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SharePoint 2019 vs. Office 365: Which is Best For Your Organization?

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SharePoint 2019 has been released! Now it’s time to make the decision to stay on-premises, move to the cloud, or maybe build a hybrid scenario. Like its predecessor SharePoint 2016, this latest version of SharePoint is a “snapshot from the cloud,” quite literally taking code from Office 365 in early 2018. Unlike its predecessors, the timeframe of development has reduced (and with it, the velocity for on-premises change).

Let’s take a quick look back in time at the evolution of SharePoint to provide context for the decision of whether to move to SharePoint 2019 or Office 365. The two main areas of comparison are across user experience and administration improvements. You might ask for a security comparison, but that would take an entirely different post! Also, while there are still SharePoint 2007 environments in use today, I’ll quickly review the currently supported on-premises versions.

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SharePoint 2010

Overall, this release built upon SharePoint 2007’s content management heritage–publishing framework, metadata, enterprise search–and was designed to further embed document collaboration into people’s everyday work.

User Experience Administration
  • Ribbon – Matching Office 2007 Release
  • Managed Metadata Service for true taxonomy
  • SharePoint Workspace for synchronization
  • Cross-browser and improved HTML support
  • Increases in thresholds & limits
  • Social features within a “My Site”
  • Office web applications
  • Improved central administration
  • Introduction of farm health analyzer
  • Better logging and usage reporting

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SharePoint 2013

SharePoint 2013 was a tale of two focuses. This is the year that Office 365 was truly born, and so while there were on-premises improvements, they were less pronounced than between 2007–2010.

User Experience Administration
  • FAST search embedded
  • Social newsfeed
  • Community template
  • eDiscovery
  • Apps for SharePoint
  • Share
  • Sync with OneDrive
  • Office Web Application Server
  • Hybrid support
  • PowerShell

SharePoint 2016

Truly “born from the cloud,” SharePoint 2016 was the first snapshot of technology taken from the refactored administration and user experience that was needed for Microsoft to be successful in the Cloud.

User Experience Administration
  • Durable links
  • OneDrive for Business
  • Durable links
  • Team site follow
  • Profile Redirection
  • Mobile
  • Hybrid app launcher
  • Thresholds & limits
  • Search
  • Scenario Picker
  • MinRole
  • Zero downtime patching
  • Fast site creation
  • Search improvements
  • Advanced hybrid features


SharePoint 2019 and Office 365 Comparison: User Experience

This is a current snapshot of the offerings of SharePoint 2019 and Office 365. While there will be improvements to SharePoint 2019 in the future, the one constant in Office 365 is change. The best way to stay in touch is to review the Microsoft 365 Roadmap, follow the Microsoft Tech Community, or attend one of the great SharePoint conferences throughout the year.

SharePoint 2019 Office 365
  • OneDrive (Next Generation Sync Client)
  • Modern
    • Sites – Team & Communication
    • Pages
    • Lists / Libraries
    • SharePoint Home
  • Large file support
  • Extended character length
  • SharePoint Framework (SPFx)
  • OneDrive (Next Generation Sync Client)
  • Modern
    • Sites – Team & Communication
    • Pages
    • Lists / Libraries
    • Hub Sites
    • SharePoint Home
  • Large file support
  • Extended character length
  • SharePoint Framework (SPFx)
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Yammer
  • Power Apps & Flow
  • Delve
  • Stream
  • Planner

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SharePoint 2019 and Office 365 Comparison: Administration

The benefits of administration are dependent on your context. On-premises gives you the ability to control every aspect of the service. However, the benefit requires focus time and actual infrastructure. In Office 365 you have less that you are able to control, but there are more advanced features that become available. Below is a listing of new features in SharePoint 2019 and an overview of Office 365; they’re a bit difficult to compare.

SharePoint 2019 Office 365
  • Newest IIS APIs
  • Newest Powershell
  • Updated health analyzer
  • Recycle bin restore improvements
  • Advanced hybrid scenarios
  • SharePoint & OneDrive Administrative Center
    • Sharing, storage, sync, device access
  • Security & Compliance Center
    • Classifications, data governance, threat management, reports

SharePoint 2019 or Office 365

We’ve reviewed the history of advancements within the evolution of SharePoint and lightly compared SharePoint 2019 and Office 365. If nothing else, you can see that the focus of Microsoft is aimed squarely at the cloud, with some of the best features being brought to the on-premises server. Ultimately, the decision of whether to move is not so dependent on features, but on the context of your decision.

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    • Thanks for the correction Wicus. The post has been updated. We’re glad you enjoyed it otherwise!


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