External Applications in Sharepoint
Documents in SharePoint can be edited directly by using external applications - without downloading and reuploading them. Using local programs like Microsoft Office Word, Microsoft Office PowerPoint and Microsoft Office Excel you can connect to the SharePoint and edit documents in a streaming manner.
If multiple users are editing programs in this way, merge conflicts could arise. To prevent this passages, that are worked on by other users, are blocked by the aforementioned programs. By doing this, conflicts are effectively prevented, since no more than one user can edit a passage at the same time. All users are working on the same version of the document. To apply individual changes in a document you need to - similar to saving a file on your harddrive - synchronise it with the SharePoint. It might be necessary to authenticate yourself with the SharePoint by providing your user-id and corresponding password.
A detailed guide to connect external programs with the SharePoint can be found here.
Below you will find a guide for using external programs with the SharePoint web interface.
In the picture above you can see three files which we can edit via external programs.These files are respectively in Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and Microsoft Excel format. This qualifies them to be edited via the corresponding Microsoft Applications.
Generally we are presented with two possibilities of editing a document:
- local application
Thus we get to the question of why one should not always use the webapp of the corresponding MS Office service. For regular workflows the choice of application rarely makes a difference. But when using the web-version you need put up with certain restrictions in the range of functions. These restrictions are more present when using one of the more complex office-tools. Hence it is advisable to use a local MS-Office application when working with larger or more complex files, to avoid situations, where you cannot proceed in workflow as desired.