5 Things You May Not Know About OneDrive for Business

September 8, 2016 by Chris Caplinger

Microsoft has been playing some marketing tricks on us, but they are not all necessarily bad. OneDrive for Business is a great example. The personal OneDrive product was and just is a personal cloud file share, much like Google Drive, iCloud Drive or even DropBox. However, Microsoft often uses the same name to brand two very different products such as Skype (for business) and in this case, OneDrive for Business.

Thankfully OneDrive for Business is not simply a cloud file share. It’s so much more and I’d like to take you through some of my favorite features and tips to help you get the most out of personal files in Office 365.

NOTE: If you are thinking about Office 365 for your organization, RecordLion recommends to start looking at the Enterprise subscriptions and just ignore the Business branded subscriptions, regardless of your organization's size. There are many reasons for this, which are out of the scope of this post, which is targeted towards the Enterprise versions.

1) OneDrive for Business is really SharePoint

What! Okay, I really have no idea if you knew that or not, but regardless OneDrive for Business is really just My Sites (think on premise) in the cloud. Each Office 365 users gets their own personal site (1TB worth), which is part of the site collection that is partitioned in all Office 365 instances. For the most part your OneDrive site is the same as any other SharePoint site, meaning you get all the great SharePoint features in addition to easy syncing, which is what OneDrive is known for.

2) Documents can be shared outside your organization

Depending on how your administrator configures OneDrive for business, you may be able to share your documents outside your organization. There are three different settings for file sharing with external users, not only for OneDrive, but also for all SharePoint Site Collections:

  • No Sharing
  • Share with authenticated users
  • Share with anonymous guest links

Just make sure you’re staying on top of what is shared, because if your administrators allows you to share with anonymous guest, anyone with the link will be able see the information you shared.

3) Everyone can see what you’re working on

This may sound like a wonderful thing and for the most part being able to share information and collaborate on documents is a great thing. Something you should check out before just doing all your work in a OneDrive site, and that’s Delve, which we’ve written about here. I have noticed that unless I implicitly hide information, some unwanted prying can reveal some things you may have wanted to be kept private. Talk about needing Information Governance! If you want don’t want to share your documents, then I recommend you create another Document Library and set the permission so only you can have access.

4) OneDrive for Business supports Meta Data

I get it, adding meta data to information is time consuming and not really all that exciting, but without putting some type of information about documents when saving, you may never find them again, and it’ll make Information Governance much more difficult. Assuming (hopefully) you’re using the Content Type Hub to centralize your Content Type creation, you have access to them in the libraries and lists in your OneDrive. You will need turn on Content Type management in your library, which can be done by the following steps in Office 365.

  • Show the ribbonSharePoint Content Types
  • Select the Library ribbon, then choose Library Settings
  • Open Advanced Settings
  • Allow management of content types and press OK to save

Once you’re allowing Content Types in your libraries you will need to tell your Library which ones you want to use, and this is done back in the Library Settings. By default there will be one Content Type called Document.

Finally, once you’re using Content Types you can get all the great features of them such as required columns, information management policies, workflows among others.

5) Redirect My Documents to OneDrive for Business

In order to get Information Governance policies on documents, it’s very important to get those documents off user’s personal workstations, unless they are being synced to a location capable of governance. This is exactly what you can with OneDrive for Business. Once users are syncing their My Documents, you can setup policies to handle Information Management. If you are using RecordLion, your rules will automatically apply to information in My Documents. Crazy, right?

In order to redirect your My Documents to OneDrive for Business follow the steps in this article.

So there you go, five things about OneDrive for Business that you may not have known, and will help you with Information Governance inside of Office 365.

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Topics: OneDrive, Office 365, SharePoint Online