Microsoft has added new features to OneDrive for Business that enables workers to synchronize files stored on SharePoint Online Team Sites and OneDrive for Business shared folders to their devices.
“Making sure you have the information that is critical to you on every device no matter where you are, is key to our customers,” blogged Stephen L. Rose, product manager at Microsoft OneDrive. “The ability to sync SharePoint Online team sites directly to OneDrive makes doing this easier and simpler for users.”
Similar functionality has been enabled on OneDrive for Business shared folders, allowing users to store group content and access it when they’re out of reach of a WiFi or cellular signal.
To help businesses get new users up to speed on using OneDrive, Microsoft has created a new guided onboarding experience. After signing in, users will be instructed on using the OneDrive mobile apps, uploading documents and making the most out of the cloud file storage, data synchronization and share service’s collaboration features.
Those features include new, more informative sharing tools. For example, if users select external recipients, OneDrive will explicitly notify them of the fact. A sharing pane appears from the side of the screen, allowing them to set permissions, restrictions and guest link expiration dates. For those external users who don’t have Office 365 or Microsoft cloud accounts, the company has streamlined the account setup process to slash the time it takes to access shared files.
Microsoft has also released a standalone OneDrive client for the Mac that’s separate from the one offered in the App Store that gives administrators control over synchronization operations, including adding visual markers in Finder and displaying synchronization status. As an added perk the client features multi-language support.
The OneDrive activity center, a timeline of sorts that lists recent file uploads and downloads, has been added to the OneDrive client for Windows and Mac. The activity center can be viewed by clicking the OneDrive icon in the Windows system tray or Mac’s Finder window.
For IT personnel tasked with keeping tabs on their organization’s OneDrive activity, Microsoft is rolling out a new OneDrive Admin Center with improved visibility and new access controls.
Soon, the Admin Center’s dashboard will display OneDrive usage statistics as well as recent Office 365 Message Center posts. Using the options contained in the Sharing section, administrators can set restrictions on anonymous links and external sharing, including the ability to select which external domains users can share with.
The Device Access section can be used to allow or deny access to files stored on OneDrive depending on whether a device is on a specific network or a personal device is in use. Synchronization options can be used to block the transfer of certain file types or prevent file synchronizing altogether to PCs that are not on a given domain. Other features include the ability to impose storage limits, set document retention durations or to turn off notifications.