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Microsoft Outlook 2003 Integration with SharePoint Products and Technologies

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.
Published: June 9, 2004

This is a sample chapter from the Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies Resource Kit. You can obtain the complete resource kit (ISBN 0-7356-1881-X), which includes a companion CD-ROM, from Microsoft Press.

Just as Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies has been evolving, so has its level of integration with compatible e-mail and calendar applications such as Microsoft Outlook. For Microsoft Outlook 2000 and Microsoft Outlook 2002, there were two main points of SharePoint integration. The first point of integration was the ability to display a SharePoint Team Services or SharePoint Portal Server site page when the user switched to a particular Outlook folder. The second point of integration was Outlook Web Access Web Parts that displayed data from a user’s Microsoft Exchange mailbox. Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 provides much richer SharePoint integration, including the ability to display a local read-only copy of SharePoint events and contacts lists and the option to create Meeting and Document Workspace sites related to message file attachments and meeting requests.

This chapter discusses the many ways in which Outlook 2003 and SharePoint Products and Technologies work together.

On This Page

Viewing SharePoint Products and Technologies Data in Outlook
Transferring Outlook Data to a SharePoint Site
Document and Meeting Workspace Sites
Managing Alerts
Managing Integration Features in Outlook
Additional Outlook Integration Opportunities
Summary

Viewing SharePoint Products and Technologies Data in Outlook

Outlook users can export any single contact or event item from a SharePoint list to Outlook and view any page in a SharePoint site from within Outlook. In addition, Outlook 2003 allows you to link any SharePoint contacts or events list to Outlook. Outlook stores a copy of the data from the SharePoint list locally, and updates occur automatically at periodic intervals.

Folder Home Pages

A folder home page is a Web page that Outlook displays when the user switches to a particular Outlook folder. The most familiar example is the Outlook Today page that displays information about your Inbox, Calendar, and Tasks folders when you click the top-level folder of the hierarchy that contains your Inbox.

While you can customize the resource DLL file that contains the Outlook Today page, a more common approach for an organization using SharePoint Products and Technologies is to replace the built-in Outlook Today page with a home page of a departmental Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services site or a corporate SharePoint Portal Server 2003 portal site page. This technique works with any version of Outlook starting with Outlook 2000.

To replace the Outlook Today page with another HTML page

  1. Right-click the folder at the top of the hierarchy that contains the main Inbox folder. (Depending on the Outlook version, it might or might not be labeled Outlook Today.) Then choose Properties.

  2. On the Home Page tab of the Properties dialog (Figure 40-1), change the value for Address to the URL of the SharePoint page you want to display.

    Figure 40-1.A SharePoint site page used as a custom home page for an Outlook folder

    Figure 40-1.A SharePoint site page used as a custom home page for an Outlook folder

    Cc767102.tip(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  You can display a page in a SharePoint site as a folder home page for any Outlook folder by applying the procedure just shown to any folder. For example, if you work with multiple SharePoint sites, you might create a folder in Outlook named My SharePoint Sites, add a subfolder for each site, and then set the home page of each subfolder to display that site’s home page.

Outlook 2003 stores the value for the custom Outlook Today page URL in the Windows registry, under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office \11.0\Outlook\Today key, in a string value named UserDefinedUrl. An administrator can set the default for that value to a SharePoint site page by using the Custom Installation Wizard or Custom Maintenance Wizard in the Office Resource Kit to deploy or update Outlook, or the administrator can enforce that value with a group policy by using the policy template described later in this chapter, in the “Managing Integration Features in Outlook” section. The Windows Server 2003 Deployment Kit: Designing a Managed Environment, available for download from Microsoft’s website, provides the foundation you need to understand and deploy Group Policy within Microsoft Windows Server 2003.

Because SharePoint Products and Technologies provides support for the vCard and iCalendar standards for data interchange, Outlook users can add any single contact or event from a SharePoint list to their Outlook Contacts or Calendar folder.

