Demystify OneDrive for Business - The Good and the Bad

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OneDrive for Business is often misunderstood. Is it a "Pro" version of OneDrive? Do I need Office 365? The general confusion lies in it's name and how close it is to another.

 

Migrating and Managing OneDrive for Business

During the webinar, we quickly looked at how to prepare your migration to OneDrive for Business by analyzing your files and folders before. Though Sharegate helps you do that, it's important to know how to do it without it as well. The reason we want to analyze before isn't simply to organize our migration, but also to quickly identify what won't work. OneDrive for Business comes with certain restrictions and limitations that did not exist on File Shares. You can identify using a PowerShell Script or with FileChecker. There are other tools like ours here at Sharegate of course that can also help you.
Once you were able to analyze and see the potential issues, you should look at a strategy to choose what to migrate and how. My colleagues and I invented the RMR Strategy, which has been very helpful for us. We also create an inventory of what we already had to help with this strategy before migrating.

OneDrive for Business Demystified - the transcript:

Good afternoon everyone, thank you for joining us. I'm really, really happy to be here with you today as we demystify OneDrive for Business, the good, the bad, the things I've seen, everything as much as I can. Now, it's funny because I've just talked about OneDrive for Business; somebody was asking me right here in our office right here in Montreal, and they we're already asking me, "What is the difference, and what exactly does it do?" And I realized that it's really everywhere this confusion, so that is the purpose of this today.

Now, this of course this is me. I'm a SharePoint MVP. I've work here in Montreal like everyone at Sharegate. You might have heard of us, it's a tool that allows basically manage Office365, your OneDrive, your SharePoint, as well as MyGrade, and move stuff around it. Essentially this is me, this is where I am, and this is where our team is from.

Without further ado, because I don't want us to dwell on this guy over here. We're going to start looking at why we're here? We're here all of us including me. Don't worry about it. Including me for quite some time. The problem is we're confused. It is not just because I'm French. We are confused many, many of us. I get questions all the time including from my colleagues, but also in conferences. What is it? Yeah, yeah we're all confused, we're confused, but don't worry because we are definitely not alone. You're not alone; everyone's confused.

The problem is there's two products, one OneDrive, one is OneDrive for Business, which one's which and what do they do exactly. Don't worry you're not alone in this confusion many, many of us are. How are we going to get away from this confusion, and it's not new. OneDrive for Business comes... it has a history. I don't know if you've done your history with this tool here. I hope not because I wouldn't want to do it, but it comes from a long line of confusion of what exactly are we doing with this, and where's it going?

We're going to try to figure it out today together, to make it, get us happy again to be able to go see your colleagues, or your boss, or your customers if you're a consultant to be able to explain properly. What exactly is this thing that's called OneDrive for Business? How is it different from SharePoint from OneDrive? How is it different from SharePoint as well if it is any different? And of course, what does it do, and what are the pitfalls? What should I get ready for? That is really the purpose that we have here today.

So, what is it? This is something we're going to be covering. What does it do? Of course. When should I use it? This is somebody has asked me a question before the webinar started, and asked me, "Well, are you going to cover, you know, my users, we have OneDrive for Business," but people put their documents in there when there should be putting it in SharePoint. When should will be using this so that I can tell them, and so they can do it properly.

We're going to be covering the good and the bad. Things that are good about OneDrive for Business, but also, what is not perfect. I have put a lot of faith on this tool. I'm very excited about it. It is in the Office365 suite, but you know what? There are some things that are not as good with it, so we're going to talk about it because I don't want just a marketing material that we get all the time.

We're going to talk about the limitations, and this is more of my serious face on right now, you can't see it but it is my serious face. There are limitations. You need to know them before you choose to migrate, otherwise people are honestly they're just going to get pissed off. Your users as this is we're you're working for. You are not working for Microsoft. You're not trying to get more product. You're trying to make your organization worked better, make profit, be more productive, and that means serving your customers or your colleagues whoever they are.

What are the common mistakes that we do when we implement OneDrive for Business, migrating to OneDrive for Business? How do we get from your file shares, are there tools? Now, you're going to be saying, "Oh, God, he is working for Sharegate, he's going to sell us his migration tool." Absolutely not. I'm going to talk to you about how to use your PowerShell script. I'll give you some PowerShell script to download to do your analysis. The French is coming again. We're going to be looking at all of these things. This is really neutral; I want you to have all of the possibilities that you can have, so that you can migrate to it. Don't worry about that part.

Now, before we begin. Let's go back in time. I paused there because I want you to see this slide. Before we begin, I want to go back in time, because so that you can understand properly, what is OneDrive for Business? You need to understand the history. You need to understand how we got to what it is today, so we're going to go very, very far in time, and we're going to talk about Office Groove. Who remembers this?

Now, if you installed Office 2007 on your computer you have this green icon running in your taskbar in the bottom right. Now, not everyone because it depends which version of Office 2007 you had, but it is Office Groove and Office Groove was the first OneDrive for Business. Office Groove.

