Using Office 365 for File Storage – SkyDrive Pro

SkyDrive_Logo Microsoft Launched SkyDrive Pro in Wave 15 of Office 365 which allowed all new adopters of the cloud service to use, Early adopters of Office 365 had to wait for the Wave 14 > Wave 15 scheduled upgrade before they could benefit from this service. Traditionally peoples perception of Office 365 was that it offered Exchange Online, SharePoint Online & Lync Online, and this is indeed correct until wave 15 was released when SkyDrive Pro came into the mix, more and more customers are becoming interested in this get upgraded to the new version of Office 365 or as they read into the features Office 365 provides when looking to move to Microsoft’s cloud offerings.

What exactly is SkyDrive Pro?

well it’s simple really it allows you to manage your work documents and related files, and it gives you a place to store and share your business related files but let’s you synchronize them to your local computer for offline access or to speed up accessing your files which are stored on Microsoft’s cloud platform.

Previously the My Site storage feature (called My Documents), SkyDrive Pro isn't to be confused with consumer SkyDrive.  SkyDrive is a storage service provided by Microsoft as a spiritual successor to Windows Live Mesh and Windows Live Folders. SkyDrive Pro also integrates the essence of functionality from SharePoint Workspace (and Live Mesh) of the past to synchronize files for offline editing

SkyDrive Pro with Office 365 gives each user 25GB of storage space which is stored on Microsoft’s Servers (this feature is available, outside of Office 365 within SharePoint 2013 and storage allocation would then be managed by your IT Administrators). When you store documents and related files on SkyDrive Pro they are initially private so that only you can see them as the owner, but you have the ability to easily share these files with individual people or everyone within your organization and even people outside of your organization. In order to access your SkyDrive Pro Storage you need to click on the ‘SkyDrive’ button within Office 365.


Setting up Folder Sync with SkyDrive Pro


To use folder sync, you must have Office 2013 (Standard or Professional edition) or an Office 365 subscription that includes Office applications. Office 365 Small Business, Office 365 Enterprise E1, Office 365 Education A2, and Office 365 Government G1 plans don’t include subscriptions to Office 2013. However, you can use folder sync if you have Office 2013 installed and subscribe to one of these plans.

Kiosk accounts have limited SkyDrive Pro functionality. Kiosk customers can use the SkyDrive Pro folder sync client application to sync team site document libraries with a shared computer and access documents offline. But kiosk accounts do not include a SkyDrive Pro Personal Site, so they do not benefit from a SkyDrive Pro personal library with 25 gigabytes (GB) of online storage.

To sync your SkyDrive Pro library/libraries with your local device, you need the SkyDrive Pro sync client.  The SkyDrive Pro sync client is installed during the setup for Office 365 ProPlus, Office 365 Small Business Premium, and Office Professional Plus 2013.  For other users who are not licensed for the previously mentioned products, you can download and use the standalone SkyDrive Pro sync client.

Microsoft Office 2013 has been designed around cloud as I am sure many of you are aware who have installed this, you will notice that SkyDrive Pro Client is installed with the software package, with this in mind the easiest way to setup folder sync with your personal skydive library is to click on the ‘SkyDrive’ button as shown in the above image, which will take you to your Personal SkyDrive Pro Storage, from here you are able to simply click on the ‘Sync’ button which is located on the top right hand side of the page which will launch the SkyDrive Pro Client, It will place the URL into the Client and you then need to just ‘Sync Now’

imageThe great thing about SkyDrive pro is that is does not just allow you to sync your personal storage library, if your organization uses SharePoint 2013 Online you also have the ability to synchronize storage libraries which contain business files and associated files that you are working on and allow you to have this available to you on your computer (offline).

In order to set this up browse to your SharePoint 2013 site, Click on the document library that is for example: contained within the project site, for the project you are currently working on.. and you will see the ‘Sync’ icon appear on the top right hand side again. The behavior will be the same as when you setup the Personal Site Storage File Sync.

Note the following limitations related to syncing libraries to your computer with SkyDrive Pro:

  • You can sync up to 20,000 items in your SkyDrive Pro library, including folders and files.
  • You can sync up to 5,000 items in other SharePoint libraries, including folders and files.
  • In any library, you can download files up to 2 GB.

SkyDrive Pro Licensing? Is it available to me?

SkyDrive Pro is a feature of SharePoint Server 2013 and SharePoint Online. For SharePoint Online, you have the option to buy the standalone SharePoint Online service, or get it as a part of one of the Office 365 plans.  Essentially, all Office 365, and stand-alone SharePoint Online plans provide SkyDrive Pro with two exceptions: Kiosk Plans which provide users with access to site document libraries only (but no personal SkyDrive Pro site), and external users (who cannot use SkyDrive Pro).

  Office 365 Small Business Office 365 Small Business Premium Office 365 Midsize Business Office 365 Enterprise E1, E3, E4
Office 365 Education A2, A3, A4
Office 365 Government G1, G3, G4
Office 365 Enterprise K1
Office 365 Government K1
SharePoint Online Enterprise External Users
SkyDrive Pro Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes* No

*Kiosk accounts have limited SkyDrive Pro functionality. Kiosk customers can use the SkyDrive Pro folder sync client application to sync team site document libraries with a shared computer and access documents offline. But kiosk accounts do not include a SkyDrive Pro Personal Site, so they do not
t from a SkyDrive Pro personal library with 25GB of online storage.

If you have any questions relating to SkyDrive Pro or Office 365 in general, feel free to contact me.



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