Description of SharePoint and OneDrive
SharePoint and OneDrive in Microsoft 365 are cloud-based services that help organizations share and manage content.
While OneDrive and SharePoint both provide an online space for employees to store and access their files, their use is what separates them.
- OneDrive is an employee’s personal storage area. While it is private, employees still have the ability to share documents with other people, but people in the organization do not have access without their permission.
- SharePoint is an organization’s collaborative cloud storage, where employees can save files that they want their teammates to view, review, or edit. There are two flavors to SharePoint:
- SharePoint in Microsoft 365: This is the SharePoint Online service, not on-prem.
- SharePoint Server: This is the on-prem version. CloudAlly only backs up Cloud data, hence this version is not supported.
|Library||SharePoint Libraries contain a documents, spreadsheets, presentations, as well as the metadata about these files: who modified it last, when it was edited, is it checked out, etc.|
|List||Nearly everything in SharePoint is a “list” – a collection of documents, news items, calendar events, task lists, etc. (You cannot check out a document in a list, only when it is within a Library.) Lists have 3 components: items, fields and views|
|List: Field||Fields are like columns in a database, for example: customer name, email address, mobile number. Fields can be a single line of text, multiple lines of text, currency, etc.|
|List: Item||An item is like a record in a database.|
|List: View||Views are a way of choosing which data to display within the list.|
|Permissions||The administrator of the site, library or list can set the permissions for who can access the SharePoint data. By default, all sites, lists and libraries inherit permissions from the site above them in the hierarchy. This includes: role assignment and user principles.>|
|Site||You create sites in your site collection to partition your content so that you can have finer control of the appearance and the permission to the content. You can also have different features available on the various sites in your site collection.|
|Site collection||A site collection is made up of one top-level site and all sites below it. For details see: https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/SharePoint/sites/sites-and-site-collections-overview|
|Templates||SharePoint provides templates to help you create standard lists, such as: tasks, calendars, and contacts.|
|Backup Snapshot||A backup file from a specific date that contains data from the SharePoint or OneDrive site(s).|
|Recovery||The act of either restoring your backed up data, or exporting it to a file for restore at a later date.|
|Non-Destructive Restore||Restore process that places the backed-up data into a new subsite. It does not impact the existing data.
Note: The non-disruptive option is not possible in newer version of OneDrive, since the creation of sub-sites is not allowed by Microsoft any longer.
|In-place Restore||There are 3 in-place restore options:
CloudAlly Backup of SharePoint and OneDrive
What Do We Back Up?
CloudAlly backs up SharePoint and OneDrive files, sites, content structure, forms, and related meta-data.
What Do We Restore?
- Files: Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, OneNote notebooks (not the structure), forms and form templates, Visio drawings, text documents, images, links.
- Legal holds
- Columns (e.g., Categories, task-related, document and record management, etc.)
- List/library properties: Name and description, group calendar, document templates, folders, site assets library, validation formula, catalog settings, group and user permissions, views.
- Site settings: users and permissions, role assignments, default language settings, site libraries and lists.
- Team site templates
- Discussion boards (if they have content, not empty ones)
What DON'T We Restore?
- Admin Center
- Business intelligence, labels,
- Checkout status, attachments
- Community administration
- File versions – CloudAlly backs up the most recent version, and enables restoring any version that was backed up. We don't support restoring the history of previous versions.
- Only site and live-level permissions are supported. All other permissions are reset to their defaults.
- Page content – this cannot be restored if it is published. This is a Microsoft rule.
- Files encrypted with IRM (Information Rights Management)
- Item-level permissions
- List/library settings: search, audience targeting, workflow.
- Look & feel: design manager, master page, welcome page, navigation
- Newsfeed conversations
- Quick Launch menu and Top Link Bar are not restored
- Site collection settings: recycle bin, search results, variation settings, site collection navigation, etc.