Now, I couldn't find a high quality picture because back then I guess our screen sizes were... I got to say they are not as good today. We're not talking about retina displays or phones that are watches. We're talking about Office Groove here, and what this was, is a little place. This works also if you didn't have an account with your organization, that means this work from home as well.

And what Office Groove allows you to do was to work in a team. This word is important because we're going to be talking about team sites. Yammer, collaboration, so this is where it all started with Office Groove. It was a place where we could share folders and files, but they would work offline, and I could work with my other teams, I could chat with them, and then I can invite them to work spaces, so that they can come in here and we would work on them, we could check them out, check them back in. This was Office Groove.

However, it was really made for small teams. It is called the little work space; it is not called for business. It is called Office Groove and then we would create work spaces in it. Essentially what this allowed us to do is to work in our teams, small teams, it allows us to work on the same documents share them, but at the same time, and more importantly to work offline as well. This is when the laptop started arriving and being a lot more popular at work, and then you bring your laptop home and you still want to have access to this documents and work on them. This came at the same time as SharePoint 2007, which [for most] Microsoft Office SharePoint Server which was the bigger version. This was the Enterprise version, really it came with a web interface, and this was really for a team; it was before it.

Then after Office Groove came and passed, we let it go, we said goodbye, and we said hello in SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint Workspace. SharePoint Workspace, you might remember, it was a separate tool, it was a little bit bigger than Office Groove and this is what it looks like. I have to cut, already you can see the resolution on the screen is getting better.

What we could see here is you could synchronize your entire site, the list, the libraries, the folders, the documents, and you would literally have almost every feature of SharePoint available offline. So, you could see, modify it, share with people, download a copy, look at the properties, look at the version history, check in, check out, logged them as red or not, so that you can come back and see what's changed.

You know what? I actually liked this tool; it was a little bit too heavy. However, I already have SharePoint, now on top of that I have SharePoint Workspace and it wouldn't do everything, that means it was great for document libraries. When it came down to look at list, it looks like it try to do many things at once, and we didn't have access to all our views, certain columns, didn't work properly with the sync. It was a bit different, and then of course you have pages that were not available to sync, you had to go on their server, they meant SharePoint to fetch them.

If we recap, in 2007 there was this tool called Groove that allowed us as a team to work together online and offline, and make sure there was no conflict in our documents. In 2010 we had SharePoint Workspace, which again allowed me to sync and make these document libraries, or my entire SharePoint sites available offline for me to fetch and work on and then connect back to my SharePoint and it would synchronized.

At this point SharePoint workspace unlike Groove earlier was directly linked to SharePoint. Whereas Groove was just us working on documents and sharing documents within our Groove workspace, we didn't need SharePoint. SharePoint Workspace however, was a synchronization tool and more for SharePoint, so we did needed at this point. So far, so good? All right, I know everybody is muted, so you can't answer, but I'm sure everybody's okay so far.

And here came the beast. Yes, SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro. So this came with SharePoint 2010, but it didn't stay very long. We won't even talk about SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro that much because it got renamed. Skydrive and Skydrive Pro arrive with SharePoint 2013, and SkyDrive Pro was essentially the replacement of Office Groove that then then turned into SharePoint Workspace, that now get turned into SkyDrive Pro.

And this was to compete with other services that started to appear on the market like Dropbox, like Box, because people wanted to have documents available offline, but then wanted them to appear as if they were regular files and folders on their desktop, and this is the era that we've joined into. But before that SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro didn't stay there too long because they had a lawsuit, there is this company called the Sky in the UK that provides some services in terms of telecommunications, and they argued that SkyDrive should be for them, because their company is called Sky, so they already have MySky, and SkyLink, so if they had SkyDrive it would be them and not Microsoft. Microsoft lost that battle and essentially they renamed it. There you go. You started seeing this thing called OneDrive.

What is OneDrive? I went on their website and one of the pictures witch is kind of cute here, is OneDrive for everything in your life. What does that mean? OneDrive allows us to store and share our favorite photos, videos, documents files, and more and put it on our OneDrive. We get 15 gigs of storage for free. Okay. What exactly does this mean? And let me just see, this is what it looks like and what is very important... and we'll cover this in just a few seconds.

Right now, we're talking about OneDrive. OneDrive it's a public service, it's a public offering, it's a tool that is available for everyone. If you have a Hotmail account, or what is now called Outlook.com... That's another confusion to be had right there isn't it? But if you have a Hotmail or an Outlook account online you automatically get this, it's kind of a personal storage place where you store your files, your videos, add some videos, and we can go see this right now. I can go show you mine right away, I open up a browser, and I navigate to my personal OneDrive, I click on sign in, I put my email. So, here this is going to be my email address here, I can autofill, we're going to put.

