Effectively managing and sharing files is critical to almost every organization. Today, we’re announcing a bold new vision for file management in Office 365 across OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, and new ways for you to share and collaborate on all your files on any device. We’ll also talk about how we’re moving beyond utility file sync and share by bringing intelligent discovery to recommend content, as well as providing insights on the impact and reach of your work.
It’s been a breakthrough year for OneDrive. We’ve made important advances with rock-solid, reliable sync on your PC and Mac, deep Office integration, four-star and above–rated mobile apps and a fast, intuitive browser experience. Additionally, we’ve built lots of new admin and security controls for IT to protect critical corporate data. Great progress, but as always, there is more to do! Later this year, we’ll make it possible for you to sync files stored in any SharePoint document library. Stay tuned for details of our Pre-Release program in the third quarter of 2016.
A file’s journey
The foundation of our vision starts with understanding how people in organizations work together to create and collaborate with files. In Office 365, we have two powerful places to store files: your OneDrive and SharePoint team sites. The OneDrive web, mobile and sync applications provide the most capable and complete ways of creating, sharing and collaborating on files stored in OneDrive and SharePoint anywhere, on any device.
Let’s look at how someone might work in OneDrive to collaborate.
A file typically starts with an individual who creates it to drive a desired outcome (e.g., a sales proposal), and that person then needs to get others to contribute ideas, feedback and expertise to the file. Organizations want to give their people a place to put all these files and allow them to share and collaborate as they need, both internally and externally, on any device. This is the role of OneDrive—your personal space to create, access and share with individuals. In a mobile-first, cloud-first world, OneDrive is your “My Documents” folder in the cloud.
At some point, people may want to publish or distribute their files—make them available for a broader audience for viewing, feedback, discovery and reuse, as well as for applying workflow-like approvals. This is the role of a SharePoint team site, as it creates a place to put shared files, so your whole team or organization can discover content and collaborate effectively. It’s also the way organizations can be sure that content remains shared and available and not confined to a person’s OneDrive as people move jobs, companies and teams.
OneDrive and SharePoint work hand-in-hand to make storing and accessing all your information simple and powerful. We are making it easy to copy or move files between them plus ensure all your files are accessible and actionable from a single set of desktop, browser and mobile experiences.
Copy from OneDrive to SharePoint
In the coming months, we’re rolling out the ability to copy a file from OneDrive to a SharePoint document library. Later this year, we’ll add the ability to move a file, as well.
Copy from OneDrive to SharePoint document library.
SharePoint document library improvements
The true heart of SharePoint team sites is the document library, a secure location to create, share and organize team files. As we’ve delivered a new simple browser experience for OneDrive, we have feedback that SharePoint should have a similarly simple experience. We’re rolling out an update to SharePoint document libraries that builds on the core value people depend on—adding new user experiences and capabilities that bring consistency to working on files throughout Office 365 while maintaining the full power of SharePoint document libraries.
We’re focused on helping your team get to work right away and highlight what is most important.
Use Pin to top to increase visibility and discoverability for important files at the top of the document library for all users. You can also add a link in an Office 365 document library to an item that is located outside the document library. For example, you can add a link to a file or folder located in a different document library or website. When you add a link in a document library, the link shows up in the list of items in that library with a web globe icon to identify it as a linked item.
To help you find and manage items, you can now sort and filter columns. In addition, new real-time, full-text search results appear directly in the document library experience along with quick, inline metadata management.
A view of the new SharePoint document library experience.
Anywhere access to all your Office 365 files
Our mission is to enable you to work with all your files wherever you are. If you’re in the browser, it’s already really simple to access and share all your files across OneDrive and SharePoint. As we’ve just outlined above, we’re bringing a single sync experience for all your files before the end of the year. However, probably the most important device to have a fast and simple experience to access all your files is your phone. We’re proud to announce that starting today in our OneDrive iOS app you can access, edit, share and take offline all your Office 365 files in OneDrive and SharePoint!
Accessing your SharePoint files from the iOS app.
All the great capabilities provided to you for working with your OneDrive files are available to your SharePoint files. You truly now have anywhere access to all your files in Office 365. Later this year, we’ll bring this capability to Android and Windows Phone.
Today, there’s a great search experience in OneDrive and SharePoint—it’s a simple process to search for content across your files, as well as files that have been shared with you. But what if you didn’t have to search for files? Instead, what if they found you?
Starting today, for both the OneDrive Android app and browser experience, we’re introducing a Discover view, which uses the Office Graph to suggest relevant and trending files from Office 365 (similar to Delve). The new Discover view suggests content that is most relevant for each person based on the work they are doing and the people with whom they engage. As you share and collaborate on your files on OneDrive and SharePoint, other content is recommended and suggested to you—it means you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or endlessly search for useful content and expertise. Best of all, you don’t have to switch to another app to benefit from these insights and suggestions.
Discover view in Android.
We’ll also bring this experience to the iOS and Windows Phone apps later in the year.
Discover view in the browser.
Understanding the impact of your work
We’re laying the foundation of a simpler, more powerful way to manage your files in Office 365, but our mission is to go beyond this. We looked at what will motivate people to copy or move their files between OneDrive and SharePoint Online. Historically it’s due to organization-mandated processes, but increasingly people want to make their work broadly discoverable, reviewed, liked, shared—all the reasons why Facebook and Instagram have been such big social phenomena. Our vision is to do with files what Instagram did for photos. Not only can you publish from OneDrive to SharePoint, but you’ll want to for the visibility and discoverability this offers. We harness your desire for self-expression and recognition—to be noticed and valued for your contribution. We’re currently working on a means for you to measure the reach of your files with embedded analytics that show over time how many people have discovered and viewed your files. Like never before you’ll be able to get an insight into the impact of your work. We’ll ship this new feature in our mobile apps before the end of the year.
Prototype of the document analytics shipping later this year.
Beyond these capabilities, we’ll add familiar social constructs such as likes, comments and mentions that will provide further insights into the value of your work.
The future starts now
So there you have it, some great new capabilities for anyone who manages files in Office 365. Get started with the new mobile updates today! We’ve got a great vision for the future of file sync and share, and we’re already delivering it! A future that combines reliable sync, simple browser access, powerful mobile experiences, true Office integration anywhere you use it, intelligent discovery and incredible insights into the impact of your work. As always, give us your feedback on UserVoice. There’s so much more to come with OneDrive and SharePoint—stay tuned!
—Reuben Krippner, director of product management for the OneDrive team