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Archive for November, 2013

SharePoint Online and On-Premise Syncing almost

Several months ago I had a client who wanted to move to Office 365 and asked if we could sync SharePoint Online with their on-premise Windows Server 2012 Essentials server.  Unfortunately we were unable to do so, then. This has changed in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials, and I will also assume when using the Essentials Role on Standard and Datacenter editions. (I’ll do a post on the this great option for business with less than a 100 seats in the near future).

One question you may have is why would I want to have my files in two different locations?  You may wish to have certain files on SharePoint and easily accessible by others from anywhere and you may want to keep your private files private, securely on the server in your office, such is the company financials.  In the past we had to keep the files in two spots and manage each repository separately, now we can keep the files in one location and “sync” the files from the server to SharePoint or from SharePoint to the server.  And the best part, it’s really easy to setup.  In a previous post I step you through how to “connect” Office 365 with your Essentials server. The procedure is basically the same.  Here’s the quick overview for R2:

Select Services from the Dashboard, then click on the Integrate with Office 365 link to the right.

sp1

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Follow the prompts and your done. For more information on how to “connect” the two services see article.

sp3

That’s it! How easy was that???

When you reopen the Dashboard you will have a new Office 365 tab, which connects your server to your Office 365 subscription.

The rest is pretty straight forward.  In the Storage section of the Dashboard, you will have a tab for SharePoint Libraries.

sp4

So at this point we think, great I can just dump files into either the SharePoint OnLine repository or the local folder and poof…they will be synced.  This would be awesome but in reality, we still have one more step.  Microsoft has released the SkyDrive Pro (download here) which allows us to sync folders on our server with folders on SharePoint Online.  I installed the application on my server.

sp5

All you need to do now is setup the folders to be synced.  To do this, right click on the SkyDrive Pro icon in the taskbar and select, sync a new library.  Then add the appropriate path.

SkyDrive Pro Sync Settings

Personally, I prefer to set this up from within Office 365.  I select the library I would like to sync with the server then click the Sync button at the top.  This method automatically creates the matching folders on the server for you.  

Sync

That’s it.

As you can see my files on the server match the files on Office 365.

 Files on Server

I’m so happy to see this feature has been added to the overall offering.  I had several requests for this type of functionality with several of my Office 365 and Server Essentials clients.

The only downfall is this is a manual processes.  Meaning you have to push the sync when you need it.  I wonder if a schedule could be setup using Powershell commands.

Homework…it’s not what it used to be

Jamie at 2

Jamie at 2

Think back, way back, to high school. For me, it was all about big hair, parachute pants, and blue mascara. Now that you’re sitting there feeling the teenage angst and acne, think back to when you had partner or group projects. You had to figure out who’s house you were going to and how you were going to get there. Just getting the group together to work on the project was a project in itself. Well that is quickly changing.

As some of you know, I have a daughter in Grade 9. She’s been on computers since she was in diapers.  or her, the computer is just a tool. We’ve been lucky in elementary school that her teachers have always encouraged the use of computers (not so much for my son who’s still in elementary school). I have been pleasantly surprised on how much she has been able to do online in high school. She accesses her textbooks online, submits her papers, and even music compositions, via the school private cloud. Her teachers upload her marks to a secure website which the parents have access to. But last was the first time I had noticed her collaborating on a paper online. Yes, she chats with her classmates and they have emailed papers back and forth, but tonight I noticed she was editing a document real time using the school board’s Google Drive cloud. Her classmate was on the phone and they were discussing the changes and editing on the fly together, and they could see each others edits. For my daughter this not new, she is my editor (you read her work whenever you read one of my blog posts), and we co-edit pieces all the time, but this was the first time I had seen her do it with a classmate. She and my son are usually way ahead of their peers when it comes to technology, and they are usually helping their classmates, and sometimes teachers, with technology in the classroom.

The one thing that puzzles me about last week was why on earth were they using the phone? Talk about old-fashioned.

Categories: Cloud, Education Tags: , ,

Missing my slippers…but loving the heels

Please forgive my lack of updates lately, it’s been a crazy few weeks. As most of you know, I am working with Microsoft Canada and it’s been a great ride. I have the opportunity to learn about new server technologies at a relaxed pace, instead of the “a client needs this done right now” scenario.

I love meeting new people and basically being able to “geek out” all day. Okay, I don’t get to geek out too much at the office, but I do when I’m working with partners and distributors. I’m still trying to find my way, both in the position and around the building. I have only gotten lost once, but I do tend to end up in a cubby I didn’t expect to be in. I only realized my manager in on a different floor than me last week when I went looking for someone else.

I do miss my jammies and my mid-afternoon nap, but it’s so worth it.

Thanks for forgiving my delay, and now that I have gotten back into the swing of full-time employment, I will get back into posting on a more regular basis.

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