Service Delivery in the land of SharePoint

How to synchronize a SharePoint Contact List with Microsoft Outlook 2010

How to synchronize a SharePoint Contact List with Microsoft Outlook 2010

A SharePoint Contact list can be synchronized with Microsoft Outlook; so that features available in Microsoft Outlook contacts would be available to a SharePoint Contact list displayed in Outlook. Another benefit of this approach is that users would be able to see all their contacts in Outlook instead of having to visit many differing locations.

Take this scenario.

“You are a programme manager responsible for managing several projects in the organization. Each project has a SharePoint site managed by a project manager and coordinator, and each site maintains a contact list of those working on the relevant projects. You need to get a continual update of all the contacts recorded across the project sites, and preferably to be displayed in outlook because you do not want to have to visit every site”.

The solution to this scenario is to connect the Contact Lists for each of the sites to our Microsoft Outlook application. Whenever there was a change you would be able to see these changes in your Outlook application instead of having to visit every site in turn. In order to connect a Contact List from a SharePoint site to Outlook you will need to use the Connect to Outlook feature. This is available on the Ribbon bar whilst visiting a SharePoint Contact List.

Connect to outlook button in SharePoint.

Note. When connecting a Contact List from SharePoint to Outlook, you will see the following two dialogs:

Internet Explorer confirmation that you wish to allow a website to open a program on your computer (through Internet Explorers ‘protective mode’).

Microsoft Outlook confirmation

When a Contact List is connected to SharePoint it will appear in the SharePoint Lists section in the Folders pane of Microsoft Outlook. The following screenshot shows an example of a contact list added showing contacts and the sections of Outlook we will focus on.

This section will teach you how to connect a SharePoint Contact list to Microsoft Outlook. You will also learn how to search for a contact, and to manage a contact by printing a contact using a context menu.

Connect a SharePoint Contact list to Microsoft Outlook.

  1. Access your SharePoint site.
  2. Click the List title displayed on the Quick Launch Bar. This will display the List and the contents of the list selected.

Note. If the List is not displayed on the Quick Launch Bar, visit the All Site Content page to access the List. If the List is not listed in the All Site Content page either the List does not exist or you do not have the relevant permissions required to access the List.

  1. Click the List tab on the Ribbon bar.
  2. Click the Connect to Office button located in the Connect & Export section in the Ribbon bar.
  3. An Internet Explorer dialog will be displayed requesting you confirm that you wish to allow the website to open a program on your computer. Click the Allow button in the dialog to continue.
  4. Microsoft Outlook will be launched and a Microsoft Outlook dialog will be displayed requesting you confirm that you wish to connect the relevant List to Outlook. This dialog will advise that you should only connect lists from sources you know and trust. It will display the name of the List, the URL to the List. Additionally, you will be able to see further information about that List and carry out further advanced configuration. This exercise is simply to connect the List to Outlook at this time without configuring any advanced options. Click the YES button to continue.
  5. The List is then connected into Microsoft Outlook.

The connected contact list will be added to the SharePoint List section in the Folders Pane of Microsoft Outlook and the contacts in that list displayed in the Contacts items pane.

Search for a contact.

  1. Access Microsoft Outlook
  2. Click the Contacts button in the bottom left of the screen to display the Contacts section of Microsoft Outlook.
  3. In the Folders Pane, in the section ‘Other Contacts’, click the title of the Contacts list to display the contacts of that list in the Contacts Items pane.
  4. Above the Contacts items pane, there is a Search textbox. Click into the textbox and start typing a the search phrase. As you do this note that the contacts list is automatically filtered to match your search criteria. Also note that you can type anything that appears on a contact item. For example, if you wished to find job titles meeting a specific criteria, type in part or all of the job title and the contacts list will be automatically filtered to match.

Note there are many search features in Microsoft Outlook to find contacts including refinement, advanced search, Boolean category searches.

Print a Contact using the context menu.

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook
  2. Click the Contacts button in the bottom left of the screen to display the Contacts section of Microsoft Outlook.
  3. In the Folders pane, click the name of the Contacts List in the section ‘Other Contacts’. This will display a list contacts in the contacts items pane.
  4. Right click the Contact that you wish to print. This will display a context menu.
  5. Click Quick Print from the context menu. An Opening File dialog will be displayed advising that you open documents from a trustworthy source, displaying the title of the file. You will need to confirm that you wish to Open or Save the file to the computer.
  6. Click the Open button.