Internet File System User's Guide
Release 1.1

Part Number A75154-04


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Getting Started with Oracle Internet File System

Oracle Internet File System (Oracle iFS) is accessible in a number of different ways. The procedural topics in this guide have been tailored by access method. Topics preceded by Windows and the Windows interface icon describe tasks performed using the Windows interface. Topics preceded by Web and the Web interface icon describe tasks performed using the Web interface.

Figure 2-1 Icons denoting Windows versus Web interface topics

Icon  Meaning 


Identifies topics related to using the Windows interface. 


Identifies topics related to using the Web interface. 

The topics labeled FTP and E-mail apply to using the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) and e-mail protocol, respectively. Topics include:

Overview: Accessing Oracle iFS

You can access Oracle iFS through:

You probably have one or more of these tools installed on your machine already.

The next step is to set up an Oracle iFS account in your name, so that you can log in to and use Oracle iFS. Then, if you plan to use the content management features of Oracle iFS through the Windows interface, you need to install the Oracle iFS Utilities on your local drive. These utilities provide access to features such as file versioning, the check-in/check-out functionality, and file locking. You do not need to install Oracle iFS Utilities if you plan to work only with the Web interface.

Setting Up an Oracle iFS Account

Your Oracle iFS account is set up by your system administrator. Ask him or her for your Oracle iFS login and password. You'll use the same login and password regardless of the way you connect to Oracle iFS.

Your Oracle iFS account includes three default directories for your use:

Depending on how your administrator configures your Oracle iFS system, you may also have a public directory, used to store files common to all users on the system.

Here's an example of what the default directories look like on the Web interface:

Figure 2-2 The directory tree contains a home folder for each user

Windows: Accessing Oracle iFS

Accessing Oracle iFS through Windows involves mapping a drive to Oracle iFS and installing the Oracle iFS Utilities so that you can use the built-in content management features of Oracle iFS. Mapping the drive involves logging into the Oracle iFS drive; once completed, your connection to the drive remains from session to session. Installing the Oracle iFS Utilities is a one-time-only task. If you don't want to map a network drive to Oracle iFS, you can also navigate to Oracle iFS via Network Neighborhood.

To access Oracle iFS through Windows, you must perform three tasks:

Step 1: Map a Network Drive to Oracle iFS

The first step is to map a network drive to your Oracle iFS directory. Mapping a drive assigns a letter to your Oracle iFS directory (e.g., O:) and enables you to access your Oracle iFS files the same way that you access files on your other local and networked hard disks.

If you do not know the Oracle iFS server path, you can find it by browsing through your Network Neighborhood window. When the Network Neighborhood view is set to Detailed, all Oracle iFS drives are labelled "Oracle Internet File Server." Once you have found the server, note the path, and you are ready to map a network drive. You can also contact your system administrator for help in locating your Oracle iFS server.

  1. Ask your system administrator for your Oracle iFS login and password. You will need them to log into Oracle iFS as you map the drive.

  2. In Windows Explorer, click Tools -> Map Network Drive.

Figure 2-3 Use Windows Explorer to map a network drive to Oracle iFS

  1. In the Map Network Drive dialog, fill in the text boxes:

Table 2-1 The Map Network Drive Dialog

Parameter  Setting 

Drive Letter 

Choose the drive letter you want to assign to the Oracle iFS server. The next drive letter in sequence is selected for you automatically.

Unless you want to replace an existing network drive mapping, choose a letter that is not already assigned. 


Enter the path to the Oracle iFS server and directory in the following format:


<server_name> is the name of the machine containing your Oracle iFS files.

<folder_name> is the part of the Oracle iFS drive you want to map to: MyHome, public, and root. MyHome and public give you access to those folders only. Root gives you access to all the folders.

Note: You can also browse the Shared Directories hierarchy to locate the Oracle iFS server you want to use, then double-click the server name to fill in the boxes automatically. 

  1. Make sure the Reconnect at Logon checkbox is selected. This will automatically remap the Oracle iFS drive whenever you log into your computer.

  2. Click OK.

    Windows displays a dialog box asking for login and password (provided to you by your system administrator).

  3. Type your Oracle iFS user name (ID) and password. If you are connecting from a Windows 95, 98, or 2000 system logged into an Windows NT domain, your Oracle iFS login ID and your domain ID must match. In this case, you can use a different password on the Oracle iFS server from your domain password. Also, from Windows 95 and 98, your client login must match the Oracle iFS login.


Once you've mapped to the Oracle iFS drive, you won't be asked to log on in subsequent sessions. 

Step 2: Install the Oracle iFS Utilities

Although installing the Oracle iFS Utilities is optional, these utilities provide access to content management features such as file check-in/check-out, content-based searching, versioning, locking, and more. You can still connect to Oracle iFS through Windows networking without using the Oracle iFS Utilities.

