Microsoft Enhances Mobile Sharing on OneDrive for Business

During the coming weeks, the enterprise cloud file storage platform will receive new mobile sharing options, improved syncing and more controls for IT administrators.

OneDrive for Business

Microsoft is making it easier for Outlook users to share content stored on the company's OneDrive for Business cloud file storage service.

In the next few weeks, Microsoft is rolling out an update that integrates the Outlook apps for iOS and Android with OneDrive for Business, announced Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint. When the feature is enabled, it will allow users to select OneDrive files and attach them as links while they compose emails in Outlook.

This week, the software giant has also begun distributing an update for the Android OneDrive app that allows users to snap pictures of paper notes and whiteboards and upload them as PDF files to OneDrive for Business folders. The update includes embedded Office Lens document scanning functionality, enabling users to annotate their scans using the app's on-screen inking capabilities.

On the iPhone and iPad, the OneDrive app now supports saving to OneDrive for Business from any iOS app. Additionally, it offers an extended set of sharing options, including SMS and Outlook Mobile. Lastly, both the Android and iOS flavors of the app gain Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP) support, bringing them in line with the browser experience.

To help administrators rein in those expanded sharing capabilities and keep a closer eye on their OneDrive usage, Microsoft has added new IT controls and reporting capabilities.

A new feature, set to be released by the end of the month, allows organizations to set restrictions on external sharing. Administrators will soon be able to populate a list of blocked domains or, conversely, domains that users are allowed to share with.

Organizations can also set their guest links to self-destruct, announced Microsoft. "Now we've added the ability for IT to set a tenant policy (RequireAnonymousLinksExpireInDays) that makes expiration dates mandatory for anonymous or guest links and assigns default expiration period (e.g., 7 days)," blogged Teper. "Users can still set an expiration date that is shorter, but not longer, than the default period."

Meanwhile, the OneDrive sync client software, formerly the Next Generation Sync Client, is receiving new performance upgrades and additional file transfer management options.

According to Teper, the software has been tweaked to improve the upload and download speeds of small files. Microsoft has also opened up OneDrive for Business to all file types, including .json, .aspx and .swf, he added. Administrators grappling with bandwidth hogs can now block syncing for certain file types.

The updated OneDrive Sync Client eliminates the need to resync after upgrading from the previous client (groove.exe), Teper said. Windows 8.1 support and a streamlined setup process round out the latest batch of enhancements.

This summer, Microsoft plans to add new features that allow users to pause or suspend file syncing along with Office 2016 integration. Further out, the company will release bandwidth management controls, a SharePoint Online document library sync feature and tighter Windows Explorer integration.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...