A shared workspace is an area, hosted by a Web server, where colleagues can share documents and information, maintain lists of pertinent data, and keep each other up to date on the status of a given project. Shared workspaces are Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services sites that you can open in a Web browser or in the Shared Workspace task pane in a Microsoft Office program.
Note Because Meeting Workspace sites and Document Workspace sites are based on Windows SharePoint Services, you can open them in the Shared Workspace task pane also. The task pane is available whenever you open a document that is in a document library (document library: A folder where a collection of files is shared and the files often use the same template. Each file in a library is associated with user-defined information that is displayed in the content listing for that library.) whether the document library is part of a Document Workspace, a Meeting Workspace, or some other Windows SharePoint Services site.
Features of a shared workspace
A shared workspace provides the following features:
- Document library In the document library, you can store documents that all members of the shared workspace can access. The Shared Workspace task pane displays the library in which the currently open document is stored.
- Tasks list In the Tasks list, you can assign to-do items with due dates to members of the shared workspace. If another member has assigned a task to you, you can check it off in the Tasks list. When other team members open the Tasks list in the Shared Workspace task pane, they can see that you have completed the task.
- Links list In the Links list, you can add hyperlinks to resources or information of interest to members of the shared workspace.
- Members list The Members list displays user names of the members of the shared workspace. In the Shared Workspace task pane, contact information — such as free or busy status, telephone number, and e-mail address — and other properties are included, so that members can easily keep in touch with each other.
Note If you use instant messaging, you can also see the online status of shared workspace members.
- E-mail alerts You can use e-mail alerts to receive notification of changes to a list, a particular item (such as the status of a task), or a document in the shared workspace.
The Shared Workspace task pane
The Shared Workspace task pane opens automatically when you open a document that is stored in a document library.
In addition to displaying Web site data in the Members, Tasks, Documents, and Links tabs, the Shared Workspace task pane provides information about the active document on the Status and Document Information tabs:
- Status tab This tab lists important information about the current document, such as whether the document is up to date, whether it is in conflict with another member's copy, and whether it is checked out. It also lists your Information Rights Management permissions.
- Document Information tab This tab displays properties associated with the document, such as when it was last modified. If the document library where the document is stored defines custom properties for documents, those custom properties are also displayed on the Document Information tab.
Note The Status and Document Information tabs are not included in the Shared Workspace task pane in Microsoft Office OneNote 2003 or Microsoft Office Project 2003.
Shared workspace membership
Members of a shared workspace are assigned to a site group that determines their permissions on the site.
For example, when you create a shared workspace, you are the administrator of it, which means that you can invite new members and assign them to site groups, remove members, and even delete the shared workspace.
At the other end of the spectrum are members with read-only permission. They can visit the shared workspace, but they cannot edit any of its content.
For more information, open a Windows SharePoint Services site in your Web browser, and then click Help on the top link bar.