OneDrive For Business – Roadmap and future!

This breakdown comes from two individual sessions from Ignite that I’ve sat and watched. The first is the roadmap and overview for OneDrive, the second was a deeper dive into the Sync client itself and the move towards a unified experience. – A file’s future with OneDrive for Business, the roadmap and overview – I Sync, therefore I am – The deep dive into the sync capabilities.

Breakdown and Summary

Microsoft acknowledge that OneDrive isn’t where it needs to be and remains a number one priority to resolve the issues, primarily around sync. They have committed to delivering a new Sync client by the end of this calendar year!

The sync client is based on the consumer engine, specifically because it has proved to be capable of delivering at scale, without the restrictions that the old Groove engine had. MS have committed to removing the 20,000 file limit and (later rather than sooner removing the 5K limit for SPO libraries). The new client will also support selective sync per device, allowing for separation of what files are synced to which device.

Looking to reduce the total footprint of the application, including removing some of the double caching that currently happens.

For MS, the focus of OD4B is for INFORMAL collaboration, the presenter was at great pains to differentiate the informal collaboration that happens in personal drives, against the more formal collaboration that should happen in team sites.

For MS, it is important that the new client adheres to the Office 365 promise of Audit, security and control yet doesn’t get in the way of people doing their jobs. They’ve been delivering small updates to tweak the experience, but the main effort is on providing the new clients.

He demo’d the new web client which doesn’t look vastly different to the old client, but has additional left nav options such as Recent which provides a delve style view of content, Shared With me, content from other peoples OneDrives and SiteFolders for team sites that have been followed.

Search picks up across OneDrive, SPO and items shared specifically with you using the Office Graph. New document previews use the same experience as OWS in SPO and editing documents in these clients is identical to SPO/OWS experience. Note:Online document co-authoring now shows real time updates!

Some specific improvements to the web client:

  • Folder creation now includes inviting to present a much smoother sharing experience
  • A right click context menu now supplements the options available via the … ellipsis (I wonder if we’ll see this come back into SPO and SP2016? Two clicks to edit metadata sucks)
  • Version control built in
  • Yammer integrated into the UX – Discuss Document option in drop down
  • Modern Attachments – Nice integration with the Outlook Web Access client, Select an attachment from OneDrive leaves the attachment there, creates a link to the file and amends the permissions on the object.
  • Deeper delve integration

Overall, MS are starting to align the actions across the browser/device and various clients although they admit there is still some way to go. However some of this synchronicity across experiences is starting to show in the Android and iOS versions with a move towards a single Unified client for both OneDrive and OneDrive for Business.

iOS and Android apps are the first Unified releases, the iOS app on iPad was demoed showing multiple OD4B accounts and a personal account. Editing in OWS was seamless with multi authoring looking great. The app includes search integration and recycle bin access providing similar behaviours and experience between the web client and the app.

Security and Compliance Changes

  • Provision of an auditing and reporting function – primarily allows for investigating users and usage, not currently for usage and adoption but that’s coming. Through the O365 Compliance centre.
  • Data Loss prevention – Currently in pre-release, preview through summer and in place by end of year. Defined DLP policies can be defined to prevent uploading of files with data such as credit card numbers etc. Blocks, Tips and notifications all available.
  • IRM extended for use in OD4B and will be able to be applied in conjunction with DLP policies.
  • IT will have control to block sync on unmanaged devices, preventing offline copies.
  • Data Retention policies incoming.

OneDrive for Business Roadmap

Currently rolling out:

  • Mobile Sharing
  • DLP Policy tips in the Mobile experience
  • Auditing and Reporting (in preview)
  • Disable Sync on unmanaged PCs
  • DLP Phase 2
  • Unified OneDrive API (REST based for both consumer and Business)

Remainder of Q2 2015

  • New PDF experience on iOS and Android
  • Send a link from Outlook Mobile (modern attachments seems to be the name..)
  • Save to OneDrive in Outlook Web Access
  • Expiration of anonymous shares
  • Migration ADI SDK
  • Office 365 Management Activity API
  • Storage Quota Control (For IT Admins)

Q3 2015

  • Preview of the next gen sync client on PC and MAC
  • Unified web user experience (taking the consumer look and feel into OD4B.. (Interesting as this will be different to the SharePoint experience that it currently mirrors.. will we see a change in SPO?)
  • Archive setting for external sharing emails (effectively a blind copy of ALL sharing emails to an IT controlled mailbox
  • Mobile Offline Files (read-only) for iOS/Android (Offline edit to be added later)
  • Stop/Revoke sharing control (kill-switch single click)
  • Company shareable links (Shares that can only be used within the enterprise)
  • Allow and Deny lists for external sharing domains.. (E.g. block Gmail, allow etc)
  • Intune support for Personal/business separation (Currently remote wipe removes both business and personal data from the device.. Not from the OneDrive personal service tho, only the device)

Q4 2015

  • PC/MAC new sync client general availability
  • Windows 10 universal app including R/O offline files
  • DLP phase 3 (exceptions for location, automatic IRM application)
  • Disable External sharing for specific users
  • Remove the 20K file limit (next gen client)
  • Large File Support (10Gb)(next gen client)

In planning (No timelines)

  • Offline mobile editing
  • Offline mobile folders (Take entire folder offline, not individual files.)
  • Mobile PDF annotation for iOS and Android
  • Modern attachments for Outlook 2013 client
  • Expiration of all external shares (And control for IT to limit maximum length of share life)
  • Unlimited storage (by end of curr year)
  • Full DLP support for mobile apps
  • Cross-tenant sharing control
  • OneDrive usage reporting (adoption, storage consumed etc)

Demo of the new Unified Web Interface


Note the lack of … ellipsis on the file entries…


When you select a file, the options appear under the ribbon area.

And the new OneDrive client includes selective sync…. (highlights the space required etc)


I hope this has proved useful as a summary, but I do recommend that you take time to watch the video on Channel 9 if you can!


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