The ability to work offline has become an essential requirement for today’s content management solutions. Similarly we wanted this feature for SharePoint Online also. [As posted here we use Microsoft Online Services which is also called BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite). This post explains how to set SharePoint Online available for offline usage using SharePoint workspace 2010.]
In SharePoint 2007 offline availability was provided by Microsoft Office Groove. As I mentioned in an earlier post Office Groove was renamed as SharePoint Workspace and is available with Office Professional Plus 2010. SPW (SharePoint Workspace) allows users to access documents stored in SharePoint, even when they are disconnected from SharePoint server.
Steps for syncing a SharePoint online document library with SharePoint Workspace
1. Open SPW and click on "New (page tab)" in "Launch bar". Then select "Groove Workspace”
2. Enter a name for the workspace and click options
3. Select 2007 and click create.
4. This will create and open the workspace. In that workspace right click in the content navigation area and select “Add New Tool” and then click “SharePoint Files”
5. This will add a SharePoint Files tool to the workspace. In that SharePoint Files tool click Set up.
6. This will open a dialog box where we need to select the SharePoint library or the list which we need to make available offline.
7. Now minimize SPW and open the SharePoint Online site or sub site which has the relevant library or the list. Then copy the site address from the address bar only up to the site / sub site name discarding the page address.
E.g. : full address -
Copy only the following -
8. Now go back to the SPW dialog box and paste the copied address in the address bar and click enter.
9. This will open the SharePoint site in the same dialog box. In that select the relevant library or the list. Then click “select”.
10. Now the workspace is synchronized with the SharePoint library. To test this create a new document in the SharePoint library. Then click the Sync button in the workspace.
11. Click “Synchronize now”. This will create an offline copy in SPW which can be accessed even when the SharePoint site is not available.