Microsoft streamlines sharing files with OWA and OneDrive for Business

It isn’t a problem so much with the faster broadband speeds these days, but I remember how frustrating it used to be to receive a 3MB or 4MB file attachment on an email over dial-up. Yikes! Even at broadband speed, though, it is an unnecessary waste of bandwidth, and a redundant waste of storage space.

Microsoft began rolling out new features for Office 365 customers, enabling those using the Outlook Web App (OWA) to send links to files stored in OneDrive for Business rather than attaching and sending the file itself. I wrote a blog post about the new features:

If you’ve ever tried to send or receive an email with a large file attachment, you know just how frustrating that can be. It can bog your system or network down while the file is being transferred and quickly fill up your storage quota on the email server. It’s also unnecessarily redundant — if you send the same email and file attachment to 10 different people, it will be downloaded and stored in 10 different locations. Fortunately, Microsoft is addressing the file attachment chaos with some new features introduced this week for Outlook Web Access (OWA) and OneDrive for Business.

In an era of cloud storage, it just seems silly to continue transferring entire files to be stored locally. Microsoft recognized the challenges facing customers and set out to address them.

“Now when you send files to others, instead of having to open the attachment, make edits, and then send the document back to you, everyone can simply open the document directly from the link and make edits in a single draft,” explained the Office 365 Team in a blog post. “This means the people you’re working with will always see the latest changes, and you can avoid confusion over multiple versions. It also allows multiple people to make changes to a single document at the same time using the Office clients or Office Online.”

Office 365 customers can easily insert a link to a file stored in OneDrive for Business when sending emails from OWA. When you select Insert in OWA, you can choose “Attachments or OneDrive files.” You can choose any files from OneDrive for Business, including files that have been shared with you from someone else. There’s no needless transfer of data or duplicate copies of the same file sent to multiple recipients — just a link that allows the recipient to click and open the file directly from OneDrive for Business.

Read the full article at TechRepublic: No more bulky file attachments with OWA and OneDrive for Business.

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