US20170374143A9 - Synchronization of permissioned content in cloud-based environments - Google Patents

Synchronization of permissioned content in cloud-based environments Download PDF

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US20170374143A9
US20170374143A9 US14/726,196 US201514726196A US2017374143A9 US 20170374143 A9 US20170374143 A9 US 20170374143A9 US 201514726196 A US201514726196 A US 201514726196A US 2017374143 A9 US2017374143 A9 US 2017374143A9
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content item
cloud
sync
permission
item
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US20160065672A1 (en
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Brandon Savage
Kunal Parmar
David Grant Sawyer
Lu Pan
Yiming Lu
David MacKenzie
Jeremy Jen-Ming Chiu
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Box Inc
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Box Inc
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Assigned to Box, Inc. reassignment Box, Inc. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: CHIU, JEREMY, LU, YIMING, MACKENZIE, DAVID, PAN, Lu, SAWYER, DAVID GRANT, PARMAR, KUNAL, SAVAGE, Brandon
Publication of US20160065672A1 publication Critical patent/US20160065672A1/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/10Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network
    • H04L67/1095Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network for supporting replication or mirroring of data, e.g. scheduling or transport for data synchronisation between network nodes or user terminals or syncML
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/10Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/10Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network
    • H04L67/1097Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network for distributed storage of data in a network, e.g. network file system [NFS], transport mechanisms for storage area networks [SAN] or network attached storage [NAS]

Abstract

Enterprise administrators in a cloud-based environment including a cloud-based server and a repository can selectively impose permissions on items (e.g., files and folders) marked for synchronization (“sync items”). The sync items can be synchronized with the client devices of users by downloading the items along with the permission attributes from the cloud-based server. However, the permissions on those sync items means that any unpermitted changes to the local copies of the sync items do not get uploaded to the cloud-based server. A synchronization client on the client devices detects any changes made locally to the sync items that are not consistent with the permission attributes, and repairs those changes so that the sync items are restored to their most recent states. This ensures that any unauthorized changes made to sync items remain local and do not propagate by the synchronization process to other users.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims priority to and benefit from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/005,659 titled “ENTERPRISE ADMIN SELECTIVELY IMPOSED SYNC PERMISSIONS AT A CLIENT END OR CLIENT DEVICE” filed on May 30, 2014 and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/006,799 titled “ENTERPRISE ADMINISTRATOR SELECTIVELY IMPOSED SYNC PERMISSIONS AT A CLIENT END OR A CLIENT DEVICE” filed on Jun. 2, 2014; and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 62/044,920 titled “SYNCHRONIZATION PERMISSIONS SELECTIVELY IMPOSED BY AN ENTERPRISE ADMIN ON FILES AND/OR AT A CLIENT DEVICE” FILED ON Sep. 2, 2014. The aforementioned applications are expressly incorporated by reference herein.
  • BACKGROUND
  • A cloud-based collaboration and/or storage platform enables content (e.g., files and folders) to be accessed, viewed and/or edited by collaborators in the same group or enterprise using any client devices at the same time. Through a synchronization (sync) client of the cloud-based platform, collaborators can sync content between their desktops, laptops and mobile devices and their online folders on the cloud-based platform. The sync client enables any new or updated files and/or sub-folders in a folder marked for sync (“sync folder”) to be automatically downloaded to the devices of users who are collaborators of that sync folder. Every edit or update made locally on a file in the sync folder is then automatically saved to the cloud-based platform via the sync client.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
  • The present embodiments are illustrated by way of example and are not intended to be limited by the figures of the accompanying drawings.
  • FIG. 1 depicts an example diagram of a system having a host server of a cloud-based service, collaboration and/or cloud storage accounts with capabilities that enable synchronization of items (e.g., files or folders) with permissions imposed by enterprise administrators (“admins”) or enterprise content item owners in a cloud-based environment.
  • FIG. 2 depicts an example diagram of a web-based or online collaboration platform deployed in an enterprise or other organizational setting for organizing work items and workspaces.
  • FIG. 3A depicts an example diagram of a workspace in an online or web-based collaboration environment accessible by multiple collaborators through various devices.
  • FIG. 3B depicts an abstract diagram illustrating an example data structure of the folders and files in the workspace of FIG. 3A.
  • FIG. 3C depicts an example diagram illustrating the interaction between server-side components for incrementally updating a sync client with events or actions that occurred via a cloud-based environment.
  • FIG. 3D depicts an example diagram illustrating the interaction of remote clients with a distributed database cluster for incremental updates of events/actions which occurred at a cloud-based environment.
  • FIG. 4 depicts an example diagram illustrating preventing any changes made to a permissioned synchronization (“sync”) item from being uploaded to the host server in the cloud-based environment.
  • FIG. 5A depicts an example diagram illustrating components of a synchronization client of the cloud-based environment that is capable of preventing changes made to a permissioned sync item from being uploaded to the host server in the cloud-based environment and for handling those changes locally.
  • FIG. 5B depicts an example diagram illustrating components of the host server of the cloud-based environment that is capable of performing permission checks to prevent any changes to a permissioned sync item that are not permitted based on permission attributes of the sync item in the cloud-based environment.
  • FIG. 6 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of detecting and handling different types of unauthorized changes made to a permissioned sync item on a client device.
  • FIG. 7 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of handling a “create” failure by a sync client on a client device.
  • FIG. 8 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of handling a “move” failure by a sync client on a client device.
  • FIG. 9 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of handling a “delete” failure by a sync client on a client device.
  • FIG. 10 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of handling an “edit” failure by a sync client on a client device.
  • FIG. 11 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of handling a change to a sync item having a permission attribute.
  • FIG. 12 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of allowing or denying an action on a sync item based on one or more permission attributes of the item.
  • FIG. 13 depicts a diagrammatic representation of a machine in the example form of a computer system within which a set of instructions, for causing the machine to perform any one or more of the methodologies discussed herein, can be executed.
  • The same reference numbers and any acronyms identify elements or acts with the same or similar structure or functionality throughout the drawings and specification for ease of understanding and convenience.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • In a cloud-based collaboration and/or storage environment (“cloud-based environment”) including a cloud-based server or host server, contents of a folder that is marked for synchronization (hereinafter “sync folder”) can be downloaded from the cloud-based environment to one or more client devices of users (e.g., collaborators of the sync folder) using a sync client. Once downloaded, a user can locally modify the files (and/or sub-folders) in the sync folder. The modified files can then be automatically synced back to the cloud-based environment and from thereon, propagated to the client devices of other users.
  • An enterprise, as used herein, can be a conglomerate, an organization, a company, one or more divisions or units within a company or an organization, and/or the like. The enterprise has a set of users (e.g., employees). In some embodiments, one or more enterprises can utilize the facilities of the cloud-based environment. For example, enterprises can use store their documents and other content at a datastore or repository of the cloud-based server. An enterprise admin (“admin”) of an organization can manage users and groups, view and edit all of the organization's files and folders, set permissions on files and folders, log in to any user's account within the organization, edit settings for the organization, run or access reports, manage storage allocations, and/or the like via a centralized console. For example, an admin can add or delete users (or user accounts) individually or upload users in bulk. Once a user has a user account for the enterprise, the user can, based on permissions, access and/or download documents stored at the remote datastore, upload documents to the remote datastore, share and/or collaborate on documents with other internal (e.g., users of the same enterprise) and/or external users (e.g., users outside of the enterprise), and/or the like.
  • In some embodiments, an enterprise admin may want users of an enterprise to be able to download and view all of the contents of a folder marked for synchronization (“sync folder”), but at the same time restrict them from modifying any of the items in the sync folder. This may be the case when the enterprise admin wants to ensure that all the users download and access the same file and discourage the users from modifying the file and uploading a modified version of the file, which could result in the modified version replacing the original version or creating multiple versions of the file. For example, a sales team of “ABC Design Company” may want users to download marketing content in “Marketing Folder” but may not want those users to edit that content and have the edited content synchronized to everybody else. Thus, to enable a one-way flow of content from the cloud-based environment to client devices and to ensure that the marketing content that is propagated is the most up to date version, the admin assign one or more permission attributes to a sync item (e.g., a file, a sub-folder and/or folder marked for synchronization). In various embodiments, different types of permissions can be imposed on sync items. Examples of permissions can include, but are not limited to enabling or disabling the ability to download, upload, edit, rename, delete, copy, print, move, create, tags, assign tasks, and/or the like. Such permissions can be imposed by the enterprise admin, workspace owner, and/or item owners.
  • In some embodiments, when a sync item having one or more permissions imposed thereon is downloaded to a client device, a component on the client device can monitor user interaction with the sync item and can detect when a non-permitted interaction occurs. For example, consider a sync folder that contains a PowerPoint file. The sync folder can have the following permission attributes set to true: can download and can delete and the following permission attributes set to false: can upload, can rename and can edit. In other words, users can download the sync folder and delete the sync folder or the PowerPoint file, but cannot edit, rename or upload the file or the sync folder to the cloud-based environment. In some embodiments, a sync client on the client device can detect the permission attributes and mark the sync folder and/or the PowerPoint file as a “permissioned” sync item based on the permission attributes. In some embodiments, the permissioned sync item can have an iconography associated with it that enables a user to see that the sync item has certain permissions associated with it. This could prevent the user from attempting to make changes to the permissioned sync item. In some embodiments, the sales folder and/or the sales report file can be marked by the sync client with “restricted” or “read-only” or other similar designation to enable the operating system and/or other applications on the client device to recognize that those items are restricted and disable the restricted features accordingly. For example, the PowerPoint file can be opened by the PowerPoint application on the client device, but because of the “read-only” designation (e.g., based on the permission setting), the PowerPoint application can disable editing features which would prevent the user from editing the file.
  • Even if editing is disabled for the PowerPoint file, it is possible for the user to make the file editable by clearing the permission attributes. Similarly, the user can move another item to the sync folder or create a new file in the sync folder, thereby changing the sync folder. To ensure that these changes do not get uploaded to the cloud-based environment, permission checks can be performed. Suppose the user edits the PowerPoint file. In some embodiments, the sync client can attempt to upload the edited file to the host server of the cloud-based environment. The host server can perform a permission check on the uploaded file to determine whether the edit to the file was permitted based on the permission attributes associated with the file or the sync folder. If the permission check fails, the host server can reject or fail to sync that file. In some embodiments, instead of syncing that file, the host server can rename the file (e.g., as a conflict copy) and store the file as a conflict copy in the host server so that the user does not lose the changes made to the file. The host server can then sync the original file back down to the client device so that the user has the original file on his or her client device.