To add a contact or event from a SharePoint list to Outlook

  1. In a contact or events list, click the hyperlink for the item you want to add to Outlook.

  2. Click the Export Contact or Export Event link.

  3. When the File Download dialog appears, click Open to open the .vcf (vCard) or .ics (iCalendar) file that you created.

  4. Click Save and Close to add the resulting contact or appointment to your Outlook folders.

You cannot export a recurring series of events using this technique. If you open a recurring event from the All Events view, you will not see an Export Event link. You can, however, export any individual occurrence from a recurring series by opening it from the Calendar view and then following the procedure just shown.

Linking Events and Contacts in Outlook 2003

In Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, you can view any contacts or events list from a Windows SharePoint Services site as a read-only Outlook folder. Outlook stores the data from the SharePoint list in a Personal Folders .pst file on the user’s hard drive. Because the list information resides in a local file, these event and contact items are available in Outlook even when the user is not connected to the network. The user cannot, however, create new items in the SharePoint lists through Outlook. The user still must browse to the SharePoint site to create, delete, or modify items.

To link a contacts list or calendar to Outlook 2003

  1. View the SharePoint list that you want to link to Outlook.

  2. Click the Link to Outlook link. (Netscape Navigator users will see Link to Contacts or Link to Calendar.)

  3. Click Yes at the Do you want to add the folder to Outlook? prompt.

You can now see the linked folder in the Other Contacts or Other Calendars list in the Outlook navigation pane, as well as in the Folder List.

Cc767102.tip(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  As with any other Outlook contacts folder, the user can enable the local copy of a contacts list for display in the Outlook Address Book and use those contacts to resolve names in e-mail messages.

To remove a linked SharePoint list from Outlook

  • Right-click the name of the folder in the navigation pane, and select Delete foldername.

Removing a linked SharePoint list from Outlook does not delete the list from the SharePoint site.

By default, Outlook checks each linked SharePoint list for updates whenever the user switches to that folder in Outlook and every 20 minutes thereafter, and it copies new or updated items to the local .pst file. Users can perform a manual update of a linked SharePoint list at any time while they are displaying the folder.

To update the Outlook copy of a linked SharePoint list

  • Right-click the Outlook folder, and then click Refresh.

Outlook monitors the progress of the update in the Outlook Send/Receive Progress dialog and maintains information in the status bar (shown in Figure 40-2) on the number of items in the linked folder, the time of the last update, and the next scheduled update. (Note that if the user is displaying multiple calendar folders side by side, this information does not appear in the status bar.)

Figure 40-2.Status bar information for a linked SharePoint list

Figure 40-2.Status bar information for a linked SharePoint list

Administrators can change the automatic update interval or disable the linking feature completely with registry entries or group policies, as described in the “Managing Integration Features in Outlook” section later in this chapter. If the linking feature is disabled, a user who clicks the Link To Outlook link in a SharePoint list will receive the following message: “The folder cannot be added to Outlook because your system administrator does not allow Outlook folders to be linked to a Windows SharePoint Services Web site.”

Using an Stssync Link

You can make Outlook 2003 users aware of a SharePoint events or contacts list by sending them an e-mail message containing a special link using the stssync protocol. When the user clicks on the link, she will get the same “Do you want to add the folder to Outlook?” prompt as she would get by clicking on the Link To Outlook link on the list’s Web page.

An stssync link takes this format:

stssync://sts/?ver= version &type= folder-type &cmd= command-name &base-url= sts-url &guid= the-guid &site-name= site-friendly-name &list-name= list-friendly-name &list-url= list-url &user-id= uid

Table 40-1 lists the different parameters for an stssync link that work with Outlook 2003.

