In today’s post of my OneDrive for Business series, I’ll cover the file sharing in Office 365, co-authoring, sharing in File Explorer, and versioning, and I will also say a few words about how you can recover deleted files in OneDrive for Business.

One of the ways OneDrive for Business is more than a simple document library is in its collaborative features. How many times have you or one of your end users needed to share documents with a random collection of colleagues across different areas of the organization? With a file server, you have to go through the process of provisioning a share, linking it in Distributed File System (assuming you use DFS), and giving out the UNC path to everyone.

If your company has SharePoint, setting up a Team Site may be a possibility, but this either could be overkill for a single document or could take time to be approved by IT. Ad hoc file sharing is a function more and more people need in order to perform their daily job duties, and OneDrive for Business can help.

Share files in OneDrive in Office 365 ^

In my OneDrive for Business, I’ve highlighted a file that I want to share with another user. I can then click the Share button to see my sharing options.

Share file in OneDrive for Business

Share file in OneDrive for Business

Skipping “Invite people” for just a second, let’s skip ahead to the “Get a link” section. Here, you can see that we can create links for either View Only or Edit access. This access is completely anonymous and allows anyone with the link to either edit or view the document based on the link they have. Anonymous sharing can be disabled if that is something your organization doesn’t want to allow.

Disable anonymous sharing

Disable anonymous sharing

Going back to “Invite people,” we can invite people inside and outside of our organization.

Invite people

Invite people

Invited users will receive an email that gives them the link to access the document.

Email with link to shared document

Email with link to shared document

Users outside your organization can sign on with either a Microsoft account or their own Office 365 organizational account.

Sign on to SharePoint Online

Sign on to SharePoint Online

OneDrive for Business is co-authoring ^

The other big upside of sharing documents in OneDrive for Business is co-authoring. As you can see in the screenshot below, more than one person can edit a document at a time. A flag shows where other users are editing the document you’re editing in the web client.

Other user is editing a document

Other user is editing a document

Co-authoring also extends to Desktop Office. As you save updates to a document, Office applications show a green overlay where changes have been made by other users in the document. Just be aware the Desktop Office edits are considered to be “offline,” since the edits aren’t happening in the web client; the edits will only show up as each user saves the document.

Word updates document with changes made by other users

Word updates document with changes made by other users

Document sharing in Windows ^

If your OneDrive for Business is synced locally, you can also share files from File Explorer by right-clicking them and choosing Share. Sharing in File Explorer will open your default web browser and take you to the web interface for sharing.

Share in File Explorer

Share in File Explorer

Versioning ^

By default, versioning is enabled in OneDrive for Business. This allows a user to go back in time and recover from changes. In OneDrive for Business, highlight the document, and then click Manage > Version History.

Access Version History

Access Version History

Version History

Version History

Deleted files ^

Deleting documents can be a big pain point for IT, especially in a world where end users have more than one device. An end user deletes a file (one they can’t live without, of course) and needs it back. You’ve got to track down where it was located and how it was being backed up. From there, you potentially have to search backup archives, pull tapes, and so on.

If a user deletes a file that is synced to his/her desktop computer with OneDrive for Business, it gets sent to the local Recycle Bin. However, it is also put in the Recycle Bin in OneDrive for Business. In the web interface, the user can click the Recycle Bin to view his/her deleted items.

Access Recycle Bin

Access Recycle Bin

As in Windows, end users can restore their own files from the Recycle Bin regardless of how/where the files were deleted.

Recycle Bin

Recycle Bin

In my next post, I will explain how IT can access user files in OneDrive for Business.

1 Comment
  1. mchampfl 7 years ago

    Unlike its competitors, OD4B (as well as OD4P) does not version non-Office files. It Recycle Bin's them, but it does not version them. A *major* disappointment. It would have been an ideal solution for SOHO server in the cloud - email, Office, file storage, collaboration, web services - one stop shopping. So simple and convenient. But, alas...

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