The new things in Office 2016, in this example,..  Advanced Sharing and Collaborating !  

Oostdam.Info Microsoft Office 2016 logo collectionNow that the preview releases of Office 2016 has been released, it is time for some articles about the new Office 2016 functions and possibilities. Of course there is only a "preview" version available for the public, but until the date of release, lets call this product Office 2016. Personally I'm very happy with the developments in the Office suite. As an Office 365 user I see changes and improvements to the product every couple of months. In spite of the fact that Office 365 is very handy, there is also quit a demand for the offline version. These series of articles will help you get used to new functionalities and look and feels. Have fun reading them!

Earlier I wrote an article about the default sharing and collaborating functionality in the new office suite. Now lets go a bit further on these new functions and make this a kind of advanced article as a lot of companies will be worried about this, security wise. When working together on documents in a Sharepoint / Office 365 environment, the check-out and check-in handlings are often forgotten. The new office suite takes care of that with some extra integrated and new functions.  

oostdam.Info - office 2016 - Advanced Sharing and collaborating optionsWhile you are working on a document, you might suddenly remember that you are not the only one, working with it. ( E.g. your forgot the check-out ). While you are working on a document, you are able to click (or press) on the "Collaborate with Others on this Document" icon in the upper right. Just like the picture here on the right, you are able to see who you are sharing your document with, and,...  even better, what their status is. My photograph is at the bottom of this article, and I didn't bother to put it in my Active Directory (this is a demo), but otherwise you would have seen my Lync status as well as the fact that I'm currently editing this document. Others that received a read only share, are visible too here. 

Okay, now that we know that, what can we do with this?  Well, here comes the good part !
You are able to select a person you shared the document with and when you click the left mouse-button,
a lot of new possibilities appear. 
Oostdam - Office 2016 Advanced Sharing and CollaboratingLets walk through them from left to right:
- You are able to see the persons picture and, if associated,
   their Lync or Skype status.
- You can send an IM instantly to inform them that a new version
   is coming op, or to discuss an adjustment that you want to
   make to the document.
- You can "Reshare" the document, with one or multiple 
  persons, skipping persons who might received an earlier
  version and informing them later, for instance when the draft
  became final.  And the last option is the famous thee dots ...
- You can immediately stop the sharing of the document,
  copy the link again, but even more beautiful,.. change the
  previous shared read/edit rights for a person, that's effective immediately.

These options provide you with enough functionality and flexibility to control the sharing and collaborating persons rights and views on a document. Knowing at all times what's going on with the document and being in control of it.

I can image that companies are cautious with these functions and sharing options. They generally do have a point, but is it possible to keep this save and secure within a company workspace by the use of (group) policies for the new office suite and some firewall ruling. Please contact me directly if you need some advise on these matters or assistance with an implementation. I'm personally really glad with all these advanced options, and I hope you will be too!

I hope this article has been informative for you, and enjoy working with the new Office Suite!

Tip: Do not share everything with everyone, and ask for an audit test if you're not sure as a security officer.



Ben Oostdam picture - afbeeldingBen Oostdam has been working with Windows systems since 1993. He worked for several companies as a system administrator, besides his own company and is currently a Senior System Engineer for an IT company in the Netherlands, specialized in System Center & Cloud-based Solutions.

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