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What's the Difference Between OneDrive and SharePoint?

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Whats the Difference


Between OneDrive and
SharePoint?
Author: 365 Ninja

December 16, 2014

(http://www.365ninja.com/author/365ninja/)

9 Comments
(http://www.365ninja.com/whatsdifference-onedrivesharepoint/#comments)

OneDrive for Business (ODfB) (http://www.365ninja.com/category/onedrive/) and


SharePoint Online (SP) (http://www.365ninja.com/category/sharepoint/) are related
components of Office 365, with overlapping architecture and features. If you use both
OneDrive and SharePoint at work, it can get a little confusing.

The basics
The first thing to keep in mind is that there is a consumer version of OneDrive that is
very different from the OneDrive for Business component of your Office 365
subscription at work. If you have an existing Microsoft account, you already have
OneDrive.
Anyone can sign up for a OneDrive account (https://onedrive.live.com/about/enus/plans/) with any email address and get free or paid storage for your documents,
photos, videos, and other files. This is your personal or individual OneDrive account.

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What's the Difference Between OneDrive and SharePoint? | Office 365 Ninja

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Home Office 365 plans also include personal OneDrive. Once you have a personal
OneDrive account, you may set it to sync with your device (computer, tablet, phone,
and so on).
If you use an Office 365 plan at work, you have your own OneDrive for Business.
Despite the same name, personal or consumer-facing OneDrive does not have any
overlap with OneDrive for Business. See how Microsoft explains it here
(https://support.office.com/en-us/article/What-is-OneDrive-for-Business-187f90af056f-47c0-9656-cc0ddca7fdc2).
You access your OneDrive for Business via the Office 365 portal sign-in
(http://www.365ninja.com/sign-in-sign-out-office-365/). You can also sync ODfB with
your device (http://www.365ninja.com/sync-find-onedrive-business-files/), and then
youll be able to access your files in a local folder titled OneDrive [Your Business
Name] or OneDrive @ Your Business Name. By default everything stored in
OneDrive for Business is visible only to you, but you can share files with individuals,
groups, or everyone in your organization.
Similarly, you will have access to SharePoint sites via your Office 365 portal. The
launcher menu item Office 365 is called Sites. You can store documents and other
files there, as well as share and collaborate with your teammates. SharePoint also has
sync capabilities. Sounds pretty similar to OneDrive for Business, right? So, whats the
difference?

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What's the Difference Between OneDrive and SharePoint? | Office 365 Ninja

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(http://2bvq4c49kky971kus268ni13.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wpcontent/uploads/ODfBvsSP-1024x404.jpg)
Note From this point forward, well be specifically covering OneDrive for Business,
but one quick thing first. Remember how you can sign up for a personal/individual
OneDrive using any email address? That includes your work email address. For
example, I use a business Office 365 plan here at work with 365 Ninja. I sign in using
my work email address, ninja@365ninja.com (mailto:ninja@365ninja.com), in order to
access ODfB and SharePoint. But I can also use ninja@365ninja.com
(mailto:ninja@365ninja.com) to sign up for a personal OneDrive, which would be a
totally separate account. Even though I may use the same email address and
password to sign in, I cant see my personal files in my business account and vice
versa.

ODfB vs. SP
As mentioned, you can store, sync, and share files with both OneDrive for Business
and SharePoint. This table explains some of the similarities and differences of these
components of Office 365.

OneDrive for Business

SharePoint Online

http://www.365ninja.com/whats-difference-onedrive-sharepoint/

22/07/2015

What's the Difference Between OneDrive and SharePoint? | Office 365 Ninja
Included in Office 365 Business plans
(https://products.office.com/enus/business/office-365-business)
Available as a stand-alone service
(https://onedrive.live.com/about/enus/business/), and there is a similarlynamed consumer version
Evolved from a service called SharePoint
Workspace 2010, and before that Groove
2007
Core architecture built on (or powered
behind the scenes by) SharePoint
Often considered or called a storage
location
Could be thought of as the cloud version
of the My Documents folder on your work
computer
Manage files/data with metadata and
versioning

Page 4 of 9

Included in Office 365 Business plans


(https://products.office.com/enus/business/office-365-business)
Available as a stand-alone service
(https://products.office.com/enus/SharePoint/compare-sharepoint-plans),
but no consumer-facing version exists
Cloud-based version of the SharePoint
service that dates back to Office XP
Core architecture built on (or powered
behind the scenes by) SharePoint
Often considered or called a team site
Could be thought of as an internal website
and/or file server alternative

