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What is SkyDrivePro in SharePoint 2013

With the release of SharePoint 2013 came a new feature that has proven to confuse almost everyone, SkyDrive Pro. The confusion lies with another Microsoft product called SkyDrive that is completely unrelated to SharePoint. Confused as well? You’re not the only one and you shouldn’t feel bad about it, I have talked with people that make a living with SharePoint who are just as confused. I am writing this to answer some of the many questions I get when speaking on SharePoint 2013 “What People want from SharePoint 2013”.

First, there was SkyDrive

Let’s start with the one everyone knows, SkyDrive. SkyDrive is free to the public; anyone can have a SkyDrive account it is usually attached to your Hotmail, Live or account.
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013
SkyDrive is a place somewhere in the “cloud” as some would say. Essentially, a place where you can store your files without having to worry about it and Microsoft is taking care of the storage for you. A competitor to the very popular service called Dropbox.

What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013
If we try to simply the service, because I could write quite a bit just on SkyDrive, you can put your files there and share them with others. After adding your files on SkyDrive, you assign “Public”, “View” or “View and Edit” permissions and generate a hyperlink for people to access the files or folders. You do have 7GB of storage, though you can always purchase more. There are a few other fun features like commenting on files and folders but this is not the focus of my article.

Do you remember the SharePoint “My Sites”?

These became popular with SharePoint 2010 though in many cases, it wasn’t really used to its full potential. The same goes for SharePoint 2007 where it was even less popular. The way I see it, My Sites is the new “My Documents” found on our computers.
In SharePoint 2013, we still have the concept of My Sites.
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013
SharePoint My Sites:
If activated, it allows users in your organization to have a “personal” environment, sort of speak. It creates a SharePoint Site Collection for every user that uses a My Site. This Site Collection comes with a few things including a Blog subsite, a Tasks List and of course… a Document Library.
Teaser: This Document Library is what some confuse with “SkyDrive Pro”.

The SkyDrive link in the Top Bar of SharePoint 2013

So why did I talk about the My Sites earlier if we are covering SharePoint 2013 SkyDrive Pro exactly? Well, we established that when you create a My Site as a user, you get your own Site Collection, which includes a Site with a Documents Library amongst other things. The SkyDrive hyperlink at the top is just a link to this Document Library.
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013
If you look at this screenshot, you’ll notice that after I clicked on the SkyDrive link, I arrived to my so-called “SkyDrive Pro” which, if we look at the url, really just is my Document Library. Here is the fun part, this is still not SkyDrive Pro, all it is, is a hyperlink with the name SkyDrive to a personal Document Library.

SkyDrive Pro – The document synchronization service

SkyDrive Pro is not really something that comes with SharePoint 2013. It actually comes with Microsoft Office 2013 and very recently as a standalone download from the Microsoft site.
Let’s take the Document Library in our personal My Site for example, which is called SkyDrive Pro in many places. SharePoint 2013 has a new “Sync” button that tells your installed SkyDrive Pro to launch and sync with this document library to make the documents available offline and on your desktop.
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013
Once you click on it, SkyDrive Pro will launch
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013
and will allow you to Sync this Document Library to the specified location.
The result:
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013
So is this SkyDrive Pro?
Well this is what I am trying to explain; SkyDrive Pro isn’t a specific Document Library or place in SharePoint. It’s the service that runs on your computer that does the Sync job for you. You can even launch SkyDrive Pro from the start menu. 
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013

SkyDrive Pro can be used with almost every Document Library

Right now we established that there is a public service called SkyDrive and that there is also a link called SkyDrive in SharePoint that actually points to your Document Library in your My Site. Then, we looked at a “Sync” button that launches your installed SkyDrive Pro service to Sync that Document Library to your Desktop.
But, what about other Document Libraries? 
The Sync button is contextual to the url or where you are when you click it. So if I go to my Team Site and click on Sync, it will want to Sync with the Document Library there. If I go to a specific Document Library and click on Sync, then it will want to Sync with that Library. Let’s see.

What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013
The only difference with the Document Library from your My Site is that this one will not be stored under SkyDrive Pro in your Favorites but under SharePoint.
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013
But it’s still SkyDrive Pro on your computer doing everything and making it happen.

Prevent Document Libraries from being sync’ed with SkyDrive Pro

If you do not wish for a Document Library to be available to Sync through SkyDrive Pro, there is an option in the Advanced Settings of a Document Library.
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013
Once set to no, the Sync button for the Document Library will not longer be available.
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013

Launching SkyDrive Pro from your Computer

The SkyDrive Pro client on your computer can also be launched and used to browse your Site and available document Libraries.
Once launched, it will appear in your tray as an icon with blue clouds. You can use it to Sync to a new Library by right clicking and selecting “Sync a new Library”.
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013
This will launch a new menu where you can enter a SharePoint 2013 url and select a Document Library to Sync.
What is SkyDrive Pro in SharePoint 2013

Problem with the terminology and things to know

Let’s try to put everything we learned in an easy summarized view. 
SkyDrive: A free online service offered by Microsoft that lets you store and share files and folders. It has nothing to do with SharePoint. 
My Site: This is not SkyDrive Pro; it’s still your My Site which is a Site Collection owned by the User. 
SkyDrive Pro (the link): In SharePoint 2013 there is a link at the top called SkyDrive which points to the Document Library in your My Site. Once “Sync’ed” it will appear in your Computer by using the application SkyDrive Pro installed by Office 2013 or standalone. This Document Library will appear as “SkyDrive Pro” in your local “Favorites” which can lead to confusion.
The Real SkyDrive Pro: A synchronization service installed by Office 2013 or standalone from the Microsoft download site. Once installed it will allow you to Sync any Document Library from SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 to your Computer. These will then appear in your Windows Explorer under “Favorites”.

