Thursday, April 02, 2015

Ensuring That Litigation Extranets Can Store Unusual File Types

Virtually all collaboration systems can store standard file types. By that we mean Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) files, images, PDF's, TIG's, etc...

Storing less common file types is more of a challenge. Some examples of this might be transcriptions that are delivered using customized software or other files generated and managed with customized software.

A good way to provide this functionality is for the legal extranet system to store documents as binary files. This means that the document is converted to a digital format prior to being stored. This way, any document can be loaded into a system database that is equipped to handle attached files.

When storing the documents, it is wise to obtain the MIME type for the file. If this is also stored, when another system client requests the file, the legal extranet can pass both the file and the MIME type to the user. It is the MIME type on the local PC of the user that will synch up with the user's application preferences and then launch the appropriate software to view the file based on the Windows file associations within the local PC.

A strategy such as this will allow virtually any PC file type to be stored in a legal extranet application, and ensure you are well prepared to provide broad functionality to your clients who might tend to work with file types which are a bit of the beaten path.