OneDrive: New Sharing Features

OneDrive simplifies sharing files — especially for large files in specialised file formats, like CAD files and other complex illustrations that need their own viewers (or the expensive original software). OneDrive’s web front-end solves that problem with its built-in preview tools, making it easy to see files anywhere and share them with colleagues. You don’t need to have the software installed, or even leave your browser. Microsoft regularly adds new file formats to its preview tooling, and the latest releases added support for AutoCAD and for 360-degree images. These tend to be large files, so rendering on-the-fly in OneDrive keeps bandwidth requirements to a minimum and ensures you don’t fill hard drive space with copies of files you just wanted to glance at.

OneDrive’s preview tools go further than simply viewing files. Now they also offer basic editing features, allowing you to add comments to files and even annotate PDFs. It’s often easier to explain a comment inline rather than in email, and this feature keeps it all in one file-viewing workflow. Office now supports @mentions, notifying users if they’re mentioned inside an Office document saved on OneDrive. Notifications come by email, with the relevant section of a file. You also get a link to OneDrive where you can download or edit the document.

Admins can already set OneDrive sharing links that anyone can open to expire after a set number of days (up to 720); if you want to customise that for each Team Site, you can now do it through the SharePoint Online Management Shell (it will be in the SharePoint admin portal soon). But if you want to put more security controls on sharing from OneDrive but also simplify sharing, you can do that with Azure AD B2B.

This is the new version of AD federation and lets you connect to partners, suppliers, contractors and other organizations in your supply chain. The people your employees are collaborating with get a guest account in Azure AD; they can use that to sign in and see all the content shared with them, but employees can also send them sharing links with a One Time Password, even if they don’t have the Microsoft account usually required.

That’s different from the new password-protected links, where you can set a custom password and mark a file to share with anyone who has the URL — that way, even if the link is published more widely than you expected, only people you give the password to get access. OTP Secure Links are for sharing with specific people, and you can even enforce MFA.

With AAD B2B users can not just share files with external colleagues, but also have those sync into their own OneDrive. This means they’re available to work on in their normal Windows applications like their own OneDrive files, which saves all that back-and-forth in email trying to find the shared file.   (source)

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