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Extending Office SharePoint Server global solutions with Office Outlook 2007 and Office Groove software

SharePoint 2007

Updated: April 23, 2009

Applies To: Office SharePoint Server 2007

Updated: 2009-04-23

In this article:

The 2007 Microsoft Office system offers offline capabilities within several of the client applications that work directly with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 sites. This article discusses the capabilities of the following client applications:

  • Microsoft Office Groove 2007   Every Office Groove 2007 client application includes the Groove SharePoint Files Tool, an enhanced version of the Files Tool that enables users to interact with and synchronize documents between Office Groove 2007 and document libraries in Office SharePoint Server 2007. By deploying an Office Groove 2007 environment, global workers can collaborate on SharePoint sites even when not connected directly to SharePoint Products and Technologies.

  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007   Users can connect to a SharePoint library directly from Office Outlook 2007 and take documents within the library offline. While offline, users can easily access, preview, search, and edit documents. When online, users can use Office Outlook 2007 to synchronize their changes. Users can also view and update SharePoint calendars and view and create tasks on a SharePoint site directly in Office Outlook 2007. These capabilities provide a personal offline experience and are not intended for offline collaboration with team members.

These offline capabilities can provide the ability for global workers to continue to use Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 sites in low-bandwidth environments or when global workers are frequently offline. In some cases, you can use the capabilities of the client applications to help your organization fit within the centralized solution, thereby reducing the need to deploy additional server farms globally.

Using Office Groove 2007 in WAN environments

Office Groove 2007 enhances the collaboration environment, providing access to SharePoint document libraries in which team members store documents and other records of their work. The Office Groove 2007 client application provides all the functionality that supports peer-to-peer collaboration when peers are directly connected. To collaborate, users invite each other to workspaces where they can jointly assemble information, discuss plans, share files, write reports, design forms, manage meetings, schedule events, exchange messages, and perform other tasks as a team.

Every Office Groove 2007 client includes the Groove SharePoint Files Tool, an enhanced version of the Files Tool that enables users to interact with and synchronize file content between Office Groove 2007 and document libraries in Office SharePoint Server 2007. The Groove SharePoint Files Tool provides the following benefits to organizations that store file content in SharePoint document libraries:

  • Access to file content for selected people outside of the enterprise. By using the Groove SharePoint Files Tool, workers can conveniently and efficiently collaborate with people who are outside the corporate firewall. Additionally, the Groove SharePoint Files Tool provides a central working environment for teams that are widely dispersed geographically.

  • Offline access to file content. The Groove SharePoint Files Tool provides mobile workers — and those who have limited Internet access — an environment in which they can access, view, and update file content while offline.

For each team of Office Groove 2007 users, an Office Groove 2007 client computer is designated as SharePoint synchronizer. SharePoint Products and Technologies and Office Groove 2007 synchronize with the team of Office Groove 2007 users through this client computer. The team member who serves as the SharePoint synchronizer should have a reliable wide area network (WAN) connection to the corporate network to synchronize content from the Groove workspace to the SharePoint library. When documents are updated, the entire document is synchronized with the SharePoint site.

However, collaboration between the team of Office Groove 2007 users can occur outside of the corporate network and in a low-bandwidth environment. Collaboration between Office Groove 2007 users is optimized for WAN connections. When documents are updated within the Office Groove 2007 environment, only the changes to the documents are synchronized to other Office Groove 2007 client computers.

The following figure shows a connection between SharePoint Products and Technologies and Office Groove 2007 with Office Groove 2007 running onsite.

Office SharePoint and Groove architecture

The following figure shows a connection between SharePoint Products and Technologies and Office Groove 2007 with Groove Enterprise Services.

Office SharePoint Server and Groove services

For more information about planning for and deploying Office Groove 2007, see Office Groove Server 2007.

Using Office Outlook 2007 in WAN environments

Office Outlook 2007 provides the ability for individual team members to synchronize a SharePoint document library with the Office Outlook 2007 client application. This capability allows team members to use Office Outlook 2007 while offline to easily access, preview, search, and edit items in SharePoint libraries.

To connect a SharePoint library to Office Outlook 2007:

  1. In a Web browser, open the library on the SharePoint site.

    If you cannot locate your library, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your library.

  2. On the Actions menu Windows SharePoint Services Actions button, click Connect to Outlook.

    Extending Office SharePoint Server options
  3. When you are prompted to confirm that you want to connect the library to Outlook, click Yes.

    In Outlook, the library is added to the folder list in a new folder called SharePoint Lists.

    When you click the library that was added, the files in it appear the way e-mail messages do. Double-click the file to open it, or right-click it to see more options.

While working offline, changes to documents are saved locally. When online again, users can choose to either upload changes to the SharePoint library when the client application initially synchronizes or to keep the changed documents locally for the time being.

Consider the following when planning to use Office Outlook 2007 in a WAN environment:

  • Office Outlook 2007 does not provide peer-to-peer synchronization of content in SharePoint sites. The Office Outlook 2007 client application provides a personal offline experience for individual team members.

  • Although users can synchronize any content within a document library, the ability to edit items in a SharePoint library offline in Office Outlook 2007 is only available within the 2007 Office system client applications.

  • By default, synchronized documents are not checked out automatically and there is no way to check out a document from within Office Outlook 2007. The recommended practice is to check out documents from within SharePoint Products and Technologies before synchronizing and editing the content in Office Outlook 2007.

  • Synchronization from Office Outlook 2007 to SharePoint Products and Technologies is not optimized for low bandwidths. When synchronizing, Office Outlook 2007 uploads the entire contents of modified documents, not just the changes.

There is comprehensive information about how to use Office Outlook 2007 with SharePoint Products and Technologies available in the 2007 Office system Help system, including how to perform the following tasks:

  • Connect a SharePoint library to Outlook

  • Download a file from a SharePoint library to Outlook

  • Open a file from a SharePoint library by using Outlook

  • Edit a file from a SharePoint library by using Outlook

  • Remove a SharePoint file from Outlook

  • Remove a SharePoint library from Outlook

  • Add a file to a SharePoint library by sending e-mail

To read this content on Office Online, see Open, edit, and update files from a SharePoint site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=106066&clcid=0x409).

For more information about using Office Outlook 2007 with SharePoint sites, see the following articles:

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable content for Office SharePoint Server 2007.

See Also

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