The New Online Library: Upload Any Type of File
The Online Library is receiving an overhaul. If you haven't read the previous entries in this series about why these changes are being made and what's new in this new version, please do so.
We couldn’t allow the upload of any and every kind of file in the previous version of the Online Library. Given the infrastructure in the SPH data center, there were restrictions in place from uploading files that might contain an application that could be run on the file storage system simply by requesting the file from the Online Library. If faculty or TAs needed to post files of this type (ie; .exe files), they would first need to ZIP the files before posting to the Online Library.
In the new version of the Online Library, no such restrictions exist. This might sound less safe than the current setup, but the file storage for the new Online Library — Amazon’s Simple Storage Service (S3) — is fundamentally safer. Applications and any kind of executable file uploaded to S3 cannot run when requested. S3 is highly secure object storage, and not a traditional file system like you’d find on your MacOS or Windows computer. As such, it’s no longer a problem for faculty to upload .exe or .dmg files or other files that would, in the past, be a potential vector for remote execution. This change makes the Online Library more flexible for those faculty who needed to upload executable files for students to use in their classes.
As we discuss all of the new features of the Online Library, please reach out to the CTL Help team if you have any questions!