  • In some embodiments, some or all of the process of validating a sync item (e.g., checking the permissions associated with the sync item) for syncing to the cloud-based server can be performed client-side based on the permission attributes (e.g., metadata) of the file. In some embodiments, the sync client, using a preflight application program interface (API) can perform a permission check on the file, without actually uploading the file. The preflight API can return a result indicating “permission denied” if the file includes changes that are not permitted based on the permission attributes associated with the file or the sync folder. In some embodiments, if the response is “permission denied,” the sync client can repair the change, for example by undoing the change, downloading the original file, creating a conflict item or the like, based on the type of change made on the file and/or the sync folder.
  • In some embodiments, some problems can arise when repairing the changes to a file in a sync folder that can prevent the file from being downloaded from the host server to a client device. Those problems can also be detected and repaired by the sync client to enable one-way flow of synced content from the cloud-based environment to the client devices.
  • In some embodiments, the cloud-based environment can restrict folder access or restrict collaboration at the enterprise level. A permission at the folder and enterprise level means that a user is permitted to send collaboration invitations to only those people who are within the user's enterprise network. In some embodiments, enterprise admin or owners can use folder settings to mark any folder as “safe” to implement the permission. A folder that is marked safe can be associated with a visible indication or iconography. In some embodiments, when the user is inside of a folder that includes internal and external collaborators, the external collaborators can be identified in that environment so that the user knows that if the user puts content in that folder, that content would be visible to people inside and outside the enterprise.
  • When the user sends an invitation to invite other users to access a folder, the host server can check the folder settings associated with the folder to determine whether there are any permission attributes associated with the folder. If, for example, the permission indicates that collaboration with external users (e.g., users outside of a group or enterprise), the host server can check the domain names of the email address of the people being invited to see they match the domain name of the user. If any of the users being invited have a different domain name, the host server can skip inviting those users having different domain names. In some embodiments, the host server can perform a check every time a user accesses a folder against a list of collaborators to see if the user is in or out of the network and display their in/out of network status.
  • In some embodiments, when a user navigates inside a folder, the user can see the designation between people who are invited at various sublevels. For example, if the first-level folder is “Customer Visits” and Joe was only invited into this folder and not into the parent folder “Visits,” the user can view that Joe was invited specifically at the “Customer Visits” folder level and Joe's access begins from the “Customer Visits” folder and not from the parent folder “Visits.”
  • The following description and drawings are illustrative and are not to be construed as limiting. Numerous specific details are described to provide a thorough understanding of the disclosure. However, in certain instances, well-known or conventional details are not described in order to avoid obscuring the description. References to one or an embodiment in the present disclosure can be, but not necessarily are, references to the same embodiment; and, such references mean at least one of the embodiments.
  • Reference in this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the disclosure. The appearances of the phrase “in one embodiment” in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment, nor are separate or alternative embodiments mutually exclusive of other embodiments. Moreover, various features are described which can be exhibited by some embodiments and not by others. Similarly, various requirements are described which can be requirements for some embodiments but not other embodiments.
  • The terms used in this specification generally have their ordinary meanings in the art, within the context of the disclosure, and in the specific context where each term is used. Certain terms that are used to describe the disclosure are discussed below, or elsewhere in the specification, to provide additional guidance to the practitioner regarding the description of the disclosure. For convenience, certain terms can be highlighted, for example using italics and/or quotation marks. The use of highlighting has no influence on the scope and meaning of a term; the scope and meaning of a term is the same, in the same context, whether or not it is highlighted. It will be appreciated that same thing can be said in more than one way.
  • Consequently, alternative language and synonyms can be used for any one or more of the terms discussed herein, nor is any special significance to be placed upon whether or not a term is elaborated or discussed herein. Synonyms for certain terms are provided. A recital of one or more synonyms does not exclude the use of other synonyms. The use of examples anywhere in this specification including examples of any terms discussed herein is illustrative only, and is not intended to further limit the scope and meaning of the disclosure or of any exemplified term. Likewise, the disclosure is not limited to various embodiments given in this specification.
  • Without intent to limit the scope of the disclosure, examples of instruments, apparatus, methods and their related results according to the embodiments of the present disclosure are given below. Note that titles or subtitles can be used in the examples for convenience of a reader, which in no way should limit the scope of the disclosure. Unless otherwise defined, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this disclosure pertains. In the case of conflict, the present document, including definitions will control.
  • FIG. 1 depicts an example diagram of a system having a host server 100 of a cloud-based service, collaboration and/or cloud storage accounts with capabilities that enable synchronization of items (e.g., files or folders) with permissions imposed by enterprise admins or enterprise content item owners in a cloud-based environment. In some embodiments, a synchronization (sync) server (not shown) can support synchronization of folders and/or files stored locally on a user's computer with folders stored by the host server 100 in repository 130.
  • The client devices 102 can be any system and/or device, and/or any combination of devices/systems that is able to establish a connection, including wired, wireless, cellular connections with another device, a server and/or other systems such as host server 100. Client devices 102 typically include a display and/or other output functionalities to present information and data exchanged between among the devices 102, and/or the host server 100.
  • For example, the client devices 102 can include mobile, hand held or portable devices or non-portable devices and can be any of, but not limited to, a server desktop, a desktop computer, a computer cluster, or portable devices including, a notebook, a laptop computer, a handheld computer, a palmtop computer, a mobile phone, a cell phone, a PDA, a smart phone (e.g., a BlackBerry device such as BlackBerry Z10/Q10, an iPhone, Nexus 4, etc.), a Treo, a handheld tablet (e.g. an iPad, iPad Mini, a Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note II, Xoom Tablet, Microsoft Surface, Blackberry PlayBook, Nexus 7, 10 etc.), a phablet (e.g., HTC Droid DNA, etc.), a tablet PC, a thin-client, a hand held console, a hand held gaming device or console (e.g., XBOX live, Nintendo DS, Sony PlayStation Portable, etc.), iOS powered watch, Google Glass, a Chromebook and/or any other portable, mobile, hand held devices, etc. running on any platform or any operating system (e.g., Mac-based OS (OS X, iOS, etc.), Windows-based OS (Windows Mobile, Windows 7, Windows 8, etc.), Android, Blackberry OS, Embedded Linux platforms, Palm OS, Symbian platform, Google Chrome OS, and the like. In one embodiment, the client devices 102, and host server 100 are coupled via a network 106. In some embodiments, the devices 102 and host server 100 can be directly connected to one another.
  • The input mechanism on client devices 102 can include touch screen keypad (including single touch, multi-touch, gesture sensing in 2D or 3D, etc.), a physical keypad, a mouse, a pointer, a track pad, motion detector (e.g., including 1-axis, 2-axis, 3-axis accelerometer, etc.), a light sensor, capacitance sensor, resistance sensor, temperature sensor, proximity sensor, a piezoelectric device, device orientation detector (e.g., electronic compass, tilt sensor, rotation sensor, gyroscope, accelerometer), or a combination of the above.
  • Signals received or detected indicating user activity at client devices 102 through one or more of the above input mechanism, or others, can be used by various users or collaborators collaborators 108) for accessing, through network 106, a web-based collaboration environment or online collaboration platform (e.g., hosted by the host server 100). The collaboration environment or platform can have one or more collective settings 105 for an enterprise or an organization that the users belong, and can provide an user interface 104 (e.g., via a webpage application (or a “web application”) accessible by the web browsers of devices 102) for the users to access such platform under the settings 105. Additionally or alternatively, a client software 110 (“sync client”) that is native to the cloud collaboration platform can be provided (e.g., through downloading from the host server 100 via the network 106) to run on the client devices 102 to provide cloud-based platform access functionalities. The users and/or collaborators can access the collaboration platform via a client software user interface 104, which can be provided by the execution of the client software on the devices 102.
  • The collaboration platform or environment hosts workspaces with work items that one or more users can access (e.g., view, edit, update, revise, comment, download, preview, tag, or otherwise manipulate). A work item can generally include any type of digital or electronic content that can be viewed or accessed via an electronic device (e.g., device 102). The digital content can include .pdf files, .doc, slides (e.g., PowerPoint slides), images, audio files, multimedia content, web pages, blogs, etc. A workspace can generally refer to any grouping of a set of digital content in the collaboration platform. The grouping can be created, identified, or specified by a user or through other means. This user can be a creator user or administrative user, for example.
  • In general, a workspace can be associated with a set of users or collaborators (e.g., collaborators 108) which have access to the content included therein. The levels of access (e.g., based on permissions or rules) of each user or collaborator to access the content in a given workspace can be the same or can vary among the users. Each user can have their own set of access rights to every piece of content in the workspace, or each user can be different access rights to different pieces of content. Access rights can be specified by a user associated with a workspace and/or a user who created/uploaded a particular piece of content to the workspace, or any other designated user or collaborator.
  • In general, the collaboration platform allows multiple users or collaborators to access or collaborate efforts on work items such each user can see, remotely, edits, revisions, comments, or annotations being made to specific work items through their own user devices. For example, a user can upload a document to a workspace for other users to access (e.g., for viewing, editing, commenting, signing-off or otherwise manipulating). The user can login to the online platform and upload the document (or any other type of work item) to an existing workspace or to a new workspace. The document can be shared with existing users or collaborators in a workspace.
  • In general, network 106, over which the client devices 102 and the host server 100 communicate can be a cellular network, a telephonic network, an open network, such as the or a private network, such as an intranet and/or the extranet, or any combination or variation For example, the Internet can provide file transfer, remote log in, email, news, RSS, cloud-based services, instant messaging, visual voicemail, push mail, VoIP, and other services through any known or convenient protocol, such as, but is not limited to the TCP/IP protocol, Open System Interconnections (OSI), FTP, UPnP, iSCSI, NSF, ISDN, PDH, RS-232, SDH, SONET, etc.
  • The network 106 can be any collection of distinct networks operating wholly or partially in conjunction to provide connectivity to the client devices 102 and the host server 100 and can appear as one or more networks to the serviced systems and devices. In one embodiment, communications to and from the client devices 102 can be achieved by, an open network, such as the Internet, or a private network, such as an intranet and/or the extranet. In one embodiment, communications can be achieved by a secure communications protocol, such as secure sockets layer (SSL), or transport layer security (TLS).
