder

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Who will be creating the structure? Who will need access? Personal Folders Advanced Folder Settings Limitations Tips and Full Guide

Who will be creating the structure?

The ability to create root level folders is dictated by the employee permission ‘Create root-level folders.’ This permission is not for Admin users only. Employees with this permission will be able to create root level folders. To allocate this permission to an existing employee, navigate to ‘People’ -> ‘Manage Employees’ -> Select a user’s profile -> Allocate permissions at the bottom of the screen under ‘User Access’.

If a user is granted upload rights on a folder, they will have the ability to create subfolders within that folder.

TIP! If you are using the ShareFile User Management Tool to provision users directly from AD, you can allocate the ‘Create root-level folders’ permission to users at the time of group rule creation.

Who will need access?

Understanding who will be accessing the data in a folder structure is extremely important to the planning process. ShareFile allows for sharing folder access with both internal (employees) and external (clients) users. To share a folder with a user, you will need to be an admin user on the folder, or the creator. Simply navigate to that folder location > Select the ‘People on this Folder’ tab > ‘Add People to Folder’ > Select the user and assign permissions > ‘Add’. Click here for more info on how to Add People to a Folder.

TIP! You can add users to a folder in bulk by utilizing distribution groups.

Personal Folders

Personal Folders are automatically created for each Employee User at the time of provisioning. The user should reserve this location for private use and any folders in this location should not be shared with other users. Any folders that are going to be shared should be created or moved to the ‘Shared Folders’ area. By default, employees have the ability to upload and download files from this folder. They also will be able to create subfolders and add other users to those subfolders with desired permissions. Click here for more info on ShareFile Personal Folders.

TIP! As an Admin, you can always view an employee’s Personal Folder to ensure they are adhering to best practices and internal standards. This can be done by navigating to:

‘People’ -> Manage Employees -> Select Profile -> ‘View folders and activity logs’ -> ‘Access Personal Folder’

Advanced Folder Settings

As a ShareFile Admin, you have the ability to set account-wide folder defaults within the Admin Settings console. These settings will be applied to any net new root-level folders that are created within your account. However, Advanced Folder Settings allows folder Admins to override these defaults to apply custom policies on a per root-level folder basis. Click here for more info on how to Create a Folder & Advanced Folder Options.

TIP! By default, a user given Admin rights at the root-folder level has the ability to adjust the retention policy on that folder (and therefore all subfolders beneath). However, ShareFile offers a setting that can be enabled by Citrix Support that only allows employee users with ‘Modify account-wide settings’ to adjust folder retention policies via Advanced Folder Settings.

Although ShareFile does not provide defined parameters regarding folder size, depth, or number of items allowed, the following best practices will ensure optimal performance.

File Path Limit

ShareFile recommends adhering to Microsoft File Path limitations by avoiding path names that exceed 250 characters. Shorten paths by renaming folders and files or moving deep lying folders higher up the tree. This is extremely pertinent if you are planning on deploying the ShareFile Sync for Windows application.

Horizontal not Vertical

As mentioned earlier, it is best practice to keep your folder structure spread wide at either the root level or the second level down. This will prevent a narrow, deep structure from evolving that can cause a poor user experience and strain the ShareFile system. These changes can help to disperse items and prevent a folder from hitting the upper limits. This is linked to the number of calls required when adjusting folder settings, user access, and account wide policies. Furthermore, users will lose productivity if they’re required to click through a deep folder tree to access documents.

File Versioning

Adjust your file versioning to only keep the last 25 or less files. This can be adjusted from the Admin Settings under Advanced Preferences > File Settings.

Limit items in each folder

ShareFile folders should not contain more than 5,000 items within an individual folder or sub-folders. An “item” includes any elements within a folder. This includes files, folders, additional versions of files, and notes. Additionally, items in the recycle bin from the affected folder before emptied are included in the overall item count. When a folder reaches or exceeds this limitation, the consequences can be detrimental to the account and explicitly the folder in question.

The impacts could include:

  • Inability to upload documents.
  • Slow or inaccessible folder operations such as browse, copy, move, delete, and restore.
  • Time-outs in Web application
  • Inability to temporarily access particular folder
  • Temporary account lock out.

If you are currently experiencing these issues or are approaching these folder limits, please contact support for assistance.

Folder Size

ShareFile folders should not contain more than 10GB of data. Exceeding this limit will result to slow folder operation like copy/move/delete/restore.


Complete Folder Structure Best Practices Document


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