- Site settings: web designer galleries, site administration, user alerts, RSS, workflow settings, site closure, popularity
- Web parts
All types of Lists created in SharePoint Online are fully supported by our backup and recovery systems.
Content Structure Recovery
The content structure is fully restored from the backup. This is achieved through the use of a metadata file in the backup structure.
The only two fields that require attention are the Author and the Time fields.
- The Author field is set to the backup User name of the account performing the recovery
- The Time field is set to the time the restore was performed, and not the timestamp of the snapshot.
Only the built-in apps from the “Apps You can add” list are restored. The external apps (e.g., Microsoft Access and the apps from the SharePoint Store) are not supported.
Discussion boards are not restored if empty. Boards that have data in them are restored normally.
External Active Elements (<iframe> items)
The items that require the <iframe> tag are backed up and restored with the CloudAlly product, but the name field of the item is not backed up.
OneNote notebooks are backed up by the CloudAlly backup system, but the recovery with the restore and export systems is problematic: none of the data is lost in the process, but the structure of the notebook is not recovered. The system creates a new folder and puts the recovered data there, but doesn’t create a notebook for it.
CloudAlly backs up and restores all content, except for the following items:
- Audio recordings (*.wav files)
- Images created with the Draw menu
- Page color
- Rule lines
- Text styles (e.g., Headings, Normal, etc.)
- Attachments, except for image files which ARE restored.
Site Permissions settings are supported. All other settings are either reset to their default values if the site is restored by replacing the old one, or adopted from the target site, if the site is restored as a subsite.
MS Office 3654 E3 Licenses
The Microsoft security policies for accounts with an E3 License do not permit these users to access "Site Contents settings" or "View all site settings," or to access subsites.
Users with an E3 License can still do backups normally - all the backup and restore features are supported - but they may be unable to access the restored subsites.
Detailed List of Data Types
|Users and Permissions||People and groups||Yes|
|Site app permissions||Yes|
|Web Designer Galleries||Site columns||no|
|Site content types||no|
|Web parts (Top-level site)||No|
|Master pages and page layouts||No|
|Theme (Top-level site)||No|
|Site Administration||Language settings – default language||Yes|
|Site libraries and lists||Yes|
|Site Closure and Deletion||no|
|Manage catalog connections||no|
|Content and structure logs||no|
|Community Administration (root site)||No|
|Look and Feel||Design Manager||No|
|Title and description||Name||Yes||The name will not be updated if a list/library with the same URL exists in the destination.|
|Group Calendar Options||yes|
|Versioning settings||Content Approval||no|
|Document version history||no|
|Advanced settings||Content Types||no|
|Site Assets Library||yes|
|Permissions for this document library||Group||Yes|
Document-Related Data Types
|Item||Item Field - attachment||Yes|
|Page||Page Content||Can’t be restored because it’s published – Microsoft’s rule|
|Site Columns||Base Columns||Yes|
|Word document||Yes||If IRM is enabled, MS Word 97-2003 files cannot be backed up.|
|Excel workbook||Yes||If IRM is enabled, Excel workbooks cannot be backed up.|
|PowerPoint presentation||Yes||If IRM is enabled, PPTs cannot be backed up.|
|OneNote notebook||Yes||The structure is not recovered. The data is restored to a folder, but it’s not in a notebook.|
|Forms for Excel||Yes||
If you create a form directly in Forms with your logged in username, the results of the form are saved under “Documents”.
|Form Templates||Yes||If you create a form in SharePoint > Site contents > Form Templates directly, the results will be backed up and can be found using that path.|
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Are permissions to both public and private sites backed up?
Answer: Site-level permissions are backed up and restored, but not item-level permissions.
Question: How do I find the SharePoint / OneDrive URL?
Answer: You can locate the OneDrive URL by opening OneDrive and copying it from the address bar in your browser.
Similarly, you can locate the SharePoint URL by opening SharePoint and copying it from the address bar in your browser.