I would like some opinios on the following:

I have aproject on the horizon that involves file transfer. The
main office has a Linux based Web server. Remote offices access
this server to get latest news and info. Now they require that
the remote offices upload files to the server. Security
precautions must be taken so that one office cannot view another
office's uploaded files, however, an office should be able to
view their own files.

Second: The main office should be able to view and download (to
their PC) any file from any office.

That's it!

I have thought of two designs, one that used a database to store
the uploaded files, but I want to keep it as simple as possible,
so now I am thinking of using FTP services on the Web server.
This provides some security as only defined users would be able
to connect. Also, these users are not computer literate to the
point of understanding or knowing what FTP is, so I can't just
let them use the FTP client provided by Windows. Ah yes, all
clients will be based on Windows. Instead I need a front end
application that will provide a more usable interface for them.
I have given thought of using a Java applet to do this, so that
it would run inside the browser. This is not a requirement, the
browser can be sed if needed or deemed appropriate.

What do you all think about this? Is this solution viable and
cost effective? Is Java the best way to go or is there a better
solution. If Java is the best way, which development environment,
if any, is recommended? Perhaps the only key points is that the
Web server un Linux and that the users must have a friendly front
end, ideally shielding them from the technical workings.

I appreciate any opinions and recommendations.