Now, everybody sees my email, please don't send me tons of . . . I'm going to sign in and as you can see this is my personal OneDrive, it's a place where I as Benjamin Niaulin with an account that is not owned by any company that I've ever worked for, I store files and folders, pictures from a conference, presentations that I give, videos, travel stuff, documents, and I can look at them in different ways, I can synchronize them offline as well if you want, but this has nothing to do with SharePoint this is a free service, it's something that I can go and get and that's that. I can upload new ones, I can create folders, I can do whatever it is that I want.

Now, if I choose to, I can have access to other things, I can even go and get OneDrive apps for this service, and this apps essentially connect to my public account of OneDrive, and allows them to synch offline. So far, I have not touched OneDrive for Business, nor I have talked about SharePoint, this has nothing to do with SharePoint.

So, let me get back to the slides that we we're looking at. We were talking about the history, there was a tool to work offline called Groove, then it got swished and became SharePoint workspace. Okay. And then, when SharePoint 2013 a little bit before a new public product that came out for everyone in the world called OneDrive became available.

OneDrive allows me to put my files, and folders, and pictures, and everything that I want on my personal account and also allows me to have them available from old my different devices. It works on the Mac. Mac it's very important because we're going to get to that later on Windows tablet, Android device, iOS, Windows Phone, even on your Xbox you can access them. Why? Because it is a personal thing has nothing to do with your work account.

Now, here comes the confusion. Again, it's very important, or I'm going to have to go and get and come and see you. It's public OneDrive it has nothing to do with SharePoint. So, when you use the word one drive by itself, I'm thinking you're talking about OneDrive which is a public thing that has nothing to do with my work, that allows me store files and folders and things, that I can then have available for wherever I am, and it's very, very useful. I have lots of friends that where in University and that used their files for their work, for their papers, and store them in their OneDrive, so that they could have them available if ever something happened to their computer. Great.

If we recap what's fun about OneDrive as a public product, is that it does not use your organization's login information, you used to login with your Hotmail or you're with your Outlook.com, it allows you to do simple external sharing. That means you can share files and folders using a direct link, and it generates a link, and people can click on this link to go and get them, and you can share with people outside. It also gives you versioning of documents, so you can revert the document from a previous version. It is automatically integrated to your Office Suite, so if you have Word, Excel, PowerPoint you'll see that you're able to save to your One Drive and open from your OneDrive.

Again, this is your personal account, and it also allows for co-authoring on Office documents. Multiple people that you share this with, will be able to work on the document with you at the same time. All right. So far, we've never touched OneDrive for Business. So far, we're just talking about something that has nothing built on SharePoint. We're not talking about SharePoint. We we're talking about OneDrive. I know I repeated it often, but it's very, very important. All right.

Now, OneDrive for Business this although it shares the name OneDrive, it's something completely different. OneDrive for Business is... "Yeah. I know, what is it?" And you're going to love the theme of my presentations now. It's actually a brand. OneDrive for Business is not one thing, it is not a tool, it is a brand, it is a name given to multiple things. It's brand that we gave to multiple features that SharePoint offers.

As of this moment, when we're talking about OneDrive for Business it has nothing to do. You can quote me on this and put on Twitter wherever you want. OneDrive for Business has nothing to do with OneDrive the public offering that Microsoft gives us, they have nothing in common except the name.

What are these features that have been grouped together, that are offered to us? For those of you that have experience with SharePoint. Don't worry this session is not just for those who have experience with SharePoint, but if you do have experience with SharePoint, OneDrive for Business is also a name that we are giving now to what used to be called My Site.

Whenever we say go to your OneDrive, "Oh, God," here comes the confusion. For your end users that's why you may want to look at renaming this, it's up to you, you can leave it as is, but plan a proper communication while you deploy OneDrive for Business because now directly in the suite bar here at the top users are going to see something called OneDrive, and when they going to click on it there going to go to their My Site, but it has nothing to do with OneDrive it's called OneDrive for Business.

What are you going to do? We'll we're going to have to work with that, but that's what it is. When you click on OneDrive we're not going in that public thing called OneDrive that we we're talking about ten minutes, where going to our SharePoint 2013 My Site, which is a private site given to every user, and within this private site called OneDrive for Business there is a special document library that we access by going to My Documents.

Do you remember where you saw that before? Well, back in the day when we we're working on our desktop the things that the documents that we would not put on our file share on the G-drive, on the P-drive, on the O-drive, whatever drive you're using the files that would not go there, we would put them in our My Documents. So, this is the document library that is automatically there in your My Site. This is also called OneDrive for Business.

And OneDrive for Business - to continue the confusion - OneDrive for Business is also a tool that is installed during your Office 2013 installation. That means when you installed Word 2013 with Excel 2013 it installed a little application that you don't see called OneDrive for Business, because it wants to link with your My Site to synchronize offline, and it offers offline synchronization. Don't worry if you're still confused, I'm going to go over it.

