An introduction to the two O365 file storage applications
In many ways SharePoint and OneDrive provide the same function: they allow you to store documents in the cloud, secured by your O365 credentials. In fact, there is a lot of overlap of features between the two applications (apps). This sub-article will help you understand that overlap and the unique features of each app, and guide you to using the ideal one in each circumstance.
The plan outlined in this article guides you through using both SharePoint and OneDrive. However, this plan is designed around MOST documents being stored in SharePoint libraries. As you read this article, please keep in mind that only documents meant for your personal use should be stored in OneDrive.
Let’s dive right in with a summary of the two apps:
You can think of OneDrive as a cloud-based alternative to the local files stored on your computer. Files stored in OneDrive, which only need to be accessible by you, are stored in the cloud for security, and easy access from your multiple devices. Unlike the locally stored files on your computer, the documents in OneDrive are available to you from any device, so if your computer crashes or is lost you can still access them from an alternate device. Since this data is for your consumption only, you can create separate folders to organize your files in a manner that works for you. However, the topmost folder should have a common format for all users in your organization to make support and administration of your data easier for your IT professionals.
This app holds shared files that need to be accessible by multiple people. By design, it will hold much more of the company data than OneDrive. The data will be distributed into separate sites and libraries based on projects, and business areas. You will have access to those libraries that correspond to your job needs. The structure and creation of the libraries will be controlled at the company level, and the folder structure within the libraries will be decided upon by those staff who will access it.
Note: SharePoint contains sites (i.e. “RFJ Team”). Those sites contain libraries (i.e. “RFJ Team/Documents”). In this plan sites are limited to one library each which will be named “Documents”. Technically one should refer to the site and library by their respective names, however, instead of calling them “RFJ Team” (site) and “RFJ Team/Documents” (library), we will be referring to both by their site name “RFJ Team”.
As we delve further into this plan, you may want to remember the operational distinction through the app names:
- SharePoint is for documents that will be shared with others. (“We” documents)
- OneDrive is for one person: you. (“Me” documents)
The next article will examine the “We” / “Me” distinction further.
If you have questions about this, please let us know and we will be happy to assist you.