Linking directly to a folder on own drive/server

integrations
files
links
user-level

#1

Hi all!

Our company stores most of the project related files on a shared drive, which is hosted on a dedicated server in our data center. Since this is a shared drive, we can all use the same address in the file explorer to get to the folder. Is there any way (possibly also through an integration) that enables me to directly link to these folders via a click?

Here is an example:
Project A is also a task in my ‘summary project’ and this task contains an Asana link (using @) to the project. Now, I also added the file explorer link/address (no idea if that is what you call it) to this description (e.g. X:\Project A). If I want to get to this folder on my example drive (X:), I can now copy the link into the file explorer of my choice and get to the project folder. This makes sense, because our folder structure is very complicated. However, I’d like to have the further option of just clicking the link in the description and have it open the folder in my file explorer (like it works with Asana links and other web URLs).

Is this possible? I’d be very grateful for getting any suggestions on how to solve this! :pray:


#2

Hi Tom,
I’ve read that Asana will not support external (server) links due to security reasons - which kind of makes sense but is no satisfying solution to your question. Which has been also my question, for a long time.
Alex


#3

Hi Tom

We do exactly the same thing, putting the file path in the task’s description. Unfortunately, I don’t know any way to enable direct hyperlinks. I actually think our IT Team would freak out just at the thought, to be honest. Even our staff intranet, which is hosted online, doesn’t allow it.

It’s inconvenient but I can understand the security concerns.


#4

http://dark.net is secure but X:\Funny Pictures\ not? What the heck?


#5

Thank you for your answers! Not sure if this is actually a security issue, since I wouldn’t be able to open the respective folder, if I wasn’t signed into my computer with company credentials anyway (the drive can only be accessed from within the company network). Also I’d link to a folder and not to a file.

Essentially, I am looking for a function that works a little like mailto-link. If you click it, it opens the file explorer with the destination that is given there. Does that make sense? Basically like a mailto-link opens your email software with the email address in the link as the destination address.


#6

I’m no expert, so I’m prepared to admit that this is a total guess, but I think the security issue might be from the opposite direction. Your shared drive is presumably on an internal network that’s only accessible to people within your organisation. For a link to work directly from an external site, you’d have to grant that site the same access to your internal drive.

That’s how I’ve always understood it, but I do feel like I’m half making this up now!


#7

Yeah, that’s also my problem - I am not an expert :smiley: I totally get your point and agree that this would be a security concern. Especially, because we are located in Germany and the new EU laws for 2018 will make it even more important to take this into account.

However, I thought (with my non-expert mind) that it might be possible to work around this by triggering this action (open destination in file explorer) on the computer and not actually within Asana. This way Asana doesn’t need access, but “just” starts this process (which will happen on the desktop though). But, yeah, no idea if that is possible :smiley: Not sure how a mailto-link works on the technical side, but that was the closest example I could come up with. :wink:


#8

I would love that feature myself. It would save us quite a few clicks. I’m hoping some tech-wizard will swoop into this thread and patiently explain how easy it is to set up.

Let’s see . . .


#9

Totally agree! Maybe @Alexis knows who could help us :wink:


#10

We are in the same boat… all files are kept on “THE SERVER” and so we spend inordinate amounts of time copying and pasting file paths. Would love to see a hyperlink that people could just click.


#11

Hi @Tom_Suberg! I recommend you take a look at Asana’s Statement on Security for background information https://asana.com/security-statement

Security is super important to Asana, so anything you think could possibly compromise security probably isn’t possible in Asana. We want to keep people’s data secure! Any file linking/attachments will simply happen using the existing attachments feature - from computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, One Drive - or dropping a link into a task.

@Sebastian_Paasch may have some extra insight into security questions in Germany :slight_smile:


#12

Hi @Alexis! Thank you for the response. I am sure that Asana is doing everything to be as secure as possible. However, some companies in Germany (depending on the type of data they handle) are also required to host these files within Germany. Sometimes because large companies are the clients and made bad experiences with data leaks in the US or simply because it is the law. In either scenario I don’t think I will be able to convince the person in charge to change this for us. :wink:


#13

Hi @Tom_Suberg,

I worked for a German corporation with 300.000 employees and they had similar concerns. It took me more than 2 months to convince the data proteciton officer but in the end we could use Asana. We had the follwoing agreement, we DO NOT store customer data in Asana e.g. email adresses and bank accounts. But we were allowed to store our to dos in Asana. Consequently, our behaviour was in line with the data protection guideline of the company.

I would suggest the following:

  • Ask your data protection officer, what are his SPECIFIC issues with a cloud tool, e.g. which specific data is not allowed to be stored in a cloud

  • Then develop solutions and workarounds for these specific issues

  • Do not be OK with a simple answer like, the cloud is not secure, this is bullshit, since usually it is much easier to hack a single company then AWS or Google Cloud…

I am happy to give you more background information.

Best,
Sebastian


#14

Hi @Sebastian_Paasch! Thank you for the input. I can’t imagine how much of a hastle it must have been for you. :smiley: Luckily, I am past the point to get approval to use Asana in the general way. The only thing missing now is the file management. This is why I wondered whether this is possible through a local solution on the respective computer (since that computer already has access to the file server). This way, the whole discussion about cloud services is obsolete. :wink:


#15

Hi Tom,

I suggest the following, use a custom field with the links to the folder and most important files in your tasks.

Benefits:

  • All your data is secure on your server
  • Everyone sees in the task where the data is
  • Fast access via link


#16

Hi @Sebastian_Paasch! Yeah, this is how I am doing it so far. The problem is just that the link is not “clickable”, since your field “Client Folder” would contain an address for the local file explorer (e.g. X:\examplefolder\examplesubfolder). That’s the problem I am trying to solve :wink:


#17

My team’s “solution” was to move our shared files to Dropbox. You can link to files on Dropbox the same way you add an attachment to a given task. Some members of our IT team argue Dropbox opens up a whole new security issue – one the decision to go with an internally hosted shared drive was specifically designed to prevent – but if you can get the Powers That Be to sign off, I think Dropbox will satisfy your desired workflow.


#18

Thanks for the suggestion. As said above, services such as Dropbox do not satisfy our clients ‘security’ demands. Not because it is not secure, but because the files also ‘move’ outside Germany. :confused: I’m not saying it’s rational. That’s just how it is. :wink:


#19

I think that you can achieve a solution using a browser plugin that lets you create a custom script, like Tamper Monkey. These kind of solution works by "changing" the web site youre at (in this case Asana) only in your browser. But I think your Security Team won`t allow something like it.


#20