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- Managing shared mailboxes in Office 365 with the GUI - Wed, May 4 2016
- Installing and configuring the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) - Wed, Mar 16 2016
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
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
Going back to “Invite people,” we can invite people inside and outside of our organization.
Invited users will receive an email that gives them the link to access the 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
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
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
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
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
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
As in Windows, end users can restore their own files from the Recycle Bin regardless of how/where the files were deleted.
In my next post, I will explain how IT can access user files in OneDrive for Business.