Office 365 and OneDrive for Business

Office 365 help series – OneDrive Sync

OneDrive for Business Sync

You can sync OneDrive to your workstation or laptop to handle your files “on the go”. OneDrive for Business provides a minimum storage capacity of 1TB. If you spend time away from your Internet connectivity, Onedrive Sync is a useful tool.

Watch the video for a quick tour of OneDrive synch and browse our notes below to find out about important considerations and Sync tools.

OneDrive for Business

About OneDrive for Business Sync

OneDrive for Business is Office 365’s principle file storage service for users. OneDrive for Business users are allocated 1TB of storage.  You can manage files using OneDrive Online at portal.office365.com. Also, you can synchronise files locally, so that you can access files without Internet access to Office 365 services.

Tablets and mobile devices might not have sufficient capacity to store more than 2-4GB, whereas OneDrive supports 1TB. Syncing is most useful when you need access to files that you might temporarily be without Internet access for. In addition to browser based management Windows 10 supports a built-in OneDrive sync client, and there are tools for managing OneDrive files within Outlook.  Recent OneDrive for Business features include:

  • Large file uploads – 10GB
  • Selective sync
  • Configurable options for network administrators

Files can be shared in OneDrive to other licensed users internal and external to an orgnization, and OneDrive includes tools for document custody, tracking, versioning, antivirus, and even litigation locks. For documents which need to be shared between groups, users should consider Sharepoint.

OneDrive for Business - considerations

Managing files in the Cloud

The most important consideration when planning Cloud storage is the bandwidth you rely on for your Internet access. Users often have several gigabytes of files which can be difficult to manage online with minimum cost broadband subscriptions. It is important to manage data. Files which are no longer necessary cause “bloat” which impedes network performance, and poorly optimimized files which users cannot access with mobile telephony can reduce productivity. Bear in mind these guidelines to help facilitate network performance:

  • Bandwidth reliability and availability vs user needs
  • File retention policies to manage redundant data
  • File naming conventions and keywording
  • Plan for document sharing, custody, and versioning
  • File size optimization
  • File synchronisation policy

Lastly, consider your legal obligations to protect data when sharing and distributing files. When you share files with others, you may not be able to control what happens to that data, and you may be liable at law for consequential data leakage or data loss. For instance, if employees use their own mobile devices for storing business files consider if you sufficient services to manage devices which you would not normally consider to be part of your conventional computer network.

Using OneDrive with Office 365

Toggle through the notes below by clicking open the headings to find out how you can improve your experience with Office 365 and OneDrive.

OneDrive Sync

About OneDrive for Business file sync

You can use OneDrive for Business or Sharepoint site libraries to synchronise folders and files to your computer and then access your files from Windows File Explorer instead of using a web browser to manage files. All subsequent updates you make to files saved in OneDrive locally sync to OneDrive for Business or site libraries whenever you are online.

OneDrive is built in to Windows 10, so Microsoft has retired the Windows app. Open File Explorer to browse your OneDrive files.

Apps for Android and iOS are available from their respective stores.

https://onedrive.live.com/about/en-ie/download/

Synchronize files using OneDrive for Business

These notes explain how to sync OneDrive for Business to a local workstation or laptop.

OneDrive: Saving vs Synchronisation

OneDrive is a reliable and resilient file storage service provided with Office 365. Syncing OneDrive means you can keep copies of files stored on OneDrive locally, so that you can access files without Internet Access to Office 365 services. However, OneDrive provides up to 1TB of storage, and users with large file stores may not have sufficient space to store files locally. Check that you have enough disk space before syncing large volumes of files.

  • If you want to use OneDrive, but you only need to save files without synchronisation, see these notes.
  • You can also sync OneDrive to Outlook Desktop. Contact ComStat Support for help about this.

There are some limits to bear in mind:

  • You can sync up to 20,000 items in your OneDrive for Business library, including folders and files.
  • You can sync up to 5,000 items in site libraries (Sharepoint), including folders and files.
  • In any library, you can download files up to 2 GB.

About OneDrive for Business file sync

You can use OneDrive for Business or Sharepoint site libraries to synchronise folders and files to your computer and then access your files from Windows File Explorer instead of using a web browser to manage files. All subsequent updates you make to files saved in OneDrive sync to OneDrive for Business or site libraries whenever you are online.

To use the sync feature, you need OneDrive for Business Sync App. This app is available with Office 365 subscriptions that includes Office 2013 applications like Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. If you do not have Office 2013, you can download the OneDrive for Business sync app from the app store your device’s operating system relies on for Android/Apple/Windows apps.

Sync OneDrive for Business

To sync OneDrive for Business, follow these steps to open the Library tab and select the Sync option.

  • Open your usual web browser and navigate to http://mail.office365.com
  • Sign in to Office 365 with your Office 365 email address and password
  • Select OneDrive at the top of the page, or select the Office 365 app launcher icon, and then select OneDrive. The app launchers looks like this:

office 365 app launcher

Users can start OneDrive’s background sync by finding the Sync button on the Library tab of OneDrive’s ribbon. Like Office apps (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.), Office 365 apps use ribbons to organize processes. The OneDrive ribbon features a Sync tool on the ribbon’s Library tab. The OneDrive ribbon is located underneath your web browser’s navigation bar. If the OneDrive ribbon is available (see the last screenshot in this article), skip this next step and go to the last step.

