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Windows Explorer Client

Using the Windows Explorer plug-in which is installed by default when installing the client on Windows.

1. Introduction

1.1. What is the Windows Explorer Client?

For people who use windows machines, 'windows explorer' is a massive part of your daily life even if you don't realise it. It gives you access to all of your files and even your desktop uses it to run.

Now from 2009-2 you can perform most of your PureCM client operations from Windows Explorer without ever having to open up another PureCM client. Right clicking on a file or folder in windows explorer will launch the familiar menu but now with a new PureCM menu to let you perform any PureCM related task on that item.

 

Windows Explorer Menu 

1.2. Explorer Icons

The PureCM Windows Explorer plugin adds a number of icon overlays for files which are connected to PureCM.

Workspace Root

Workspace - The root folder of a workspace that contains your copy of files from the server.

 

All other icons are to help you determine the state of files within a workspace :-

Icon Controlled

Controlled File - A file which has been added to PureCM but is currently unmodified from the sever version.

Icon Uncontrolled

Uncontrolled File - A file which is not controlled by PureCM.

Icon checked-out

Checked-out File - A file which has been checked out to enable you to modify it.

Icon Modified

Modified File -  A file which has been changed from the server version but has not been checked out.

Icon Added

Added File - A file which has been added to the workspace but not submitted to the server.

Icon Out of date

Out of date File - A file which has been changed on the server but not in your workspace (you should run 'Update to Latest' to get this new version).

Icon Conflict

Conflict File - A file which has been both changed by you and changed on the server (you should run 'Update to Latest' to get this new version. This will launch the resolve tool to help merge the two changes).

 

 

2. Installation and Setup

2.1. How do I install the Windows Explorer Client?

The windows explorer client is automatically installed when you install the PureCM client version 2009-2 or later. You can use either the client or combined installers available from the Downloads section.

 

If the PureCM windows installer client still isn't working you may need to enable it.

2.2. How do I enable/disable the Windows Explorer Client?

To enable or disable the PureCM Windows explorer client you first need to find out the where you installed the PureCM client to. For this guide the default of 'c:\program files\purecm\client\' will be used.

To Enable:

Open a command promp and type the command :-

regsvr32 "c:\Program Files\PureCM\Client\PureCM-ShellExt.dll"

Command Prompt

You will be given a pop-up message to confirm the action.

Enable Success 

To Disable:

Open a command promp and type the command :- 

regsvr32 "c:\Program Files\PureCM\Client\PureCM-ShellExt.dll" -u

You will be given a pop-up message to confirm the action.

Disable Success 

 

After either command you will need to restart Windows explorer for the task to fully take effect. You can do this by either restarting you machine or by using Windows Task Manager.

3. General Operations

3.1. Registering your first server connection

Before you can begin work with a PureCM client you need to have registered a connection to the server.

If you wish to do this from the windows explorer client you need to launch the Select Active Repository wizard from a folder and select the Register Server button.

For help with registering a connection to the server please consult the PureCM userguide.

3.2. Getting your files from PureCM

To access your files in PureCM you need to create a workspace on your local machine which is your copy of a stream on the server.

One of the simplest ways to do this is through the Windows Explorer Client. First you will need to have created a connection to the server and selected an active repository. note - you will be prompted to do this before you will be allowed to create a workspace.

Create a new empty folder in windows explorer where you would like the files to be placed. Then from the folders PureCM menu select the 'Get Files' option.

Get Files Menu 

note - if you have not selected an active repository you will now be prompted to do so.

This will launch the create workspace dialog with the workspace path set to the folder you selected.

Create Workspace Dialog 

 1. This is showing you a list of streams in your active repository. You need to select the stream you want to download to your local machine. note - you can also expand a stream node and select a sub folder to just download a subset of the stream.

2. This is the directory that the workspace will be created inside. note - in the windows explorer client this will always be set to the directory you selected.

3. This is the name that will be used to identify this workspace. It is useful to use something short and unique so it is quickly recognisable.

4. If you wish to change the advanced options for the workspace you can expand them by pressing the + button. (this includes options such as writable or multipath workspaces.)

5. When you are ready to create your workspace you press the ok button. note - This can take a long time depending on the amount of data and the speed of the connection to the server.

3.3. Adding your files to PureCM

When you need to add a new set of files to the PureCM server the Windows Explorer client offers probibly your fastest option.

This only applies when you do not have a stream created on the server for these files. If you want to add files to an existing stream you will need to get a workspace for that stream and add the files to it.

To create a new stream for your files select the parent folder and select 'Add Files' from the PureCM menu.

note - if you have not already selected an active repository you will be prompted to do it now. You will also need to register a server connection if you have not already done so.

This will launch a wizard to create your new stream. You need to select the stream folder you want to add your new stream to. (You can also create new stream folders by using the 'create folder' button). Then you need to select a name for the new stream. By default this will use the name of the folder you selected.

When you have selected the stream information press next and you will need to select which files to add. By default this will add all of the files. If you don't want to add some of the files simply uncheck them.

When you press finished PureCM will first create a stream, then will create a workspace for that stream in the folder you selected, then it will add and submit the files all in one simple operation.

3.4. Connecting/Disconnecting from the server

To get full use of the features within the Windows Explorer client you need to make sure that you are connected to the server.

To do this you need to navigate to the root node of your workspace. This menu changes depending on whether you are currently connected to the server. If you are not connected you are given a connect option.

Connect to the serverNormaly you should not need to disconnect from the server but if you do you are given a disconnect option from the root of the workspace once connected.

