Files - Do you store project documents in Teams?

Last updated by Tiago Araújo [SSW] 7 months ago.See history

There is a myriad of options to choose from when storing and sharing documents: SharePoint, or OneDrive/Dropbox/Google Drive, or Microsoft Teams. The best choice is Microsoft Teams because it brings together the best of SharePoint, cloud file storage, real time collaboration and more into a single location.

Warwick Leahy tells us why it's so important to save our files in the right place:

Want to learn more? Watch Jean Thirion's longer video on this topic:

teams   network share
Figure: Bad example - You shouldn't look for files on network shares

Don't start searching from your start menu either for a program whether that be Notepad, Notepad++, OneNote or even Word. This will open the new file locally on your laptop which requires manual copying/sharing later - and it's easy to forget to do that.

teams   Not from start menu
Figure: Bad example - You shouldn't create files locally first and then copy them

Instead create your file in the Team for a start. It is immediately backed up and shared to the entire Team.

teams   file tab
Figure: Good example - You can use the files tab in Teams (without leaving the app)

The great thing about having conversations next to the file is that it is always in context. Also, future users can view the conversation when they open the file in teams.

teams   document conversation
Figure: Good example - You can have a conversation about a file

Behind the scenes, storage is provided by a SharePoint site; so that is there if you want to use it. As an added bonus thanks to this; you can take the files offline by syncing with OneDrive for Business and by default each channel gets its own folder.

teams   open sharepoint
Figure: Good example - You can open the files in SharePoint

teams   sync onedrive
Figure: Good example - You can sync the files in SharePoint with your current machine through OneDrive. A toast notification should popup indicating that files will be synced

Note If you realise later that you have created a client document and uploaded it to OneDrive instead of saving it to Teams, then you should Sync Teams to your drive and copy the file locally. This will keep the file version history. Uploading the file in Teams loses that history so you may end up with an old client Team containing notes that appear to be new.

What does not get stored in Microsoft Teams?

For developers

For designers

What about usernames and passwords?

Documents with usernames and passwords should not be stored in Microsoft Teams. Security is very important for everyone and every company. Use a password manager to store usernames and passwords.

Note: API keys, whether generic or for the individual should also be stored in a password manager.

Note: You can add other cloud storage providers for file storage e.g. Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. This is not recommended, as they aren't first-class citizens (i.e. if you want to share files from them, you need to go to the provider's sharing settings outside of Teams).

::: info Warning: By using Teams instead of SharePoint, you are losing a number of key features:

  • No full fidelity support for Metadata in Document Libraries. E.g. Can’t add extra columns into the “Files” tab
  • No support for private channels. E.g. You will need a team per subset of users with different permissions
  • No direct access to version history from Teams UI (still exists on SharePoint UI)
  • No access to the cross-office365 Search feature. E.g. SharePoint search is better
  • No access to external content in the search feature. E.g. Can’t search
  • No access to SharePoint designer workflows (although the new way to do it is Microsoft Flow) :::
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