Because Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive are often interconnected, it's important to be familiar with the differences and how to navigate between them, especially if you are concerned about data and document privacy. It's also helpful when opening a Help Desk ticket, so that we know which app to check.
|Microsoft App||Purpose||Best Practice|
|Communication and Collaboration. This app connects to SharePoint, OneDrive, and various other apps. You can access SharePoint and OneDrive files and folders from within Teams.||The files within a Team are actually located in a SharePoint site, so "Teams" and "SharePoint" files are somewhat synonymous. However, please note that SharePoint and OneDrive are not synonymous.|
|File storage for a group of people. Files and folders within a SharePoint site are not owned by individuals, but instead are owned by the Site.||
SharePoint/Teams is best for storing final or more permanent documents with a long lifetime.
Access is determined by Team/SharePoint site membership. People who are not members of the site should not be granted access to the files/folders within the site. Instead, files/folders that need to be shared with others should be moved to a different site.
|File storage for an individual. Files and folders within a OneDrive are owned by the individual.||
OneDrive is best for storing short-term or temporary documents. You can share documents from your OneDrive with others, but these should only be working or temporary documents.
If the individual leaves the organization, all sharing links will break and the files may be lost.
Microsoft's OneDrive is your personal enterprise cloud storage solution. It functions similarly to DropBox or Google Drive. The files are owned by you and are, by default, accessible only to you. As the owner, you can manage sharing permissions for specific files and folders. You can share with internal and external users. You can also un-share files and folders as needed.
|For how to access your OneDrive, click here >>|
OneDrive is best used for short-term collaboration and temporary or personal confidential file storage. If you leave the organization, all sharing links will be broken and files may be lost. We recommend that any longer-term documents be stored in a Team/SharePoint site.
OneDrive and SharePoint may look and feel similar, but they should not be confused as they are very different products.
SharePoint is a shared enterprise cloud storage solution. It looks and acts similarly to OneDrive, but is very different. The files are owned by the site itself, not by any individual. Anyone who is a member of the site can access anything within the site.
You can think of SharePoint as a building with a single point of entry. At the entrance, there is a security guard who only lets people in if they are on the site membership list. Anyone who is on the list can access anything within that site.
While you can technically share files in a SharePoint site with people who are not on the site membership list, you will likely run into several permission and access problems. This workflow is not supported by Microsoft or CTD.
SharePoint is best used for long-term collaboration and more permanent document storage. If the person who created a document in SharePoint leaves, the sharing link will not break for site members. Site owners can adjust site membership as needed. Members can be internal or external users.
|For how to access SharePoint, click here >>|
Additional benefits of using SharePoint:
- SharePoint is great for version control. Avoid the confusion of emailing different versions of a document back and forth. With SharePoint, there's just one document and one sharing link.
- SharePoint can also help with availability of documents. If someone is out sick or on vacation, all important project files should be located in a Team (not OneDrive) so that the rest of the members can continue accessing those documents.
Microsoft Teams is a communication app that connects to SharePoint and OneDrive. With Teams, you can start conversations with individuals and groups, you can have threaded conversations within Channels, and you can host and join audio or video calls, as well as live stream events. You can also share and collaborate on documents located in the SharePoint and OneDrive apps directly from the Teams app.
- Membership to a Team determines who has access to all public data within that Team.
- By default, all Channels in a Team are public. Access to data within a Team can be further restricted by creating a private Channel. The Owner of that private Channel can then pick and choose members from the list of existing Team members.
- Every Channel has a file library. Each file library is actually a subfolder within the Team's SharePoint site.
- Within the Teams app, any files you upload in a chat message or Channel post, including screenshots or external GIFs, will automatically be uploaded to your OneDrive account. We encourage you to explore your OneDrive so you are fully aware of what to expect. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Help Desk.
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