Difference between Teams SharePoint vs standalone SharePoint site


I'm working on a roll-out for MS Teams and SharePoint for a client and I constantly get the question: What is the difference between Teams SharePoint vs standalone SharePoint site? I know there have been many features and functionality that have been added to the Teams SharePoint but want to check here if anyone has a chart or info-graphic or list that would help differentiate the two.

2 Replies
best response confirmed by ThereseSolimeno (Microsoft)

Hi @Faiza Qadri,


To be honest behind the scenes there is no real difference in terms of the SharePoint Site that backs a Team. The difference is more on the Teams interface side of things which is getting better all of the time.


This might be a good starter for 10:


So going back to my first point, you do have the ability from the files tab to open in SharePoint, which will basically take you to the respective Channel folder within the default Documents library in the SharePoint site but once there you can do anything you can do in any other SharePoint site.


However this is both a good thing and a bad thing. Good in terms of not being limited but bad in terms of if users are just getting used to Teams and might not be familiar with SharePoint, it might just get confusing for them.


You also need to be mindful that if you were to say delete one of the Channel folders it would break the files tab of the Channel in Teams. In that situation you would have to create another folder in the default Shared Documents library to match the name of the channel. It also honours permissions. So SharePoint rules the roost but Teams just gives you a nice interface to it, to allow you to get on with working with files amongst Team members and have conversations about the content.


The wiki at the Team level also lives within the SharePoint site that backs a Team.


So just to get back to your question more specifically it is not SharePoint Teams, it is just SharePoint that Teams makes use of. It is just that via the Teams interface not all options you would get if just working in the SharePoint Document Library directly are present.


Also a good way of keeping on top of new features as and when they arrive, some of which will be around file interactions, is from within the Teams client, type /whatsnew in the command bar.