Using a Shared Folder and Dropbox for Document Manager

Monday, 18 September 2023 by Mike Jensen

The finPOWER Connect Document Manager Add On allows documents and files to be stored against Clients, Accounts etc. This might include documents such as a scanned image of a Drivers License or a signed Loan Contract.

If you are using Dropbox to store Documents in the cloud, you can synchronise a network folder to Dropbox and use this as your Document Manager folder. This means you are effectively using Dropbox as your Document Manager within finPOWER Connect.

This blog article explains how to set up a folder on a drive on a networked computer, that can act as the Document Manager root folder for finPOWER Connect Desktop and finPOWER Connect Cloud.

Of course this not only means you can add files via finPOWER Connect, but via the web using the Dropbox website. If added via the Dropbox website, any computers that are "synced" to your Dropbox account will be updated in due course, and then those files will become visible in finPOWER Connect, and users can add files to that simply by copying them using Windows File Manager.

This functionality requires the Document Manager Add-On.

Ensure you have a backup of your current Document Manager files before proceeding.

If you already have your Document Manager folder on a shared drive, you will be able to skip parts of this document. You will still need to do the following steps:

  1. Set up Dropbox on the computer that hosts your Document Manager files.
  2. Move your existing Document Manager folder from its current location to a folder within the Dropbox folder.
  3. Change the configuration of your finPOWER Connect Desktop and finPOWER Connect Cloud systems.

Those tasks are all covered in this Blog.

Set-up Instructions

This assumes you have a Dropbox account.

You can sign up for a free Dropbox account with 5GB storage at the DropBox website

Select a File Server

You need a computer to host the Document Manager files. This can be any computer on your network, so long as it has sufficient disk space, and performance. We will refer to that computer as the "File Server".

To find out the network name of your file server, go to the Settings app on that machine and click the System tab. The computer's name appears in the top-left area of the information pane in bold text.

Create the shared Document Manager (DocMan) folder

Go to your File Server computer.

If you haven't already, install the Dropbox app. You can download Dropbox here: Download & Install - Dropbox

Note that the Dropbox installer creates its own root (\Dropbox) folder. So if you want your Dropbox folder to be "D:\Dropbox", just select the D: drive when prompted to choose where you want the folder to be created.

Create a Document Manager folder inside the Dropbox folder.

  • e.g. D:\DropBox\DocMan

Share the Folder and Assign Permissions

Next you need to share the Folder and assign Permissions.

  1. Right-click the DocMan folder you just created and select Properties.
  2. Click the Sharing tab.
    DocMan folder properties dialog, Sharing tab (before sharing)
  3. Click the Advanced Sharing button. Windows might display a User Account Control message: "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?". Click Yes.
    DocMan properties, Advanced Sharing dialog (before data entry)
  4. Click the Share this folder checkbox to set it on.
  5. Check that the Share name is DocMan. If not, change it.
    DocMan properties, Advanced Sharing dialog (after data entry)
  6. Click the OK button.
    DocMan folder properties dialog, Sharing tab (after sharing)
    • You will be back in the DocMan Properties page.
  7. Click the Share button.
    • Type everyone in the text box and click the Add button.
    • You will see "Everyone" appear in the list.
  8. Click the drop-down arrow (an inverted triangle) in the Permission Level column of the Everyone row, and choose Read/Write.
    Share dialog, choose people to share with
  9. Click Share.
    • You might see another Windows Account Control message. Click Yes.
    • You will see a confirmation box with the message "Your folder is shared".
  10. Click Done.
  11. Click Close.

Test that the shared folder really is shared

Go to another PC on the network and open Windows File Explorer.

In the address bar, type \\FSNAME\DocMan, where "FSNAME" is the name of your File Server. Press <Enter>.

  • File Explorer will open to an empty folder. Leave that folder open.

DocMan shared folder viewed in Windows File Explorer

Preload the new DocMan folder

If you are already using Document Manager, move the entire contents of your current Document Manager folder to the shared folder that you opened in Windows File Explorer in the last step.

Ensure you have a backup of you Document Manager files before proceeding.

Check your Document Manager has synced to the Cloud

Open a browser and go to the Files page in Dropbox on the web.

DocMan folder viewed in DropBox online

Check that the files you copied to the shared DocMan folder are present in your Cloud drive. You might need to wait a short time for those files to upload from the File Server to the Dropbox server.

You can add files to your Document Manager using this Dropbox page. Click the Upload button to start an upload. Be sure to select the correct folder for the Client or Application you are working with before you upload.

While Dropbox also allows you to delete, please be very careful when deleting files as they might be required by Service Logs, Identification Items, and other objects. We strongly recommend that you use finPOWER Connect to delete files, because that will perform all the necessary checks that the files can be safely deleted first.

Configure finPOWER Connect Desktop to use the shared DocMan folder

Start finPOWER Connect.

  • In Global Settings, Documents and Templates, set the Documents path to the UNC path for the DocMan folder in Dropbox on the File Server.
    • E.g. \\FSNAME\DocMan, where "FSNAME" is the name of your File Server.
      Global Settings, Documents and Templates tab showing Documents folder
  • Save your changes and exit Global Settings.

Check that you can see the files in the new Document Manager folder

Open a Client that has some files in the Files tab. Check that the content matches what you had in your local Document Manager folder previously.

Client page, files tab, showing some documents

Publish a Document for the Client. Check that the Document that was published now appears in the Files tab.

Go back to your Dropbox web page. Check that the newly created Document file appears after a minute or two. You will need to navigate to the correct subfolder for the Client you were working with.

Configure finPOWER Connect Web Services to use the shared DocMan folder

Still in finPOWER Connect, go to the Tools, Web, Web Configurations page. Select the Web Configuration you use in Web Services. Go to the Documents tab.

  • Change the UNC Path to be the path to your Dropbox Document Manager folder.
    • E.g. \\FSNAME\DocMan, where "FSNAME" is the name of your File Server.
      Web Configuration page, Documents tab

To check the name of the Web Configuration being used by Web Services, go to Web Services Web Admin in your browser, and click the Configuration tab. Under "Other", look for the Web Config item.

  • Save your changes.

Configure IIS to access the shared DocMan folder

The shared folder must be accessible to the IIS Application Pool that runs Web Services. That might mean that IIS must run in the context of a Windows user that has permission to access the folder.

For more information and detailed instructions, refer to the finPOWER Connect Web Services Installation and Configuration document, finPOWER Connect Web Configurations, Document Manager section.

Check that finPOWER Connect Cloud & Web Services can access the new Document Manager folder

Open the Client that you published the Document for previously.

  • Go to the Files tab.
  • Check that the Document is in the Files tab.
  • Check you can open the Document from within finPOWER Connect Cloud.

Some server names and account names in the screenshots in this article have been blurred out for security purposes.