Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, and OneDrive Overview


Microsoft 365 contains a few similar/related collaboration tools.  These are Microsoft Teams, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft OneDrive.  There is some confusion over what these different tools are used for and what is best in each case.


Microsoft OneDrive

A OneDrive storage area is given by default to all faculty/staff/students at the college.  Files and folders you store in OneDrive are - by default - only available to you.  it isn't shared but you can share with others at New Paltz and external.  We recommend against using OneDrive for files/folders that are meant to be shared with your entire department.  If you're used to using the campus "F" drive, then OneDrive is the recommended replacement for that drive.  Unlike using the F drive, if you store your files in OneDrive you can have easy access to them from your office, your classroom, your home, or even a smart phone.

Microsoft Teams

Teams is Microsoft's primary collaboration tool.  It can be used to share files between your department, a committee, etc.  If you're used to using the campus "G" drive then Teams is what we recommend using instead.  Like OneDrive, Teams is accessible anywhere you have an Internet connection and is much easier to access than the on-campus network drives.

Teams can be used to create private channels - which is an easy way to have a subsection of a site shared with only some people.  For example, perhaps your department has a Teams site - and there's a private channel for your department chair and secretary, or a private channel for a department committee.

Click here to submit a request for a new Teams site.

Microsoft SharePoint

SharePoint is what Teams uses for file storage - but can also be used in a stand-alone fashion.  In general though - we usually recommend departments/committees/groups, use Teams instead of a stand-alone SharePoint site.  Any documentation purely for SharePoint here is mostly for legacy sites that were setup before we started recommending Teams in 2020/2021.

Teams, and SharePoint site responsibilities

If you are running a group or team site, you are responsible for managing it.  This includes the following:

  • Ensure that the membership is kept accurate.  If you are maintaining a team, group, or SharePoint site for a committee, department, group, or class, you will have to both add new members as well as remove members who no longer need (or are authorized to) have access.
  • Protect sensitive information.  This is not a short answer and depends on the type of data, and the audience who will have access to the site.  If you are planning on storing information defined as sensitive in our Confidential Information Policy with one of these tools - consult with Paul Chauvet, Information Security Officer, before getting started.
  • Ensure site ownership is properly handled.  This means both ensuring there are at least two owners of each site (so changes can be made without going through ITS) and transitioning ownership when needed (such as department chair/committee chair/secretary/organizer changes).


Request a Team or SharePoint Site

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Article ID: 61448
Wed 8/29/18 9:33 AM
Mon 5/13/24 2:20 PM

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This is for team owners - and is about managing members (adding and removing people), private and public channels, and general Team organization.