I am a bit of a novice in this, and I might misunderstand what's required here, but after reading this discussion thread, I just now sat down with xplorer² to see whether I could meet the apparent requirements, and:
1. Created a Junction folder (Reparse point).
2. Created a scrap pane (a sort of virtual folder).
3. Selected several folders and flattened them and their contents into the scrap pane, creating a flat file (you could save this for future use as a reusable CIDA file - a particularly useful/powerful feature in xplorer²).
4. Copied all files in the scrap pane.
5. Pasted them into the Junction folder (I think this this effectively creates a "Library" containing pointers to all the files pasted).
This reproduced the flat file structure in the Junction folder.
The above steps should apply for Win XP and Win7-64bit Home Premium.
1. Created a new Library in Windows Explorer.
- then performed steps 2, 3, 4 above in xplorer².
5. Using Windows Explorer, pasted them into the Library folder (I think this effectively creates a "Library" containing pointers to all the files pasted).
This reproduced the flat file structure in the Library.
The above steps should apply for Win7-64bit Home Premium.
I could be wrong, of course, but I think
this means that:
(a) You could then access the Reparse point folder or Win7 Library as your central (consolidated) server "directory".
(b) This directory would reflect realtime any changes to the source folders/files included in the flattened file.
(c) You do not need to copy any actual files
anywhere to create the central (consolidated) server "directory".The main constraints here I think would be:
- You can only do this in NTFS formatted file systems/drives.
- The Reparse points can not be created to work across a network, so you would need to have it all on a single server with directly attached drives - and of course, the web site will be able to access the central (consolidated) server "directory". I am unsure whether this constraint applies to Win7 "Libraries", but I would expect it probably does.
I have been experimenting using this approach to create a structured (not a flat file) central (consolidated) "directory" to hold all of the target folders to go into my FreeFileSync backup. This is instead of the conventional and rather tedious approach of individually specifying in FFS which target folders to back up. So FFS would just back up whatever was in the central (consolidated) "directory", and I could change the contents of that directory to manage backups of changes
to the range of backup target files/folders.Caveat:
- Mucking about with Junction folders (Reparse points) could be risky if you are not careful with your file-naming (I always include the word "Junction" in a Reparse point folder name).
- Anything you do to a logical folder or file in a Junction folder directly affects the actual folder or file on disk.
Hope this all makes sense and is of use/help to someone.