Before We Start: The purpose of this article is to highlight the differences between SharePoint and OneDrive and when to use each application.
Note: This article focuses on only the Business versions of OneDrive and SharePoint. Information may differ for Personal versions of this software.
Detailed Breakdown: OneDrive
Purpose: OneDrive is an online document/file storage platform. It’s typically used by individuals who need a central location to store and access files. OneDrive’s versioning and sharing features make it easy to work together, so it’s more than an online filing cabinet.
Document and Resource Management: OneDrive now contains all the original SharePoint document offerings, including workflows, auditing, templates, and version control. What it does not include are your marketing resources, such as website and social media connections. The business owns the account, and each user is assigned a personal account under the business’s account where individual documents can be produced and stored before they are shared to the wider company audience.
Website, Apps, and Content Management System (CMS): OneDrive doesn’t offer the ability to publish your content to the web. While you can email links to documents, you cannot publish those documents directly to a web page from the OneDrive platform. You can make documents discoverable to your team, but you’ll need Office 365 or another CMS/website platform to publish your work publicly.
Workflows, Dashboards, Calendars and Extras: OneDrive gives different members of your team access to documents for storage and sharing and tracks versions, but it’s essentially an online folder system and does not include many of the extras available in SharePoint and the larger Office 365 cloud suite.
Detailed Breakdown: SharePoint
Purpose: SharePoint is a collaboration tool for businesses that need multiple individuals and teams to work on documents and products at the same time.
Document and Resource Management: Many companies use SharePoint for organization-wide document and file collaboration. Both Office 365 and the on-premise SharePoint offerings provide collaborative workflows and granular permissions to help you move content from idea to publication without skipping steps. Your marketing teams will appreciate SharePoint’s white label features that let you set up your intranet to match your branding.
Website, Apps, and Content Management System (CMS): Many companies use SharePoint’s engine to build and maintain their company website, internal documentation, and even web apps. The CMS component lets you publish your documents directly to your company website or make them available for access and download by customers or employees. Many companies also use SharePoint’s internal analytics to build custom apps for employee or external use. You can build your company’s customer-facing website, help documentation, FAQ pages, or your employee portal right from the SharePoint interface using the documents your team shares.
Workflows, Dashboards, Calendars and Extras: SharePoint gives your team a collaborative workspace with dashboards, calendars, tasks, notifications, and updates. The SharePoint platform keeps these located in a central portal associated with company sites. You can set up a SharePoint site for each of your teams to access, with dashboards that give team and company notifications. You can also set up a corporate portal where searchable company-wide libraries and notifications live. Assign each employee a security level to allow access.