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7th February 2017Microsoft OneDrive SharePoint and MySite Explained

Microsoft OneDrive SharePoint and MySite Explained

 Which One Best Suits your Business?

The vast array of choice when it comes to storing and sharing files these days, can be overwhelming. We are often asked to explain how each site is different and which one is most appropriate for the specific requirements of an individual or company/organisation.

Don't they all do the same thing? Do you just pick one? Do you need one for home and one for work?

We have written this guide to explain the key differences between the Microsoft options to help you understand the capabilities of each.

Before we start, it is important to point out that the storage options for all three all secure places to keep, share and sync content online, and thankfully, once you understand a bit about each, it should be straightforward to choose which one will best suit your needs.

Basic Differences Explained


OneDrive is a free, easily accessible, online account that acts as a personal storage service and provides access to familiar 'Office Online' apps such as Word, Outlook and Excel that you can use from any device.

We recommend that OneDrive is used by personal users only as file storage as its sharing options are limited. It should also be noted that should you decide to use this for work, the user is responsible for the account not the company therefore should the user leave the employment of the company, they could still have access to the files.

OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business gives the clue in its name. This Microsoft tool is ideal for storing, sharing and syncing your work files from any device that uses OneDrive for Business. It offers many more features than OneDrive (these can be found on the left hand side and 'gear' menu on your account home page, click 'Show Ribbon').

You will need an Office 365 account to setup and use a OneDrive for Business account.

Don't get confused if you have an Office 365 team site - this is best used for storing team related files and can be used separately or set up together with your OneDrive for Business account.

You should save all work related files in OneDrive for Business, which can be shared by URL.

You have control over who can edit and who can view certain files, such as people outside of your organisation. You can even share a file which would enable someone to edit it, and at the same time, someone external could view it but not edit it.

OneDrive for Business becomes tricky when you are trying to manage a file which lots of people are editing as everything draws from the main user's account. It is possible but for files which other people need access to, SharePoint may be better as it is a group-oriented tool.


This is a personal SharePoint site, similar in features and function to OneDrive for Business and is company controlled. It is for personal use and storage, although can be extended to a SharePoint Team Site. MySite files can be shared, but it isn't the best option for group sharing and editing.

SharePoint Team Site

A SharePoint Team Site can be either fully functioning as the file storage and sharing team site of an organisation, or as a sub site of a larger portal entity. Usually used within an organisation for its members, with limited access to others. Security levels can be adapted to fit your needs, allowing as many or as few as you like to view and edit files. This is the easier option when a lot of editing of a file is required. Calendars and task lists are a useful feature of the SharePoint Team Site when collaborating on files. This option however, should not contain files that the general public may need to view. The SharePoint Corporate Portal makes that possible.

SharePoint Corporate Portal

A corporate SharePoint Portal usually includes all organisation members, with varying levels of access permission depending on their role. Its security levels group similar sets of permissions together so each file doesn't need to be managed depending on who needs access. With its special purpose libraries, documents are organised and easily managed. This is the best option for files that have needed viewing and editing by various people, and are finalised for general viewing.

The SharePoint Corporate Portal may not be the best place for the editing and sharing of files to take place, the Team Site is more appropriate for that. However, files can be transferred to the corporate portal later on in the process, where it can be stored and viewed by the right people.

In Summary:

• OneDrive is ideal as a personal storage site.

• OneDrive for Business will work for users to utilise their Office 365 account and provide limited sharing and editing.

• MySite is a personal storage site with the option to integrate it into a larger entity.

• If you want a storage site for your organisation, limited to members and which enables the sharing and editing of files, use SharePoint Team Site.

• For a storage site with general access after files have been suitably shared and edited, then we recommend the SharePoint Corporate Portal.

As a Microsoft Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solution accredited company,  we are happy to provide our expert knowledge and advice to help you choose the most appropriate cloud based storage and sharing product for your business. Please get in touch for a FREE non-obligatory consultation.

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