Open pdfs in Office 2013 Web Apps

Great to see that Office web apps 2013 support opening pdfs:

Pdfs have always been a special case to deal with in SharePoint, setting their custom icon for display in libraries and indexing them for search etc. It’s good to see Microsoft acknowledging them and now allowing you to open them up in in the Word Web app.

Here is a good technical article on configuring it on-premise (Office 365 should have it all pre-configured for you):

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Harness the power of SharePoint Office 2013 Web Apps in Outlook

SharePoint 2013 Web Apps are a substantial leap forward from the SharePoint 2010 offering. They offer rich editing capabilities so now you can truly survive without having Office installed on your machine.

One of the other nice features is the preview of Office documents in SharePoint 2013 when selecting an item in a document library (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx).


The latest update to Office 2013 web apps now supports pdf files which can be previewed by Word 2013 web apps :

You can also benefit from this preview capability in SharePoint 2013 search results allowing you to make quick decisions as to whether it is the correct document or not. This is just one of the many nice search enhancements out-of-the-box in SharePoint 2013:


With all this investment been made in Office 2013 web apps by Microsoft, it would be nice if we could tap into some of this action from users desktop applications.

With the latest offering of OnePlaceMail (6.5 this is exactly what we have done. Users can navigate to or search for content while still in Outlook and quickly execute a real-time preview of that content. A real focus has been on adoption and with that we now provide a rich embedded Outlook style interface for viewing SharePoint content in Outlook. We have tapped into the Office 2013 web app preview for showing document previews embedded in Outlook as if a user were previewing any Outlook item.

Benefits of web app preview in Outlook:

  • Instant access to content embedded in Outlook – no need to jump out to the browser to open SharePoint documents.
  • Quick, efficient access – no need to download the entire file locally to view content.
  • Can quickly launch document in native office application for full rich editing capabilities.
  • Intuitive to users – familiar Outlook style interface.
  • Perform a SharePoint search and preview results all within Outlook.

Document preview in Outlook:


Search result preview in Outlook:


As we are leveraging the SharePoint 2013 Web Apps preview we will also benefit from any enhancements and any support for new file formats going forward. If you are a SharePoint Online (Office 365) company the web app server is already provisioned for you so there is no additional setup/installation required in order to start benefiting from the 2013 web apps either in SharePoint via the browser or in Outlook with OnePlaceMail installed.

If you are on-premise and do not have Office 2013 web apps up and running here is a good place to start:

By providing the preview in Outlook we are bringing SharePoint content to the user where they work throughout the day. Before you know it your users will be accessing the SharePoint platform without them realising it, helping with the adoption problem and  maximizing your investment in SharePoint.

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OnePlaceMail – Overcome the Limitations of Site Mailboxes

Download Whitepaper PDFDownload the whitepaper

Extend SharePoint Site Mailboxes, overcome their limitations and deliver richer SharePoint solutions.

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Sync SharePoint 2010 Document Library with Skydrive Pro

  • Click on your task tray and click on the Skydrive Pro Icon:


  • Select Sync a new library


Enter url of library in SharePoint 2010 – library syncs down with no issue:



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SharePoint 2013 Client Object Model – BCS Enhancements

Looks like there has been a lot of work spent on improving the client side object model BCS support in SharePoint 2013. This was an area that was lacking in SharePoint 2010 where your only real options were to interact with an external list like you would any other list or write your own web service and code it using server object model (this obviously was not supported in Office 365).

Now you will be able to create feature rich client and mobile applications interacting with your BCS (External Data Columns, External Content Types from SharePoint).

Some useful links:

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Integrate your SharePoint Lists with Outlook using OnePlaceMail

For a lot of companies the primary communication method with suppliers, partners, customers etc. is still email. Although instant messaging, extranets etc. help open up the communication channels, email is still the preferred communication method. Often the email is a trigger for some internal process, a meeting needs to take place, the team needs to be notified of something important or a new issue/problem has to be logged and tracked internally to resolution.

With OnePlaceMail it is well known that you can file emails, attachments and documents to SharePoint document libraries. However, OnePlaceMail also offers the ability to file emails and attachments to  SharePoint lists i.e. Calendar, Issue Tracking, Project Tasks, Announcements and any custom list you have setup etc.. This functionality has been there from the start but I thought I would take the time to give some examples where it could come in really useful.

Don’t stop reading if you think you have to buy OnePlaceMail to get the features I am about to describe; The Express Edition of OnePlaceMail is free (it’s not a trial or time limited) – just download it and you’ll be using OnePlaceMail with SharePoint from your desktop in minutes.

Scenario 1:

You have received an important email from a client and you want to notify your project team by creating an announcement in the project announcements list in SharePoint and include the email as an attachment to the new announcement.

  • Select the email(s) in Outlook and click ‘Copy to SharePoint’


  • Select your project announcements list as the filing location and fill in the metadata about your new announcement and click Save:


  • A new announcement will be created in SharePoint with the emails as attachments to the new announcement:



Scenario 2:

You have received a new project issue from your client in an email and you need to create a new issue in the team issues list so it can be tracked and resolved in SharePoint.

  • Select the email(s) in Outlook and click ‘Copy to SharePoint’


  • Select your project issues list as the filing location and fill in the metadata about your new issue and click Save:


  • A new issue will be created in the Project Issues list in SharePoint with the emails as attachments:


Scenario 3:

You need to schedule a meeting in your project team calendar in SharePoint regarding several emails from the customer regarding a change in the scope of work for the project.

  • Select the email(s) in Outlook and click ‘Copy to SharePoint’
  • Select your calendar list as the filing location and fill in the metadata about your new calendar entry and click Save:


  • A new Calendar entry will be created in the Project Calendar list in SharePoint with the emails as attachments:



OnePlaceMail also supports filing to any custom lists you may have setup as well. The scenarios above give you a few ideas on how you can further integrate your SharePoint Lists with Outlook. The story doesn’t end there, I thought I would show you another ‘nifty’ function while I am on a roll!

Create a new item in a Lookup list ‘on the fly’

Take this scenario, you are filing emails to a list or library using OnePlaceMail that has a lookup column (which looks up a Customer list) for a list of customers for you to chose from but the Customer you need is not in the list and a new one needs to be added so you can select it.

Rather than having to go out to the browser, work out which list the column is looking up, locate the lookup list, create and save the new entry then go back to OnePlaceMail and select the entry, you can create the item ‘on the fly’ during the filing process. This functionality cannot be achieved in the SharePoint UI when uploading documents etc. to libraries.

  • Using OnePlaceMail click the picker icon next to the lookup column. Then click ‘create new lookup item’


  • Enter the new item title, in this case it is a Customer name and click ‘Create’:


  • The new item will be created in the list in SharePoint and the value will be selected in OnePlaceMail:



So here are a few ways you can integrate your SharePoint lists with Outlook. We have just launched 6.2 so please refer to the OnePlaceMail Release 6.2 Highlights for more.

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