Discover the benefits and pitfalls of live co-editing and explore check-in/checkout protections.
- [Instructor] Let's talk about collaborating on files, both with coworkers and external partners. A lot of tools these days allow for live coediting of files stored online. You can do this in Google Docs, and in Microsoft OneDrive and SharePoint. However, there are differences between them. Google Docs will basically allow anyone you shared the file with to coedit the file. You have to actively take permissions away by going into the advanced share settings in a file to tighten that up.
But there, you can take away rights to share with additional people, edit, or even download the file. And by the way, at the folder level, all you can do is give edit or view rights, so fine-tuning has to happen at the file level, and the highest level of flexibility is for Google's proprietary file types, not MS Office files. I have a personal preference for Microsoft SharePoint. It's the system that I'm the most familiar with, and the one that I think gives the most amount of flexibility and control if it's set up right.
You can set multiple levels of permissions based on groups at the library level, and you can have as many libraries as you need, both to handle different user groups or different file types. Coediting is a great feature. It allows multiple people to work on the same file at the same time. In Microsoft and Google, you can see those changes happening live. However, I have to be truthful and say that sometimes this doesn't work as well as it could. It's still a relatively new way of working and a lot of people haven't got used to it yet.
Where I see coediting working best is in two different scenarios. Number one is for something like a status report where everyone has their own little area to work in. Number two is where the editors of the file are a relatively small group, who work in close contact with each other and changes are made by agreement. One way that SharePoint gets around this is by allowing for file checkout. You basically lock a file while working on it so that no one else can edit it until you're done and check it back in.
Even files and libraries that are coedit enabled, can be checked out. Another reason I like SharePoint is that it allows you to open MS Office type files, Word, Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations in online versions of these tools. The online versions aren't as full-featured as the desktop client versions, but they do 90% of what 90% of people need to do 90% of the time, so they're pretty handy.
However, this is another place where things can get a little screwy. Coediting works best if everyone uses the online version of the tool. If someone is working with a Word document online in the browser tool, and someone else opens the same document in the desktop tool, I have seen issues with syncing up versions. This doesn't apply in Google, because it's all online. But in SharePoint, you do have the option to force people to use the browser-based tools, and to turn off downloads too.
Back, back out. Yet another thing I like about SharePoint. If you're sending a link to someone external to your company, you can also set an expiration date after which the file will no longer be available. If you have Microsoft Office but aren't using SharePoint, you still probably have access to OneDrive. OneDrive is kind of like SharePoint lite. It's actually built on the SharePoint platform, but doesn't have all the bells and whistles.
It's still pretty valuable, although there is no checkout. I should point out that all external sharing is going to be dictated by your organization's policies and your system administrator. Some companies do not like exposing SharePoint to external partners. I think that's a pity, as it's incredibly useful, but I don't rule the world. If you want more information on sharing files in SharePoint, I'm going to point you to my course, SharePoint for Enterprise: Data Management.
For Google sharing information, take a look at Google Docs Essential Training in the course library.
- Identify the group of people to be notified when making a document policy or procedure change.
- Recognize which types of documentation requires higher levels of security.
- Name the two rights available at folder level during collaboration.
- Recall the purpose of version control.
- Determine which application allows multiple libraries with custom permissions.
- Identify the term used for add-ins within the SharePoint application.
- Explain the most common cause of data breaches.