Thursday, May 16, 2013

What is SkyDrive Pro


Greetings !

In my last post, I discussed about my personal Cloud which is SkyDrive . Today I shall talk about SkyDrive Pro .


Difference between SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro

The first question which will come to anyone’s mind is how’s SkyDrive Pro different from SkyDrive ? So here we go:

1) SkyDrive is your Personal Cloud which can be used to store your documents, pictures, videos , songs . SkyDrive Pro on the other hand is your Professional Cloud. And it is primarily to store your documents since in our professional work , we mainly work with documents .

2) SkyDrive Cloud is hosted as a free service on Microsoft Servers. SkyDrive Pro Cloud on the other hand, is hosted on SharePoint , whether On Premise or Online, as a part of Office365 Cloud Service . So it is essentially a part of your Company Intranet .

3) The document storage in SkyDrive is simple storage without any version control. The documents in SkyDrive Pro have built in capability of version control.

4) You can add ratings feature to your SkyDrive Pro document library . This is not available in SkyDrive .

How do you get SkyDrive Pro

SkyDrive Pro comes in 2 parts

a) A component of Microsoft SharePoint , either SharePoint Online or SharePoint Server

b) Client component of Office 2013 Pro Plus .

So when you install Office 2013 Pro Plus , the SkyDrive Pro gets auto installed . But kindly note that unless you have SharePoint , the SkyDrive Pro does not have much use. So it would be correct to state that SkyDrive Pro = SharePoint + Office Pro plus 2013

This is My SkyDrive Pro

Now let me deep dive into my SkyDrive Pro . Given below is the screen shot of my PC. I have highlighted 2 icons a) SkyDrive b) SharePoint . The SkyDrive icon is my SkyDrive . The SharePoint icon is actually the SkyDrive Pro icon.


Now let me go inside my SharePoint ( SkyDrive Pro ) folder :


As can be seen , I have 6 folders in my SharePoint folder . Of these , there are 2 Admin folders , 2 Marketing folders , 1 Sales folder , 1 Jobs & Hiring folder .

Now let me go one level deeper into the Techgyan Events folder within Marketing:


As is seen above, I have highlighted the path . Within the Techgyan Events , you can see 6 folders representing 6 events which we have recently hosted. Against each folder on the left , you can see a green tick indicating that the folder is in sync with the Cloud. These folders are all on my PC. And where is the Cloud? Lets see that :


The Cloud is on our SharePoint which is part of our Office365 Service hosted and managed by Microsoft .I have highlighted few portions as follows:

1) The Internet path where our SharePoint is located

2) The Marketing Team site

3) TechGyan Events

And within TechGyan events are the same folders which appear above on my PC as local folders.

So the way I use SkyDrive Pro is that I have offline access to various document libraries of different Teams in our Company like Sales, Admin, Marketing . These folders are shared with the respective Team members . So whether I am in office or outside, I am actually working on files available on the hard disk of my local PC . This gives me great speed as I work on files which are locally available and NOT on the Internet nor on my SharePoint site .


SkyDrive Pro usage scenarios

So having understood the above , SkyDrive Pro gives rise to various interesting scenarios :

1) If I go to outstation and I do not have access to Internet continuously, I need not stop my work. I would continue to work . And as soon as the PC senses Internet connection, it will automatically sync the changes to my SharePoint Server . And it will only sync the delta changes , making it extremely fast .

2) If my Office Internet has slowed down for any reason, I don’t have to slow down as I am working locally on my PC . All my edits will get auto synced with my SharePoint server depending on the speed of my Internet. But that does not affect my work as I continue to work with the locally available SharePoint files.

3) This also is a great way to have an offline backup of my SharePoint data .

Hopefully I have been able to explain to you what is SkyDrive Pro. Trust me, its an awesome technology once you start using it . This one piece of Technology can improve your productivity by leaps and bounds. Seriously !

with warm regards

Suresh Ramani