Things to know

SkyDrive Pro is not a Migration Tool: Just because you can drag and drop files to SharePoint using SkyDrive Pro does not mean it is a migration tool for content. You will want to preserve the authors and timestamps (created, created by, modified, modified by). This is something SkyDrive Pro will not due while copying your files.
Work Offline: When it Syncs your files from SharePoint 2013 to your Computer, the files are actually copied. This lets users work offline. SkyDrive Pro is the new Groove 2007 and SharePoint Workspace 2010 but simplified. 
Stopping a Sync: Important to know, especially for security reasons is that files that were copied by a Sync with SkyDrive Pro will stay on the users computer once the Sync is stopped.

The real challenge for you

You’ll have to see how you will take on this confusion within your own organization. Microsoft has opted to call the Document Library in your My Site “SkyDrive Pro” in hope to keep the confusion to a minimum no doubt. This would probably help users think of SkyDrive as the free service and SkyDrive Pro a similar service but with files and folders stored in their own corporate Document Library on SharePoint 2013 or even Office 365.
Everything will depend on how you bring this terminology in.  If you are migrating to SharePoint 2013 or Office 365 this is something you’ll want to make sure is understood beforehand by your Power Users.
I wrote this article because I saw a lot of confusion both online and during my conference sessions on SharePoint 2013. I wrote an article “What People want from SharePoint 2013” which covers many other questions and uncertainties I have noticed.

Migration On SharePoint 2007 To 2010

Step 1: Move the site to a new web application in SharePoint 2007

Let's say we want to migrate the SharePoint site at http://duyfarm/TeamSite.
  1. First, create a new Web application and blank site collection (for example: http://duyfarm:6789).
  2. Login to the SharePoint server using an account that has the following rights/permissions:
    • SharePoint Farm Admin.
    • Local Administration rights on the Web server.
    • db_owner permission on the content databases.
    • Make sure the access account has access to the site content (sometimes farm admin might not be a site collection admin).
  3. Open Command Prompt and change directory to %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft shared\web server extensions\12\bin, then run the following STSADM commands: stsadm -o export -url <URL name> -filename <export file name> -includeusersecurity

    stsadm -o import -filename <import file name> -url <URL name> -includeusersecurity

The imported Web application might look like this:


Step 2: Copy the content database backup to the SharePoint 2010 SQL server
  1. Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. Right-click on the content database and select Tasks > Backup...\

  2. Enter the Backup Name, select Destination, and click OK to start.

  3. Copy this backup file to the SharePoint 2010 SQL server.

Step 3: Mount the content database to the SharePoint 2010 server
  1. On the SharePoint 2010 server, create a new empty Web application. For example: http://duyfarm2010:6789.
  2. If you have any custom components on the original site, install them to this Web application now.
  3. After that, we can restore the SharePoint 2007 backup to SharePoint 2010 SQL Server. Open Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio. Right-click on Databases and select Restore Database...

  4. Enter the new database name, making sure that you don't overwrite the original content database. Select the Source and click OK to start.

  5. Open SharePoint 2010 Management Shell and dismount the current SP2010 content database.
    Dismount-SPContentDatabase <ContentdBName>

  6. Verify that we have all the needed custom components. If there are any errors, make sure you correct them before mounting the SP2007 content database.
    Test-SPContentDatabase -Name <DatabaseName> -WebApplication <URL>

  7. My test shows no error, so we are ready to run the Mount-SPContentDatabase cmdlet. This cmdlet also upgrades the SP2007 content to SP2010.
    Mount-SPContentDatabase <ContentDb> -WebApplication http://SiteName

  8. After this process has completed, you need to review the log files (the upgraded log file and error log file) to make sure there are no errors. The log files are located at %COMMONPROGRAMFILES%\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\14\LOGS. The logs are named in the following format: Upgrade-YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS-SSS-error.log and Upgrade-YYYYMMDD-HHMMSS-SSS.log, where YYYYMMDD is the date and HHMMSS-SSS is the time (hours in 24-hour clock format, minutes, seconds, and milliseconds). If there are errors at this time, they will most likely be due to some customization done on the SharePoint 2007 server.

We have finally finished the migration process. Notice that after our upgrade is completed, the new site looks exactly like it was in SharePoint 2007. In SharePoint 2010, there is a feature called Visual Upgrade that gives you an option to switch between SharePoint 2007 look and feel or the SharePoint 2010 view.  Note that if you have customized themes on the old site, you must re-create the new theme on the new site before you can switch.  To switch over to the new SharePoint 2010 look, do this:          
  • Login as Site Owner and select Site Actions > Visual Upgrade.

  • Select Update the user interface. Click OK.

 Here is the SharePoint 2010 look and feel:


  • The database attach method works with both SharePoint 2010 Foundation and Server.
  • Limitations of the export/import method are:
    • You cannot save a workflow, alerts, features, solutions, or Recycle-Bin state by using the export operation.
    • Stsadm only supports moving entire Web sites (SPWeb instances). You are not able to export selected items or lists.
    • You cannot retain object globally unique identifiers (GUIDs) when you migrate site objects. New identifiers are added at the migration target.