New SharePoint Online / SharePoint 2013 version feature comparison matrix…

The always timely and astute Andrew Connell just alerted me to the new SharePoint Online / SharePoint 2013 feature comparison matrix that MS published.


Nothing too surprising … the E3 plan is the plan to buy still if you want a “full” online SharePoint Online experience. Nothing has changed in that regard.

Notable things you will notice missing if you don’t go with an E3 or higher:

  • Business Connectivity Services (BCS), External Lists etc…, BCS Web Parts
  • InfoPath Form Services
  • eDiscovery features, holds, exchange integration etc…
  • Office Pro Plus
  • Video Search
  • All BI features

(the list above is not exhaustive and are really the ones I noticed and felt were interesting)

What is of real note is what is missing from SharePoint Online all together. This isn’t news to anyone who has been playing around with the preview … but for a lot of people I speak to these are not well known.

The biggest thing (IMHO) missing are around WCM features. Things like Content By Search Web Part, Catalogs, Topic Pages, Faceted navigation and Image Renditions are all pretty critical new features in SharePoint 2013 that are not currently available online. (they might be turned on later on at some point no doubt). This is a bit of a disappointment for those looking to build out search driven web sites.

For on SharePoint 2013 on premises the biggest “ouch” worth mentioning in my view is again WCM. 

Pretty much all the new search driven WCM features are only included in SharePoint 2013 Enterprise.  WCM Catalog, Facted Navigation, Image Renditions, Multiple Domains, Topic Pages, Content by Search etc…

Another odd thing I noticed was that Site Definitions were marked as not being included in Standard.  This is weird and I suspect is wrong … but I have not checked it for myself yet.

Side Note: External Lists anomaly.  For those with a keen eye might have seen that External Lists are included in the Foundation edition. Where as a lot of the other BCS related features are not.  Reason: This is because of where the plumbing for External Lists sits.  When we implemented this (I was the program manager who owned the external lists feature for 2010) we changed the SPList object so that you could access data in an External List the with the same SPList object model calls as you would with a regular list. Because this is a fairly deeply rooted object in the OM it’s part of the Foundation edition … and therefore in the 2010 release of SharePoint a lot of the BCS engine and core plumbing was moved to SharePoint Foundation from SharePoint Server to enable this SPList OM over external lists scenario. Bit of background for those still reading 🙂


PS: the fact that MS have published this means General Avalability and announcements around SharePoint Online upgrades should be coming soon … hopefully Smile

2 thoughts on “New SharePoint Online / SharePoint 2013 version feature comparison matrix…

  1. Hhowto

    G’Day! Chris Johnson,
    Along the same lines, I started an account through my work on Sharepoint (using outlook 2010 and microsoft online services). A couple days ago I didn’t even know what Sharepoint was. After playing with it at work I learned that you can save files on it and access these files from other computers. I’m one of those guys that take a lot of work home with me and it’s a pain in the a$$ to move all my stuff to a USB or email and download on a daily basis and if I could get Sharepoint to work, it just makes sense. I know that Sharepoint is made for business and there doesn’t seem to be a personal version available for download at home. Is there a way to access this from my laptop at home? Thank you in advance to anyone taking the time out of their day to try to help me.
    Good Job!


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