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Administer Desktop Sync

If you’re an IT administrator, you can configure a number of features to centrally manage your Desktop Sync clients.

Manage automatic configuration updates

If you’re an IT administrator, you can upload a new configuration file to the repository so that it’s automatically provided to all Desktop Sync clients.

This allows you to update the configuration file for all your Desktop Sync users without any manual intervention.

  1. Create a Desktop Sync folder in the Alfresco Content Services repository path: /Data Dictionary/

  2. Browse to the Alfresco Support Portal and download the configuration file: AlfrescoSync.conf.

  3. Save the file in the new Desktop Sync folder.

    Note: Don’t rename the file, otherwise the configuration update won’t work.

    Once the configuration file is uploaded, users receive a notification telling them that the new configuration file has been downloaded.

    When the Desktop Sync client connects to the repository for file updates, it checks for new versions of the configuration. The client periodically checks for new configuration files - no more than once per 24 hour period. When a new configuration file is found, it’s downloaded and retained in the appropriate folder. For example:

    • Windows: <userHome>\AppData\Local\Alfresco
    • Mac:~/Library/Application Support/Alfresco

    The existing configuration file is kept as a backup (i.e. AlfrescoSync-backup.conf).

    Users will have to restart Desktop Sync to apply the changes.

    Note: If you’re a Windows user, you’ll see a message stating:

    C:\Users\Program Files\AppData\Local\Alfresco\AlfrescoSync.conf
    This file has been modified by another program. Do you want to reload it?
    
  4. Select OK to apply the changes to your configuration.

Manage automatic installation updates

If you’re an IT administrator, you can upload new installation files into the repository to automatically update all users with Desktop Sync clients.

This ensures users with Desktop Sync clients are always up to date with minimal manual intervention.

  1. Create a Desktop Sync folder in the Alfresco Content Services repository path: /Data Dictionary/
  2. Upload the latest installer files for Windows and Mac clients to this location.

    Note: Don’t rename the files, otherwise the client upgrade won’t work.

    Once the installer files are uploaded, users receive a notification telling them that an update is available and a new installation file has been downloaded.

    Users will have to restart Desktop Sync to apply the new installation file.

    See Updating Desktop Sync for more information about how an update is applied.

SAML authentication

Starting from version 1.4, Alfresco Desktop Sync users can authenticate through a SAML identity provider.

The following prerequisites are required:

  • Alfresco Content Services 6.2 or later
  • Alfresco Sync Service 3.3 or later
  • Identity Service 1.1 or later

SAML authentication in Desktop Sync clients (Windows and Mac) is automatically enabled if the Alfresco Content Services repository is configured to use the Identity Service.

See the Alfresco Sync Service documentation for SAML configuration details.

Once users have entered the repository URL (shown in step 2 of Setting up Desktop Sync for Windows and Setting up Desktop Sync for Mac), they will be asked to enter their username and password into the SAML provider login page via their default browser.

Manage enforced sync

If you’re an IT administrator, you can configure Desktop Sync client apps to enforce the sync of specific paths or Sites, and optionally enforce the exclusion of sub-folders for those paths or Sites. This allows you to restrict what your Desktop Sync clients sync by pre-selecting the sync folders.

When you add this configuration, users can’t select anything to sync as the Desktop Sync client hides the content selection dialog.

The properties to enforce sync are specified as:

test.path.<n> = <enforced-sync-path>
test.siteName.<n> = <enforced-sync-siteId>

where <n> is an ascending index number starting at 1. These must be consecutive otherwise, if a number is skipped, all paths that follow are ignored.

The properties to enforce exclusion are specified as:

test.subfolderFilter.<enforced-sync-path> = <relative path to folder to be excluded>
test.subfolderFilter.<enforced-sync-siteId> = <relative path to folder to be excluded>

Here’s an example of how these properties are configured:

test.path.1 = /Shared
test.path.2 = /Sites/siteId/documentLibrary/folder3
test.path.3 = /User Homes/username
test.subFolderFilter./Shared=folder8,folder9
test.subFolderFilter./User Homes/username=folder7

Note:

  • The exclusion property test.subfolderFilter can’t be used on its own - it needs to be applied to one of the paths specified by test.path.<n>.
  • If all enforced sync paths are specified incorrectly, then the content selection dialog is enabled.
  • If, for example, one of two paths is invalid and one is valid, the content selection dialog is disabled and only the valid path is synced.
  • If an excluded folder is renamed, then that folder will be synced after a restart.

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