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).

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

http://blogs.office.com/b/officewebapps/archive/2013/07/03/pdfs-in-the-word-web-app.aspx.

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:

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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 http://www.scinaptic.com/news/sharepoint-access-within-a-familiar-microsoft-outlook-style-interface.html) 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:

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Search result preview in Outlook:

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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: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219455.aspx.

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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