Pincette Userguide


With Pincette you can manage documents in a folder structure. You create folders and upload documents in them. Then you are able to decide who can do what on them. Access can be given to individual users as well as groups. Since every document and folder has a URL, sharing them with someone else is very easy.

Pincette supports full-text search as well as meta-data search. The combination of both is also possible, though the standard web-interface doesn't have an advanced search box on it. Contact us if you want such a variant. Searches occur within the context of the chosen folder and the results will only show the documents you are allowed to see.

Management of documents becomes more efficient if you use meta-data. This is data about the document in a name/value form. Meta-data is something that requires some organisation, but you will be rewarded with documents that are much better findable.

Basic Functions

Creating Folders

You always create a folder in another one. Hit the top-right menu button and a box will appear. In there select New folder. You will then be asked to type a name for the new folder. After closing the box the folder will appear on the left side.

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Uploading Documents

When clicking the top-right menu button the menu box appears. Then select Upload. The box that then opens has a Browser button, which opens a regular file chooser. On some platforms you can choose more than one document at the time and on others you can't. Some browsers even let you drag and drop files into the upload box. In that case you don't need the Browse button.

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Now you know how to upload a new document. If you want to upload a new version of a document that already resides in Pincette you click on its menu button and the same upload box will open. This time you won't be able to choose more than one file, because you are updating one document. In most cases documents are configured to automatically get a new version every time you update them, so you don't have to be afraid to destroy any prior contents.

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Opening Documents

To open a document you just have to click somewhere in the row that represents it.

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Deleting Documents or Folders

For both you have to hit their menu button and select Delete in the menu box that appears. After confirmation the document or folder will be deleted. Pincette will not really delete them. In reality a new version of the folder in which they reside will be created and this new version won't have the reference to the deleted document or folder. This means it is possible to recover deleted items, though you may need some help of an advanced user to do it.

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Renaming Documents or Folders

With the menu button of the document or folder you open the menu box and choose Rename. A small box will appear in which you can change the name.

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Copy/Cut and Paste

This works quite like what you are used to in the file manager on your desktop. You click the menu button of the document or folder you want to copy and select Copy. Then you have to select Paste on a folder. If it is the folder that is currently opened you just choose the top-right menu button. If you want to paste it in a subfolder you can also choose its menu button on the left side of the screen.

If you choose Cut instead of Copy you are about to move the document or folder to another folder.

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Sharing Documents or Folders

If you want to share a document or folder you have to click on its menu button. In the menu box you can either choose Sharing read or Sharing write, depending on how you want to share it. On the right side you will see the groups and users with whom you have shared the document. The left side lists all others. By clicking on a name you make it switch sides.

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Sharing Through E-mail

Instead of sharing documents as attachments to e-mails it is much safer to share only the link to the document. Whoever gets hold of the e-mail will have to sign on in order to access the document. Moreover, the recipient needs the proper privileges to succeed.

Just click on the menu button and choose Send e-mail. If your computer has an installed e-mail application it will open with an e-mail composition box. The title will be in the subject and the body will contain the link.

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You can type in text in the search bar at the top and hit ENTER. The result list will then appear. It will contain only documents that are below the folder that is currently open.

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Recent Documents

If you want a quick view of which documents were recently added or modified under some folder you can click on its menu button and select Recent. The result will contain only recent documents that are directly or indirectly under the chosen folder.

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Working With Meta-data

Meta-data is a collection of data about the document. They describe it in some way. Meta-data is normally used to categorise documents, which makes it much easier to find them. In Pincette meta-data comes in the form of name/value pairs.

Entering Meta-data

Click on the menu button of a document and select Meta-data in the menu box. There you can enter fields. For some, more than one value is allowed. You can use the + and - buttons for this. Updating meta-data will lead to a new version of the document.

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It is possible to walk through the meta-data as if it were a set of folders. You go from property to value, to property again, to value again, etc. This way you drill down into a document set that gets smaller and smaller. It is handy when you don't know where a particular document is, but you do know some properties of it.

