Hide or disable the attachment feature if it is not used

I am using using Manager Server ed. and was wondering if the admin can hide or disable the attachment feature ? If no user in a business uses it, then maybe there is no reason to show it in so many places in the UI. What I like amongst other about Manager is the UI where you only see what you use so hiding this feature would still improve on the UX. Also to hide or disable the attachment feature would also possibly help users in businesses having an external file management not to have any doubts or misunderstanding about the file management as to where files should be located.

If not hidden or disabled, would it maybe be possible to control with user permissions ?

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You cannot remove the feature or control it under user permissions.

Maybe @lubos this hide/disable feature can be considered for the suggestions list ? As the data records in the SQLite database are so conveniently compact, expanding the database immensely with attachments over time seems not quite worth it as there are external systems which can easily be used for that. I gather when attachments were first introduced as an option in Manager in 2016 the setup was external storage at AWS.

If you don’t want to use it, don’t use it. The presence of the option adds nothing to the size of the database. And it is at the bottom of the screen, so it does not detract from usable screen space.

For myself I wont use it but my concern lies with other users in the server ed. which might start to use it at some point in time if this option is available.

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Probably giving ability to control visibility of attachments using user permissions is the way to go.

But Attachments could be also a tab. If it would be a tab, there would be ability to “disable it”.

Either way should be fine

Wanted to mention that if files are attached into Manager that for example if a company hosts its server version in a cloud and employees take backups for download then it can get unnecessarily expensive as cloud providers charge fairly high prices for exports

… until you get audited - and then you really, really wish that you’d used attachments the way they’re facilitated now, instead of having to dig through multiple separate repositories.

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I want to implement ability to do backup with or without attachments.

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@Lubos, can attachments then maybe be excluded from the folder backup ?

As an admin for subsidiaries, many small companies in the server ed. I will be taking a backup of all of them in one go and therefore using the folder backup and not using the backup button in Manager’s UI which can only do backup for one business at a time.

If so, this would solve the main concern which is the size of the backup itself and holding down the fairly high cost of exporting daily backups out of Virtual Machine clouds like AWS, but still there is the concern that attachments can unnecessarily “pile” up in the database if some restricted users can later on decide by themselves to start attaching up to 10mb files, whether it is in the Folders module or per accounting records. If many users are viewing such attachments then I expect the exporting costs out of Virtual Machine clouds can rise fast, if the limit is only 15gb pr month.

@Tor, if you are using attachments, you won’t be able to exclude them from folder backup.

But… if you are backing up folder, you should be doing differential backup. All backup programs support it. This way you don’t end up backing up huge file over and over again but only the changed parts.

Yes @Lubos I will use incremental backups for the accounting records, but still it would be very good having the option to control attachments in settings as I don’t want restricted users to use them, as said before. I cant control what users start to attach so closing the option would be very preferable. All viewed attachments (if users start to use them), just as daily incremental backups, are exported out of the VM cloud and therefore use up the conveniently priced VM export quota which is only round 15gb pr month or 500mb pr day in total for all businesses sharing the VM instance.

I really don’t think this is going to be a problem for you, @tor. Manager data files are very small.

@TUT yes the data files can be very small or based on what I have read on the forum some businesses have had data files with couple of years of accounting records, under or well under 10mb, but that would be excluding attachments as just one attachment can take the same storage or up to 10mb. It is just this comparison that is a little disconcerting knowing how compact the database could really be without attachments. Still this is not a problem as such technically, just it can get more expensive than necessary when running Manager server ed. in a VM cloud instance for more than one business and the users start attaching files and viewing/exporting attachments.

@Tor, my viewpoint may not seem very generous. But if businesses or individuals decide they want digital storage of accounting documents, I believe they should be prepared to pay for it. Clients using your server edition are no different. You are focusing on a particular backup approach under which some decisions (to use the attachments feature) have small cost consequences. But that is certainly not the only backup approach available. Nor is use of the attachments feature mandatory. Both service providers and service users have options. The cost of offering or using such options is a factor that might be important for some. But there is no reason one should expect the developer of Manager to modify the product to help someone else give it away.

@Tut, I think there is some misunderstanding as this cost you mention is not about giving free to users as my own business might have to pay this cost, atleast partly, and it can be a hazzle to overlook and charge monthly storage for each business if the cost doesn’t justify such work. This is about the admin UX and also if a small SQLite database is maybe somewhat more likely to be robust if there is less load from attachments. After reading in the forum I can see I am not the only one having concerns about the attachments.

Is it possible to figure out how much storage attachments alone take in each business?

The size of business files is shown the Businesses page.

the ability to use user permissions to limit view, add, delete the attachment will be very welcome too