Office 365 users can link to Dropbox accounts to browse, open and edit Word, Excel, and other MS Office file types with Office Online. Users can also create new files in Office Online and save them directly to their Dropbox account using Windows, Apple iOS and, and Android devices.
The same integration is available from Dropbox in a web browser. Users can access Office Online directly from the file you are viewing.
This article explains:
- Document security and privileges in OneDrive for Business and Dropbox
- Configuring Office 2016 to connect to Dropbox
- Configuring Office Online to connect to Dropbox
- Tips for using Dropbox with Office Online
Document Security and privileges in OneDrive for Business and Dropbox
This article explains how users can save files to Office 365’s OneDrive/Sharepoint and also to Dropbox. Synchronising Dropbox and OneDrive is not considered here. Migrating large file stores from Dropbox to OneDrive may not be practical for some users. Also, users might want to separate personal files from their employer’s Office 365 services. For users who need to maintain individual OneDrive and Dropbox storage, Office 365 business users can start in Office Online, or from Dropbox, to manage documents in Dropbox using Office 365.
Configuring Office 2016 to connect to Dropbox
Dropbox users use the Dropbox synch tool for Windows can pin the local dropbox file store in Office 2016’s file location “favourites”. Pinning the Dropbox folder to file locations in Office 2016 saves users from manually browsing to Dropbox when saving files.
Configuring Office Online to connect to Dropbox
To use a Dropbox account with Word, Excel, or PowerPoint Online, add it to your places list. Once it is saved as a storage location you can open, create, edit, and save files to Dropbox. You can still use a OneDrive account.
- From OfficeOnline.com, open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint Online.
- Under Open from OneDrive, click Add a place.
- Click Dropbox. You’ll see Open from Dropbox appear in your places list.
Tips for using Dropbox with Office Online
- Whenever you select Open from Dropbox to open a file from your Dropbox account, the file will be saved to Dropbox.
- To create a new file in Dropbox once you’ve added Dropbox to your places list, choose New in Dropbox. (Dropbox will already be selected if it’s the last place you used.)
- To open Dropbox files you have recently worked on, select them in your Recent list.
- To edit files in a Dropbox for Business account using Office Online, you need an Office 365 account that includes Office applications (the desktop versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). If you are not already signed into your Office 365 account, you will be prompted to sign in before you use your files.
For business users who want to send and receive email with the simplicity that comes with Windows Live (formerly Hotmail) and GMail, but without the dreary advertising, Office 365’s Outlook Web Access (OWA) comes with simplicity, no ads, and the same tools available to the corporate world that makes OWA a serious alternative to Outlook for Desktop.
Mentioning Outlook stirs memories of an awkward email client that is too complicated to use and impossible to back up. Nor is there a shortage of clients who have worn out two buttons in Outlook – check mail, and send: Many users are only interested in email; calendars, tasks, contacts, etc. are just bloat. If any of this sounds familiar to you, you are not in the alone, and something that many people have hoped for which provides an advertising-free webmail service for commercial use is available to Office 365 users – Outlook Web Access, or OWA.
OWA is the portal for Microsoft’s Office 365. OWA is a web version of Outlook for Desktop which provides to Exchange Email, a service providing 50 GB of email per user account which can be synced across 5 devices – including sent items, which you will never see with POP accounts. Calendars, contacts, and more are all there too, albeit ring-fenced from email. although they are bound to be there. OWA is Microsoft Exchange. Importantly, whereas Google users expose their email to data mining, Exchange email is a secure content system that restricts access to “your eyes only”. Among other reasons, this privacy feature is why Exchange email is used almost overwhelmingly in commerce.
Perhaps the niftiest trick in Microsoft’s web based email client is the facility to run their email in “offline” mode.
Wait a minute. Read that one more time. Offline? Managing email with your web browser – offline? Did Hotmail ever do that? No. Nobody else did, either. That is why everybody needed Outlook for Desktop, or Outlook Express, or Eudora or Thunderbird. In case you still do not believe the proposition, the illustration above shows how offline mode is not more than two clicks away.
Offline email management is a trump card. Do not expect to see an entire mailbox in offline mode, more like a few day’s worth of traffic, but enough to keep you with something to do on the road. It is one feature of many “gimme’s” Microsoft deploys from time to time to keep the corporate world so attached to Exchange.
The great thing about OWA is that if you only want to run email, the browser interface does just that, and beautifully so on iPads. OWA connects directly to Exchange 2013, though, so all the tools that high end users need like shared address books, distribution groups, rules, instant messaging, administrator tools like mail policies and even in-line archiving, are there if you want them too.
You might be disappointed that this does not mean the end of Outlook for desktops. Outlook still has a place, and if anything has upped the ante as a portal not only for email, but for user access to Office 365 to document folders and Sharepoint mind boggling services ..but that is for another few articles.
For a thirty trial of Microsoft Exchange and OWA, contact Steve Galloway on 07834 461 266 or Fred Dreiling on 07919 340 570. No credit card required for trial services.
Office 365 has upgraded OneDrive for Business to enable security tools for business owners and network admistrators to manage access to data stored on OneDrive for Business from mobile devices. In the event of loss or theft of mobile devices subscribed to users’ Office 365 services, data can now be protected from unauthorised access using PIN lock numbers, jailbreak detection, and even “selective wipe” utilities.
OneDrive for Business (ODB) provides 1TB of storage per business license. The service, included as standard in Office 365 business licensing, enables users to access stored content with connected devices in addition to their conventionally secured office workstations. Users who have Internet access at home, for instance, can access files on ODB that previously they might have had to copy to a memory stick at work or even to return to their office for.
Cloud services like ODB obviate the need for file duplication from office equipment, which increases the risk of sensitive data being compromised by loss or theft of memory sticks or other devices.
ODB is attractive to business users who face increasing needs for more storage backup, together with the risk and cost of maintaining data. By housing data on OneDrive for Business (ODB), business owners need less “on-premise” hardware. However, providing remote access to business files by tablets, mobile phones, home computers and other devices poses security risks to the integrity of business information which may include customers’ private information.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Office 365 was launched on March 1st. MDM is already used to manage access to Office 365’s Exchange email services on mobile devices.
MDM allows business owners and network administrators to manage ODB data across a diverse range of phones and tablets, including Apple’s iOS, Android, Windows, and Windows Phone devices, according to Microsoft’s Omar Shahine.
“You can set up security policies to ensure that only mobile devices managed by your company can access OneDrive for Business files,” Omar said. “You can also set and manage security policies such as device-level PIN lock and jailbreak detection to help prevent unauthorized users from accessing ODB files on a device when it is lost or stolen. Finally, you can easily remove ODB company data from an employee’s device with selective wipe capabilities.”
Device-level PIN locks are established in Office 365 admin and require the end user to input a PIN number to access Office 365 data, including email services running under an Office 365 license.
Selective Wipe is a utility available in Office 365 admin to allow for either restriction or deletion of email and/or ODB data distributed under an Office 365 license from an end user’s device.
Jailbreak Detection is a utility available in Office 365 to prevent distribution of data to mobile devices that have been modified by “jailbreak”, or unauthorised modifications to device operating systems.
For help with security policies for your users’ devices, please call us or drop us a line using our contact form.