Seeing through the sensationalism…

I do have to say that it cracks me up seeing authors try to spin different information from a non-technical perspective to explain things to consumers rather than just stating, “Hey, it’s a service that already exists, they’re just allowing you to buy it separately.”

In this case it’s an article on CMSWire on the topic of OneDrive for Business takes on SharePoint.

I’m sorry, what? OneDrive for Business, formerly SkyDrive Pro, is comprised of two components. Me thinks it’s not trying to take on SharePoint as a whole. The article might as well say “XYZ document synchronization software takes on SharePoint.”

The client agent for OneDrive for Business is an outgrowth of SharePoint for Workspaces 2010 which was an outgrowth of Microsoft Groove 2007 which was a rebrand of Groove 2006. The OneDrive for Business is merely the document library that’s standard for a user’s mysite user profile that happens to now connect back into the Groove software, I mean OneDrive for Business software with a special folder that shows up through File Explorer / Windows explorer thanks to the client agent. On a side note, all the functionality that you had in Groove and SharePoint Workspaces for metadata synchronization, forms, conversations and such no longer exists in OneDrive for Business.

I would like to say that my hat goes off to the Microsoft Office SharePoint Product Group and the associated teams that were able to make OneDrive for Business possible. It’s not easy to integrate something like this and it’s further not something simple especially with all the other turning wheels in the SharePoint platform wheelhouse.

Back to the article though… do I think that OneDrive for Business is taking on SharePoint? Trying to replace it? For certain use cases? Sure. If you’re an army of one or a small team of individuals that lack hard core processes, don’t require workflow and are primarily concerned with document management and collaboration, sounds like a nice service offering to go after.

For team collaboration however, where you’re working in an integrated workspace with calendar information, tasks, workflows, metadata, applications, dashboards, project schedules and other particular information – no.

Also, it’s interesting that the article mentions the “OneDrive for Business” following document libraries… that would be the client software allowing you to sync to document libraries… perhaps I’m missing the significance here but that’s SharePoint document libraries.

The subscription service to me is basically Microsoft offering it out there to compete with Dropbox for Business or other enterprise services. This just happening to key off the capabilities of SharePoint that already exist. Props to Microsoft for setting up the infrastructure and commoditizing it for those simply looking for document management and document collaboration through Office Web Applications.

All in all, I’m excited to see OneDrive for Business continue to gain popularity since until now SharePoint MySites and the document library were largely overlooked in SharePoint 2003/2007/2010.

To me though, the best part, if you look in task explorer and look at the process that’s running, while it might have a label that says “OneDrive for Business” it’s still good ole Groove.exe. 🙂

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