UF: File-Express

UF implemented a new service called File-Express: File Sharing Service this summer. Because it was implemented in the summer, some folks may have missed it. It’s a fabulous service for everyone on campus, and for folks off-campus and outside of UF who are collaborating with people at UF. The main page for the File-Express service (https://file-express.ufl.edu/) explains:

File-Express: File Sharing Service has been implemented to meet the continually growing demands of the UF community.  This service allows any individuals with UF Gatorlink accounts to exchange files that may be too large, or otherwise blocked by, traditional e-mail methods. Using a secure server and the Gatorlink Authentication system, users can easily share files with members of both the UF and Non-UF community.

Working with the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), the UF Digital Collections, and the Institutional Repository (IR@UF), partners, scholars, and other contributors often need to send files that are slightly too large to be convenient. Commercial services aren’t a great option for this because simply using them can be confused with recommending them, and for some types of materials, they don’t meet requirements in terms of security controls.
I was thrilled when File-Express was announced. And the same day File-Express was announced, a scholar contacted me to ask how to send a file that was just slightly too large for email (100MB or so) and the scholar had limited computer access and didn’t have another option for transfer. I sent the File-Express announcement and the scholar transferred the file, and it was all handled quickly and easily. That’s one of the big things about file transfers, people don’t want to have to think about them and in most cases they really shouldn’t need to. File-Express provided the support mechanism so the whole process of supporting the scholar was to mention the service and then the process was over. I didn’t have to start a potentially long conversation (and for most people a boring conversation about technologies and connectivity) to figure out other options. We were able to simply focus on the task at hand, which was supporting adding new materials to the scholar’s digital scholarship project. We did speak about the technologies and specifically about File-Express later that week, when the scholar mentioned several colleagues who he knew were going to be excited about the service and that they would likely use it to handle their contributions to the digital scholarship project when, in the past they’d mailed DVDs.
For anyone who’s worked with large files, which aren’t incredibly large, but which are just large enough to fail over email and annoying to have to use FTP or another method to send, the File-Express service (https://file-express.ufl.edu/) is a really incredible service.