I'm going to put it out there...external sharing is a huge pain point for OneDrive for Business. I hate to compare OneDrive for Business to Google Drive for Work but Google's implementation is far easier and streamlined - and in almost every case much more well thought out and implemented. In the case of external sharing specifically there are a few things I would love to see in OD4B:
1. Share folders externally...anonymously. Currently you can't do this. You can share a file with a anonymous link, but not a folder. (yes, external sharing is turned on in my O365 tenant, yes the SharePoint settings are correct - which by the way is frustrating in and of itself that there are multiple places to turn on external sharing)
2. When sharing folders or files externally & anonymously can we not get a URL created that doesn't have my O365 email address in the URL path itself? A lot of times we want to share folders with clients and I may not be the only person working with the client - it causes confusion. In Google Drive for work the URL generated doesn't have my name or account in it however in OD4B it does. Now you are going to say, oh just create a SharePoint site and share externally...that is also a joke and so convoluted. Speaking of URLs - any plans to bring the URL shortener to OD4B?
3. When sharing a folder via email (not anonymously) to an O365 tenant external to my own I've noticed that first, the user I "share" with gets added as a non-licensed user in my O365 tenant....why? Also, if I share a folder externally with another tenant the person in the other tenant has no way to save the folder to their OneDrive for Business. They just always have to save the email and click the link/bookmark it. Conversely in Google Drive for Work there is ALWAYS an option to "Add to my Drive" no matter if it is internally or externally shared or if it is a file or a folder. This way once you've added to "my drive" you just sign into your own drive and can always see the most up to date folders/files that were shared with you if you chose to add it.
4. The email notifications sent when sharing a file/folder: When sharing files via email OneDrive for Business' email notification to the user does not come from my mailbox but instead some Microsoft mailbox. One, this is not professional. Two, this sometimes leads to the email being filtered or the user not knowing what it is so they delete it. Three, makes no sense. (I realize that I could just "get a link" and send the email personally from my O365 mailbox so it will come from me but why do all of that when OD4B should be able to handle that?) Again, comparing to Google Drive for Work the email comes from my email address and indicates Google Drive sent it on my behalf.
Hopefully some of these are already roadmapped or can be easily corrected. Microsoft, any comments?
We’ve addressed a number of these. Please split up the remaining ones so we can track them individually.
For (1), you can share folders externally, anonymously. We added that a while ago.
For (2), we’ve made our URLs shortER.
For (3), by having user accounts in the directory, they become easier to manage (e.g. you can block them from signing in), and you are able to optionally set up conditional access policies. The fact that they’re not licensed doesn’t prevent them from collaborating with you; it just means you don’t have to pay for those users.
For (4), we’ve fixed this. Emails now come from the sender’s email address.
I'm shocked by some of these deficiencies, especially #3, since some of them were advertised to me as allowed by sales reps before we signed on. I asked VERY specific questions, and was told "yes". And so many fundamental sharing features are absent despite their say-so.
LilJohn Delima Francis commented
i cant access my External File Sharing.
We face these exact same challenges and it is making it hard for us to convince our users of the utility of odfb vs competing products. I would add to the list that when users are added as non-licensed, this means that they can’t even open documents shared with them in the full versions of Office. They are limited to editing in the browser. Coming from competing products, this is completely impossible to understand for many of our users. It needs to be fixed, everything on this list does.
You can now share a document by sending or posting an anonymous quest link, which does not require authentication. The condition is that the Admin needs to turn-on this option at the Admin Center level: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Share-sites-or-documents-with-people-outside-your-organization-80e49744-e30f-44db-8d51-16661b1d4232
Shad Hasan commented
We have a similar situation, we do have some sensitive information on our sharepoint site and do not wanted to share it external, but we do want to allow people to share their Onedrive content external, I do not know why they are even combined, does not make sense as they are different tools and need to be separate in regards to sharing, MS please fix it else we may have to go to GOOGLE DRIVE.
We are going to have to leave Microsoft because of this very Issue.
Mark Bertrand commented
While the "Require Sign In" option is now available for folder level sharing, there is no notification sent as there is with file level. We need notification that the folder was accessed.
I noticed that the feature to share folders with external users without sign in is now finally available if you are part of the early release schedule in Office 365 - I just confirmed it is working for me now. I'm not sure when it will be available generally, but I suspect it should be soon since it is part of the early release.
Reece Coleman commented
This is a no-brainer, but silence from Microsoft!
I have just been asked by a client "Are we not able to share folders with people outside of...?"
I now feel incredibly stupid going back to them and explaining that they can, as long as the person they want to share the folder with has an email address that is attached to a Microsoft account! If not (and the other person doesn't want to link a Microsoft account to their email address), the only option is to share every file individually via a link!
Every other Cloud storage system allows the owner to share folders... except your BUSINESS offering!!! My client now has to copy the folder into Dropbox and share THAT instead, which is hardly professional!