The difficulty I have with Microsoft Office365 software is that I have yet to feel that I had really mastered it. That can be for three reasons. One, it’s very comprehensive and I’ve never quite found the edges. Two, it’s really convoluted and tricky to understand. Three, I’m just plain stupid. I suppose the real problem is that none of these reasons are mutually exclusive.
I’m about to discount the third reason as my intelligence shouldn’t be part of the equation. Given the millions of users out there, Office365 has to provide some function and utility to users across a whole spectrum of intellectual ability, including those users for whom software isn’t the be all and end all. Also, I run a software company. However, in a convoluted way which I’ll expand on later, that’s part of the complexity problem I have brought on myself.
Frankly, any blog is going to be subjective. I’m happy to receive comments but please don’t take anything I say in comparative comments as being necessarily critical. Office365 does so many things so well. It’s unfortunate that every time I use the software I have to overcome the login obstacle. Let me relate last night’s charade.
Office365 resolutely refused to accept my password. Accordingly, I clicked the forgotten password box, disgorged some innermost feelings and told them a few of my secrets and they texted me a code which I could exchange for a new password. Follow this carefully now. First I tried my usual password to confirm I was in the right place. No they said. It had to be a new one. Good. That confirmed I’m in the right place so I gave them a new one. Thanks they said and even sent me another email confirming my password had changed. I tried to log in with the new password. No dice. I tried the old password. Welcome back old friend, they went.
So now it’s the next morning. I have an email confirming my new password and an account that will only accept my old password. Did I type it incorrectly? No, the logic and email dictates otherwise. My best guess. I must have two accounts (or perhaps more than two and I’ll come back to this). So really, what has this to do with the actual usage of Office365? The answer is really nothing but it’s still like getting up on the wrong side of the bed in the morning.
I’m not attempting to provide a complete review of the Office365 application but it’s worth mentioning some of the tabs.
Outlook; Calendar; People; Newsfeed. All fairly self explanatory. Well maybe not the Newsfeed tab which is a subject in it’s own right. I might try to decipher its features on another occasion. Also, there are three, vaguely similar tabs. An Admin tab, secondly a pull down against my name and thirdly, a settings cog. Why on earth does Microsoft decide it is important to have three separate admin related buttons with the settings spread across each.
The key element to my review are the two tabs, OneDrive and Sites. What are these both? Well they are both SharePoint libraries. The OneDrive tab equating to a private SharePoint MySite and the Sites tab linking to a broader spectrum of SharePoint sites. There’s still more separation in that there is a OneDrive for Business support application which will synchronise this OneDrive site’s contents and sync them to the SharePoint cloud location. What’s interesting is that the OneDrive synchronisation application does not function with the other Office365 team sites. (No problem there. Digilink’s Revelation software will take care of that, which after all is why I’m here today). One final analysis is warranted against the scope behind the Sites tab. It encompasses three further buttons. One, the connection to the Team Site. A fairly standard SharePoint location which is an enterprise collaborative storage location. Two, a connection to a very old fashioned Web Site. Three, a route to a new, redesigned website.
Well all I wanted to review was to which location should I save a document if all I wanted to do was type, say this blog, pick up the typing on several different devices and share it with one or two colleagues. Well, which shall I choose? Microsoft have provided a pop-up to guide the user as to the most salient reasons for choosing each. It’s quite good so I thought I should reproduce it in part here.
Should I save my documents to OneDrive for Business or a team site?
It’s tempting to save all your documents to OneDrive for Business. The link to your OneDrive for Business library is always sitting there at the top of the page, ready for you to upload or create new documents. However, you also need to think about who can and can’t access the documents you save to OneDrive for Business. If a document is a collaborative effort related to a project, then saving it to a team site might be a better choice.
Save documents to OneDrive for Business when…
•You don’t plan to share them.
Documents you place in OneDrive for Business are private by default, unless you place them in the Shared with Everyone folder. This makes OneDrive for Business your best option for draft documents or personal documents that no one else needs to see.
•You plan to share them, but they have a limited scope or lifecycle.
You may sometimes work on documents that aren’t related to an ongoing project, which are important mostly to you, but that you still want to share. All they need is a link to the document and editing permission.
•You can’t identify an existing team site where your document belongs.
Save documents to a team site library when…
•You want team members to recognise the document as being relevant to an ongoing project.
•You want to spread ownership and permissions across a wider collection of people. If a document is important to the success of a project, it’s a good idea for there to be people other than yourself who can control what happens on the site.
•You want permissions to be granted on a site basis, instead of on individual documents. If people have access to the team site, then they have access to documents stored in the site.
•Other project-related documents are already saved to the team site library, and others expect to find it there.
•You want to create a check-in workflow that assigns the document to someone else.
So in the context of my blog, personal files tend to go into the OneDrive for Business and company files into the team site. Pretty straightforward really. I’m going to blog about the actual usage of the OneDrive in my next blog because I want to finish up with a couple of comments about that log in procedure and the premise I started with regarding complexity.
I have more than one Microsoft login. I started off, prior to the existence of Office365 with an account relating to our Microsoft Partner Program. I also have the login I used for this Office365 subscription. I have the login for my OneDrive account. No, not the OneDrive for Business which is part of this Office365 account but the separate one that is linked to one of my other Microsoft accounts. I have a new laptop running Microsoft Windows 8.1, which was most insistent I chose a Microsoft account against which it could log in. Finally, I have a Microsoft Surface RT tablet which needed a Microsoft account.
I know what you’re thinking. This mess is of my own making, and you’d be correct. However, I don’t accept that it necessarily needed to be such a problem. But what of my new password that I spoke about earlier. The password for which Microsoft sent me an email saying, “Yep, we have that and make sure you use it in future” I can’t find a home for it. I’ve tried everywhere. So, like professors in the very best TV science documentaries always finish up, “….Well we don’t know, we just don’t know…..”.