Colligo,sharepoint,online reader.jpg
Here's an interesting tool for all you SharePoint users who want to take your work offline. It's a set of products from Colligo Networks, the people who help make collaboration easy...unless you have a cranky team member who thinks they have all the answers... Two products from Colligo: Colligo Reader for SharePoint and the Colligo Contributor for SharePoint - offline synchronization made easy. And it really is simple to use - I tried it.

Colligo Reader for SharePoint

The Colligo Reader for SharePoint allows you to connect to any SharePoint site and download content to read offline. It maintains a synchronization schedule so that while you are online, updates to the site are reflected automatically in your Reader. To set-up a new site, you just have to have the URL and your connection information:
Once a connection to the site has been made you can select to sync all site content or only selected events, issues, links, contacts, announcements, tasks and agendas . You can also change these synchronization parameters at anytime.
Once you are linked up, selected an option from the navigation list at the left of your reader and the contents are displayed in the right pane. From there you can view the metadata for a piece of content or open it.
And that's all there is to it.

Colligo Contributor for SharePoint

Now if you want to do a little more than read SharePoint content offline, you need the Colligo Contributor. This product allows you to create and edit content offline and then synchronize the content back to the SharePoint Site when you are back online. It all works the same as the SharePoint Reader. Just set up your site in the Colligo Contributor the same as you did for the Reader -- select the entire site to synchronize or just specific lists and libraries. You can also filter the items in a library or list to only those in certain folders or that belong to a single view. So now that you have your content synchronized you can start editing documents:
Colligo Edit - copyright Colligo
Or you can create new documents. You can even create new documents based on SharePoint metadata types and document templates.
Colligo Create - copyright Colligo
Finally, you can upload new documents to be added to the SharePoint site upon synchronization. You will even be required to fill in any metadata associated with the document type.
Colligo Upload - copyright Colligo
Using the Microsoft Office Add-On Colligo Contributor comes in two forms: a standalone desktop application as shown above, or as an add-on to MS Outlook. The add-on to Outlook enables you to add emails, documents and attachments to the SharePoint site. This is done by mapping document libraries (or sub-folders) to folders created in Outlook. Anything you want added to the site, you drop in these synchronized Outlook folders. You can also automate the uploading of emails to the site and metadata mapping will occur automatically if it has been set up in the SharePoint site.
Colligo Outlook - copyright Colligo

System Specs and Pricing

In both cases, the following systems are supported: * XP Home and Professional * Windows 2000 SP2 and up * Visa * Office 2000- 2007 * Internet Explorer 6 and up * .Net Framework 2.0 * WSS 2.0 and 3.0 / SPS2003 / MOSS 2007 For Contributor, there's an additional install required to use Office and Outlook for editing - but it comes with the Contributor software and installs seamlessly (or it did for me). The Colligo Reader is free to individual users, but if you want it for a business you will have to pay for it and get the corresponding support. The Colligo Contributor has a free 30 day trial that I encourage you to try out. Then contact sales and get some pricing information. If you want to see the Colligo Reader or Contributor in action watch the SharePoint Webinar - from Portals to Offline Knowledge Management A Crowe Chizek Case Study. Or just head on over to the Colligo website for more information.