What is OneDrive for Business?

OneDrive for Business (ODfB) is a cloud-based, file-hosting service, that allows users to store and sync files for access across multiple devices and locations. It can be used as a browser-based web application and also has client applications which allow easy access from your PC, Mac or mobile device. ODfB also allows you to share files with other people on campus or to collaborate with external users.   Because ODfB is cloud based, you can access it anywhere you have Internet access, and you don’t need to use a VPN connection.

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Features of OneDrive for Business:

  • 1 TB of storage – will be upgraded to unlimited storage.
  • ODfB includes a Recycle Bin – retrieve accidentally deleted files for up to 180 days from when they were deleted.
  • Online editing with real-time co-authoring – you and your collaborators can simultaneously edit documents on ODfB using Microsoft Office Online or the desktop version of Microsoft Office. That way, there is no need to download a local copy to edit and then save back to your OneDrive space, and no need to integrate multiple versions of the same document.
  • Automatic versioning and history of documents – OneDrive will automatically keep previous versions of documents so you can quickly view and revert to earlier versions as required.

Possible Uses:

OneDrive for Business is, at its core, a document sync and storage tool. It allows you to sync data stored in the cloud across your various devices. However, the cloud-based storage allows it to be used for much more:

  • P-drive replacement – If you want to access documents normally stored on your P-drive without using the VPN, you could consider using your ODfB storage instead. By storing your files on OneDrive for Business you can access them from anywhere you have Internet access without the need of using the VPN service.
  • Collaborate on documents – ODfB allows you to share documents from your personal space where it can be accessed and edited by multiple parties. You can control what kind of access you give others, view or edit, and easily see what you are sharing and what is shared with you. For example, while developing the documentation for Office 365, the files were stored on ODfB which allowed several IT Services team members to access and work on the documents at once. This reduced the amount of email we were sending around and allowed us to complete the work faster as a team.
  • Transfer or share large files – Need to share content that is too big to email? Consider posting it in ODfB and sharing it that way. It allows files up to 2GB in size and can be shared with users across the campus community or external to the University.
  • Use it as a central knowledge-base – OneDrive sharing permissions can be set to “Read Only”. That way you can share documents you might not want to put on a departmental share or website with others, and can be sure the content remains as intended.

Additional Guidance:

OneDrive for Business is a cloud service and as such you should avoid putting personal or confidential information on there and follow the guidance provided by the Data Storage Standard.

If you are considering sharing multimedia and video files consider using Office 365 Video for that.