Colligo Networks is helping to push the adoption of SharePoint technologies by providing in its Colligo Contributor for SharePoint product not only a way to access SharePoint in an offline environment, but also an alternative to the traditional browser-based SharePoint interface. Now, with the release of Contributor 2.1, Colligo is improving the user experience even more.

"With version 2.0, we've seen enterprises moving to Colligo Contributor as an alternative way of accessing SharePoint content," said Colligo President and CEO Barry Jinks in a recent briefing. "That's interesting, but we wanted to know how we could improve that user experience even further. Customers responded by asking us to provide this functionality within the tools that they're used to using, for example \[Microsoft\] Outlook."

Colligo Contributor for SharePoint 2.1 does just that. Its new Outlook Add-in for SharePoint lets users drag and drop email messages and attachments from Outlook directly into SharePoint without leaving the familiar Outlook interface. The Add-in also lets you create rules to do this automatically. In addition, Contributor now maps the standard message fields (e.g., To, From, Subject, and Date) to metadata in SharePoint document libraries.

According to Genèse Castonguay, director of marketing and inside sales, the Outlook Add-in takes SharePoint document libraries and syncs them as folders within Outlook. "It allows you to view the Contributor interface in an online or offline setting, providing all the same functionality in terms of being able to drag and drop multiple items in and out of folders, being able to update common meta data on multiple items at a time, and allowing users to look at multiple views all within their Outlook," said Castonguay, "and that's important because Outlook is the number one collaboration platform."