Hi Everyone. As we approach the launch of Chatter for SharePoint 2.0 I wanted to provide answers to common questions I am receiving:
Q: What’s new in version 2?
A: A Lot! See my earlier posts for details and screenshots. Some of the more noteworthy improvements include: a completely new (and customizable) UI, faster performance, improved caching, a new middle-tier library and support for: @mentions, following and trending – among many other improvements.
Q: Can I do an in-place upgrade from version 1.x to version 2.0?
A: YES! The upgrade process is very simple. You can use the InstallWebPart utility to automatically retract/remove the old version and add/deploy the new one. Alternatively, you can use STSADM or PowerShell commands to do the retract/remove and the add/deploy. All existing instances of the web part will automatically be upgraded to the new version.
Q: When upgrading do I need to rerun EasySetup or PrepareSharePoint.exe?
A: No. If you already have a working 1.x solution deployed the new version will inherit all of the existing configuration settings.
Q: I have the BETA version of 2.0 installed. Can I upgrade to the final version?
A: YES! Just retract/remove the beta and add/deploy the final version using STSADM or PowerShell. See the documentation for the command syntax if you are unsure.
Q: I have the 1.x solution installed and would like to try the 2.x version – but retain the option of downgrading to the 1.x solution. How can I do that?
A: By default, the 2.x solution changes how the user tokens are stored. This new format is incompatible with the 1.x solution. To retain backwards-compatibility, add the AppSetting ‘Chatter_Compatibility_Mode’ to all your web.config files and set the value to ‘true’. This will allow you to go back to the 1.x solution if you so desire. Note: running in this mode will reduce the security of the user-tokens.
Q: What version of SharePoint does this support?
A: Chatter for SharePoint 2.0 is compatible with on-prem installations of the Foundation, Standard or Enterprise editions of SharePoint 2010 or 2013. This software is NOT compatible with O365/SharePoint Online due to platform restrictions. There is also no 2.0 version for SharePoint 2007.
Q: What are the SalesForce requirements?
A: Your users must have Chatter Free or Chatter Plus licenses on your instance of SalesForce.
Q: Is there an Evaluation Version?
A: YES! The solution will run in Enterprise Evaluation mode for 15 days from the date you first installed the product. You can test all of the Enterprise features with the following restrictions: An evaluation banner message will appear in the web part and the feed results are restricted to only three items.
Q: How much does the solution cost?
A: Version 2.0 has two flavors – Standard and Enterprise. The Standard License is a one-time charge of $299 per farm (unlimited users) and allows you to use the Feed Web Part only. This license DOES NOT include: Ribbon Integration, Sharing of pages/documents/items from SharePoint, Share from Anywhere, File Upload, Search Integration and Sync. The Enterprise license includes all of the solution functionality (similar to the old 1.x license) for a one-time charge of $599 per farm PLUS per-user licenses. User licenses start at $1.50 per user for less than 1000 users. Customers interested in the Enterprise license should contact me for a quote.
Q: I am interested in the Enterprise license. How do I know how many user licenses I need?
A: I have created a License Calculator tool which is included in the ZIP file. Run the tool from one of your SharePoint Servers (see the documentation for details). It will determine the user count based on the larger of the user count in the User Profile Service (if provisioned) or the largest site collection. It will then add 10% and round the number up to the nearest tenth to give you a suggested license size. You may choose to increase that number if you know your user base will grow quickly. Otherwise you can purchase additional licenses in groups of 100.
Q: We already have purchased the 1.x solution. How do we get version 2.0?
A: 1.x customers under maintenance as of November 1, 2014 will be receiving the 2.x solution at no cost and will be grandfathered into the Enterprise licensing model for the number of users recommended by the License Calculator tool. 1.x customers not under maintenance must repurchase the solution under the new licensing terms.
Q: Do you offer support or maintenance?
A: YES! Yearly Support and Maintenance contracts are available. The cost varies depending on the license type. For Standard licenses it is $1000/year per license. For the Enterprise license it is the greater of $1000 or 20% of the total license cost (farm+user licenses).
I hope these are helpful. If you have a question not addressed above please feel free to contact me. Look for the Chatter for SharePoint 2.0 launch during the week of November 3rd!