Citrix Files vs Sharefile Desktop vs Sharefile Sync

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Is there guidance available to explain the differences between Citrix Files, Sharefile Desktop, and Sharefile sync?  We're trying to figure which of these apps would be beneficial to install, but can't seem to find a comparison.  These apps seem similar, but I suspect there are differences that exist that might make one more valuable to us.
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Bruce

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Posted 11 months ago

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Kevin Glenn, Escalation Engineer

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Hi Bruce,

Great question! Currently Citrix Files and Sync both give you access to your files through Windows explorer interface, however, Sync will store the files locally for offline access while Citrix Files currently virtually displays them until accessed. Desktop app utilizes a custom GUI with a combination of both offline access and virtually displayed files until accessed.

With that said, the end goal of Citrix Files for Mac / Windows is that it will support most, if not all, of the features in Drive Mapper, Desktop App and Sync, and will be an upgrade from those tools,

A bit more detailed information can be found in this thread: https://community.sharefilesupport.com/citrixsharefile/topics/citrix-files-for-mac-vs-sharefile-sync...

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Prabhat Tyagi, Director, Product Engineering

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Hi Bruce, 

Both Citrix Files (currently the v4.2 version*) and ShareFile Desktop provide on demand access to ShareFile files. Citrix Files provides native integration with the explorer (and Finder on Mac) and ShareFile Desktop is a custom UI based application. Both of these allow access to files in ShareFile as well as connectors (Personal Cloud Connectors, One Drive For Business, CIFS, SharePoint etc) . Citrix Files being on demand solution, downloads and caches only recently used files, and hence does not consume significant disk space on the local computer. This flexibility to access content natively on demand, also lends Citrix Files as a preferred solution in a Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops environment (formerly Xen App and Xen Desktop). Citrix Files also provides a comprehensive set of capabilities for various ShareFile operations related to sharing, requesting, workflows and signature, folder permissions, admin controls (for deployment, access, and usage).

ShareFile sync on the other hand synchronizes ShareFile files on the computer. The advantage with Sync is that the sync'ed folders/files are available in an offline mode, and user can access and work on these even when the network is absent. Though this would mean that Sync would need equivalent disk space on the local computer. Also with Sync connectors are not supported, so if connectors access is your requirement, then Citrix Files is the solution.


The following links may also be useful: https://www.citrix.com/blogs/2018/08/28/three-in-one-announcing-citrix-files-for-windows-and-mac-to-...

Cheers
Prabhat Tyagi
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Prabhat Tyagi, Director, Product Engineering

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Appears my message overlapped with Kevin's. 

Bruce, if you have any specific use case / environment, we would be happy to provide more pointers on the right app to use. Though as Kevin also said, if offline access is the need, please use ShareFile Sync else for other environment/user cases (connectors access, virtual environment etc) Citrix Files should serve the needs. We are also working on brining offline access capability into Citrix Files in one of the future releases.

Cheers
Prabhat Tyagi
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Joseph Carpenter

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It seems that Citrix Files will replace the Desktop and Drivemapper functions where online access is assured.

I am eager to learn more about the improved control in Citrix Files over folder permissions. That may solve an issue with ShareFile Sync.

On the other hand, from what Kevin and Prabhat say here, ShareFile Sync will retain its utility for use cases where offline access is essential.

Further, additional support for instances where ShareFile Sync is used to sync to Windows Servers, including support of non-standard target locations, better logging, improved reliability of the configuration file, etc. would be appreciated.

I hope support and development of that ShareFile Sync tool is not only  continued, but also expanded to include capabilities I understand were formerly included in Enterprise Sync. 

One office I support currently uses the symlink solution to bypass the storage limitations of the C:\ drive on WIndows Server 2012, and ALSO prevent the network user folder permissions from being overwritten by the ShareFile Sync client.  This configuration was performed with ShareFile Support, so I trust it will continue to be supported or even improved. 

The times they are changing, and more comparative data between these solutions will be appreciated. Oh yes. More please... 

