A month ago, we took the decision to opt for Office 365 as our main internal collaboration suite. As part of this platform, you are provided with 2 cloud-based storage structures:
- SkyDrive Pro: A 7GB personal directory. Every files created there is by default only visible by you unless you specifically decide to share them.
- SharePoint: Your company centralized storage point which in our case we decided to use for our internal Wiki and Document Center.
While every document placed on either of this storage point is hosted on the cloud, Microsoft provides SkyDrive Pro client, a Dropbox-like client that allows to synchronize all your documents on your local filesystem. However, for reasons that are thoroughly confusing to me, Microsoft has not yet decided to release a version of that client for Mac OSX (despite the fact that SkyDrive personal is supported on both platforms). Nevertheless, as half of our team uses Mac as their OS of choice, it was crucial that we find a workaround that would provide them with a similar seamless synchronisation with SharePoint and SkyDrive Pro
In order to proceed further, you need:
- Parallels Desktop installed on your Mac (79$)
- A valid Office 365 plan for business (From at 5$/user/month)
Step 1 - Setup the SkyDrive Pro client on your parallels desktop virtual machine
Step 2 - Setup local access to your SkyDrive Pro
- Using Internet Explorer, go to Office 365's homepage: http://office.microsoft.com
- On the top-right corner, click on Sign in and login using your Office 365 login credentials.
- You are by default redirected to Outlook Web Application. In the top menu, click on SkyDrive
- Once in SkyDrive, click the Sync button located on the top-right corner right underneath your account dropdown.
- The SkyDrive Pro client will prompt for you to enter login crendentials and choose the local directory that is to be synchronized with your cloud-based SkyDrive Pro folder.
- Once done, you can access your SkyDrive Pro folder locally (By default: C:\Users\yourname\SkyDrive Pro)
Step 3 - Setup local access to your company's SharePoint
- Using Internet Explorer go to your company's sharepoint.
- Click the Sync button located on the top-right corner right underneath your account dropdown.
- The SkyDrive Pro client will prompt for you to enter login crendentials and choose the local directory that is to be synchronized with your cloud-based Sharepoint folder.
- Once done, you can access your SkyDrive Pro folder locally (By default: C:\Users\yourname\SharePoint)
NOTE: Your company may have several Sharepoint "Sites" in which case, you might want to repeat this operation each one of them.
Step 4 - Make your SkyDrive Pro and Sharepoint folders accessible on Mac OSX
- If you run Parallels Desktop in Coherence mode:
- Go to the your Mac OSX menu bar and press ⌥ + Click on the Parallels Desktops icon.
- In the dropdown menu, click on Configure
- If you don't run Parellels Desktop in Coherence mode:
- Bring Parallels Deskop to the forefront by clicking on its icon in the Dock.
- In your Mac OSX menu bar, click on Virtual Machines > Configure
- In the configuration windows, choose Options > Sharing
- Under Share Windows, select both Access Windows folders from Mac and Mount virtual disks to Mac Desktop
- Open your Finder and go to Volumes (can be reached by pressing ⌘ + Up repeatedly until you reached the top of your filesystem)
- There you can find a Volume called [C] Windows 8. Open this Volume and go to your SkyDrive Pro folder (By default: C:\Users\yourname\SharePoint)
- Right click on your SkyDrive Pro folder and choose Make Alias
- Move the alias to your Mac OSX file structure (For instance to your Home directory)
- Repeat the operation for every Sharepoint folders you wish to access.
- Go back to Configure > Options > Sharing and deselect Mount virtual disks to Mac Desktop.