Outlook 2003 to SharePoint 2007 Email Integration

So what has Andy been working on lately? Well, lately I’ve been writing an integration between Outlook 2003 and SharePoint 2007. It was all a bit fraught – some of the web services I was using are a bit dodgy, uploading files and metadata as one transaction doesn’t seem to be possible, and everyone always underestimates the effort involved in coping with the metadata about an email. I’ve written an integration between GroupWise 6.5 and Open Text Livelink before now, and again, dealing with the metadata was a bigger effort than browsing the system or uploading the document.

Now, email saving into SharePoint seems to be an overlooked thing. Microsoft have their Exchange 2007 Managed Folders, which can push emails into a SharePoint Records center. Liam Cleary has written his usual high-quality description of setting it up, and the MS Records management team blogged about it in parts I, II, III and IV.

However, a lot of our customers aren’t impressed with this solution. They want to be able to save emails into particular SharePoint Libraries within their usual collaboration environment, rather than just booting them off into a Record Center.

U2U built an Outlook 2007 addin which is very nice – though a bit of a different take. Their approach requires defining the save location up front and mapping to the data, but that then saving emails is dead easy – just drag them into the folder. Nice.

Anyway, this is what I built – I’ll contrast with the U2U offering lateer…

Continue reading “Outlook 2003 to SharePoint 2007 Email Integration”

Outlook 2003 to SharePoint 2007 Email Integration

Why SharePoint Records Management will struggle…

I recently got a lot of my old APS photos scanned, and I’ve been working my way through them all, trying to sort them out and arrange them. I’ve been doing this by, well, putting them in folders such as ‘2003-06 – French Alps Kayaking’. At the same time, though, I wanted to give my friends copies of the photo’s which they were in, and I did this by, well, creating another folder for each of them, and copying pictures into them too. Not dreadfully sophisticated.

A couple of my friends asked why I didn’t just use some albuming application, or something like Flickr, and tag the images. That way, I could browse by multiple criteria. And I’ve gotta say, it would be neat. However, I want to be able to look at these photos when I’m an old man. I mean, my grandfather was showing me pictures of when he was a kid – so that’s about 75 years ago. Does anyone consider 75 year survival times for digital media? Nope. But I suspect that file systems and JPEGs, even if they aren’t still in use, will be easier to migrate. Flickr? Well, obviously, no website has ‘Established 1932’ on it. I’m not sure I’d trust something like that to still be around. Other tagging and abluming products – again, I’m not convinced. I decided I’d stick with just folders.

This set me thinking about Record Management, and taxonomy vs tagging. Continue reading “Why SharePoint Records Management will struggle…”

Why SharePoint Records Management will struggle…

Don't put your Record Center in a Collaboration Site Collection

Don’t be lazy like me. I put my Records Center in a collaboration site collection, ‘cos I was lazy and didn’t want to set up navigation links, etc., between site collections.

Unfortunately, I found that when I then tried to submit documents to the records center, I kept getting the error “Records Center Records Center is not properly configured for this request” (Note: my records center is called Records Center).

“Weird”, I thought. The URL to the web service used for submitting files was correct. The records center itself seemed to work correctly. SharePoint Logs and Windows Event logs showed the same error about not being properly configured, but that was all. I couldn’t see anything wrong with it.

So in the end I got hacked off, and just recreated my records center in its own site collection (as you’d problably want it, to be honest). And Bingo! It worked!

So kids, Don’t be lazy – put your Record Center in its own site collection.

Comments from my old blog:

Yup, I’ve found other people have had the same issue – and have done the same thing – use a separate site collection.

By Andy at 16:47:42 Tuesday 13th November 2007

Don't put your Record Center in a Collaboration Site Collection

Records management in SharePoint, and a drink or two in Soho

Before I went on holiday last week, I attended the SharePoint user group meeting that was happening in London. A couple of guys from Cap Gemini were doing a presentation on records management (RM) in SharePoint 2007. This will describe my impressions (my memory ain’t so good, so these are my notes…), and how it appears to work. I’ll start with my conclusions, and then move on to how the thing actually works. Continue reading “Records management in SharePoint, and a drink or two in Soho”

Records management in SharePoint, and a drink or two in Soho