Microsoft offers advanced synchronization options for OneDrive for Business

In addition to support for Windows 8.1, this includes enhanced integration with Office 2016 and easier installation of OneDrive Sync Client. In addition, the “Spring” updates bring the use in the browser and on mobile devices, but also control options for IT administrators.

Microsoft delivers new and enhanced features for OneDrive for Business with its “Spring” updates . This will improve synchronization, browser and mobile usage, as well as control over IT administrators. In the next days and weeks then the first innovations will be available.

Several of the announced improvements concern the Next Generation Sync Client, which Microsoft now calls OneDrive Sync Client. New features include support for Windows 8.1, enhanced integration with Office 2016, including core features such as real-time collaboration, opening documents from a list of recently opened files, and document sharing within the Office app. There is also a simplified installation without registration key.

The client migration has been improved so that switching from the previously used Sync Client (groove.exe) can now be done without resynchronization. The function “Pause sync”, which is probably not available until the summer, allows pausing of the synchronization, which is practical if you are currently using a tethered smartphone or WLAN in the plane for Internet access.

With a right-click on a document in Windows Explorer, the option “View online” can be used to directly call up the corresponding storage location on OneDrive for Business in the browser. Microsoft has also increased the number of supported file types. The new additions include JSON, ASPX and SWF files. Administrators have recently been able to exclude certain types of files, such as PST or MKV, from synchronization to save bandwidth. Improved performance and reliability are expected to accelerate uploads and downloads, especially for small files.

During the year Microsoft wants to provide further updates for the OneDrive Sync Client. The beginning will be at the end of June, when IT administrators will be able to regulate the bandwidth available to the client. A deeper integration into the Windows Explorer is also planned, so that with a right click a link can be created or a file forwarded directly from the Explorer. In the third quarter, there will also be a preview of the synchronization of the SharePoint document library, which will become generally available at the end of the year.

OneDrive for Business’s browser interface has given Microsoft an easy way to remove files and folders from the shared-with me view. Click on the corresponding button to delete the file only from the view but not completely. It can still be found through the search if it is still needed later.

It was also easier to open files stored in OneDrive for Business if you do not have an Office 365 or Microsoft account. If you have received an invitation to open, it will suffice in the future to enter an e-mail address or telephone number and password in the login window and to confirm the data once in order to gain access to the files.

The apps for iOS and Android will soon integrate Outlook Mobile with OneDrive for Business. In this way, users can forward files via e-mail. This feature is expected to become available in the coming weeks. The updated Android app also allows you to take a picture with the smartphone camera, save it as a PDF file and upload it to OneDrive for Business. Also new is support for Office 365 Data Loss Prevention, which is also found in the iOS application. It also provides advanced sharing options including SMS, Mail, Outlook Mobile and copied links, as well as the ability to save files from any application to OneDrive for Business.

New options give administrators more control over who users are allowed to share files with. For example, from the end of April, they can block the distribution to certain organizations, perhaps direct competitors, by blocking domains. In addition, administrators can now set an expiration date for viewing specific files by anonymous or guest users. This deadline can be shortened by users, but not extended.

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