SharePoint technology will give you different flavor of SharePoint to work with as below – there are features difference among these SharePoint 2013 versions variation offering from free to paid releases depending on versions you select.
SharePoint 2013 foundation flavor, SharePoint 2013 standard, SharePoint 2013 enterprise and SharePoint 2013 online- and there is Microsoft sql server works with SharePoint as back-end no other databases like oracle or mysql can be used as back-end but yes – for user authentication it is LDAP compliant and much more.
SharePoint 2013 server foundation flavor:
Having basic functionality and offered free by Microsoft but where you would install this foundation that requires windows server and that is not free, functionality includes core feature being used by SharePoint server itself you can design portals and feature available free can be used with SharePoint standard version. Basic search with collaboration is available in this version; wiki and blog etc. are there with this version. Foundation flavor is better for those who want to understand and have look and feel of SharePoint.
SharePoint 2013 Server Standard Flavor:
Supporting all foundation servers this server extends its functionality supporting ecm feature and web content management – used to design business solution ECM centric precisely for publishing and authoring pages and creating layout pages. It extends the workflow capabilities, user profile management service.
just reiterating what is provides, collaboration on site, customization using browser, document management, version history feature, blog wiki sites could be created as sophisticated blogging and wiki platform, custom list and other templates in this category are available in standard, enterprise and foundation version of SharePoint.
SharePoint 2013 Server Enterprise flavor:
Enterprise version will have all standard version feature along with this you will also have forms services, excel services and business connectivity services, web forms, info path and Visio services available in this flavor also have business intelligence and other app services in this version.
Synopsis again - Record management, user profile, news articles creation, personal sites functionality are available in SharePoint standard, enterprise and online version.
Above animated infographic for SharePoint 213 versions will hep you understand variations in that and its versions.
|SharePoint 2013 Versions Variation animated infographic|
SharePoint online (few use cases or typical scenario)
If organization does not want to manage infrastructure and backup disaster recovery or patching or upgrade of SharePoint 2013 then those organizations can consider SharePoint online version.
And organizations that have already farm inside organization and hosted various solutions of SharePoint for that they can consider keeping some services online.
In the first step organization wanted to go online beside on premises SharePoint 2013 then –these organizations initially think of taking project management and team sites activities online then gradually move on and sometime there is external list for vendors who wants to bid as external third party vendors- ideally that type of list could be hosted and configure on line version of SharePoint 2013.