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Friday, March 22, 2013

Sync to SharePoint Workspaces

Sync to SharePoint Workspace, an undiscovered jewel

I hate SharePoint. It's generally a pain in the ass. Today, I was pointed as a SharePoint site being used as a document library for a client engagement. Lots of documents in there as we've been working with this client for a few months. One of our folders contains images of our data models and even though they were proper image files, for whatever reason, the server wouldn't serve them as such. Instead, I'd get a dialog asking me what I'd like to do with each one of them. I could tell you in detail what I thought SP could do with them but then I'd need to flag my blog as mature content

Instead, I said there has to be a better way. I first turned to the old standby of data sheet view but that didn't work as my client didn't supported (we use a hosted SP site). Wait, no it was the Windows Explorer view that is so handy. Nope, that didn't work either. At this point, I'm thinking where's my SkyDrive download all button.

Sync to SharePoint Workspace

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the SharePoint "Download All" button.
Sync to SharePoint Workspace
I will also present my neophyte SnagIt skills. Look at that sawtooth crop!

From what I've been reading, this synch is actually closer to a SkyDrive/DropBox without the need for an explicit client installation- or at least it's already set up from installing Office. The dialog asked me what I was looking to sync and where it should store the content locally and after a few minutes of downloading, I had the entirety of our SharePoint library on my machine. How cool is that?

Why is this the best thing ever?

That might be a bit of hyperbole, but it is rather useful. Enough so that I might be able to dial back the hatred to a distaste. What's so useful? For starters, I hate the constant page refresh when I'm in a SharePoint library/list. Windows Explorer isn't going to do that to me. I don't have to worry about whether someone has configured IIS to send the right handler information along. Windows already knows how to handle these files. I don't have to go through a click dance because "this file came from the internet and might melt your face". Well, I'll probably need to indicate that the path I Sync to is trusted but I can handle that.


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