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preserving creation date and modified date

Question asked by patanne on Aug 7, 2009
Latest reply on Mar 15, 2015 by mdonald
I have a question to what, for me, is an absolute show-stopping issue.

Using all methods of access, CIFS/WebDAV/web interface, to access Alfresco is there a global way (as in set it once for an entire volume) to ensure that the creation date and the modified date of any file copied from a traditional file system to Alfresco is preserved and maintained?  A natural progression of that question is can the same be said when copying a file from Alfresco to a traditional file system?

For any installation of Alfresco into an organization to replace windows file services there must be a ‘get comfortable’/acceptance/pilot phase, which means the solutions have to coexist.  The smaller the size of the business the more true this is, since a small business is less likely to have the resources to forklift over to Alfresco.  Users rely primarily on two methods to determine whether a given file is what they want, short of opening it:  file name and the dates.  Also, when users do their own manual backups or versioning, they use dates as a determinant.  Certainly the software they may use will.  While you may argue that Alfresco can do a better job than users or other software, this is a chicken and egg scenario, beginning with preservation of the vital basics:  names, dates, & content.  The dates (other than last accessed) of a file, unchanged by a user, have to be immutable across a network or organization.

After pouring through these forums I am more confused now than before.  I keep reading entries containing arguments about metadata and items external to Alfresco.  Then there is the supposed need to do things one file type at a time.  File system dates are metadata.  They are a universal attribute of all files.  Before I care about the metadata inside my word or PDF document, I need to care about what the file system says.  Also I’ve heard arguments that Alfresco doesn’t handle dates external to Alfresco.  Well my network is my entire problem domain, not a single product.  If Alfresco is to be part of the solution it needs to work in that entire space rather than take a NIH approach.

Can anyone help with this or clear up possible misconceptions for me.