Thursday 14 May 2009

With Windows 7 and SharePoint, Who Needs A VPN? And … It Network Drive Maps!

This is a pretty neat new feature available to us:


After logging onto a remote SharePoint site, open a SharePoint library and change the view to Explorer View. In this case, the above screenshot is showing the Shared Documents folder on our SBS 2008 Advanced Blueprint SharePoint site.

Catch what is happening yet?

The screenshot above was taken after opening the remote SharePoint library in Explorer Mode and on a whim, clicking in the address bar and pulling the folder icon over to the Favorites after the full path was shown.

Voila! We have our shortcut to the SharePoint library!

Now, what happens when we have logged off and back on again?

When we log on, click on the Libraries icon on the Task Bar, we can click on the Shared Documents favorite. When we do, we are presented with the standard SharePoint credentials request. Once we have authenticated, we are in!

Talk about an absolutely huge time saver. There is literally no more need for a VPN connection!

There is already a list of clients in my head that this feature alone will justify the upgrade to SBS 2008 with SharePoint v3 and Windows 7 as soon as it arrives.

The sweet spot: No more VPN bandwidth overhead. Everything is riding inside of an HTTPS tunnel!

The above screenshot’s site URL:

  • \\\DavWWWRoot\sites\SBS2008AB\Shared Documents

And, the cat’s meow:

  • net use r: “\\\DavWWWRoot\sites\SBS2008AB\Shared Documents”

The net use command will call for credentials. But, it works! :D

UPDATE: Okay, the CMD window that was used to make the initial R: connection allowed us to browse the folders, but the R: drive did not show up properly in Windows Explorer.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac! (previous blog post)

Windows Live Writer

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I tried this with Win7 and SBS2011 and I used Windows Explorer's "Map Network Drive" instead of a CMD window and the mapped drive to SharePoint SharedFolders does appear in Explorer. Haven't tried logging off and back on yet though.