Common Terminology in U-M Box and U-M Dropbox

Overview

There are several terms and icons that appear throughout U-M Box and U-M Dropbox that can be confusing when trying to understand the ins and outs of these services. This article will define common terminology and icons used in both U-M Box and U-M Dropbox. It will also define terms that are not in U-M Box or Dropbox.

As of November 14, 2021, U-M no longer offers Box as a storage solution, and all migrations have ceased.

Glossary

Personal account

A personal account is most commonly used to refer to an account that is outside the University of Michigan (i.e., personally managed and owned). These accounts typically fall in the consumer domain but could also be personal paid accounts. They are external to U-M.

Individual account

An individual account is most commonly used to refer to an account that is inside the University of Michigan (i.e., managed by U-M) and is owned by an individual. These accounts fall in the Education and/or Enterprise domains.

  • In U-M Box, an individual account is associated with your @umich.edu email address and, if applicable, your @med.umich.edu email address.
  • In U-M Dropbox, an individual account is only associated with your @umich.edu email address.

Shared Account

A Shared Account is a group account that is owned and managed by an MCommunity group in U-M Box. It allows units and organizations to use U-M Box to share access to centrally owned files. All files within the Shared Account are owned by the Shared Account. Membership and permissions are managed by the MCommunity group. Shared Accounts are not available in U-M Dropbox, but Team Folders are similar. Refer to our documentation for more information on determining if your data is in a U-M Box Shared Account or a shared folder. If you are interested in how Shared Accounts compare to Team Folders, refer to Shared Document Repository Comparison (Box, Dropbox, and Google).

Team Folder

A Team Folder is a group folder that is owned and managed by an MCommunity group in U-M Dropbox. It allows units and organizations to use U-M Dropbox to share access to centrally owned files. All files within the Team Folder are owned by the Team Folder. Membership and permissions are managed by the MCommunity group. Refer to our documentation for more information on U-M Dropbox Team Folders. If you are interested in how Team Folders compare to Shared Accounts, refer to Shared Document Repository Comparison (Box, Dropbox, and Google).

Dropbox Team Folders appear as a blue folder with a building icon.

Dropbox Team Folder, blue folder with building icon

Shared folder

A shared folder is a folder owned by an individual (in their individual account) that is shared with others. This folder is not owned by a Team Folder or managed by an MCommunity group.

  • In U-M Box, they appear as a blue folder with a people icon. Note that U-M Box Shared Account folders also look like this.

Box shared folder, blue folder with people icon

  • In U-M Dropbox, they also appear as a blue folder with a people icon.

Dropbox shared folder, blue folder with people icon

Private folder

A private (or individual) folder is a folder owned by an individual (in their individual account) that is not shared with others.

  • In U-M Box, they appear as a yellow folder.

Box private folder, yellow folder

  • In U-M Dropbox, they appear as a blue folder.

Dropbox private folder, blue folder

External folder

An external folder is a folder that is owned by someone who is not at the University of Michigan. They are only distinguishable in U-M Box; U-M Dropbox does not have a separate color/icon for external folders.

  • In U-M Box, they appear as a grey folder with a globe icon.

Box external folder, grey folder with globe icon

  • In U-M Dropbox, they appear the same as a shared folder.

Dropbox shared folder, blue folder with people icon

Dropbox Team

A Dropbox Team is a paid Dropbox Business account that created a domain for users to collaborate and interact together. U-M Dropbox is considered the "University of Michigan Team."

Groups

A group means an MCommunity group. In U-M Dropbox, MCommunity groups are considered "groups" by Dropbox.

Terms That Do Not Apply to U-M Box or Dropbox

There are several terms that you may hear frequently but are not associated with U-M Box or Dropbox. 

  • Google shared drive

Google shared drives (formerly Team Drives) are a feature in U-M Google. They offer a shared space in Google Drive where teams can store and collaborate on their team-owned files. The difference between a shared drive and My Drive is that all data (files, folders, spreadsheets, forms, and presentations) are owned by the team/group and not an individual.

  • Shared network drive

A shared network drive is a shared space that supports the storage of files that a department/team may need to collaborate on or routinely access. Shared network drives are those designated with an S:\ or other drive letter in Windows environments or labeled as "Shared1" and "Shared2" in macOS environments. These have no relation to the cloud storage and collaboration services offered by UM-ITS (i.e., Box, Dropbox, Google, and M365).

  • Google Team Drive

The previous name for Google shared drives. Refer to "shared drive" above for more information.

  • Google My Drive

Google My Drive offers the ability to store, share, and collaborate in real-time on files from your individual U-M Google account. Note that Michigan Medicine users access Google Workspace (except Gmail and Calendar) using your Level-1 @umich.edu email address and password.

  • Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is a communication and collaboration platform developed by Microsoft as part of the Microsoft 365 family of products. It incorporates a feature set similar to that of U-M Zoom Google Meet, and other products offering workspace chat, videoconferencing, and file collaboration.

Additional Information

Last Updated: 
Monday, November 15, 2021