The Difference Between Sharepoint and One Drive

The Difference Between Sharepoint and One Drive

Kevin Kembel

SharePoint is a powerful tool for managing content and collaborating on projects within a team or across departments. It allows businesses to create and manage document libraries, enabling seamless integration between your files and other Office 365 apps. With SharePoint, users can create team sites, communication sites, and intranet sites, providing a centralized location for information and collaboration.

On the other hand, OneDrive is fundamentally more tailored towards personal document storage. It offers individual users a personal cloud storage solution with robust security features. OneDrive enables users to store, sync, and access their files from anywhere, on any device. While it does support collaboration, it is primarily intended for personal use, making it ideal for storing personal documents.

Some confusion between the two arises when SharePoint is used to manage document libraries for users to centrally share files and collaborate, and OneDrive is used as the tool to synchronize those SharePoint file libraries with your computer. While the file libraries themselves are actually SharePoint, they show up on a computer under the OneDrive where they are synchronized and stored locally.

In terms of access management, SharePoint provides granular control, allowing administrators to set security settings at both the individual and group level to make sure that only specific users are allowed to access those files. With OneDrive, when users synchronize a SharePoint document library with their computer, the OneDrive app will only synchronize the files and folders that the user has permission to access in SharePoint.

In summary, SharePoint can do so much more than just secured shared file libraries, but in general is the go-to tool for cloud file sharing in Microsoft 365. OneDrive does have its own personal cloud file storage for each user, but when it comes to shared file libraries OneDrive is simply the tool used to synchronize those SharePoint file libraries to each user's computer. Working together, these two platforms provide a powerful, secure, and scalable way to store and share all of your team's files and documents in the cloud and on-the-go. 

Let's dive into the user experience of Sharepoint versus OneDrive!

What Sharepoint Can Do

SharePoint is a versatile and powerful cloud-based service that offers businesses of all sizes a wide range of capabilities. As a part of Microsoft 365 or as a standalone service, SharePoint Online provides businesses with a centralized platform for content management, collaboration, and knowledge sharing. SharePoint as a platform has become the back-end for many of the apps and tools within the Microsoft 365 suite, such as Teams and OneDrive.

Even before Office 365, one of the key features of SharePoint has always been it's file management capabilities. It allows businesses to create and manage document libraries, enabling teams to easily organize, share, and collaborate on files. With features like version control and real-time co-authoring, SharePoint ensures that everyone is working on the most up-to-date document.

SharePoint also excels at facilitating collaboration, communication and business processes within teams and across departments. It allows users to create team sites, communication sites, and intranet sites, providing a central hub for information sharing. Users can easily create and manage workflows, automate business processes, and enhance team collaboration through features like shared calendars, task lists, and discussion boards.

Additionally, SharePoint promotes knowledge management by providing powerful search functions and content categorization. Businesses can create wikis, blogs, and knowledge bases, making it easy to capture and share organizational knowledge. SharePoint's security features also ensure that sensitive information is protected, with granular access controls and security settings.

Overall, SharePoint's capabilities go way beyond simple file storage and make it a valuable tool for businesses looking to improve collaboration, file management, business processes and knowledge sharing in a secure and efficient manner. Whether used as part of Microsoft 365 or as a standalone service, SharePoint Online offers businesses the power and flexibility they need to streamline their operations and boost productivity.

Why Sharepoint is Used

SharePoint is widely used in business environments for its numerous benefits and powerful features. One of the key reasons why SharePoint is used is its ability to enhance collaboration within teams and across departments. Because many businesses have already made the decision to utilize Microsoft 365 for it's many other advantages, SharePoint is automatically included and becomes a no-brainer! 
In the beginning, SharePoint may be initially used as an excellent tool for document management, providing businesses with a secure and organized platform for storing and managing their files. But over time many of the other features can be implemented and leveraged where appropriate. 

Furthermore, SharePoint's included "Recycle Bin" and version control feature allows businesses to track changes made to documents, making it easy to revert to previous versions if needed. These core included features add a small amount of redundancy and safety that has traditionally been expensive.

In addition to collaboration and document management, SharePoint is also used for creating intranet portals or public websites. These portals serve as a central hub for employees or customers, providing access to important company resources, announcements, and news. SharePoint's customizable features allow businesses to create a tailored and visually appealing intranet portal or public website that reflects their brand and values.

How Sharepoint Works

SharePoint is a cloud-based platform that is included in Microsoft 365 and is accessed through your web browser or the SharePoint app on your mobile device.  

As a cloud-based web platform, SharePoint enables businesses to store their documents in a centralized location, making it easy for team members to access and collaborate on files from anywhere, at any time. This promotes real-time collaboration and enhances productivity from anywhere you choose to work.

SharePoint operates as a collection of individual sites that your administrators can easily create, customize, publish content, manage and deploy to your teams.

How Sharepoint and One Drive Work Together

SharePoint and OneDrive for Business work together seamlessly to provide businesses with a comprehensive solution for file management and collaboration. Since OneDrive is the app installed on each user's computer to access the SharePoint files, users often mistakenly refer to these SharePoint document libraries as OneDrive libraries. 

Using OneDrive, the various SharePoint libraries can easily be synced to users' OneDrive accounts, allowing for seamless access and collaboration. This means that users can work on documents from either SharePoint or OneDrive, depending on their requirements and preferences. Syncing also ensures that any changes made to a file are automatically updated across both platforms, eliminating the need for manual updates.

Using OneDrive, your SharePoint file libraries can be saved locally. This allows users to work on files while they are not online, even without access to an Internet connection at all. When the user comes back online, their OneDrive app will take the tracked changes and upload them to SharePoint so that other users can see the changes that were made while offline.

By leveraging both SharePoint and OneDrive, businesses can harness the power of SharePoint's collaboration tools and document management capabilities alongside the personal file storage and accessibility provided by OneDrive. This combination creates a comprehensive and efficient file management and collaboration solution, improving productivity and enhancing teamwork.

Working together, SharePoint and OneDrive can be an effective method of file storage for businesses of any size. Although it is easy to create a document library, it is critical to ensure that each SharePoint site and library is setup and configured with careful consideration for the long term, ensuring that file storage stays manageable and secure as your business grows.

Kevin Kembel

Kevin Kembel
Transpera Technologies Inc.