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Integration Guide for Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.
By Anthony Dowler

EntireNet

June 2003

Applies to:
Microsoft® Windows SharePoint Services
Microsoft® Office 2003

Summary: Describes the integration points between Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services (10 printed pages)

On This Page

Introduction
Integrated Document Management and Sharing
Microsoft Office 2003 Integration
Document Workspace Sites and Meeting Workspace Sites
Integration with SharePoint Portal Server 2003
Integration Features
Conclusion

Introduction

Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint™ Services provides shared Web space for team members and core sharing tools and services, such as document management and shared lists for contacts, announcements, and tasks. You can use SharePoint sites as the primary Web portal and productivity space for your team or as an ad-hoc shared space organized around a particular task, meeting, or document. Additionally, you can use Windows SharePoint Services as a platform for creating customized shared solutions for your business needs.

Microsoft Office 2003 is closely integrated with Windows SharePoint Services. You can use many of the menu commands and task panes in Office 2003 applications to take advantage of the document storage and management features of Windows SharePoint Services, create SharePoint sites, import and export lists on SharePoint sites, and link list data from SharePoint sites to your databases. This paper describes the integration between Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services.

Integrated Document Management and Sharing

Document management and sharing are the most important features of Windows SharePoint Services. You can use these features to create, manage, and share documents easily. Because these features are integrated with Office 2003, you can easily find them and use them. Additionally, you can take advantage of these features when you use a Web browser to search, browse, or collaborate on documents that are stored on a SharePoint site.

File Menu Integration

Document sharing is fully integrated into the File menu in most Office 2003 applications. You can use the File menu to open or save documents in a document library on a SharePoint site. When you save a document in a document library, Office 2003 also stores metadata for the document in the library. When you close the document, you may be prompted to add or update metadata, or you can use the Document Information tab on the new Shared Workspace task pane in your Office application to view and modify document metadata. You can customize the schema for document metadata, which means that you can create libraries that are customized for different types of documents. This makes it much easier for users to classify documents correctly and to find documents at a later time.

Document Check-in and Check-out

Most traditional document sharing methods use e-mail or file shares for documents that have multiple authors or editors. The problem with these methods is that they can quickly become confusing. Identifying the latest version of a document is difficult, and multiple users may edit a document at the same time, resulting in conflicting versions. Trying to track changes can lead to confusion and lost productivity, especially if a document must be rolled back to an earlier version. To prevent these problems, Windows SharePoint Services provides an intuitive, easy-to-use method for tracking the version history of a document. First, if you want to work on a document that is stored in a document library, you can check out the document. When you do this, other users cannot make changes to the document. This helps prevent the confusion that can occur when multiple users make simultaneous changes to the same document. When you finish working on the document, you can check in the document so other users can work on it. To check out a document, you must be a member of a site group with the Edit Items right for that SharePoint site.

Version Tracking

Windows SharePoint Services also handles version tracking for documents stored on a SharePoint site. Windows SharePoint Services keeps copies of previous versions of each document so you can go back and view the changes that were made to a document at any time. This is particularly useful if you must roll back a document to a previous version or if you must retrieve data that was deleted from an earlier version of a document. Version tracking in Windows SharePoint Services can help your team track and manage the document creation and editing process quickly and efficiently. To turn version tracking on or off, you must be a member of a site group with the Manage Lists right for that SharePoint site.

Integrated Web Discussions

Teams often need to discuss and review document content. This can be difficult, even when team members all work in the same physical location. If you have a virtual team whose members are scattered across several locations, the difficulty of content discussion and review increases. If your team members correspond by e-mail, your editors must continually switch between their e-mail program and their document editing program. Trying to identify multiple comments about a single piece of text is difficult, and feedback may be lost or misunderstood. Windows SharePoint Services enhances the existing shared editing features in Office 2003 by providing inline discussion tools and by storing inline discussion comments on the SharePoint site. This means that reviewers can add their comments directly to the document and that reviewer comments are stored and managed centrally, so they are available whenever an editor or reviewer opens a document from the SharePoint site. To make changes to a document in a SharePoint library, you must be a member of a site group with the Edit Items right for that SharePoint site.