Manage files/data with metadata and


versioning
Usually accessed from a browser to use all
Accessed from browser or local folder or
features, but files can be accessed from
app depending on user preference
local folder
OneDrive for Business sync app is used to
OneDrive for Business sync app is used to
sync SharePoint files to a folder on local
sync OneDrive for Business files to a folder
computer (separate from OneDrive for
on local computer
Business folder)
Uploads default to inherit permissions
All uploads default as private until you
from the directory/folder in which they are
decide to share
uploaded
Users can access SharePoint as a branded
Users sign in to their own OneDrive for
company page, managed by an admin,
Business accounts, with no shared
that acts as a dashboard with news,
interface
calendar, etc.
Best place to upload private work
Best place to upload team files and/or
documents that only you intend to see, or
documents that are intended to be
a document that has a limited scope or
collaborative and/or use check-in
lifecycle (for example, a doc you only share
workflows and permissioning
once)

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22/07/2015

What's the Difference Between OneDrive and SharePoint? | Office 365 Ninja

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So, OneDrive for Business (http://www.365ninja.com/category/onedrive/) and


SharePoint Online (http://www.365ninja.com/category/sharepoint/): not exactly the
same, yet not entirely different.
The real, noticeable differences will come with the way your workplace or department
decides to use SharePoint. Organizations use SharePoint for project-based
management sites, human resources portals, and more. OneDrive for Business uses
SharePoint technology, but is better suited for storage and one-off sharing. Both of
these components live in the cloud (it is Office 365, after all) and can sync files to your
device so you can work anywhere.

Beginner (http://www.365ninja.com/category/beginner/), Collaboration


(http://www.365ninja.com/category/collaboration/), Intermediate
(http://www.365ninja.com/category/intermediate/), OneDrive
(http://www.365ninja.com/category/onedrive/), SharePoint
(http://www.365ninja.com/category/sharepoint/)

9 comments on Whats the Difference


Between OneDrive and SharePoint?
Pat Hamill (http://www.goifetch.com)
April 19, 2015 at 10:45 AM (http://www.365ninja.com/whats-differenceonedrive-sharepoint/#comment-77308)
Thank you. Ive been looking for this comparison for some time. If you can
point me to a big picture overview of Sharepoint too, that would be great.
365 Ninja
April 22, 2015 at 3:55 PM (http://www.365ninja.com/whats-differenceonedrive-sharepoint/#comment-77326)

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Glad you enjoyed it. For SharePoint in general, I would start with Microsoft resources,
but perhaps we need to publish a big picture guide here on Ninja! Stay tuned
Adriano Galeno
May 2, 2015 at 10:42 AM (http://www.365ninja.com/whats-differenceonedrive-sharepoint/#comment-77390)
Thank you for the post. Clear explanation for confusing/overlapping
services.
Shawn Davies (http://www.messagestream.com)
May 21, 2015 at 8:54 AM (http://www.365ninja.com/whats-differenceonedrive-sharepoint/#comment-77552)
Great post thank you. I have been trying to get an answer from Yammer, but
you have nailed everything I need!
Roberto Cremonini (http://www.givingdata.com)
May 26, 2015 at 8:43 AM (http://www.365ninja.com/whats-differenceonedrive-sharepoint/#comment-77585)
Thank you for the post. One thing that is still confusing for me is what
happened to SharePoint Portal. As you say in your post, SharePoint in the context of
an Office365 Business Plan seems to be what team sites used to be. But is it possible
to build an overarching information architecture/portal above all the team sites?
365 Ninja
June 9, 2015 at 1:40 PM (http://www.365ninja.com/whats-differenceonedrive-sharepoint/#comment-77777)
Im not 100% sure what you mean by what team sites used to be, but you
can use SharePoint Online to build some overarching architecture. Id recommend
looking into a SharePoint-specific resource to read up on the specific scenario youre
looking forthe Sharegate blog is a really good one.
Lisa
June 14, 2015 at 5:40 PM (http://www.365ninja.com/whats-differenceonedrive-sharepoint/#comment-77933)

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22/07/2015

What's the Difference Between OneDrive and SharePoint? | Office 365 Ninja

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The question I get is Why use both? There is concern that it will be harder to find
documents ehen they are stored in separate places. So while I thank you for this
article which is great, can you explain how best to use the two in tandem or
conjunction with each other?
JA
July 2, 2015 at 11:59 AM (http://www.365ninja.com/whats-differenceonedrive-sharepoint/#comment-79921)
It appears Sharepoint Online is included with Onedrive for Business with
Office Online. What is the difference between purchasing Onedrive for Business with
Office online (which includes Sharepoint) and Sharepoint Online Plan 1 or 2 (which
includes Onedrive for Business)?
Wendy (http://www.contentbacon.com)
July 9, 2015 at 8:11 AM (http://www.365ninja.com/whats-differenceonedrive-sharepoint/#comment-80980)
I found this very helpful too:
http://www.messageops.com/onedrive-vs-sharepoint-comparison-matrix/
(http://www.messageops.com/onedrive-vs-sharepoint-comparison-matrix/)

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