The following is a comprehensive but not necessarily complete list of the functions gained by having Outlook 2007 with Sharepoint 2007;

Ability to take SharePoint content offline:  document libraries, contacts, calendars, and tasks·         Ability to overlay SharePoint calendars with other calendars (people, resources, etc.) and fully edit the calendar in Outlook, including offline·         Ability to send an HTML email version of a SharePoint calendar to anyone, including outside the organization·         Ability to send InfoPath electronic forms via Outlook as an email.  Results can be stored in SharePoint.  Drops-downs can also be fed from SharePoint.·         Ability to have tasks from OneNote, SharePoint, and Project Server consolidate inside of Outlook·         Ability to approve tasks/workflows right from Outlook without having to open SharePoint or the Office content·         Records management for email messages (assuming Exchange 2007 is installed) and the ability to integrate those emails with SharePoint’s record management capabilities·         RSS reader – all SharePoint content is available via RSS feeds, Outlook 2007 has an integrated RSS reader·         From SharePoint, people can now e-mail a link directly to a document/file.  When the user clicks on the link, the document will open in read mode and a button will appear telling the user they can edit it or check it out to make changes.  This allows sending a link for both read and edit purposes.   

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 helps organizations provide business intelligence (BI) capabilities to every employee so they can share, control, and reuse business information to make better business decisions. The BI features in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 provide Web and programmatic access to published Office Excel spreadsheets, programmatic reuse of critical LOB data, and easy development of Web-based BI dashboards that can incorporate rich, data-bound KPIs, Web Parts, and published spreadsheets.

Top Features at A Glance:

  • Web Access to Published Spreadsheets
  • Integrated, Flexible Publishing
  • Programmatic Access to Published Spreadsheets
  • Data Connection Libraries
  • Business Data Catalog
  • Business Data SharePoint Lists and Web Parts
  • Business Data Actions
  • Data Connection Libraries
  • KPIs/Dashboards
  • Report Center Web Sites
  • Excel Services Management
  • BI Web-Parts
  • Server-based Excel spreadsheets and data visualization

For the first time ever, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 enables users to create forms, populate them with data from business applications, publish them on the Web, and initiate document-oriented workflows – all that directly from their familiar Microsoft Office user interface or from within their Internet Browser.

Top Features at A Glance:

  • Deploy and manage forms centrally
  • Integrate forms with Outlook 2007
  • Import forms· Digitally sign forms
  • Create forms without coding
  • Integration with business applications

The new and enhanced content management capabilities in MS Office SharePoint Server 2007 comprise three areas:

  • Document Management
  • Records Management
  • Web Content Management

Windows SharePoint Services provides core document management functionality: major and minor versioning, check-in/check-out document locking, rich descriptive metadata, workflow, content type–based policies, auditing, and role-based-access controls at the document library, folder, and individual document levels.

Office SharePoint Server 2007 builds on these capabilities to deliver enhanced authoring, business document processing, Web content management and publishing, records management, policy management, and support for multilingual publishing.

Top Features at A Glance:

  • Web content editor and in-context authoring
  • Authoring processes (traditional)
  • Enterprise-wide layout templates
  • Scalability
  • Integration with business applications
  • Enterprise-wide metadata management
  • Enterprise-wide templates for all types of content
  • Integration with Office 2007 through a task bar and information panel
  • Version control, check-in/check-out
  • Document workflows (to be customized with MS Office SharePoint Designer)
  • Integration with business applications
  • Tamperproof repository storage
  • Integration of  “e-mails as records”
  • Policy definition and monitoring/auditing

The portal components of Office SharePoint Server 2007 include features that are especially useful for designing, deploying, and managing enterprise intranet portals, corporate Internet presence Web sites, and divisional portal sites.

The portal components also make it easy to connect to people within the organization that have the right skills, knowledge, and project experience. Office SharePoint Server 2007 simplifies the way in which people work together and this is one of the key elements for me. People hold the key to success in many organisations and not just because of what they know but also because who they know and how to go about getting things done!

Top Features at A Glance:

  • Enterprise Portal templates· Site Directory
  • My Site Personal Sites
  • Privacy Controls· Social Networking
  • Portal Site Templates
  • Site Manager
  • SharePoint Sites and Documents Roll-up Web Part
  • Colleagues and Memberships Web Parts
  • Real-Time Presence and Communication
  • LDAP Pluggable Authentication Provider
  • User Profiles· Profile Store
  • Profile Synchronization
  • Profile Directory Import
  • Audience Targeting
  • Mobile Device Support

Windows SharePoint Services

December 4, 2006

Windows SharePoint Services builds on the operating system and database services to support requirements ranging from a team site for a workgroup, to large enterprise portal solutions serving over 100,000 employees and staff (such as Office SharePoint Server 2007), to a corporate Internet portal supporting millions of users.

