Co-Authoring in Word 2010 and SharePoint Foundation 2010
Now Microsoft have released beta test versions of Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 we can start to see what they’ve been talking about in the “co-authoring” arena. SharePoint Foundation 2010 supports multiple people editing Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents at the same time. When you store your documents in a SharePoint document library, any number of people can open the document and they see who else is editing the document in the status bar. Your changes are bracketed with a blue line in the left margin and you get notifications when other people’s updates are available.
When you save your changes, you also get to see the other person’s changes that they have saved highlighted in green.
It seems that making small changes and saving often is the best way not to tread on each other’s toes.
In the Info section in Backstage (File | Info) you can see who is editing the document and send messages to them by email or by instant message (if you have Office Communicator). At the bottom of the Info section you can also see and manage all the different versions of the file, either autosaved or previous versions held in the SharePoint document library.
Co-authoring documents is going to be very useful for many people and it is good to see it is included in the free SharePoint Foundation 2010 and not reserved for SharePoint Server 2010 which will cost quite a lot of money.