Document Workspace Sites and Meeting Workspace Sites

Windows SharePoint Services introduces Document Workspace sites and Meeting Workspace sites, which are innovative new tools for communicating and sharing. A Document Workspace site or Meeting Workspace site is a SharePoint site that you can quickly create from an Office 2003 application to share a particular task, document, or project. This gives you easy access to Windows SharePoint Services features when and where you need them. Windows SharePoint Services also creates and stores lists that are relevant to Document Workspace sites and Meeting Workspace sites, including tasks, members, links, and related documents. To create a workspace site, you must be a member of a site group with the Create Subsites right for that SharePoint site.

For more information, see the "Document Workspace Sites" section and the "Meeting Workspace Sites" section later in this document.

Microsoft Office 2003 Integration

In a shared productivity environment, Windows SharePoint Services is a natural partner with productivity tools such as Microsoft Office 2003. Windows SharePoint Services provides powerful server-based sharing and communication tools to enhance the tasks that users perform in Office 2003 every day. Windows SharePoint Services is also integrated with earlier versions of Microsoft Office. However, Microsoft Office 2003 provides the fullest integration with Windows SharePoint Services.

Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and Microsoft Office Access 2003

List Synchronization

You can use SharePoint sites to store and present useful lists of information, including announcements, contacts, events, tasks, issues, and custom lists for other types of information. You can use Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and Microsoft Office Access 2003 to view and edit data stored in lists on SharePoint sites. This is an excellent way to share information with other users, make use of information that is already published, and provide standardized lists of information (for example, product names or company departments) that can be used throughout the company.

When Office 2003 is installed on your desktop computer, you can import the data from a list on a SharePoint site into Excel 2003. You can then view, analyze, refresh, and otherwise manipulate the data in Excel. If you have the correct permissions on the SharePoint site, you can also use your Excel data to refresh the online data with the push of a button. Additionally, you can export data from Excel 2003 or Access 2003 to create a list on a SharePoint site, and you can use Access 2003 to create a database table that is linked to list data on a SharePoint site. To create or import a list, you must be a member of a site group with the Manage Lists right for that SharePoint site.

Microsoft Office FrontPage® 2003

Editing and Customizing SharePoint Sites

Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003 is a Web editor that is fully integrated with Windows SharePoint Services. FrontPage 2003 provides a variety of WYSIWYG tools you can use to customize and manage your SharePoint sites, including an improved table editing tool and a collection of dynamic templates for SharePoint sites. With FrontPage 2003, you can edit and control SharePoint site components (for example, team sites, Web Parts, or navigation) and customize the look and feel of a SharePoint site. You can also use FrontPage 2003 to prepare usage analysis reports for SharePoint sites, so you can track who is using your site and how they are using it. To edit Web pages in a SharePoint site, you must be a member of a site group with the Add and Customize Pages right for that SharePoint site.

With FrontPage 2003, you can use Windows SharePoint Services and Web Parts to create data-driven Web sites. Web Parts are reusable, modular pieces of code that you can easily add to SharePoint sites. With some Web development knowledge, you can use FrontPage 2003 to create Web Parts that connect to live data from a variety of sources. For example, to add current company sales data to your SharePoint site, you can use FrontPage 2003 to create a Web Part that is linked to your company sales database.

Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003

Calendar and Contacts synchronization with Outlook 2003

You can synchronize your data in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with data from Windows SharePoint Services, so you can keep a local copy of the team calendars and contact lists from your team's SharePoint site. Calendar synchronization with Outlook 2003 only works in one direction — from Windows SharePoint Services to Outlook 2003. After you synchronize your Outlook calendar with a team calendar on a SharePoint site, you can work offline and view the synchronized data side-by-side with other personal calendars or shared calendars. Windows SharePoint Services automatically updates the synchronized data in Outlook 2003 when you connect to the SharePoint site, so your calendar data stays current. This feature can help you be more productive, especially if you are a mobile user. You can quickly create a contact list in Windows SharePoint Services by importing contacts from the global address list in Outlook. To add items to SharePoint lists such as calendars and contact lists, you must be a member of a site group with the Add Items right for that SharePoint site.

