Which Microsoft App? SharePoint, Office 365 Groups or OneDrive

In view of last week’s announcement with the tight integration of SharePoint Online team site and Office 365 Groups, there is a long thread of discussion by Mark Kashman with some great questions at Office 365 Network forum.

I thought I’d write a quick post as one of the questions raised there was interesting or in my opinion nothing was covered in the announcement with regards to mobile apps experience and so the question was:

“What will the Office 365 Groups app (or Outlook Group app) give us over the SharePoint app or the OneDrive For Business app and why do I have to have 3 different apps for the same things?”

Below was my response as I currently see the scope of these apps for iOS as an example.

Not everything is created from SharePoint and more often OneDrive tends to be a starting point for a document lifecycle and eventually will end up in a SharePoint team site or even in Groups! Overall for me they are the endpoints to get to the information relevant to me.


Key differentiators between each of the apps are:

OneDrive App (Microsoft OneDrive – Cloud storage for files & photos)
– lets you work with your personal (OneDrive) and work files (OneDrive For Business)
– access all your OneDrive files and files shared with you

SharePoint App
– access to intranet
– quick access to your team sites and the people you work with
– to see the site activity, sites you frequently visit and the sites you follow
– share a site (subject to permissions)
– access to recent and popular files spreasd across multiple document libraries

Outlook Groups (Office 365 Groups) App
– Easily participate in group email conversations
– Work together using the shared team OneNote’s notebook
– Discover and join Office 365 Groups relevant to you

Hope this clarifies the scope and usage of these apps. Looking ahead I think it ought to end up as ONE app but on the other hand it could become a heavy duty app. Hopefully at the end of this month at Microsoft’s Ignite conference may cover new updates

You can access full list of Microsoft apps covering other productivity tools as well.

I’d value your thoughts or comments on this or alternatively you can access the discussion thread at Office 365 Network.

Chirag is an Independent Consultant at Patel Consulting, BCS Chartered IT Professional, TOGAF Certified Architect, Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (Productivity, Data Management and Analytics) and Microsoft Service Adoption specialist based in London, UK with more than 20 years of industry experience. He works with a wide variety of clients in many sectors, designing and implementing business collaboration, data and information management solutions and services based on SharePoint and Office 365 technologies to create business value for both themselves and their customers, including UK Microsoft Gold Partners with deployment, upgrade and migration services delivery. Chirag is an active SharePoint community participant, frequent speaker at local and international events including SharePoint Saturdays (London, Cambridge, Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, UK, EMEA, India) and Collab365. In 2011, for his valuable contributions to Microsoft TechNet forums he received a Microsoft Community Contributor Award. In his little spare time he enjoys cycling, cricket and participating in Charity bike rides and Duathlons. You can follow Chirag on Twitter at @techChirag and find him online at www.techchirag.com

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Posted in Office 365, SharePoint

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