Section 9.4: Offline Files

Windows Server 2003 allows users to work with network files when they are not connected to the network. This is called offline files. To make shared files available offline, copies of the files are stored in a portion of the user's hard disk. This portion is called a cache. Since the cache is on the user's hard disk, the user can access this cache regardless of whether it is connected to the network. By default, the cache size is set to 10 % of the available disk space. To change the size of your cache:

• Click on the START button

• Point to PROGRAMS



• Click on the TOOLS menu


• Click the OFFLINE FILES tab

• Select the enable offline files check box

• Adjust the amount dosk space to use for temporary offline files slider

9.4.1: Enabling Offline Files

When you share a folder, you can allow others users to make the shared folder available for offline use on their computers. To do this

• Click on the START button

• Point to PROGRAMS



• Browse to the Shared Folder you want to make available for offline use

• Right-click the Shared Folder

• Click the properties on the popup menu

• Click on the sharing tab

• Click on the caching tab

• Select the allow caching of files in this shared folder check box

• Select the settings you want to use

Note: You must enable the caching of files for offline access on the computer where the files reside on and not on the client computer that you want to have access to the files when the computer is offline.

The Caching Settings dialog box contains three caching options:

• Manual Caching For Documents. The files that someone using your shared folder specifies for offline access are the only files that are cached. This caching option is recommended for a shared network folder containing files that are accessed and modified by several people and is the default.

• Automatic Caching For Documents. Caches every file that someone opens from your shared folder and makes it available for offline use. Files that the user does not open are not cached and are therefore not available for offline use.

• Automatic Caching For Programs. Provides offline access to shared folders containing files that are read, referenced, or run, but that are not changed in the process. This setting reduces network traffic because offline files are opened directly without accessing the network versions in any way, and generally start and run faster than the network versions.

9.4.2: Offline File Synchronization

When a user has modified an offline file, the file on the network must be updated with the one on the user's computer. This updating occurs through a process called synchronization. Windows Server 2003 provides several options for setting when synchronization should occur. These are:

• Automatically at log on

• Automatically at log off

• Automatically at a specified time

• Automatically after the computer has been idle for a specified amount of time

• Manually at any time