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Office files remain locked for extended periods of time on a Sharepoint Server when its WebDav Share is accessed via Distributed File System

Consider the following scenario:
  • You are using a Distributed File System Namespace (domain based or standalone)
  • You are using a Sharepoint Foundation Server
  • You configured a DFS link to point to your Sharepoints Webdav share with a Folder Target such as \\Server@port\DavWWWRoot\Share\Folder
  • You use the DFS path (i.e. \\\DFS\Link-to-Sharepoint) to access Data on the WebDav share.

In this scenario, when you use a Microsoft Office Application to open files from the Sharepoint Webdav Share by using the DFS path and you make changes to the files, the files remain locked for extended periods of time after saving the changes and closing the files.

Therefore every user that tries to open the file during this time will be presented with a dialog simillar to this:

"This file is locked for editing by %Username%
Do You want to:
o View a read-only copy
o Save and edit a copy of the file
o Receive a notification when the server file is available."

Opening and Saving Files with other Applications such as Notepad is not affected.
The Problem does not ocurre if the WebDav Path is used instead of the DFS path. 

More information
Saving files from an Office Application works differently depending if the file is saved against a File Server Share (by SMB or SMB2) or a Sharepoint Server (by WebDav over http or https).
Additionaly the maintenance of file locks and temp files work different depending if the target share is a file server share or a WebDav share on a Webserver / Sharepoint Server.

In the scenario above the user provided Office with a DFS path to access the file (\\\DFS\Link-to-Sharepoint). Therefore Office behaves as if it would save a file against a file server share while in fact it is working against a Sharepoint Server (\\Server@port\DavWWWRoot\Share\Folder).

Due to the different file saving (handling of .tmp files) and file locking mechanic against a file server share Office and Sharepoint cannot interact properly with each other and the file remains blocked for write access after closing it until some point later when the sharepoint server determines that the file can be released.

For further Information regarding Locks in WebDav see:

Office 2007, Office 2010, Sharepoint, Distributed File System, Namespace, WebDav, Save file, Read Only, Word, Excel, Powerpoint
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 2556610 - Last Review: 01/24/2013 08:38:00 - Revision: 2.0

Microsoft Office Professional 2010, Microsoft Office Standard 2010, Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010, Microsoft Office Standard 2007, Microsoft Office Home and Student 2007, Microsoft Office Professional 2007, Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010

  • KB2556610