Work offline with SharePoint Workspace 2010

 Jan 06, 2014

If you are a SharePoint site member or a site owner who occasionally works from home, you may find it difficult to maintain a site or a library up to date simply because you don’t have access to the site from home. Chances are you aren’t aware that you can do almost everything you normally would do to update a site or one of its components, without being connected to your organisation’s SharePoint. With SharePoint Workspace 2010, you can work offline and sync all your files later. The application allows you to take a copy of the site, list or library onto your laptop, work on it outside of the office and then bring it back to sync it to your SharePoint site. This synchronisation is two-way or bi-directional, meaning that changes made on your computer are uploaded to the server, and changes made on the server while you were away are downloaded to your computer. Since only the changes to a file or list are synchronised, rather than the entire file or list, it will be fast and efficient. One thing to note is that to be able to view the copied component, you must have SharePoint Workspace 2010 installed on your machine, and you must be running Microsoft Office Suite 2010. SharePoint Workspace 2010 is an application similar to any other Office 2010 application which is ribbon driven.  In the application, you’re able to view, setup and configure items that you have copied.

How to use SharePoint Workspace 2010

  1. In SharePoint, click ‘Sync to Workspace’ located on your ribbon. This will indicate that you want to copy a list or library.
  2. Alternatively, you can copy an entire site from through Site Actions > Site Settings > Sync to SharePoint Workspace.
  3. Once the component is copied, view it in SharePoint Workspace 2010.
When you’re away from the office, work on the copied items in SharePoint Workspace. Almost all of the functionalities that you normally have in SharePoint will be available. Most types of columns, metadata, content types, and list views are also supported. When you take your laptop back to work and link it to your network, the synchronisation occurs, and you’ll be up-to-date both in SharePoint and SharePoint Workspace. If another user made changes to the same component and conflict occurs with the files, you can easily fix this with the ‘Conflict Resolution’ dialog box. All changes by other users will be picked up SharePoint Workspace the moment you connect to your network and sync the files. Remember, while it is a great tool that you can use, there are some limitations when working with SharePoint content from within SharePoint Workspace 2010. For example, the total number of files you can store is 10000; you cannot create a new site, list or library and calendars, wiki pages and surveys are not supported. Click here to view a list of other limitations to SharePoint Workspace 2010.

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About the Author:

Cyrus Mohseni  

Having worked within the education and training industry for over 15 years as well as the IT industry for 10 years, Cyrus brings to New Horizons a wealth of experience and skill. Throughout his career he has been involved in the development and facilitation of numerous training programs aimed at providing individuals with the skills they require to achieve formal qualification status. Cyrus is a uniquely capable trainer who possesses the ability to connect with students at all levels of skill and experience.

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