Alerts Integration

Windows SharePoint Services uses Alerts to notify you about important events and changes to the SharePoint site. For example, you can choose to be informed by e-mail when a document is published to your team document library. These e-mail alert messages have special headers to inform Outlook 2003 that they are Alerts from Windows SharePoint Services. You can now use a single user interface in the Rules and Alerts dialog box to manage Alerts from different SharePoint sites. You can use the inbox rules in Outlook 2003 to tell Outlook 2003 how to handle Alerts. For example, you can choose to move Alerts to a special folder, forward them to a mobile device, or store them in a file. To add alerts, you must be a member of a site group with the View Items right for that SharePoint site.

Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003

Microsoft Office InfoPath™ 2003 is a new information gathering program that is part of the Microsoft Office System. With InfoPath 2003, you can easily develop and deploy dynamic forms that connect people to enterprise applications and business processes, so your users can accurately and efficiently collect information using data standards defined by your company. You can use these forms to create XML-based business solutions for a variety of tasks. Windows SharePoint Services includes several integration features that you can use to take better advantage of InfoPath 2003.

Solution Publishing and Solution Libraries

When you create a solution in InfoPath 2003, you can publish the solution from InfoPath 2003 to a document library, so other users can find it quickly and easily. When you publish an InfoPath solution to a document library, Windows SharePoint Services promotes relevant properties for the solution so other users can sort, filter, or edit the solution. The Publishing Wizard in InfoPath 2003 makes publishing an InfoPath form to a document library even easier. To add files to a document library, you must be a member of a site group with the Add Items right for that SharePoint site.

Pre-existing Solution Libraries

You can use a document library as a repository of InfoPath solutions. A library of useful, predefined InfoPath solutions is included with Windows SharePoint Services. You can use these solutions as provided, or you can modify them to fit the needs of your group or company. To change files in a document library, you must be a member of a site group with the Edit Items right for that SharePoint site.

Form Libraries Integration

You can use a form library to start InfoPath 2003 and automatically aggregate data from a group of similar InfoPath documents stored on a SharePoint site. For example, if several InfoPath status report documents are stored in a form library, you can aggregate those documents into a rollup status report. To create a form library, you must be a member of a site group with the Manage Lists right for that SharePoint site.

Microsoft Office OneNote 2003

Microsoft Office OneNote™ 2003 is a new note-taking program that is part of the Microsoft Office System. You can use OneNote 2003 to electronically gather, organize, and customize notes on laptops, desktop computers, or Tablet PC computers. You can use OneNote 2003 with Windows SharePoint Services to share portions of your notebooks with other users. When you save a section of your notes to a SharePoint site, other users can open your notes, view them, and add them to their notebooks. This provides a group notebook that the members of a team can use to share their thoughts, research, and ideas. Additionally, when you work on a shared OneNote file, OneNote 2003 displays the Shared Workspace task pane. This task pane displays information about your shared space, including a list of members of your sharing group and a list of shared documents. To add files to a library in a SharePoint site, you must be a member of a site group with the Add Items right for that SharePoint site.

General Office 2003 Integration Features

File Open and Save Integration

Windows SharePoint Services can search the contents of Office document files, so you can easily find Office documents stored on Windows SharePoint Services sites. You can use the File menu in Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003, Excel 2003, Word 2003, InfoPath 2003, FrontPage 2003, Outlook 2003, and OneNote 2003 to save files to SharePoint sites and open files from SharePoint sites. To add files to a library in a SharePoint site, you must be a member of a site group with the Add Items right for that SharePoint site.

Shared Workspace Task Pane

When you work on a document in Word 2003, Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, or Microsoft Office Visio 2003, you can use the Shared Workspace task pane to take advantage of Windows SharePoint Services features. The Shared Workspace task pane is also available with limited functionality in OneNote 2003 and in Microsoft Office Project 2003. You can use the Shared Workspace task pane to create a Document Workspace site for a document. If the document is already stored on a SharePoint site, the Shared Workspace task pane displays team members, tasks, links, and related documents from that site. Your team can use these shared tools within the familiar interface of Microsoft Office to work together more effectively. To create a workspace site, you must be a member of a site group with the Create Subsites right for that SharePoint site.

