Automatic office file locking - does it work? next steps?

Hello,

According to github, automatic locking of office files when someone else edits them should now work:

Does it work for you? And what are your specs? (NC server version, Operating System and Version, NC desktop client version)

It did not work in a test I did with two other people on different operating systems: Allow automatic locking for Office files 路 Issue #5893 路 nextcloud/desktop 路 GitHub

And it doesn鈥檛 work for others:

  1. Gleichzeitige Bearbeitung von Dateien (file locking; conflicted copies)
  2. Jerome Herbinet: works with Manjaro but not Ubuntu Automatically lock LibreOffice files on server while they are being edited locally by claucambra 路 Pull Request #5986 路 nextcloud/desktop 路 GitHub
  3. comment by @Hunduster in the video linked at the top https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VuNbMuTxnQ
  4. not sure if this fits: New locking of office files feature?

Sidenotes:

I can confirm that it still doesn鈥檛 work for us.

Server version: 27.1.3
Client: Windows 10 22H2
Desktop client : 3.10.1

The calls for M365 are also getting louder and louder because we are doing project work and the conflicts are simply getting out of hand in the teams.

I had a meeting with Nextcloud GmbH last week about switching to the Enterprise version and they assured me in the call that file locking would work in any case. I also informed them that it doesn鈥檛 work in my private environment nor in our enterprise environment.

I read today that you should sync the hidden files to get the .lock files. That was new to me (although logical). But that doesn鈥檛 seem to be the solution either?

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I have the same issue , forget about the client use dav with nextcloud, syncing is a pain in the neck. not pratical for large organizations, always conflicts and people not seeing the same thing.

You mean adding Nextcloud sync via webDAV? It was slow and unstable when I last tried it on Windows 10 some years ago. Is it reliable for you? Windows only or Linux desktops also? What does it display when user A has the file open, and user B tries to open it (both syncing via webDAV)?

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Ya there is no syncing , just literally a network drive mapped using WebDAV directly to the nextcloud server The speed is dependent on your internet connection. The speed is the same as if your downloading a file for the first time using the standard sync client sync client which is fast enough. File locking works great even locks the file not only on someone else computer that has the network drive but also through the webui. I have gone the route of file syncing there鈥檚 always issues with people not seeing the same thing imho it鈥檚 good for small offices. It鈥檚 the same with seafile , one drive etc

I have news!

We have just updated to Nextcloud Client 3.11.0 (Windows) and lo and behold: we are getting a flielocking!

As soon as I open a file, the lock symbol appears about 2 seconds later for me and my colleagues.
lock

If a colleague now tries to open the file, they receive a pop-up from the Nextcloud client:

lock2

After you have confirmed the popup, the file opens, in this case MS Word in read-only mode. It is not possible to open the file under the same name as long as the original file is locked.

We have also tested the whole thing again in combination with simultaneous access between CLient and direct WebDAV. Logically, WebDAV does not generate a pop-up or a lock symbol. However, the files do open in read-only mode - visible in the header of MS Word, Excel, etc.

Great!!!

With what version of Nextcloud server?

Clients were Windows only, or also Mac/Linux?

I will also test this again soon.

Hello Alexander,

We went through this again today at our company. Always in comparison with my private Nextcloud instance.

Company: NC 27.1.4
Private: NC 27.1.5

Client: Windows 3.11.0

The 鈥淭emporary files lock鈥 app must be installed on the server. Otherwise it will not work. The app is installed in the current version 27.0.3 on both of our instances. We found out today with the app on the server when we compared the two instances and looked for differences, as it didn鈥檛 work on a private instance at first.

The files are locked with the app installed on the server. This is visible in Windows Explorer and also in the web interface on demand. In the web interface, a mouseover also shows who has locked the file. In Windows Explorer, you can view this by right-clicking in the Nextcloud context menu. You can also lock the file manually at this point.

If you open a file despite the lock, it will be opened read-only, which is also shown at the top of the head in MS Office. It is also not possible to save the file under the same file name.

A colleague received the above pop-up yesterday under Windows 11. None of us got this on Windows 10. Said colleague no longer receives the pop-up today either. We were also unable to provoke it on other Windows 11 clients. Too bad, because this would have been another good hint.

