Long-Awaited OneDrive for Business Updates are Here

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Did you see the news?

Today marks a huge step forward with OneDrive for Business. It’s the most significant set of updates we’ve ever released. First and foremost, we’re delivering a rock-solid new sync experience. Beyond this, we have a new browser experience, mobile app improvements, critical new IT controls and extended developer experiences to enable people to do and achieve more with OneDrive for Business.

The OneDrive for Business updates we’ve been looking forward to since Ignite (and even before) are here! This is great news for Office 365 for Business users who’ve had a lot of requests and wish list items with ODfB, as evidenced by all the questions and comments during our last webinar.

There’s a wide assortment of updates in this batch, so we recapped them below.

Next-gen OneDrive for Business sync client

Perhaps the most anticipated update, the next-generation sync client has now been unveiled. Well… almost.

The sync client is currently in preview–you can sign up here. The client will be rolled out in stages, which should create a smooth experience. Eventually when the client is out of preview, IT managers will be able to deploy and configure it for users.

According to the OneDrive blog, the new client, which IS available for Mac, “offers improved reliability and selective sync, as well as removing the 20,000 file sync limit and extending support for files up to 10GB in size.”

Revitalized browser experience

OneDrive for Business users are no longer excluded from the tile view that OneDrive users got to enjoy! You can toggle between tile and list views, and both views offer a toolbar of actions (or you can right-click). The command bar at the top of the screen, available when you select a file or folder, provides a list of common actions you can take.

Dragging and dropping is easy, too.

New sharing options

Sharing ODfB files with recipients outside your organization was already possible, but now you have more options. You can links with expiration dates (from never to 60 days to custom), and also set a file to be available to anyone inside the organization but restricted to being shared or forward to anyone outside. More details and examples can be found here in the “Enhanced security” section.

Mobile app enhancements

You can now flag files of offline access (beginning with Android) so you can open them even without a connection, something that we may take for granted on the desktop but have long needed on mobile. The iOS app has a new menu for common actions and a new PDF annotation feature. The team has assured us that more features and updates will roll out over time. More info here.

Data security

Data loss prevention capabilities have been around in OneDrive for Business for awhile, but new controls have just been added so IT admins can control data within their organizations (and as files flow out of their organizations). Three features are highlighted in this OneDrive blog post: auditing external sharing invitations, limiting external sharing permissions for certain users, and limiting which external domains users can share with.

If you don’t see all these OneDrive for Business enhancements yet, don’t worry. They rolled out to First Release customers already and will roll out to the remaining customers soon.

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