First, you have your My Site. My Site is a personal site collection that every user has in your organization, and they own that site collection, or that site if you want to call it. My Documents is a document library within your site collection, within each of these users site collection, and allows to synchronize offline using a tool that was installed during your Office installation. The offline synchronization... you know what guys, let's do a little bit of demo here because I can sense, you're not even talking, I can sense the confusion already.

Now, if I use my Mac to go to my SharePoint, say here I have a SharePoint and Office365, and I decide to go to my OneDrive for Business. You'll notice that you're in OneDrive for Business whenever you see OneDrive at the name of your organization, it means OneDrive for your business. You get it?

I think they're trying to... I will go there, but if you see OneDrive by itself, it means you are in here, with OneDrive, with your files, this is what it looks like personal space. If you go to SharePoint, and you go to your OneDrive for Business, which is a My Site, you'll see something, or wherever you see anywhere OneDrive at your organization, this is OneDrive for Business, this is where I am, and in there I see my My Documents, there I can see files and folders, and I can add... The beauty of the new SharePoint of course is the ability to quickly add drag and drop even if I'm using a Mac, drag and drop files in just a few seconds into SharePoint.

What is the downside of this? I'm using a Mac and OneDrive for Business does not work, not yet anyway, they've announced it, it will be coming. When? I don't know exactly, probably beginning of 2015, but when I click sync here, it simply will not allow me to sync. Nothing is going to happen here, I keep clicking on it, I don't know if you can hear my clicks. Nothing is happening, because Mac does not have that offline synchronization tool installed when you auto install Office 2011.

Now, if I'm in a Windows environment, which I am now, and as you can see, I have OneDrive for Business installed as part of Office. You may have never noticed it, it's asking me if I want to sync something, because I have nothing synced. I can go to my OneDrive for Business. I can tell because my organization is called Contoso and this is my OneDrive for Contoso.

Here I have some documents, the same documents that I have added, and I really like them to have available on my computer quickly and easily, without having to navigate here all the time. I'm going to click on sync. It's going to ask me whether or not I want to click sync here. Now, if you don't have this new OneDrive for Business installed it will launch your 2010 workspace, if you still have that.

Right now, I do have it installed, so OneDrive for Business in my task bar is going to launch itself, and it's going to ask me to provide the credentials, and in this case, I may have done it already in the past, and it's going to ask me... this is the url that you want to synchronize, which is document libraries, and where do you want to put it in your computer. Well, I put it under my Benjamin account, I won't have to go anywhere else and I'm going to click on sync.

Now, as of this moment you'll see the icon moved a little bit usually, sometimes it goes too fast to see it, and if I click to show on my files, there is the little green icon that sync to make sure everything was synced, and I can also see where the green check that the same documents files and folders have been synchronized. How do I see this? Well, I can see in under My Favorites a new section called OneDrive for Business, and it will show me My Document library, because that's what it is, with all my files and whether or not they're synchronized.

Now, if I choose to not synchronize this specific file, I cannot do anything. Unfortunately, OneDrive for Business can only allow you to sync the entire document library or nothing at all. The only actions that I have from here is to go to the browser copy the link to this document, or share it with someone, but I cannot stop synchronizing just the specific document, it will be the entire document library.

Now, let's see what just happened here. We've said that there is OneDrive if public product that Microsoft has. It has nothing to do with SharePoint. When we're using SharePoint or Office365 and we see OneDrive, when we clicked on it we're actually going to OneDrive for Business, which we can identify here. OneDrive for Business is multiple things at the same time. OneDrive for Business is-let's go back-a My Site.

When people say go check my OneDrive, my OneDrive for Business it means your My Site, which includes a document library that if you clicked on sync will synchronize on your desktop or on your computer under new section called OneDrive for Business, because there's a tool installed in your computer as part of Office 2013 or standalone that allows you to do this synchronization. However, the synchronization for OneDrive for Business, the offline synchronization actually works with every single document library everywhere.

That's where it gets even more confusing. Let's go back into our windows here. If I go to... let's go check out our site. I love this new tab over here. Let's go to sales and marketing department, I will go to different site collection here. Bear with me, we're in Office365, and this is a virtual machine within my Mac, and I have a document library here, top rated documents, this is probably just a view, but I do have documents in there that I can see.

Now, this is documents from my site called sales and marketing, you can tell by the url here, /contoso/department/salesandmarketing/documents, so this is just another document library somewhere in SharePoint, it has nothing to do with My Site or my OneDrive for Business. However, if I clicked on sync it's going to launch, when I want to sync the same OneDrive for Business tool that is installed, that allows me to have document libraries that are in SharePoint offline.

If I clicked on sync... how's everybody's doing? I don't know to answer at the same time. And clicked on show my files you'll notice that now, they're saved under different section. Whenever you use the sync button on a document library what it's actually going to do is its going to create a SharePoint section now, it's going to put the name of the site dash the name of the document library that you've synchronized and put it here. When you click on sync, while you are in my private My Site collection by clicking on OneDrive here, it will go and create a section called OneDrive for Business. I'll let you digest that for a few seconds.

