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User Collaboration on Files/Procs/Locking/Session Sharing

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  • User Collaboration on Files/Procs/Locking/Session Sharing

    I have users who constantly run in to file sharing problems where one person is holding open a file they need to use which results in support calls to find the person and possibly terminate their process to release the file.

    This kind of thing lends users to actually sharing sessions so that if 1 user goes on holiday, another user can pick up their work, check that long process they are running is still working or collect the results. If somebody is out of the office for whatever reason, they tend to call a colleague to watch their process is working or make modifications and re-run it, so there is a lot of collaboration between users. If the user's process is hung, it holds the lock on the file and this causes problems too if the other user in the office cannot access the session of the first user.

    I'd like to know how people out there handle these kinds of issues.

    How do your users collaborate?

    Some more background:

    Users run big intensive processes in things like Visual FoxPro on DBF files. These processes can run for many hours, overnight, through the day etc...

    Users are using Windows 2003 Terminal Servers with their own sessions logged in with their individual user accounts. There exist a small amount of shared access accounts that all users know the password to and they can just dive in and share processes and things in this way, much to my reluctance, but this follows the business structure of people working in teams for clients and sharing work.

    Some work is done on workstation class machines with a single shared account, although I am really trying to stamp this out in favour of the terminal servers.

    Does anyone have any ideas on this whole collaboration between users including ideas on how to deal with:

    - File Locking
    - Process Sharing (ie let one user control another's process)
    - Session sharing

    I'd really like to maintain separate accounts and eliminate shared accounts or some users having to tell other users their passwords to access their sessions and processes.

    Ideas and Feedback welcome