Office and Exchange Integration
Seldom will SharePoint be used on its own. Indeed, it is highly likely that the
majority of installations will be within a Microsoft-centric communication
and collaboration environment that includes Office and Exchange. In such
an environment, Outlook will be the primary e-mail client, and Word, Excel,
and PowerPoint will also be heavily used. Of course, SharePoint is part of the
Office family, and it should come as no surprise that there are integration
points between it and the client side of Office 2007. Indeed, Outlook 2007
is known as a smart client to SharePoint. And we have already seen how e-
mail can be sent to SharePoint and how Exchange 2007’s managed e-mail
folders can be used to have e-mail filed in the records repository.
This chapter focuses on the integration features in the 2007 versions of
Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and InfoPath, as well as on how Outlook
Web Access 2007 can provide a vehicle for accessing SharePoint document
libraries. Note that the details provided here apply to the Professional and
Enterprise editions of the Office 2007 suite. Other versions of Office (2000,
XP, 2003) offer some level of integration, but the best experience is to be had
with Office 2007; see http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?Fam-
ilyID=e0d05a69-f67b-4d37-961e-2db3c4065cb9&DisplayLang=en for a
paper on the integration levels for these other Office versions and also some
information on what you lose if you use Office 2007 Standard edition.
9.1 Outlook 2007
There are four main integration points between SharePoint and Outlook
2007: lists, libraries, alerts, and meeting workspaces. The latter two are very
similar in function to Outlook 2003, so we will concentrate here on the
former two, which extend the utilization of SharePoint through offline access
to lists and libraries by synchronizing content into a special purpose PST
(personal storage) file. In Outlook 2003, a read-only copy of SharePoint
Event and Contacts lists can be taken offline into a special purpose PST file.
With Outlook 2007, we see the welcome addition of read and write access
176 9.1 Outlook 2007
and support for other list types that significantly enhance the value of your
SharePoint lists by making them accessible offline.
9.1.1 Synchronization Process
The first step in the synchronization process is to indicate that you want a list
to link to Outlook. If the list type is supported for synchronization, and an
ActiveX object called SharePoint.StssyncHandler (.2 or .3) can be created
within the current browser session, then the Connect To Outlook option will
appear in the Actions menu when viewing the list. The sync handler objects
are installed by Office 2003 and Office 2007, so clearly either Outlook 2003
or Outlook 2007 must be installed on the device on which you are running
your browser. The first time a user takes this option a check is made to see
whether Outlook is enabled for SharePoint integration and, if so, a special
kind of PST file is created. By default it is enabled, but this can be controlled
via Group Policy. Indeed, a few options can be configured, including pre-
populating lists that should be synchronized. The best way to see which
options are available is to download the Office 12 Administration Templates
from the Office 12 Resource Kit and load them into the group policy editor,
as shown in Figure 9.1. As you can see you can control the synchronization
frequency, switch on logging, and so on.
The PST file—by default called SharePoint Lists.pst in Outlook 2007
and SharePoint Folders.pst in Outlook 2003—is created in the users Win-
dows profile, and individual folders are created for each list that should be
synchronized. Even though the data is held in a PST, the URLs to the lists
are also held in the users’ mailbox. Why? Outlook 2007 has introduced the
capability to have your RSS, Internet calendar, and SharePoint list registra-
tions roam with you, should you so wish. This means that if you have to cre-
ate a new messaging profile (perhaps you get a new device or your mailbox
Figure 9.1
Group policy
settings for

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