Box logoOver the last month or so I’ve been traveling around the state giving regional website training workshops. At these workshops I’ve been promoting Box for file management, especially when you have files that change on a regular basis. One of the weaknesses of Drupal, is file management. Box offers some features to make up for that.

Programs like 4-H and Master Gardener™ have quite a few forms for volunteers and participants. Updating these forms and uploading them to the website each year can be an arduous task. 

This process involves logging into the website, locating the old file, removing it, then uploading the new file. The problem with this method is the link to the file changes. What if someone bookmarked last years form, or the file wasn’t deleted? This can lead to the dreaded Page Not Found (404) error, or a Google search result that links to last years form (not good). 

This is where Box excels. With Box, you can create a URL to the file that doesn’t change, even when you replace the 2019 form with the 2020 form. Replacing a file is a snap, and Box is version controlled. Each time you replace a file, a copy is saved in the version history. So if you make a mistake, or want to see what the old file looked like, or even revert to a previous version, you can do that right in Box. 

Box shared link settingsYou can also use Box to password protect individual file(s), or folders. Have you ever wanted to provide volunteers access to files require a password to access? This is quite simple with Box. You can even create links that expire after a particular date.

Box is far from a perfect solution however. Setting the direct link to a file is not intuitive process. It is quicker to initially upload your files to the website. Yet using Box will save you time in the long run. The initial set up is tedious, but you only have to do it once. When it’s time to update your files next year, login to Box, replace the old file and you’re done. 

See our webguide (beav.es/extension-webguide) for detailed instructions for using Box to manage files. Visit the OSU Box website for complete documentation.

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