  • If the OneDrive ribbon is not displayed in your browser window, you need to make a minor adjustment to your web browser. Open OneDrive Settings and then click Show Ribbon. Now, you can go to the last step.

onedrive settings

  • Now, click the Sync icon on the Library tab to complete the process.

onedrive ribbon

 

 

Aabout OneDrive Synch

OneDrive is a file storage service provided with Office 365. Syncing OneDrive means you can keep copies of files stored on OneDrive locally, so that you can access files without Internet Access to Office 365 services. However, OneDrive provides up to 1TB of storage, and users who manage large file with OneDrive may not have sufficient capacity to synchronise all of their files to tablets and mobile devices. Check that you have enough disk space before syncing large volumes of files.

  • If you want to use OneDrive, but you only need to save files without synchronisation, see these notes.
  • You can also sync OneDrive to Outlook Desktop. Contact ComStat Support for help about this.

There are some limits to bear in mind:

  • You can sync up to 20,000 items in your OneDrive for Business library, including folders and files.
  • You can sync up to 5,000 items in site libraries (Sharepoint), including folders and files.
  • In any library, you can download files up to 2 GB.

About OneDrive for Business file sync

You can use OneDrive for Business or Sharepoint site libraries to synchronise folders and files to your computer and then access your files from Windows File Explorer instead of using a web browser to manage files. All subsequent updates you make to files saved in OneDrive sync to OneDrive for Business or site libraries whenever you are online.

To use the sync feature, you need OneDrive for Business Sync App. This app is available with Office 365 subscriptions that includes Office 2013 applications like Word, Excel, Outlook, etc. If you do not have Office 2013, you can download the OneDrive for Business sync app from the app store your device’s operating system relies on for Android/Apple/Windows apps.

Saving files to OneDrive for Business

Files can be saved directly to Office 365 OneDrive accounts. This article explains how to save files to OneDrive, open files stored OneDrive using Apps like Word, and how to restore a OneDrive for Business file location if it does not appear in Office Apps or in Windows Explorer.

Save a document to OneDrive

To save a document you are working on, open the options panel on the left of the screen, click Save As, and select OneDrive – YourCompanyName. For example, in this screenshot the company name is Contoso.

save to onedrive

 

Note that there is also an option to save to OneDrive – Personal. This option is available to users who have Hotmail, Outlook.com, Live, or other personal Microsoft accounts. OneDrive for Business provides a more fully featured facility, including service levels, rights management, and more, If you have a OneDrive for Business facility, you should file business documents in OneDrive for Business.

Open a document using an Office App

To open documents from OneDrive for Business, click open the Office App you want to use, for instance Word, and open the options panel on the left of the screen:

open a file in onedrive

 

OneDrive does not exist in File Locations

If you do not see OneDrive – YourCompanyName,  in the list of available file locations, open an Office App – for example Word or Excel – and create a new document. Then, opening the options menu on the left side of the screen and click Add a Place > Office 365 SharePoint. Then, sign in to Office 365 with your account. You will need your Office 365 account name (your email address) and your password.

add a place

 

OneDrive for Business vs Sharepoint

There are some considerations when saving files to OneDrive. For instance, Office 365’s  Sharepoint stores documents including emails  in “team sites” for shared access. Sharepoint can also be used for managing business documents. Use the guidelines below to decide how to manage your documents using Office 365.

Save documents to OneDrive for Business when…

  • You do not plan to share them.
  • Documents you place in OneDrive for Business are private by default, unless you place them in the Shared with Everyone folder. This makes OneDrive for Business your best option for draft documents or personal documents that no one else needs to see.
  • You plan to share them, but they have a limited scope or lifecycle.
  • You may sometimes work on documents that are not related to an ongoing project, which are important mostly to you, but that you still want to share. For example, perhaps you are writing an article to appear in a blog, and you want to ask colleagues to review and edit it before you post it. In this case, you expect people to use the document once and then be done with it. People do not need any additional context information, or need to know where you are keeping the document. All they need is a link to the document and editing permission.
  • You cannot identify an existing team site where your document belongs, and you do not think the purpose of the document warrants creating a new one.

Save documents to a team site library when…

  • You want team members to recognize the document as being relevant to an ongoing project.
  • You want to spread ownership and permissions across a wider collection of people. If a document is important to the success of a project, it is a good idea for there to be people other than yourself who can control what happens on the site.
  • You want permissions to be granted on a site basis, instead of on individual documents. If people have access to the team site, then they have access to documents stored in the site.
  • Other project-related documents are already saved to the team site library, and others expect to find it there.
  • You want to create a check-in workflow that assigns the document to someone else.
One Drive & Mobile Device Management

One Drive & Mobile Device Management

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.