SharePoint Workspace and the Office Document Cache


There are three storage mechanisms SharePoint Workspace uses to store data on your local computer. Lists, InfoPath forms, schema, and views are stored in SharePoint Workspace itself, BCS data has its own storage mechanism, and your SharePoint documents are stored in a common Office file store called the Office Document Cache (ODC). The diagram below shows the relationships between the three data stores and the content sources for each.

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The Office Document Cache

SharePoint Workspace, along with other Office 2010 products, uses the Office Document Cache (ODC) for file storage. Files are downloaded and synchronized using a protocol called File Sync via SOAP over HTTP (FSSHTTP). SharePoint Workspace’s use of the ODC and FSSHTTP has many advantages for XML-based Office documents, including:

· Reduced network load

· Faster saves

· Conflict resolution

· Coauthoring

Differential Sync

After initial sync, only document changes are sent between SharePoint and SPW. This reduces bandwidth consumption and server load, while giving the user a more responsive save experience, even when working with very large files.

Collaborating Online and Offline with Coauthoring and Merging

When you’re offline and working with SharePoint documents, other users may be editing the same document, putting it in conflict when you try to sync your changes. SharePoint Workspace and the ODC handle many of these changes automatically for you, by seamlessly integrating your changes with the updated document on the server. When you get back online, your changes will be merged with the new server copy and any changes on the server will appear highlighted green.

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Coauthoring allows multiple users to edit the same document at the same time collaboratively. You will be notified when you open a document someone else is editing, along with easy access to their contact information.

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When the other user makes changes to a section of a document, that section will become locked, shown below. Once the user has completed making changes you will be notified and the new changes can be merged into your work.

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High Volume Synchronization

We’re actively working on increasing capacity limits to optimize throughput, but for now synching a large number of documents can degrade performance.  SharePoint Workspace will first warn you when the number that you’re scheduled to synchronize gets high, and then it will actually change its behavior when the number gets higher still.

If you are syncing 500 or more documents, SPW will give you a warning, which also serves as a heads-up to suggest that you should expect gradually slower performance as the number of documents gets larger.

When you’re about to synch 1800 documents or more, SharePoint Workspace will change its behavior to make sure that you get your documents in a timely fashion.  It will synchronize only headers (metadata about the document) at this point, and will synchronize actual documents only on demand.  When you actually need one or more documents, you can click on them, and SPW will sync them for you on the spot.

There are several ways to reduce the number of documents you have offline, such as deleting unused SharePoint workspaces, disconnecting from unused document libraries, or discarding local copies of documents.

Note that these limitations apply to the ODC only and do not apply to Groove workspaces.

 

Andrew Harris and Jim McCoy


Comments (12)

  1. BatisteRouelle says:

    Hi, nice blog post.

    Could you confirm what are the versions of Office that allows the differential sync feature ?

    Only 0ffice 2010

    Office 2007 or 2010 (which sounds logical since they are based on XML)

    Office 2003 ?

    Thanks

  2. Jim McCoy says:

    This is new functionality – differential sync works between an Office 2010 client and an Office 2010 server.  But we do use differential sync on XML-based Office documents originally created in Office 2007 if they’re opened from a 2010 server in a 2010 client.

  3. John Fitzgerald says:

    I think that the limitation of 1800 documents is unacceptable, expecially compared with what Groove 2007 had.

    Yau say that Groove Workspaces don't have this limitation, but as far as I understand, they dont give you SharePoint 2010 and there is no way to use them with SharePoint 2010!

  4. Michael Amend says:

    Does anybody know, if there is a way to work around this limitations.

  5. Tom says:

    I wanted to use a SharePoint document library to host Visio stencils. I further wanted to use SharePoint Workspace to take the stencil document library offline.

    The problem I am encountering is that programatically trying to open the stencil using the VBA code (below) fails when there is no network connection. In other words, Visio does not seem to be aware of the SharePoint Workspace or ODC, local version of the stencil.

    Application.Documents.OpenEx "192.168.7.55/…/Nicely Named Stencil.vss", visOpenRO + visOpenDocked

    Similar code works in Microsoft Word where the VBA "open" method pointing to a "web address" will properly open a document from the SharePoint Workspace cache.

    Is there a different technique I need to use to make this work with Visio? Or will a future release of Visio be SharePoint Workspace aware?

    Any help/feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Tom

  6. Tom says:

    I wanted to use a SharePoint document library to host Visio stencils. I further wanted to use SharePoint Workspace to take the stencil document library offline.

    The problem I am encountering is that programatically trying to open the stencil using the VBA code (below) fails when there is no network connection. In other words, Visio does not seem to be aware of the SharePoint Workspace or ODC, local version of the stencil.

    Application.Documents.OpenEx "192.168.7.55/…/Nicely Named Stencil.vss", visOpenRO + visOpenDocked

    Similar code works in Microsoft Word where the VBA "open" method pointing to a "web address" will properly open a document from the SharePoint Workspace cache.

    Is there a different technique I need to use to make this work with Visio? Or will a future release of Visio be SharePoint Workspace aware?

    Any help/feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Tom

  7. Tom says:

    I wanted to use a SharePoint document library to host Visio stencils. I further wanted to use SharePoint Workspace to take the stencil document library offline.

    The problem I am encountering is that programatically trying to open the stencil using the VBA code (below) fails when there is no network connection. In other words, Visio does not seem to be aware of the SharePoint Workspace or ODC, local version of the stencil.

    Application.Documents.OpenEx "192.168.7.55/…/Nicely Named Stencil.vss", visOpenRO + visOpenDocked

    Similar code works in Microsoft Word where the VBA "open" method pointing to a "web address" will properly open a document from the SharePoint Workspace cache.

    Is there a different technique I need to use to make this work with Visio? Or will a future release of Visio be SharePoint Workspace aware?

    Any help/feedback would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Tom

  8. Alshah says:

    Does anyone has a workaround for this limitation issue?

  9. Paul Schottland says:

    Hi Jim, I am sure this may be a common problem, but since Sharepoint2010 hosts a lot more files than "just" Office2010 files, is there a public API or direction on allowing other software file types to use this compression when sending back forth to Sharepoint2010?

    Thanks,

    Paul

  10. Gorka says:

    Where in the Windows 7 file system is the ODC located?

  11. Richard says:

    The limits are complete madness! I have enginners working all over the world that must have a fully sycnhed and complete copy of the entire Site and document libraries they work with.

    This is really hindering our business now and we urge MS to pull the preverbial finger out quickly and sort this!

    Please make it entirely end-user configurable (from an Admins point of view)

    PLease get a QFE released for this as sson as possible.

  12. Venkat says:

    I Tried to sync my SharePoint library in to  SharePoint Workspace. but I'm getting ' the contents of" file name" have not been downloaded or have not finished' error. please suggest how can I sync to my local machine.