Microsoft introduces a new way to send and share files with Outlook Web App (OWA) and OneDrive for Business. When sending email attachments, a prompt will ask if you would like to send the file as an attachment or if you would like to upload the file to OneDrive and send a link. When the file is shared via OneDrive, the recipient sees the file similar to how they would if it was attached to the email.
Sending traditional attachments via email sends a copy of the file to every person on the email. When sharing a link, everyone can view the same document. This can be advantageous when trying to get the input of all team members and keep everyone in the loop. With OneDrive for Business, a file can be simultaneously viewed and edited in the browser. Sending documents this way keeps everyone on the same page without sending dozens of emails with document revisions and endless reply-all’s.
Microsoft achieves this sharing functionality by creating a folder in OneDrive for Business called email attachments; this folder stores the files which were uploaded and shared via email. While attaching a file to an email, if a user selects OneDrive for Business, the file is uploaded to the email attachments folder and shared with the recipients of the email. A link to that file is then included in the email automatically.
If the document is an Office document, it can be edited in the browser. If the file is a PSD or CAD file, it can be downloaded by the recipients for viewing. Sharing documents instead of attaching them saves space on email servers and makes the permissions easier to manage. When choosing to send a link to OneDrive for Business, users can adjust who can edit or view the attachments.
If the email is sent to a non-OWA account, they can still see the link and follow it to view or edit the document. Although the user must login with an account associated with Microsoft. If the user doesn’t have an account, they can create one for free. This functionality works with all of the OWA apps on iOS and Android. The Outlook team is working to bring functionality to the next version of the Outlook desktop program.
Microsoft is rolling out this feature to all OWA users now and should be fully available in November. This new feature comes after users of OWA had their OneDrive for Business storage increased to 1TB per user. This cloud storage space can be used by employees for this functionality. Sharing files and folders with team members has never been easier.