Trash or Treasure With Network Shares


In my youth, it was always exciting to visit the trash and treasure markets at local drive-in theatres on a weekend. Endless hours spent wandering through the hundreds of car boots, make-shift stalls and pop-up stands whilst we scrutinised boxes and fold-out tables covered with people’s unwanted items, occasionally discovering something of value. It was a lot of work to sift through the trash to find my treasure.

These days my kids use their phones to pinpoint almost anything they desire and within minutes they negotiate, order, pay and arrange delivery… all while relaxing on the couch during a Netflix binging session.


Their generation have significantly improved the efficiency of finding treasure amongst the trash, through use of well-designed technology.

It’s alarming how many organisations still mirror my childhood experience at the trash and treasure market when attempting to locate valuable information on their network shares.  Sadly, there’s a similarity between the boxes of junk at the trash and treasure market and the muddled and disordered state most network shares end up in, even with people’s best intentions to ‘sort them out’ by adding their own ideas of sub-folder structures.

Fortunately, the way out of this mess no longer involves a steep investment of sifting through your network shares and ‘re-organising’ them into new folder structures or importing and classifying into an ECM. Instead, implementation is fast and simple, and access is more in-line with how we can pin-point information though the power of indexed searches.

Using the M-Files External Connectors to connect to external repositories like network folders, the information can be indexed and accessed through your platform of choice. The files remain on the network share and can continue to be accessed that way using your legacy systems.

Everyone else can use the beautifully designed modern interfaces of the M-Files clients available for Windows desktops, web browsers, and mobile phones. Yes, that’s right, you can lounge on the couch with your kids and use your phone to find whatever you’re after on your network share using the gorgeous M-Files App – search for files, check them out, make edits, add metadata and check them back in.

Adding metadata to these files enriches them as version history is maintained and the metadata makes them show up in metadata based searches and any common views you may have. Changes made to the files on the external system are synchronised with the M-Files system.

With the technology available in the M-Files External Connectors there’s no reason to be a dinosaur stuck at your desktop, plodding aimlessly through the mess that your network shares have deteriorated into. Instead you can get instant access to the treasure you need from all your technology devices whenever you desire.


M-Files have External Connectors planned for SharePoint Online, Exchange, OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box just to name a few. Powerful instant searches across everything in your organisation is within reach using M-Files External Connectors.

If you want to know more about M-Files and the External Connectors please contact us.