I can鈥檛 say for sure whether we always had the app installed on the server, as I tried a lot of things last week to get the filelocking to work. But the fact is that we can鈥檛 get the function to work under the 3.11.0 desktop app.

Either way, we have always been told by Nextcloud GmbH that the function has been available and working for some time. Even though we don鈥檛 have an Enterprise subscription, I would have liked a little more support or information on this topic; especially as the question has already been asked several times in the community.

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It seems that I have the same problem. Did you get it to work? I鈥榤 running Nextcloud 28.0.3.

No, we are currently on 27.1.7 and I have given up. The release updates are currently coming too fast for the plugins to keep up. Filelocking simply doesn鈥檛 work reliably.

Unfortunately, I have to admit that I have lost the battle in our company. The management has decided that we will migrate to M365 :frowning:

Thanks for your response, which is bad news for me. The current way of doing file locking creates a lot of conflicts in my instance. We wanted to use Nextcloud instead of Teams. Yes, we know, that it鈥榮 not possible to work simultaniously on the same file with MS apps. But the silly way (my impression) of handling file locks in Nextcloud will led to a move-back to Teams or something else.

I understand what you mean. Filelocking should be one of the standards, which is why I can鈥檛 continue to defend Nextcloud internally - the employees laugh at me. For home or family use, it may be possible without filelocking. But if you have to resolve 20 conflicts a day with three people in one folder, the employees unfortunately rightly ask why.

I had spoken to Nextcloud GmbH about this. They just shrugged their shoulders and referred to the Enterprise subscription - they would then take care of that. This is certainly well-intentioned, but we would first have to spend over 50k for our company size and then keep our fingers crossed that Nextcloud can really manage it. We are skeptical here, as the topic of Filelocking has been discussed within the community for months, but nothing is happening in this direction. Therefore, we will not license Nextcloud out of pure hope if we know that the whole thing definitely works elsewhere. Personally, I don鈥檛 understand why Nextcloud is allowing itself to lose potential customers and risk its mission because of such trivialities.

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Well this is pretty depressing, we just moved from M365 to Nextcloud due to Sharepoint storage being so expensive, and now I learn that File Locking is really inconsistent. Going to see if I can find a solution but I鈥檓 not feeling hopeful. I was really hoping that something as basic as file locking was solved by now :frowning:

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Next I鈥榤 going to disable file locking completely. Maybe I can handle the locks then manually. Currently I configured that a lock will be deactivated after 30 min. But some clients show the lock after 30 min while the table oc_files_lock is empty. Maybe it has to do with caching. The whole lock thing is so purely solved and documented. Very disappointing.

@jabo59 this is not what this thread is about, see this note in the first post:

Sorry @alexanderdd, I don鈥檛 agree. For me this thread is the right one because the original post describes perfectly my problem. I tried several things and my current conclusion is: It is not working in a reliable way. If there is no solution I have to go back to M365 or find something else. Pointing to the manual doesn鈥檛 help me because I鈥檝e read the manual. :wink: Sorry again.

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Same issue here. We鈥檙e done with NextCloud, unfortunately we are forced to move to something else. Really really disappointing. A lot of wasted hours and stress over such a basic feature.

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+1
Our company is implementing NC (28.0.4) right now. We also habe problems with Sync Conflicts althougt using Temporary Files Lock (28.0.3).

I can鈥檛 understand why such an important issue isn鈥檛 tackled. When NC wants to be used in a professional way this MUST be solved. Instead companys will leave or not even try NC.

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Yeah to be honest, if file locking and avoiding conflicts is important in your organisation, NextCloud isn鈥檛 suitable. It鈥檚 a real shame because it is fantastic otherwise.

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OK, I found workarounds to mitigate the problem a little bit.

  1. If you download and activate Nextcloud Office and CODE (or install a separate Collobaora Office Code Server) the can open and edit Office documents in the browser by more than one user simultaneously without conflicts. Needs acceptance from the users cause Collabora Office is not 100% compatible with Microsoft Office, but in most cases it鈥檚 acceptable.

  2. Decrease the lock time from forever to 30 minutes.

I did also deactivate the temporary file locking app but this has obviously no effect.

Yesterday I installed v29.0.0 in order to test if sth is changed.