Windows SharePoint Services platform services provide the following security-enhanced, scalable, reliable, high-performance capabilities:

  • Storage
  • Management
  • Deployment
  • Site Model
  • Extensibility
  • Security

I fequently get asked about the key component characteristics of our Communication and Collaboration tools as people enter into the lifecycle of product analysis and evaluation with a certain job in mind. I have decided to run a number of short posts that will detail the main themes or challenges that are met by Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS) in order to satisfy many of these requests. So here goes # 1; 

With Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, it is all about finding, retrieving, managing and collaborating with information and content. . Microsoft SharePoint Technologies provides organizations with one single, integrated platform to support all intranets (including team and individual sites), extranets and Web applications across your enterprise.Whether content management and search features, business forms and business intelligence, or collaboration and portal functionality – from now on, you can manage and use it all across all of your enterprise’s systems and business units from within the familiar Microsoft Office GUI.

Top Features for collaborations at A Glance:

  • LDAP integration and support for other authentication providers
  • Offline access to all lists and document libraries
  • Knowledge management tools for networking and knowledge sharing
  • My Websites: personalized GUI with an individual website for each user
  • Blogs, Wikis, e-mail integration
  • Project management “lite”
  • Offline documents/lists
  • Outlook Integration

The element of Microsoft Office System 2007 that i am responsible for  includes features geared towards collaboration and data sharing. As such, Microsoft Office 2007 features server components for applications such as Excel, which work in conjunction with Windows Sharepoint Services, to provide a collaboration platform. SharePoint works with Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, which is used to host a SharePoint site. Excel server exposes Excel Services, which allows any worksheet to be created, edited and maintained via web browsers. it features Excel Web Access, the client-side component (see earlier post on the differences in the Office SKU’s) which is used to render the workseet on a browser, Excel Calculation Service which is the server side component which populates the worksheet with data and perform calculations, and Excel Web Service that exposes Excel functionalities as individual web services. Sharepoint can also be used to host Word documents for collaborative editing, by sharing a document. SharePoint can also be used to hold PowerPoint slides in a Slide Library, from which the slides can be used as a formatting template. It will also notify users of a slide automatically in case the source slide is modified. Also by using SharePoint, Powerpoint can manage shared review of presentations. Any SharePoint hosted document can be accessed from the application which created the document or from other applications such as a browser of Microsoft Office Outlook.

Microsoft Office 2007 also includes Groove, which brings collaborative features to a peer-to-peer paradigm. Groove can host documents, including presentations, workbooks and others, created in Microsoft Office 2007 application in a shared workspace, which can then be used in collaborative editing of documents. Groove can also be used in managing workspace sessions, including access control of the workspace. To collaborate on one or more documents, a Workspace has to be created, and then those who are to work on it have to be invited. Any file shared on the workspace are automatically shared among all participants. The application also provides real-time messaging, including one-to-one as well as group messaging, and presence features, as well as monitoring workspace activities with alerts, which are raised when pre-defined set of activities are detected. Groove also provides features for conflict resolution for conflicting edits. Schedules for a collaboration can also be decided by using a built-in shared calendar, which can also be used to keep track of the progress of a project. However, the calendar is not compatible with Microsoft Outlook.

The 2007 Microsoft Office System, also known as Microsoft Office 2007, is the most recent version of our productivity suite. Formerly known as Office 12 in the initial stages of the beta cycle, we are scheduled to be make the suite available to volume license customers on November 30, 2006, with general availability following in early 2007. Office 2007 contains a number of new features, the most notable of which on the surface of it is the entirely new graphical user interface called the Ribbon, replacing the menus and toolbars that have been the cornerstone of Office since its inception.

Office 2007 also includes new applications and server-side tools which is where the real changes have been made. Chief amongst these is Groove, a collaboration and communication suite which was originally developed by Groove Networks before being acquired by Microsoft in 2005. Also included is Office Sharepoint Server 2007, a major revision to the server platform for Office applications, which supports “Excel Services”, a client-server architecture for supporting Excel workbooks that are shared in real time between multiple machines, and are also viewable and editable through a web page.

My earlier posts on the the Versions and SKU’s covers the capabilities in more detail and details the main solution areas we address such as Content Management, Enterprise Project Management, Business Inteligence and Electroinc forms and Automated workflow.

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It was announced yesterday that the Office team has completed its development work on the 2007 Microsoft Office system – our most important release of Microsoft Office in more than a decade. 

The release of the 2007 Microsoft Office system is a milestone event for the Microsoft Business Division and Microsoft. It is the most significant release of the Office system since Office 95 in terms of its scope, the level of deep customer research conducted to help our users get better results faster, and the user feedback we received to improve it.  Over 3.5 million beta testers and data from nearly 150 million user sessions helped shape and strengthen this release.  Simply put, the 2007 Microsoft Office system ushers in an enormous opportunity to help information workers be more productive everywhere. It will be available to our volume license business customers later this month and will be broadly available to consumers early next calendar year.  As you know, we will soon release Windows Vista and Exchange Server 2007. In combination with the 2007 Microsoft Office system, these products are nothing short of breakthrough – their combined innovations will amplify the impact of people everywhere. Beginning later this month we’ll be launching them to our business customers through an orchestrated wave of over 250 business availability events. Please visit the business value launch homepage today to learn more.   

There has been tremendous internal adoption of our earlier betas – over 53,000 Microsoft machines are running pre-release versions of Office today.

On December 5th we are seeing the Launch event to our business comunity in the UK of Exchange, Vista and Office 2007 which stands to be an awesome event with some great speakers.