SharePoint Workspace 2010 overview


Applies to: Office 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-07-15

Banner stating end of support date for Office 2010 with link to more info

SharePoint Workspace 2010 provides fast, anytime interactive access to libraries and lists on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010. SharePoint Workspace 2010 also provides options for creating Groove peer workspaces and Shared Folder workspaces.

This article describes the key functionality and architecture of Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010.


SharePoint Workspace is the new name for Groove. SharePoint Workspace 2010 succeeds Microsoft Office Groove 2007 and it is more versatile than Microsoft Office Groove 2007. It can either be integrated with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 or it can run independently.

Microsoft SharePoint Workspace 2010 provides a client for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 that enables real-time synchronization of desktop content with SharePoint documents and lists. SharePoint Workspace 2010 also provides options for creating Groove collaboration workspaces and synchronized shared folders. By using SharePoint Workspace 2010, information workers can easily synchronize online and offline content with a designated SharePoint site or collaborate with external partners and offsite team members through shared workspaces. SharePoint Workspace 2010 is included with Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010.

Key features of SharePoint Workspace 2010 include the following:

  • A choice of workspace types:

    • SharePoint workspaces — Provide direct bi-directional synchronization of library and list content between a SharePoint site and a workspace on an individual client computer. Creation of a SharePoint workspace enables individual SharePoint users to check out and check in SharePoint library documents from their local computers, bring SharePoint documents and lists to their computers where they can work online or offline, and synchronize local content with a SharePoint site. When an individual client establishes a connection with a SharePoint server, synchronization occurs at regular intervals when the client is online. When a client cannot connect to a SharePoint site, the user can easily take work offline to make updates. The updated documents are automatically synchronized with SharePoint document libraries and lists when the user reconnects. This interface offers an efficient and satisfying alternative to browser access of SharePoint. Unlike other workspace types, the SharePoint workspace is a personal synchronized copy of a SharePoint site.

    • Groove workspaces — Provide a rich and secure peer collaboration environment that supports synchronization of content among peer client computers that host a shared workspace. Creation of a Groove workspace enables SharePoint Workspace users to quickly form teams and automatically synchronize online or offline contributions with fellow team members. A full set of collaboration tools lets team members schedule meetings, hold discussions, and share work with trusted partners around the world. Support for communications under various network conditions and across firewalls facilitates timely and effective collaboration.

    • Shared Folder workspaces — Support Windows folder sharing among clients. Creation of a Shared Folder workspace lets information workers share the contents of a common folder in a designated Windows Explorer directory.

  • Easy setup   Windows users can easily download and run SharePoint Workspace 2010 without IT assistance.

  • Offline and online collaboration   Information workers can easily synchronize online and offline work, through a SharePoint workspace, Groove workspace, or Shared Folder workspace. Content is synchronized dynamically among online collaboration points and updates are transmitted immediately when an offline client comes back online. When an offline client reconnects, SharePoint Workspace automatically adds offline contributions to the workspace and applies workspace updates to the previously offline client.

  • Immediate access to latest document versions   Updates to SharePoint workspaces are distributed quickly and automatically to SharePoint Server document libraries and lists. Likewise, document and list updates are automatically synchronized (on a 15-minute schedule) from SharePoint servers to SharePoint workspaces. Updates to Groove workspaces are automatically synchronized among workspace peers.

  • Bandwidth usage optimization   To minimize workload, update packets, instead of whole files or documents, are transmitted over the network.

  • Integration with Windows logon   SharePoint Workspace 2010 uses Windows logon credentials to authenticate users so that a separate logon is not necessary.

  • Microsoft Lync integration and built-in workspace messaging   SharePoint Workspace 2010 supports Microsoft Lync contact presence detection and messaging while offering workspace members a choice of messaging types.

  • Familiar user interface   The user interface presents the ribbon and other technology that is familiar to Office users.

  • Searchable content   Windows Desktop Search 4.0 can be used to find content in workspaces.

  • Common file dialog boxes   Windows technology enables Microsoft Office 2010 users to directly open and save files in SharePoint Workspace.

  • Safe Mode operation   SharePoint Workspace 2010 users who encounter problems can restart in Safe Mode, attempt to resolve the issue, and then restart as usual.

  • For Groove workspace users:

    • Collaboration tools support document creation and editing, discussions, meeting management, and other tasks.

    • The Documents tool enables users to store, organize, and share Word, text, and other documents. This tool replaces the Groove 2007 Files tool.

    • The Lists tool provides a custom tool Design environment that uses Microsoft InfoPath 2010. Tool developers import form templates designed in InfoPath into the Lists tool and then perform additional layout, sorting, and filtering tasks in the List Tool Designer. The List tool replaces Groove 2007 Forms and InfoPath Forms tools.

    • Built-in security protects user content. SharePoint Workspace 2010 automatically and securely distributes and saves content that Groove workspace members produce during their interactions, transmitting it directly to workspace members for storage on member computers. All communications are private, transmitted only among authenticated members and the content of workspace member transmissions is encrypted over the network. SharePoint Workspace 2010 avoids storing member content on remote servers that might not be secure.

    • Standards-based public key infrastructure (PKI) provides a solid framework for securing Groove workspaces.

    • Ability to traverse firewalls enables collaboration with trusted partners outside the corporate intranet.

    • Compatibility with Office Groove 2007 workspaces simplifies collaboration strategies.

    • Onboard Groove workspace backup mechanism.

For more information about SharePoint Workspace functionality, see the SharePoint Workspace product description at Microsoft products online (