Work around for Html5 Local File Access

We are currently looking at porting a enterprise silverlight application over to html5. The major roadblock that we have hit is the ability to open files from the user's local disk. Currently they have a document library which just links to files on their computer that they can open from within the app and view or print out. All that I read is that you can only access the local sandbox of the web app with the html5 file api's. We want to load these files from code.

Does anyone know of any workarounds to this?

Thanks

Answers:

Answer

There is no way for html5 to access local file without user selection. But FSO: FileSystemObject works for IE and MAYBE could be regarded as a work around. But still there are some requirements to meet.

Answer

It is possible to use chrome's filesystem API to access files on a users local filesytem. So you'd have to be willing to make this a chrome only application.

Answer

Using java you can create a "Signed" applet which has access to the local filesystem. (if the applet is signed you can request filesystm permissions)

then there is a tutorial for accessing methods of your java code directly from javascript here: http://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/deployment/applet/invokingAppletMethodsFromJavaScript.html

you should be able to perform something similar from silverlight.

Answer

There is no workaround in pure HTML5/Javascript. You need the use of plugins, such as Java or Silverlight (maybe you shouldn't port it after all). As for workarounds, HTML5 gives you an easy way drag and drop multiple files that you could transfer on the server and then display back to your users. Another workaround would be to install a custom agent (a software with only a tray icon) that would send the information about the current user "document library" to server and then again, you could display it back to the user.

Note: I've heard somewhere that browsers will eventually stop supporting plugins. http://www.howtogeek.com/179213/why-browser-plug-ins-are-going-away-and-whats-replacing-them/

Answer

Ya, I agree with Markain. However, if you were to limit your audience solely to chrome users, I daresay, you would most likely use some of your users. If Huazhihao is right, then your number of leaving customers should decrease but users who regularly use firefox won't be happy. Overall, I think that this will not work. Otherwise, there would be too many websites that trashed your hard driver (or at least wherever you have the rights to edit/delete files). I think it would be best if your product was setup to synchronize the file whenever an internet connection was detected and a change was made to the file. That way the user would not need to visit the website whenever the file was uploaded. If this is some kind of an error file, then it would be most beneficial if you were to make a link in the application that when clicked, would upload the file to the website and the website were to do whatever was necessary. If this is a purely online thing, then I don't see what business you would have looking through other peoples' files =-). Hope I helped!

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