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Using Office applications with SharePoint 2013 : Integrating Outlook with SharePoint

4/20/2014 3:24:50 AM
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The integration of Outlook with SharePoint enhances collaboration and information sharing within your organization. Outlook enables users to access and update content, as well as share information within SharePoint across multiple sites. Users can maintain shared items from calendars, contacts, and tasks lists, in addition to searching, previewing, and editing documents from within Outlook. Outlook also enables users to receive updates and notifications about changes that occur within SharePoint in two ways:

  • RSS feeds allow users to subscribe to a list, so that when changes occur in a SharePoint list or library, they receive periodic feeds right to Outlook.

  • The alert notification features of SharePoint are another powerful way that users can be kept up to date on any content changes within SharePoint. Alerts are much more configurable, and you can receive them at specific times or intervals. You can choose to be notified of any changes that may have occurred within a specific area of SharePoint. The alerts can be modified to deliver a more granular layer of detail so that you are not inundated with alerts.

To connect calendar, contacts, tasks, or a library to Outlook, use the Connect To Outlook command on the List or Library tab, in the Connect & Export group, as shown in Figure 1.

A screenshot of the List tab.

Figure 1. Use Sync To Outlook to view the contents of tasks, calendar, contacts lists, or libraries with Outlook.

Task synchronization in SharePoint Server 2013

To sync tasks between SharePoint and a user’s inbox, and to work with them anywhere and have them also appear under Newsfeed in a user’s My Site, their mailboxes must be on a server running Microsoft Exchange Server 2013.

Once connected to Outlook, users can share information throughout the organization from within Outlook or SharePoint. In Outlook, connected libraries can be found below SharePoint Lists, as shown in Figure 2. Calendar lists are displayed under Other Calendars in the calendar navigation pane, contact lists are displayed under Other Contacts, and task lists will be listed on the Tasks navigation pane under Other Tasks.

A screenshot of Outlook with a Visio file selected in the document library and the preview of the contents of the Visio file displayed.

Figure 2. Within Outlook, you can see the files stored within a library and a preview of the contents of the file.

Outlook users can access connected lists and libraries, the contents of which can be taken offline and updated when the Send/Receive command is run. New files added to a SharePoint folder that is connected to your Outlook should download automatically. If they do not, you can download a file from a SharePoint library into Outlook by performing the following steps:

  1. In Outlook, select the SharePoint list connected with Outlook that contains the file that you want to download.

  2. In the SharePoint Library Folder message list, in the Available For Download group, right-click the file that you want to download.

    If you would like to download multiple files at once, you can also hold down the Ctrl key as you select the files you’d like to download.

  3. Select Mark To Download on the Send/Receive tab in the Server group.

    If you have a connection to the server, the file will be downloaded. If file does not download, click Send/Receive.

With connected calendar lists, users can view an overlay of the calendars for an all-encompassing view of event information. Users can connect to and view multiple calendars simultaneously to check for possible event conflicts, allowing for greater control over their schedules. This feature also assists managers in proper resource scheduling and planning by avoiding overbooking people.

If you no longer want a SharePoint list or library connected to Outlook, navigate to where you can see the list or library in Outlook, right-click the list or library, and then select, for example, Delete Folder. The list or library will no longer appear in Outlook but will still exist within the SharePoint site.

 
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