Introduction to SharePoint

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SharePoint is a Microsoft 365 service that enables sharing and collaboration across your organization. With Microsoft 365, you can create a secure and productive collaboration environment for your users. SharePoint powers much of this, but collaboration in Microsoft 365 reaches far beyond the traditional SharePoint site. Microsoft Teams, OneDrive, and a variety of governance and security options all play a role in creating a rich environment where users can collaborate easily, and your organization's sensitive content remains secure.

SharePoint and Microsoft 365 Groups

In SharePoint, each team site is part of a Microsoft 365 Group by default. a Microsoft 365 Group is a single permissions group that is associated with a variety of Microsoft 365 services, including a SharePoint site, an instance of Planner, a mailbox, and a shared calendar. When you add owners or members to the Microsoft 365 Group, they are given access to the SharePoint site along with the other connected services.

SharePoint and Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams provides a hub for collaboration by bringing together all the Microsoft 365 group-related services, plus a variety of Teams-specific services, in a single user experience with persistent chat. Teams uses the associated Microsoft 365 Group to manage its permissions. Within the Teams experience, users can directly access SharePoint along with the other services without having to switch applications. This provides a centralized collaboration space with a single place to manage permissions.

Site types

SharePoint sites consist of three different site types:

Team sites

Team sites are collaboration sites for each project team, department, and division in your organization. Team sites provide document storage and sharing, and support for custom lists, workflow integration with Microsoft Flow, file libraries, and direct integration with Microsoft Teams.

Communication sites

Communication sites are designed to broadcast information to other teams or to an entire organization. Much like a team site, a communication site is a SharePoint site that anyone in the organization can create from the SharePoint start page. A variety of site template options are available, including:

  • Topic: To share information such as news, events, and other content
  • Showcase: Use photos or images to showcase a product, team, or event
  • Blank: Create your own design

Any of the templates can be customized by adding SharePoint web parts—dynamic page elements that display text, images, files, video, and a variety of other content types. See the module Understand your SharePoint site options for more information about communication sites.

Hub sites

SharePoint hub sites are used to organize families of team sites and communication sites together. SharePoint hub sites help you organize your intranet by connecting and organizing sites based on project, department, division, region, etc. making it easier to:

  • Discover related content such as news and other site activities.
  • Apply common navigation, branding, and site structure across associated sites.
  • Search across all associated sites.

See the module Understand your SharePoint site options for more information about hub sites.

Information protection

Microsoft 365 services such as Data Loss Protection, Cloud App Security, and Microsoft Defender for Office 365 provide additional methods for keeping your SharePoint data safe and allowing for secure collaboration with other users in your organization and with guests.

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