Table 40-1. Stssync Protocol Parameters

Parameter

Description

ver

Required. Must be 1.0.

type

Required. Must be calendar or contacts, depending on the type of list (case-insensitive).

cmd

Required. Must be add-folder.

base-url

Required. The URL to the SharePoint list being added. Should not end in a /character.

guid

Required. The GUID that, together with the base-url, uniquely identifies the list. Must be in the following format: “{”+ 8 hexadecimal characters + “-” + 4 hexadecimal characters + “-” + 4 hexadecimal characters + “-” + 12 hexadecimal characters + “}”. To obtain the GUID, navigate to the site and click Modify Settings And Columns; the GUID will be the value for the List parameter in the URL for the listedit.aspx page.

site-name

Required. The friendly display name of the site that contains the list being added. Outlook uses this parameter together with the list-name to create the folder name in the SharePoint Folders hierarchy in Outlook.

list-name

Required. The display name of the list being added. Outlook uses this parameter together with the site-name to create the folder name in the SharePoint Folders hierarchy.

list-url

Required. A string that, when added to the sts-url parameter, creates the full URL for the list. Should start with a /character.

user-id

Optional. A number greater than zero, with fewer than eight digits. Uniquely represents a user on the SharePoint site.

The base-url, site-name, list-name, and list-url parameters can include spaces and special characters such as “\,” and Unicode characters. Replace spaces with %20. For the characters “&”, “\”, “[“, “]”, or “|”, precede the character with the “|” character. For example, if an events list is named Holidays & Events, the value of the corresponding list-name parameter would be Holidays%20|&%20Events. For each Unicode character, enclose the 4-digit hexadecimal representation of the character in square brackets “[ ]”. For groups of consecutive Unicode characters, concatenate the groups and use one set of brackets to enclose all the characters. For example, if an events list is named Über Evéñts, the value of the corresponding list-name parameter would be [00DC]ber%20Ev[00E900F1]ts.

The complete URL for an events list named Über Evéñts on the Woodgrove Portal at http://woodgrove/Lists/ber%20Evts/AllItems.aspx with a GUID of {0C600187-1CC6-4AA0-A80E-5AD683397570} would be:

stssync://sts/?ver=1.0&type=calendar&cmd=add-folder&base-url=http://woodgrove/Lists/ber%20Evts&guid={0C600187-1CC6-4AA0-A80E-5AD683397570}&site-name=Woodgrove%20Portal&list-name=[00DC]ber%20Ev[00E900F1]ts&list-url=/AllItems.aspx

Understanding the SharePoint Folders.pst File

The first time you link a SharePoint list, Outlook creates a file named SharePoint Folders.pst in the user’s profile folder under \Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\ and creates a folder in the item corresponding to the list, naming the folder after the site and the list (site name -list name). When you link additional SharePoint lists from the same site or even from different sites, Outlook creates additional folders in the same SharePoint Folders.pst file.

The SharePoint Folders.pst file uses the new Unicode format introduced in Outlook 2003. (Chapter 6 in the Office 2003 Resource Kit includes a section titled “Unicode Enhancements in Outlook 2003.”) This means that the file cannot be opened in earlier versions of Outlook.

If the SharePoint Folders.pst file is moved to a new location (while Outlook is not running) or if it is closed or removed from the current Outlook profile, links to the SharePoint lists will be broken. The user can open the .pst file in Outlook again and see the SharePoint data that was previously copied. The file will function as a normal .pst file where users can create, modify, and delete items, but it will no longer receive updates from the SharePoint lists. The next time the user clicks the Link To Outlook link on a SharePoint list, Outlook will not reuse the original SharePoint Folders.pst file. Instead, it will create a new file named SharePoint Folders(2).pst to hold the linked folder.

Transferring Outlook Data to a SharePoint Site

There are at least five ways to transfer data from Outlook to a SharePoint site:

  • Create a new list from Outlook data exported to a Microsoft Office Excel worksheet.

  • Import contacts from the Outlook address book.

  • Send a document via e-mail to a Microsoft Exchange public folder that has been linked to a SharePoint document library.

  • Send a file as an attachment to a message, and accept the option to create a related Document Workspace site.

  • Send a meeting request, and accept the option to create a related Meeting Workspace site.

Chapter 41, “Integrating Exchange Server 2003 with SharePoint Products and Technologies,” describes how to enable e-mail for a SharePoint document library so that users can mail files to an Exchange public folder and have them transfer automatically to the document library. The creation of document and meeting workspaces in Outlook 2003 is covered in a separate section later in the chapter.

