How to Index Cloud-Hosted Content

Indexing content into AVAIL Channels from locations such as OneDrive, SharePoint, Panzura, Autodesk Docs, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.

This article does not apply to using AVAIL's Host in Cloud feature. If you are interested in using AVAIL's Host in Cloud feature, visit our AVAIL Host in Cloud page.

AVAIL is designed to be location agnostic; by this, we mean that whether files live on-premises or in the cloud, it's possible to index them into AVAIL. This approach makes all of your content available in a single interface.

This article will explain the process for indexing content from third-party cloud services.

The process for indexing cloud-hosted content will vary slightly between the different cloud services, but overall we have found the processes to be very similar.

1. Upload content to the cloud service

This probably goes without saying, and you've likely already done so, but it is a necessary step! In addition, be sure to share access to this content with your users. 

2. Sync to a common location across all users

We are just on step two, but this is a critical step in making content accessible in AVAIL.

Why is this step so important?

The location of content (the file path) is how AVAIL links to your content and is determined when indexing. 

If the path to the content differs for users, then the content will not be accessible.

  • Utilize the cloud service's desktop connector to manage the synchronization of files from the cloud to user's computers.
  • The files will appear in your Window File Folder just like content that is on-premise or on a shared network. You can then index (Step 3 below) this cloud-hosted content directly into AVAIL from your File Explorer.

Common Synchronization Methods

Each cloud service has their own method for syncing, but generally fall into two buckets:

  • Content will sync to a common location, for example Google Drive defaults to syncing to a G: drive.
    • If this is the case, pathing is normally straightforward and doesn't need to be adjusted.
  • Or, content syncs to a a unique user path (Ex: C:\Users\JohnDoe\Cloud-Service\...
    • This is a common practice for cloud services (i.e. OneDrive, SharePoint, ACC). The path is consistent except for the initial portion with the username. In this case, you could either go the route of changing the default path for the connector, or utilize AVAIL's Dynamic Paths feature.

What are Dynamic Paths and how do they work?

Dynamic Paths are an automated feature of AVAIL that stores the location for your cloud-hosted content using a Dynamic Path as part of the address.  Rather than explicitly storing the path “C:\user\JohnDoe\OneDrive-ACME\contentname.extension” the path will be stored in AVAIL as “%USERPROFILE%\OneDrive – ACME\”.  For each user with access to that content AVAIL will lookup the environment variable that defines that user’s USERPROFILE location and resolve the address to the cached content.

Dynamic Paths are automatically enabled for OneDrive, SharePoint, and Autodesk Docs. Simply index content from the your synced File Explorer and AVAIL will generate the Dynamic Path automatically.

Dynamic Paths can be enabled for other cloud services by sending a request to

For more on Dynamic Paths, visit our Dynamic Paths Overview article.

3. Index content into AVAIL!

Because the files have synced locally, you can now index the desired content from your File Explorer directly into your AVAIL Channel.

Voila! Your cloud-hosted content is now accessible through AVAIL. Content can be tagged, searched, and utilized just like any other content in AVAIL, and users only need to use a single interface to find what they need.

Additional Tips

  • Having issues viewing thumbnails for cloud-hosted content?
    • The cloud service may have disabled the thumbnails, or the content may not be appearing because it isn't cached. Use our Virtualize Thumbnails feature to create a quick, consistent thumbnail viewing experience.

      Additionally, a segment of a recent webinar on how AVAIL's thumbnail virtualization feature can help when OneDrive (or other services) disables thumbnails.