Kenesto for Microsoft Teams
Kenesto is a robust cloud-based product document management system.
Kenesto was designed by engineers for engineers and designers, delivering a robust solution for small- and medium-sized companies, especially those working in a diverse ecosystem with many types of documents. With the Kenesto Drive on a PC, CAD and other applications work directly with the cloud documents just as though documents are on a local drive, always ensuring access to the most current version of the documents. Kenesto provides the necessary tools needed to easily share, view, collaborate with external users, manage permissions, create versions, and lock documents for day-to-day work. Kenesto provides engineers and designers the power, simplicity, and flexibility beyond consumer cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox, and a great alternative to complex and expensive traditional PDM systems.
Kenesto consists of 3 major components:
1. Kenesto Drive – client service software installed on the end-user computer
2. Kenesto Servers – Kenesto front and back end servers
3. Cloud Storage – Encrypted anonymous storage, with multiple backups
The Kenesto Drive operates as a Network File System in a similar way to a mounted network drive in an office. So, in essence, the Kenesto Drive is a Cloud Network File System. It utilizes a local cache as temporary storage of recently used files for rapid file opening and saving. Operations speed is only dependent on the speed of the local disk drive. The total volume of storage is effectively infinite and can exceed the size of any local storage without any action on the user’s part. Just like a locally mounted storage, when a user opens a file for read/write, it is locked (made read-only) for all shared users anywhere in the World in less than 500 milliseconds, thus practically eliminating the potential for overwriting of files so common in consumer cloud storage. All this without the complexity of PDM systems. Unlike most consumer cloud storage products, a specific file version is only written once. It is never overwritten and is always available for future retrieval. Unlike most cloud storage products, including consumer cloud storage products, Kenesto Drive does not synchronize files, which is not suitable for collaboration, Kenesto drive is integrated into Windows Explorer. In addition to the fast automatic locking, Kenesto has the capability to set any folder(s) to being a vault. The files must be “checked out” in order to change them, and then “checked in”. The files are permanently locked while checked out. This lock is valid, even when the computer is turned off or without Internet, unlike the fast locking, which is the same as a mounted disk locking. The locking stops when the computer is turned off or removed from the Internet
In addition to the traditional file tree (“My Files”), Kenesto Drive has a project capability which allows users to separate files for specific projects, such a construction company building project, into that project. The Kenesto Drive allows the user to see only the items pertinent to that project, and then easily change to another project. Because files in a project do not have a path name that starts with a drive letter, the user is offered a capability to pin files from “My Files” into any project. This is particularly useful for shared common files in applications which requires a full path to identify them. An example would be SolidWorks routing tables. The user also has the ability to have shared components in libraries. These libraries may be copied, when initially assigned, and the consequence would be that any changes in a project would not be propagated. The alternative is for the libraries to be linked, in which case all changes in any project would be seen everywhere the library is referenced.
Kenesto drive utilizes the familiar Microsoft windows explorer interface for the users to interact with the cloud-based files. All of the usual Windows Explorer capabilities are available. One exception is “Delete”. In this case, Delete means “Hide”. With appropriate permissions, it can be retrieved from the archive.
There is no upload or download user commands in the drive. The user simply can use the Drive as any fixed disk on the user’s computer. In business applications, files are often linked together, and their relative paths are important. Thus, a large assembly of the model of a table saw may occupy 3-400 specific component files in a product like SolidWorks or CATIA. Kenesto Drive works with these kinds of files just as though they were all local.
Not all users have access to the authoring tools, and so Kenesto Drive has the ability to View files in cloud viewers. In the case of many CAD files, 3D viewers are included, with allows for complete examination of a model for review. In the Microsoft Teams implementation, that view is show inside Microsoft Teams, and the same view can be shared with the other Teams participants, and any one of the participants may manipulate the view. The use of linked PDF documents is common in the construction industry, and they may be viewed and the links followed in Kenesto Drive’s implementation of a PDF viewer.
Kenesto Drive is identified as a local drive by Windows which allows Microsoft indexing, and thus for searching based on custom properties
Kenesto menu in projects environment:
Kenesto menu is context aware and changes between files and folders.
1. Add task: allows to assign a task about the current document(s) to a user, the assignee is notified via the drive and the email and can interact with the task from the drive or the web interface.
2. Versions: Will show all the versions of the saved file
a. Allows viewing any version using Kenesto viewer (supported formats only)
b. Allows switching to any version
c. Allows to download any version to a local disk
3. Manage Dependencies: Allows create a logical link between files, making one depend on another (references)
4. View: allows to view the supported formats using Kenesto Web Viewer
1. Set to Vault: Will set the current folder to Vaulted, requiring the user to check out the file before they are allowed to edit it, and the file has to be checked back in to release it.
2. Share: Allows to share the folder to the project participants and set the permissions
3. Cache viewer: Shows the currently locally cached files
Kenesto menu in “My files”:
“My files” is the user own storage space, folders and files can be shared with internal and external users
In addition to the project’s menu sharing of a file is allowed under “My Files”
Kenesto add-in for Microsoft Teams
Kenesto add-in for Microsoft Teams brings Kenesto cloud-based file system to the Microsoft Teams tab. You can work with the files in the similar matter as you would in the drive.
Kenesto menu inside the tab:
1. Share view allows to share the control over the document presented in the viewer with participants
2. View will view a supported format, using Kenesto Web Viewer.
This add-in requires Kenesto drive and a Kenesto user account.
Sign up for a Kenesto trial account here: https://www.kenesto.com/sign-up
Download Kenesto Drive from here: https://www.kenesto.com/downloads