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.

Chatter for SharePoint: DreamForce ’13 Attendee Discount

Are you attending DreamForce ’13? Looking to integrate Chatter with SharePoint? I have the solution for you – and 20% off retail! Email me a picture of your badge (or you with Sassy or Chatty will do) and I’ll send you a link to purchase Chatter for SharePoint for just $79! Same discount applies to the support and maintenance – attendee priced at $800/year per license. Offer is good until 12/1 so hurry!

Want to try Chatter for SharePoint? Download the 15 day FREE evaluation from here. Enjoy DreamForce ’13!

* Offer valid for new purchases by DF13 attendees only beginning on 11/15/2013 and ending 12/1/2013.

Chatter for SharePoint Released!

Hi Everyone! Great news – Chatter for SharePoint has been released. In addition to minor fixes this release includes the new EasySetup install method. If you have already installed Chatter for SharePoint nothing changes for you – everything will work as before. If you are new to Chatter for SharePoint you will have a much easier experience getting CFSP up and running. Why? I’ve eliminated the most complex part: Setting up SalesForce! This is by far the fastest and easiest way to get SalesForce Chatter integrated with SharePoint.

Check out the new one-sheet EasySetup Guide. Seven simple to follow steps and within 5 minutes you will be up and running.

What if I want to customize the installation you say? Absolutely! I’ve updated the User Guide with even more instructions and useful information.

As always I appreciate your feedback and suggestions. EasySetup came about from a user suggestion. Have an idea to make Chatter for SharePoint even better? Now is the time to let me know. Version 2.0 development is underway. I have a ton of new features going into the next major release.

Thank you for using Chatter for SharePoint!

Who’s using Chatter for SharePoint!

They say you’re only as good as the company you keep. By that standard, Chatter for SharePoint is in good company indeed. Here is but a small sample of the fantastic organizations using my software.

On Deck: Chatter for SharePoint Roadmap & EasySetup

Hi Everyone. The march towards the next milestone begins. Development on the 2.x codebase has begun. Still looking at between 3-4 months of development time before we have usable code but the feature list has been locked down and preliminary work has begun. I will be sharing more details of 2.x over the next month so look for more updates soon. Office 365/SharePoint Online support is on the roadmap for 2.x.

But before then we have several significant releases of the 1.x codebase in the pipeline. A feature of the 2.x codebase is going to be delivered early in the form of a new install program and a Zero Configuration Setup. So what does ‘Zero Configuration’ mean? Think Staples Easy Button™. No SalesForce setupNo Connected Applications to configure… just install, add the web part to a page and you’re done in less than 5 minutes. This method is great for those who don’t have administrator access to SalesForce or who don’t want to go through the manual setup process. If you already have a connected app setup don’t worry – everything will still work as normal. This is just a great way for new customers to get Chatter for SharePoint installed and running as quickly as possible.

Above: The new EasySetup utility.

Above: Screenshot of new solution installer in action.

Look for this and more updates soon. Thanks for using Chatter for SharePoint!

Chatter for SharePoint 1.8 Released!

Hi Everyone. It is with great pleasure I release version 1.8 of Chatter for SharePoint – and with it the long-awaited support for Chatter Free. You asked, I found a way. Thanks go out to my beta testers for taking the time to run 1.8 through its paces. This version also includes some great new functionality – including support for thumbnails/previews and direct downloading of attachments right within the chatter feed. The full change log is below. You can download the updated version here.

Changes in 1.8:

  • Added Chatter Free support
  • Added support for attachment thumbnail/preview images
  • Added direct-download of SalesForce attachments in feed items
  • Added new verbose logging option to web.config
  • Fixed issue where comments on Links or Files would not be posted with the item
  • Fixed issue with finding correct web.config with multiple AAMs
  • Fixed issue where group selector would be blank if user was not a member of any groups
  • Fixed issue where the web part would not properly detect a Team Site in edit mode
  • Updated web part branding styles
  • Improved formatting of posts in Read Only mode
  • Web Part Properties panel now updates it’s values from web.config after the initial configuration
  • Cleaned up deprecated code
  • New ‘Edit Mode’ information panel
  • Minor fixes

Thanks for using Chatter for SharePoint!

BREAKING NEWS: Chatter for SharePoint

Hi Everyone! I have some exciting news regarding a major development with Chatter for SharePoint. Version 1.8 – which is being tested now – will allow Chatter Free users to use the solution! This is a huge breakthrough and (next to O365 compatibility) was the most requested feature. Chatter for SharePoint will be one of the few 3rd party Chatter applications that support Chatter Free and I’m thrilled to offer it to you.

So – if you were looking at Chatter for SharePoint and were discouraged that it wouldn’t work with your Chatter Free users – look again. I hope to release 1.8 within the next few weeks.

Stay tuned. And thanks for using Chatter for SharePoint!

Update: Several of you have inquired regarding if the Chatter Free compatibility is read-only or full access. It is fully functional and identical to the Chatter Plus user experience.

Chatter for SharePoint Released!

Hi Everyone. I’ve just published the latest version of Chatter for SharePoint to the blog. All of the previously discussed features are present, including the first version of the User Profile Sync (2010/2013). You can download the latest version from here.

Just a reminder if you are installing the solution for the first time, please run the PrepareSharePoint.exe utility on your farm BEFORE deploying the WSP. See the documentation for detailed instructions.

As always I appreciate your comments, feedback and suggestions. I hope you continue to find this solution useful.

On Deck: Chatter for SharePoint

Hi Everyone. As you may have noticed I’ve spent the last several weeks finishing and releasing other SharePoint solutions on the blog. It certainly has been busy, and the feedback has been great – keep it coming.

Wanted to spend a few minutes to bring you up-to-speed on the next release of Chatter for SharePoint. This build will continue to evolve existing features and add some requested functionality. Also trying to hit a few backlog items – we’ll see how far we get.

New features in include:

  • Ability to Share posts
  • User Profile Sync with Chatter (Photo only; SharePoint 2010/1013 Standard/Enterprise with User Profile Service configured)
  • New Read-Only mode (can be set per web part instance)
  • New option to disable file uploads from the web part (can be set in web.config or per web part instance)
  • New option to disable the ‘Share on SharePoint’ feature (can be set in web.config or per web part instance)
  • New site-scoped feature to enable/disable the ribbon integration components
  • New evaluation code and in-app license purchasing
  • Minor fixes

Still in the design-phase is the User Profile Sync with Chatter. Hoping that makes it into this release. The first version of the User Profile Sync timer job will be included in this release. At this time the only profile field which is editable from the REST API is the user’s photo. Hopefully that will change in the future. New and changed photos will sync automatically with SalesForce Chatter.  The new read-only and ‘feature-disable’ functionality is useful if running the web part on a public site or to provide simple feed data without the interactive capabilities.

Not seeing a feature you would like in the solution? Let me know and it could be in a future release. Thanks for using Chatter for SharePoint!

Chatter for SharePoint Version 1.7 Released!

Hi everyone. Version 1.7 of the Chatter for SharePoint solution is now available on the blog. Please see my earlier posts and the updated documentation for details on the new features and fixes. One additional fix is included to address reported issues when using SAML/Claims based authentication.