Microsoft has just unveiled another three improvements to SharePoint Online in Office 365. The improvements, which will become available globally over the coming weeks, include improved file upload, increased site collection and better document restoration.

Office 365 Evolves

According to a blog post by Mark Kashman, senior product manager on the SharePoint marketing team, Microsoft is adding the new functionality in response to a growing Office 365 customer base, which has resulted in increased use of SkyDrive, and the development of an increasing number of team sites across the enterprise.

Needless to say, he doesn’t provide accurate figures for this, but there is anecdotal evidence to suggest that many enterprises are using the online version of SharePoint as opposed to the more expensive on-premises deployments.

It is hard to ascertain whether people are taking to the online version because of the ongoing development of the Office 365 Suite, or whether the Suite is being built up because more people are using it.

In any case, the result is the same and a quick look at the Office 365 since it was first launched shows just how far it has evolved. In this case, Kashman says, today’s improvements are being implemented on the back of customer feedback.

1. Improved File Upload Functionality

One of the big improvements is an increase in the amount of default storage being offered to SkyDrive Pro users. This comes as price and storage competition in the market intensifies.

When the new storage limits are introduced, users will get 25 GB of storage as opposed to the current limit of 7 GB. Users will also be able to bump this up to 50 GBs or 100 GBs if they wish.

On top of this, the upload limit per file has increased from 250 MBs to 2 GBs. This enables users to share much larger files than they have been able to share to date. Users are also be able to upload large files to team site document libraries.

Office 365 SharePoint Online Upload.jpg

Office 365 SharePoint Online Upload
 

A final addition here is the ability to upload .exe and .dll files into the system, a feature that is already available in SharePoint on-premises. Microsoft says it has enhanced the security of the online version to negate security issues around these kinds of files.

2. Increased Site Collection

Microsoft has also upped the site collection limit to 10,000 per tenant. The result is that over the next few weeks, Office 365 Enterprise customers will be able to create 10,000 site collections from within their SharePoint Online Admin center.

The objective is to offer users better governance of their site collections as well as providing a more flexible way of distributing SharePoint resources around the enterprise.

3. Improved Document Restore

Finally, the last improvement should prove particularly attractive to business customers who are concerned that sending their documents into the cloud could result in the loss of documents.

The first thing that has been improved here is the length of time documents stay in the recycle bin. Once this improvement has been introduced, documents will now be left in the recycle bin for 90 days, rather than the current time limit of 30 days before being deleted.

Office 365 SharePoint Online Recycle Bin.jpg

Office 365 SharePoint Online Recycle Bin
 

Another related improvement is the creation of a new versioning function. SkyDrive Pro libraries will now retain 10 versions of any content by default and will enable users to self-restore documents that have been accidentally deleted. Versioning can also be added to approval.

All of the new improvements will be available with all Office 365 plans, although the 10,000 site collection functionality will only be available on Enterprise plans. Dedicated Office 365 editions, or Home editions have all been excluded.