To install the Oracle iFS Utilities:

  1. Close all Windows programs (recommended, but not required).

  2. Locate the Setup.exe file, based on instructions from your system administrator. (Under the Mount Points folder on the Web interface, the installation files are located in root/ifs/winui/install.)

  3. Double-click the filename to run the Setup.exe program, or run it from the Run command in the Start menu.

  4. Follow all instructions and accept the defaults unless your system administrator tells you otherwise. Note that you can install a different language version of the utilities than your operating system. For example, you can install the French version of the Oracle iFS Utilities on an English version of Windows.

Figure 2-4 Windows interface context menu

Figure 2-5 Oracle iFS utilities are displayed in the context menu

Figure 2-6 Oracle iFS Utilities viewed from the Start menu

Web: Accessing Oracle iFS

The Oracle iFS Web interface provides a way of accessing and using Oracle iFS via a web browser. The Web interface has the full capabilities of the Oracle iFS Windows interface, and offers additional features.

Accessing Oracle iFS with a web browser requires no special utilities or other browser features (however, you must have Javascript and cookies enabled in your web browser preferences). You should note that Java and ActiveX are not required to use the Web interface. Currently, the browsers certified to work with Oracle iFS are:

Logging into Oracle iFS

You log into Oracle iFS by pointing your browser to the Oracle iFS server. The command usually takes the form:


The <server_name> is either the name your system administrator assigned to the Oracle iFS server or the server's IP address. Ask your system administrator what the exact login URL is. /ifs/webui/ is the directory that the login page is located in.

When you reach the Login screen, Oracle iFS prompts you for your login and password. Your login and password are assigned to you by your system administrator.

Figure 2-7 When you use the Web interface, the Login screen will be displayed

To see an overview of the capabilities of Oracle iFS, click the QuickTour link at the bottom of the screen.

Parts of the Web Interface

Once you are logged in, the Web interface is displayed. The Web interface has the following components:

Figure 2-8 The Web interface presents easy-to-use icons and tools


The Banner contains controls for global commands.

Directory Tree

The Directory Tree displays a hierarchical list of the available directories to which you have access in Oracle iFS. There are six items installed by default in your Directory Tree. They are described in the table below:

Table 2-2 Icon types in the Directory Tree

Icon  Description 



<user> is your login name. Click this icon to display your personal user settings. You can use this screen to change your password.  



<userdirectory> is your home directory. Click this icon to display the subfolders in your Oracle iFS Directory Tree. Folders with a plus (+) symbol have additional subfolders. Click the icon to display the subfolders. When the subfolders are displayed, a minus (-) symbol is appears to the left of the directory name. 



Groups are lists of users. It is convenient to create groups of users to whom you assign access to your files and folders, so that you don't have to set security options individually.

Note: If your administrator has not created any groups for you, the Groups icon may not appear in the tree.

For more information on creating groups, see "Working with Groups" in Chapter 6. 



The Users icon displays the current list of Oracle iFS users, whom you can add to the groups you create. Users with administrative privileges can change any user's passwords. For more information on user options, see "Working with Groups" in Chapter 6. 



The ACLs icon lists the Access Control Lists (ACLs) currently available to you. You can assign default ACLs to your files and folders, and create new ACLs to define specific accessibility for users and groups in your Oracle iFS Directory Tree. For more information on file security, see "ACLs and ACEs" in Chapter 6. 


Mount Points

Mount points list additional points of entry to your Oracle iFS information. These are created by the system administrator. By default, you access your information through your home directory. For more information on mount points, see the Oracle iFS Web Interface Help system, or talk to your system administrator. 


The Toolbar contains icons that are used to perform actions on selected files. If a menu item is disabled (greyed out), you need to select a file or folder before performing that function.

Figure 2-9 The Web interface Toolbar

Click this icon to display a menu that enables you to create a new ACL, folder, user (if you have administrative permissions), or group. For information on creating folders, see Chapter 3, "Managing Files and Folders". For information on creating groups and ACLs, see "Working with Groups" in Chapter 6.

Click the Edit icon to display a menu of file management tasks, including cutting/copying and pasting folders and files and renaming folders and files. You can also view file properties, version history, and the folders in which the file resides, and applying an ACL to a file. For more information on file management, see Chapter 3, "Managing Files and Folders".

Click the Upload icon to display a menu that enables you to add a file to your Oracle iFS directory by browsing for the file or by dragging and dropping one or more files from your local drives onto a special Upload window. For more information on adding files to Oracle iFS, see Chapter 3, "Managing Files and Folders".