  • In addition, communications can be achieved via one or more networks, such as, but are not limited to, one or more of WiMax, a Local Area Network (LAN), Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN), a Personal area network (PAN), a Campus area network (CAN), a Metropolitan area network (MAN), a Wide area network (WAN), a Wireless wide area network (WWAN), enabled with technologies such as, by way of example, Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM), Personal Communications Service (PCS), Digital Advanced Mobile Phone Service (D-Amps), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Fixed Wireless Data, 2G, 2.5G, 3G, 4G, IMT-Advanced, pre-4G, 3G LTE, 3GPP LTE, LTE Advanced, mobile WiMax, WiMax 2, WirelessMAN-Advanced networks, enhanced data rates for GSM evolution (EDGE), General packet radio service (GPRS), enhanced GPRS, iBurst, UMTS, HSPDA, HSUPA, HSPA, UMTS-TDD, 1×RTT, EV-DO, messaging protocols such as, TCP/IP, SMS, MMS, extensible messaging and presence protocol (XMPP), real time messaging protocol (RTMP), instant messaging and presence protocol (IMPP), instant messaging, USSD, IRC, or any other wireless data networks or messaging protocols.
  • In some embodiments, the host server 100 and/or the sync client 110 enables enterprise admins and/or content owners to selectively impose permissions on synced files and folders on client devices. The permissions on the sync items can prevent a user from taking certain actions on those items once they are downloaded to the user's client device from the host server. In some embodiments, even if the user takes certain actions on the sync items that are not permitted, the sync client 110 and/or the host server 100 can detect the changes that are inconsistent with or not permitted and reject those changes. The sync client 110 can also undo or repair the changes on the sync items. All of these actions ensure a one way flow of content from the host server 100 to the client device. This has the advantage of providing the most up to date content to users, with the host server 100 as the authoritative source of content. In some embodiments, by handling changes made locally that are not permitted or inconsistent with the permission settings, the sync client 110 can restore the changed files to their original form, without losing any local work and while reducing the amount of data transmitted back and forth between the client device and the host server 100.
  • FIG. 2 depicts an example diagram of a web-based or online collaboration platform deployed in an enterprise or other organizational setting 250 for organizing work items 215, 235, 255 and workspaces 205, 225, 245.
  • The web-based platform for collaborating on projects or jointly working on documents can be used by individual users and shared among collaborators. In addition, the collaboration platform can be deployed in an organized setting including but not limited to, a company (e.g., an enterprise setting), a department in a company, an academic institution, a department in an academic institution, a class or course setting, or any other types of organizations or organized setting.
  • When deployed in an organizational setting, multiple workspaces (e.g., workspace A, B C) can be created to support different projects or a variety of work flows. Each workspace can have its own associate work items. For example, workspace A 205 can be associated with work items 215, workspace B 225 can be associated with work items 235, and workspace N can be associated with work items 255. The work items 215, 235, and 255 can be unique to each workspace but need not be. For example, a particular word document can be associated with only one workspace (e.g., workspace A 205) or it can be associated with multiple workspaces (e.g., Workspace A 205 and workspace B 225, etc.).
  • In general, each workspace has a set of users or collaborators associated with it. For example, workspace A 205 is associated with multiple users or collaborators 206. In some instances, workspaces deployed in an enterprise can be department specific. For example, workspace B can be associated with department 210 and some users shown as example user A 208 and workspace N 245 can be associated with departments 212 and 216 and users shown as example user B 214.
  • Each user associated with a workspace can generally access the work items associated with the workspace. The level of access will depend on permissions associated with the specific workspace, and/or with a specific work item. Permissions can be set for the workspace or set individually on a per work item basis. For example, the creator of a workspace (e.g., one of user A 208 who creates workspace B) can set one permission setting applicable to all work items 235 for other associated users and/or users associated with the affiliate department 210, for example. Creator user A 208 can also set different permission settings for each work item, which can be the same for different users, or varying for different users.
  • In each workspace A, B . . . N, when an action is performed on a work item by a given user or any other activity is detected in the workspace, other users in the same workspace can be notified (e.g., in real time or in near real time, or not in real time). Activities which trigger real time notifications can include, by way of example but not limitation, adding, deleting, or modifying collaborators in the workspace, uploading, downloading, adding, deleting a work item in the workspace, creating a discussion topic in the workspace.
  • In some embodiments, items or content downloaded or edited can cause notifications to be generated. Such notifications can be sent to relevant users to notify them of actions surrounding a download, an edit, a change, a modification, a new file, a conflicting version, an upload of an edited or modified file.
  • In one embodiment, in a user interface to the web-based collaboration platform where notifications are presented, users can, via the same interface, create action items (e.g., tasks) and delegate the action items to other users including collaborators pertaining to a work item 215, for example. The collaborators 206 can be in the same workspace A 205 or the user can include a newly invited collaborator. Similarly, in the same user interface where discussion topics can be created in a workspace (e.g., workspace A, B or N, etc.), actionable events on work items can be created and/or delegated/assigned to other users such as collaborators of a given workspace 206 or other users. Through the same user interface, task status and updates from multiple users or collaborators can be indicated and reflected. In some instances, the users can perform the tasks review or approve or reject, etc.) via the same user interface.
  • FIG. 3A depicts an example diagram of a workspace 302 in an online or web-based collaboration environment accessible by multiple collaborators 322 through various devices.
  • Each of users 316, 318, and 320 can individually use multiple different devices to access and/or manipulate work items 324 in the workspace 302 with which they are associated with. For example users 316, 318, 320 can be collaborators on a project to which work items 324 are relevant. Since the work items 324 are hosted by the collaboration environment (e.g., a cloud-based environment), each user can access the work items 324 anytime, and from any physical location using any device (e.g., including devices they own or any shared/public/loaner device).
  • Work items to be edited or viewed can be accessed from the workspace 302. Users can also be notified of access, edit, modification, and/or upload related-actions performed on work items 324 by other users or any other types of activities detected in the workspace 302. For example, if user 316 modifies a document, one or both of the other collaborators 318 and 320 can be notified of the modification in real time, or near real-time, or not in real time. The notifications can be sent through any of all of the devices associated with a given user, in various formats including, one or more of, email, SMS, or via a pop-up window in a user interface in which the user uses to access the collaboration platform. In the event of multiple notifications, each notification can be depicted preferentially (e.g., ordering in the user interface) based on user preferences and/or relevance to the user (e.g., implicit or explicit).
  • For example, a notification of a download, access, read, write, edit, or uploaded related activities can be presented in a feed stream among other notifications through a user interface on the user device according to relevancy to the user determined based on current or recent activity of the user in the web-based collaboration environment.
  • In one embodiment, the notification feed stream further enables users to create or generate actionable events (e.g., as task) which are or can be performed by other users 316 or collaborators 322 (e.g., including admin users or other users not in the same workspace), either in the same workspace 302 or in some other workspace. The actionable events such as tasks can also be assigned or delegated to other users via the same user interface.
  • For example, a given notification regarding a work item 324 can be associated with user interface features allowing a user 316 to assign a task related to the work item 324 (e.g., to another user 316, admin user 318, creator user 320 or another user). In one embodiment, a commenting user interface or a comment action associated with a notification can be used in conjunction with user interface features to enable task assignment, delegation, and/or management of the relevant work item or work items in the relevant workspaces, in the same user interface.
  • FIG. 3B depicts an abstract diagram illustrating an example data structure of the folders and files in the workspace 302 of FIG. 3A. As illustrated in FIG. 3B, work items 324 of FIG. 3A can be further organized into groups using one or more folders 342 within workspace 302. The folders 342 can have more than one levels of hierarchy including, for example, parent/ascendant folder(s), child/decedent folder(s) or subfolder(s), and/or sibling folder(s). A person having ordinary skill in the art will understand that terminologies describing the hierarchy of the folders are used in a relative sense. For example, a parent folder can be a child folder of a grandparent folder, a particular child folder can be a parent folder of a grandchild folder, and so on. It is noted that the illustration of the folders are merely exemplary; depending on the embodiments, there can be more than one level of hierarchy between the illustrated folders.
  • FIG. 3C depicts an example system block diagram showing the interaction between server-side components for incrementally updating a sync client 110 with events or actions that occurred via a cloud-based platform.
  • The server-side includes front end components 350A-N, a database 355, a dispatcher 358, one or more processors 3560A-N, and a second database (e.g., HBase 360). The front end components 350A-N can interface with client devices to detect/identify actions or transactions or events. The data or file change that occur as a result of the event is effectuated in the database 355 of the cloud based environment (e.g., the relevant changes are made in the file table 352 of the database 355).
  • Depending on the type of action or event, an action log entry can be created and stored in the action log table or action log 354. In general, the front end 350 determines whether an action log entry is created from a given action or transaction. In general, an action log entry can be created for an action or event if certain durability requirements are to be met. The dispatcher 358 reads the action log entries from the action log 354 and sends them to the processors 356A-N where the fan-out, or collaborators to be notified of the event or to receive the file/data change as a result of the event is determined. Based on the computed fan-out or identified collaborators, the processors 356A-N writes the events/transactions to the relevant queues in the second database 360, from which the remote clients can read.
  • It is noted also that the action log 354, the dispatcher 358, the processors 356A-N, the HBase 360, and one or more real time clients 380A-N (see FIG. 3D) are generally referred to as an “action log framework (ALF) 370.” More specifically, HBase 360 is a primary data repository of the ALF 370. User actions initiated (e.g., via the web application or the API) result in rows (or action log entries) being written to the action log 354 (or action log table 354). Then, in some embodiments, the action log entries are read from action log 354 by the ALF dispatcher 358, de-normalized into separate entries per user that needs to be notified of the action by an ALF processor (e.g., processor 356A), and written to the HBase 360. The HBase 360 is in turn read (e.g., via an API web service call) by real time clients 380A-N to notify a collaborator of the new change.
  • FIG. 3D depicts an example block diagram showing the interaction of remote clients 380A-N and 370A-N with a distributed database cluster 360 for incremental updates of events/actions which occurred at a cloud-based environment. The remote clients can include, for example real time clients 380A-N (e.g., real-time web clients launched via a web browser, mobile application), and sync clients 110A-N (e.g., desktop synchronization, mobile synchronization, server synchronization, etc.) that users or collaborators use to interface/access the cloud-based environment including, but not limited to, a collaboration environment. Other types of clients may also read from the database cluster 360.
