Outlook and SharePoint integration
There are several integration points between Outlook 2003 and SharePoint (both Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Server 2003). Here they are:
You can synchronize your data in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with data from Windows SharePoint Services, so you can keep a local copy of the team calendars from your team's SharePoint site. Calendar synchronization with Outlook 2003 only works in one direction — from Windows SharePoint Services to Outlook 2003. After you synchronize your Outlook calendar with a team calendar on a SharePoint site, you can work offline and view the synchronized data side-by-side with other personal calendars or shared calendars. Windows SharePoint Services automatically updates the synchronized data in Outlook 2003 when you connect to the SharePoint site, so your calendar data stays current. This feature can help you be more productive, especially if you are a mobile user.
You can synchronize your data in Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 with data from Windows SharePoint Services, so you can keep a local copy of the contact lists from your team's SharePoint site. You can quickly create a contact list in Windows SharePoint Services by importing contacts from the global address list in Outlook.
Document Workspace Sites
When an Outlook 2003 user sends a file attachment Outlook offers the opportunity to create a related Document Workspace site on a server running Windows SharePoint Services. The site-creation process is transparent to the sender of the document. Outlook names the site after the document, adds the sender to the Administrator site group, adds the recipients to the Contributor site group, and uploads file attachments to the site.
Meeting Workspace Sites
When an Outlook 2003 user creates a meeting request, Outlook offers the opportunity to create a related Meeting Workspace site on a server running Windows SharePoint Services. The site-creation process is transparent to the sender of the meeting request. Outlook names the site after the meeting, adds the sender to the Administrator site group, adds the recipients to the Contributor site group, and uploads the meeting details to the site.
File Open and Save Integration
You can use the File menu in Outlook 2003 to save files to SharePoint sites and open files from SharePoint sites. Windows SharePoint Services can search the contents of Office document files, so you can easily find Office documents stored on Windows SharePoint Services sites.
Windows SharePoint Services uses Alerts to notify you about important events and changes to the SharePoint site. For example, you can choose to be informed by e-mail when a document is published to your team document library. These e-mail alert messages have special headers to inform Outlook 2003 that they are Alerts from Windows SharePoint Services. You can now use a single user interface in the Rules and Alerts dialog box to manage Alerts from different SharePoint sites. You can use the inbox rules in Outlook 2003 to tell Outlook 2003 how to handle Alerts. For example, you can choose to move Alerts to a special folder, forward them to a mobile device, or store them in a file. To add alerts, you must be a member of a site group with the View Items right for that SharePoint site.
Outlook Today is a page that displays information about your Inbox, Calendar, and Tasks folders when you click the top-level folder of the hierarchy that contains your Inbox. An organization using SharePoint can replace the built-in Outlook Today page with a home page of a departmental Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services site or a corporate SharePoint Portal Server 2003 portal site page.
Creating SharePoint lists from Outlook data
If you export data from an Outlook folder to an Excel worksheet .xls file, SharePoint can use this file to create a new list with a column for each column in the worksheet. If the imported data includes date fields, you can display the SharePoint list in a calendar view.
The integration only gets better between Outlook 2007 and SharePoint Server 2007. In addition to all the items above, you also get:
Bi-directional Synchronization of Items
With Office Outlook 2007 you can fully interact with information stored in SharePoint anywhere, anytime. You can connect SharePoint calendars, contacts, or tasks with Office Outlook 2007 and have editing capabilities, knowing that any changes you make to the information stored in Outlook 2007 can be reflected in the server version.
You can now also synchronize your Document Libraries with Outlook 2007, making it possible to take your documents offline in Outlook. Please note that you cannot modify these cached documents in Outlook. For bi-directional synchronization of offline documents and SharePoint, you will need the new Office Groove 2007 application.
Work with RSS Subscriptions from within Office Outlook 2007, including the RSS feeds provided automatically by SharePoint 2007. You can now fully subscribe to and interact with Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds right from Office Outlook 2007, the most natural place to manage this kind of information. It’s easy to get started adding RSS feeds using the RSS Subscriptions home page within Office Outlook 2007.
Outlook 2007 and SharePoint Server 2007 are still in early beta stage. We'll probably see more details and documentation become available as we reach Beta 2 and beyond. Check the preliminary information about these products at: