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bDrive vs. Box vs. CalShare vs. bCourses Projects: What's the best choice for online collaboration?

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12.0 - Updated on 2023-08-24 by Sarah Bailey

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10.0 - Updated on 2022-06-29 by Sarah Bailey

9.0 - Updated on 2022-06-29 by Jen Bellenger

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2.0 - Updated on 2022-06-29 by Jen Bellenger

1.0 - Authored on 2015-04-28 by Adam Zukauckas

bDrive vs. Box vs. CalShare vs. bCourses Projects: What's the best choice for online collaboration?

 
 

The chart below gives a high-level comparison of the four major campus-supported options for collaboration at UC Berkeley.

This chart is intended only as guidance for which tool is best suited to a particular purpose. Depending on what you're trying to do, each of the tools may be either a good or a bad choice for that purpose. There is no one tool that is the best choice for every person and project.

We strongly encourage you to experiment with multiple tools before making a selection, especially for larger or longer-term projects. You might want to also consider a hybrid approach, for example using CalShare for a project dashboard, and embedding a view of your Box file repository there.

The "updated" date of this knowledge base article, shown below, shows when this guidance was last updated. Please check back here for updated and expanded guidance.

Tools for hosting websites and for software developers are also available.

 

bDrive

Box

CalShare

bCourses Project Sites

Best for

  • Complex sites and business needs
  • Large, long-term projects
  • Sensitive data (see below for details)
  • Departmental collaboration
  • Departmental intranet websites
  • Low-volume P4 data storage and collaboration.

Individuals seeking cloud storage should refer to Box or Google Shared Drives. Individuals storing P1-P3 research data should contact Research IT for a consultation.

  • Faculty, students already familiar with bCourses
  • Instruction and training-related projects

Key capabilities

  • Project/site dashboards
  • Large set of tools and capabilities
  • Integration with Microsoft Office
  • Site dashboard
  • Wiki
  • Discussions

Other useful features

  • Previews for many types of files, e.g. images, video, audio, office, etc.
  • Fine-grained permissions, e.g. preview without download
  • Supports Mac package (e.g. Keynote) files via BoxSync
  • Self-service creation of project sites for faculty and staff

Price

Currently funded through Productivity Suite Assessment

Currently funded through Productivity Suite Assessment

Currently funded through Productivity Suite Assessment

Free to all faculty and staff

Storage limits

See this KB article for the breakdown of Google storage limits

50 GB for individual accounts

500 GB for SPA accounts

1 TB/site

2GB

Off-campus collaboration

Easily collaborate with all other Google users, including people with free Google accounts.

Can also make selected files viewable by anyone on the Internet.

Easily collaborate with all other Box users, including people with free Box accounts.

Can also make selected files viewable by anyone on the Internet.

Available for Site Collections with non-sensitive (UC P4/UCB PL2) data upon request. 

 

Requires CalNet Guest account.

Security

  • Hosted off campus
  • Approved for MSSEI UC P3 data only
  • Data is encrypted in transit and at rest
  • Hosted off campus
  • Approved for MSSEI UC P3 data only
  • Data is encrypted in transit and at rest
  • Hosted off campus
  • Approved for MSSEI UC P4 data upon request
  • Data is encrypted in transit
  • Hosted off campus
  • Approved for MSSEI UC P3 data only
  • Data is encrypted in transit

More questions?

Contact ITCS

Contact ITCS

Contact ITCS

Contact ITCS