Standing in a side room this morning at SharePoint Saturday DC (#SPSDC) at the Microsoft Chevy Chase office, I was chatting with Susan Lennon (@susanlennon), Neil McNeely (@neilmcneely) and Adam Levithan (@collabadam) about the differences in features between online and on prem, and not sure where to point people when this question pops up. In the early days of SharePoint, the product team used to put together a “Good, Better, Best” document which walked through this comparison, but the platform has become far too large – and changes happen too frequently – to present this data in a single document or PDF. A quick search provides some detail about different aspects of SharePoint, but most sites point back to a TechNet overview of a SharePoint Online (and Office365) service description.
First off, you lose a lot of detail that came with the old format – and many of the links are less than informative (for example, ‘Governance’ hits all the check marks for each version, and yet the link provides absolutely no detail whatsoever as to what each version does to “solve” the governance dilemma. <snark>But apparently SharePoint has governance, so we’re good to go.</snark>
Second, the checklist of features is split between SharePoint Online and SharePoint on prem SKUs, making it difficult to compare even this limited information. So I grabbed the content and threw it into a single table, and add it here for your viewing pleasure:
Most content and articles that discuss the disparity between on prem and online version lacks any real substance IMHO, focusing more on the business differences and justifications rather than the technical nuances. Few attempt to tackle the full breadth of features, but its typical to find bits and pieces of information within targeted topics.
In a CMSWire article from last fall, well-known SharePoint trainer and consultant Brian Alderman (@brianalderman) goes into a bit more detail on some of the main differences between online and on prem, identifying “the ability to use the new cross-site publishing feature and faceted navigation, key Business Intelligence (BI) components like PerformancePoint, Scorecards and Dashboards are not available, and the Content Search Web Part used to dynamically present data on a page based on a search query is not available.”
SharePoint MVP and consultant Jasper Oosterveld (@SharePTjasper) also jumped in with a post outlining the main differences between online and on prem, highlighting Full Trust Solutions, BCS limited, WCM limited, Performance Point Services, Search Control and Index, and Managed Paths.
I’m sure you can dig around on the web and find more examples, but you’ll improve your luck at finding the answers you need by researching specific topics, rather than looking for broad answers.
Hope this is useful to someone out there.