Just Released: Chatter for SharePoint 2.2

Hi Everyone! I am pleased to announce the availability of Chatter for SharePoint 2010/2013 version 2.2. As I mentioned in a previous post there are significant updates and changes to the middle-tier library which were necessary to correct some performance and session boundary issues within the IIS worker process. This issue affected all prior 2.x family releases. I strongly encourage all customers to download, test and deploy the new version as soon as possible.

Full Change Log

  • Fixes an issue with the Chatter DLL class declarations
  • Fixes an issue with the caching the API-Enabled user account access token
  • Fixes an issue with logging and multiple sessions
  • Fixes an issue where the feed refreshes to the default group ID on postbacks (if one is set)
  • Fixes an issue where user names in the Like and Comments sections were not selectable
  • Fixes an issue with custom salesforce URIs and the password grant type
  • Fixes an issue where under certain conditions the function for returning the AccountName throws a null-reference exception
  • Moved all methods and properties into one class library
  • Updated the licensing system to use actual Chatter-enabled users for the license count, rather than the count of the UserInfo list or the number of User Profiles
  • Licensing system now prevents adding users beyond the licensed limit, rather than blocking functionality
  • Removed LicenseCalculator tool

The other significant change is around the user-count calculation. The application now looks at authenticated profiles rather that the total user count of a site or farm. Once the user count exceeds the license count – no new users can be authorized on the platform until additional licenses are added.

The updated solution ZIP file(s) and documentation can be found here.

Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns. Thank you for choosing Chatter for SharePoint!

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Chatter for SharePoint 2.0 FAQs

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!

On Deck: Chatter for SharePoint 2.0

Hi Everyone! As you can guess from the title we are getting close to the release of the next major version of Chatter for SharePoint. This project began almost a year ago and is finally coming to fruition. I’d like to thank my BETA testers for their feedback. Since the BETA was released last month there have been major changes to the codebase, including general bug squashing and significant performance improvements. The majority of the work has been around performance and I am happy to report that version 2 is far faster in rendering feeds and performing feed actions than the 1.x codebase. In many areas – it’s as much as a 100% performance increase. This is due to an entirely new caching design. While the 1.x solution cached entire feed pages – the 2.x code caches individual feed items and dynamically builds feed pages on the fly. This new caching was not implemented in the BETA – but you will be able to see it very soon.

Which leads me into the next topic – the general availability of version 2.x. Plans are to release the final version the week of November 3rd! I’m in the final debugging stages – soon to be updating the installer and documentation.

Next – a final reminder about the licensing change. Only Version 1.x customers who are under maintenance as of November 1, 2014 will be grandfathered into the new Enterprise licensing model at no cost. New and existing customers not under maintenance will need to purchase the 2.x solution and license it under the new terms.

Finally – some screenshots (just because everyone loves screenshots)

Screenshot of the Read Only Feed View

The Feed – with the new Trending Panel open.

A feed item with Topics.

Comments on a feed item with attachments.

New dropdown action menus.

The new Edit Mode info panel – licensing details will be visible here.

The Web Part Properties panel is now just one section for easy management of settings.

Thanks again to all my customers who have invested in the Chatter for SharePoint solution. This version represents a year (on and off) of development – with features and improvements suggested by you. I hope you continue to find it useful. I’ll be updating the site the week of November 3rd with the release announcement. Existing customers will be notified via email with download links and instructions for requesting new license keys.

Chatter for SharePoint 1.8.1.0 Released!

Hi Everyone! Great news – Chatter for SharePoint 1.8.1.0 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.

CFSP_EasySetup
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!

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.