SharePoint Online is the version of Microsoft SharePoint that comes with Office 365. It’s a version of SharePoint, but it’s not exactly the same as SharePoint.

Here’s an in-depth, side-by-side comparison of SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online.

table comparing servers, solutions, management, backup/DR, feature release, security, and mobile apps and design in SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint Online (Office 365)

The theme here that carries throughout each category, from the servers, to management, to security, is customization. What you see is what you get for the most part with SharePoint Online. If you want to customize your SharePoint to best fit your business, that’s when SharePoint Online reveals its limited flexibility.

Office 365 is like a multi-tool. It’s a great collection of tools all in one place. It includes both standard and Phillips tips for the screwdriver, but there’s only one length and the handle is probably pretty bulky, since it hosts so many other applications. Like the screwdriver in the multi-tool, SharePoint Online will get the job done for a lot of organizations, but if you really need a long-necked, wide-tipped screwdriver, or some other custom-fit solution, you will need to get a screwdriver to use outside of the multi-tool, just like SharePoint Server.

If you like this side by side comparison of SharePoint Server 2016 and SharePoint Online, feel free to share it and link back to this post. If you feel that one option is better then the other, leave a comment below!

Both SharePoint versions offer strong reasons why to choose, which is why a hybrid scenario is so powerful. The SharePoint experts at Fpweb can help you determine the most strategic SharePoint plan for your organization. Contact the SharePoint consultants at to get started.