Traditionally in most organization with a Domain Controller and File server, users has the ability to:

  • Collaborate on files across “Group Drives”
  • Keep files accessible only to themselves within folders called “Home Drives”

With SharePoint 2013, a new feature is available with an individual’s “MySites “called SkyDrive Pro. The main functionality of SkyDrive Pro is to act as a library for all your work documents, which is only accessible to yourself but can also be easily shared with co-workers and accessed on your mobile device as well. Some high level features to be taken into consideration with SkyDrive Pro:

  • Ability to sync to your device: both computer and mobile device , so that they can be accessed offline
  • Sharing documents with the wider organization if required.
  • Organizing documents into a single location with privacy entitling the accessibility to the individual MySites user.

The screenshot below shows the default homepage for MySites for a user

Clicking on SkyDrive at the top right hand corner takes the user to their default SkyDrive Pro folder.

Note: – Browse here if you would like to completely hide these options

Typically all documents and files within the top-level SkyDrive Pro Library on a personal site would be protected from public view by default. This makes an apt location for storing confidential data or first drafts of documents that are meant to be saved.

Whereas the “Shared with Everyone” folder is provided for documents that a user would like to share with everyone in the organization. Permissions on this folder are “Can View”

Sharing can be for everyone within the organization via Shared with Everyone or the user may create a folder to share with a particular user or group. The screenshot above shows a folder called “TestShareWithUser1”. Something to remember is the fact the permissions for that folder would enable all the contents within that folder to inherit the folder side permissions.

Several Users can collaborate on the same piece of document at the same time as well.Users would be shown a message to identify other users working on the same document as well.

Parts of the document can also be blocked from users editing it as well.

Creating Offline Copies or syncing a particular document library with a user’s device is a quite straightforward.

Click on “Sync” on the top right hand corner of the page

Once the files are sync’d with the particular document library they are available on the user’s device

Users also have the ability to Sync Libraries that have been shared by other users. In this example User 1 has shared some files with another user

This creates what is called as a SharePoint library with the name of the Library that you are currently syncing

Windows 8 devices with Office 2013 RTM installed, users get the ability to manage and sync files from Windows Explorer with a context menu