Using Your Personal SkyDrive
Continuing with looking at the revamped MySites in SharePoint 2013, in this post I’m going to discuss the SkyDrive. I have previously discussed SharePoint 2013’s Newsfeed and MySites. After your MySite has been created, you’ll see the link in the upper right-hand corner of the SharePoint screen. Basically the SkyDrive is a personal library where you can store and share documents.
When you first access your SkyDrive, you’ll notice a default folder called Shared with Everyone. Just like the name implies, files you save in this folder will be accessible by everyone. They will be able to see and view your documents, but they won’t be able to edit them. Files you save in the root folder are private unless you otherwise specify. People won’t even know these files exist. So rest assured, your work is secure from your co-worker’s prying eyes.
Now that you understand your files are safe, let’s look at three reasons to use your SkyDrive (as opposed to saving documents on your local machine).
Three Reasons to Use SkyDrive
- Easy to access
- Easy to share
- Backup with SharePoint
Accessed from Anywhere
Presumably, your SharePoint site is available from any Internet connected machine. At the very least, it should be accessible from your primary workstations both at work and home. Ideally, your SharePoint site is hosted at Fpweb.net.
The fact that you can access SharePoint from anywhere also means you can access your private SkyDrive from anywhere. This means you can finish that TPS Report from bed when you just can’t get to sleep at night. You don’t have to worry about using a VPN Connection and hoping your workstation is turned on.
So, what could be better than that? How about Office Web Apps? If Office Web Apps is part of your SharePoint farm, then you don’t even need a local instance of Microsoft Office to add or edit most documents. Which means, in most cases, you don’t even have to be on a Windows machine.
Sharing is Fun!
I touched briefly on security in MySites. The important thing to remember is this: documents in the root folder of your SkyDrive are private until you grant permissions, and items saved in the Shared with Everyone folder can be seen by everyone.
Let’s look at a couple example documents. Consider the following two documents in the root of MySites.
Now I want to grant specific permissions to the Only My Friends Can See This document. To do this:
- Click the Edit menu button (the ellipses next to the document).
- Click Share.
- In the top part of the box, you’ll see the current Permissions for this document.
- In the Invite people box, start typing the name of the person you want to share the document with. When the name is discovered, click the person’s name.
- In the drop-down next to the people box, choose either Can edit or Can view. These permissions are pretty obvious. Can edit means this person can make modifications to the document. Can view means they can only view the document. This means they can view the contents of the document so if it’s a Microsoft Word document, for example, they could open the document in Word.
- Your screen should now look similar to this:
- Click Share to make this document available to your co-worker.
- Now when you access the Share option from the Edit menu, you’ll see your changes.
Before we see what it looks like from fpweb15_test account, take a look again at the library and notice there’s two documents:
Got it? Good.
Now, when fpweb15_test access my library, this is what he sees:
Note the For My Eyes Only document is hidden from this account. So feel free to save your rants about your co-workers in MySites. Just be sure to set permissions on the right document!
Backup My Files
This last point is simple.
Hopefully your SharePoint farm is backed up regularly. If this is the case then documents you save to your SkyDrive will also be backed up. Now you don’t have to worry about your workstation crashing or corrupting your files. Even better, if your SharePoint farm has item-level backup (like many hosted SharePoint farms at Fpweb.net), then if you accidentally delete the file you can get your backup team to restore only that file.
Happy Days for You and Your SkyDrive
Saving files to your SkyDrive is as easy as saving it to your local workstation, yet the benefits far outweigh saving files locally. You can access them from nearly everywhere, easily set permissions on individual documents for collaboration and review, and rest assured knowing that they’re being backed up.
An added feature is because this is a document library, you have all the advantages of using a SharePoint library. In a later post, we’ll take a look at how you can leverage some of these features. Thanks for reading!