Understanding Key Components of SharePoint Online - dummies

Understanding Key Components of SharePoint Online

By Rosemarie Withee, Ken Withee, Jennifer Reed

SharePoint Online contains a massive amount of functionality. The terms and acronyms can be daunting. Use this reference to quickly understand the components of Microsoft SharePoint.

Component Description
Site collection A SharePoint site collection is a top-level site or parent site that contains other sub-sites. Each site collection maintains its own security settings. Customizations made in a site collection are not available to other site collections. The site collection administrator has oversight of the entire site collection, including the sub-sites below it.
Sites or sub-sites Sites or sub-sites are child sites within a site collection. By default, they can inherit permission settings from the site collection, but the site owner can choose to stop inheriting those permissions. Sites can be customized with a unique look and feel from other sites within the site collection.
Lists A SharePoint list is simply a list of data, much like an Excel spreadsheet. It has rows and columns to organize, filter, and sort data. For example, a registration form for an event, can be captured in a SharePoint list. Its advantage over a spreadsheet is that a form can be presented to the user, making data easy to capture.
Document libraries A document library is a mechanism to store content within SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business. It’s essentially a SharePoint list, but designed to store documents. It enables document collaboration with real-time co-authoring functionalities, eliminating the need for storing multiple versions of the same document.
Wiki pages A wiki page is a specialized page within a library in SharePoint that allows users to collaborate and contribute content to the page. As the name implies (wiki means “quick” in Hawaiian), content can be updated on the fly, and you can add pictures, text formatting, hyperlinks, and more. Wikis can be scaled for use by a small project team using wiki pages, implemented for the entire organization through a wiki site.
Blogs Blogs in SharePoint simply are sites that contain lists and libraries. SharePoint blogs function the same way any blog on the Internet functions to communicate ideas and information. A SharePoint blog can inherit the permissions from the parent site, thereby streamlining the management of users who have access to a blog.
Discussion boards A discussion board allows for online discussion throughout the organization. It provides a forum for people to engage in a dialogue where they can post questions and replies that can be viewed throughout the organization. While both blogs and discussion boards can serve as a platform for communication, the main difference is that a blog is built on a SharePoint site structure, while a discussion board simply is a SharePoint list.