All right. I know it's a lot to take on, because you know what? There's a lot of confusion. OneDrive for Business is three things, because it is a brand. OneDrive for Business is your My Site, and it is that My Documents library that it's inside of it. When you click on sync for that document library, it's going to synchronize in your computer as OneDrive for Business under your favorites. However, if you clicked sync on any other document library or site wherever you are, in SharePoint, on any other SharePoint as well, if you participate to your customers or other portals, other SharePoints you'll be able to synchronize them, but they'll appear on different section called SharePoint because they're not your OneDrive for Business.

Remember that OneDrive - if we're thinking about the public OneDrive - it's like your personal space. Well, for them OneDrive for Business is your personal space in SharePoint. So, If you click on synchronize when you're not in your personal space it will want to synchronize show it to you as a different section as a SharePoint section. I hope I'm not confusing you too much. That's the face that I was doing and you can tell I'm a fan of suits at the same time.

OneDrive for Business is a SharePoint document library that every user has and owns. Owns, it's a very, very important word here. It is their personal library, but that lives in SharePoint on top of that it allows them to also synchronize any document library that they have access to. This is what OneDrive for Business is, it's a personal document library that you own, but it also allows you to offline sync with every other document library in the wilt.

All right. The benefit. Now, we're talking the good here. The good of OneDrive for Business. Why do I choose OneDrive for Business? Well, if OneDrive for Business is actually a SharePoint document library, then I get all of the power of a SharePoint document library, and that is the advantage, because the SharePoint document libraries, also allows you to do version history, manage complex versions, have workflows for approvals, allows you to co-author documents, work on it at the same time. It allows you to do many, many things, add metadata, control how people are going to feud the information, there's a lots of power. There's no wonder SharePoint has been one of the most popular SharePoint products for years now.

And all of a sudden, you're saying you can have OneDrive for Business and it is the power of SharePoint document library. I'll get to the different versions... how you could purchase OneDrive Office365 and so on, very shortly. In fact is OneDrive for Business just for Office365? Is that something that I'm not going to have my own premises servers? I had to put this.

Now, it's not just for Office365. OneDrive for Business works on premises too. Why? Because it is just your SharePoint My Sites and that has existed for very, very long time. It's just a new brand to them. It is your document library that you personally own, where it is located, whether it's in Office365 or on the SharePoint that you have in your offices, in your server room, it's still OneDrive for Business offering the same features.

Not exactly the same features, there's a small difference. If you are on Office365, you automatically every single user, their My Site, their OneDrive for Business. I'm going to stop calling it My Site now. Their OneDrive for Business is going to be one terabyte per person. Yes, you can do this on premises too, on your own servers, but do you want to give one terabyte per person on your own disc space? It doesn't mean that you have to give this on Office365 but it is available. Also, in Office365 OneDrive for Business allows for external sharing.

Let me go back to my Office365 here, where I am, and if I go and I go back to my OneDrive for Business which is my personal document library, or My Documents, and I choose to take this folder, or this document, and I choose to share it. If I choose to share it, I can actually. Yes, I can actually add people that already exist like, Alex Daro. Is he going to show up very soon? I can add Alex, and I can share it with him. Perfect. Alex is going to get access to My Document for him to come into My Documents in my OneDrive for Business, but I can also invite people from the outside.

I can say, "Well, I'm going to invite jasper@share-gate.com, or hotmail.com, or outlook.com," I'm going to be able to add external people they're going to receive an email and in the email there's going to be a link that's going to bring them to my OneDrive for Business, and give them access to that single document.

However, if you're working with your on-premises environment, well, this isn't available out of the box, and frankly I haven't seen it set up anywhere with on-premises, but technically you could develop it as well, but it is not just there. OneDrive for Business on Office365 thus offer it.

It's already complaint within these standards. All of these ISO compliance's. Microsoft has done it on their back-end. Depending on your organization making your servers complaint and security complaint might be a lot more work and money than Office365, and of course it already works with Dell. That new product that was announced just Monday, if we go and check it out, if I clicked on Dell, I'll able to see this new product, but Dell works with OneDrive for Business and Office365 for now, and Dell's in the work with your on-premises environment, so very, very important as well depending on what you want to work with here. Continue.
Now, before I actually continue. Let's talk about the different ways that you can get OneDrive for Business for your organization. The first level of entry is buying OneDrive for business as a standalone subscription. That means if I go to onedrive/about I believe, and I look at the plans or I click on business. I'll see their Sales Marketing staff, but I can try and buy, I can look at the plans and pricing, and there I'll see OneDrive for Business and what I get free. Now, what I can do is I can actually get OneDrive for Business as a standalone subscription. It's been recently released a couple of months ago, and I can just buy OneDrive for Business.

