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With the release of macOS 12.3, enterprise users of products such as Dropbox and OneDrive had to be aware of some challenges related to cloud-based files and file provider APIs. Unfortunately, with macOS 12.3, Apple removed the kernel extension being used for this solution. While both companies have plans to solve the problem, it highlights the need to constantly audit your vendors and workflows.
About [email protected]: Bradley Chambers managed an enterprise IT network from 2009 to 2021. Through his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, a mobile device management system, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, 100 Macs and 100 iPads, Bradley will shed light on the ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices. They build networks to support them, train users, tell stories from the IT management trenches, and improve their products for Apple IT departments.
Dropbox Was Always a Hack, But It Worked Well
I’ve been using Dropbox for so long that I remember when their only iPhone app was a web app. Dropbox was a revolutionary approach to cloud file storage for individual users when it came to market. It was head and shoulders better than Apple’s iDisk, and Google Drive wasn’t even a product at the time — it was straightforward: a folder that syncs. Dropbox gave each user 2GB for free for people switching to the premium plan. Dropbox was so popular that Apple offered them nine digits in 2009. Steve Jobs called Dropbox a feature, not a product; He was right and completely wrong. He was right that a folder that syncs was a feature, but Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive had become so deep in the enterprise that they became the go-to product for creating workflows and solutions.
Dropbox pioneered this model, but others followed – including Apple with iCloud Drive. So today, we have Dropbox, Google, Microsoft and Box competing to be your file syncing solution. In addition, cloud storage providers have replaced shared drives on servers for many organizations. The folder syncing model became so popular that Apple eventually created an API for it, to ensure that the user experience was first-class.
Finder Sync supports apps that synchronize the contents of a local folder with a remote data source. It improves the user experience by providing instant visual feedback directly in the Finder. Badges display the sync status of each item, and contextual menus let users manage folder contents. Custom toolbar buttons can implement global actions, such as opening a monitored folder or forcing a sync operation.
MacOS 12.3 . change with
With macOS 12.3, Dropbox and OneDrive faced challenges in representing online-only files (those that are viewable but don’t take up local space). Both companies have responded quickly with updates or alerts, but I was struck by what was in the browser versus vendor selection and local. These products have become very popular in the enterprise, and while it’s nice to have files locally for quick searches, etc – I think it highlights the benefits versus risks depending on what kind of apps you use locally. What’s in the browser vs. For organizations that rely on Google Workspaces, Google Drive’s Shared Drive has become a popular way to store and share files. However, as companies get bigger, it is not possible to have all these files locally on the computer.
My main takeaway from this situation is that while I strongly believe that enterprises should move to cloud storage, there is a part of me that thinks that these products should be integrated within the macOS Finder rather than trying to integrate them within the macOS Finder. There’s the simplicity of living entirely in the cloud. A more direct solution may be long term. Dropbox and OneDrive have aggressively built-in web UIs, while Google Drive and Box work best in the browser.
what do you think Do the benefits of Finder integration for file providers in your organization outweigh the complexities as Apple develops macOS? Leave a comment below!
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