We have an exciting new feature to announce: File lock and unlock. It’s a great feature because it allows you to lock files for editing to make sure that no one overwrites your edits, without the need to coordinate changes with other collaborators.

How our team uses it

I would like to tell you about how our team uses the WorkDocs file Lock and Unlock to illustrate the feature and how to use it.

In the last few weeks, our team has been collaborating on a document that includes take input from the product team, finance, marketing, and the engineering team.

Our product manager took the first crack at writing an outline for the document and uploaded to Amazon WorkDocs, and then shared it with the team members. Our marketing manager then locked the file so he can update the file without anyone overwriting their work.

While the file is locked, only the marketing manager can upload new versions of the file. Once a file is locked, collaborators can see a small lock icon at the top and to the left of the file name.

Updating a locked file

The marketing manager completed his edits from the WorkDocs Sync client and his updates were automatically reflected in the “Locked version” from the web client. From the file actions dropdown in the web client, the marketing manager unlocked the file and saved his changes. With the File Lock and Unlock feature, our team continued iterating on file and collaborating in a controlled and organized way, and we didn’t have to coordinate our edits outside of the Amazon WorkDocs application.

Requesting a file to be unlocked

A couple of times in this collaborative process, someone on the team locked the file and forgot to unlock it. In one of these times, a teammate requested a file to be unlocked while I was away from my computer. I used my phone to unlock the file so the engineering manager can edit it. In another instance, the finance manager locked the file and was unreachable and the marketing manager wanted to make a change. Unlocking the file was easy, the marketing manager requested the file to be unlocked, and the product manager, who is the file owner, unlocked it. The changes that the finance manager made to the file are saved in a “recovered” folder in the same folder where the original file is.

And choosing Request unlock opens up a window where you can enter a comment to the user who locked the file, as well as the owner and co-owners of the file.

Available today on web and mobile

These new capabilities are available today in the web client, mobile apps, and in all AWS regions where WorkDocs is offered.