  • The queues in the database 360 (e.g., the distributed database cluster) are usually client type specific. For example, each queue is for a given client type for one given user. So, a user ‘A’ may have a synchronization client queue that all of the synchronization clients that user “A” uses reads from since user “A” may have multiple devices on which synchronization clients are installed. In general, the queues for clients in the database 360 are read only queues such that multiple clients can read from the same queue without making modifications. In this manner, if a user utilizes multiple synchronization clients, each client can still receive and detect the respective updates such that multiple devices can be synchronized. The remote clients also typically individually track the location in the queue from which they last read such that only the most recent events are updated at the client, and that the events read from a queue is specific to a given client, dependent on what has previously been synchronized or read.
  • In one embodiment, synchronization clients 110 connect to both real-time 380 and API front end 395 machines. The real time machines 380 can notify a synchronization client 110 when there has been an update in a user's account. The synchronization client 110 can then connect to API front end machine 395 to obtain the actual change/content. Alternatively, in some instances, the synchronization clients 110 can also obtain the changes/content/updates from the real time machines 380 simultaneous with the notification, or after being notified.
  • FIG. 4 depicts an example diagram illustrating syncing of items in a workspace between a client device 102 and a host server 100 in the cloud-based environment. As illustrated, normally an item 405 in a workspace in the cloud-based environment that is marked for sync, can be downloaded from the host server 100 to the client device 102 via a sync client 110 on the client device 102. The syncing can occur whenever the item 405 is modified so that the client device 102 has the most up to date copy of the item 405. If a user of the client device 102 is an owner or an editor of the item 405, then the user has full read and write access to the item 405. The user can therefore modify the item 405 after it has been downloaded to the client device 102. The modified item 410 can be then be synced back to the host server 100 by the sync client 110 as a way to ensure the most up to date version of the item is available for access by other users having access to the workspace.
  • In accordance with the embodiments disclosed herein, the workspace in the cloud-based environment 110 can also include a permissioned sync item 415. As used herein, a permissioned sync item is an item (e.g., a file or a folder) that is marked for sync and has one or more permission attributes associated with it. In some embodiments, an enterprise admin or an item owner can assign the sync and permission attribute to an item. The permissioned sync item 415 can thus be synced to the client device 102 via the sync client 110. In some embodiments, the permissioned sync item 415 can be clearly identified as such using an iconography so that the user of the client device 102 can recognize it as a sync item having a permission attribute. In some embodiments, based on the permission attribute associated with it, file system attributes of the permissioned sync item 415 can be modified so that an application used to open the permissioned sync item can disable certain features of the application to comply with the permission attribute. For example, if the permissioned sync item 415 has a permission attribute for edit set to false (i.e., edit not allowed), the sync client 110 can change the file system attribute of the item to “read-only.” This would, in turn, cause an application to open the permissioned sync item 415 as a read-only item and disable editing features of the application.
  • In accordance with the present disclosure, a sync item can have one or more permission attributes associated with it. The permission attributes can be assigned to the sync item by an enterprise admin in some embodiments and can be applicable to all users or a select group of users (e.g., employees in the marketing department) managed by the enterprise admin. In other embodiments, the permission attributes can be assigned to a sync item by a co-owner who has owner permissions. Table 1 below provides some examples of permission attributes that an enterprise admin and/or item co-owners can assign to sync items.
  • TABLE 1
    Permissions on Sync Items
    Permission Attributes
    on Sync Items Explanation
    Preview only Can preview sync items using an
    integrated content viewer.
    Read only Can preview and view sync items
    Read-write Can read sync items and can edit, can
    upload, can delete, can rename, can move,
    can create
    Create Can create a new item in the sync item
    Delete Can delete a sync item
    Move Can move a sync item to another location
    or can move a local item into the sync
    item
    Rename Can rename a sync item
    Edit Can edit a sync item
    Tags Can add tags to a sync item
    Assigning tasks Can assign tasks to others on a sync item
    Creating links Can create links for sharing sync items
    Creating bookmarks Can create a bookmark on a sync item
    Device pinning Set a number of sync client a user can
    install
    Multiple devices Control a number of devices that a user
    can have for accessing a sync item (and/or
    an account in general) can be accessed
    External Can restrict collaboration with users
    collaboration external to the enterprise
    Number of accounts Control a number of accounts that can
    access a sync item
    Mobile device Can restrict a user from accessing a sync
    item from a mobile device.
    Third-party Control a user's access to third-party
    application applications for accessing or modifying a
    sync item.
  • It should be noted that a user can perform or attempt to perform some of the actions listed in table 1 via the web application or a mobile application, while other actions can involve interaction with a local sync folder in the client device. For example, if permitted, a user can assign a task on a sync item to another user or collaborator using the web application or the mobile application. Similarly, the user can edit a local item in a sync folder on the client device and if permitted, the edited item can be synced back to the host server.
  • Referring to FIG. 4, it can be possible for the user to edit the permissioned sync item 415 to obtain a modified permissioned sync item 420. For example, if the permissioned sync item 415 is a folder, a new file can be created or moved inside the folder which would modify the sync item 415. Similarly, a file in the folder can be deleted, a file or the folder can be renamed, a file can be edited, and so on. In some embodiments, when the sync client 110 attempts to upload the modified permissioned sync item 420 to the host server 100, the host server 100 can provide an error response rejecting the modified permissioned sync item 420 (e.g., fail the sync event). The sync client 110 on the client device 102 can then handle the error response so that the permissioned sync item 415 is stored locally on the client device 102. The method of handling the error response can depend on the type of action taken on the permissioned sync item 415. FIGS. 6-10 describe various methods of handling the error response for example actions taken on the permissioned sync item 415.
  • FIG. 5A depicts an example diagram illustrating components of a client device 102 having a sync client 110 of the cloud-based environment that is capable of preventing changes made to a permissioned sync item from being uploaded to the host server in the cloud-based environment and for handling those changes made locally.
  • In some embodiments, the client device 102 can include a bus 505 and a memory 510 among other components. The memory 510 can include a communication module 515, a permission cache 565 and a sync client 110. The communication module 515 can facilitate communication between the client device 102 and the host server 100 using any of the communication protocols supported by the client device 102 and the host server 100. The memory 510 may also include other device modules such as a GPS module for determining and providing location information, text input module for accepting and processing inputs provided using different input mechanisms of the mobile device, and the like for handling various functions of the client device 102. Additional or less components/modules/engines can be included in the client device 102 and each illustrated component.
  • The bus 505 is a subsystem for transferring data between the components of the client device 102. For example, the bus 505 can facilitate the transfer of data between the memory 510 and other components of the client device 102 such as the processor and/or the input/output components that utilize the data.
  • As used herein, a “module,” “a client,” “a monitor,” a “handler,” a “listener,” a “marker,” or a “manager” can include a general purpose, dedicated or shared processor and, typically, firmware or software modules that are executed by the processor. Depending upon implementation-specific or other considerations, the module, client, monitor, handler, listener, marker or manager can be centralized or its functionality distributed. The module, client, monitor, handler, listener, marker or manager can include general or special purpose hardware, firmware, or software embodied in a computer-readable (storage) medium for execution by the processor. As used herein, a computer-readable medium or computer-readable storage medium is intended to include all media that are statutory (e.g., in the United States, under 35 U.S.C. §101), and to specifically exclude all media that are non-statutory in nature to the extent that the exclusion is necessary for a claim that includes the computer-readable (storage) medium to be valid. Known statutory computer-readable mediums include hardware (e.g., registers, random access memory (RAM), non-volatile (NV) storage, to name a few), but may or may not be limited to hardware.
  • In some embodiments, the sync client 110 can include a file system monitor 525 having a listener 530 and a client sync permissions manager 540 having a local item marker 545, a permission checking module 550 and a recovery handler 555 having a notification manager 560 and a recovery failure handler 570. The permission attributes and/or any other item attributes can be cached locally in the permission cache 565.
  • In some embodiments, the file system monitor 525, via the listener 530, can receive new events reported from the host server 100 (e.g., via the ALF system described in FIGS. 3C and 3D). In some embodiments, the client sync permissions manager 540 can manage permissions associated with synced items. The client sync permissions manager 540 can also perform permission checks with the host server 100 (e.g., via APIs) to determine whether a change to a permissioned sync item is permitted or denied. If permitted, the changed item can be uploaded to the host server 100. However, if denied, the client sync permissions manager 540 can handle the error response from the host server 100 to restore the item to its original state. In some embodiments, the client sync permissions manager 540 can also handle any failures in restoring the item to its original state.
  • In some embodiments, the local file system marker 545 can mark an item on a client device based on a permission attribute to indicate that the item has the permission attribute. In some embodiments, the local file system marker 545 can also mark an item on the client device based on a sync attribute to indicate that the item is a sync item. In further embodiments, the local file system marker 545 can receive or detect a change to the permission attribute of the sync item (e.g., via events received by the file system monitor 525) and in response, dynamically update the marking on the sync item on the client device based on the change to the permission attribute.
  • Generally, the local file system (i.e., the file system on the client device 102) does not reflect the permission attributes of a sync item on the host server. For example, if a file is read-only on the host server, does not mean that the file would be read-only on the local file system as well. The local item marker 545 can use the permission attribute to change one or more local file system attributes so that the file has the same permission attribute locally as well as remotely. In other words, local item marker 545 ensures that the local file reflects the state of the file in the host server 100. As a result of the change in the local file system attribute, when the user opens the file in an application, the application can indicate to the user that the file has a certain permission attached to it and can disable the restricted features. For example, if the file is “read-only,” then the application can indicate to the user that the file is read-only and can disable editing features of the application so that the file cannot be edited.
  • The local item marker 545, in some embodiments, can receive the permission attributes in response to a call to get the folders/files in the user's account. The call can return a folder listing and/or files in each folder along with attributes of the folders and/or files (e.g., permission attributes). In some embodiments, changes in the permission attributes can be reported by the ALF system to allow the changes in permissions on the host server 100 to be synced to the local file system. The local file system marker 545 can clear and/or set local file system attributes based on the permission changes on the host server 110. The setting of the local file system attributes, in some embodiments, can be efficient and fast because the local file system marker 545 can mark all the files in the sync folder using the appropriate local file system attribute or setting and does not need to track the “waterfall” permissions (e.g., a permission model where a user has access to a folder that he or she is invited into and any subfolders beneath it). In some the local file system marker 545 can receive permissions changes at the sub-folder level and/or file level from the ALF. Alternatively, if permission changes only for the top level of the sync folder is received, spidering may be done to determine the permission changes for sub-folders beneath the sync folder and that can be replicated in the permission cache 565.
