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In SharePoint 2010 Getting Started, author Simon Allardice walks through the first few hours a new user will spend with SharePoint working with Web sites, communities, content, and search. This course covers creating and using SharePoint sites, lists and libraries, how SharePoint streamlines teamwork, Office integration, and solutions for workflows and business intelligence.
These days, a lot of us have multiple machines to do our work. We have Desktops. We have Laptops. You often need to take your Laptop with you on a business trip or with client appointments or off-site meetings. Well, if you needed to be always connected to the SharePoint Server, that can be a problem, particularly if you don't know how reliable your Internet connection is going to be. Well, it's a problem that SharePoint Workspace is designed to solve. SharePoint Workspace is an Office Application. You'll actually find it under the Microsoft Office section.
However, that's not necessarily the way that you work with it all of the time. Most typically, what you do with SharePoint Workspace is in response to a certain problem. You're looking say at a Document Library, and you're thinking, well, I'm about to leave for a business trip, but I know that I want to work on three of these documents while I'm away. Well, one thing you could do is using the ability to connect this Library to Outlook. That would give you some offline capabilities, but the more typical way with this Version is to Sync to SharePoint Workspace.
SharePoint Workspace 2010 is a new product. It's the first time that's been a product called SharePoint Workspace, although it was previously called Groove. The whole reason for this application is to give you offline copies of SharePoint content, offline copies of the content that otherwise would only be available online. So I'm going to click OK to answer this. It's going to open up SharePoint Workspace and download copies of those documents. In fact, in other senses you can often connect an entire site to SharePoint Workspace. I'll click Close.
Close this down. Now if I were on a laptop, I could right now disconnect from the network and walk away. I could get on a plane, and think okay, I don't have access to the Internet, but that doesn't matter, because I can go to my Microsoft Office, open up SharePoint Workspace. It would give me what's called the Launch Bar. It says, right now you're synched to one place, the Example Team Site. If I double-click that, it opens up this Workspace window that tells me these are the documents that I know about.
Now because I am still connected to the server, it's also telling me that right now available on the server is all this other content as well. But it would work as an offline feature. So you choose which Libraries on which Sites that you want to sync and SharePoint Workspace takes care of the rest of it. I could then open one of these documents. Make a change to it. The next time I hook up to the network, SharePoint Workspace will detect that and push back my changes. If you have large amounts of content, it's a great thing that SharePoint Workspace gets integrated with your Search Engine on your Windows machine.
Now this is a very specific solution to a very specific problem. Not everyone will need SharePoint Workspace. But if you do need to be mobile and disconnected, it lets you still work with SharePoint without having to worry about manually making sure everything is up-to-date.
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