Overview of Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Outlook 2007

Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 enable people to share information and work together on tasks and projects. By using Office Outlook 2007, you can access a variety of collaborative areas in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 that enable you to start discussions, share calendars, update common contact lists, maintain version control over jointly authored documents, and more.

The following table shows the features that Outlook offers for personal information management and the corresponding SharePoint features that provide sharing across an organization.

Outlook feature

SharePoint feature

My Calendar


My Documents

Document Libraries


Discussion Boards

Address Book/Contacts

Contact Lists


Task Lists

Learn more about these features below.

New features in Office Outlook 2007

What is new in Calendars

What is new in Online discussions

What is new in Contacts

What is new in Tasks

What is new in document sharing

What is new in Calendars

By using the new calendar features, you can keep shared calendars updated and discoverable.

  • Calendar overlay     View personal calendars and SharePoint calendars simultaneously in the new overlay view in Outlook. Manage your own meetings and appointments in the context of a project's larger goals without extra steps. Vacation calendars and conference schedules are more examples of shared calendars that can be overlaid in Outlook.

  • Shared calendars in Outlook     Connect to calendars on a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site and make changes to them. The Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site is automatically synchronized with your changes when Outlook next runs the Send/Receive command.

  • New Sharing Message capabilities     Sharing calendar content is now easier and faster. The integration of features from Outlook and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 makes sending a project schedule to employees as simple as composing a new mail message. Recipients can act upon the Sharing Message they receive by clicking the new Open this Calendar button included with the message. The Sharing Message feature can also be used with the other types of SharePoint lists and libraries, such as contacts, tasks, and discussion lists.

  • Deployment tools     IT administrators can seamlessly connect company-wide calendars and other SharePoint lists and libraries to Outlook with a variety of new tools.

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What is new in Online discussions

By using the new online discussions features, you can contribute to project discussions and stay current with the rest of the team or organization.

  • Use simplified subscription     Just click Connect to Outlook to switch from browsing a discussion in Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer to browsing it in the same application that you use for all your other mail. Because the Outlook offline copy of the discussion archive is stored on your local computer, it does not affect server mailbox quotas.

  • Search conversations between team members     Searchable discussion boards provide the ability to track and preserve information, processes, and solutions.

  • Contribute content from within Outlook     With Microsoft Office Word 2007 as the only e-mail editor for Outlook, you can communicate with a more professional look.

  • Keep replies to discussion threads in context     Discussions are shown as conversations so that you can browse the history behind a topic. Conversations are available even when you are offline.

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What is new in Contacts

By using the new features in Contacts, you can store, share, and manage contact lists.

  • SharePoint contacts available for your daily communications     Once you are connected to Outlook, the SharePoint contacts work just like your personal Outlook contacts. You can view, edit, print, and even telephone these contacts by using Microsoft Office Communicator. You can send them e-mail messages and meeting requests, and you can synchronize these contact lists with your Microsoft Windows Mobile device.

  • Extend the power of Outlook contacts     You can store more types of information in your SharePoint contacts after you connect them to Outlook. This includes color categories, multiple phone numbers, and three e-mail addresses per contact. A contact can also include contact photos, Electronic Business Cards, as well as birthday and anniversary information.

  • SharePoint contacts created and updated more efficiently     After your SharePoint contact list is created and connected to Outlook, there are several ways to update it. You can copy and paste contacts from your Outlook contacts folder, your company's employee list, a Microsoft Exchange public folder, or Microsoft Windows Live Mail. The Import and Export Wizard also allows you to import contacts stored in file formats such as those used by Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Microsoft Office Access 2007, Microsoft Outlook Express, and text files.

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What is new in Tasks

By using the new task-related features, you can track the status and history of team or project shared tasks.

  • SharePoint tasks are tracked the same way as Outlook tasks     Any SharePoint tasks assigned to you appear automatically in Office Outlook 2007 in the To-Do Bar as well as in the Daily Task List in Calendar.

  • Both managers and team members can update tasks     Managers can create and assign tasks to team members, and tasks can be reported on, updated, and marked complete by team members.

  • SharePoint task notifications are fully integrated with tasks and calendars     When Outlook saves a task to a SharePoint site, the task can be be added by team members to their individual To-Do Bars and Daily Task Lists. You can also choose settings to automatically generate notification e-mail and reminders.

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What is new in document sharing

By using the new features in document sharing, you can collect, preview, edit, and manage SharePoint documents from within Outlook.

  • Single point of access     If you use Outlook to search for a document, Outlook will search all the SharePoint documents that you are connected to and all e-mail attachments as well. Document previews enable you to browse through search results.

  • Faster editing     Opening and saving changes to SharePoint documents from Outlook is faster than before and can also be done when you are offline. SharePoint documents and folders that are connected to Outlook are synchronized in the background, so that copies of each are always available for editing on your local computer.

  • Preview and search capabilities     New attachment previewing and search features in Outlook also work for SharePoint documents.

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