  • In some embodiments, the local item marker 545 can cache the permission attributes in the permission cache 565 by an identifier. If asked about a folder that is not in the cache a query can be made for the permissions on the host server and the result can be added to the permission cache 565. When a file has finished downloading, the local item marker 545 can check the permission attributes of the owning folder or the file (via the permission cache 565) and the set the local file system attribute appropriately before moving the file into the sync folder.
  • The user can of course force their way through by clearing the bit. They can also create new content or move files, so marking the sync folder and/or content therein as permissioned may not be enough protection against unpermitted action. The permission checking module 550 and the recovery handler 555 can detect and reverse the unpermitted changes to the sync item.
  • In some embodiments, the permission checking module 550 can detect any changes to a sync item and can check with the host server 100 whether those changes to the sync item are permitted. By checking against the host server 100, the permission checking module 550 ensures that the check is based on the most up to date information. In some embodiments, the permission check can be performed using permission information cached in the permission cache 565. If the information is not available in the permission cache 565, a query can be made to the host server 100 and the response can be added to the permission cache 565. The permission cache 565, in some embodiments, can be updated when the permission changes occur at the host server 100 and those permission changes are received via the ALF or by querying the account tree. The permission checking module 550 can obtain a success message or a permission denied error message. The success message is received when the changes to the sync item are permitted based on the permission attributes associated with the sync item. Alternatively, the permission denied error can be received when the changes to the sync item are not permitted.
  • In some embodiments, the recovery handler 555 can handle locally the changes to the sync items that have been rejected by the host server 100 to restore the sync item to its previous state. For example, if an edit to a sync item has been rejected by the host server 100, the recovery handler 555 can create a conflict copy of the edited item and download an original copy of the sync item from the host server 100. Example cases and how the recovery handler handles those cases are described in detail with respect to FIG. 6.
  • In some embodiments, the steps taken by the recovery handler 555 could fail. For example, for the edit case above the creation of the conflict copy could fail due to disk space. Similarly, download of the original sync item could fail due to communication failure or the item having been deleted from the host server 100. Each of these “sub-failures” in the recovery handler 555 can be dealt with by the recovery failure handler 570. Table 2 below lists some example errors encountered and resolution action taken by the recovery failure handler 570 when recovering from example events related to editing, deleting, moving and creating.
  • TABLE 2
    Recovery Failures
    Recovery Failure Errors Edit Delete Move Create
    PERMISSION_ERROR Problem item: Problem item: Problem item: Problem item:
    Edited item cannot be Original item Sync item Can only
    moved and the original could not be could not be encounter this
    item could not be downloaded moved back. in the
    downloaded even if the from the host Retry until permission-
    edited item could be server. the move error-
    moved. fails. masking-
    name-in-use
    case. New
    item could
    not be
    downloaded.
    Item doesn't exist on host No operation (“No-op”) No-op No-op No-op
    server:
    ITEM_DELETED
    OPPOSITE_ITEM_DELETED
    ITEM_NAME_IN_USE Not possible. Move the Move the Make a
    blocking item blocking item conflict
    aside on local aside on local rename to
    fs and retry. fs and retry. move the item
    out of the
    way.
    VERSION_MISMATCH Something modified the Not possible. The user Not possible..
    file after an edit. Retry Download moved the
    and wait for the other will bring file during
    edit to collapse. down latest resolution.
    (or most Retry and
    recent) wait for the
    version. user's new
    move to
    collapse.
    PARENT_ITEM_DELETED Not possible. Not possible. Not possible. Not possible.
    RATE_LIMIT Retry after Retry after Retry after Retry after
    wait, wait wait, wait wait, wait wait, wait
    max(default max(default max(default max(default
    wait, rate wait, rate wait, rate wait, rate
    limit wait) limit wait) limit wait) limit wait)
    Expected general errors: Else case: Else case: Else case: Else case:
    AUTHENTICATION_ERROR, Retry after Retry after Retry after Retry after
    COMMUNICATION_ERROR, wait wait wait wait
    TRANSIENT_ERROR,
    BAD_REQUEST_ERROR,
    ITEM_NOT_FOUND,
    OPPOSITE_ITEM_NOT_FOUND,
    UNEXPECTED_ERROR,
    Unexpected general errors Else case: Else case: Else case: Else case:
    Retry after Retry after Retry after Retry after
    wait wait wait wait
  • In some embodiments, the notification manager 560 can generate a notification (e.g., a growl notification) when an action on a sync item is rejected or denied or when the action is altered or reverted because the action is not permitted on the sync item. Example titles and messages for actions or operations that may not be permitted on a sync item in some embodiments are listed in Table 3 below.
  • TABLE 3
    Notification Messages
    Message
    Actions Title Message
    Create Create not The <item name> could not be created on the
    allowed host server. Move the <item name> to a folder
    where you have upload permission.
    Delete Delete not The <item name> could not be deleted on the
    allowed host server. It has been restored.
    Edit Edit not The <item name> could not be edited on the host
    allowed server. It has been restored. A copy of the
    changed file was saved to <item name -copy>.
    Move Move not The <item name> could not be moved on the host
    allowed server. It has been restored.
    Rename Rename not The <item name> could not be renamed on the
    allowed host server. It has been restored.
  • In some embodiments, the cross-queue filter lock module 575 can provide a locking mechanism to prevent local and host server events on the same item from executing at the same time. One reason is that the recovery for a local event can involve host server calls (e.g., download of a sync item) and these could proceed at the same time as a host server event in the remote file system queue. When an item is mapped in the LSIS, the sync event queue can use a lock on the sync item to prevent the opposite queue from processing events for the same sync item at the same time. The cross-queue locking does not affect concurrency in any significant way and can reduce timing problems with the sync event execution.
  • FIG. 5B depicts an example diagram illustrating components of the host server 100 of the cloud-based environment that is capable of performing permission checks to prevent any changes to a sync item that are not permitted based on permission attributes of the sync item in the cloud-based environment.
  • As illustrated, in some embodiments, the host server 100 can include a network interface 580, a memory 582 storing a user interface module 584, an admin console module 586, a sync permissions manager 588, a permission attribute determination module 590, a permission checking module 594, a remote item marker 592 and a sub-level permission tracking module 596.
  • As used herein, a “module,” a “manager,” or a “marker” includes a general purpose, dedicated or shared processor and, typically, firmware or software modules that are executed by the processor. Depending upon implementation-specific or other considerations, the module, manager, interface, or engine can be centralized or its functionality distributed. The module, manager, or marker can include general or special purpose hardware, firmware, or software embodied in a computer-readable (storage) medium for execution by the processor. As used herein, a computer-readable medium or computer-readable storage medium is intended to include all media that are statutory (e.g., in the United States, under 35 U.S.C. §101), and to specifically exclude all media that are non-statutory in nature to the extent that the exclusion is necessary for a claim that includes the computer-readable (storage) medium to be valid. Known statutory computer-readable mediums include hardware (e.g., registers, random access memory (RAM), non-volatile (NV) storage, to name a few), but may or may not be limited to hardware.
  • The network interface 580 can be a networking module that enables the host server 100 to mediate data in a network with an entity that is external to the host server 100, through any known and/or convenient communications protocol supported by the host and the external entity. The network interface 580 can include one or more of a network adaptor card, a wireless network interface card (e.g., SMS interface, Wi-Fi interface, interfaces for various generations of mobile communication standards including but not limited to 1G, 2G, 3G, 3.5G, 4G, LTE, etc.,), Bluetooth, a router, an access point, a wireless router, a switch, a multilayer switch, a protocol converter, a gateway, a bridge, bridge router, a hub, a digital media receiver, and/or a repeater.
  • In accordance with some embodiments, the host server 100 can receive an instruction to perform an action on a sync item stored in a workspace hosted by the host server 100. In some embodiments, the instruction can be sent from a web application user interface (e.g., user interface 104 in FIG. 1) and received by the user interface module 584. In some additional or alternative embodiments, the instruction can be sent from a client software user interface (e.g., user interface 107 of FIG. 1) and received by the network interface 580. The sync item can be a folder or a file that is enabled for sync. Although various aspects of the host server 100 are described herein in the context of sync items having permissions, these aspects can be applicable for items having permissions that are not enabled for sync.
  • The admin console module 586 can provide a user interface for enterprise admins to obtain an overview of user accounts, manage user accounts (e.g., add or delete user accounts, configure permissions for users, set a security attribute on items, set permission attributes on items (e.g., sync items) and/or the like. For example, an enterprise admin can, via the admin console, provided by the admin console module 586 set “can sync” as a security attribute on an item to allow users to sync the item to their client devices. Similarly, the enterprise admin can, via the admin console, set permission attributes to a sync item (and/or an item not marked for sync). The permission attributes can be a part of folder settings in some embodiments. The permission attributes can be stored in a permission attributes database table 598.
  • In some embodiments, the sync permissions manager 598 can allow or deny requests to take an action on a sync item based on one or more permissions associated with the sync item. The action detector 593 can detect, based on an instruction received by the user interface module 584 or through the network interface 580, an attempt by a user to take an action on a sync item at the host server 100. The action can be any action such as those listed in table 1, or any action on a sync item that is supported by the host server 100. In some embodiments, the permission attribute determination module 590 can retrieve permission attributes associated with the sync item from the permission attributes database table 598. In some embodiments, permission attribute determination module 590 or another module can also determine an access level of the user. For example, the user can be a co-owner/editor (e.g., a user who can upload, download, preview, get link, edit, delete, invite new collaborators, change access levels of existing collaborators), viewer-uploader (e.g., can upload, download, preview, get link, add comments), previewer-uploader (e.g., can upload, preview, add tags, comment), viewer (e.g., download, preview, get link), previewer (e.g., can preview) or uploader (e.g., can upload).
