The IBM Desktop Plugin is a program to be installed on a Windows computer and it gives access to the Files in IBM Connections (cloud).

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File Jockey is a program to be installed on a server (for example WebSphere running IBM Connections) and it gives access to the Files in IBM Connections (cloud) via a network drive.

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Both programs intend to do the same, though are completely differed in their approach.

In this post we will compare the two solutions. We at File Jockey will do our best to make this comparison as objective as possible.

In the details below we are explaining the differences between the two solutions. All the items not mentioned are equal between the two solutions, so both solutions allows to edit for example Word files, only in a different way.


File Jockey advantages that IBM Desktop plugin does not offer

No software installation, works out of the box in Windows 8 and 10 – Windows 7 needs some windows fixes.

Only solution for Citrix environments because Windows program installations are not allowed in Citrix environments.

100% integration with Windows because the network drive is 100% Windows functionality. For example in XLS create links between xls files stored in Connections via File Jockey network drive. So take a File Jockey xls file field value and press copy. in other xls file on File Jockey press paste special and paste as link. You will see that the copied cell value is retrieved from the source xls file via the network drive. This is just an example of 100% Windows integration supported by network drives.

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Support for preview pane in file explorer

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Shows all communities the user has access to

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When you delete a folder the folder and files are deleted as well

Right mouse click in File Jockey network drive to create new Word document for example

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Any Windows program has access to the files in the network drive. Beyond compare can be used to compare the SharePoint and IBM Connections network drives. Notepad ++ file open shows IBM Connections of Greenhouse via File Jockey

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No program crashes possible because File Jockey is not a program installed on the PC

Support for Mac computers (though slow performance due to Mac WebDAV client)

Support for Mobile apps like Goodreader to be used to sync one or multiple communities to the iPad for offline usage

File Jockey is using the same approach as the Microsoft SharePoint network drives allowing easy migration of files between SharePoint and IBM Connections

Possibility to copy the whole community with everything inside to another file location – and all right mouse click options available like archive, unpack and so on

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Microsoft upload center is used to cache files to be uploaded to Connections, in case Connections or File Jockey is down

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Bottom line, a network drive showing the Connections files is easier for the users to work with because it behaves in the same manner as the C drive for example.


IBM Desktop plugin advantages that File Jockey does not offer

Below are the functions of IBM Desktop Plugin that are not supported by the File Jockey network drive. Everything not mentioned here is equal between the two solutions (give or take a few options that we have missed)

No extra costs

Allowed to move a folder to other folders

Support for pinned files and folders, files and folder shared by me, shared with me, shows people, trash bin

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Option to open in browser

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Show sharing details

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Show versions

Option to lock and check in and check out files

Option to upload new version

Support to add files to activities and wikis

Office integration

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We at File Jockey think IBM Connections is a great solution. We only do not like the IBM Desktop plug, its just not user friendly. A Windows network drive showing the files of IBM Connections is a better approach simply because users are used to with Windows network drives and because the network drive is a 100% Windows implementation resulting in a full integration with all programs on Windows.

And yes, File Jockey works with a Mac as well, only very slow. This is because of the Mac, we can not solve this.