Cc767102.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  An additional but less direct method would be to create a link to an Excel worksheet with a SharePoint list. You then copy and paste Outlook data into the worksheet and synchronize the worksheet with the server. You could copy Outlook data directly from selected items in an Outlook folder displaying a table view, or you could export from an Outlook folder to an Excel worksheet and copy from that sheet into the linked worksheet.

Creating a New List from Outlook Data

If you export data from an Outlook folder to an Excel worksheet .xls file, Windows SharePoint Services can use this file to create a new list with a column for each column in the worksheet.

To create a new SharePoint list from Outlook data

  1. In Outlook, on the File menu, click Import and Export and use the wizard to export the desired data to an Excel .xls file.

  2. Open the file in Excel, and select the cells to be imported, including the column headings.

  3. On the Insert menu, click Name, click Define, and create a named range from the selected cells. Save the worksheet file.

  4. On the SharePoint site, click Create and then click Import Spreadsheet.

  5. Give the new list a name and description, and then click Browse to locate the worksheet file containing the data exported from Outlook.

  6. Click Import to complete the import process.

If the imported data includes date fields, you can display the SharePoint list in a calendar view. It will not, however, display a Link To Outlook link as a normal SharePoint events list would.

Importing Outlook Data from the Address Book

When the user clicks the Import Contacts button for a SharePoint contacts list, the browser runs a JScript script that launches the Outlook 2003 address book. (This technique works in Outlook 2002 as well.) The user then selects one or more names from the address lists. Names can be mixed and matched from personal contacts lists stored in Outlook, from enterprise contact information in the Exchange Server Global Address List (GAL), or from other address lists that might be present.

Cc767102.tip(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  The script that runs when the user clicks Import Contacts requires an Address Book Control component included with Outlook. By default, this component is not installed during Outlook setup but is configured as Installed On First Use. When you deploy Outlook, you might want to mark the Address Book Control component as Run From My Computer, as explained in Chapter 4 of the Microsoft Office 2003 Editions Resource Kit (Microsoft Press, 2003) under “Customizing Office Features and Shortcuts,” so that it will already be installed locally when users want to import Outlook data into a SharePoint contacts list.

Table 40-2 lists the fields that Windows SharePoint Services can import from either personal or Exchange contacts and the matching column names in a SharePoint contacts lists. Any fields left blank in the Outlook contact or GAL entry are also left blank in the corresponding item in the SharePoint list.

Table 40-2. Import Mappings from Outlook Contacts and Exchange GAL to SharePoint

Outlook Contact Field

Exchange GAL Field

Column in SharePoint List

First Name

First Name

First Name

Last Name

Last Name

Last Name

E-mail

E-mail

E-mail Address

Company

Company

Company

Job Title

Title

Job Title

Business Phone

Telephone Number

Business Phone

Home Phone

Home Phone

Home Phone

Mobile

Mobile

Mobile Phone

Business Fax

Fax

Fax Number

Street Address

Street

Address

City

City

City

State

State/Province

State

Zip/Postal Code

Zip/Postal Code

Postal Code

Country/Region

Country/Region

Country

Web Page

n/a

Web Page

Notes

n/a

Notes

Unless you’re working in a Microsoft Exchange Server environment where the administrator has modified the security settings for Outlook, after you choose the names to import, an Outlook security prompt will appear and you’ll need to click Yes for Windows SharePoint Services to complete the import.

Cc767102.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  It is not possible to add new fields to the import list. Even though GAL entries include Web Page and Notes fields, Windows SharePoint Services does not import information from those GAL fields, even though it does import that information from Outlook contacts. Also, Windows SharePoint Services does not import the Full Name value from either Outlook contacts or GAL entries.

If you include a distribution list among the names to import, Windows SharePoint Services creates an item in its contacts list for each entry in the distribution list. If you want to import one or more Outlook contact records that do not have e-mail addresses, you’ll need to add “dummy” addresses and save the contacts first, because the address book displays only contacts with e-mail addresses.

