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Shared Workspace Task Pane in Word 2003

  Asked By: Caitlin    Date: Nov 28    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 13361

I appreciate your work, but I am
wondering about your take on my Shared Workspace Task "pain."

I spent a day working with and researching the Shared Workspace Task Pane in
Word 2003. My impressions are not good about this thing.

It easily allowed me to overwrite someone else's content, lost content I
wrote etc. etc. It was confusing, time consuming, and user error prone. It
made me yearn for all the problems it is supposed to correct!! I see it as
a great killer of my project if people try to use it, AND I can't seem to
figure out how to turn it off or override it with a much simpler custom
feature. This thing scares me, I want it gone.

Anyone else with some feelings/advice or experience? Has anyone ever
successfully seen this thing in use in a real world situation by real world
users??

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4 Answers Found

 
Answer #1    Answered By: Kalyan Pujari     Answered On: Nov 28

As for your concern, document workspace  is not exactly very easy to use, and many people, including MCS consultants, sometimes can’t use it well. I spent lots of time figuring out how to use it properly and more time document it down as detailed as possible… So I guess you have to really do your homework, and train those people using that feature well…

You need to know whether your scenario really requires the feature… If most of the time, your team work exclusively, then there isn’t a point training them to use this as yet… But there is a real need, then you have to train them well…

Maybe you could describe your exact steps, and the problems you encounter, I can help you along…

 
Answer #2    Answered By: Allison Stewart     Answered On: Nov 28

I am interested in how you can kill this (i.e. disable the task
pane).

 
Answer #3    Answered By: Emmett Hyde     Answered On: Nov 28

Just don’t teach them how to use… chances is, they won’t realize that it is possible…

 
Answer #4    Answered By: Michelle White     Answered On: Nov 28

I'll choose to be familiar.

I would agree that the feature of having two people edit a file concurrently
then merge in later is not so important. Its a pretty rare occurrance, and
we can outlaw that (if possible).

My users are pretty basic at using Word, although some would consider them
selves quite proficient ;). This is (of course) a curse, a pox upon me as a
little knowledge is quite dangerous, so I want to keep them simple right
down a straight path. They are generally untrainable, most particularly
because this is an 'occasional' task  for most of them, not their main job
function.

Here is (I guess) the functionality I want to present:

When a user clicks on a file, it will open it in the application 'for EDIT'
(i.e. mainly Word, but it could be Excel or PPoint). This opening process
would also "check out" the file in Sharepoint. Of course, if the file is
already checked out to another user or otherwise open for edit, they would
get a read only copy (but of course this would allow them to 'save-as'). In
the biggest scheme of things, I guess the check-out is optional - the doc
lib does have keep revisions set to on.

Some of the main paths to get to a file are Web Parts written by me, so I
have control. I'd really like to know the best syntax to 'open a file for
editing in <application>' so I can code it in. The Web Parts now use a
'hyperlink' column of a datagrid populated by me, but I have also used
versions where I construct the link in text and use a bound column.

My main sharepoint site definition issue is the document library where I
want to do an "edit in application" versus a simple 'open.' I could change
the view to an "Explorer View" or I could make a different view with the
appropriate column to perform the 'edit in application' (i.e. select the
appropriate field available.) I can modify the site definition as needed in
my schema on onet files.

I'm going to play with this now to get a more optimal solution. It seems
like a failrly common thing to want to do, so it should be feasible without
the shared  workspace task 'pain.'

Here is the basic workflow:

1) Someone has an idea for an academic publication, we create a "Publication
Workspace" and start.

2) The main author of the file would probably maintain the 'check-out' for
quite a while, days or weeks, as they author the content. This could vary,
but the general concept of having a main author is true for all documents
envisioned (these are academic publications of which a senior author of
first author is generally in charge).

3) When a main revision is complete, they would send it to co-authors and
ask for input, often general, but sometimes specific. These co-authors
would be members of the site where the document resides and could see it
there. This is where it gets a bit tricky. In some cases, a senior author
will ask for others to draft sections and in some cases a senior author may
prefer to get input and then draft the section themselves. It is unknowable
what it will be ahead of time. Here I may simply depend on the people
involved to do the right thing as directed by the senior author. I will
show the admin assistant how to create members as readers or as contributors
to allow them some control if desired as to which members can edit the
document.

4) Steps 2 and 3 iterate over weeks and maybe months. Finally, a final
version is prepared and submitted to a journal. Weeks go by then the
journal responds, most often with changes desired. Steps 2 and 3 iterate
again, and again, then 4, then 2 and 3 etc. etc.

5) Finally the manuscript is accepted, and the publisher takes it from
there, providing a galley proof etc. This is out of our hands, but we will
probably store the files the publisher provides and out correspondance back
to them.

 
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