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Chapter 5.3. Sharing Folders > Overview of Shared Folders

Overview of Shared Folders

Since the first MS Net products of the mid 1980s (through LAN Manager, Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT, Windows 9X, and Windows 2000), Microsoft networks have all worked using shared folders.The user does not refer to an absolute path to the file, but uses an alias for the folder. A workstation user or server administrator creates the aliases; for example, the alias INSTALL might be D:\PUBLIC FILES\SOFTWARE\INSTALL. If necessary, the path associated with one of these aliases can be changed, so if a disk becomes full, the administrator can move a shared folder to another disk on the server and make the alias point to the new shared folder. Printers are shared in the same way, with an alias representing the printer (for example, BIGLASER might be the alias for a printer).

The terminology used by Microsoft when talking about these aliases has varied a little over the years; they have been called shares (which covers shared folders and shared printers), share points, or shared directories.With Directory being used to mean Active Directory and folders being used to mean the places where files are stored, the name has now evolved into shared folders.


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