File storage on synchronized folders in real time (OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive)

Real-time synchronization software has long been an excellent solution for managing files, especially in contexts where collaboration between multiple people on the same documents is required.

Over time, we have noticed that several NextGen users use a folder monitored by one of these programs for storing their files.

We strongly advise against this practice as it could affect the normal functioning of the program, even leading to the corruption of your project files.

Starting from NextGen version 2022.0, the program itself will indicate to the user the suggestion to choose a different archiving strategy.

The correct behavior of NextGen with folders synchronized in real time is not guaranteed, but this does not mean that, in certain cases and with certain precautions (for example, pausing the synchronization while using the program), satisfactory results cannot be achieved anyway

Why NextGen doesn't work properly with this type of folder

Some of the reasons include:

  • The incorrect synchronization and subsequent proliferation of .sit.lck files, which tell NextGen when a file is open and from which workstation
  • Conflicts in the management of backup copies with the system present in NextGen (more information in this article)
  • Conflicts in the management of autosaves
  • Inability for NextGen to check if the file the user saves does not overwrite a synchronized copy in the background while the user had the file open

Why synchronized folders are not a backup replacement solution

The subject is partially beyond the scope of this documentation and is always a matter for the IT department of companies. What we would like to point out is that:

  • Synchronization does not prevent data loss due to errors made by the user, such as incorrectly overwriting a file
  • Synchronization does not protect against ransomware attacks
  • Usually the companies behind these services are not responsible for the integrity of the archived data, which is in any case the responsibility of the user (see this document about Microsoft's policy, for example)

In general, we recommend that you follow the 3-2-1 backup strategy which includes:

  • 3 different copies of the data
  • on at least 2 different media
  • of which 1 is disconnected

Author: Matteo Bagattini
Permalink: KB643071
Published on: March 30, 2022