Sharepoint, Teams and OneDrive

Copper Contributor

This is a very generic question.

Is teams just a different skin of sharepoint?  And do both use OneDrive as the back end storage?

Because they all seem to be connected.  When you start looking at them closer.




2 Replies

@rockyb855 Hey, all three serve different purposes but are integrated. This integration is the key to getting the most out of the services (if you want a deep dive into all the Microsoft 365 services, check out the MOCA)


In a very brief overview, 

  • SharePoint - shared file storage, communication, data management for working with other people
  • OneDrive - personal file storage that can also be used to sync SharePoint files for your access 
  • Teams - Collaboration/communication/chat/meetings layer that uses SharePoint and OneDrive for storage. Much more than a skin.

HI @rockyb855 ,

first there was only SharePoint.

Then we got Onedrive, that basically is just a SharePoint site collection just for you. They changed the UI a little bit, but you still can access most of the SharePoint functionalities if you know how. For example: If you add "/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx?view=14" to your Onedrive url you get the site collection contents of your Onedrive.

That is how Microsoft Lists works: If you create a private list, it just creates a SharePoint list in your Onedrive site. If you want to create a shared list, then it creates a list in a shared SharePoint site.

If you create a Mircosoft Teams team, then a SharePoint site is automatically provisioned for you in the background. The Teams UI just uses that SharePoint site as storage but has it's own UI to access the files (And hides the SharePoint UI from you in the process).


I think this is because SharePoint is a great technology, but is a little bit intimidating to some people. So Microsoft creates some "simple" application frontends for SharePoint every time they need file storage capabilities for a special use case.

It is that way with many applications: If you create a new Yammer/Viva Engage community, you also get a SharePoint site in the background..... If you create a Planner Plan from the "Planner Hub" and not choose to add your plan to an existing group, you also get a SharePoint site in the background. Every time you create an M365 Group somewhere, you automatically get a SharePoint Site in the background.
These sites are used from the applications to store their files. But you still can access them directly and for example integrate them into an intranet.

Best Regards,