Document and Meeting Workspace Sites

When an Outlook 2003 user sends a file attachment or creates a meeting request, Outlook offers the opportunity to create a related Document Workspace or Meeting Workspace site on a server running Windows SharePoint Services. The site-creation process is transparent to the sender of the document or meeting request. Outlook names the site after the document or meeting, adds the sender to the Administrator site group, adds the recipients to the Contributor site group, and uploads the meeting details or the file attachments to the site.

Controlling Where a User Can Create Workspace Sites

To create a Meeting or Document Workspace site, the user must be a member of a site group with the Create Subsites right for the parent site. By default, SharePoint Products and Technologies grants this permission only to the Administrator site group. On SharePoint Portal Server, users are automatically in the Administrator site group on their personal (My Site) sites.

On the personal site on SharePoint Portal Server, if the user clicks the Set As Office Default Website link and responds Yes to the prompt that appears, My Site will then appear at the top of the list of available locations in the Meeting Workspace and Attachment Options task panes in Outlook. An administrator can use registry values or group policy to control which other sites are suggested in the site creation interface, as described in the “Managing Integration Features in Outlook” section later in this chapter.

If you want users to create Document and Meeting Workspace sites in a site other than their personal sites, you might want to set up a new top-level SharePoint site just to hold workspace sites. This will allow you to manage quotas and other settings for all workspace sites as part of a site collection. You’ll need to grant the Create Subsites right to one or more site groups in that master workspace site.

Granting the Create Subsites Permission

There are at least three ways you can grant the Create Subsites right so that users can create Document or Meeting Workspace sites in a site where the user is not a member of the Administrator site group:

  • Edit the settings for an existing site group to add the Create Subsites right.

  • Create a new site group (perhaps named “Workspace Creator”) with the Create Subsites right, and assign users to it.

  • In the Site Settings page for the site, use the Configure Site And Workspace Creation link to select site groups and add the Create Subsites right to them.

Working with Meeting Workspace Sites from Outlook

When you create an Outlook 2003 meeting request, you can also create a Meeting Workspace site or link the meeting to an existing workspace site. Outlook creates the Meeting Workspace site by calling the Meeting Web Services on the SharePoint server using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). The Meeting Workspace site can also track which Outlook 2003 meeting-request recipients have responded to the meeting request.

To create or link to a Meeting Workspace site

  1. Create a new appointment, and click Invite Attendees. This converts the appointment into a meeting request.

  2. On the Appointment page of the meeting request, click the Meeting Workspace  button to display the Meeting Workspace task pane (shown in Figure 40-3).

  3. To change the parent site and template, in the task pane click Change Settings. You will see the additional options shown in Figure 40-4. Otherwise, skip to step 8.

  4. Select the site where you want to create the workspace site from the Select a location list, or choose Other and type in a new URL pointing to a SharePoint site.

  5. To create a new workspace site, select the language and meeting template. Outlook uses the subject of the meeting request as the site name, subject to a 122-character limit.

  6. To link to an existing workspace site, select it from the list of those available in the site. If you are creating a recurring meeting, you can link it only to an empty meeting workspace, not to a single or multiple meeting workspace.

  7. Click OK to finish changing the settings.

  8. Click Create to create the workspace site, or click Link if you choose to link to an existing workspace site. Outlook will add a link to the workspace site to the body of the meeting request.

  9. Add attendees, and send the meeting request.

    Cc767102.f40xr03(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 40-3.Meeting Workspace task pane in Outlook 2003

    Figure 40-4.Meeting Workspace settings

    Figure 40-4.Meeting Workspace settings

    Cc767102.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  You cannot create a new Meeting Workspace site under an existing Meeting Workspace site.

When you send the meeting request, Outlook attempts to add the attendees to the workspace site and include them in the Contributor site group. If the meeting-request recipients include a distribution list, either from the user’s Contacts folder or the Exchange GAL, Outlook expands it automatically and adds each individual member of the list to the workspace site. If you receive a notification that Outlook was unable to add all attendees to the site, you’ll need to manually add them as site users. You might receive such a notification if you invite someone who is not already a user in the Active Directory or if Outlook is working with an Exchange account offline and has the address book download set for “No Details.”

