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We have a central repository (static website) that catalogs various icons and graphic templates our customers need to create their products. The user can go to the site and pick and download what they need to use for their projects.

Our users have started asking if we can simply provide them a zip file that contains all the graphics/icons they need, instead of having to go to the website to download a file they need that is specific to their project.

I have debated whether to allow a zip file for download because we are continuously updating icons and graphics on a near weekly basis. If our users have downloaded a single zip, their zipped files would get outdated pretty quickly.

What is the best workflow for this type of thing? I know in the software industry there is something like Github where releases are done in stages, but I think this is a bit complicated for our non-technical users.

Is there a type of notification method that is useful for alerting users that certain files have been updated in the catalog and that they should update their files accordingly? RSS? Email alerts?

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this is a versioning issue. just release the same file with a date sufix in the file name and upload a list of all version in a simple list.

mockup

download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

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I recommend releasing new versions that include the updates. See FontAwesome as an example. If you want, you can ask users to opt-in for email updates so you can keep them informed and coming back.

An alternative would be to save their downloads to an account. But that might not make sense depending on your business model.

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It depends on how important data consistency and version control is to you.

In many similar apps (collaboration software, github, trello, atlassian, etc), users are allowed to download snapshot zip files for a given repository, but they are considered snapshots:

  • The user is given a clear indication when he downloads the zip file that he is receiving a snapshop of the contents and they may change on the server over time.

  • If it's important to you that the user utilizes the server-based files or URL's when they build their app, it's relatively easy to enforce that (you can log the user's downloads and issue a reminder prompt, or just enforce server-only URL's, depending on how permissive you want to be).

  • Depending on how often you update the server-side resources, you may or may not want to inform users that their local copy may be out of date.

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Here is my solution using Dropbox

  1. Create one folder on dropbox containing all the components in different zip files
  2. Let the user add that dropbox folder to their dropbox
  3. When you Update any of the component zip file, send an email to user that few icons added to files.zip file
  4. https://creativemarket.com/ is using dropbox sync and informs via email about updates

For Informing user, Send them an email and give them two options

1) Download the whole updated package in single zip

2) Download only the updated icons

This will give users more control

Also, always inform your users before you are going to launch any update. So they are more engaged and prepared for your update. Send them new icons coming soon in an email and see if you get any queries

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