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Part III: The Data Pipeline > Integration with Office 2003 and SharePoint Servi... - Pg. 537

537 Chapter 15. Integration with Office 2003 and SharePoint Services In this chapter, you will learn how to: · · · · Extend SharePoint using Access Work with Access Data in InfoPath Analyze Access data through Excel Work with Outlook data in an Access database In a world that is becoming increasingly more connected through technology, many users are anx- ious to harness the power of that technology to get real work done. Many software applications are being designed to better leverage this connectivity and promote what many technologists are calling collaboration. Microsoft Office 2003 has many new features that promote collaboration and has been designed to work with Microsoft's premier teambased productivity application, SharePoint. In this chapter, we'll take a look at the SharePoint architecture and discuss SharePoint features. Then we'll survey how Access and SharePoint work together to enhance collaboration and make main- tenance and analysis of SharePoint data easier and more accessible. We'll also look at how Access integrates with other Office 2003 applications such as InfoPath and Excel to further enable collab- oration and automation. To work through this chapter: · You should understand how to link to an external data source (such as a Microsoft SQL Server database). You can find information about linking to data in Chapter 4, "Importing and Linking to Data." You should also understand the relationship between fields and tables. You can find this information in Chapter 1, "The HelloWorld Database," and Chapter 2, "The Basics of Database Design." Extending SharePoint Using Access With the advent of the computer age, the possibility for serious advances in human collaboration has emerged. But only recently has the computer industry been able to tap into the power of net- worked computing. For the first couple of decades in business computing, most users were ecstatic if they could get their word processor to print their document correctly. The notion of distributed and networked computing was something for the space program and Hollywood. With the growth of the Internet, distributed computing came alive, and although many predicted the demise of the PC at the close of the 20th century, we are now seeing that the possibilities of the personal computer have barely been revealed. Office 2003, along with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and SharePoint Portal Services, is the latest technology to come from Microsoft that promises to help us be more productive and more efficient through connected computing.