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Limitations on Linking Windows SharePoint Services Contacts to Outlook 2003

When you link a Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) contacts list to Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, the File As field on each Outlook contact defaults to Last Name, First Name. We'd prefer to use Company Name (Last, First). Is that possible?

One of the most interesting and useful features in Outlook 2003 is the ability to display a contacts or events list from WSS directly in Outlook. This is a great way to have workgroup-level sharing of contacts, even if you don't have Exchange Server or access to its Public Folders hierarchy. (WSS runs on Windows Server 2003, but it's also available as a hosted service from some ISPs for a low monthly fee.)

The integration is one-way, however. Outlook copies the SharePoint data to a local .pst file, but you must use the Web interface to update the SharePoint contacts. SharePoint provides no way to specify the File As field's contents. The Outlook contact always defaults in Outlook to Last Name, First Name, even if you have some other arrangement set as the default in Tools, Options, Contact Options.

Another limitation is that you can't add to the fields that Outlook copies over from the SharePoint list. However, all the default fields for a SharePoint contacts list, including the notes for a contact, do copy automatically to Outlook.

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