If you have worked with SharePoint, lists are one of the most important features. Unfortunately, creating and editing lists through the Web UI is something of a pain in the arse. Excel, on the other hand, can do just about anything with tables (nee lists) short of washing dishes with them. It is with great joy, then, that I see the following on the SharePoint Blog.
In Excel 2003, you can connect to (read from) and update (write to) lists that reside on SharePoint (WSS 2.0 or WSS 3.0) sites. This allows you to keep the information in your Excel 2003 tables synchronized with the information that appears on the SharePoint site.
In Excel 2007, the ability to update the information in SharePoint lists from Excel is deprecated. Instead, Access 2007 is the recommended platform for writing data to SharePoint lists and for using lists offline. Unfortunately, this upset many Excel 2003 users to the point of being unwilling to upgrade to Excel 2007.
Specifically, in Excel 2007, the ability to update SharePoint lists changed in the following ways:
- Existing files from Excel 2003 load and continue to support update functionality when opened in Excel 2007.
- Lists that link to a SharePoint site are converted to read-only tables when you save existing files to the new Open XML file formats.
- It is still possible to publish a table to SharePoint lists; however, this is a one-time write operation to SharePoint.
The good news is that an Excel 2007 Add-in for Synchronizing Tables with SharePoint Lists has just been released by Microsoft! This add-in allows you to publish a read-write list to a SharePoint list. However, the trade-off is that that you cannot save the workbook in the new Office Open XML Formats. Instead, to retain the functionality, you need to save the workbook in the Excel 97-2003 (Biff8) file format.
For more information, go here.