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Workspaces Defined

A workspace is essentially just another subsite that is created by a user or administrator with the Create Subsites right using a workspace template. If the Document Workspace option was selected in Figure 3.2, the results would appear as shown in Figure 3.3.

Figure 3.3Figure 3.3 Document Workspace home page.

The workspace site includes the navigation bar at the top of the screen, the Quick Launch bar on the left, and a number of Web Parts, including Announcements, Shared Documents, Tasks, Members, and Links. The Members Web Part shows the users who have access to the workspace, which in this example include five domain accounts and a sixth account that's a local administrator account on the SharePoint server. Note that in the address bar, the new site is located under the ProServices site: .../sites/ProServices/workspace/default.aspx.

A document workspace can be created for collaboration among a select group of users, and the document would be stored in the document library. This is an alternative to the "old way" of sharing documents, where the document is emailed to a group of people who contribute to it, read it, or edit it and then send it back to a central point of contact. As most readers will attest, the email collaboration route works, but it can get confusing when the members of the team start making modifications, such as changing the title of the document, adding initials, and adding revision numbers. The central point of contact often needs to cut and paste between the different versions of the document or use Word's Compare and Merge Documents feature. With SharePoint there can be one copy of the document stored in a workspace, and only the team members can access it. As you will see in Lesson 5, "Document Library Basics," the tools provided in the document library make collaborating on a document extremely easy and versatile.

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