Chatter for SharePoint 2.0 News

Hi Everyone! Wanted to share with you the current progress of the Chatter for SharePoint 2.x development, some tentative dates and the new licensing model. The version 2.x solution development is proceeding as planned and on target for a Q3-2014 release.

New features/improvements that are done and confirmed for 2.0 include:

  • EasySetup (delivered early)
  • 3rd party digitally-signed binaries (delivered early)
  • Consolidation of SalesForce APIs into middle-tier library
  • Encryption of user tokens within SharePoint
  • Localization support
  • New licensing model

Other features currently under development include*:

  • Performance improvements
  • Redesigned Wall UI; new Metro style alternate UI
  • Support for user-customizable CSS styles
  • Improved support for touch interfaces
  • New jQuery animations and transitions
  • Support for @mention auto-complete
  • Trending Topics
  • Follow
  • Recommendations
  • Sharing multiple documents simultaneously
  • RSS output of feed data
  • And more…

Unfortunately I do need to strike one feature from the roadmap. Regretfully the O365/SharePoint Online support will not make this release. There are simply too many restrictions on these platforms (the first and killer being no external web calls) to make Chatter for SharePoint work. As these platforms evolve hopefully Microsoft will allow more flexibility with the API and network access.

Another important change is that the 2007 version is not being upgraded to 2.0. A number of factors went into this decision: the age of the platform, number of customers on 2007 and my bandwidth were all considered. The 1.x version will continue to be sold and supported for 2007 but there will be no new (significant) features for the platform. Current 2007 customers under maintenance upgrading to SharePoint 2010/2013 will get the 2.x comparable version at no additional cost.

And finally I wanted to talk about licensing. Chatter for SharePoint has been more successful than I ever imagined – and I am very thankful for the business of each of my customers and being able to help them integrate Chatter and SharePoint in their organizations. The 1.x licensing model was affordable and easy to understand and implement. It made the barrier-to-entry low enough for even the smallest companies to invest in this solution. Its adoption and success has costs though – and as I wish this to continue the licensing model must evolve and be commensurate with the features and services offered. So the new licensing model looks like this:

  • Standard License ($299/Farm; unlimited users; maintenance is $1000/yr) – Includes the web part only
  • Enterprise License ($599/Farm + per-user licensing; maintenance is the greater of $1000 or 20%/yr) – Includes all functionality (Web part, Ribbon Integration, Search, Sync and Upload)

The Enterprise per-user costs are tiered based on the number of users in the site collection. For example, if you have 5 site collections with 100,200,300,400 and 500 users respectively then you would license for the 500 users. Per user licensing costs will be quoted upon request.

Current customers under maintenance will be grandfathered into the new Enterprise licensing model for version 2.x automatically at no additional cost. Version 1.x customers not under maintenance will need to re-purchase the 2.x solution under the new licensing model.

Look for more updates on version 2.x in the coming weeks. Thank you for using Chatter for SharePoint and for your suggestions/comments. Please keep them coming – the 2.x feature list is largely by user request.

* This post contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. If any such risks or uncertainties materialize or if any of the assumptions prove incorrect, the results could differ materially from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements I make. Customers who purchase my applications should make their purchase decisions based upon features that are currently available.

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