Friday, June 4, 2010

Co-authoring documents with SharePoint 2010

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One of the major reasons for implementing SharePoint 2010 is that, combined with Office 2010, you can do something called co-authoring. This means that two (or more) people can be working on the same file TOGETHER! Thus, no more locked files and waiting for the other person to save and make it available.

 

As you can see in the above screen shot here I am co-authoring a Word document saved on a SharePoint 2010 Foundation server. When two people access the same file and place it in edit mode you’ll see a little people icon in the lower left of the screen indicating multiple access. If you click on that icon you’ll see a list of people currently co-authoring the document.

 

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If you also combine Office Communications Server you can chat or even speak with this person directly. Imagine how much better that would be than emailing a document back and forth. Also imagine how well this will work across the Internet using something like Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) when this features becomes available soon.

 

You’ll also note that document shows the edits the other person is making live. In the above screen shot you are looking at user Robert Crane and can see that the administrator user is making changes to a paragraph. These are almost real time (depending on your connection speed to SharePoint 2010).

 

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When changes are saved to the document by others they show up marked in green like for you, so:

 

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As you save the document your changes are also committed to the document and you receive any saved updates by other users. No more attachments necessary, as the file lives on SharePoint.

 

There are plenty of features and abilities with this co-authoring of Office 2010 and SharePoint. Best of all it is available across the whole Office 2010 application range. I can tell you that in OneNote 2010 this is absolutely brilliant, making a great product even better. It actually turns out that this co-authoring concept came from what previous versions of OneNote could do with SharePoint. As I have said before, OneNote is really THE killer app for SharePoint and now it is available in every version of Office 2010 so how can you afford to ignore it?

 

If you haven’t given co-authoring, or OneNote for that matter, a try then I suggest you do.