I write software to assist medical professionals in collecting evidence in cases where children may have been abused.  I have an interesting problem with data storage.

 

I would like to have my "data file" actually be a folder.  My files are large (200+MB) and contain multiple JPEG, WMA, and (soon) WMV streams.  I would like to use the file system to manage this stucture because that's what the file system does best. 

 

Furthermore, when my district attorney discloses my data file to the defense (like we always have to) I want it to show up as a completely normal folder so that the defense experts (who presumably don't use my software yet) can quickly see that its just a directory structure full of file formats they already know about.  Since we always disclose evidence on read only media I am not worried about the defense modifying the folder.

 

I am worried, however, that my own users will muck with the files in the folder, and my software is not robust to this possibility.  (Right now I am using a SQL  CE database that is pretty hard to modfy outside of my software.)  I also want to have a real easy "just click on the file and my software opens up" experience.

 

Is there any way to make a folder look like a file?  By this I mean that when you click the folder in the shell my software would open up instead of the shell opening a new shell window with the contents of the folder.  It would be very nice if I could replace the folder icon with my own, this would make the disguise sufficent that any users who manage to open the folder in the shell are sufficently skilled to be held responsible for their own misery.

 

Thanks in advance for any assistance