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OneDrive Files Restore and Other Office 365 Features Starting To Arrive

Microsoft this week started delivering a Files Restore feature for OneDrive for Business users, along with other Office 365 advancements at the test level.

The Files Restore feature lets end users bring back OneDrive for Business files "from any point in time during the last 30 days," according to Microsoft's Monday announcement. OneDrive for Business is Microsoft's cloud-based storage service for organizations that's part of Office 365 subscription plans. With the new feature, users select "Restore OneDrive" from within the Settings menu of OneDrive for Business and use a slider to go back to a particular day within a 30-day period. The feature lets them restore a single file or multiple files within the period.

The Files Restore for OneDrive for Business feature is production-ready and was released as early as Monday for some Office 365 users. It will be arriving in "the next few weeks" for the remainder of eligible Office 365 subscribers.

Move Preview for SharePoint
One Office 365 feature that will be arriving this month in preview form is a new "Move-to" command for OneDrive and SharePoint users. The Move command suggests locations for end users to move files based on Microsoft Graph search information. Microsoft recommends using this command when moving "legacy, on premises or third-party repositories to Office 365." It can also be used to share files with a team, publish documents to a Communication Site, and move content from "Classic" Team Sites to "Modern" ones. It also works with SharePoint files across geographies.

The most notable advantage to the Move command is that it provides "full fidelity protections for metadata and version management," according to Microsoft's Friday announcement. However, there's a catch to the Move command's ability to retain metadata: The column names between the source and destination locations have to match for the file metadata to be preserved. End users will get a warning message if that's not the case.

Microsoft offered some advice to site administrators on how to make things a bit easier for end users to preserve the metadata and versioning of moved files:

Administrators can reduce the incidence of this error by making sure that the columns on team sites are consistent across their team sites. In cases where that's not possible, admins can give users guidance about how moves will impact metadata.

The Move command has some similarities to the Copy command that Microsoft released for SharePoint Modern Document Libraries more than a year ago, but there are some differences. One difference is that Move retains the versioning information of the file, whereas "Copy only delivers the final version of a file." A moved file will disappear from the source directory once it's moved, although it's still available via the recycle bin, which permits recovery for a time.

Microsoft is promising to relax file-size limitations with the release of the Move feature. "As we roll out Move, we will remove the limit on the size of files and size of packages that you can Move or Copy," the announcement stated.

The file size limitation wasn't mentioned in the announcement. In 2016, Microsoft had indicated that copying between OneDrive and SharePoint was "limited to a maximum size of 50MB." However, that number seems to be a default SharePoint Server file size limit, which IT pros can alter, according to this Sharegate article. Microsoft's SharePoint Online file size limit is listed as being "up to 250MB in size" for files in SharePoint lists.

The Move and Copy commands have some limitations. They do not work for files in "Information Rights Management (IRM) enabled libraries," Microsoft noted. Moving OneNote notebooks isn't recommended because it "will break the notebook into subsections."

The Move command for OneDrive and SharePoint will arrive approximately on Jan. 29, 2018 for Office 365 subscribers on the "targeted release" cycle, which is the phase that delivers test releases. The announcement suggested that it might take more time for this feature to reach "general availability," which is Microsoft's term for it being a production-ready feature.

Microsoft Forms Sharing Controls
Microsoft Forms, an Office 365 feature previewed in June that lets users create lightweight surveys and quizzes, will be getting some controls for IT pros next month. Microsoft is adding settings to the Office 365 Admin Center that will let them specify how forms can be shared outside an organization, according to a Monday announcement.

The additional settings will be coming to "all Office 365 commercial tenants" by next month sometime. IT pros will be able to specify controls regarding the sending and collecting of Microsoft Forms responses. They'll be able to control sharing, too. Microsoft Forms were turned on by default for Office 365 subscribers when Microsoft released that feature as a preview, and sharing also was turned on by default back then.

Turning off a Microsoft Forms feature using the new controls will limit its availability to just within an organization.

"After a setting is turned off, only people in your organization will have access to that option, and only when they sign in," Microsoft's announcement explained.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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