I need file sharing software for a website
January 16, 2007 7:05 PM   Subscribe

I need to create a website to upload and share files with colleagues. I want it to be open source (or cheap or free), and be easily customizable (think wordpress). We all teach Social Studies and want to share things like powerpoints, worksheets, lesson plans, rubrics, etc. Is there something out there that would work?

I have the following caveats:

1. I need to host it on my own domain. I'd prefer that it wasn't someone elses service.
2. passwords with accounts would be nice
3. Being able to organize the uploads into heirarchies would be nice:

powerpoint --> 7th Grade --> Government --> Constitution --constitution.ppt

I know how to follow directions and am good with layout and design but my coding skills are very limited: I can whip a wordpress site clearly into shape!
posted by allthewhile to Education (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
OWL is an open source web based document management system that lets you organize in a folder hierarchy, with user accounts and permissions. It seems to be the most recommended in old posts here about self-hosted web file managers.

The default UI is kind of bewilderingly busy, so you may indeed want to customize the look and/or strip out some UI you don't want.

Try the demo install on the site linked to get a sense of it.

Alternately, you could set up a wiki and let your users edit that and attach files. MediaWiki (the software that runs wikipedia) makes attaching files fairly easy. You have to set the file types that are allowed in the config file, IIRC. Implementing a taxonomy in MediaWiki is harder, though it does let you put stuff in categories and then find it again through those. Not sure if the categories are flat or can be nested.

Finally, most of the CMS systems out there (Drupal, Mambo, etc) will have plug-ins that do file management. Drupal is very easy to install, and I saw at least two promising looking modules in this direction. This would give you one site that can also have base content, simple forums, per-user blogs, etc etc.
posted by mvd at 7:18 PM on January 16, 2007

I'd use mediawiki.
posted by pompomtom at 7:45 PM on January 16, 2007

Moodle is a CMS specifically designed for educators.
posted by jeremias at 7:51 PM on January 16, 2007

I've used Owl extensively and it's a good, simple document management system that'll do just what you want. Many other types of tools will work, but a Web-navigable file hierarchy seems like the simplest and most intuitive way for you to go.

You might also want to check out KnowledgeTree, which is a newer open-source, Web-based document management system that looks much more polished than Owl (and is developed and supported by a company as opposed to Owl's lone-warrior and sort of monosyllabic programmer dude). It does pretty much the same thing and is similarly PHP-based.

I haven't used KnowledgeTree yet for an actual project, but it's pretty slick to look at and play with. A demo is here...
posted by killdevil at 7:54 PM on January 16, 2007

In case it's not clear from the KnowledgeTree Web site, their free open-source version is downloadable from here. It contains pretty much all the features of the commercial product except for some of the MS Office and Windows desktop integration bits, which are less important for your purposes anyway.
posted by killdevil at 8:01 PM on January 16, 2007

Sharepoint sounds like it fits the bill - it's not open-source, but I can't see why you'd need it to be (apart from the fact that it's free) - and it's free (if you have your own windows server) and covers all the requirements you've identified.

You don't need to code, you just need to be able to think in an organised fashion to use it.

You can host it yourself or pay $20USD per month for someone else to deal with it.

It's immediately useable - you can be up and working the moment it's installed/available on your server.
posted by strawberryviagra at 3:39 AM on January 17, 2007

FYI, I'm not the questioner but these tools are exactly what I was looking for in this AskMe post. Thanks!
posted by scalefree at 8:58 AM on January 17, 2007

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