Microsoft delivers preview of OneDrive-SharePoint Online sync

Microsoft is rolling out a preview of its promised OneDrive-SharePoint sync capability, but the capability won't reach the masses until early 2017.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

At its Ignite conference in Atlanta, Ga., this week, Microsoft is providing an update on its progress toward delivering a number of the SharePoint and OneDrive features it outlined earlier this year.

Credit: Microsoft

One of those features -- sync between SharePoint and OneDrive -- is now in preview, officials said on Sept. 26.

Through the preview, users can sync SharePoint Online document libraries and OneDrive folders shared with others. There's also a new activity center for the OneDrive sync client that allows users to view sync and file activity at a glance that's in preview as of this week.

Update: Here's how users can get the sync preview. (Thanks, @TeroAlhonen.)

Microsoft also is rolling out notifications for OneDrive file sharing for iOS and Android and access to SharePoint Online files in the OneDrive Android app this week.

"We promised to bring a single sync experience for all your files in Office 365, across OneDrive and SharePoint. Today, we're proud to announce the public preview of this eagerly anticipated update for both PC and Mac," said officials in a blog post outlining the updated feature plans.

"SharePoint sync is being added to the OneDrive sync client, which we released last year, and offers superior levels of reliability, performance and control--including the flexibility to select the specific folders you want to take offline," they continued. "Now you have one simple way to take any of your Office 365 files offline. And we'll make it even easier, with a seamless upgrade from the legacy sync client (groove.exe)."

Microsoft will start rolling out this integrated sync experience to First Release customers "in the coming months", with rollout to all customers slated to be completed in the first quarter of 2017.

In May of this year, Microsoft officials said they'd roll out this SharePoint Online-OneDrive sync experience before the end of calendar 2016 -- which was already later than some customers expected and hoped.

Microsoft officials also announced details of the coming, promised Feature Pack 1 for SharePoint Server 2016 at Ignite this week. The first Feature Pack will be available in November.

Among the features that will be part of SharePoint Server 2016 Feature Pack 1:

  • Logging of administrative actions performed in Central Administration and with Windows PowerShell
  • Enhancements to MinRole to support small environments
  • New OneDrive for Business user experience.Custom tiles in the SharePoint app launcher
  • Unified auditing across site collections on-premises and in Office 365
  • Unified taxonomy across on-premises and Office 365
  • OneDrive API 2.0

Feature packs for SharePoint Server will be available to users with Software Assurance.

In other Office news, Microsoft is rolling out its Universal Windows Platform (UWP) Delve app for Windows 10 desktop and mobile as of Sept. 26. People cards for providing profile and content information throughout Office 365 are also rolling out now.

And for those who were worried about Outlook Mobile making use of AWS, those fears should be over as of this week. Microsoft officials said Outlook Mobile (the app built on technology from Microsoft's Acompli acquisition) is "now fully powered by the Microsoft cloud" so that no mailbox data is cached outside Office 365.

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