  • In some embodiments, the permission checking module 594 can perform a permission check to determine whether the action on the sync item by the user is permitted based on the one or more permission attributes associated with the sync item. In some embodiments, the access level of the user can also be considered in performing the permission check. For example, if the user is a viewer-uploader, the user can have full read access to the sync item and limited write access (e.g., can add tags, invite new collaborators or delete). If the sync item has a permission attribute that allows adding or editing a tag but does not allow inviting new collaborators, deleting or uploading the sync item, then the viewer-uploader can only add or edit a tag on the sync item. If the action that the viewer-uploader is attempting to perform is “inviting new collaborators,” then permission checking module 594 can determine, based on the permission attribute associated with the sync item that “inviting new collaborators” is not permitted. The permission checking module 594 can then generate a permission denied error. The notification manager 595 can generate a notification message for display on the user interface of the client device of the user. If the action is allowed based on the permission attribute associated with the sync item and/or user access level, then the permission checking module 594 can allow the user to perform the action on the sync item.
  • In some embodiments, the remote item marker 592 can mark a sync item (e.g., a folder) based on the permission attributes associated with it. For example, if a sync folder's permission attribute “can invite external collaborators” is set to false, then the sync folder can be marked as a safe folder using iconography that provides a clear visual indication that the sync folder is only for internal collaborators (i.e., collaborators within an enterprise).
  • In some embodiments, the sub-level collaborator tracking module 596 can track and identify collaborators at various sub-levels of a sync item for display on a user interface provided by the user interface module 584 or a client software application. For example, if a folder A includes a sub-folder A-1 and a sub-folder A-2 and users 1-5 are collaborators in sub-folder A-1 and users 4-8 are collaborators in sub-folder A-2, then the collaborators at each sub-folder level can be clearly identified to indicate that a specific user's access begins at a specific sub-folder level.
  • FIG. 6 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method 600 of detecting and handling different types of actions on or changes made to a permissioned sync item on a client device.
  • In some embodiments, the sync client 110 can detect that a new item has been created inside a permissioned sync folder at block 610. The sync client 110 can then attempt to sync the new item to the host server 100 at block 612. At block 615, the sync can fail with a permission denied error. The new item then becomes a problem item. The sync client 110 can then (optionally) move the new item (or problem item) to another location at block 620. The sync client 110 can also (optionally) mark the new item at block 625. For example, the new item can be marked with an icon, a color, etc. Any indicator can be used to mark the new item. Lastly, the sync client 110 can generate a permission denied message to the user and take an action to revert to the previous state of the permissioned sync folder at block 650.
  • In some embodiments, the sync client 110 can detect that an item in the permissioned sync folder has been edited at block 630. The sync client 110 can then attempt to upload the edited item to the host server at block 635. At block 638, the sync client 110 can receive a permission denied error. The sync client 110 can then make a conflict copy of the edited item at block 640 and can mark the edited item (e.g., with an icon) at block 645. At block 646, the original item that was edited from the host server can be downloaded. The sync client 110 can also generate a permission denied message to the user and take an action to revert to the previous state of the permissioned sync folder at block 650. In some embodiments, the message can indicate where the conflict copy of the edited item is located. In some embodiments, the sync client 110 can attempt to upload the new item and/or the edited item by using a preflight upload API that does not actually involve an upload. By using the preflight API, network bandwidth can be saved by not sending uploads that can be rejected by the host server.
  • In some embodiments, the sync client 110 can detect that an item in the permissioned sync folder has been deleted at block 652. The sync client 110 can then attempt to sync the delete event with the host server (e.g., using a delete API) at block 655. The sync client 110 can receive a permission denied error at block 658. At block 660, the sync client 110 can download the item that was deleted locally from the host server at block 660 and ignore the local delete. The sync client 110 can generate a permission denied message and take an action revert to the previous state of the permissioned sync folder at block 650. For example, if the permissioned sync folder is itself deleted locally, the sync client 110 can recreate the deleted sync folder by downloading the sync folder from the host server 100. However, in some embodiments, deleting the sync folder can result in unsyncing of the folder. This functionality can be configurable at the host server 100 by an administrator.
  • In some embodiments, the sync client 110 can detect that an item in the permissioned sync folder has been renamed at block 680. The sync client 110 can attempt to sync the rename event with the host server 100 (e.g., via the rename API) at block 685. At block 688, the sync client 110 can receive a permission denied error. The sync client 110 can then rename the item back to its original name (e.g., via sync API) at block 690 such that the local item has the same name as the item in the host server 100. The sync client 110 can also generate a permission denied message and take an action to revert to the previous state of the permissioned sync folder at block 650.
  • In some embodiments, the sync client 110 can detect that an item has been moved in or out of the permissioned sync folder at block 665. For the item that has been moved in, the sync client 110 can treat it as a create event. For the item that has been moved out, the sync client 110 can treat it as a delete event. The sync client 110 can move the item back out or in and ignore the local move.
  • In some embodiments, the sync client 110 can generate a notification (e.g., growl notifications) when an action on a sync item is rejected or denied or when the action is altered or reverted because the action is not permitted on the sync item.
  • In some embodiments, the steps taken by a recovery handler of the sync client 110 to recover from the permission error can fail. For example, for the edit case described with respect to FIG. 6, the creation of the conflict copy could fail due to disk space or permissions. Similarly, a download of an item can fail due to communication failure or the item having been deleted from the host server 100. The sync client 110 can deal with each of these “sub-failures” in the failure recovery handler. FIGS. 7-10 illustrate example methods of handling example create, move/rename, delete and edit recovery failures.
  • FIG. 7 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of handling a “create” failure by a sync client 110 on a client device. In some instances, the host server can return a “permission denied” message when a certain action (e.g., create action) is not allowed in a sync folder or due to another reason. The permission denied message can thus mask the actual reason for a failure to sync a create event. In some instances, the create event can fail to sync when a user creates a file with a file name locally and another file with the same filename is created or exists on the host server. This “name-in-use” condition will need to be handled before file from the host server 100 can be downloaded to the client device. The sync client, in some embodiments, can determine if the permission denied error was received due to permissions or another reason and recover from the error accordingly.
  • The example method 700 starts with a user creating a local item in a sync folder at a client device at block 705. The sync client 110 can then perform a sync check on the local item with a host server at block 710. In some embodiments, the sync check can be performed by the preflight API. At a decision block 715, the sync client 110 determines if the sync is going to be successful. If the sync is going to be successful, the sync client 110 can create locale item is a success at block 718 and synchronize the local sync folder with the cloud at block 720. If the sync is not going to be successful, the sync client 110 can receive a permissioned denied error at block 725. Optionally, the sync client 110 can check if the local item name is in use at the host server. The sync client 110 can use a host server monitor (or API) as a quick and inexpensive way to see if the name is in use on the host server without a direct query of the host server. In some embodiments, the monitor might not have the host server item right away but it can eventually get that information from ALF events in between retries. If the name is in use, the sync client 110 can rename the local item to a conflict name and then retry syncing after a time interval. This allows a create event from the host server to succeed.
  • At block 730 the sync client 110 can optionally mark the local item as a conflict item and, at block 735, move the local item to another location. The sync client 110 can then notify the user (e.g., collaborator operating the client device on which the sync client 110 is running) via the client device (e.g., via a permission denied message) about the unsuccessful sync and the state and location of the locally created item. Lastly, the sync client 110 can optionally provide the user with additional recovery instructions. For example, the instructions can include the new name and location of the file, etc.
  • FIG. 8 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of handling a “move” failure by a sync client 110 on a client device. Similar method can be used to handle a “rename” failure in some embodiments. The sync client 110 can handle the move failure by reversing the move, i.e., moving the item back to where it was. However, this may fail when the original location is occupied or has no room. In that case, the sync client 110 can move the blocking item out of the way.
  • The example method 800 starts with a user deleting a local item in a sync folder at a client device at block 805. The sync client 110 can then perform a sync check on the local item with a host server at block 810. In some embodiments, the sync check can be performed by the preflight API. At a decision block 815, the sync client 110 determines if the sync is going to be successful. If the sync is going to be successful, the sync client 110 can mark the move as a success at block 820 and synchronize the local sync folder with the cloud at block 825. The sync client 110 can also update the Last Sync Item Store (LSIS) at block 830. If the sync is not going to be successful, the sync client 110 can receive a permissions error at block 840 and, at block 845, attempt to move the item back to the local sync folder to recover from the error. At decision block 850, the sync client 110 determines if the move is successful. If the move is successful, the sync client 110 can mark the move as a success at block 820. However, if the move is unsuccessful at decision block 850, the sync client 110 can determine if the item name is in use in the sync folder at decision block 855. If so, another item with the same name has moved into the sync folder. The sync client 110 can optionally rename the blocking item to a conflict name and move it to another location at block 860. The sync client 110 can then notify the user (e.g., collaborator operating the client device on which the sync client 110 is running) via the client device (e.g., via a permission denied message) about the unsuccessful sync and the state and location of the locally moved item at block 865. Lastly, at block 870, the sync client 110 can optionally provide the user with additional recovery instructions. For example, the instructions can include the new name and location of the file, etc.
  • If the item name is in not in use in the sync folder at decision block 855, the sync client 110 can attempt other recovery procedures as described herein at block 870. Lastly, at block 875, the sync client can retry the attempted sync (e.g., via preflight API) after a time interval or wait period.
  • In some embodiments, when a delete of an item in a sync folder fails due to permissions, the sync client 110 can recover from the error by re-downloading the item to the sync folder from the host server 100. However, this recovery can fail if the original location is in use. FIG. 9 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of handling a “delete” failure by a sync client 110 on a client device.
  • The example method 900 starts with a user deleting a local item in a sync folder at a client device at block 905. The sync client 110 can then perform a sync check on the local item with a host server at block 910. In some embodiments, the sync check can be performed by the preflight API. At a decision block 915, the sync client 110 determines if the sync is going to be successful. If the sync is going to be successful, the sync client 110 can mark the delete as a success at block 920 and synchronize the local sync folder with the cloud at block 925. The sync client 110 can also update the LSIS at block 930. If the sync is not going to be successful, the sync client 110 can receive a permissions error at block 935. At block 940, the sync client 110 can get the remote item identifier associated with the same item in the cloud sync folder and, at block 945, can download the item from the host server using the remote item identifier.