The Check In/Out icon provides access to content management commands. You can check versioned files out for modification, preventing others from making changes until you check in the file again. You can lock a nonversioned file to prevent anyone (except yourself) from changing or moving the file. You can also make a file versioned. When a versioned file is checked in, Oracle iFS maintains copies of all previous versions, enabling you to go back to an earlier iteration of the file. For more information on content management, see Chapter 5, "Content Management Functions".

The Delete icon deletes the selected files or folders from the File List. For information on file management, see Chapter 3, "Managing Files and Folders".

File List

Use the File List to perform file management tasks.

Figure 2-10 The Web interface file list

The File List has the following columns.

This column displays selection checkboxes. Before performing any of the commands in the toolbar involving existing files, you must first click the corresponding Select check box for the file(s) you want to modify. The Edit menu in the toolbar contains a Select All command to make it easy to select all files.

An icon shows you the type of the file. You can click the icon or file name to open the file.

Table 2-3 File type icons

Type  Icon 









Audio clip 






The name of the file or folder. If the file is a linked file - that is, if it's accessible from multiple folders - the file name appears in italics. For more information on linked files, see Chapter 3, "Managing Files and Folders". If the file is versioned - that is, if a history is maintained of changes to the file - its name appears in bold text. For more information on versioned files, see Chapter 5, "Content Management Functions".

The Status column provides information on the accessibility of a folder or file.

Table 2-4 Status icons

Status  Icon 



Checked out; you can view the file but cannot update it or check it in (unless you checked it out) 


Locked; you can view the file but cannot update it or unlock it 


Locked; you are authorized to unlock the file and work with it 


The file is read only; for example, a previous version of the file accessed from the History function  


For more information on content management see Chapter 5, "Content Management Functions".

The size of the file, in KB (kilobytes) or MB (megabytes) is shown in the Size column. Folders sizes are not shown.

The date and time of the last change to the file.

Navigating the Folder Hierarchy

There are two methods for navigating the folder hierarchy.


When a folder has subfolders, the icon appears with a plus sign (+) to its left. Click the plus sign to display the folder's subfolders. 


When a folder is displaying its subfolders, a minus sign (-) appears to its left. Click the minus sign to hide the subdirectories of that folder.


For more information on working with files and folders, see Chapter 3, "Managing Files and Folders".

Web Folders

Web folders are an extension to Microsoft Explorer that let you connect to a server via the WebDAV protocol, designed for Internet and intranet collaboration on files. Although Web Folders appear as another network resource in Windows Explorer, such as a mapped network drive or a file server accessed via Network Neighborhood, you in fact use a different protocol - WebDAV instead of SMB - to connect to the server. If you connect to Oracle iFS via Web Folders, you'll see the same content visible via SMB, a browser, an FTP client, or an e-mail client.

Web folders are currently supported by Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or 5.5 running on Windows 95/98/NT. On these platforms, you must download and install them. They are automatically installed with MS Office 2000 and Windows 2000, where this feature is called "Save To The Web." Once installed as an IE5 or 5.5 option, web folders become part of the Windows operating system, and can be accessed from Windows Explorer like other folders, by using IE5 or 5.5 "Open as Web Folder," or by using Office 2000 applications.

With Office 2000, you can edit versioned files in place. For other files and editors, you may need to edit a local copy, then upload changes via drag-and-drop or copy in Windows Explorer.

Installing Web Folders

Web folders may already be installed on your system. To check, on your Windows desktop click My Computer and look to see if there is a Web Folders icon. If so, go to Step 2. If not, continue with Step 1.

Figure 2-12 Web Folders can be viewed from the My Computer icon

  1. Open the Control Panel by clicking Start -> Settings -> Control Panel.

  2. In the Control Panel, double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon.

  3. In the Add/Remove programs dialog box, scroll down until you see the entry, Microsoft Internet Explorer and Internet Tools.

Figure 2-13 Add/Remove Programs

  1. Click the entry to highlight it, then click the Add/Remove button.

  2. Select Add a component and click OK.

  3. Scroll through the list of installable components and select Web Folders by clicking its checkbox. Make sure you have enough space on your hard drive to install Web Folders (about 3.3 megabytes) then click Next.

Figure 2-14 Choose the Web Folders check-box

  1. Wait for the Windows Update download to complete.

  2. When installation is complete, click Finish to return to your desktop.

  3. In Windows Explorer, open the Web Folders directory, located under My Computer.

Adding Web Folders

  1. In Windows Explorer, open the Web Folders directory.

  2. Double-click the Add Web Folders icon.

  3. At the Type the location to add prompt, type the URL of your Oracle iFS server - for example,

  4. Click Next.

  5. At the prompt for an ID and password, type your Oracle iFS login and password.

  6. Name the web folder.

Working with Web Folders on Your Oracle iFS Drive

You can save any file to your Oracle iFS web folder by copying it or dragging and dropping it. Files you add to the Oracle iFS web folder become part of the repository. You can use the Oracle iFS Utilities to manage these files.

