The iPhone changed our lifestyle but it lacks access to a file system with files and folders that we are used to. This led to high demand for cloud services for syncing files between devices like Google Drive and other similar services like Dropbox and OneDrive. These services are not only similar to the old explorer but are also better in that even files are available everywhere.
As it becomes more common to have more than one PC as a work tool, it is natural that the same service is in demand among employees. At first glance, this may seem rather unproblematic. Gold and green forests and never again USB sticks. From a document management perspective, it is not quite that simple. In fact, Google Drive suffers from the same flaws as the file server.
Chaos with Google Drive
The documents are organised in a folder structure that only the creator knows the logic behind and the folder is the only metadata available. It will therefore be difficult for new employees in particular to find documents because they do not know the history behind the structure. It is also not possible to build as sophisticated search solutions as you can with a document management system. Being able to edit documents anywhere, with anything, anytime also comes with a price. Being able to share a document in the cloud between a handful of colleagues can certainly be convenient, but what happens when you access the large library of control documents in this way?
Sooner or later, someone will open a document and edit it with poor or no connection. The user saves and Google Drive creates a copy with the date stamp to avoid conflicts. Elsewhere, an unknown number of others may have done the same. There are now several versions of the same document and no one knows how to merge these into one. The classic problem of e-mail attachments has been moved to the cloud and the chaos is a fact.
With MetaShare, you can index documents with metadata, which leads to good searchability. Thanks to integration with the Office suite, you can open documents from the browser and save directly to MetaShare without using the file system as an intermediary. With co-authoring, multiple users can edit the same document in real time without having to keep track of separate versions. With MetaShare, it is entirely possible to make documents available outside the office via the web browser.
The web interface also allows you to search for metadata, which you can not from a synced folder on your hard drive. For offline access, there is OneDrive for Business , which syncs a document library with your computer, smartphone or tablet. However, we recommend using the browser as far as possible to avoid problems with unintentionally created copies.