How to use Bitrix24.Drive as a Free Dropbox Alternative
Stephen Ankenman 28 August 2013
For many people their first extensive use of a cloud service that was not email was Skype or Dropbox. So it’s natural that a many small companies depend on these consumer-facing services for their operations. At first glance, it seems like no big deal to conscript a consumer service into the business world, but there are several side effects which Bitrix24 eliminates while providing a superior service.
Free Dropbox alternative
As you probably know, the document library in Bitrix24 is extremely powerful, allowing flexible sharing, direct editing, workflow and approvals, commenting, liking, automatic versioning, previews, and creation of external download links, among many other features. Furthermore, users of the free service art provided with a generous 5Gb of space from the start.
Sharing and access – the key function.
Bitrx24 document libraries let you share with any subset of users inside your Bitrix24 intranet and create external links for anyone outside.
Beyond sharing, a highly desirable feature is file sync, which means that a local version of your files is stored on your own computer, and changes in the documents are synchronized with the server (Dropbox or Bitrix24) whenever they are made. The main plus for this is that users can work while offline (on a plane, for example) and have their files update the server when they get back online automatically, without any hassle. Bitrix24’s desktop app features the Bitrix24.Drive, which offers this service.
Bitrix24.Drive sets up access to the personal files section of Bitrix24 in your Windows Explorer or other file manager. Note that this is a completely different function from the Network Drive*.
*The Network Drive button , visible in any document library in Bitrix24, sets up a live connection to a give document library (or libraries). This is a live access bridge that lets you represent a library in your local file manager, but if the user is not online and logged in, it will be inaccessible.
There are several advantages to using Bitrix24 and the accompanying Bitrix24.Drive as your business document repository instead of separate solutions such as Dropbox. Firstly, Bitrix24 offers vastly more functionality in the document library: approvals, workflow, discussion threads and versioning and a whole lot more for each document.
Ease of management:
Bitrix24 users can access documents according to the department in which they work and the projects which they are involved in, so when a new user is brought in, access permissions are immediately granted.
Each Bitrix24 instance belongs to the company that runs it. Each user profile is under control of the Administrator(s) of that company. A consequent advantage is that personal and business files do not get mixed together. In the event that a user is unexpectedly unavailable, files can be accessed by your company’s intranet administrator.
By using Bitrix24 for your organization’s documents, you can benefit from tight integration with the other parts of the system: social network, notifications, subscription, workflow, tasks, and project groups. For example, if a document is subject to approval, the workflow will notify the proper supervisor, and if that person is absence, it can find the next person in line by moving up the company structure.
Bitrix24.Drive and the document library present an free alternative to Dropbox and other consumer-facing file storage services that is not only more secure for business, but also more robust in functionality.