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06 October 2015

Make OneDrive for Business and MySite Your Own SharePoint Site Collection

A major part of an Office 365 subscription is usually SharePoint Online. Here each subscriber has unlimited online personal file storage as part of a dedicated site collection, often called MySite. Its default document library is reached via the OneDrive for Business icon.

You can of course use that default library to store and share files and also sync them to your PC, but there are better ways to use OneDrive for Business and the MySite site collection. I am showing how in a few Tips articles in the SharePoint Online from Scratch series.
OneDrive for Business logo
What is OneDrive for Business?
The term OneDrive for Business can actually refer to two things:
  • The default MySite library, "Files" or "Documents", which is part of the root site in your MySite site collection. This library only supports a subset of the features in a regular SharePoint document library, but it is what you reach when you click on your OneDrive for Business button in the Office 365 top navigation or on the Office 365 start page.

    However, MySite cannot only be used to store an unlimited number of files. Here you can also create more SharePoint subsites and apps that get the full SharePoint functionality.
  • A range of applications that can be installed to synchronize with the "Files" library as well  as with other SharePoint document libraries. Most commonly used is the desktop application that comes installed with Office 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus, but there are also apps for iOS and Android that interact with your SharePoint document libraries in similar ways.
OneDrive v. OneDrive for Business
OneDrive and OneDrive for Business are sometimes confused, which is understandable as they have the same icon, but they are not at all the same thing. In short the OneDrive service is not built on top of SharePoint like OneDrive for Business is. Instead OneDrive is connected to your Microsoft account – not to your organizational Office 365 account – and it is not unlimited.

Upload, share and sync
SharePoint sync iconIn my first two tutorials I explain how OneDrive for Business works. I also show how to upload both single and multiple files and how to share libraries.

In the third article I show how to synchronize a SharePoint document library with a PC folder. I also explore some of the options of the OneDrive for Business desktop application.

Each user a SharePoint site collection admin
SharePoint iconIn the fourth article I show how I recommend you to use OneDrive for Business: create new libraries in the MySite site collection. Unlike the default library the new libraries have all the SharePoint library features, so they will give you more options than the "Files"  library.

In fact, adding additional apps and subsites to a MySite site collection opens up the whole range of SharePoint functionality for each user. This means that each user is an administrator of his/her own site collection, so the possibilities are actually endless.

In conclusion, OneDrive for Business gives vast possibilities, starting with the ability to use your SharePoint files when you are not online and extending to much more!

By Peter Kalmström
CEO and Systems Designer
kalmstrom.com Business Solutions