  • At decision block 950, the sync client 110 can determine if the download was successful. If the download result is a success, the sync client 110 can mark the delete (recovery) as a success. However, if the download result is not a success, the sync client 110 can, at decision block 955, determine if the item is in already use on the cloud (host) sync folder (e.g., name-in-use error). If so, the sync client 110 can optionally rename the blocking item to a conflict name and move it to another location at block 960. The sync client 110 can then notify the user (e.g., collaborator operating the client device on which the sync client 110 is running) via the client device (e.g., via a permission denied message) about the unsuccessful sync and the state and location of the locally moved item at block 965. At block 970, the sync client 110 can optionally provide the user with additional recovery instructions. For example, the instructions can include the new name and location of the file, etc. The sync client 110 can then attempt to download the latest item again at block 945.
  • If the item name is in not in use in the sync folder at decision block 855, the sync client 110 can determine if the item is deleted at the cloud-based (host) server at block 980. If the item is deleted, the sync client 110 can mark the delete as a success at block 920. If the item is not deleted, the sync client 110 can attempt other recovery procedures as described herein at block 985. Lastly, at block 990, the sync client can retry the attempted sync (e.g., via preflight API) after a time interval or wait period.
  • In some embodiments, an edit of a local item in a sync folder can fail due to permissions. To recover from this error, the sync client 110 can save the edits to the local item in a conflict copy and re-download the item from its original location. However, the re-download can fail under certain circumstances. FIG. 10 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of handling an “edit” failure by a sync client 110 on a client device.
  • The example method 1000 starts with a user editing a local item in a sync folder at a client device at block 1005. The sync client 110 can then perform a sync check on the local item with a host server at block 1010. In some embodiments, the sync check can be performed by the preflight API. At a decision block 1015, the sync client 110 determines if the sync is going to be successful. If the sync is going to be successful, the sync client 110 can mark the edit as a success at block 1020 and synchronize the local sync folder with the cloud at block 1025. The sync client 110 can also update the LSIS at block 1030. If the sync is not going to be successful, the sync client 110 can receive a permissions error at block 1035. The sync client 110 can mark the item to as a conflict item and optionally the item move to another location at block 1040. The sync client 110 can then notify the user (e.g., collaborator operating the client device on which the sync client 110 is running) via the client device (e.g., via a permission denied message) about the unsuccessful sync and the state and location of the locally moved item at block 1045. At block 1050, the sync client 110 can optionally provide the user with additional recovery instructions. For example, the instructions can include the new name and location of the file, etc. At block 1055, the sync client 110 can get the remote item identifier associated with the same item in the cloud sync folder and, at block 1060, can download the item from the host server using the remote item identifier.
  • At decision block 1065, the sync client 110 can determine if the download was successful. If the download result is a success, the sync client 110 can mark the edit (recovery) as a success. However, if the download result is not a success, the sync client 110 can, at decision block 1070, determine if the item is deleted at the cloud-based (host) server. If the item is deleted, the sync client 110 can mark the delete as a success at block 1020. If the item is not deleted, the sync client 110 can attempt other recovery procedures as described herein at block 1072. Lastly, at block 1075, the sync client can retry the attempted sync (e.g., via preflight API) after a time interval or wait period.
  • FIG. 11 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of handling a change to a sync item having a permission attribute. In some embodiments, the method 1100 can be performed by the sync client 110 to handle local changes to the sync item (i.e., changes made to the sync item client side). The method 1100 starts at block 1105, with the sync client 110 receiving a content item marked for synchronization and having a permission attribute associated with it from the host server 100. The sync client 110 can detect a change to the content item at block 1110. The change is a local change (i.e., change to the sync item on the local file system). At block 1115, the sync client 110 can perform a permission check on the change to the content item. In some the permission check can be performed using an API (e.g., preflight API). The cloud-based server 100 can receive a notification of a change to the local copy of the content item from the client device and determine whether the change is permitted based on the permission attributes associated with the content item.
  • In some embodiments, the sync client 110 sets permissions on local file system and/or operating system. In such cases the local file system and/or operating system can manage some or all aspects of local permission verifications as described herein.
  • The sync client 110 can then receive a response to the permission check. If the change to the content item is permitted as indicated by the response to the permission check at decision block 1120, the sync client 110 can attempt to sync the content item to the host server 100 at block 1135 so that the host server 100 has the most up to date copy of the content item. At decision block 1140, the sync client 110 can determine if the sync was successful or if there were one or more sync errors. Sync errors can occur if, for example, permissions, sync items, etc., are modified by other collaborators or administrators on the cloud between the time the permission check is performed and the actual sync by the sync client 110. If no sync errors occur, the sync is marked as a success at block 1145. If a sync error does occur, then the sync client 110 can attempt to resolve those issues/errors at block 1150.
  • Alternatively, if the change to the content item is denied at decision block 1120, the sync client 110 can receive a permission denied message at block 1125. The sync client 110 can then initiate a recovery process to restore the content item to its original form. The recovery process can depend on the type of change to the content item. In some embodiments, the recovery process may itself fail, and those failures can be handled by the sync client. As illustrated in the example of FIG. 11, the recovery process includes blocks 1126-1128. Other recovery processes are also possible. In this example, at block 1126, the sync client 110 can save and/or mark the changed or new content item as a conflict item. At block 1127, the sync client 110 can restore the content item to a latest or most recent form locally. For example, this block can be achieved by downloading a copy of the latest item from the cloud. Lastly, at block 1128, recovery instructions can optionally be provided to the user as described herein.
  • FIG. 12 depicts an example diagram illustrating a method of allowing or denying an action on a sync item based on one or more permission attributes of the item.
  • The example method 1200 starts at block 1205 with a host server receiving or detecting a request from a user to take an action on a sync item. At block 1210, the host server receives or retrieves one or more permission attributes of the sync item. At block 1215, the host server receives or retrieves an access level of the user. At block 1220, the host server can perform a permission check or verification on the action based on the one or more permission attributes and in some embodiments, the access level of the user. At decision block 1225, if the permission check results in permission denied, then the host server denies the user request with a permission denied error message at block 1235. Otherwise, the host server allows the user to perform the action at block 1230. At blocks 1232 and 1237, the host server notifies the sync client (e.g., sync client 110) whether or not the action is allowed.
  • FIG. 13 shows a diagrammatic representation 1300 of a machine in the example form of a computer system within which a set of instructions, for causing the machine to perform any one or more of the methodologies discussed herein, can be executed.
  • In alternative embodiments, the machine operates as a standalone device or can be connected (e.g., networked) to other machines. In a networked deployment, the machine can operate in the capacity of a server or a client machine in a client-server network environment, or as a peer machine in a peer-to-peer (or distributed) network environment.
  • The machine can be a server computer, a client computer, a personal computer (PC), a user device, a tablet, a phablet, a laptop computer, a set-top box (STB), a personal digital assistant (PDA), a thin-client device, a cellular telephone, an iPhone, an iPad, a Blackberry, a processor, a telephone, a web appliance, a network router, switch or bridge, a console, a hand-held console, a (hand-held) gaming device, a music player, any portable, mobile, hand-held device, or any machine capable of executing a set of instructions (sequential or otherwise) that specify actions to be taken by that machine.
  • While the machine-readable medium or machine-readable storage medium is shown in an exemplary embodiment to be a single medium, the term “machine-readable medium” and “machine-readable storage medium” should be taken to include a single medium or multiple media (e.g., a centralized or distributed database, and/or associated caches and servers) that store the one or more sets of instructions. The term “machine-readable medium” and “machine-readable storage medium” shall also be taken to include any medium that is capable of storing, encoding or carrying a set of instructions for execution by the machine and that cause the machine to perform any one or more of the methodologies of the presently disclosed technique and innovation.
  • In general, the routines executed to implement the embodiments of the disclosure, can be implemented as part of an operating system or a specific application, component, program, object, module or sequence of instructions referred to as “computer programs.” The computer programs typically comprise one or more instructions set at various times in various memory and storage devices in a computer, and that, when read and executed by one or more processing units or processors in a computer, cause the computer to perform operations to execute elements involving the various aspects of the disclosure.
  • Moreover, while embodiments have been described in the context of fully functioning computers and computer systems, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the various embodiments are capable of being distributed as a program product in a variety of forms, and that the disclosure applies equally regardless of the particular type of machine or computer-readable media used to actually effect the distribution.
  • Further examples of machine-readable storage media, machine-readable media, or computer-readable (storage) media include, but are not limited to, recordable type media such as volatile and non-volatile memory devices, floppy and other removable disks, hard disk drives, optical disks (e.g., Compact Disk Read-Only Memory (CD ROMS), Digital Versatile Disks, (DVDs), etc.), among others, and transmission type media such as digital and analog communication links.
  • The network interface device enables the machine 1300 to mediate data in a network with an entity that is external to the host server, through any known and/or convenient communications protocol supported by the host and the external entity. The network interface device can include one or more of a network adaptor card, a wireless network interface card, a router, an access point, a wireless router, a switch, a multilayer switch, a protocol converter, a gateway, a bridge, bridge router, a hub, a digital media receiver, and/or a repeater.
  • The network interface device can include a firewall which can, in some embodiments, govern and/or manage permission to access/proxy data in a computer network, and track varying levels of trust between different machines and/or applications. The firewall can be any number of modules having any combination of hardware and/or software components able to enforce a predetermined set of access rights between a particular set of machines and applications, machines and machines, and/or applications and applications, for example, to regulate the flow of traffic and resource sharing between these varying entities. The firewall can additionally manage and/or have access to an access control list which details permissions including for example, the access and operation rights of an object by an individual, a machine, and/or an application, and the circumstances under which the permission rights stand.
  • Other network security functions can be performed or included in the functions of the firewall, can be, for example, but are not limited to, intrusion-prevention, intrusion detection, next-generation firewall, personal firewall, etc. without deviating from the novel art of this disclosure.
  • Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, throughout the description and the claims, the words “comprise,” “comprising,” and the like are to be construed in an inclusive sense, as opposed to an exclusive or exhaustive sense; that is to say, in the sense of “including, but not limited to.” As used herein, the terms “connected,” “coupled,” or any variant thereof, means any connection or coupling, either direct or indirect, between two or more elements; the coupling of connection between the elements can be physical, logical, or a combination thereof. Additionally, the words “herein,” “above,” “below,” and words of similar import, when used in this application, shall refer to this application as a whole and not to any particular portions of this application. Where the context permits, words in the above Detailed Description using the singular or plural number can also include the plural or singular number respectively. The word “or,” in reference to a list of two or more items, covers all of the following interpretations of the word: any of the items in the list, all of the items in the list, and any combination of the items in the list.
