Editing Your Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise Files Offline

Office 365 Enterprise includes the ability to keep local copies of all of your files on any desktop or laptop computer. This has proved significant for clients of mine who wish to take their work with them on their laptop. They wanted to be able to work on their Microsoft Office 365 files remotely without an internet connection, and then to have the files synchronize later. Multiple people in an organization can have files checked out simultaneously. Synchronized files are not new. Windows 95 first introduced Windows Briefcase. You could use Windows Briefcase to synchronize to a network drive or to a removable device. People used them for file synchronization when they worked after hours or in travel on their business laptops, then later synchronized the Briefcase with the corporate serve. Limitations included the requirement to keep file names exactly the same. Not only could the system be used for documents such as Word Documents, Excel Spreadsheets, and *.pdf Acrobat files, but they could also be used to replicate Microsoft Access Databases.

Today SharePoint 2010 comes with Office 365 Enterprise and can replace your corporate network drive with sophisticated libraries and lists. Each library is like a server version of the Briefcase only with more functionality and strict security and versioning options. Just like with Windows Briefcase, SharePoint libraries can be edited offline and then synchronized later at the user’s convenience. Versioning control can be implemented optionally, allowing drafts and major and minor versions. The minor versions are draft versions. Administrators have total control over access to the documents, edit permissions, and versioning rules. These help protect the integrity of document libraries in the event of synchronization.

SharePoint Workspace 2010 is a desktop application that is included with Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise Version. This is your Briefcase, and setting it up can be tricky. Use the Web and I to set up your SharePoint 2010 portal site and the Workspace desktop for your users. Microsoft Office 365 is a sophisticated application with many options and is best implemented by certified Microsoft Partners like us. Call us today at 646-853-0573.

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