OneDrive vs SharePoint : Key Differences and Comparison

The radical shift in work culture has brought massive changes in the way we work. Most of the businesses are embracing these changes but still there are many companies trying to have hands on this type of working environment. If we retrospect the time, there were only a few offices that were following the remote working system such as small businesses or startups. These businesses are operating with a shoestring budget and so they are flexible in all ways they could. Flexibility is the inevitable reason that promotes this type of work culture. 

Companies have motivation to invest heavily in cloud-based solutions that allow them to store files on central servers. We can accessed from multiple devices due to the remote work culture. Microsoft’s SharePoint and OneDrive for business are two of the most well-known cloud-based platforms. You can use them for saving, syncing and file sharing across devices.

The prime elements that makes the working simpler are OneDrive for Business and SharePoint. Microsoft created Office 365, which includes SharePoint and OneDrive, to allow businesses to store and share information in a single collaborative ecosystem. You can hire the SharePoint Development team to see what changes they are capable of bringing to your business. In this blog post, we will be talking about OneDrive vs SharePoint and how businesses use them. 

So without further ado, let’s delve deeper

1. What is Office 365 ?

Microsoft powered the Office 365 application is a go-to application present in almost all types of desktops and laptops. Microsoft teams has developed this application as a one shot solution for all basic needs of a person. Office 365 includes the same core applications as traditional versions of Office, such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Excel and Note, as well as other apps and services such as OneDrive for Business, Exchange, Publisher, Planner, SharePoint, Skype, and Microsoft Teams, depending on the plan purchased.

Office 365 is a subscription modelled service, which clearly means that you don’t have to buy a complete suite directly. But for a single time fee, users have to pay a monthly fee or take a subscription to access the service as per their choice. All Office 365 applications, services, and data are hosted on Microsoft’s servers.  It is also a cloud-based application; while the versions of desktop apps are also available, its primary functioning is online.

The subscription-based model of Office 365 ensures that users always have access to the most recent version, as the platform has constant updates at Microsoft’s end. Whenever there is an update, you don’t have to install the program again  or learn its hardware tactics to run over it. Office 365 has all of it. It also contains email hosting and cloud based storage space. This enables user to host online and provide access to files from any place, any location or even any device. The only initial need is to get an internet connection first.

2. What is SharePoint? How to create SharePoint Team Sites?

Microsoft SharePoint is a platform that is web based and used for real time collaboration and document management. Its capabilities are wide scope and despite its versatility, its fundamental function is used to communicate information across organizations and store documents. Users can use SharePoint for creating an intranet that functions similarly to a website. The Sub sites or a team site for specific departments or teams can be created. Uses of SharePoint with the centralized and secure space allows users to use personal files, SharePoint library, customer data, data retrieved from SharePoint server and other personal storage too.

SharePoint has precise controls and user access settings, which SharePoint allows access to some administrators. Additionally, most businesses like locally installed software so they use SharePoint on premises. This acts like a foundation for building their own applications  and they use it as a standalone solution. Most Companies also take the responsibilities of any security breaches and purchase of its version updates when needed. For internal publishing use a CMS. should look into SharePoint’s capabilities.

3. What is OneDrive?

OneDrive for Business is a cloud service that interlinks you to all data files. It is also included in Office 365. OneDrive also enables you to store, protect  and sync files, share them with others. It allows easy access from anywhere on all of your devices.  OneDrive for your organization will decide the amount of storage space a single user will have. Unless you share files with others, OneDrive for Business will assure all your documents are protected and threat-free.

OneDrive is available in both consumer and enterprise versions from Microsoft. While OneDrive for Business does use some SharePoint technology behind the scenes, its primary focus is on document storage and collaboration. According to Microsoft’s OneDrive for Business website, the service is designed for file sharing, storage, backup, and collaboration. The moment the team login into OneDrive, they can access files of all types. It is compatible across via Windows, Mac, iOS, or Android.

4. SharePoint vs OneDrive : Comparison

For anybody who has not used OneDrive or SharePoint will believe that both SharePoint and Microsoft’s OneDrive are a major duplication of service. There is a constant war between SharePoint vs OneDrive. This is because they offer almost the same type of services. There are differences between OneDrive and SharePoint just like difference between Microsoft Teams and SharePoint. There are many features that appear to be based on the same basic premise – cloud service and work collaboration. However, we know both of them are different and hence everyone must know some subtle differences that have a significant impact on how they’re used. They both excel in certain contexts, but in many others, they complement one another.

