Musings on OneDrive News from Microsoft Ignite 2019

The day 1 blog post from Microsoft Ignite 2019 for OneDrive titled Celebrating top OneDrive moments at Ignite 2019 was posted yesterday. While there are likely going to be thousands of posts coming from the content presented at Ignite, I have decided to throw my pebble into the ocean as it were. I have some general concerns on some of the features/enhancements coming our way soon.

Users will now be able to upload and sync files up to 100 GB in size within SharePoint, Teams and OneDrive.  I’m going to file this under “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should”…sure there are use cases for this and plenty of non-technical folks that understand it’s going to take quite a while to upload 100 GB of content and they have limited space on their local machines. Along with the file size limitation increase Microsoft is also rolling out the differential sync functionality for all document types so that is a slight positive. Please note differential sync was already being implemented on Office document types and this will help folks tremendously however, there are still quite a few folks out there that will shoot themselves in the foot with this😉.

The Recommended view will also be rolling out to general availability not only in OneDrive for Business on the web but within Office itself as well. Curious to see if it’s only going to show up for those of use using Office 365’s version of Office (Click to Run) though. Also curious to see how this pans out from an onboarding/training perspective as it’s easy enough to understand the Office Graph surfaces the information for folks that actively utilize the Office 365 stack but if you’re not familiar with it this feature will probably cause some confusion: Shared Libraries view in OneDrive on the web anyone.

If you’re not on the file card train yet, now is the time to jump aboard.  Sure, we can get to this information using the Information Panel but now we will be able to simply hover over folders/files to see information such as Views, bookmarks, time to read, conversations etc.  Speaking of bookmarks, the save for later feature will allow users to bookmark files and folders in SharePoint and OneDrive for later access…like what we currently have with the News feature in SharePoint.  This feature will be exposed to users via the OneDrive for Business web interface in the left navigation. No snarky remarks on this one, just glad to have the functionality.

Some of the other noteworthy announcements relating to OneDrive for Business on day 1:

  • Expiring access for external users
    • Really hoping that this works if you do not enable Anyone links in your tenant and users will be able to adjust this as needed…it’s noted that SharePoint Site Admins and OneDrive owners will be able to extend or remove access but I’m going to wait to see how that’s done prior to passing judgement on how useful this feature really is
  • Request files
    • This is demonstrated at the SharePoint Conference and will be coming shortly. You can create special links to request files from others and they can upload directly to your OneDrive. It the announcement it’s noted that anyone with the file request link will be able to upload files without having to sign in. Again, going to see how that piece plays out prior to passing judgment.
  • Microsoft bought
    • The SharePoint Migration Tool is great at getting stuff from on-premises to Office 365 but is great for moving stuff from other cloud systems. The acquisition was announced on 10/21 so it will probably be some time before we can reap the full benefits of the utility within Microsoft’s stack but this is a definite “shot across the bow” at Google, Box, DropBox etc.

Hopefully this provides some value and please let us know if you have more information on an item referenced in this post or thoughts on the announcements in the comments.

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