I find that many people have deployed Sharepoint but have not fully integrated it with their Outlook client. My advice would be to start integrating the various technologies to make the end-user productivity improve. Here are some links that might help educate on this topic.
These sites offer some general information about connecting Outlook to Sharepoint.
- SharePoint and Outlook – The Perfect Link – http://blogs.msdn.com/outlook/archive/2007/09/28/sharepoint-outlook-the-perfect-link.aspx
- Outlook as a SharePoint client, online and offline – http://www.toddklindt.com/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=61
Within your Outlook Calendar, you can view and update a SharePoint calendar, set it side-by-side, view an overlay of the calendars, and even copy events between the calendars.
- View and update a SharePoint calendar – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA100819871033.aspx
- Integrating SharePoint and Outlook 2007 – http://www.outlookexchange.com/articles/JasonSherry/sherry_c24p1.asp
- Edit an appointment on a SharePoint calendar by using Outlook – http://office.microsoft.com/download/afile.aspx?AssetID=AM103338851033
- Demo: Work with SharePoint calendars in Outlook 2007 – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA102433791033.aspx
You can also add and remove Sharepoint contacts to your Outlook.
- Work with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services contacts – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA100820471033.aspx
- Contacts in Outlook and SharePoint – http://www.sytone.com/2009/03/10/contacts
If you spend a lot of time working with e-mail, you may find it easier to work with a tasks list from a SharePoint site directly in Office Outlook 2007, instead of switching to your site in a Web browser. Within Outlook, you can track, update or categorize a task and even drag or copy tasks back and forth between the folders for Outlook and the SharePoint site.
- View and create tasks on a SharePoint site by using Outlook – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA100820301033.aspx
- Tasks and Time Management in Outlook – http://blogs.msdn.com/melissamacbeth/archive/2006/03/21/557531.aspx
- Use SharePoint Tasks to Manage Meeting Actions – http://blogs.msdn.com/ianpal/archive/2009/03/02/use-sharepoint-tasks-to-manage-meeting-actions.aspx
- Respond to a task from a SharePoint site – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA101054441033.aspx
Once you connect your SharePoint library to Outlook, you can browse for and view the file just as you would an e-mail message, without leaving Outlook. Working with files from your SharePoint site in Outlook is best for browsing through and editing routine files that you store in a document library, such as documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. More complex data operations, such as working with custom lists or updating database applications, are better handled directly on the SharePoint site. You can also take the files offline to work on them. When you get back to the office, you can update the versions on your SharePoint site. Your changes to a file are not updated automatically on the server while you edit and save the file. This enables you to work more quickly with offline files, because your computer does not need to connect to the server while you are working. When you close a file, you are prompted to update the changes on the server. Only the changes that you made to specific files are updated, which means that Outlook does not have to synchronize the whole library again with the server.
- Open, edit, and update files from a SharePoint site – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA100819571033.aspx
- Search for items or files in a SharePoint list or library – http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA101045591033.aspx?pid=CH101032731033
- Taking SharePoint Files Offline – http://blogs.technet.com/collaboration/archive/2008/09/19/taking-sharepoint-files-offline-when-to-use-outlook-2007-groove-2007-and-or-onenote-2007.aspx
If you find that your interaction with Outlook and Sharepoint is not working as you would expect it, you could try enabling logging on the Outlook client to see if you can identify an error. To enable logging in Outlook 2007, edit the following registry value:
RegDWORD: EnableWSSSyncLogging – Set to a value of 1 to enable (0 to disable)
Once enabled, restart Outlook and try the interaction activity that you are trying to complete between Sharepoint & Outlook. Then look for wss-sync-log.htm logs on the client (%temp%).
As for understanding the logs, that might be another blog topic.
Well, that pretty much sums up the basics for Outlook integration with Sharepoint.