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FileHold System Technology

The underlying technology of a software purchase should be a a prime consideration. Is the software architected in a way that takes you into the future?

Is FileHold scalable? Does it run on the hardware and operating systems you currently have?  Following are some of the questions we have been asked. If your question is not answered here use our general information request form or contact sales@filehold.com.

Does FileHold software operate in a .NET environment?

FileHold software is written entirely in .NET using a web services oriented architecture. We work closely with Microsoft around .NET, Visual Studio Team Systems, SQL Server, and the Windows Workflow Foundation (WWF) receiving advanced training, support and technical guidance.

Does FileHold software client operate on a Windows operating system(s)?

Yes. the software is very Microsoft centric; the vast majority of our customers are primarily Microsoft shops. The records management software also supports the Firefox browser which allows users to access document from other operating systems.

Does the software operate on a Windows server?

Please visit the System Requirements Page for our latest list of supported Windows Server and MS SQL Server platforms.

Does the software utilize SQL Server?

The Enterprise version requires MS SQL Server in Express, Standard or Enterprise. The Express version is able to operate on the free version of SQL Express available from Microsoft. The document management software installer installs the databases onto the SQL Server and our server application.

Please visit the System Requirements Page for our latest list of supported Windows Server and MS SQL Server platforms.

How does FileHold synchronization with Microsoft Active Directory Work?

FileHold provides a complex yet customizable XML based AD synchronization subsystem in the form of the optional Active Directory integration tool kit. This toolkit includes consulting and implementation time. FileHold software uses Microsoft's Active Directory Application Mode, (ADAM) a little known about but powerful piece of Microsoft technology. This technology is known as Lightweight Directory Services (LDS) in the Windows 2008 Server platform.

ADAM is a lightweight version of Active Directory designed for authentication for software developer's own applications for locally managed users, and single-sign on with Microsoft Active Directory. Very few software companies use ADAM but Microsoft gave FileHold assistance over 2 years in understanding and implementing ADAM within the software server system. Learn more about Microsoft's case study about FileHold's usage of ADAM.

The Active Directory synchronization tool is used with each customer upon initial installation. Then, a synchronizing utility is run by scheduled task using a read only Active Directory user account to pull in Active Directory Users and Groups. This scheduled task can run every few minutes, hours, etc as per any Windows scheduled task. It can also be turned off and run on demand.

Does FileHold integrate with Microsoft Outlook? How does FileHold save e-mail messages?

FileHold software includes MS Office integration with Word, Excel, Visio, PowerPoint and Outlook. In the Outlook integration you can send individual emails and their attachments in the .MSG file format to The document management software directly from the Outlook 2003/2007 Desktop client. If there is an attachment it is included, and the entire email and attachment are full text indexed for future search.

Please visit the System Requirements Page for our latest list of supported versions of Microsoft Office.

We have documents stored on Linux, Apache, MySQL and Java/PHP. Is there any way to use the FileHold search engine to retrieve these documents?

One option would be to export this data into a file format, and then import the files into the document management software using the Desktop Client. While importing the documents into the system, the document management software will full text index them and make them available to end-users for searching / retrieving / management.

What user role management is shipped with FileHold and what is included in the "optional" Active Directory synchronization?

FileHold ships with the User Role Manager which provides for the administrative management of the records management system users. As an option integration (via Microsoft ADAM) with Active Directory is offered. A scheduled task on the software Windows Server executes the document management software components that utilize XML synchronization scripts and Microsoft ADAM/LDS which then synchronizes users from the AD store with the ADAM store.

Microsoft's best practices are followed and Microsoft ADAM to provide AD integration / synchronization is used.

Can Active Directory be set up in the software so it can look to multiple domain controllers (in case one is down unexpectedly)?

Yes - the synchronization system looks for the first available Domain Controller for each scheduled task sync event. The Microsoft ADAM technology we employ provides a secure store within the document management software for the storage of these user accounts. If the synchronization / scheduled task does not have the primary AD controller server available, then it would simply reschedule the next task and synchronize. The ADAM store mitigates against the AD server system by potentially not being available, but then the user would have to logon manually with the form rather than clicking on "Use Windows Authentication" for integrated authentication on the Web Client or Desktop client. The ADAM synchronization scheduled task is primarily used when adding users to be used within the document management software system administration for granting System rights and Cabinet/Folder/Schema access permissions. The synchronization event can then add additional users for system administrators to include within the groups and areas within the document management software.

Please provide information on the FileHold back-end architecture. What information is stored in SQL Server vs. the file storage server(s)?

The SQL Server contains document metadata, usage logging, user settings, system settings and other non-document information. The file storage server contains the documents themselves and is protected so that only authorized IT personnel (running backup software) or the document management software web services can access this repository. There is also a full text index (for search) collection that is secured. The SQL Server, File storage location, and Full-text index all have to be in the same domain.

What Hardware does FileHold Enterprise require?

Please visit the System Requirements Page for our latest list of supported Windows Server and MS SQL Server platforms, as well as basic hardware recommendations. FileHold consultants are available to help the IT department pick out suitable existing equipment or make recommendations on a new hardware purchase.

What typical configurations are other companies using with the software?

Configurations depend on a customer's budget and IT preferences but the following are the most common 3 options:

  • In smaller deployments everything can be on a single Windows Server running IIS, ASP.NET, and MS SQL 2005 or 2008. The file storage path is managed and protected by FileHold / Windows Security.

  • A second option is to have Web / File Storage and SQL or Web and SQL / File Storage on separate servers.

  • And a final option is 3 servers, one Web, one SQL Server and one File repository or a SAN or NAS type device. 

The professional service team works with customers to help them properly architect and design a scalable system that distributes our ASP.NET + web services. This could include a blade server / clustered server environment to meet their mission critical requirements for fault tolerance in case of hardware failure, load balancing to address high load / large amounts of users, as well as disaster recovery.

The document management software architecture is based entirely on Microsoft ASP.NET + web services using best practices outlined by Microsoft's Enterprise patterns / best practices. The development team has received feedback and advice from Microsoft throughout our development process.

Comment on back up options?

We have a Best Practices Guide for Backup and Disaster Recovery that outlines what needs to be backed up.

Some customers use Server Imaging software like Symantec LiveState or Acronis's Imaging Suite to do a complete image of a server for disaster recovery or bare metal recovery if the replacement hardware changes. Other customers use backup software like Veritas Backup Exec - it's important to ensure that the ability to save Databases while they are being used is supported.

The backup of SQL databases, ASP, .NET configuration files / web components, and a few other key system files on the server is required. In addition, the full text search collection and the file repository need to be backed up. It is always important to test the backups on a regular basis.

Are documents stored in the software being stored as compressed files?

The FileHold Server application does not compress files during storage. The software stores the files or documents in their native, original format. It is recommended that customers avoid TIFF files where possible and use the much more efficient PDF format if you wish to save on file storage space.

The only compression FileHold uses is when a user requests more than one file or document from the server, this collection is zipped up to save network bandwidth. The end user then has one convenient package containing a few or many files to open and use.