But what is OneDrive for Business, can somebody help me out? Okay. Everybody's muted it's true, it's true, but I know you guys know now. OneDrive for Business as we've said is three things. It's the MySite, My Documents with an offline sync. If you buy that just OneDrive for Business subscription for your organization all that you get is one site per employee, or per user, that each of them have a document library for themselves that allows them to share with other people both externally and within this other people in your organization, and allows them to synchronize offline. If you get Office365, on the other hand you get SharePoint online as well, which allows you to get team sites going on, but you can also get OneDrive for Business, which in turn allows you to synchronize offline any document library within it.

Now, what are the limitations of this, and I put the article, all of the slides will be available at the end and I've been recording this as well, so you'll be able to see it again, and here this lovely voice once more. Current limitations. The sync is by document library, not by files and not by folders. I know, they're working on it. Again, I get to talk to the product team, which is awesome. They are working on it, but for now it is a limitation that you should definitely be aware of. Now the number of items that can be sync. We'll talk about their actual number very, very soon, in fact let's probably open it right now.

There is a certain synchronization limit. For the OneDrive for Business document library. Now, you know which one that is, that's the one in your My Site. There cannot be more than 20,000 items for you to synchronize. Now, a document library can have... and that's where the confusion lies when people are using OneDrive for Business. A document library in SharePoint can have all the way up to 30 million documents, that is a lot. This is a limitation for the offline synchronization tool, you cannot sync more than 20,000 items in your personal document library. Technically if you plan to synchronize, it means you cannot have more than 20,000 items, even though you can store 30 million documents in it.

The problem is if you go over once you clicked on sync it just won't work, same for every single document library that you choose to put inside team sites. If you synchronize this other document libraries that live everywhere, you can not synchronize them if they have over 5,000 items. However, the document library can store up to 30 million documents. Once again, this limit is for the synchronization, and not for the number of items that can be in a document library.

Now, there's also a 2GB file size limit. For now, they've removed it from the public OneDrive that thing that is personal to you only, but on OneDrive for Business there still a 2GB file size limit, which we're hoping to see disappear very soon. There's also many character limitations in files and folders. We'll talk about that in the migration piece. There's many characters that can't be stored inside SharePoint, because of what it's using in the back-end, so unfortunately you have to be weary of this when you're adding, and it's all inside the url that I just brought you to. It's also, not available on Mac when we're talking about this offline synchronization. There is no offline synchronization for Mac, so we're going to have to be waiting for this. However, it does work for iOS devices, it works on my iPad, and it works on my iPhone, but it does not work on my Mac just yet, which usually where I'm working, so I'm definitely waiting for that big time. Files don't have a url.

If you have a file in SharePoint, now, some of you'd be like, "No, No, No, I know, I've seen this, Benjamin you're lying to us," I'm not lying to you guys. Let's go to our OneDrive for Business again, actually we were here, and let's go back to one of our site, I'm going to be able to go to our sales and marketing site, and what we are talking about again, [laughs] we're talking about, "Yes, the url," Hey, I'm a normal human being and it happens guys, it happens, I forget.

So, what's going to happen is, I choose to share, right, and you see a url here, but the url when you click on share or you want to send it to somebody. It's not a url directly to download the file or to get to the file. It comes to the webpage here, it opens up the browser to go and see it. Of course, I forgot the advantage that on Office365 you get to quickly access everything online. It's web enabled. Now, when comparing to things like Dropbox and Box this is a huge advantage. I don't need Office installed in my computer anymore, modify these documents that are in my OneDrive for Business, but that's another story for another time.

And finally, the synchronization tool guys, I'll be very honest with you, even though I love OneDrive for Business, I love the concept. The synchronization still maturing. It is still have some issues, still have some bugs, sometimes it won't synchronize all of the things properly. I've had some issues with it. Unfortunately, I wish I was the only one, but I'm not the only one. When I'm working on my windows or my other computers if I'm trying to sync, it works most of the time. In fact, in some of them I never had any issues, but there's a potential synchronization problem.

And if you do have a synchronization problem, the solution believe it or not is to... you can't manage your storage it just means where it is and what is on the recycle bin, you have to click on repair, and repair means it's going to flush and re-download everything. So if you had one million documents synchronized everywhere this is going to be a big hefty download back into your computer to repair what's been synchronized. I've had some issues with this, so I just want you to know about them before you go all out there.

There's also, if ever you want to stop synchronizing. As you can see I'm synchronizing this. Do not delete this here. If you want to stop synchronizing, first you have to go in to your OneDrive for Business offline sync tool, say that you that you want to stop synchronizing a folder select it, just essentially a document library and not a folder, another confusion. You say stop synchronizing and it'll get turn into a normal folder, the files are still there. You need to know about this as well. And now, I can actually know delete it, but I have to do it manually. I have to do this. Let's continue.