FTP: Accessing Oracle iFS

You can access and use Oracle iFS via File Transfer Protocol (FTP), which is especially useful for transferring large numbers of files. When you use an FTP client to log into Oracle iFS and upload files, the files are stored directly into database tables. But your FTP client, like the other protocols that access Oracle iFS, thinks it's talking to an FTP server which is writing to a hard drive. You can upload and download files to and from your Oracle iFS server, but cannot version the documents using FTP; therefore, you can't check out and in files using FTP.

Every FTP tool, whether it has a graphical user interface or is a command line application, asks you for a login and password, which is your standard Oracle iFS login and password. After you connect to Oracle iFS via FTP, Oracle iFS takes you to your home directory. From your home directory, you can navigate through the rest of Oracle iFS, including subfolders in your home directory, other users' directories (if you have the appropriate permissions), and the public directories.

You can access Oracle iFS in two ways:

Ask your system administrator for the name or IP address you need. You may also need to specify the port.

Configuring Your FTP Client

To configure your FTP client to work with Oracle iFS, supply the following information to your FTP client:

Using Anonymous Access

For anonymous FTP access, use the following:

FTP Commands Not Supported by Oracle iFS

The following FTP commands are not supported by Oracle iFS:

E-mail: Accessing Oracle iFS

If your organization decides to use the Oracle iFS server as your mail server, you will still be able to use e-mail the way you are used to using it. All of the day-to-day e-mail functions that you're accustomed to using work the same as with any other mail server.

The difference is that in addition to accessing e-mail from your usual e-mail application, you can access it through all the protocols, including Windows file sharing, the Web, FTP, and standard e-mail access. The primary advantage to accessing e-mail from Oracle iFS is that all of your files - e-mail, text, images, and so on - can be viewed, searched, and managed from a single interface. This means that if you search for data about marketing statistics in Oracle iFS, your search result will include e-mails that deal with marketing statistics.

Of course, you can still access e-mail from your e-mail application, after it has been configured to point to the iFS server. However, you will only be able to see e-mail files in the e-mail application.

When you log into Oracle iFS, you'll see a mail folder that, when you click it, takes you to your e-mail inbox. On the Web interface, the mail link is displayed in your File List:

You can create folders in Oracle iFS through your mail client(s) and copy mail messages to them. The messages and attachments are indexed for searching.

Figure 2-15 The mail folder on the Web interface

On the Windows interface, the mail folder looks just like your other folders:

Figure 2-16 The mail folder on the Windows interface

If you want to access Oracle iFS from your e-mail application, look for the Oracle iFS server name in the Folders list. Here's how it looks using Microsoft Outlook Express:

Figure 2-17 The mail folder in an e-mail client

The e-mail messages in your Oracle iFS inbox are read only. You will see each message as a separate folder.

Configuring Your E-mail Application to Use the Oracle iFS Sever

Before you can access e-mail from the iFS interface, you need to configure your e-mail application, such as Netscape Messenger or Microsoft Outlook Express, to work with Oracle iFS.

If you have set up an e-mail account before, follow the same procedure to set up an account using the Oracle iFS server. If you have not set up an e-mail account before, check with your system administrator to find out what menu includes the command that lets you set up an account. In either case, before you begin to set up your e-mail account, you will need to ask your system administrator for the name assigned to the Oracle iFS server, and for other information.

Although every e-mail application has a slightly different setup procedure, you will probably need the following information to set up your e-mail account:

Table 2-5 E-mail setup information

Parameter  Setting 



Your Oracle iFS login. 


Your Oracle iFS password. 


Your company or organization name. 

Identified as/

Full Name 

The name you want to appear in the From section of all e-mail messages. For example, if your login is jsmith, you may want to print Jane Smith in the header of all your e-mail messages. 

Outgoing mail server  

The name assigned to the Oracle iFS server as an e-mail server. This setting may differ from the URL of the server or its name on the Windows network. For example, the server identified as iFSMailServer1 on the Windows network may be identified as for e-mail clients.The outgoing mail server and incoming mail server will always be the same. 

Incoming mail server type 

Your incoming mail server is an IMAP server. 

Incoming mail server 

The name assigned to Oracle iFS server as an e-mail server. For example, The outgoing mail server and incoming mail server will always be the same. 

Using the Oracle iFS Server for E-mail Access

Your e-mail is delivered to your mail folder by Oracle iFS. Once you have navigated to your mail folder, you can read and organize your e-mail just as you would using any other e-mail application.

You can also reply to messages, forward them, move them, and delete them as usual.

In addition, your e-mail messages acquire the same attributes that other Oracle iFS files are given.

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