By Doug Davis
Part 1- Using Mobile Pages and Views
Let's face it, the days where your co-worker sat beside you are mostly gone the way of the rotary phone. In its place we have virtual teams, virtual meetings, even virtual timezones! One of the advantages of SharePoint is that it allows us to collaborate with peers around the world. However SharePoint is very visual and works best on LANs or fast WANs. Due in part to the requirement that SharePoint mostly be geo locked connecting to sites over a slow WAN can be problematic to say this least. There are some 3rd party replication and offline solutions, including the new 2010 WorkSpace but more about that later.
In this 3 part "how to" series we will look at three increasingly complex methods to achieve remote nirvana when using SharePoint 2010. In Part 2 we will look at some of the network throttling with FSSHTTP (that's File Synchronization via SOAP over HTTP to you and me!) and then finally using the new 2010 SharePoint WorkSpace. But let's get started with Mobile Views, the simplest simply by the fact that you already have em!
Introduction to Mobile Pages and Views
Within SharePoint 2010 there is a Mobile feature which basically is a stripped down view of a site and most activities for remote uses. Some things I find don't show up all that well, but the core ones such as document libraries and basic lists seem to. I am using Beta SharePoint 2010 so maybe a few more will pop up in the mobile view once SharePoint 2010 is released, if so I will update this blog entry. This feature isn't advertised as much as I think it should but while this even existed in SharePoint 2007 as with almost everything it has been optimized and improved in SharePoint 2010. In SharePoint 2007 for example you mostly had to do a bit of trial and error by adding a m to every URL until a Mobile view popped up. In SharePoint 2010 for mobile views at least it's easy to find the link itself.
For this "how to" guide we will use a pretty basic site and you will be able to see the visual changes between full and mobile views. Naturally your site will be whatever it's URL is but the process is the same.
In full view here is how the site looks. It's not a complicated site but even at this level there is a lot of detail and may be problematic for remote users.
How to find your Mobile Page
First off let's find the mobile view.
Step 1 - Select Site Actions then Site Settings
Step 2 - On the site settings page on the far right you will see Site Information. It will include two links, one for your full view and one for your mobile view.
Step 3 - Click on the Mobile Site URL. The view will switch to a much smaller mobile view as per below:
I would recommend putting a link to this mobile view on the main page for those who won't want to or be able to dig into Site Settings to find this.
Using your mobile view
Once the mobile view is up and running, we can stay in mobile mode and move around the site, even moving up and down the site structure. For example we can now dig into the Document Library and see the files there. I can review the documents.
Then click on a file and see the file, in this case the Site Administrator Reports OnDemand logo.
That is pretty much it. As I said this is the easiest and simplest method for remote users and will give them a bit less frustration while waiting for those sites to load. And if folks can log into their SharePoint via mobile devices mobile views look great on mobile devices such as iPhone as well!
That's it for part 1. In part 2, we will review FSSHTTP. Somebody seems to be trying to mirror Harley Davidson's model nomenclature with these acronyms. Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what's the difference between an FXSTC and FLTRSEI in Harley speak....
Got any questions or comments. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or spend some time up on https://www.quest.com/community/ and don't forget to get instant free SharePoint storage reports at https://www.quest.com/.