Connecting a Mac with OSX to SharePoint (including O365)!

These days my primary laptop is an Apple Macbook Pro 13″ — it is a pretty sweet piece of hardware.  There’s plenty of other folks in the SharePoint community that have been making a similar switch recently like Andrew Connell and Jeremy Thake and Sahil Malik. Everyone seems to be singing the same praise for the Macbook Pros and perhaps surprisingly most that have made the switch are choosing to run in OSX as their primary operating system.

I’ve been running this setup since last summer but most days when I’m SharePointing I use my Windows desktop.  As I was getting ready for the upcoming SharePoint Conference, I was preparing for the session I’m co-presenting with Randy Drisgill called Branding Internet facing web sites with SharePoint in the cloud (which you should come see!) I was running through some of the demos and realized that I should probably try to do them on my MBP.  One of the demos involves the Design Manager connecting to an SharePoint Online site in Office365. No problem right?  Wrong.

The usual steps of connecting to an external didn’t work (open up Finder, then Go > Connect to Server).  I scoured the interwebs looking for an answer, I tried emailing different folks at Microsoft, and didn’t really have much luck. At that point I did what everyone else would probably do: I complained on Facebook.  I’m glad I did because I found the answer in an unlikely place — from the husband of someone I went to high school (maybe even middle school?) with.  Big thanks to Scott Newsome!

Here’s how you connect your Mac with OSX to a SharePoint library — this requires Office for Mac 2011:

  1. From Spotlight look for “Microsoft Document Connection” and open it.
  2. Click on the “Add Location” button in the upper left and choose to “Connect to a SharePoint Site…”
  3. Press the Connect button.

And that’s it.  Hopefully this helps other folks trying to do the same thing.  This helped in my scenario but the tool itself isn’t perfect — for more information on the limitations check out: http://www.wired.com/geekmom/2013/01/office-for-mac-2011-document-connection/

[UPDATE: Dux reminded me of this great post he wrote on using SharePoint with a Mac.  Tons of great info here:  http://meetdux.com/2010/04/06/sharepoint-2010-mac-ipad-iphone-ipod/ ]

Enjoy!

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6 Responses to Connecting a Mac with OSX to SharePoint (including O365)!

  1. Pieter Kops says:

    Hi John,

    Last week at the European SharePoint Conference i witnessed the soon to be released OneDrive for Business client for the Mac. Now that would be an improvement!

    Regards,

    Pieter Kops

  2. Craig says:

    John,
    I followed your 3 steps to connect to share point, but when I click on the “Add Location” button, I can see a “connect to share point” option and a “Sign into Skydrive” option. The Sharepoint option is not highlighted and thus not selectable, but the Skydrive option is selectable.
    Do you know why I cannot select the Sharepoint option, or what I need to do to make it selectable?
    Thanks,
    Craig

  3. Eddie Coombes says:

    Hi – using the Document Connection manager is limited, and you cannot drag-and-drop, attach files to email or open files on SP in Office for Mac.

    Anyone have a solution to map the SP site as a drive in Finder? Otherwise the integration is terrible…

    Eddie

    • Pieter Kops says:

      Hi Eddie,

      I’d check out Cloud Commander for the Mac. It is limited to OneDrive and OneDrive for business, but it might be a solution. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/XNNy9J
      They also have a free version that does the job.
      Another solution might be Colligo Briefcase. This tool will sync SharePoint sites to a folder on your mac.

      Good Luck.
      Pieter

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