How does sharepoint work?

Soldato
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A really basic question but could anyone explain how sharepoint works in real life, ideally in a sme/micro environment if possible?

I’m looking for something to replicate a local nas share but have it accessible remotely. Dropbox, or similar, would work but I can’t have 2 people open the same file at the same time and cause a conflict. Files are basic office files and some program specific files.
 
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I'm not convinced that SharePoint is your Solution here - SharePoint can do that, and work with Files but it does so much more. Can you not use OneDrive? OneDrive is much more suited to this.
 
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Sharepoint is a content management system which means it has features to manage check in, check out and conflicts.

Dropbox and one drive are file sharing applications, a completely different use case.

Search/Google 'content management system' also abbreviated as CMS. There are quite few, many free and that can run on a NAS or that can be installed on a server or cloud based services
 
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I had assumed one drive was the same as drop box in that it just syncs data to the cloud which means duplicates can occur?

I didn't see anything in your OP about duplicates, I read the part around conflicts perhaps wrong. OneDrive will allow multiple people to open and edit the same .docx file at the same time in the same way as Google will. I don't think any real file share solution has a prevention for duplicates, if they're named different etc or even windows can sometimes add extra stuff on the end etc.
 
Soldato
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What you want sounds like a version control system of sorts. Plenty of CMSs have collaborative editing and version history included. Google Docs has both. I imagine Office Online does too. Even a paid for subscription to dropbox I think holds historical versions for a while.

If you want a stricter regime then you're probably looking at dedicated repository systems with check-in/check-out type functionality. You still don't prohibit people from working on a document at the same time per se but if you weren't the one who checked it out you can't put the next version up. Donkey's years ago I used to use things like Microsoft Sourcesafe and things listed here for such purposes as esoteric as proposal documents https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_version-control_software These days I'm so far removed from it but I think the world has gone to Git based software like Github and Gitlab. Cloud based for the most part and free to use up to a point.
 
Soldato
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I think I may have described the wrong thing I’m after but we have small database files for our payroll and accounts software, currently these are stored on a NAS locally. If one person has company A payroll file open then it won’t let anyone else open it. They could be stored in Dropbox etc but when I trialed it people would leave them open and then someone else open the same company file and you’d end up with multiple conflicted versions.

Essentially I want the folders viewable in windows explorer as they are now but with access from home. Currently we log in via Team Viewer but that means I need a computer in the office and a computer/laptop for the staff at home.
 
Soldato
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Firstly I’d see if your payroll and accounts software has a cloud version you can migrate to. This is likely to be your best solution by some considerable distance I suspect.

If not then what you need is a VPN server in your office that your PCs at home can connect to. Typically this would be on your router or a server that could also be the NAS. Then you need a NAS that can have an SMB share with the database files on (pretty much all of them). Inside the office it’s just a mapped network share that shows up in Windows Explorer. Outside your office you connect to the VPN first and then use the same mapped network share which will still show in Windows Explorer. Be aware configured wrongly you’re leaving your businesses files open to all sorts of security holes doing this.

However my experience of this type of software working well over (compared to local network) slow internet connections is bad. Your performance will be limited by the slowest upstream bandwidth of the computers concerned. I.e. you may have gigabit fibre in the office but if someone remote is on ADSL it’s going to be limited by that.

How do you back up these database files currently? Whatever does that might be able to play a part on the solution too.
 
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