Disconnect from the server 

3.5. Seeing your changes

If you wish to view what changes have been made in your workspace you can run 'View Changes'.

To launch this navigate to the root folder of your workspace and select the 'View Changes' menu option.

View changes menu

This will launch the changeset dialog for the default changeset.

View Changes Changeset Dialog 

note: if any of your changes do not appear you may need to run check consistency.

3.6. Submitting files (checkin)

When you are ready to submit your changes to the server you need to run the 'Submit' command. note - it canbe a good idea to run check consistency before you submit to make sure PureCM has detected all of your changes.

To launch the submit window you need to navigate to the root of your workspace and select 'Submit Changes' from the menu. note - you will need to be connected to the server to perform this operation.

Submit menu

This will launch the changeset dialog for you to choose which files are part of the changeset and submit them to the server.

Submit Dialog 

3.7. Update to latest (getting the latest code from the server)

When another user submits some changes to the server for the same stream as your workspace you will need to run 'Update to Latest' to integrate those changes into your workspace.

This will download all changes from the server. You cannot download individual changesets or individual file changes.

You can tell that you need to run update to latest when you see a file marked with either the 'Out of Date' File out of dateor 'Conflict' File conflict icons. If you see a conflict icon, the resolve tool will be automatically launched when you run uodate to latest.

To run 'Update to Latest' from the windows explorer client you need to navigate to the root folder of your workspace and select 'Update to Latest'.

Update to Latest 

3.8. Check consistency

Before you submit your changes to the server it is often useful to check the consistency of your workspace. This will tell you if any differences between your workspace and what PureCM expects your workspace to look like. For example if you have changed or removed a file without telling PureCM.

To run check consistency you need to navigate to the root folder of your workspace

Check consistency menu This will launch the check consistency wizard which will help detect changes in your workspace.

Check consistency wizard 

3.9. Change the active repository

You can only change the active repository before either adding your files to PureCM or before you get the files from PureCM.

You can change the active repository by clicking on a non workspace folder and selecting the 'Change Repository' option.

Active Repository Menu This will launch the Select Active Repository Wizard.

Select Active Repository Wizard 

4. File Operations

4.1. Showing differences (what's changed)

If a file has been checked out you can see the difference between the local server version and your version by selecting 'Show Differences' from the file menu.

Show Difference menuThis will launch the Diff window to show the changes you have made.

Diff Window 

4.2. Viewing a file's history

To view a files history you need to select 'Show History' from a file's menu.

Show History Menu This will launch the history dialog where you can see all of the changes made to this file since it was first added to PureCM. You can also view it's changeset and integrations as well as view the differences between revisions.

History Dialog 

4.3. Deleting files

To delete a file from PureCM you need to select the 'Delete' option from its file menu. Remeber before other users will see this change you need to submit this file to the server.

Delete file menu 

If you have deleted it from the file system without using the PureCM delete command you should run check consistency.

4.4. Checking out files

To checkout a file from PureCM you need to select the 'Checkout' option from its file menu. Remember before other users will see this change you need to submit this file to the server.

Checkout file menu 

If you have already modified a file without using the PureCM checkout command you can simply run check consistency to check out the file

.

 

4.5. Adding files

To add a file to PureCM you simply need to select 'Add' in the files menu. Alternitivly if you have a lot of files to add you could either run check consistency or select 'Add' on the file's parent folder.

Add file menu 

If a file is not controlled in your PureCM workspace it can be identified by the Uncontrolledicon.

Remeber before other users can see the file you must submit it to the server.

4.6. Reverting files

If you have checked out and changed a file but want to return it to its server version you can use the Revert command.

To do this you need to navigate to the file and select 'Revert' from the menu.

Revert file menuRevert will also uncheckout a file whether it has been changed or not. This will remove any locks held against the file.

note - if you have lots of files checked out without being changed that you wish to revert you can run check consistency on the workspace.

5. Advanced Operations

5.1. Working in a writable workspace

Ideally before making a change to a file in PureCM you should first check it out. This has lots of advantages: it gets you any locks you need on the server so no one else can change the file (depending on settings). It allows an other users to see which files you are working on. Also it allows you to see which files are being changed and quickly review the changes from the submit dialog.

However it is not always easy for you to check out files before you use them, espesially if you use an enviroment which has no support for PureCM. In this case it is better for you to work in a writable workspace.

When working in the Windows Explorer client the main thing you will notice is that files that are changed without being checked out are shown with the modified overlay icon.

Modified Overlay Icon 

When you are ready to submit your changes to the server you should first run the consistency check to make sure all of the changed files are checked out.

6. Troubleshooting

6.1. Restarting Windows Explorer

Sometimes you may need to restart Windows Explorer (for example after you have just enabled the PureCM explorer client).

The safest way to do this as always is to restart you machine. However this is often time consuming and it may not be possible for you to close down all of your current programs. The alternative is to use the Windows Task Manager to restart it.

First you need to open Windows Task Manager. This can be done by either right clicking on your task bar at the bottom and selecting 'Task Manager' or by usng the Ctrl + Alt + Delete override combination and selecting Task Manager from the menu.

From here there are two steps: Firstly you need to close the old explorer down. Secondly you need to restart explorer.

 

To close Explorer down you need to navigate to the Processes tab, find the explorer process and press the 'End Task' button. This will close down any explorer window you have open as well as your desktop and start bar.

Close Down explorer 

 

Next you need to restart Windows Explorer. For this you need to navigate to the Applications tab, press the New Task button and type explorer into the prompt. This will reopen your desktop and start bar.

Restart Explorer