Dynamics 365 CRM Solutions (CE): OneDrive vs SharePoint Integration

With all the advantages Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM solutions (otherwise known as CE) brings, it only gets better once you improve its features through integration with other Microsoft applications. When it comes to document management in Dynamics 365 for Sales, there are different Microsoft 365 (Office 365) options we can choose to link to: OneDrive for Business and SharePoint. This article will show the differences between them and how they are integrated to Dynamics 365 for Sales.

OneDrive Integration

OneDrive is a private storage location of your work files and allows you to:

  • Create, view, edit files on any device.
  • Store and organize individual documents, such as saving unfinished drafts, and then share with team members.
  • Sync files to the computer and work offline. It will automatically sync once you join the cloud again.
  • Invite someone to upload a file without allowing them to see the other documents from the folder or to block someone from downloading documents that you share with them.
  • Scan a document with your phone, sign it, and then send it to someone via a secure link.

A folder created in Dynamics 365 for Sales configuration will store your personal files within it for your OneDrive for Business site.

SharePoint Integration

SharePoint is a collaborative storage tool across your organization and allows you to:

  • Capture and share knowledge, publishing content to the entire organization.
  • Manage who has viewing and editing rights.
  • Use as an organization intranet.
  • Share externally so outside collaborators can more easily contribute.

Enabling SharePoint integration is a great way to associate documents to enabled entities for organized and efficient document management. That is, the integration allows you to surface SharePoint document libraries directly in Dynamics 365 for Sales in the context of CRM records. This allows users to promptly find documents related to a record without having to search in a large SharePoint repository.

You could be asking why not use the notes functionality to attach documents in Dynamics 365 for Sales instead of SharePoint integration? Well, there are many advantages of using SharePoint, such as:

  • SharePoint allows you to collaborate with dynamic documents with versioning features. Since uploading a document in notes is useful for documents, that will not be changed.
  • Documents in a SharePoint library can be searched, while it is not possible to search attachments in notes.
  • Storage costs might be more economically viable using SharePoint which has larger and cheaper storage. Dynamics 365 provides 5 GB of storage and extra storage for $10 per GB*. On the other hand, SharePoint provides 10 GB and extra storage for $0.20 per GB*.
  • Access to SharePoint is not limited to Dynamics 365 users. Anyone with SharePoint access can review and amend the documents without a Dynamics 365 license and the correspondent document changes will update the file in CRM.

Note: SharePoint does not replace the Dynamics 365 for Sales notes functionality. They complement each other and the combination of both might be ideal. For example, notes could be used for short ad-hoc comments and SharePoint could be used for more complex documents.

Requirements

  • Dynamics 365 CRM Solutions and Microsoft 365 (Office 365) licenses or standalone solutions for each user.
  • Dynamics 365 for Sales environment with SharePoint integration enabled.
  • Security role of each user must allow to use OneDrive for Business, Document Location and SharePoint Site in Dynamics 365.
  • Granted access on the SharePoint side.

Note: In order to integrate OneDrive for Business with Dynamics 365, SharePoint must be configured using server-based integration. That means users must be assigned and enabled with SharePoint Online licenses.

Note: By storing the files in the SharePoint Online document library and OneDrive for Business, all compliance rules configured at the tenant level will be followed.

Document Location in Dynamics 365 for Sales

In order to look at all associated documents to a record, make sure an entity has SharePoint integration enabled and navigate to Documents. Under Document Location column, you are able to identify if the file is located in SharePoint or OneDrive.

D365-Onedrive-sharepoint

Document Location options are described below:

  • OneDrive: documents stored in OneDrive for Business.
  • Documents on Default Site: documents stored in the default SharePoint site configured when SharePoint was enabled.
  • Shared with me: documents that others shared with you that are associated with the record.
  • All Locations: all document locations associated with the corresponding record.

Users also can Check-in/Check-out documents to monitor file editing and history in order to track who was working on it and when.

Note: Files stored on OneDrive for Business are private by default until shared with work colleagues. Meaning, only the user who added the document from OneDrive can see the file, unless it is shared.

Choosing the Best Solution

When comparing the applications it is just a matter of knowing how you plan to use them. It is clear that integration with SharePoint or OneDrive applications brings the advantage of a strong collaborative strategy, combining a single platform to complete all company’s tasks and transactions, in order to improve data management, file organization, and enhanced teamwork.

It might be ideal to use OneDrive to store draft and private documents and connect to an entity in Dynamics 365 for Sales when it becomes relevant to a project. Once you are ready to collaborate with the team, share it in SharePoint choosing a different Document Location in Dynamics 365 for Sales.

Centralizing the communication in one entity is the key. For example, if you are creating projects in Dynamics 365 for Sales, get all documents in the related entity. It is easier to keep track of what everyone is doing without the need to search through emails and chat threads in different apps.

In fact, OneDrive and SharePoint can often work together with Dynamics 365 to create the ultimate collaborative platform with documents structured by Dynamics 365 for Sales records and consequently establish an effective document management system for your organization. If you have any questions about OneDrive or SharePoint, please connect with us.

*All pricing is subject to change without notice. Contact Encore for the most current pricing.

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