In case this gets moderated, I am replying to "Citrix Files vs Sharefile Desktop vs Sharefile Sync" 
https://community.sharefilesupport.com/citrixsharefile/topics/citrix-files-vs-sharefile-desktop-vs-s...


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Prabhat Tyagi, Director, Product Engineering

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Thanks Joseph for your feedback. Please find some comments inline:

>> I am eager to learn more about the improved control in Citrix Files over folder permissions. That may solve an issue with ShareFile Sync.

Citrix Files provides ability to manage folder permission as a right click option. This option allows for adding, removing users and setting permissions access for a folder. So yes, this is one additional capability thats missing with Sync as well as Drive Mapper. Please let me know if I misunderstood your question.

>> ShareFile Sync will retain its utility for use cases where offline access is essential. 

We are committed to continue to enhance and support Desktop App, Drive Mapper, Sync, till Citrix Files provides equivalent use cases as served by them. As of now, Citrix Files serves all the use cases as served by online tools like Desktop App and Drive Mapper. Offline Access capability is being introduced in Citrix Files starting next release v4.3 as a beta feature, and we plan to iterate and refine it over a couple of releases before rolling it out as a default option. 


>> Further, additional support for instances where ShareFile Sync is used to sync to Windows Servers, including support of non-standard target locations, better logging, improved reliability of the configuration file, etc. would be appreciated.

Noted, and we will consider adding folder syncing for non standard locations in one of the future release.


>> I hope support and development of that ShareFile Sync tool is not only  continued, but also expanded to include capabilities I understand were formerly included in Enterprise Sync. 

As mentioned above, Sync/Offline Access capabilities are in works with Citrix Files.

Regarding Enterprise Sync, which use cases apart from syncing non standard location that you would like to get included scheduling sync jobs or anything else? We will evaluate to see if it aligns with the vision for Citrix Files.. 

>> The times they are changing, and more comparative data between these solutions will be appreciated. 
Noted. We will work towards adding more documentation, and see if we can make it available soon. 

Cheers
Prabhat Tyagi

(Edited)
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Snider-Rawlins Law Firm

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I work in a part of the world which still has predominantly overhead lines, lots of trees, and rapid development. That combination results in intermittent internet outages. While I love Citrix files, I need to be able to continue working when the internet goes does (again!). It would be a great help to me if Enterprise Sync were continued and supported so that what I'm doing in Citrix files would regularly download to my local machine. That would let me keep working while the internet is out and then sync back up when it returns. For me, local disk space is not the issue. I can always get a larger hard drive. What I need is continuous access at my main desktop machine. 
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Chris Anderson

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Citrix Files will be supporting offline access - whichbwould solve your painpoint. We’ll offer a beta in a few weeks and a public release of the feature in Q1 2019.
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Snider-Rawlins Law Firm

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Excellent news.
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Doug Dellit

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Seriously Citrix, this is all very confusing.  Please have ONE application which manages both online and offline.  This is ridiculous currently.
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Leo, Official Rep

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Hi Doug,

That is the goal that was stated above.  As Prabhat mentioned, "We are committed to continue to enhance and support Desktop App, Drive Mapper, Sync, till Citrix Files provides equivalent use cases as served by them."  There is work in progress to allow offline/sync capabilities with Citrix Files as well.  

-Leo
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Antony Samuel

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Are there any plans for Citrix Files, to have similar abilities used to be in Enterprise Sync Client? as greatly needed to set schedule for syncing files over.
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Andrew Edmond

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Agree with Doug, the picture is very confusing, with all the multiple applications for Windows, and has been for several years.  Windows users have, throughout that time, had at least 3 different applications to choose from, with overlapping functionality, and there's been an obvious need for a single client which does everything.  It has felt, at times, as though there might be competing teams within Citrix all pushing their own client, without anyone looking at the bigger picture and thinking of what's best for the customer.

Anyway, it does sound like this is being sorted out, at long last, with Citrix Files, which is great.  Citrix, I know some people are asking for Sharefile Sync to continue as a product, but in the long term, I think you'll need to disappoint those people - the important thing is to have the functionality there, in your single client going forward, regardless of what the client is called.  Concentrate on building all the functionality of Sync, Desktop and Drive Mapper into Files, then make a really smooth transition for existing customers of those tools, and then decommission all three.  Please :-)
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Martin Larsen

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I would really like the ShareFile developer team to get the new Citrix Files to also work with symbolic link.
We desperate trying to solved, to get the standard windows folder to redirect into the users personal folder on logon, so even when a user saves to his Windows Desktop folder, it will actually be saved in the ShareFile personal folder.
This option is already inplemented into OneDrive for Desktop, Documents and Pictures, so please get an option to get the Citrix files to do the same.
We are running XenDesktop, so the sync tool is not an option.
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Annie McQuilken

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Can Files and Sync be used together?    The entire shared folder system is too large to keep on my laptop, nor would I want to for security reasons.   But there is a subset of files I would like to sync.   In particular, files for Quickbooks, which don't behave well across networks that sometimes go down.   I would also like to sync particular client document areas when I'm going to see that client, so I have the files locally in case of network issues, but know they will sync up again when I'm back on the network.   
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Kevin Glenn, Escalation Engineer

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Hi Annie,

I would suggest using Citrix Files which now has an Offline Access (sync) feature available in beta. Details on enabling the feature can be found here: https://support.citrix.com/article/CTX237762#enable
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Fred Franklin

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This may be a crazy question..... I'm using Sharefile sync...... will this still save file versioning?  We run Autocad and have a few different drafters.  Company size is only 5 total.  For some reason when I go to Sharefile online some of my drawings show revisions and some don't.  I've checked the settings and they appear to be the same.
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Kevin Glenn, Escalation Engineer

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Hi Fred,

Versioning is a setting on the folder itself and thus will be the same across all tools. With that said, it is possible the application being used to edit the file may saving updates in a way that deletes the original version and then creates a completely new file. If this is the case you should see older versions within the folders Recycle Bin for up to 45 days. Additionally, I would suggest editing in both Sync and then Citrix Files for Windows as a test to see if there are different results.
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a buss

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Has the desktop app for mac been turned off - no longer supported? I get an error trying to open it saying that "Sharefile Desktop quit unexpectedly" and wants to send a report to apple. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling but no luck.
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Andreas Höfken

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I have the same problem. For that we use the new app now "Citrix Files for Mac". But we are very unhappy with this app. Its very very slow. Especially the download. For 2.89GB download 24 hours. That‘s not acceptable for us. I wrote two mails to Citrix I didn't get any reply......
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a buss

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I'm now using the citrix app and don't love it. I have noticed slower download and upload speeds compared to desktop app. I don't like how it's embedded in my top bar or through finder. The desktop app was much smoother.
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Chris Anderson

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Andreas Höfken & a buss - if you are having slowness, can you please open a ticket with support so we can look into it. There are a tremendous amount of factors that can play into upload/download speeds, so we will want to dig into this with you. 

a buss - I'll also reach out to you directly to speak more about your use cases and how you feel that Citrix Files for Mac is falling short for them.
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Prabhat Tyagi, Director, Product Engineering

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Andreas Höfken for large files download (or upload) you may want to use the direct download capability. 

These downloads are optimized for bulk operations and bypasses the local cache.

Cheers
Prabhat Tyagi
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Christy Mosher

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Hello - I am trying to help my company by implementing a check-in, check-out function. We have Sharefile and Outlook 365.  I have installed the sync installer which seems to be what is needed?? for the check in check out, but even that doesn't seem to give me what I need.  I thought I would see the icons or would be given the option to check-in/out if I right click but those options do not appear.  Basically, we want a remote user to be able to check out a file, electronically sign it then check it back in.  These users do not have access to our networked drive.  Does that make sense?  What do I need to do?
Please respond to cmosher@td2inc.com 
Thank you.
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