Important Information for Chatter for SharePoint Customers

UPDATE 1/25/2017: I have obtained the answers I needed from Salesforce. Details can be found in my announcement here: https://sharepointadept.com/2017/01/08/on-deck-chatter-for-sharepoint-2-6/

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to get as much information and clarification as I could from Salesforce before I made any statement regarding a possible change in the product.

Here is what I know:

Salesforce has made the decision to discontinue their Chatter Desktop and Mobile client applications. Existing orgs created BEFORE Spring ’17 can continue to use these products – but without support. Orgs created with Spring ’17 or later will not be able to use the Chatter Desktop or Mobile client applications.

What does this mean?

The Chatter Free compatibility mode in my Chatter for SharePoint product uses the same API access as the Chatter Desktop/Mobile products. Based on the public release notes and my conversations with Salesforce – existing customers with org’s created before the release of Spring ’17 will continue to function normally for the foreseeable future.

New Salesforce customers or existing customers that create a new Org with Spring ’17 or later will NOT be able to use my product if they have Chatter Free users.

Salesforce has not released any information yet regarding replacement client products compatible with Spring ’17. And until they do – or until we see what Spring ’17 has to offer – I cannot make any claims or promises regarding the compatibility of my product when used with Chatter Free users.

This issue applies only to Chatter Free users and orgs created with Spring ’17 or later – if you have Chatter Plus licensed users (or if your org was created before Spring ’17) then (to the best of my knowledge) the product will continue to function normally.

What I am doing:

I am continuing to communicate with Salesforce and the SF community on this change to determine how I can continue to offer a product that supports all Chatter license types. I will be posting additional information on my blog as I know more. If you have any questions I will do my best to answer them.

Thank you.

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On Deck: Enhanced Document Upload 3.0

Hi Everyone! The next major release of the Enhanced Document Upload solution is nearly ready. In a few weeks I will be sending invites out to select customers to help me beta test the new version and then we will quickly get it out to the masses. The key new feature in this version is support for Content Types. When uploading documents to a library with content types enabled users will have the option of using the default content-type and setting common properties that each item will inherit – or to use the new Enhanced Editor which will give users granular control of setting the content-type and properties for each item uploaded.

Some screenshots:

Above: Files uploaded to a library with multiple content-types will cause SharePoint to prompt for how to handle the files. Choosing ‘Use Default Content Type’ will cause the editor to use the default content type on the library for each item – and each item will share the same metadata that is entered. If you choose ‘Select Each Content Type’ then the app will load the selected items into the new Enhanced Editor – where you can select the content type and properties for each item. Each item is processed individually and checked in automatically.

Above: The new Enhanced Editor. The grid at the top lists all of the uploaded items. It will automatically advance through the items as you save them; or you can select files from the grid to work on in any order you like. The selected item’s properties are shown below the grid. In this mode you work with individual items – each can have its own unique properties. Click Finish when you are done editing.

List of improvements in this release

  • Support for Content Types
  • New Enhanced Editor for managing multiple content-type uploads
  • Improved support for single-item editing
  • New licensing scheme – no more editing web.config files
  • Many other bug fixes and UI tweaks

Supported platforms

  • SharePoint 2010, 2013 and 2016

Licensing and Pricing Changes

This version has represented a significant amount of effort and resources to bring to completion. As some of you may remember I previously made version 2.x available to all of the existing 1.x customers at no charge. Unfortunately that won’t be the case here. The retail price of the 3.x solution is moving from $299 to $499. Existing customers can upgrade from 2.x to 3.x for $99 per farm. As always – these licenses are per-farm; there are no per-user or per-frontend licenses to worry about. If there are any questions about the licensing or the new version – please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Look for additional updates soon. Thank you!

Salesforce TLS changes & Chatter for SharePoint

Hi Everyone. Wanted to make my customers aware of a security change that Salesforce is beginning to phase-in that will impact the Chatter for SharePoint product. Effective March 4, 2017, Salesforce will remove support for TLS 1.0 protocol encryption (Sandboxes will be updated on June 25, 2016). Chatter for SharePoint currently uses TLS 1.0 to communicate with the Salesforce Chatter API. An update will be required to continue using the products after the TLS changes are implemented.