Cc767102.important(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  Don’t create the Meeting Workspace site until you have filled in the Subject for the meeting request. If you leave the Subject blank, Outlook will create a Meeting Workspace site with the name UntitledXXX, where XXX is a number calculated based on the number of existing “untitled” named sites

Administrators can disable the Meeting Workspace button and control the available Meeting Workspace site locations using registry entries or group policies, as described in the “Managing Integration Features in Outlook” section later in this chapter.

After you send the meeting request, it will appear in the Outlook calendar (see Figure 40-5) with a special Meeting Workspace icon (F). Outlook provides several ways to view the Meeting Workspace site:

  • Right-click the meeting in the Calendar folder, and then click View Meeting Workspace.

  • Open the meeting, and click the link in the body of the item or the Go to workspace link in the task pane.

  • When the reminder for the meeting fires and the Reminders dialog appears, select the meeting, click Meeting Services, and then click View Meeting Workspace.

    Cc767102.f40xr05(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 40-5.Outlook Appointment with Meeting Workspace

If the meeting request was for a recurring meeting or if you linked a new meeting to an existing workspace site, the home page of the Meeting Workspace site will list all the dates for the recurrences. Each date will have its own set of SharePoint lists and libraries in the Meeting Workspace site.

To remove the link from a meeting to a workspace site

  • Open the meeting from your Calendar folder, and then click the Remove button.

This removes the link between the meeting and the Meeting Workspace site, but doesn’t delete the Meeting Workspace site.

Tracking Attendee Responses

If the sender of the meeting request and all the recipients are working in the same Microsoft Exchange organization, as people respond to the meeting request, their responses will be tallied on the Meeting Workspace site. You can also choose to tally meeting-request responses when some or all recipients work with a non-Exchange server, such as POP3 (Post Office Protocol) or IMAP4 (Internet Message Access Protocol), as long as the server supports Transport-Neutral Encapsulation Format (TNEF) and the meeting organizer sends the meeting request in Rich Text Format (RTF), not as an iCalendar item.

Users will need training in the specific techniques for sending a meeting request in Rich Text Format, which depend on whether the user is sending with an Exchange account or from a POP or IMAP account. In either case, the first step is to make sure that each Internet attendee’s address is set for RTF.

To change an attendee’s message format

  1. Double-click the underlined attendee name or address in the meeting request.

  2. If Outlook displays the attendee’s contact record, double-click the attendee’s e-mail address.

  3. In the E-mail Properties dialog, under Internet format, choose Send using Outlook Rich Text Format.

If the sender is using a Microsoft Exchange account to send the meeting request, changing the attendee’s message format is sufficient to force the meeting request to go out in RTF format. For Internet accounts, however, the default in Outlook 2003 is to send meeting requests to Internet addresses as iCalendar items. Therefore, the meeting organizer will also need to make a change to Outlook’s default settings or make a change for each meeting request.

To send all meeting requests as RTF

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Calendar Options button.

  2. Deselect the check box for When sending meeting requests over the Internet, use iCalendar format.

To send a single meeting request as RTF

  1. Before sending the meeting request, click the Tools menu.

  2. If Send as iCalendar is checked, click Send as iCalendar to turn that option off for the current meeting request.

Working with Document Workspace Sites from Outlook

When you send a file attachment, Outlook 2003 offers the option to send the file as a shared attachment, a file that can be accessed by multiple users through a Document Workspace site. If the Attachment Options pane doesn’t automatically appear after you add the attachment, you can click the Attachment Options button to display it.

Outlook creates the Document Workspace site when you send the message, giving it the same name as the attached file, and it adds a link to the workspace site to the body of the message. If you attach more than one file, the Document Workspace site is created with the name of the first file that was attached to the message. The sender of the message is automatically added to the Administrator site group for the new Document Workspace site, while recipients of the message are added to the Contributor site group.

Recipients can open the file using either the attachment or the link in the body of the message. If they open the file with Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003, or Microsoft Office Visio 2003, the Office application periodically will get automatic updates from the Document Workspace site showing changes that other workspace site members have made in the file. The Office application will also update the workspace site copy when the user saves the file so that changes are available to other users who might be working on the document. These updates apply to documents or single file Web pages (MHMTL) created with Word 2003, Excel 2003, or PowerPoint 2003; Visio 2003 documents; and XML files from Word 2003 or Excel 2003.