Person Names Smart Tag

Office 2003 enhances Windows SharePoint Services with the Person Names Smart Tag. The Person Names Smart Tag provides information about the availability of other members of your team wherever their names appear on a SharePoint site. The Person Names Smart Tag displays a user's online/offline status, shared calendar information, and contact information. Team members can use the Person Names Smart Tag to share work, schedule meetings, or start a Microsoft Instant Messenger session.

Microsoft Office Project Server 2003 Integration

Microsoft Office Project 2003 is a powerful enterprise project management application that companies can use to manage and track projects and resources. With Microsoft Office Project Server 2003, your teams can organize, track, and manage their projects and determine which project activities were successful when the project is complete. Project Server 2003 can use Windows SharePoint Services for document libraries, issue tracking, and risk management, so Microsoft Project 2003 users can easily create, link, and track documents, issues, and risks. When you create a project, you can also automatically create a SharePoint site for project documents, issues, and risks. You can associate documents, risks, and issues with projects and with other documents, risks, and issues. Additionally, you can store project documents in document libraries to take advantage of the version tracking and document check-in and check-out features of Windows SharePoint Services.

Microsoft Office Components for SharePoint Products and Technologies

Microsoft Office Components for SharePoint Products and Technologies is an add-on pack included with Microsoft Office 2003 that installs the following components:

  • Data retrieval services adaptors

    A data retrieval services adaptor is a Web service that returns XML data from multiple data retrieval services data sources or manipulates data on those data sources. Data retrieval services are collections of data connectors that are based on Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and XML. Data consumers such as Excel 2003 or the Spreadsheet Web Part can use data retrieval services adapters to retrieve and manipulate data stored on a data retrieval services server. Office Components installs the following two data retrieval services adapters:

    • The Microsoft SQL Server data retrieval services adapter provides access to any SQL Server database.

    • The Microsoft Business Solutions data retrieval services adapter provides access to Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains data sources and Microsoft Business Solutions Solomon data sources.

  • Issue Tracking Reports

    Issue Tracking Reports is closely integrated with the Windows SharePoint Services issue tracking list template. You can use Issue Tracking Reports to generate reports with informative charts based on data in issue tracking lists on your SharePoint site.

  • Data calculation Web Parts

    • The PivotView Web Part adds a pivot control to a SharePoint site for ad hoc data analysis and data visualization.

    • The Datasheet Web Part embeds spreadsheet functionality into a SharePoint site.

    • The Web Capture Web Part incorporates all or part of a Web page (Web clip) into a SharePoint site.

    • The Quick Quote Web Part finds and displays stock and financial data when you type a stock symbol.

To add and change Web Parts on a shared view of a SharePoint site, you must have the Add and Customize Pages right for the site. This right is included by default for members of the Web Designer and Administrator site groups. To add and change Web Parts on a personal view of a SharePoint site, you must have the Add/Remove Private Web Parts and the Update Personal Web Parts right. These rights are included by default for members of the Contributor, Web Designer, and Administrator site groups.

Document Workspace Sites and Meeting Workspace Sites

Document Workspace sites and Meeting Workspace sites are team sharing sites that are tied to a particular project, document, or meeting. Document Workspace sites and Meeting Workspace sites connect the work that teams and individuals carry out in the Office 2003 to the features of a SharePoint site.

Document Workspace Sites

A Document Workspace site is a SharePoint site created for document sharing. A Document Workspace site provides Windows SharePoint Services features for a document, including document version tracking, document check-in and check-out, and inline discussions. It also organizes team information and provides shared features such as lists and alerts. When you open your copy of a document that is stored in a Document Workspace site, you can get updates of the document with the click of a button, so you no longer need to manage document revisions manually.

