SharePoint and OneDrive for Business
If you’re having difficulty understanding the differences between SharePoint and OneDrive for Business, you are NOT alone.
To add to the confusion:
- OneDrive is different than OneDrive for Business. OneDrive (personal) is available for FREE to anyone by creating a Microsoft account. OneDrive for Business comes with your Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) Business license. In this article, we’ll only cover OneDrive for Business.
- SharePoint on-premise is different than SharePoint on the Microsoft 365 Cloud Platform, called SharePoint Online. In this article, SharePoint refers to the Microsoft 365 SharePoint Online
Microsoft 365 Applications for File Storage and File Sharing
Both SharePoint and OneDrive are used for file storage and file sharing. When you’re prompted to save a Word or Excel document, you’ll see both choices.
File storage capacity limits
SharePoint online limits
1 TB per organization, plus 10 GB per license pruchased.
OneDrive for business limits
5 TB per user, which can be increased to 25 TB per user
Where should you save your document?
SharePoint Online enables collaboration
SharePoint (and later SharePoint Online) were created to be collaboration portals, where companies, departments, and teams could easily and securely find and share records and resources.
SharePoint Online gives you the ability to create:
- Team Sites
- Intranet Sites
- Mobile Apps
The tool puts a lot of emphasis on data security, work automation, and enforcement of data governance policies, especially around record retention and content deletion.
OneDrive for Business enables file sharing
Perhaps realizing that not every business wants to have a slew of SharePoint collaboration sites, but is still interested in securely sharing file(s) with internal and external resources, Microsoft created OneDrive for Business. OneDrive allows you to put all your files in a centralized location that you can access from any device. You can easily and securely share with both internal and external users.
When you open OneDrive from the Web or Mobile application, it’s a list of files and folders, each that have their own permission levels.
Setting up a SharePoint Site
Setting up SharePoint site is more like designing a website. You can share much more than files. You can:
- Embed calendars
- Create a site newsfeed
- Share a synced Project Plan (using Planner)
- Share a synched OneDrive Notebook
- Customize the branding to match the project
For a full list of features, visit the Microsoft SharePoint Online site.
File Syncing Between OneDrive and SharePoint
One point of confusion is that files can be shared between OneDrive, SharePoint, and even Microsoft Teams (which we’ll cover in a future post). When you save a file to OneDrive, you may notice that it has a SharePoint location, because it’s embedded under the company’s directory under a “PERSONAL” folder. The sync settings between the two applications are defined by your Microsoft 365 Administrator or your Microsoft Office 365 Partner.
With SharePoint, the Microsoft 365 Administrator sets up the sites and folders with sharing permissions.
With OneDrive, the user decides which folders/files are shared (within the security limitations setup by the administrator.)
Sharing Files Without Attachments
If you want to reduce the size of your mailbox or send a large file, you can now easily send a link instead of attaching the file to an email. Another advantage of this is that multiple parties can simultaneously edit the same file. You can share to one particular email address, to anyone with the link, or to a SharePoint team site / OneDrive shared directory.
Both OneDrive for Business and SharePoint have built-in compliance features including:
- Activity Auditing – Shows you accessed, deleted or shared files
- Data Loss Prevention – Protects sensitive data
- Retention Policy – Can auto-retain or auto-delete content after a set timeframe
- eDiscovery Case Management – Allow you identify and hold content that can be used as evidence in legal cases.
- Alerts – Administrators and Manager can get notified when users perform certain activities
Where Should You Save Your Files?
If you want to change where you are saving files, Microsoft has a great article on moving documents between SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. And of course, if you need help migrating your data to Microsoft 365, give us a call!