For more information on working with and configuring options for Document Workspace sites, see Chapter 19.

Managing Alerts

Outlook 2003 users can manage the e-mail alerts received from SharePoint sites by clicking Rules And Alerts on the Tools menu. If the user clicks New Alert or Alert Properties on the Manage Alerts tab and makes selections, Internet Explorer opens a browser window to the appropriate alert page on the SharePoint site. The user can also click Create Rule to build an Outlook rule that pops up a notification window, plays a sound, moves the alert e-mail message to a specified folder, or performs other actions on the alert message.

By default, users can manage alerts only for sites on the local intranet and sites in the Trusted Sites list in Internet Explorer. Administrators can manage this behavior with a registry entry or group policy, as discussed in the next section.

Managing Integration Features in Outlook

Most, if not all, of Outlook’s integration features related to SharePoint Products and Technologies can be controlled with Windows registry entries, the deployment tools in the Microsoft Office 2003 Resource Kit, or group policies. The appropriate group policy templates (Office11.adm and Outlk11.adm) are included in the Office Resource Kit tools download or on the Office Resource Kit CD. Copy them to the \Winnt\Inf or \Windows\Inf folder on the domain controller so that you can add them to the templates available in the Group Policy Management Console. Chapter 18 in the Office 2003 Resource Kit has a “Managing Users’ Configurations by Policy” section that describes how to install the policy template files.

Table 40-3 lists the key registry entries. Corresponding Office 2003 policies are available in the Group Policy Management Console under User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Microsoft Office 2003/Tools | Options | General | Service Options/Shared Workspace. Corresponding Outlook 2003 policies are listed under User Configuration/Administrative Templates/Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, under SharePoint Integration and Meeting Workspace.

All the registry values shown in Table 40-3 are in the HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Microsoft\Office\11.0 key.

Table 40-3. Outlook-Related SharePoint Registry Values

Key

Value

Type

Description

Common\DWS

PollingInterval

DWORD

Number of minutes between checks for updates to Document Workspace sites (default 10, minimum 1, maximum 999)

Common\MailSettings

DisableSharingOptions

DWORD

1 (or 0) = disable (or enable) the Shared Attachments option in Outlook e-mail messages

Common\Security \Trusted Alert Sources

All

DWORD

0 (or 1) = disallow (or allow) users to use Outlook to manage alerts from all SharePoint sites (default = 0)

Common\Security \Trusted Alert Sources

AllIntranet

DWORD

0 (or 1) = disallow (or allow) users to use Outlook to manage alerts from all SharePoint sites within Outlook (default = 0)

Common\Security \Trusted Alert Sources

AllTrusted

DWORD

0 (or 1) = disallow (or allow) users to use Outlook to manage alerts from all intranet (default = 1)

Meetings\Profile

EntryUI

DWORD

1 (or 0) = disable (or enable) the Meeting Workspaces button on Outlook meeting requests

Meetings\Profile

ServerUI

DWORD

2 = disable user entries to server list (publish default, disallow others)

Meetings\Profile

MRUInternal

String

Delimited list of up to five servers available for Meeting Workspace sites (See details in text that follows this table.)

Outlook\Preferences

DisallowSTS

DWORD

1 (or 0) = disable (or enable) the ability to link SharePoint contacts and events lists with Outlook

Outlook\Preferences

STSSyncInterval

DWORD

Number of minutes between updates of linked SharePoint contacts and events lists in Outlook (default 20, minimum 1, maximum 1430)

SharePointTracking\Name0

Name

String

Display name of SharePoint site to be displayed in the Select A Location list

SharePointTracking\Name0

URL

String

URL of SharePoint site to be displayed in the Select A Location list

The SharePointTracking\Name# keys and the ServerUI and MRUInternal values control what servers the user will see on the Select A Location drop-down list in the Meeting Workspace or Attachment Options task pane. The default behavior is for the drop-down list to show the following sites:

  • My Site (if the user has made her personal SharePoint Portal Server site her default site).

