On Deck: Chatter for SharePoint 2.6


Hi Everyone! Hope you all had a very nice holiday. I am back to work with even more improvements to Chatter for SharePoint and some answers to what is in store with Salesforce Spring ’17.

First the answers. I’ve been working with members of Saleforce’s product management and support teams regarding the changes in the platform and what to expect. Here is the situation as I now understand it:

  • When the Chatter REST API was initially released it did not include support for Chatter Free users. This was the reason I researched and developed my Chatter Free solution based on the Chatter Desktop consumer key.
  • Salesforce has since changed this policy; The Chatter Free license type can now use the REST API – provided the API-Enabled permission is set in the Chatter Profile.
  • For reasons unknown at this time my primary development Org does not have the API-Enabled permission available for Chatter Free users; therefore I was not aware and could not test the changed access rights. I have setup a new development Org and it has all of the expected permissions and Chatter Free/Plus users are working using Connected Applications.
  • Chatter Desktop (and any connections using its consumer key) will not be available to NEW Orgs created with Spring ’17 or later.
  • Existing Orgs that have Chatter Desktop currently enabled will continue to function for the foreseeable future.

So what does this mean? I think we’re going to be ok. Since I no longer need to depend on the Chatter Desktop consumer key for Chatter Free users it greatly simplifies the configuration and support of all users. Some minor changes – which I will introduce in version 2.6 – will take care of things.

In a nutshell – if you are currently using my product and have Chatter Free users nothing needs to change for you. I will continue to support the Chatter Free mode (called Legacy in version 2.6) I designed until Salesforce disables the consumer key. You are also free to switch to any of the other Authorization Types now – including form, callback and the new user-agent mode – which uses the same ClickOnce app as Chatter Free but is based on a new Connected Application and not the Chatter Desktop consumer key. If you do switch modes your users will need to re-authorize – but that is a one-time process.

New customers will have the option of using any of the supported Authorization Types: form, callback or user-agent.

Besides the authorization changes above – version 2.6 has some new features and many improvements. The most significant new feature is the support for creating and responding to Question Feed Items:

Above: The updated Feed and Action menu; Post, Upload and Question feed types are now selectable.

Creating a Question Feed Item is as simple as selecting the option from the Feed/Action menu and asking your question:

Above: The Question post UI.

Questions can be answered and the best answer can be chosen and highlighted:

Above: A Question feed item with an accepted answer.

 

Here is the current change log; a few more updates may make it in before it is finalized:

  • Adds support for creating and responding to Question feed items
  • Updates to Authorization process; Now supports Form, Callback and User-Agent for All Chatter license types
  • Chatter Free mode has been deprecated; Orgs created with Spring ’17 or later will not support the Chatter Free mode. They will support the other supported authorization types. Chatter Free mode has been renamed to Legacy and is only supported on older orgs
  • Fixes issue where certain prompts where not pulling localized text from RESX files
  • Fixed issue where some system messages (like group creation) would not be rendered properly by the web part
  • Updated wait animations
  • Removed redundant code in web part source
  • Improvements to the PrepareSharePoint and EasySetup utilities
  • Bug fixes and code improvements

As always if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at any time. Version 2.6 is scheduled to be released before the end of January. Thanks to the folks at Salesforce for working with me on the API and authentication questions.

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