Product Reviews

Staying on Top of What You’ve Got

You’ve Got Files! lets you know what’s knocking on your door.

In the days before doorbells can you imagine people running to their front doors every 10 minutes to see if they have a visitor? Well, probably not. People would knock or yell back in the day, but the point is that, in some way, an alert would be given to the one waiting. You’ve Got Files! provides just such alerts to help you monitor new files that have been placed in folders within your network or even on an FTP server.

The installation of this tool was a piece of cake. During the process, it asks you about your SMTP server, the e-mail address you want to use for alerts, the folder or FTP folder you want to monitor and you’re done. Worked instantly! The second I added files to the folder I got an e-mail with the notification. What a great time-saver if you work in fields like printing, graphic arts, publishing, data entry, or any other job that requires knowing when someone else has dropped off a file that you need. In my work as an author, for example, I deliver files to my publisher via FTP. If my publishing company used this product, it would know when new files arrived, whether or not I remembered to send an e-mail when I uploaded files.

The default configuration checks every 15 minutes, but this can be altered to occur every minute or every 1,440 minutes (the minutes in one day). You can also configure multiple e-mail addresses to receive the alert message, which can be helpful if you move from work to home e-mail systems. Another benefit is the ability to monitor multiple directories simultaneously. Although certain FTP applications already have the ability to monitor a single directory for a user, You’ve Got Files! allows you to specify different directories with individual configuration settings for each scan. You can even adjust the time between each e-mail for different directories rather than getting them all at once.

In addition to these features, you can have the program monitor additional systems, including Linux computers on your network. You’ve Got Files! runs as a service you’d have to configure with an account that spans your network with the correct permissions. If monitoring a Linux computer, you’ll have to install Samba on the Linux machine to allow Windows 2000 to access the directories.

Technically there’s only one noticeable caveat: To take advantage of all the extra features, you have to manually edit a text file. It felt like I was transported back to the days of Windows 3.11 with the old .ini file edits. It wasn’t rocket science to configure, but a nice GUI would be cool. Aside from that, it also seems a bit pricey (at $195) for the average user to invest, although great for those professionals that will benefit from the service.

So, final word: You’ve Got Files! is a nice tool. It installs easily, works great and does its job without a ton of bells and whistles that you don’t need.

Editor’s Note: At press time, Niwot Networks announced the release of You’ve Got Files! version 2.002. The new version adds the ability to launch an executable when a new file arrives in addition to sending an e-mail. You could, for example, run a Perl script to build a Web page complete with links to the new file. The new version also includes an internal FTP client so that it can monitor remote FTP servers as well as local network servers.

About the Author

J. Peter is a Microsoft MVP (Office Servers and Services) and has received this award for 7 consecutive years. He's an internationally published author and technical speaker. J. Peter is a technical journalist for InfoWorld and has cared for the Enterprise Windows column for nearly a decade. He's the co-founder of both ClipTraining and Conversational Geek and a strategic technical consultant for Mimecast. Follow him on Twitter @JPBruzzese

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