A SharePoint adventure in "Publish Links to Office"

So I had a need to do a little thing such as get a link to a MOSS site to show up in the "My SharePoint Sites" Save-As dialog in Office. First, this wasn't a site that I was indexing so, I couldn't rely on it picking up the fact that I was a member and automatically putting it into My SharePoint Sites list on my My Site. So let the adventure begin...

First, it seemed innocent enough. If you go to the SSP that your My Site uses, there is an Admin option to configure "Published Links to Office client applications". I went there, added a new entry http://partners.litware.com and set it to have the team site icon. Note that you can leave the audience field blank which will push the link to everyone. Very cool. There are more details on these steps half way down the page at this link: http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2006/12/01/getting-started-with-personalization-in-moss-2007.aspx

My next step was to launch MS Word, go to the Save As dialog and click My SharePoint Sites. To my surprise the link wasn't there. Doh! First make sure you have visited your My Site and clicked the tab in the top-right corner to register the My Site with Office.

Also, it turns out Office client applications get this information by making a call to the web service and depending on the elapsed time, may not ask MOSS for an updated list of links. You can make Office forget it has a list by deleting this registry key (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Common\Portal\LinkPublishingTimestamp ) and restart your Office application. Don't worry, it will recreate it the next time you click the My SharePoint Sites option in the Save As dialog.

Still no luck in my environment. Are you also using Windows Server 2008 as your dev environment? If so, WebDav and other desktop stuff needed to make this work is not turned on by default! You need to add the "Desktop Experience" feature (which requires a reboot). More info here: http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/blogs/fromthefield/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=51

And then yes it will work. On an interesting note discovered why watching Word make these requests through Fiddler. After calling the web service, the Office client application then makes a HTTP request to each of the links that it is pulling down. If it is unreachable or you don't have access, Word will remove that link. So even if you setup everything right, you still might not see it. In my case, the site was being accessed through an ADFS authentication provider, not NTLM like I had hoped so it wasn't showing. After a quick Url change, everything was fine.

Like I said a very simple problem... Thanks to Chad Wach for going on the adventure with me!