SharePoint Online allows users to connect a certain document library with Microsoft Outlook, so that the users can work offline.
How to connect it ?
- from the Library tab click on Connect to Outlook.
- next, we must choose Microsoft Outlook as the application that it will host the list.
- in Microsoft Outlook click on Yes to connect to the library.
- specify your sign in credentials
Now, Microsoft Outlook will do a Send and Receive, so that it will download the SharePoint library content into a new Outlook *.pst file.
The SharePoint list is added into Outlook as a new *.pst file.
As an observation, this list is not displayed in OWA.
The new list is attached to your Outlook profile.
When you click on a file from the list, in the preview pane you have an option to download that file or to view it, using the internal viewers.
When you choose to open a file using the local Office applications, that copy will be edited offline and then it will be uploaded into SharePoint.
Another great thing about this type of connection, is the fact that Outlook will automatically add the new connection to a Send and Receive group.
You can create a custom Send and Receive group with only that connection and set it to do an automatic Send and Receive after a given time.