  • Sites listed in the MRUInternal value (only in the Meeting Workspace task pane).

  • Up to five of the most recently used sites listed in the SharePointTracking \Name# keys.

  • Up to five SharePoint sites that the user has recently visited. This list of sites comes from cookies stored when the user visits a site where they have the Create Subsite right.

  • An entry for Other, which allows users to enter any other URL that points to a SharePoint site.

You can create additional SharePointTracking\Name# keys—for example, Name1 and Name2 (up to Name4) to add up to five sites to the initial user list.

For meeting requests, setting the Meetings\Profile\ServerUI value to 2 causes Outlook to ignore My Site, the SharePointTracking\Name# list of most recently used sites, and the list of most recently visited sites. Instead, users will see only the list of servers from the Meetings\Profile\MRUInternal value. Therefore, you must populate the MRUInternal value if you set ServerUI to 2.

In the Meetings\Profile\MRUInternal value, you can list up to five locations for creating Meeting Workspace sites, each location being a delimited list describing the server and, optionally, the template to be used to create the workspace site. Each location record contains six fields separated by the pipe (|) character:

  • Server URL

  • Server friendly name

  • Language ID for the template (for example, 1033 for U.S. English)

  • TemplateID value (defined in Table 40-4)

  • TemplateName value (defined in Table 40-4)

  • OrganizerName

All fields are required to be present, with a pipe separating each pair of locations and no carriage return or line-feed characters in the string. As a minimum, you should specify the server URL and friendly name for each location. If you don’t want to specify a value for the template fields or OrganizerName, leave them blank but include the pipe delimiters. It’s recommended that you create the list of servers in Notepad and then paste it into the policy or registry editor.

If the value for ServerUI is set to 2, the first location in the MRUInternal list will be the default location that the user sees when creating a new meeting workspace. The first MRUInternal location will also set the default template. If the user switches in the Meeting Workspace task pane to a different location from the MRUInternal list, Outlook doesn’t change the selected template to match the template for that location. Therefore, specifying a template for any location other than the first one in the MRUInternal list has no effect.

This example sets three locations on the same intranet server. Note the lack of carriage returns or line feeds:

http://blackfall/workspaces|Basic Meeting |1033|Mps#0|Basic Meeting Workspace||http://blackfall/sales/workspaces|Sales Meeting|||||http://blackfall/hq/workspaces|HQ Meeting|||||

Table 40-4. Meeting Workspace TemplateName and TemplateID Values

TemplateName

TemplateID

Basic Meeting Workspace

Mps#0

Blank Meeting Workspace

Mps#1

Decision Meeting Workspace

Mps#2

Social Meeting Workspace

Mps#3

Multipage Meeting Workspace

Mps#4

In addition to specifying the values in Table 40-4, you can also specify the name and ID for a custom Meeting Workspace template. Chapter 16, “Windows SharePoint Services Site Administration,” describes how to create custom templates.

The OrganizerName is used to add an attendee to the workspace site who is marked as the organizer of the meeting but is not added to the list of workspace site users. In most cases, you’ll probably leave the OrganizerName field blank.

Additional Outlook Integration Opportunities

Except for the display of attendee status in a Meeting Workspace site, the Outlook integration scenarios discussed in this chapter don’t make any assumptions about what kind of mail server Outlook is connected to. Where Outlook connects to Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, additional integration is available through e-mail-enabled public folders and Web Parts that display Exchange mailbox data using Outlook Web Access.

Summary

Outlook 2003 offers ample integration with SharePoint Products and Technologies. Users can view SharePoint site pages as folder home pages and can link SharePoint contacts and events lists into read-only Outlook folders. When sending a message with an attachment or creating a meeting request, users can create related Document and Meeting Workspace sites.

Using group policies or Office Resource Kit deployment tools, administrators can control the lists of sites available to users creating Document Workspace and Meeting Workspace sites from within Outlook and manage other settings, including the interval for updating linked SharePoint contacts and events lists.

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