Microsoft has been surprisingly aggressive in 2015, launching products and unleashing updates, raising its credibility as a must–have IT solution provider for organizations of all sizes/scale. Microsoft has kept its promise, in fact delivering more than anticipated functionalities with its series of updates aimed at improving its overall reputation as a business-centric option with the best in cloud storage capabilities. A transformational update for OneDrive for Business was in the pipeline during 2015 and had industry experts waiting eagerly. The new, more agile OneDrive for Business Sync Client is now open to download. We are still in the process of analyzing whether this update is a game-changer, the advantages it offers and the road ahead for OneDrive Sync in 2016…
First Impressions: Making Sense of New Sync Client
OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client provides seamless integration for Business accounts already using Office 365. It is among the latest efforts from Microsoft to ensure that OneDrive for Business works efficiently with on-premises accounts, including those not part of the Office 365 setup. First impressions suggest the following benefits:
- Easier connectivity with existing consumers
- More customization scope in workflows
- Pay as you use model
- Infinite scope for scalability with extensive consumer addition capability
- Proactive security for consumer identities
- Allows users access and uses social media effortlessly
- Files can be better-synced using different OneDrive solutions
2016 OneDrive Business Sync Client: what was predictable?
Now ready for deployment, the OneDrive for New OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client has been optimized for better performance and more reliability. Even in its latest format, OneDrive for Business Sync Client does not deviate from the blueprint adopted by OneDrive consumer service. To ensure it remains relevant to smaller enterprises too, the OneDrive for Business Sync Client maintains compatibility with Windows 7, 10 and Mac OS versions 10.9. As predicted, compatibility also includes SharePoint team sites.
Remember: OneDrive is different from OneDrive for Business. One Drive is essentially a free online personal data saving solution that you get with a Microsoft or Outlook.com account. You can save most types of data, ranging from documents and photos to differently formatted files on the cloud. Sharing and collaborating on these files is easy. OneDrive for Business is an enterprise solution where administrators in the organization control and modulate the data library, data accessibility, sharing, collaboration, etc.
What wasn’t easy-to-predict?
Apart from the expected upgrades, users get hyper-selective syncing features. Expect more data warehousing capacity, up to 10 GB—a major improvement over the initial 20,000 file sync limit!
- IT teams can easily deploy this OneDrive Client with the comfort of options like blocking sync for OneDrive Consumer Service.
- Deployment teams get more liberties in creating a default sync folder.
- Using OneDrive Next Generation Business Sync Client, connecting & synchronizing files from OneDrive for Business becomes effortless.
The iOS OneDrive also supports offline storage, helping you access critical data even without connectivity to the web. This is applicable to Microsoft’s business and consumer services—a feature that was already put in place in 2015.
Most of Us Didn’t See this Coming: Refreshed OneDrive Web Interface
Microsoft has surprised most niche experts with its refreshed OneDrive Business Web Interface. The idea is to make it more consumer oriented, like including listing or tiled view options. New OneDrive for Business Browser Interface has some significant improvements for easily switching between preview of tiled and listed documents. This makes it easier to swap between preview tiles and list view, making file identification less demanding. The toolbar is loaded with all the basic functionalities, a user might need—Preview, Delete, Edit, Share with a single right-click on a specific file or folder. The emphasis is on simplifying data sharing and collaboration.
- OneDrive for Business will now be using syncing codes that empower the end-user OneDrive.
- When you share files via links, the approach gets more granular. Restricting access is easier and you can expect more, simpler admin-level controls.
Remember: Most Recently Used (MRU) list is updated with the local path to a document. This comes without any cloud pathways/mapping.
Nifty Features like Easier File/Data Management
If you are familiar with Microsoft’s iOS apps, the new range of apps will definitely impress. The update caters to augmenting trust associated with Microsoft’s enterprise cloud storage. With this update, businesses will get the freedom of creating blacklist for streamlining file access. Opening files is rather easy, i.e. using the web-based OneDrive for Business interface.
Selective Syncing Grabs Attention
This aspect is engaging the maximum attention in the new Business Next Generation Sync Client—the freedom of choosing folders to be synced to a device of your choice. Syncing will now be more comprehensive with the liberty of optimizing how much data can be synced across different devices. This is a nifty bit of thinking as some devices have serious storage constraints. Now you can sync selective files and folders, i.e. from your data on Microsoft cloud to a device of your choice. OneDrive Business Sync Client includes simultaneously syncing with SharePoint.
Predicting the OneDrive Business Updates in 2016
Considering that existing version of the OneDrive was omnipresent and simplified workflows, this update is sure to raise the benchmark for future updates. Yes, there might be some trivial flaws at present. For example, new client might not support a marginal group of features that teams have become accustomed to, and syncing for site libraries is restricted at the moment—this feature might be a sooner-than-expected addition in the next update! The 2016 OneDrive for Business will catalyze more real-time collaboration, helping stakeholders in a project collaborate in real time using Word 2016. SharePoint Document Library Sync is expected in future releases—again, in the first quarter of 2016. The update also leverages the developers with an improved OneDrive for Business API that offers 3rd party apps more accessibility to OneDrive Business files. This also expedites the overall file importing process. iOS users get the ease of saving their scanned files via the app itself, on OneDrive for Business. This feature is on the verge of being added to Windows 10 Mobile and Android during the first quarter of 2016.
Deploying New OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client
You can easily download the new Windows OneDrive client. Once through with the review, the Mac version will be available for free in Mac’s App store. However, if you happen to be a Mac user and don’t want to wait, you can try converting personal OneDrive app for more business capabilities—you might want to consider some guidance here.
Note: Please note that if you are in the habit of syncing OneDrive files with your Mac, you don’t need to set-up the OneDrive sync client—you are already using it!
Some folks foresee a bit of confusion regarding which version of OneDrive Sync Client you are using and its consequent compatibility, but this should not be a deterrent. Next Generation Sync Clients can work with existing groove.exe/sync clients. Existing users of OneDrive for Business Sync Client that syncs SharePoint content, should follow instructions clubbed under ‘Transition’. Users on Windows 10 and Office 2016 and those signed onto OneDrive client with a Microsoft account will find the set-up easiest.
Tip: Header titled ‘OneDrive’ anywhere on the SharePoint or Office 365 interface, is an abbreviation for OneDrive for Business.
Installing the Windows version of new OneDrive Business Sync Client is not difficult. There is a well-chartered way presented by the OneDrive Wizard whether you have no account with OneDrive or have personal accounts on OneDrive. Even if you don’t have an existing OneDrive account, setting it up is rather easy.
Note: if you are not familiar with handling registry keys, seek the services of a Microsoft specialist IT service provider.
Trying is Easy
OneDrive for Business will cater to different mobile clients. This includes the Android app that enables access to offline individual files. Microsoft has created a sign-up page for businesses who want to explore the benefits of OneDrive for Business Sync Client. If you still feel apprehensive about the New OneDrive for Business Next Generation Sync Client, you can get FREE expert guidance from us.
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