Affected Products:

  • Chatter For SharePoint 2010 (All versions prior to 2.5.1.0)
  • Chatter for SharePoint 2013/2016 (All versions prior to 2.5.1.0)

While both versions require an update to support TLS 1.1/1.2, the 2010 version will require additional changes due to lack of support for TLS 1.1 or higher in the .NET Framework version supported by SharePoint 2010. I expect both versions to be updated and supporting the newer protocol encryptions shortly.

For additional information about this change – please see the following article from Salesforce: https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewSolution?id=000221207

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me. Thank you!

Just Released: Chatter for SharePoint 2.5

Hi Everyone! I am pleased to announce the release of Chatter for SharePoint 2.5! This release focused on improvements to the configuration storage. Gone are editing web.config files! The solution configuration information is now stored in a hidden list within your SharePoint farm. This change will greatly simplify the configuration process – especially with large farms.

For existing users – be sure to read the Upgrade Addendum included in the ZIP file. There are prerequisite steps to migrate your existing configuration into the new list storage system.

In addition – version 2.5 includes a new language pack – German! Thanks to one of my new clients for translating the resource file.

The User Guide has been updated with all of the new configuration information and changes – be sure to check it out.

Thank you for using Chatter for SharePoint!

On Deck: Chatter for SharePoint 2.4 and other news

Hi Everyone – Happy New Year! It was a busy end-of-year with a lot of companies coming on-board with Chatter for SharePoint – so a big thank you all of you who have chosen my product to enhance your SharePoint collaboration platform.

The next release of Chatter for SharePoint is version 2.4 and it contains the usual bug fixes and improvements. Once significant update is around Comments. Prior to 2.4, only the first 3 comments would be displayed in the web part – with a link to take you into Salesforce to see the rest. I received feedback that this was not an ideal experience so I am pleased to announce that version 2.4 now includes the ability to see all comments in the web part.

Other fixes/improvements were around the authorization process to address a few scenarios. I’ve also added some new configuration parameters to hide some UI elements.

The full list of changes is below:

  • Includes changes to how ‘More Comments’ are handled. Prior to 2.4 if a post had more than 3 comments, the ‘View More Comments’ link would take you into the Salesforce Chatter UI to see the remainder; now the additional comments will load into the web part.
  • Fixes an issue where the returnURL for the ClickOnce Authorizer would not include the full relative path
  • Fixes an issue where the ClickOnce Authorizer would attempt to download on non-Windows devices
  • Fixes an issue with Forms-Based authentication and the acceptable-use acceptance page
  • Added optional UI settings to hide/disable web part functionality

Version 2.4 will be released on or before January 14th.

Right on the heels of that update I am already working on version 2.5 – which will include (among other things) a significant change to the configuration storage. Version 2.5 will move the solution configuration parameters from the web.config file(s) to a Configuration List in SharePoint itself. This will dramatically improve the initial setup process and make it much easier to manage the settings – especially in very large farms.

And finally – Office 365/SharePoint Online. I continue to hear from potential customers how they would like to use my solution – but they have O365. I’ve looked at the possibility of building an O365 compatible solution several times and ruled it out for various reasons. I’ve decided to take a fresh look at it. While it will not be as full-featured as the on-prem solution I think I can offer the basic feed web part functionality in O365. Stay tuned for more on that soon.

File Issues

Hi Everyone – BOX.COM is experiencing some issues at the present time and some of my hosted downloads are affected. I am working with them on the issue. Hopefully it will be resolved soon.

UPDATED: 1/5 11:30PM EST

All files should now be accessible via new Google Drive links. Seems Box.com didn’t reset my monthly bandwidth limit and that has been preventing downloads for most of the day. Going forward, all downloads will be hosted on Google Drive.

Marc

NEW – SharePoint 2016 Beta 2 Support

Hi Everyone! Many of my SharePoint readers and customers have been inquiring on if (and when) I will be supporting SharePoint 2016. The answer to IF is YES, and the answer to WHEN is NOW! With the release of SharePoint 2016 Beta 2 a few weeks ago I have been busy working to test and update my applications. I am pleased to announce that both Chatter for SharePoint and the Enhanced Document Upload solutions will now install and work on SharePoint 2016 Beta 2.

I fully expect additional changes as we approach RTM for the next version of SharePoint. Some things may break or may need some fine tuning. Future updates will refine the support and enhance the experience when running on 2016. Chatter for SharePoint customers interested in testing 2016 can request an extended evaluation key from me which will be valid for 6 months (or until RTM).

Thank you again to all my customers and readers! If you are looking at SharePoint 2016 I hope you will consider using some of my solutions.

Happy Holidays!