OneDrive for Business on Mac

Olga Weis

There is a fair amount of confusion related to OneDrive for Business, so here we will try to clarify your doubts.

First, OneDrive and OneDrive for Business are not exactly the same. The former is a hosting service for your files – documents, videos, pictures, etc. OneDrive for Business app is essentially a tool that synchronizes your document libraries with your computer, so you can access them even offline.

OneDrive for Business on Mac

Just to give you a bit of background: OneDrive for Business was originally known as Groove. This tool was introduced a while ago, when Office 2007 was released. It was designed mainly to allow you to collaborate with others, i.e. work on documents together, without a server. You could sync files offline on all devices and continue working from home along with your colleagues. The application never became popular and by the time Office 2010 was released, Microsoft renamed it as SharePoint Workspace and redesigned it a bit. The software was transformed into a SharePoint tool to synchronize libraries offline. You probably know that the competition between SharePoint and Dropbox was pretty tough then.

With SharePoint 2013 release SharePoint Workspace has turned into SkyDrive Pro, its desktop installation enabled syncing SharePoint Document Libraries offline. “SkyDrive Pro” got Microsoft into a legal trouble and the company renamed the tool into OneDrive for Business.

Well, this is how we have the sync tool that allows you to share and collaborate on documents with your colleagues. Considering that there are certain OneDrive for Business limitations, it is likely the software will evolve further according to the needs of the market. But first let us have a closer look at what we currently have. This OneDrive app is administered by your company and your privileges are regulated by your company technicians.

Files stored on OneDrive for Business are accessible only to you unless you explicitly want to share them with others, you can specify colleagues with whom you want to collaborate. ‘Shared with Everyone’ folder contains files you do not mind everyone else in your company to see.

OneDrive for Business comes pre-installed with Office 2013. If you don’t have office, go ahead and download a standalone installer.  To synchronize, click on the button to Sync on a document library.

OneDrive client alternative

For those who are using OneDrive for Business on Mac, there is a way to simplify your work: CloudMounter is a tool that allows you to access OneDrive cloud storage directly from Finder, as if it were an additional drive on your Mac. The advantage offered by the app is that no files or folders get downloaded on your hard drive unless you open them from the OneDrive storage.

OneDrive connection in CloudMounter on Mac

CloudMounter also provides support to other storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Amazon S3, as well as WebDAV, FTP/ FTPS/ SFTP servers. Thus you can use this OneDrive client as a single point of access to all your data stored online. CloudMounter is absolutely safe to use, your passwords are stored in Mac OS X Keychain, and native APIs are used for logging into your accounts.

The app’s full functionality is available in a trial version you can use for 15 days. Then if you decide to purchase CloudMounter, you can download it from either the developer’s official website or in Mac App Store. Please note that the latter edition has a limited functionality due to Apple Sandbox restrictions and does not use FUSE for OS X component.

CloudMounter

Requirements: OS X 10.10+ , 13.1Mb free space
Version 2.1.345 () Release notes