What about, when should we use it? I should use it exactly when? Well, decision, decisions. What you can see OneDrive for Business as... for those of you a lot of people want to get into it, it's basically your new version of the My Documents that you have in your desktop. You can basically explain it that way. That's what I do when I go and train users, and when I see organization customers. If you're telling users when to put things OneDrive for Business and when to put them in team site. Well, what I say is, "Whenever you had documents that you would put in your file share, that's what you put in your team site. Whether it's documents that you leave in your desktop or that you would leave in your My Document and work on them that's what you put on your OneDrive for Business, or that personal document library that you have in your MySite. It's for documents that don't fit in one of your organization team site."

The common mistakes. Going back in time with Sideshow Bob here. The common mistake is the 5,000 items you threshold limit that we have for documents. There is a limit that doesn't allow you to go and see if you have more than 5,000 items, but there are ways to bypass this. You can create index columns-check that out-index columns within your document library. You have to do this beforehand.

You can also create activate and manage metadata navigation view, choose that filter on that left hand side of SharePoint, which will also create automatically index column and bypass the 5,000 items you threshold, which has nothing to do with OneDrive for Business for say, but people often associate the two.

There is a 20,000-item sync limit, but you know why this happens, because of this one. This one bothers me a lot and I think you can sense it in my tone of voice. A lot of people complain about OneDrive for Business and the limit of 20,000 items. You shouldn't have 20,000 items in your personal business place. If you had over 20,000 items on your desktop in your My Documents, there is a problem.

So what happens is often organization will move to OneDrive for Business and they think that their entire file shares will go into OneDrive for Business. No, remember what is OneDrive for Business? It's a personal document library that belongs to every single user. It's in their personal space within Office365 or within SharePoint if you want.

If you're doing a one to one migration, there is definitely a problem, which leads into this other problem which is a 20,000 item limit. I never have more than a couple of hundred big maximum of things in my personal space, in fact I usually have 20 or 30, the things the I want to keep personal, but I want to share with some people in my team sometimes, but they don't fit in our team sites or in our share drive, if we're still using that still. So very, very important they are linked together.

Common mistakes that people often confuse OneDrive for Business or ODFB with the regular OneDrive, the public offering, so people say, "I put in my OneDrive," and they actually put it in their OneDrive. We can't access that. You have to train them between the two, and I would recommend doing a lot and a lot of training and communication, I should say. Internal communications with the difference between the two. Microsoft doesn't do it, it's not going to do it for you, so you're going to have to take that especially for large organizations. Putting files in OneDrive for Business instead of team sites, which again always link to the same things.

What about migrating from your file shares or other SharePoint to OneDrive for Business. The first step that you going to have to do is, you're going to have to analyze file shares. You're going to have to analyze your file shares because some things are very, very simple. There are things that can't go into your SharePoint, they can't go into your OneDrive for Business, and then as a second step you can migrate to that.

I put two very helpful urls that I mentioned again in the second slides and third slides, but I invite you to check them out. There is, first, a way to analyze, and this I completely stole from an awesome article on MSDN and I have the link in that previous slide right here, so all credit goes to this article, which I do recommend you check out because I wasn't about just to repeat everything that they're going to say.

Essentially what comes out is, you need to analyze, what is the total size of the file share that data that you want to migrate? How many files are there in total? What are the largest file sizes? How deep are the folder structures nested? Is there any content that is not being use anymore? What file types are there, and why are we asking all of these questions?

And why should you analyze before you start your migration? Because it's not all of the file types that are supported, it is not all of the file names or the path I should say, if you have two sub-folders, it's going to crash and it's going to tell you the file name is too long. If there's content that has not been touched since 1998 then don't bring it into this new portal. If there's too many large files, depending on... Again, we have a 2GB-file size limit, but by default it's 50MB, so you'll have to plan accordingly.

SharePoint or OneDrive for Business is really for business files, it's not meant for you store your virtual machines, your very big, big movie files, it's meant for your office files your PDS, your Word, your Excel, maybe some other documents, but we need to use it in that context that was built for OneDrive for Business and not just a public service that allows you store your personal stuff everywhere.

How many files are there in total? You'll going to need to know that because if you exceed that 5,000 items limit or that 20,000 items limit, you'll going to have a problem as well. How do you do this? How do you analyze? Well, there's that PowerShell script I was talking to you about, you can analyze using PowerShell. And this script scans all of your file share, or your previous SharePoint. You can go and download it and run it, and what's going to do is it's going to scan and look for folders that have too many long file names, invalid characters, and all of the things that are not supported inside of the destination SharePoint, or OneDrive for Business in this case.

There's also a tool called filechecker.exe. FileChecker is the same thing... it's not meant for SharePoint or OneDrive, but it scans for invalid characters, things that generally are not supported by the Windows environment, or that browser if you like, so this is going to be helpful.

