Saturday, October 6, 2012

Skydrive Pro primer

There is a lot of confusion around about exactly what SkyDrive Pro is. Here’s what I’ve been able to deduce.

 

- Skydrive Pro is part of SharePoint 2013.

- It allows synch’ing of nominated files in SharePoint 2013 to the desktop.

- It is designed as a per user solution, it not designed to bulk sync information from SharePoint 2013 to a network share (a al Dropbox).

- It requires you to have Office 2013 installed to work.

- It is completely different from SkyDrive Live consumer product.

 

So how does it work? Here’s the experience with the latest Office 365 beta.

 

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Login to the Office 365 beta portal and select SkyDrive from the menu across the top.

 

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Select Sync in the top right of the page.

 

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When you do you might get the above inability to display the page with a URL starting with grvopen://https. This is because there is no local app that can do the sync’ing. I would have thought that this piece of software would simply download automatically if it wasn’t found on the local machine. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear so. To use SkyDrive Pro sync’ing you need to have Office 2013 installed. Thus, the SkyDrive Pro sync’ing desktop app appears to be part of Office 2013.

 

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If you now install Office 2013 and repeat the attempt to sync after the install has completed you will see:

 

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Allow this.

 

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Allow again if prompted.

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You should now see the address of the document library in the library to sync as shown above. Press the Sync Now button.

 

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If you are using Office 365, as I am in this case, you may be prompted to login to Office 365.

 

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You should now see any files being sync’ed as shown above.

 

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Once complete, if you press the Show my files button you should see

 

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So any files copied here will be sync’ed with the location in SharePoint and any new files that get loaded into that SharePoint location will be sync’ed locally in this location.

 

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Now, if you go to any document library in SharePoint 2013 you will again see the option to Sync. Selecting that will prompt you, as above, as to what you want to sync. Make the selection and press Sync selected button.

 

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You will now see that new sync’ed location added under favourites. Interestingly it will be given a new name as shown above.

 

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If you look in the system tray you will find a SkyDrive Pro icon. Right mouse clicking will display the above menu. One would expect that if this icon is shown in the system tray sync’ing to SharePoint 2013 will not happen.

 

If instead of Office 2013 you have Office 2010 Professional Plus installed, when you attempt to sync it will use SharePoint 2010 Workspace. Thus, if you have Office 2010 Professional Plus you won’t get the SkyDrive app.

 

The main question I have now is, can I download just the SkyDrive Pro app somewhere and use it without Office 2013? One kinda thinks that this is what will happen as most people won’t have SharePoint Workspace and, at least initially not Office 2013 either. With sync’ing of documents from the cloud to the desktop being very important I certainly hope the provide this SkyDrive Pro Desktop app for free as they do with the consumer grade SkyDrive Live local app.

 

If I find more information I’ll post it, but don’t forget this is still beta software, yet to be released.