4.1 Use Cases of One Drive and SharePoint

Both SharePoint and OneDrive offers are often misinterpreted to offer same thing because both of them offer collaboration and file sharing. SharePoint is recommended in the case there is an internal web portal that needs to be fine-edge operations. Yes SharePoint allows businesses to create web portals and host SharePoint site with enterprise grade security on it. Thus SharePoint is more of a project management platform. While on other hand, OneDrive offers saving and file sharing on the one drive platform. You wont be able to create a portal on it but can easily share data with given rights and regulations.

4.2 Encryption and Compliance in SharePoint Site

Many business owners are concerned about document security, adulteration, and regulatory compliance. When it comes to controlling internal data or and client data, these business owners find SharePoint and OneDrive both very useful  for all your files. The  granular controls and user access capabilities with internet access makes it  extremely useful. While both Office 365 and OneDrive are extremely secure and encrypted to keep documents safe from potential threats.

Discrete access control is also available in Office 365 for OneDrive for Business, allowing administrators to designate access and assign user permissions. Microsoft encrypts all business data in the Cloud during transfer to and from server locations and stores it encrypted on the Microsoft server as well.

4.3 Access Management

OneDrive – an Online Folder System is most likely the best place to save private work documents that only you need to see. OneDrive intents for personal use only. This isn’t necessarily a problem unless you’re in a position where you need to move documents. Documents you create on your own can grow in importance and then become critical to projects you work on with others. Both the platforms offer compatible and easier way of accessing data. Desktop, tablets or mobile device access are some of the common ways that you can use SharePoint or one drive solutions for simpler online collaboration.

In all cases, every document is in private mode which means only the user who have created the document will be able to see it and access it. This is not the case with SharePoint. SharePoint offers predefined rules and permissions by the directory or folder. For each file uploaded will have unique permissions of folder and directory. This results into more adaptability of SharePoint making it a preferable choice when it comes to team collaboration and protecting the sensitive information of enterprise..

4.4 Website, Apps and CMS

SharePoint is a multifunctional technology platform that enables businesses to develop all types of applications from internal websites, docs, web pages and other similar solutions. SharePoint powered specialized Content Management System allows users to create and publish applications that are simple, subtle, easy to use and accessible. While on the other hand, if we talk about One drive, then they lack in offering this feature. Though you can send anything via email and that will be accessible easily to all the members allowed in the sheet, but it doesn’t allow publishing. Thus, this gives an extra brownie points to Sharepoint for enabling businesses to directly publish on websites. Also, since publishing is not available, there is no option for CMS as well. 

4.5 Storage and Functionalities

OneDrive for Business is most likely the best place to save private work documents that only you need to see.

Microsoft OneDrive has a clear intent for personal use only.This isn’t necessarily a problem unless you’re in a position where you need to move documents. Documents you create on your own can grow in importance and then become critical to projects you work on with others. The storage capacity of one drive exceeds to 1TB which is also not enough if we have larger collaboration in teams. if you want more capacity like 5TB then you have to make a purchase.

For collaboration with larger number of troops, there is no better option than SharePoint. It is one of the easiest way to access, collaborate, use advance protection , and flexibly access all types of docs. As we know SharePoint is a collaborative platform offering easier project management services. You can  purchase SharePoint to get access to additional business features. 

If you’re not sure how both these cloud solutions work, here’s a quick breakdown that might give you a better picture for you to plan your company’s work strategy. In the given Table below, we will be analyzing the difference between the two.

5. SharePoint vs OneDrive : Differentiating Table

Parameter SharePoint Onedrive
Compatibility Collaborative system on cloud as well as on premise Provides cloud storage for a team
Accessibility Internet access is mandatory Internet access is mandatory
Rights and safety Anyone can managed it who has Azure Active Directory system properties and permissions You need to have permission of file sharing and Azure Active Directory system to access any file
Storage Free plus in addition you can have more than 15TB data storage capacity Mostly free and with paid version, you can have capacity of 5GB as free and later upto 6TB storage based on purchased subscriptions

6. Closing Thoughts

One of the most common battles of SharePoint vs OneDrive – two similar types of collaboration tool has not found conclusion. Most of the businesses are constantly hustling to find key differences between the two. There are some features  like project management that only SharePoint can offer  and for some OneDrive- Like for personal documents, the preferable one is OneDrive. So, its a never ending game. When you use SharePoint, there are automated workflows cloud-based services and other ways for file storage and file sharing. For all scenarios, like you are working from home or from corporate headquarters or may be somewhere else, the team members can access the original document from everywhere. We hope this blog would have brought you a clarity on how SharePoint and OneDrive can have same features and yet offer different services.

Itesh Sharma

Itesh Sharma is core member of Sales Department at TatvaSoft. He has got more than 6 years of experience in handling the task related to Customer Management and Project Management. Apart from his profession he also has keen interest in sharing the insight on different methodologies of software development.


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