Recently, I've migrated a couple of terabytes to OneDrive for Business and team sites and we used the little tool called TreeSize. Now, TreeSize is a little tool has nothing to do with SharePoint, it is a tool that you need to purchase, it's not very expensive though, if I remember correctly, and it really allows you to scan your entire file share, and what we did is we give it to Power Users, so that it can scan file shares, and it gives detail reports on files that are duplicates, even though they have different file names, files that are just completely too big, it gives you graphs of where things are, and what kind of files you have too much of, and it helps you kind of identify the pieces that you want to migrate and not.

Of course, I'm going to talk about Sharegate as well quickly. No, I'm kidding. But Sharegate does also have that pre-migration analysis. So, if you do get it for migration, well you already have it as well for an analysis before you actually do the migration, so that's definitely a perfect.

There are three migration methods. There are three ways for you to get those files from your file share into SharePoint. Now, these are the three ways. And don't worry I'm not going to say Sharegate or many third party tools, but the first to be honest, unless you're a company of 10, 15, 20 people, you're not going to want to do this and it's really for a simple fact. You can use the explorer viewer to drag and drop, that means you're going to your file share, and you manually drag and drop to the right document libraries or you ask your users to do it.

What is the problem when you use the explorer view? This is what I showed you earlier. Where I take a bunch of files and I just drag and drop them here. I take them, and save this three screen shots here, and I just bring them here. This would be a migration scenario. The problem with this, let's look at it. If I go into the properties of this, that I just uploaded or migrated, it has been both created and modified by the same person at the same time which is just now, and that's what happens when you used anything other than third party tools to migrate documents into SharePoint or OneDrive for Business. You lose the properties, you lose the metadata, and that's bad for retention policies to know what's old, what's hasn't been modified and just keep the right ownership on your documents.

One way is to use the explorer view and drag and drop. Another way, is to have people synchronize their OneDrive for Business and then put files themselves in their OneDrive for Business folder, needless to say you can't do this in an organization that has many, many users because they're not going to do it. And then lastly, of course tools like Sharegate and other third party tools that allow you to migrate to your OneDrive for Business or to your content. Now, do I have some tips for you? Absolutely, when you're migrating. This whether you're using third party tools or not. Okay.

OneDrive for Business. Remember what it is? OneDrive for Business is... Let me find it, I have too many tabs open now. Let's go in to our Office365 which was here, and let's go into our OneDrive for Business. Do you remember what this is? It's a personal site, however when you deploy Office365 or SharePoint on-premises or OneDrive for Business subscription by default this personal sites don't exist. The problem is, unless your users have already been given access to OneDrive for Business you're not going to be able to migrate to them because they don't exist.

So the trick is there is a PowerShell script and all of it is the link that I gave you with the PowerShell information, and with the link about the step one, step two migration that will be in the slides. There is a PowerShell provisioning script that allows you to pre-create this OneDrive for Business personal site collections with personal document libraries before your users actually go and create them, and this is going to be necessary to you whether your using third-party tools like Sharegate or not to be able to migrate your documents to it because it needs to exist.

I hope that clears it up a little bit. It's not going to be easy. You're going to need an inventory before, you're going to need to analyze, and then do a migration which is what I recommend. We do a lot of consulting here especially here in our region, and we've come up with a tactic that I mentioned many times in previous webinars, and that is the RMR strategy, it's called Remove Migrate or Rebuilt. We don't really rebuild, but we do identify.

So what we do is we analyze put it in an Excel file using either PowerShell or of course we use Sharegate here internally, we put it into our Excel file, all of our file share that we plan to migrate, and then what we do is we put two columns or we put columns to say, "Are we going to remove this or are we going to migrate this?" So, it helps us identify quickly what we're planning to migrate and what we plan not to. We can proofread this with Power Users, the people that own content of those file shares in the organization, and then when we're ready we migrate the things that we want to OneDrive for Business or to SharePoint. Guys, I know how you feel there's a lot of information so far, a lot.

OneDrive is a public product, it has nothing to do with SharePoint and other than the word OneDrive it has nothing, nothing to do with OneDrive for Business. OneDrive for Business is the evolution that came from Office Groove in 2007, that then became SharePoint Workspace in 2010, and in 2013 took over the MySite, and the personal document library that every user has and added an offline sync feature that allows you to synchronize that document library as well as any other document library in SharePoint. Other than the word OneDrive it has nothing to do with the public product OneDrive.

I think and I hope that that's how you feel right now, like a Champion. No, honestly guys, I hope that this has been helpful and that it helped you demystify what OneDrive for Business is. Guys again, thank you very, very much. I hope that this has been helpful. I hope that you've learned, it helped you separate SharePoint, OneDrive, and OneDrive for Business. I'm going to stick around because I'm sure there are tons and tons of questions. Otherwise, have an awesome day and I'll see you hopefully at the next one.

Benjamin Niaulin
Benjamin Niaulin @bniaulin

Well known as the SharePoint Geek, Benjamin has been helping people all around the globe reach their goals by simplifying SharePoint solutions. You haven't met Benjamin yet? Look for him at SharePoint conferences and events!