As a member of the IU community, you have some great options for online document storage, sharing, and collaboration. This post will give you an overview of Box at IU, Google at IU, and Office 356. Visit the IU Knowledge Base (KB) to see a full comparison chart for the three services.
Box at IU
With Box at IU, you can collaborate with people at IU and elsewhere on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. Storage on Box at IU is unlimited, the maximum file size is 15 GB, and you can upload any file type. This service is a best for general purpose file storage and sharing.
Box at IU is acceptable for storing data classified as Restricted. This type of data may not be accessed without specific authorization. Two examples of Restricted data are a student’s grades and the home address of an employee. Learn about the different types of institutional data on this page.
With Box, you can edit Microsoft Office documents in your browser using Office Online, or open documents with your desktop Office applications. Box for Office Online automatically saves files as you work, and each auto-save creates a new version. Box retains the 100 most recent versions of your Office documents.
Google at IU
Google at IU is similar to Box at IU. Storage is unlimited, and you can share and collaborate with both IU and non-IU colleagues. The maximum files size is 5 TB, and Restricted data is permitted here. With this service, you’ll use Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other Google applications. Your file storage is on Google Drive. Google also offers version control for your documents.
Groupspaces is a useful feature that might make Google at IU the preferred choice for those involved in projects, committee work, organizations, and group activities. With Groupspaces, you get template consisting of a Group, a Calendar, and a Site. Watch this IT Training webinar to find out to get started with Groupspaces. Check out this post for more info on Google at IU.
Office 365 is similar to the other services, but it offers only 1 TB of storage and a maximum file size of 10 GB. University-Internal data is permissible on this service. This data may be accessed by eligible employees and designated appointees of the university for purposes of university business. This type of data is a level below the Restricted category.
There are a few downsides to Office 365 including:
- You cannot transfer ownership of files to another person.
- There is no commenting feature for files and folders.
- It doesn’t allow group accounts.
If you’re concerned about accessibility, be aware that Google at IU and Office 365 may not offer the best experience for people with disabilities. Box, on the other hand, offers an accessible interface (https://a.box.com) that might be easier to use, but it only provides a subset of service’s features. Keep your audience in mind when choosing a collaboration tool.
Making a Choice
In the end, the tool you use is a matter of personal preference, so be sure to check the comparison chart in the KB. You will likely end up using more than one of these services during your time at IU.