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Until now we have only seen automatic versioning. Updates to a document as well as changing meta-data always create new versions. It is possible to override this behaviour. You can explicitly check out a document. This way you have actually done two things. Firstly, you have prepared a new version that will be effective once you check in the document. Secondly, you have made a long-term reservation. During that time others can't modify the document. This is how you can avoid update conflicts.

Check Out a Document

Just click on the menu button of the document and choose Check out in the menu box. A check-mark will appear next to the document title.

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Check In a Document

This is done through the Check in item in the menu box. You will get to chance to enter a short description about the changes you have made. This is, however, not mandatory.

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Inspecting Versions

You can see all the versions a document has, ordered from most to least recent. Hit its menu button and choose Versions. Each row in the box that appears shows some information about the version. You can click on a row to open that version.

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Linking Documents

The links described in this section are not the typical links from one web-page to another. They are rather internal Pincette-mechanisms to relate documents and folders.

When you add a link like this the document or folder will get an additional new URL. This new URL is not secondary to the original one. All paths to the document or folder have equal rights. When you delete a document with multiple links you are only deleting that link. The other links remain in force. In UNIX filesystems this concept is know as a hard link.

Links are useful when you want to promote some document to some sort of published state without moving it. It can also be used to gradually reorganise the URL namespace without breaking existing published URLs.

In order to add a link you have to click the menu button of the folder in which you want to add the link. If its the folder that is currently opened you go for the menu button at the top right. Otherwise you select one in the folder list at the left. In the menu box you choose Link. A small document browser will pop up. Navigate to the document you want to link to and click on it. It will be selected. If you don't select a document the currently opened folder will be the selection; you can indeed also link to folders. After clicking on Done the new link will be created.

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Sometimes you don't know anymore how many links to a document there are. To get a list you click the menu button and choose Show all paths.

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Add Annexes To Documents

You can add a document as an annex to another document. It will then appear in the details box of the latter as a link. This is a technique to group documents that can be anywhere in the repository.

Hit the menu button and select Annexes. The box that appears lets you add several documents using the + and - buttons. In each row you can click to add the link to a document. A small document browser is shown in which you can navigate to the document. Click to select it and leave with the Done button.

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User Management

Adding a User

Click the menu of the folder /users, which you will see only if you have the proper privileges. Then choose New user. A box will appear in which you can enter the username. Note that this is the technical name, not the full name.

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Edit User Details

Go to the /users folder and click on the menu of the user you want edit. In the box that appears you can change things like the full name, the password, the e-mail-address, etc.

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Creating a User Group

User groups are interesting, because it allows you to express access control to documents and folders in terms of groups instead of individual users. By placing a user in a group you can grant privileges to a lot of resources with a single action.

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Add a User to a Group

This is a simple matter of copying the user in the /users/ folder and pasting it in a group under the /groups/ folder.

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Add a Group to a Group

This is also done by copying a group under the /groups/ folder and pasting it in another group. Nesting of groups can simplify complex access control schemes.

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Activity and Statistics

The functionality in this section is only available to users who have the Consult the history privilege for the root folder. Usually the user group admin has this privilege.

Inspecting Activity

It is possible to look at the downloads and uploads that have occurred. You can do this on users as well as on a documents and folders. Open their menu and choose Activity->All actions. When this action is performed on a folder, data of all documents and subfolders are accumulated.

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Actions Per Day

In order to see how many downloads and uploads there have been per day open the menu on a user, document or folder and choose Activity->Actions per day. You can also just look at the downloads or the uploads by choosing Activity->Downloads per day and Activity->Uploads per day respectively. When these actions are performed on a folder, data of all documents and subfolders are accumulated.

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Downloads Per Folder

For websites it is sometimes interesting to know which parts are the most active. You can get such information by opening the menu of a folder and choosing Activity->Downloads per folder. This will show the accumulated data of all subfolders.

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Performance Tracking

If you want to get an idea about the load on a folder you can open its menu and choose Activity->Downloads per minute. This will accumulate all data of the documents and subfolders in it.

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You may also want to see the variations of the average response time of a folder per day. This information is available through the menu item Activity->Average response time.

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In case you want to know how many unique visitors there were per day for a folder you can use its menu item Activity->Unique visitors. This information is based on the IP-addresses of the users.

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