Introducing SharePoint Online 

A cloud-based file storage solution

SharePoint is not a new tool… if you’re using Microsoft OneDrive, Teams, or Forms you are already using SharePoint! It is the cloud storage platform behind these Microsoft 365 tools. 

Now, you can have a SharePoint site all on its own, to store and collaborate on files with colleagues both inside and external to McGill.

Benefits of SharePoint Online

  1. Easy to share files and entire libraries with others (at McGill and outside the university)
    Share files with view or edit permissions
    Share files & folders with View or Edit permissions
  2. Flexibility to set different permission levels (view, edit, delete)
  3. Collaborate with colleagues online in real time using Microsoft 365 apps, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
    Document being edited by multiple people simultaneously
    View other people's changes in real time.
  4. Secure file storage, approved for use under McGill’s Cloud Directive
  5. Virtually unlimited space (over 25 TB) makes it perfect for large files (e.g., video, and high-resolution images)
  6. Like OneDrive, you can sync SharePoint libraries to your McGill computer for quick and easy access via your local file browser.
  7. Create engaging home pages for your SharePoint sites.
    SharePoint site page with attractive layout
    Use built-in templates to design SharePoint pages with attractive layouts.

How SharePoint compares to other file storage options

  • How is SharePoint different from OneDrive? 
    With OneDrive, each user has their own repository; if they leave McGill, their files are deleted unless they are saved by a supervisor.

    By contrast, SharePoint is better suited to files that are truly shared among collaborators. SharePoint files belong to a group (unit, team, department), so there are multiple “owners”, and therefore the risk of being abandoned and deleted is lower.
  • How is SharePoint different from Teams? 
    For every Teams group, there is a corresponding SharePoint site in the background. Files uploaded within a conversation, or into the Files tab of a Team site are also accessible directly from the web browser, using the SharePoint interface.

    Now, you can request a SharePoint repository that is not connected to a Team, if you don’t need the additional chat/post features of Teams. 
  • How is SharePoint different from a shared departmental network drive? 
    With network drives, permissions are managed by IT Services and are less flexible;

    SharePoint files can be shared with individuals in your unit, elsewhere at McGill and even outside the university. 

    Another advantage of SharePoint is the ease of access to files from anywhere; you don’t need to have a VPN connection when working off-site, because the files are not stored on McGill servers. They just need to log in with a Microsoft account to verify their authorization. 
  • Are there any limitations to what can be stored on SharePoint?
    SharePoint is not recommended for cases where the repository contains many (over 5000) small files. If you have a large number of files, you may need to break them into separate Libraries in SharePoint. 

    SharePoint would not be a suitable solution to store files that are used as input to or output from applications.

Find out more… 

Sign up for a training session to learn how SharePoint Online can improve your work. 

Go to About: Microsoft SharePoint Online for the complete service description.

Find how-to instructions and more information by searching for "sharepoint" on the IT Support site (log in to view all content).

Back to top