SharePoint Online: Copying Files to the Cloud with SPFileZilla

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Cloud technologies offer many advantages but also pose quite a few logistical challenges.

For example, how do you move local data you’ve accumulated from your computer or on-premise network to a OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online site collection?

(And yes, we’re all familiar with the OneDrive for Business sync client but, on the Windows side,  that can get a bit wonky if you need to upload hundreds of megabytes in the beginning and the OS X client is often practically useless…although new clients are reportedly on the way.)

There are quite a few answers to that question; here’s Microsoft’s guidance.

That’s all good but I’ve had great success with an open source tool named SPFileZilla.

Here’s a quote from the project’s page:

Inspired by FileZilla, the fantastic free FTP client, SPFileZilla allows you to navigate and manage SharePoint as if it were an FTP Server. Browse site lists, document libraries, folders, and files. Download and upload files and folders, including support for nested folders hierarchies. Create new folders, rename existing files and folders, and delete files and folders. Also, you can copy paths to files and folders to your clipboard. Drag and drop folders/files into the application to upload to SharePoint.

[…]

Full at the SPFileZilla homepage.

The key to this project’s success is its FileZilla, FTP-esque style of presentation which makes file transfer and management very simple.

Take a look at the main screen to see what I mean (and by the way, you should be a site collection owner or admin to effectively use this tool):

SPFilezilla-one

At the top of the interface, you enter the URL of your SharePoint Online site collection –  for example, https://your-domain-sharepoint .com/sites/your-site-here.

Your username and password are, of course, the same that you use to authenticate to the Office 365 portal and other cloud-linked services (such as Outlook).  To make sure the application ‘knows’ you’re trying to connect to an online site and not one within your on premise domain, check the “Is SharePoint Online?” button.

SPFilezilla-two

By clicking the “Quickconnect” button, you’re logged into your site collection:

SPFilezilla-three

Notice the right-hand side of the interface which shows the folder structure of your site collection.  By selecting files and/or folders on the left-hand side of the window, and clicking the rightward facing arrow button (after browsing to your target folder within SharePoint) you can copy files from your local drive to SharePoint Online.

That’s it; remarkably simple.

And simplicity equals elegance.

Published by

D. Roberto

No one can know everything...but I come close! Actually, this project is an enhanced version of the notes I take everyday to sharpen my skills and deepen my understanding. Hopefully, it can be of some benefit to my fellow specialists around the world.