Edocs

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UIS eDocs uses the powerful Xythos Document Manager so you can access your files anywhere, anytime. Publishing web sites, backing up critical files, and collaborating with colleagues both on and off campus is fast, simple, and secure. You can even connect directly to eDocs from your computer to more easily manage your files.

NOTE: Each user (faculty, staff, or student) has 1GB of space allocated for their use. Departments may request space (5 GB) in the eDocs system by sending an email to techsupport@uis.edu with the name of the department and the person who will be the eDocs administrator for that department.

Users that require additional space for academic or administrative needs may submit a request by emailing the ITS Client Services Center (techsupport@uis.edu). Requests should include an explanation of the need for additional space.

 

Learn More About eDocs

eDocs Handouts

eDocs Workshop Videos

eDocs “How-To” Videos

[Each video is one to four minutes in length. You can also subscribe to these videos via iTunes U at UIS.]

 


Access Options

Using eDocs on the Web

The eDocs web interface provides a convenient way to access your eDocs account from computers with Internet access and a web browser. Keep in mind, eDocs is a storage system, just like your computer’s hard drive. You will use the eDocs web interface to upload (add to eDocs) and download (save to your computer). eDocs is not a file editor, so you will make changes to your files using other applications.

Using eDocs on Your Desktop

While anywhere, anytime web access to eDocs is convenient, you may want a less cumbersome way to access your files on a daily basis. You can use software built into your operating system that makes eDocs easier to use. For more information on Using eDocs on Your Desktop, please refer to the “eDocs Handouts” section.

Security Tips

As with any online application, security is always a concern with eDocs.

Data interception, a major security issue, is handled automatically by eDocs. When you work with eDocs, all your data is automatically encrypted from the moment you log until you log out. In other words, you can use eDocs on a laptop in an internet cafe and not wonder who’s taking your password, looking at your research data, or interfering with anything else you do in eDocs on the Web.

In fact, most eDocs security issues stem from its convenience features. Read and follow the tips below to make sure you are using eDocs as safely as possible.

Security tips for using eDocs

  • Windows WebFolders: Windows users have the option of creating a permanent connection to eDocs on their desktop. Because this links directly to your eDocs account, this option should only be used on your home or office computer, never in a computer lab.
  • Persistent session cookies: Internet Explorer users can click a checkbox to set a persistent session cookie. The persistent session cookie keeps you from being prompted for your password as long as that eDocs session is open. While this is fine for home use, do not set the persistent session cookie in a computer lab.
  • Shared files: Pay attention to your shared files. Never put anything in your www directory that you do not want other people to see. Be careful who you grant write and administrative privileges to. Be careful about opening entire directories to the outside world. A simple mistake could allow others to access your eDocs directory. Even if you’re not concerned about others seeing your files, any file someone else places in your eDocs directory will count against your quota and may even violate copyright law.
  • Log out: Always log out when you’ve finished your eDocs session, especially when using a lab or on public computers. This will prevent others from using your eDocs account, either accidentally or intentionally.

Collaboration

Collaborating with colleagues from outside the university often requires sharing and editing files. Emailing these large files often consumes your email quota. eDocs provides a convenient solution to this dilemma.

  • File/Folder Sharing – eDocs allows you to share your files and folders with other users. Sharing your files makes it possible for multiple users to both view and edit your files without requiring you to maintain multiple copies of the shared files. For more information see Sharing and Permissions/Sharing in Xythos Help.
  • Guest tickets – Guest tickets allow you to give access to your eDocs space to people from off campus. You can choose whether your guests will be able to edit your files or only view them. Once you have specified the details of the ticket, eDocs creates a URL for you to email to your guests. For more information see Sharing and Permissions/Tickets in Xythos Help.

Web Publishing

By default your eDocs account contains one publicly accessible directory (www), which means that anyone with web access can see the files in this directory. The directory is designed to be used for easy web publishing. An HTML file placed in your www directory will display as a web page.

To publish your web pages, simply upload your HTML documents to your www directory. The address for your web pages will be the following URL, where your NetID (ex. jdoe) replaces YourNetID.

https://eDocs.uis.edu/YourNetID/www/

If no filename is specified after the www/, a web browser will automatically display the index.html file.

NOTE: In accordance with the Campus Web Policy (http://www.uis.edu/webpolicy), all official department Web site files must reside on the official UIS Web server. These files may not reside in personal Web accounts, eDocs accounts, or on off-campus servers.

Known Issues

  • Pages do not update when publishing web pages to eDocs using Dreamweaver.

Dreamweaver does not send a user name or password to the server when it tries to connect. The problem resides in the fact that the WWW directory is only public for read and does not allow public to write.

There is no indication that Adobe will re-write their connect procedure for webdav to allow you to force send a user name and password even if it is a public directory.

From Xythos Support:

This is not a Xythos bug as it is a webdav expected behavior.

When connecting using a webdav client to a public directory webdav requires no authentication parameters to be sent to the server. So although you are an authenticated user when connecting using webdav you are just a public user and you don’t get any specific authentication privileges. There is nothing that Xythos can do to change this behavior as it is part of webdav specifications.

