Microsoft Is Building A Single Sync Engine To Power Both OneDrive For Consumers And Business

OneDrive Sync Engine

Microsoft is offering different OneDrive services. There is OneDrive for consumers which is available on mobile devices, Windows and Mac. There is also OneDrive for Business service targeting business customers. Microsoft had two different sync engines to sync shared folders, and selective sync across all platforms. In fact, Windows 8.1 includes a third sync engine that supported placeholder files, a new feature that lets you access all the files you have stored in OneDrive whilst only using a fraction of the local storage space.

Based on customer feedback, Microsoft concluded that the placeholder files feature in Windows 8.1 is not reliable at scale. For example, certain apps would occasionally fail to open files that were placeholders because the app didn’t know how to issue commands to download the file, or the download would timeout due to bandwidth speed.?We noticed that certain file operations (including copy, move, and delete) had a higher degree of failure when placeholders were utilized.

So, Microsoft decided to develop a single sync engine that is a super set of all three different sync engines that will power all OneDrive services. Microsoft has decided to start with the consumer sync engine foundation from Windows 7 and Windows 8. They will add features from other engines one by one. They also provided a brief roadmap on what to expect from OneDrive team this year, read it below.

The good news is that the vast majority of our customers will only see the benefits of this approach.?For those running Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows Phone – or if you use OneDrive on a Mac, Android, iPhone, or iPad – your experience continues to improve every day. We’ve released our unified OneDrive app for Windows Phone and Android and will follow up with iOS later this month. We’ve made dramatic improvements in sync reliability and performance for Windows 7, we’ll release a preview of the Mac client for OneDrive for Business later this month, and we are working to sync shared folders by the summer.?For customers running Windows 8.1, we have already made changes to the way OneDrive works to automatically sync smaller OneDrive accounts.

We do recognize that some of our best customers are using the Windows 10 Technical Preview and this is where we’re actively doing the work to converge to one sync engine and as a result, no longer have the separate engine for placeholders.?There are important capabilities that we need to bring to Windows 10 – some will make it into the first release – including shared folders and support for the consumer and business service.?However, others will come in updates that follow later in the calendar year – most notably the core capabilities of placeholders that are both reliable and comprehensible.

Source: OneDrive Blog

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