  • The above detailed description of embodiments of the disclosure is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the teachings to the precise form disclosed above. While specific embodiments of, and examples for, the disclosure are described above for illustrative purposes, various equivalent modifications are possible within the scope of the disclosure, as those skilled in the relevant art will recognize. For example, while processes or blocks are presented in a given order, alternative embodiments can perform routines having steps, or employ systems having in a different order, and some processes or blocks can be deleted, moved, added, subdivided, combined, and/or modified to provide alternative or subcombinations. Each of these processes or blocks can be implemented in a variety of different ways. Also, while processes or blocks are at times shown as being performed in series, these processes or blocks can instead be performed in parallel, or can be performed at different times. Further, any specific numbers noted herein are only examples: alternative implementations can employ differing values or ranges.
  • The teachings of the disclosure provided herein can be applied to other systems, not necessarily the system described above. The elements and acts of the various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments.
  • Any patents and applications and other references noted above, including any that can be listed in accompanying filing papers, are incorporated herein by reference. Aspects of the disclosure can be modified, if necessary, to employ the systems, functions, and concepts of the various references described above to provide yet further embodiments of the disclosure.
  • These and other changes can be made to the disclosure in light of the above Detailed Description. While the above description describes certain embodiments of the disclosure, and describes the best mode contemplated, no matter how detailed the above appears in text, the teachings can be practiced in many ways. Details of the system can vary considerably in its implementation details, while still being encompassed by the subject matter disclosed herein. As noted above, particular terminology used when describing certain features or aspects of the disclosure should not be taken to imply that the terminology is being redefined herein to be restricted to any specific characteristics, features, or aspects of the disclosure with which that terminology is associated. In general, the terms used in the following claims should not be construed to limit the disclosure to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification, unless the above Detailed Description section explicitly defines such terms. Accordingly, the actual scope of the disclosure encompasses not only the disclosed embodiments, but also all equivalent ways of practicing or implementing the disclosure under the claims.
  • While certain aspects of the disclosure are presented below in certain claim forms, the inventors contemplate the various aspects of the disclosure in any number of claim forms. For example, while only one aspect of the disclosure is recited as a means-plus-function claim under 35 U.S.C. §112(f), other aspects can likewise be embodied as a means-plus-function claim, or in other forms, such as being embodied in a computer-readable medium. (Any claim intended to be treated under 35 U.S.C. §112(f) begins with the words “means for”). Accordingly, the applicant reserves the right to add additional claims after filing the application to pursue such additional claim forms for other aspects of the disclosure.

Claims (20)

What is claimed is:
1. A method of restoring a content item marked for synchronization between a cloud-based server and at least one computer system, the method comprising:
receiving, at the at least one computer system, a content item transmitted by a cloud-based server,
wherein the content item is marked for synchronization between the cloud-based server and at the at least one computer system, and
wherein the content item is associated with at least one permission attribute;
detecting, by the at least one computer system, a change to the content item on the computer system;
performing, by the at least one computer system, prior to uploading the change to the content item to the cloud-based server, a permission check with the cloud-based server to determine whether the change to the content item is permitted based, at least in part, on the at least one permission attribute associated with the content item;
receiving, by the at least one computer system, a result of the permission check from the cloud-based server, the result indicating that the change to the content item will be rejected by the cloud-based server during a synchronization procedure; and
restoring the content item when the change to the content item is rejected by the cloud-based server.
2. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
rejecting an upload of the content item when the result of the permission check indicates that the change to the content item was rejected.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the cloud-based server is associated with a cloud-based storage and collaboration platform, and wherein the permission check with the cloud-based server is performed via an application program interface (API).
4. The method of claim 3, wherein the content item is a folder, a sub-folder, or a file, the folder including a sub-folder or a file, and the sub-folder including a file, wherein the content item is stored in a workspace hosted at cloud-based storage, the workspace being associated with an enterprise and managed by an enterprise administrator.
5. The method of claim 4, wherein the enterprise administrator associates the at least one permission attribute with the content item that is marked for synchronization between the cloud-based server and the at least the computer system.
6. The method of claim 3, wherein the at least one permission attribute permits or restricts a user action that changes the content item, the user action including one or more of: creating a new content item inside the content item, moving the content item to another location, deleting the content item, editing the content item, or renaming the content item.
7. The method of claim 6, wherein when the at least one permission attribute restricts creating the new content item inside the content item, the result of the permission check indicates that the creation of the content item is rejected, and restoring the content item to its most recent form when the change to the content item is rejected further comprises:
moving the new content item to another location; and
generating a notification message indicating that the creation of the new content item was rejected and that the new content item that was created was moved to another location.
8. The method of claim 6, wherein when the at least one permission attribute restricts editing of the content item, the result of the permission check indicates that the edit to the content item is rejected, and restoring the content item to its most recent form when the change to the content item is rejected comprises:
creating a conflict copy that includes the edit to the content item;
downloading a most recent copy of the content item from a repository of the cloud-based server; and
generating a notification message indicating that the edit to the content item was rejected and that the edit to the content item was saved in the conflict copy.
9. The method of claim 6, wherein when the at least one permission attribute restricts deleting the content item and when the change to the content item includes a deletion of the content item, the result of the permission check indicates that the deletion of the content item is rejected, and restoring the content item to its most recent form when the change to the content item is rejected comprises:
downloading the deleted folder or file from a repository of the cloud-based server; and
generating a notification message indicating that the deletion of the content item was rejected and that the content item that was deleted was restored.
10. The method of claim 6, wherein when the permission attribute restricts renaming of the content item and when the change to the content item includes a renaming of the content item, the result of the permission check indicates that the renaming of the content item is rejected, and restoring the content item to its most recent form when the change to the content item is rejected further comprises:
changing a new name of the content item from the renaming of the content item on the computer system to a name of the content item on the cloud-based server; and
generating a notification message indicating that the renaming of the content item to the new name was rejected and that the new name of the content item stored locally on the computer system was restored to match the name of the content item on the cloud-based server.
11. The method of claim 6, wherein when the permission attribute restricts moving of the content item and when the change to the content item includes a moving of the content item, the result of the permission check indicates that the moving of the content item is rejected, and restoring the content item to its most recent form when the change to the content item is rejected further comprises:
moving the content item into a same hierarchical location on the computer system as its counterpart on the cloud-based server; and
generating a notification message indicating that the moving of the content item was rejected and that the content item was moved back to its original location.
12. The method of claim 3, wherein the at least one permission attribute permits or restricts a user action to add or create a tag for the content item, assign a task for the content item, access the content item from multiple computer systems, access the content item from a mobile device or invite external users to collaborate on the content item.
13. The method of claim 1, further comprising:
caching the at least one permission attribute of the content item in a cache memory on the computer system.
visibly marking the content item on the computer system based on the at least one permission attribute to provide a visible indication of a type of permission attribute that the content item has.
14. The method of claim 13, further comprising instructions for receiving a change to the at least one permission attribute associated with the content item from the cloud-based server and in response, dynamically updating the visible marking on the content item on the client device based on the change to the permission attribute.
15. A system comprising:
a repository storing content items; and
a cloud-based server coupled to the repository and configured to provide multiple user accounts access to a content item from the repository, the cloud-based server being further configured to:
receive instructions to assign a permission attribute to the content item that is accessible to the multiple user accounts;
receive instructions to mark the content item for synchronization between the cloud-based server and client devices associated with the multiple user accounts;
synchronize the content item by downloading the content item, along with the permission attribute, from the repository to a location on the client devices;
receiving a notification of a change to a local copy of the content item from a client device associated with one of the multiple user accounts;
determine whether the change to the local copy of the content item is permitted based on the permission attribute assigned to the content item;
in response to determining that the change to the local copy of the content item is not permitted, transmitting a permission failed message to the client device,
wherein the permission failed message causes the client device to restore the local copy of the content item to its most recent state; and
in response to determining that the change to the local copy of the content item is permitted, transmitting a permission successful message to the client device,
wherein the permission successful message causes the client device to upload the change to the local copy of the content item to the cloud-based server for synchronizing the change to the content item with the client devices associated with rest of the multiple user accounts.
16. The system of claim 15, wherein the content item includes a file, a sub-folder or a folder, the folder including a sub-folder or a file, and the sub-folder including a file, wherein the permission attribute includes: do not create, do not delete, do not edit, do not rename, do not move, or do not modify metadata.
17. A method comprising:
receiving, by a cloud-based server, an instruction to assign a permission attribute to a content item in a cloud-based storage and collaboration platform hosted, at least in part, by the cloud-based server,
wherein the content item is stored in a datastore coupled to the cloud-based server, and
wherein the content item is marked for synchronization with multiple user accounts associated with multiple users of the cloud-based storage and collaboration platform;
detecting, by the cloud-based server, an attempt by one user of the multiple users of the cloud-based storage and collaboration platform to take an action on the content item;
performing, by the cloud-based server, a permission check to determine whether the action is permitted on the content item based, at least in part, on the permission attribute assigned to the content item; and
allowing or preventing, by the cloud-based server, the user from performing the action on the content item based on a result from the permission check.
18. The method of claim 17, wherein the permission attribute restricts the multiple users from inviting external users to collaborate on the content item in the cloud-based storage and collaboration platform, and wherein the action on the content item includes inviting a collaborator by specifying an email address of the collaborator to collaborate on the content item.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein performing the permission check includes checking a domain name of the email address of the collaborator to determine if the collaborator is external to an organization and, if so, preventing the user from inviting the collaborator who is external to the organization.
20. A machine-readable storage medium having instructions stored thereon, which when executed by one or more processors of a computer system, cause the computer system to:
process a content item transmitted by a cloud-based server,
wherein the content item is marked for synchronization between the cloud-based server and at the at least one computer system, and
wherein the content item is associated with at least one permission attribute;
detect a change to the content item on the computer system;
prior to uploading the change to the content item to the cloud-based server, perform a permission check with the cloud-based server to determine whether the change to the content item is permitted based, at least in part, on the at least one permission attribute associated with the content item;
process a result of the permission check transmitted by the cloud-based server, the result indicating that the change to the content item will be rejected by the cloud-based server during a synchronization procedure; and
restore the content item when the change to the content item is rejected by the cloud-based server.
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