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Cloud File Storage with Microsoft OneDrive for Business

Part of the Office 365 platform is OneDrive for Business, a cloud file-storage solution for individuals and groups.

In addition to storage, OneDrive for Business also facilitates editing and simultaneous collaboration of Office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote Notebooks) using Office Online and via supported Office clients. Office Online and the current Office clients have varying levels of feature support.

Every Dalhousie faculty member, staff member, and student is allotted their own 1TB of space for storage. Additionally, Office 365 groups have been created by CS tech support for various organizations (Committees, Societies, etc.) within the faculty. Each group is allotted its own distinct 1TB of storage (separate from individual user storage). Faculty and staff can see the groups they have been added to by logging into myDal and navigating to the OneDrive app.

Accessing your OneDrive space via the web

  1. Login to myDal using your Dalhousie NetID.
  2. Open the Office 365 App Launcher located in the top-left corner of the screen and select OneDrive.

Using Personal Storage

On the OneDrive for Business webapp you’ll see your personal files in the default view. This page has controls for creating office documents and folders, as well as for uploading any other document type. Other major features include:

  • syncing your files to local devices (using the relevant sync client for computers and mobile)
  • sharing files for viewing and editing via account permissions or link
  • reviewing the version history of a file

Using Group Storage

In the left sidebar of the OneDrive for Business webapp will be a listing of the groups that you’ve been added to. Clicking on any of those groups will take you to the file storage for that group. This space functions fundamentally the same as your personal space with only minor differences, such as that files cannot be shared via link when stored in group file storage. Files stored in group storage do not count against your personal quota.

Group owned files default to being automatically viewable and editable by everyone in the group. To see the members of a particular group, select the 3-dots icon (i.e. •••) located just under the group title when viewing the group file storage page. From this view select Members. (Note: Most groups will have a “Dalhousie Faculty of Computer Science” user. This is an administrative user managed exclusively by CS Tech Support.)

Sharing Files

Aside from the default sharing of group stored files with the members of a group, OneDrive for Business also allows sharing via explicity granted permissions and via links (links or work with personal stored files though).

To share via permission, with either personal or group stored files:

  1. Select the 3-dots icon located in the row of the target file or folder.
  2. Select "Share" from the context menu.
  3. Enter the name(s) into the person look-up (only staff and faculty can be found by search, contact CS Tech Support if you need to share with at student)
  4. Select the appropriate permission - view or edit - and set the remaining permissions as desired.
  5. Press the "Share" button.

Shared files will be viewable in the recipient's "Shared with me" section (listed in the OneDrive for Business webapp sidebar).

To share via a link (only works with personal files, group owned files cannot be shared by link):

  1. Select the 3-dots icon located in the row of the target file or folder.
  2. Select "Share" from the context menu.
  3. Select "Get a link" from the modal that appears.
  4. Create a link for viewing or editing as appropriate and share the link with the recipient via your medium of choice.

Collaborative Editing

Files stored in OneDrive for Business can be edited collaboratively and simultaneously. All Microsoft Office based files can be opened using the webapp versions of the Microsoft Office suite. To edit a file:

  1. Select the target file's name in the appropriate row from the Onedrive for Business webapp.
  2. Select "Edit Document" from the menu along the top bar.
  3. Select "Edit in <AppName> Online"
  4. Proceed with modifying the file as appropriate.

Note: If a OneDrive for Business stored file is opened in a desktop version of Microsoft Office, the file will become locked and nobody else will be able to edit the file until the file is closed. Collaborative editing only works when using Office Online.