OneDrive Files On-Demand (the new smart files)

OneDrive for Business, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft

OneDrife files On-Demand

During Build 2017 Microsoft announced OneDrive Files On-Demand. Announced. This feature of the Next Generation Sync Client will be available for all with the “Windows 10 Fall Creators Update”. So we have to wait till autumn. If you are a Windows Insider you will get the version earlier). So what we will get is nothing new. That’s a new Version of smart files.  If have written a lot of articles about Smart files (during these days only in German language)

12/29/2016 OneDrive (for Business) | Wish list for 2017
12/31/2014 OneDrive (for Business) | wish list for 2015
11/16/2014 OneDrive und Windows 10 Preview | Ende der Smart Files?
01/31/2014 OneDrive – SkyDrive | Online – Offline – Smart Files | Windows 8.1
10/03/2013 SkyDrive Smart Files für Windows 8.1

For those, who do not remember “Smart Files” or “OneDrive Files On-Demand”, I will write some words:

You now have more cloud storage available, more than you have locally. With the Next Generation Sync Client this issue was solved with selective sync. But people do not see in the windows explorer, that there are more folder in the cloud. With placeholders for those folders and files you see all and with one click you may sync the files, if you want it. So that we have had with Smart files and Groove. But only for the Personal Edition of OneDrive (the old name was SkyDrive), But we all know the bad implementation of the old Groove client and also the issues with the smart files.

You have the choice to wish changes also with OneDrive and OneDrive for Business with UserVoice. And Microsoft is reading this channel. And have now implemented the old “Smart Files” technology. But on a better way. There is a lot of things, Microsoft has to do with the Sync Client. Before we have had “Groove”, there was a product called SharePoint Workspace 2010, part of Office 2010. And there you could sync also Metadata, IRM protected files….

But back to now and OneDrive Files On-Demand:

Dialog for OneDrive Files On-Demand The mechanism must be easier and stable,so each user may handle it.

To do that, a deeper integration into the OS is indispensable.

the placeholder, small pictures must be saved separate from the files. Such an implementation is not so easy.

Defaults.  Microsoft was a little overzealous in 8.1 and made everything online only by default.  This time they are more focused on what is right for the scenario.

So you are also may hide one or more folder, so you do not have to scroll down a lot of folder with “Online only”. That’s very important for Enterprise companies.

What happens if a file is very large (like a video), is clicked? Can I play the video while downloading? 

You will need to wait until the files has completely downloaded. With that said, you will receive prompt asking if you want to stream the video in via the browser.

Which Version of Windows 10 will be supported?

Microsoft will support all Windows 10 (also Windows S) versions.

Will this require me to upgrade to a new version of the OneDrive (The Next Generation Sync Client) when this becomes available?

The answer is NO. I have described it in other articles, that the Next Generation Sync Client has it’s own Update mechanism.

So here you see the the behavior:

OneDrive Files On-Demand

If you want to hear more, register for  the SharePoint Virtual Summit on May 16, 2017

4 Gedanken zu “OneDrive Files On-Demand (the new smart files)

  1. Hi,

    looks like Microsoft will offer on demand cloud file access with Windows 10 later this year. But in the time being there’s already a great tool on the market: It’s not only bring back placeholders to Windows 10, it’s also working with earlier versions of Windows and – best of all – Citrix and Terminal Server. In addition it supports UNC connectivity and drive letter mapping based on a native network provider for Office 365.

    Integrated into Windows Explorer the tool makes the whole Office 365 (Sharepoint Online, Groups, Onedrive) world browsable like folder shares and structures on file servers.

    Disclaimer: I am working for the company behind the tool and I am happy to personally answer questions or send a trial to anyone interested.

    Best regards,


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