Workaround:

1. Go into permissions on your www folder and remove access to public. Upload your changes. Then turn access to public back on.

2. Save changes to local drive and then cut and paste to your eDocs folder.

  • There is currently an issue in department folders where ‘empty the trash’ command does not work.

Workaround:

Enter the trash folder, select the check box at the top left (above all the files) – this will select all the files and then right click on the files and select delete.

- There are some issues with eDocs links created in BB courses that are copied. ITS is currently trying to develop a permanent solution to this problem. Please contact OTEL for information on current workarounds for this issue.

- The shared link email message that is sent to AD users (internal users) contains a subscribe link that does not work.

“You may subscribe to changes or bookmark the resource at this link:”

From Xythos:

This ‘problematic’ link is created by certain versions of Xythos for certain types of ticket recipients only (internal system users). An enhancement request to remove the link has already been filed. UIS has been added to the list of our clients who wish to see this link removed.

  • Many users access their department directory via the root directory. With the addition of more and more users to the eDocs system, the lag time of pulling up the root directory has increased to a point that some users may find tedious. The system must scan all available users and determine if you have access to any of the over 2000 users we now have on the system.

Workaround: Utilize the bookmark feature to eliminate any lag when switching from a personal directory to a department directory. You can bookmark your department directory, and the switch is almost instantaneous. For more information on how to create bookmarks, see the Bookmarking how-to video.

  • There are compatibility issues with Internet Explorer 8.

Workaround:

Navigate to the log-in page for eDocs (https://edocs.uis.edu). Click the Compatibility View toolbar button to display the website as viewed in Internet Explorer 7. It is located next to the Refresh button on the Address Bar. This option is on a per site basis and all other sites will continue to display with Internet Explorer 8 functionality. Note: When you click on the Compatibility View button, you do not need to do it again as the next time you visit eDocs the browser will show it in compatibility mode.

eDocs Best Practices

Using Xythos Drive

Xythos Drive allows us to map eDocs to a drive and thus work with our files on eDocs in the same way we would work with files on our computers or a flash drive.

File synchronization can be challenging – having confidence that your edits are being saved back to eDocs and will be there when you re-open the file. Xythos Drive answers that challenge, allowing users to work with their files in the environment with which they are already familiar. There is no need to learn the eDocs interface; with Xythos Drive, users can stay in the application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) and work with their eDocs files as they normally would. For more information, see the Xythos Drive webpage.

Using Web folders

Web folders can greatly aid the process of uploading files/folders to eDocs by allowing you to drag and drop files and folders. Web folders are also helpful when revising files to ensure that the revisions are uploaded back to eDocs. For more information, see the Web folders how-to video. Firefox users should also refer to the Instructions for using web folders in Firefox [PDF, 478KB].

Mapping a drive to eDocs

A drive can be mapped to your eDocs account on university computers. Similar to web folders, mapped drives allow you to easily upload files by dragging and dropping. In addition, files can be easily opened, edited, and saved from a mapped drive. For more information or to map a drive to eDocs, see the Mapping a Drive to eDocs how-to video or contact the ITS Client Services Center.

Issuing tickets

Files/folders can be shared to non-UIS people through tickets. Permissions can be set to allow others to view and/or edit files. This is a great alternative for sending e-mail attachments. When sharing multiple files to the same person/group, please consider storing those files in a folder and sharing the folder instead of individual files. This allows you to send just one e-mail with a link to the shared folder rather than a series of e-mails linking to individual files. For more information, see the Assigning Tickets and Receiving Tickets how-to videos.

Sharing files within UIS

Files/folders can be shared with UIS faculty, staff, and students within eDocs. Permissions can be set to allow others to view and/or edit files. This is a great alternative to sending e-mail attachments. When sharing multiple files to the same person/group, please consider storing those files in a folder and sharing the folder instead of individual files. This allows you to send just one e-mail with a link to the shared folder rather than a series of e-mails linking to individual files. For more information, see the Assigning Basic Permissions and the Notification of Shared Resources how-to videos.

Accessing others’ shared files/folders

When others share their files/folders with you via eDocs, you will receive an e-mail message with a link to the shared file/folder. Bookmarking that link will allow you to easily return to the shared file/folder without referring back to the link in the original e-mail message. For more information, see the Bookmarking how-to video.

Using eDocs to back up files

Since it is impossible to guarantee that your computer will never crash, backing up your files on a regular basis is a smart idea. You can use eDocs to safely and securely store a copy of your files. For more information on uploading files, see the Uploading Files Using the Basic Upload Feature, Uploading Files Using the Advanced Upload Feature, and Web Folders how-to videos.

Having a web presence

eDocs can be used to host a personal website. Simply create your website using the html-editor of your choice and upload the files/folders to your www folder on eDocs. Be sure your home page is named index.html. Your web address becomes ‘https://edocs.uis.edu/YourNetID/www’ (without the quotes).

Ditch the flash drives, floppy disks, or CDs

eDocs can be accessed from any computer with Internet access both on and off campus. (The VPN is NOT needed for off-campus access.) Store your files on eDocs instead of carrying around excess equipment like flash drives, floppy disks, or CDs.

 

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