Welcome to the FileCenter Client Portal

These instructions will help you get the most out of the FileCenter Client Portal software.

Key Concepts

Before you begin using the Client Portal, you need to understand a few key concepts:

Portal? Cloud? Remote Storage? Huh?

You'll hear expressions like the "client Portal" is a "remote storage" solution that runs "in the Cloud." What does all of this lingo mean?

The concept is pretty simple. You want to share a file with your client. But you don't want to email the file, because email isn't a bit secure. And you obviously don't want to give your client access to your computer. So what's the solution?

Put the file on an intermediary computer. Then your client can pull the file down from that computer whenever it's convenient for them. This should be a computer that both of you have access to, and nobody else.

In other words, you're going to use "remote storage" – save the file on a remote computer. And, in today's terms, that computer is on "the Cloud" – a nondescript collection of servers hovering out there on the Internet that specialize in just this sort of storage.

But what about the point that nobody else should have access to this computer? A few more concepts will address that.

What is a Share?

At its most basic, a "share" is something that has been shared – like a file or a folder. A "share" will often connote a collection of shared items. In our case, a "share" will always refer to a folder that you have uploaded to the remote storage and shared with someone.

What is a Guest? How is this Different than a User?

Your "guest" is the person you are sharing something with – typically your client. Just like a guest at your house or business, you define what level of access they'll have to the property, which in this case is the shares.

"Users" are more powerful than guests. Think of them as the property owners. They can create shares and invite guests to come and have access to the shares. They can even revoke access. You are the main user. Your staff will be users as well.

What are Permissions?

Permissions are locks that you place on shares. This is the way that you ensure that your guest, and only your guest, can access these sensitive files on the Cloud. When you upload a file to share it, you designate who is allowed to access it – in other words, what guest(s) will have access to the share. You can grant and withdraw permissions freely.

Typical Workflow

Here is a sample exchange:

Step One: Prep the Cloud

First, you are going to use the FileCenter Client Portal interface to create a folder on the Cloud. This folder will hold the file(s) for your guest.

Step Two: Upload Something

Now you will upload the file you want to share into the folder you created.

Step Three: Share with a Guest

Next, you will click Share and select the person you want to share with. If you haven't shared with them before, you will add the person as a guest by entering their name and email address.

Step Four: Guests are Notified

Email messages will automatically go out to your guests advising them that you have shared some documents with them. The email message will have a link that takes them out to the Cloud.

Step Five: Guests Download the Files

Your guests can now download the files you shared. If you've given permission, they can also upload files for you.

Common Questions

Here are a few questions we hear frequently:

If I change the file on my computer, does it automatically change it on the cloud too?

No. Shared files are static, meaning that they are their own copy that exists separate and independent of the original file. Changing the original file does not update the shared file. If you want to share the updates, you will need to upload the file again.

Can I keep my guests from changing the files they download?

Yes and No. These are like any other file a person may download. Once they have their own copy, they can do whatever they want with it.

PDF files, however, have a built-in security mechanism that you can use to lock down the file, preventing any sort of changes. This has nothing to do with the FileCenter Client Portal software. To learn how to use it, do a Google search for "PDF security".

If my guests change a downloaded file, does it automatically change it on the cloud too?

No, for the same reasons noted above.

Can I just upload all of my files?

You could, but we wouldn't recommend it. The Client Portal isn't designed to be a backup service or a web drive. It has one specific function: sharing distinct files and controlling access to those files.

If you were to upload all of your files, you would end up with a huge collection of data that has become obsolete by the next morning. Why? Because as you go on creating more files and changing the files you've got, those changes don't get mirrored onto the Client Portal, for reasons noted above.

Can I use the Client Portal to upload files for myself to access later?

Absolutely. Some users have treated the Client Portal as their own "virtual briefcase" – uploading files that they'll need to access later. For example, if you are traveling and don't want to take a computer, and if you don't want to risk carrying the files on a thumb drive which could get lost or stolen, upload them to the Client Portal. You will be able to access the files from any computer connected to the Internet.

But if you download the files and make changes, be sure to upload the changes back to the Portal.

Where to Go from Here?

Now that you understand the basic concepts, please look over the following topics: