SharePoint 2007 tip: use Explorer not the browser to upload documents

I am testing SharePoint on my local network. MOSS (Microsoft Office SharePoint Server) 2007 is installed, on Hyper-V of course. I go to the default site and create a new document library. Navigate to the new library, and select multiple upload. Select all the file in an existing network share that contains just over 1000 documents. Hit upload. Files upload at impressive speed. Nice. But … the library remains empty. No error reported, just a nil result.

I suspect the speed only seems impressive because it is not really uploading the documents; it is uploading a list of documents to upload later.

I try multiple upload of just three documents. Works fine.

I go to the site administration, and look at the general settings. This looks like it – a 50Mb limit:

I change it to 1000Mb. Retry the upload. Same result. Restart SharePoint. Same result.

Hmm, maybe this post has the answer:

Yes there is problem with WSS 3.0 and MOSS 2007 while uploading a multiple file at a time given the fact both supports the multifile uploading. [sic]

You can upload multiple file by using Explorer View not the default view (All Documents). In this way you can use the windows like functionality of dragging and dropping a file from your folders without encountering any error and added advantage will be the speed of uploading a file. This is the best way of uploading a file to a document library in WSS 3.0 or MOSS.

I try the multiple copy in Explorer view, and indeed it works perfectly. Another advantage: in Explorer view, all the uploaded documents retain the date of the file, whereas Multiple Upload gives them all today’s date.

Conclusion: use the Explorer view, not the web browser, to copy files to and from SharePoint. On Vista, you can make a SharePoint library a “favourite link” which simplifies navigation.

Why not just use a shared folder? That’s the big question. I’ve never had this kind of problem with simple network shares. In what circumstances is the performance overhead and hassle of SharePoint justified by the extra features it offers? I’m hoping hands-on experience will help me make judgement.

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