Better with Office – introduction

SharePoint is part of the Microsoft product stack. This doesn’t mean that it’s just another item on a Microsoft price list. What it means is that it’s designed to work with the other products Microsoft produces. In other posts, I’ve talked about using InfoPath and SharePoint together, but that’s not where it ends. There’s a lot of integration between SharePoint and Outlook, particularly synchronising lists, forums and document libraries so that you can view things offline, see changes or submit new items via email. There are case studies that show SharePoint working alongside Project or the Dynamics products to deliver valuable solutions. There’s a SQL reporting add-in. There’s a connector to BizTalk Server. The integration with Office Communication Server leads to great Unified Communication solutions.

SharePoint has been designed and tested alongside these various products and gives a great integration story.

What I’m going to focus on though is how SharePoint works with Office 2007. SharePoint can be used as a document management solution for all kinds of files, regardless of the program they’re created in. SharePoint’s document management capabilities can be applied to any files, whether they’re InfoPath forms, PDF files, OpenOffice documents, videos or whatever your company happens to deal in. But when you’re using Microsoft Office 2007, those capabilities come out of SharePoint and are presented to your users through the Office client.

Over the next few posts, I’m going to go into some of the features of SharePoint which can be presented to end users through the various Office programs. I’m going to talk about metadata, versioning, workflows, document workspaces, data connection libraries and slide libraries.

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