Creating Document Workspace Sites Automatically

When you attach a document to an Outlook 2003 e-mail message and send the document as a shared attachment, Windows SharePoint Services automatically gives users the option to create a Document Workspace site and saves the shared attachment in the Document Workspace site. When another user opens the attachment, they can receive updates to the document from the Document Workspace site. Recipients of the shared attachment can easily update the copy on the Document Workspace site. You no longer have to attach and distribute document revisions, and you no longer need to use improvised methods to track revisions, such as appending revision numbers to file names. To create a workspace site, you must be a member of a site group with the Create Subsites right for that SharePoint site.

Creating Permissions and Contributors Lists Automatically

When you create a Document Workspace site, it is automatically populated with relevant features and information, including all the document management features of Windows SharePoint Services. Permissions to the site are also pre-configured for sharing – recipients of the e-mail message are automatically granted access to the workspace site when the site is created.

Shared Workspace Task Pane

When you open a document that is a shared attachment in Excel 2003, Word 2003, PowerPoint 2003 or Visio 2003, the document automatically opens the Shared Workspace task pane. This pane contains information about the document and the document team, including presence information for team members, document properties, related links, related documents, and related tasks.

Meeting Workspace Sites

A Meeting Workspace site is similar to a Document Workspace site, but it is created for a meeting instead of a document. You can create a Meeting Workspace site for the kickoff meeting for a new project, a recurring meeting such as a weekly team status report, or a single event such as a company-wide meeting.

Creating Meeting Workspace Sites Automatically

You can create a Meeting Workspace site automatically when you schedule a meeting in Outlook 2003. The site is automatically populated with options relevant to a meeting, including the attendance list, agenda, document library, decisions, and action items. Users involved in the meeting can visit the site to track progress, communicate easily, and store information relevant to the meeting. Permissions and contact information for the attendees are automatically propagated to the site. To create a workspace site, you must be a member of a site group with the Create Subsites right for that SharePoint site.

Integration with SharePoint Portal Server 2003

Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 is a server product in the Microsoft Office System that builds upon Windows SharePoint Services to add deep customization of your content and unify your SharePoint sites and services into a single corporate portal. With SharePoint Portal Server 2003, you can create portal sites for partners, company divisions, or your entire company, you can target content to appropriate audiences, and you and your users can create personalized views and content delivery methods for your SharePoint sites.

SharePoint Portal Server 2003 also provides portal-wide areas and searches that you can use to find and organize information that spans multiple SharePoint sites.

Because SharePoint Portal Server is built on top of Windows SharePoint Services, all features of Windows SharePoint Services are available in SharePoint Portal Server. You can affiliate a SharePoint site with a SharePoint Portal Server 2003 portal site to enhance the SharePoint site with additional features, including links to the SharePoint Portal Server 2003 portal site, links to relevant SharePoint Portal Server 2003 areas, links to portal-wide search features, and enhancements to the Presence Control features in Windows SharePoint Services. To connect to a portal site, you must be a member of a site group with the Manage Web Site right for the Windows SharePoint Services site.

Integration Features

The following table shows Windows SharePoint Services integration features for each program in Office 2003:

Feature

Programs

Open and Save from File menu

Excel, FrontPage, InfoPath, Microsoft Project, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Publisher, Visio, Word

Shared Workspace task pane

Excel, Microsoft Project, OneNote, PowerPoint, Visio, Word

Create shared attachment

Outlook

Synchronize calendar and contact list sites

Outlook

Document updates for shared attachments

Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Word

Automatically collect metadata

Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Check-in / check-out

Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Version Tracking

Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Store inline discussions on the server

Word, Excel, PowerPoint

Import SharePoint list as data

Excel, Access

Export data as SharePoint list

Excel, Access

Conclusion

Microsoft Office 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services are natural partners in a synergistic, context-rich sharing environment. Microsoft Office 2003 provides a full range of productivity tools that are easy to use. Windows SharePoint Services provides a shared work environment that includes libraries for storing documents, lists of relevant information, and easy to manage security. Using these products together, users can create team Web sites quickly and easily and greatly enhance their productivity.

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