Microsoft Outs OneDrive Roadmap For Businesses: SharePoint Online Sync, Placeholders Coming Back And More


Microsoft has infused some excitement into its Sharepoint and OneDrive services as the company announced several features that includes a sync capability and roadmap for business users, among others.

The complete range of new features will be presented at the company's Ignite conference in Atlanta this week, but only as a preview. The fact is that the changes will only be implemented from the last part of 2016 to 2017.

Microsoft's has listed all the innovations in a PowerPoint presentation available on its Tech Community website. The most notable of this seems to include an emerging integration or link between OneDrive and SharePoint, which have long been accused of having overlapping features.

For instance, Microsoft will preview an ability to move files from OneDrive to SharePoint. The company also confirmed that it is previewing sync capabilities, which include the ability to sync SharePoint Online document libraries and OneDrive folders. SharePoint Online files can also be accessed in the OneDrive app on Android.

"SharePoint sync is being added to the OneDrive sync client, which we released last year, and offers superior levels of reliability, performance and control — including the flexibility to select the specific folders you want to take offline," Microsoft said.

Aside from the ability to access files on any device, shared features also include the capability to access files that are recently accessed and shared with the user.

There are also several small tweaks that seek to refine the integration as well as the collaboration experience. For example, users would be able to monitor the people who have discovered and viewed their files and take snapshots of the activities without leaving the Office app.

Changes specific to OneDrive include the return of the On-Demand Sync, which was first seen as the previous placeholder file for the service in Windows 8. There is also an upcoming update that improves browser experience, which complement how users can edit and share all their Office 365 files wherever they are. Microsoft will also be rolling out additional security features that include the ability to control storage quota and sharing permissions, among others.

All the new changes will complement the recent updates such as the one that introduced in OneDrive for Android, which allowed the creation of Office files on smartphones running the OS.

There is a huge amount of changes announced so far. It made sense, therefore, that the information were presented within a roadmap structure, complete with possible release dates. For example, the shared folder and sync support has been identified to roll out in the last quarter of 2016. In the first half of 2017, users should also expect to receive updates involving Microsoft Flow and offline folders for mobile apps, among others.

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