RSS feeds are great to keep you up to date without the hassle to go and look if information is updated; the new/updated stuff is pushed towards you. In the previous version of SharePoint, there was no support for RSS feeds out of the box. Although it’s possible to add RSS functionality to SharePoint 2003 by installing add-ons, it’s not very straight forward. Luckily in the new SharePoint 2007 RSS feeds are available, and the good news is: it’s enabled by default! When you navigate to a list or document library, you can select the View RSS Feed item from the Actions menu.
This will navigate to the RSS feed’s URL, but you’re not going to see the raw XML; it’s transformed into a nice web page using a XSLT. From this page you can click the Subscribe to this feed link which will send the feed to your favorite RSS reader (for example Outlook 2007).
This is what you get if you do not change anything, of course you can also customize the RSS feed for each list. For each list’s RSS feed you can specify the title, description and image url. Additionally it’s possible to choose the columns which should be included and the number of items to show in the feed (optionally limited by the age of the items). The default RSS feed of a list is based on the default view of that list. But each list view also has a RSS feed which can be retrieved from the view’s settings page. Great!
So is there still room for improvement and/or opportunities? I do think so! One of the nice features of the U2U RSS Feed Generator for SharePoint, is the ability to create a feed that aggregates more than one list. This enables the users of a site to subscribe to one feed which bundles all the important information of a site. Maybe exposing the OPML for all the lists of a specific site could be a workaround. Let’s see if there will be any improvements in RC1, otherwise we’ll have to built something!