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Outlook 2003 introduced integration with SharePoint, allowing you to see some SharePoint information (like calendars) in Outlook alongside your personal information. In Outlook 2007, we made this a whole lot better.
Here we’ll focus on the new Document Library syncing capability that allows you to easily access, preview, search, and edit your SharePoint document libraries in Outlook.
To begin, let’s start by syncing an existing Document Library to Outlook:
1. First, navigate to a SharePoint Document Library site in your web browser. Click on the “Actions” dropdown menu, then select “Connect to Outlook.”
2. You will be prompted with a notice about connecting to the library. Click “Yes” to add the library to Outlook.
3. The newly added Document Library will show up in your Navigation Pane in Outlook under “SharePoint Lists.”
Now we get to the fun part… accessing your SharePoint documents in Outlook!
With Outlook 2007 and SharePoint 2007, you can easily browse through the files in your Document Library with a single click using the Reading Pane. You also get one glance access to some basic meta-data like title, changed by, checked out to, last changed date, and size all at the top of the Reading Pane.
You can also use Outlook’s Instant Search with SharePoint lists. Just type the search query as you would for e-mail messages and BAM! Results.
In the example below, we searched for the word “little”. Notice that Outlooknot only searches the document title but also the contents of document and other properties as well.
Imagine you are working on a really important Office document that is in your document library and you would like to continue work on it while on a long flight home.
That’s plenty of time you could spend on your document, but since you are five miles above sea level you are out of luck, right? Not any more – with Outlook and SharePoint Document Libraries you can take your documents with you. When you return, uploading your changes is easy.
Not only will your documents be available to you offline, you can also make changes and save them locally on your laptop. You can then upload those changes back up to the server when you return to the office.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Double-click the document in Outlook to open it. You will be prompted and asked if you trust the file. Click “Open.”
Once you click “Open,” you can read the document without editing it.
2. To begin editing, click on the “Edit Offline” button at the top of the document just below the Ribbon.
3. Click “OK” on the information dialog. If you are curious as to where on your computer the files are stored click on the “SharePoint Drafts” link. You can easily change where the drafts are stored by clicking on the “Offline Editing Options” link in the dialog.
Now you can edit the document as you wish. When you are done with your changes, save and close the document. When you are back online, you will be able to either upload your changes immediately or keep them locally for the time being. While you are offline, your changes will be saved locally.
In Outlook, documents you’ve edited will display a special icon (see 1 in the image below) to let you know the changes are only available locally. If you view the document in the preview pane, you’ll see an informational message explaining the offline state of your changes (see 2 in the image below). Next time you open the document, you’ll be given a chance to upload if you are online.
Uploading your changes
When you go back online, open each of the documents you edited offline and you will be prompted to upload your changes. Clicking update will upload your changes to the SharePoint site so it will be accessible for others to view.
To find all the documents you have edited locally, expand the “Search Folders” node under “SharePoint Lists” and select “SharePoint Drafts”. You’ll see all your locally edited documents grouped under their respective lists.
If you want to return to the SharePoint Document Library, just right click on the folder in the Navigation Pane and select “Open in Web Browser.”
These are just some of the cool ways that Outlook and SharePoint work together to provide you with a great solution for managing and editing shared documents. Stay tuned – in future posts we’ll discuss integration with SharePoint Calendars, Discussion Lists, and Contacts.
Outlook Software Design Engineer in Test&
Outlook Program Manager
More info on Outlook and SharePoint integration:
Synchronize SharePoint 2010 content with Outlook 2010
Very nice, I hear V.Next will be even better ;-)
That is great functionality there. I'm currently deploying exactly this (Exchange 2007, Outlook 2007, MOSS 2007) - but these lists fail to synchronize with error 302 when the client works with outlook anywhere. Is there a whitepaper or guideline how to configure ISA and MOSS so this works with Clients not inside the LAN or connected through VPN as well?
This is a great feature. Is it possible to filter by custome properties in Outlook. For instance, if I have a column 'foo' in my Sharepoint Document Library, can I Connect to Outlook and filter and/or sort by this column?
This doesn't seem to work with SharePoint services 2.0. There is no option to Connect to Outlook under Actions.
Do you have to have an exchange server to complete the sync...?
how can i open the public folder in share point ??
can i open other outlook folders e.g. a specific folder in share point ??
beautiful feature of adding SharePoint libraries to Outlook. Completely useless without being able to add a file to library from outlook. Why o why, you didn’t do that? Life will be heaven, if I didn’t have to open SP web interface to add files to it. Ahh well, we will continue to share files on \\machine\share for now.
Can you add inbox items from Outllo to Document library folder onto outllok 2007.
I able to see the existing items in Doc Libray onto the folder in Outlook though. Thanx
I have connected a MOSS 2007 discussion board list to Outlook 2007 per above Within MOSS I have configured the list above to have a custom mandatory metadata column called "question type" with following dropdown choices "General Question" or "Quality Issue" However, in Outlook, when my users click on the discussion board area and then click the "new post" button the form that comes up does not show the required "General Question" field for them to enter data. Does anyone know how to get custom fields in MOSS to show up when a user clicks "new post" to add an entry to the discussion board?
Thanks for the great tip. I am becoming fan of office products, especially, ability to sync with Sharepoint helps a team to be uptodate all the time. Have one question though,
I understand that Outlook 2007 allows publishing calendar events to Sharepoint calendar, however, it does not allow populating custom fields. For e.g. we have a shared calendar on sharepoint site, that takes care of resource reservation. On the calendar there is a field "Resource Name" a choice field. How do I get users select appropriate Resource name on their outlook 2007 screen. Any help will be really appreciated. -SMerchant
You said: "in future posts we’ll discuss integration with SharePoint Calendars, Discussion Lists, and Contacts." I am interested in integration between Outlook Business COntacts and SharePoint 2007. Any info on that?
Is there a widget available which allows for some of the features mentioned without upgrading to Outlook 2007? The features we are after are syncing calendars and dragging e-mails from outlook to Sharepoint to be tagged then filed?
Any thoughts on how to drag and drop a newly created document into the replicated dacument library in Outlook when working remotely? I know I can just e-mail enable the DL but is there another way? Thanks
does sharepoint online integrate with Outlook as well?
Does it still work like this if Outlook has an Oracle mail server backend?