OneDrive is not ready for prime time!!!
There are a lot of people who use MS Office, myself included. I ended up purchasing Office365. As an office365 user you even get 1TB of online storage. Given its flaky facade over Sharepoint, fragile coding and poor UX design it didn’t take me long to figure out why people are still looking to other vendors for online storage.
My wife and I are heavy users of Microsoft Office. I love the online office tools out there and most of the time I find myself using google docs. It is great for almost 100% of my needs with the exception of some serious excel work. Given my wife’s studies and some of the projects i am working on I thought that the Office365 deal was a good option. It gives you all of office for up to 5 members of your family, online storage, online email, etc. Pretty good package if you aren’t looking to far into the future. Purchase experts will point out that compared to other licensing options it isn’t the best long term choice but I’m not a business and I really just want to use this on my wife, kids and my computers.
So hey it has 1TB of storage. Why not use it?
During install you need to select a location as base for the application to sync files with OneDrive. I was hoping to sync my entire home directory and exclude some locations that are already sync’d to other services like my git repos, music, etc. Well this just isn’t an option. The folder must be called OneDrive. You are only able to choose where it goes. Ok so now I’m being forced to structure things how someone else wants instead of what makes sense for me. I thought we were done with this kind of thing.
Ok so I won’t call myself the best programmer out there but this is just crazy. In the age of cloudiness you can’t ever assume that the client accessing your service is running a specific OS and as we all know each OS has it’s own conventions regarding file naming, storage, etc. So how the hell do I get an error due to naming, file path length, etc.? With OneDrive you get both.
I might even buy that OneDrive is unable to deal with every possibility out there but why something like being unable to sync a subset of files should cause the entire application to crash and need to be set up again is beyond me. It has no ability to continue syncing the other files. Your just SOL.
Be careful. It took me a long time to get all of my files renamed so that OneDrive could handle syncing them and after all that work I had to go through everything again just to make sure that everything was in fact sync’d. There wasn’t any way to tell easily since there are no visual cues that a file has been sync’d. You just have to look at the file sizes, names, etc. and hope you didn’t miss anything. In the end I wrote a little script that verified everything for me but I doubt my wife or mother are writing scripts just to use online storage.
The final straw
Ok so after over an hour of changing file names and path locations, I’m ready to just get down to business. First order of business is to create a directory to share a project I want to work on with my wife. Seems easy enough. Dropbox has been doing this for ages. But you’ve guessed it, in order to share a file I have to log into the office365 web site to share files and directories. You might not think this is a big deal but most of the work I do involves other people and they need to be able to access the files I’m working on. I do this a million times a day so having to go to their site each and every time I want to share something is more than a little annoying.
So what can I do? I already have office365 and I’m not going to drop another 100/year to go with another online storage system so I’ll have to work with these deficiencies for now but if you don’t have to I would suggest steering clear of OneDrive until Microsoft decides to drop it’s Sharepoint underpinnings and build a true online storage service.