Comparison between OneDrive for Business and SharePoint

Comparison between OneDrive for Business and SharePoint

If you are into file sharing and storage, you must have come across this question: What’s the difference between OneDrive for Business and SharePoint? Some may even consider that OneDrive for Business is similar to SharePoint. This argument can be supported by the fact that there is SharePoint beneath everything, which is a valid point. The boundary between both the products is an unclear one, but fundamentally, both weren’t built around the same purpose.

Then why use OneDrive for Business when SharePoint alone can do the job? Or vice-versa, what is the use of SharePoint along with OneDrive for Business? Why can’t both the products be amalgamated into one product? Maybe we can also avoid this question altogether. When you include Microsoft Teams into this ‘SharePoint vs OneDrive’ argument, it gets even more confusing. What are their features? Are they any different from each other?

So, let us compare and understand how SharePoint and OneDrive for Business can be same, as well as different from one another.

Which feature is best suited for each one of them – OneDrive for Business or SharePoint ?

1. File Sharing

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know how to share files on OneDrive for Business or SharePoint. OneDrive for Business, at its core, is a synchronization product which supported file sharing. While you can explicitly say that OneDrive for Business is a storage and file sharing tool, SharePoint is much more to that. Though file sharing is prominent in SharePoint, OneDrive is undistinguishable with file sharing, perhaps better than SharePoint.

For instance, when your Microsoft email attachments exceed the size limit, they are shared via OneDrive for Business by default.

For file sharing – we may pick up OneDrive for Business. But again, there is a catch here. It also depends in the file type you’re dealing with.

Type of files used

If the files are individual and personal in nature, OneDrive for Business is the place of storage. Also, Microsoft Office files that are individual-specific or in-process works, it can be shared with OneDrive for Business. If it’s department or project files which need to be shared, SharePoint maybe the better option.

If file sharing involves many people in organization, opt for SharePoint. Keep it a rule of thumb for team files/folders: if it’s shared, it should be SharePoint.

2. File Storage

OneDrive for Business is a paid storage, while SharePoint is more of a platform for content management. The rule applied to file sharing feature can be applied to storage as well. If the files are personal and used specifically by one individual more than others, OneDrive for Business can be the storage choice.

Since sites can be created on SharePoint, the storage size offered is up to a maximum of 25 TB, and 1TB with SharePoint Online. Both can be offered as standalone plans, but OneDrive for Business storage limit depends on the selected Office 365 plan. Also, OneDrive for Business is not a migration tool, but primarily a synchronization tool.

The primary difference between OneDrive and SharePoint is that the former is made for the individual, while the latter is the designed for the corporations. The control remains with the individual even though the files are shared with various users.

Succinctly, OneDrive for Business can be very well used as the platform to dump all your files while SharePoint is an open platform for shared collaboration.

3. Security

SharePoint wins this, hands down. SharePoint offers much more than just file sharing and storage, and security is one of its paramount features. The smooth version control feature in SharePoint helps maintaining a good degree of control over the files, as everything is recorded systematically.

SharePoint offers a centralized management system through a dashboard. In SharePoint, you can perform central administration tasks from one place via dashboard. You can access services, manage compliance, customize web parts, access library, encrypt connections, preview files, identify sensitive content, support large files, search, control OneDrive, SMTP ports, SMTP encryptions from the control panel.

As SharePoint allows process streamlining and has a lot of data management tools, it offers full control to the admin, and thereby strengthening security. Permissions are required for access control depending on the user roles.

4. Collaboration

Just as we defined OneDrive for Business with file sharing, we can identify collaboration with SharePoint. SharePoint is popular for its real-time collaboration. SharePoint as a collaboration tool for businesses that helps team members work better together.  It is widely popular as a collaboration platform and most companies use it as an intranet, though OneDrive for Business also has collaboration capabilities.

In OneDrive for Business, all uploads that you make are private until you change permissions. In SharePoint, all uploads are default to inherent permissions set for that particular folder.

5. Project Management

Companies use SharePoint technology for project-based collaboration, and a large number of people can access SharePoint sites across geographies. SharePoint is used as project-based management sites, HR portals, and document libraries.

OneDrive for Business, in some ways, also use SharePoint but it is more used as a storage and file-sharing tool.

For better project management, we would give this to SharePoint.

So, what feature can be better suited for: SharePoint vs OneDrive for Business?

Feature better suited in SharePoint OneDrive for Business
File storage
File sharing
Project Management

Both SharePoint and OneDrive for Business are important tools for your business, as they are constituents of Office 365. You need to effectively manage OneDrive for Business and SharePoint, as these tools help improve your business visibility and productivity. If you need any help on how these tools can benefit you, give us a call now. We will be happy to help you.

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