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Leveraging SharePoint Workspace and Groove with your SharePoint 2010



So I get questions all the time about SharePoint Workspace 2010, and Groove 2010.  Many of my clients do not know it even exists, or that they have it.  OUCH, worst of all we do know, but don’t use it because we do not understand its abilities.

This is like owning a Ferrari and never taking it out of the garage, this is like dating a Super Model, but never being seen with her.  No one will believe you….LOL

So let’s take the mystic out of the solutions and give you some real world application.  Project Management.  So everyone knows a PM that seems deathly afraid of SharePoint, or just plain won’t use it.  Suck it up, here is a tool they can use…..and yes it uses SharePoint……DON’T TELL THEM

  So how to use it.  Here is some simple tips.

Connect to Entire Site to SharePoint Workspace

  1. Navigate to the SharePoint site (site) that you wish to sync to.

  2. Go to “Site Actions” > select “Sync to SharePoint Workspace”

  3. If prompted, select “Allow”

  4. A dialogue box will display showing the download status of each workspace.

  5. Press “Open Workspace”

  6. Once the entire site has been synced the site will appear as a SharePoint Workspace in your launch bar. Note the following:

  7. You will only have document libraries and lists available that you have permissions on SharePoint to access.

  8. This method will download a local synced copy of everything on that site, so do not use this method to sync to large site. Wikis, calendars and surveys cannot be synced to SharePoint Workspaces.

Connect a List/Library to SharePoint Workspace

  1. Navigate to the library that you want to sync and click on “Library” in the ribbon area.

  2. Select “Sync to SharePoint Workspaces” in the ribbon

  3. If prompted, select “Allow”

  4. SharePoint Workspace will appear in your docking station and only be synced to the library or list that you connected to.

From SharePoint Workspace connect to SharePoint

  1. Go to “New” and select “SharePoint Workspaces”

  2. Cut and paste the URL of the site you want to connect to and press “OK”

  3. After you press “OK” a dialogue box will appear indicating that it is syncing to the SharePoint Workspace.

Opening a Document In SharePoint Workspaces

Just like previously, you can either navigate to the SharePoint site to open your document or you can double click on the file in SharePoint Workspace to begin editing the document.

Top Errors Experienced with SharePoint Workspaces

  1. Wrong Username or Password. When you first connect to a SharePoint Workspace it will prompt you for your SharePoint username and password. If you enter that information incorrectly, it will not prompt you again. Workspace will error and not connect to any of the Workspaces on that site collection. To correct the problem, you must entirely exit from SharePoint Workspaces (including in the status bar).

  2. Large Download. If you download a more than 500 files into SharePoint Workspaces, you will experience slowness, erroring and even freezing. Remember that SharePoint Workspaces should only be used to locally sync files that you want to edit offline, not as a local copy of the entire file server.

  3. No File Title. Files are copied over without any title in the properties of the file. Therefore, when someone goes to open the file in SharePoint, they are prompted to enter all the required fields. Go to Edit > Properties and enter a title for the file.

  4. Illegal Filename. Files that do not follow SharePoint naming conventions will not be copied to SharePoint workspaces. / \ : * ? ” <> | # <TAB> {} % ~ & – I are all illegal characters for filenames.

Limitations of SharePoint WorkspaceSync to SharePoint Workspace…well that button in your Ribbon it is not compatible with any browser other than IE…so Firefox gets it greyed out just like Connect to Office….sorry…

FEATURE.Key limitation you are going to hit is custom lists and libraries.  Yep it work great OOB, but generally is a Pain in the A%#$ with customizations.Second and this is big, is limitations with some list and library types in general.  It does not support all the SharePoint 2010 default libraries and lists. “Calendar..NO, Site Pages..NO, Tasks..yes but you have Manually Connect to Server.Lastly and this is big, is your USER.  Yep remember all those pesky errors I discussed above, mostly those exist due to User Error. PEBCAK.


I dig the functionality of this once you get running for your sites, and start using it.



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