Can anyone provide a link or advice on when to store a document on SharePoint. It seems as if I have several choices where I work

LAN File Server
MS Outlook

The LAN vs SharePoint is where I would like some guidance if possible.

7 Answers 7


Storing a document in SharePoint will give you many benefits such as having the document go into process (such as workflows) which aren't available on file servers, outlook or any other tool, you can have document versions, checkout & check-in and other document management capabilities, these all are available only in SharePoint.

However, if the file size is big and the file isn't expected to change much later on, there's no need to store it in SharePoint, use file servers for that. Also if you want to store backups, for example database backups, there's is no point of storing them in SharePoint libraries.

Also one recommended use of file server is static files that won't be changed anymore, such as archiving files which won't be used by users anymore, these can be put into file servers as well to reduce SharePoint's load on DB.

  • we are storing documents as blobs in RBS folders but we are facing issue to take backup and restore of content database because size of backup is more than 4 TB
    – adilahmed
    Dec 5, 2016 at 11:36
  • can i connect with folder redirection policy in Group policy management in Active directory directory service for my all personnel's PC and move all docs to SharePoint? can i have pro DMS and forward all to drop off library. ? can we route all documents with tags and names to their related folders? is this possible? Dec 26, 2016 at 11:20

Use SharePoint if you want to:

  • control security yourself
  • use document versioning
  • want to associate metadata with your document(s) for searching, filtering, grouping and sorting documents in a library
  • access the document(s) from any location (assuming SharePoint is accessible outside your corporate firewall)
  • view/edit your document in a browser (assuming your environment has Office Web App feature enabled)

These days of "everything is a social", its better to go with SharePoint.

  • Can create document libraries as storage of files within a site/subsite
  • It has integration with outlook, plugin with other systems.
  • You can perform versioning of documents, apply permissions/security and you can create folders inside SharePoint,
  • Generate reports & dashboards
  • Create issue tracker,
  • Create a helpdesk system, create a HR portal
  • The whole intranet can be built on SharePoint.

    My organization that has 100,000+ employees has chosen SharePoint for building intranet and same SharePoint for our public facing site!


    One more important point for pro sharepoint:

    If you want to collaborate/work with colleagues on docs and share them on a simple way SharePoint is the way to go!

    It has much more advantages. I would suggest that you try to get a deeper look into the features of SharePoint to get a better understanding of what it offers.

    • Better to go with SharePoint and implement the collaboration within your organization.
      – samolpp2
      Dec 17, 2015 at 8:45

    When to use...

    ...SharePoint: If you want colaboration features (see post of Erik) and need additional functionality or workflows for your business case

    ...OneNote: You can use OneNote, if you want collaboration features and don't have SharePoint ;-) It's a good and quick solution for sharing files, but if you have SharePoint I would prefer that.

    ...Outlook: Simply don't! Outlook is an E-Mail client and not suitable for document management.

    ...local/LAN storage: Actually there are not many reasons to store files just on a disk somewhere:

    • if you have really(!!) big files (gigabytes)
    • if there are some legal or security restrictions (normally SharePoint on premisse should be enough here)

    I would suggest you check to see if your company has a data policy as to where certain documents should be stored.

    • While the other answers are "better" (as in more detailed, etc.), this one is more "correct" - the company's data policies (if any) will strongly overrule a novel filled with facts supporting the opposing choice. Dec 17, 2015 at 20:35

    Here are some things which I tell my customers:

    1. You can work with the files in SharePoint offline.
    2. If you have deleted an document you can easily restore it.

    Requires also well-thought-out SharePoint structue:

    1. New Employees have a way faster access and understanding of the stucture then to look into multiple subfolders on a network share.
    2. If you get the requirement to find all documents from a specific year and category you are way faster then to check on the network share.

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