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     Windows Vista, Office 2007, Exchange 2007 Launch tour Part IV
    PCs: All about your desktop and laptop
    In this portion of the Launch tour, we were able to have a look at SharePoint integration with Exchange 2007and Outlook 2007. Workflow coupled with Content Management has been a high concept since the mid 1990s. “Electronic workflow” was quite the buzz phrase at that time. The idea was that an application would maintain a central database with the status of a particular job. Most demonstrations involved a document review, such as a design document. Going through the workflow would route it to each person in the approval chain until the document was finally approved.

    The demonstration was done by Matt Bremer, a Microsoft Software engineering team leader and Jeanne Paschang, a technology specialist for Microsoft.

    Form Server and InfoPath
    The demonstration was done as a questionnaire on a Microsoft Office 2007 Form server. The questionnaire was tied into workflow. You would view the survey in the Exchange inbox through InfoPath.
    (More about Form Server and InfoPath)

    You can design and fill out InfoPath forms in e-mail messages, export form data to worksheets, submit form data to a database, or query data from a SharePoint list. In addition, developers can embed InfoPath forms — without menus, toolbars, or other aspects of the user interface — into custom applications.
    (More about InfoPath)

    InfoPath is a streamlined way to create surveys. Form Server is a streamlined way to create web based surveys. Forms Server extends InfoPath forms into the Intranet and Internet. With Office InfoPath Forms Services, users can fill out browser-capable forms sent over the Internet or mobile devices. It replaces hand-built ASP or ASP.NET survey forms.

    As part of the Forms Server, the surveys are dropped as documents into the SharePoint document management system. The survey data can be viewed as tabular data immediately. You can send the survey results in Outlook as part of a workflow and then assign tasks.

    Exchange Managed Folders

    Managed folders implement e-mail retention rules that so many companies need these days. These contain e-mails that you may not immediately trash. They appear under your mailbox and act as an archive. Managed folders are added on the Exchange console.

    SharePoint and the information graveyard

    Windows SharePoint Services sites are very prolific in large companies. This is probably in no small part because there is no licensing cost to add WSS to an existing Windows 2003 and IIS 6.0 server. SharePoint sites have a certain advantage over network drives in that users can manage the permissions, subfolders, and documents. Also SharePoint sites perform content management and version control. They are open to all users over the Intranet and can be linked from other web sites.

    The down side of SharePoint is that it often seems easier to create a new site than to integrate with an existing site. It is the same thing as creating a new directory to store documents to classify them. A hierarchical folder/directory structure is a classic problem in document management. People nearly will come to blows over whether the folders should be “State folder then Product sub-folder” vs “Product folder THEN State sub-folder.” Also as with shared network folders, SharePoint sites benefit from having a person who actively maintains and organizes the content. Most companies do not have such a staff position readily available.

    The biggest part of the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 demonstration was the searching that ties it all together. The Windows desktop search for Vista is a huge development. The SharePoint search gives Google style results, and can search across all Windows SharePoint Services repositories. They did not mention during the demonstration how results are displayed when SharePoint sites have different user permissions. I would assume you should not be able to see results for areas over which you have no permission.

    Back to Part III of the Windows Vista, Office 2007, Exchange 2007 Launch tour
    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2007 @ 14:25:10 UTC by BB
    "Windows Vista, Office 2007, Exchange 2007 Launch tour Part IV" | Login/Create an Account | 0 comments
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