Apple @ Work: macOS 12.3 challenges with cloud file providers highlights benefits of managing corporate files in the browser

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With the release of macOS 12.3, enterprise users of products like Dropbox and OneDrive had to be aware of some challenges related to cloud-based files and Files Providers API. Unfortunately, with macOS 12.3, Apple discontinued the kernel extension that was used for this solution. While both companies have plans to solve the problem, it highlights the need to constantly audit vendors and workflows.

About Apple @ Work: Bradley Chambers managed an enterprise IT network from 2009 to 2021. With his experience in deploying and managing firewalls, switches, mobile device management system, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, 100 Macs, and 100 iPads, Bradley will shine Highlighting the ways Apple CIOs can deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories from IT management moats, and ways Apple can improve its products for IT departments.

Dropbox has always been a hack, but it works

I’ve been using Dropbox for so long that I remember when the only iPhone app was a web app. Dropbox was a revolutionary approach to cloud file storage for personal users when it came out on the market. It was better than Apple’s iDisk, and Google Drive wasn’t even a product at the time – it was clear: a folder that syncs. Dropbox gave 2GB free to each user to convert people to the premium plan. Dropbox was so popular that in 2009 Apple introduced it as a nine-figure offer. Steve Jobs famously called Dropbox a feature rather than a product; He was completely right and wrong. He was right that synced folder was a feature, but Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive would become so entrenched in the enterprise that they became products to build workflows and solutions around.

Dropbox pioneered this model, but others have followed suit — including Apple with iCloud Drive. Today, we have Dropbox, Google, Microsoft, and Box all vying to become your go-to file sync solution. In addition, cloud storage providers have replaced shared drives on servers for many organizations. The folder that syncs the form has become so popular that Apple eventually built an API for it, so it can guarantee that the user experience is top notch.

Finder Sync supports applications that synchronize the contents of a local folder with a remote data source. Improves user experience by providing instant visual feedback directly in Finder. Badges display the sync status of each item, and contextual menus allow users to manage the folder’s contents. Dedicated toolbar buttons can invoke general actions, such as opening a watched folder or forcing a sync operation.

Changes with macOS 12.3

With macOS 12.3, Dropbox and OneDrive had challenges representing only online files (those that can be viewed but don’t take up local space). Both companies responded quickly with updates or alerts, but I came out of this situation thinking about choosing a vendor and what’s local versus what’s in the browser. These are becoming very popular in the enterprise, and while it’s nice to have the files locally for quick search, etc – I think it highlights the benefits versus the risks of the kind of apps you use locally versus what’s in the browser. For organizations that rely on Google Workspace, the shared Google Drive has become a popular way to store and share files. However, with the increasing size of companies, not all of these files can be viewed locally on the computer.

My main conclusion from this situation is that while I firmly believe that organizations should go fully cloud storage, a part of me believes that the simplicity of letting these products remain entirely in the cloud rather than trying to integrate them into the macOS Finder might be a straightforward solution in the long run. . Dropbox and OneDrive have aggressively built their web user interface, while Google Drive and Box perform better in the browser.

What do you think? Do the benefits of Finder integration for file providers in your organization outweigh the complications with Apple’s development of macOS? Leave a comment below!

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