SharePoint 2007 “Meeting Workspace” template limitations
On one of the recent projects we built the monthly based reporting system. We provided users the freedom of choice of the reporting indicators, from the predefined list, and allowed them changing values of selected indicators.
From the very beginning we couldn’t decide which template to use as a baseline for our project and considered using “Meeting Workspaces” (MW). The advantages of them were that you can create number of calendar-driven Workspace sites with custom recurrence. It fitted our conceptual model ideally – you create the content ones and it’s available across all months + you can add custom content for the specific month.
But the reality of Meeting Workspaces is too far from grace, limiting its usage.
First of all, you can’t save Meeting Workspace as template including the content. As I understand it’s “behaviour-by-design”, because the MW is based on the single huge list, where content is splitted by “InstanceID”. You can’t just save the template for the specific month - SharePoint can’t save only part of your list. Secondly, you can’t set different permissions for the lists per month, due to the same behaviour – it’s the same list not different once. Third, calendar URLs are not “InstanceID” driven and Meeting workspaces don’t provide collaboration behaviour, because when you open the new month the list content is based on active month selection (see this post)
Such limitation changed our decision towards using the Blank site and customized list, saving the site as template to be used for the new period.
I really wonder to know the usage of Meeting Workspace when you can ignore such limitations.