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.

Chatter for SharePoint 1.7 Update

Hi Everyone. Wanted to provide another status report on the version 1.7 progress. All three editions are now complete and going through extensive testing. More than 50% of the code has been updated in this version so it requires a little more testing than normal. I spent a lot of time optimizing the code, improving performance where I could and squashed a number of bugs along the way. Here is the final change log:

  • Added support for Chatter API version 28.0
  • Added initial support for Topics
  • Added the ability to set a default topic or hash tag for the web part
  • Added Post To control to target posting of content to followers or group
  • Added Find on Chatter ribbon option to allow for searching of SharePoint content on Chatter
  • Added support for viewing attachments in comments
  • Fixed issue where web part would hang following authentication
  • Fixed issue where web part could get stuck in a refresh loop if unable to write settings to web.config
  • Fixed issue where sites without the Ribbon could not authorize clients due to missing sp.js reference
  • Removed ‘Fast Load for Cached Content’ setting in web part properties panel
  • Improved Share on Chatter functionality
    • Post to group from web part and ribbon
    • Post files to group from web part and ribbon
    • Upload files from SharePoint document libraries to Chatter
  • Improved formatting of Polls
  • Improved performance of web part load times
  • Improved debug messages

Looking to release the new version the week of July 22nd. Thanks for everyone’s input and patience – and thanks for using Chatter for SharePoint!

On Deck: Chatter for SharePoint 1.7

Hi Everyone – Work continues on the next version of Chatter for SharePoint. We’re still a few weeks out from the release but I wanted to share my current progress.

  • Improved Share to Group functionality

    I’m pleased to report that Version 1.7 will have equivalent Share to Group functionality as compared to the native Chatter experience.

    The ‘Share on SharePoint’ control has been moved into the feed menu to make room for the Post-To control. Clicking the control will open a dropdown:

    Selecting ‘A Group’ will load and cache the user’s available groups:

    The post will be targeted for the selected group.

    The File Upload control (when selected) has been relocated to above the conversation box, also similar to the native Chatter experience:

    The branding and chrome of the web part has been updated to also be closer to the native experience. The Share to Group functionality will also extend to sharing items/documents on Chatter.

  • Find on Chatter

    Also in 1.7 is the ability to find selected SharePoint objects (List Items, Document, etc) that have been shared on Chatter by using the new Find on Chatter ribbon button.

    The option will appear for compatible items in the ‘Share & Track’ ribbon group. Clicking it will perform a search against Chatter and display relevant results:

    Still have some cleanup to do and then porting the changes to 2007/2013. Look for more updates in the days ahead. Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and feedback!

Chatter for SharePoint Version 1.6 Released!

Hi everyone. Version 1.6 of the Chatter for SharePoint solution is now available on the blog. You can download the files for your version of SharePoint from this link.

This version includes support for uploading files to SalesForce Chatter from the web part as well as from within SharePoint Document libraries. The version also includes minor fixes and code improvements.

The Share to Group, Photo Sync and localization support are still on the backlog for a future release.

On Deck: Chatter for SharePoint 1.6

Hi Everyone – sorry it’s been awhile between posts. March was a busy month which culminated in a new job working for Automotive Resources International (ARI). Don’t worry – I’ll still be bringing you new blog posts and updates to the solutions here – especially Chatter for SharePoint.

Planning and development of version 1.6 is well underway. While the final list of new features and fixes is still to be determined, I can share what is on the drawing board.

  • File upload to SalesForce
    You’ve asked for it (I pushed back, lol) but I finally relented. Included in version 1.6 will be the ability to upload files to SalesForce Chatter from the web part.
  • Share to Group Improvements
    Looking to improve the Share to Group functionality so it is closer to the native Chatter experience
  • Photo Sync
    This one is a big MAYBE. Thinking about adding a timer-job to (optionally) sync user photos from the User Profile Service to SalesForce Chatter.
  • Multiple Language Support
    This one is also in the MAYBE category. I started the work back in 1.4 but it never got finished due to other priorities. I know a lot of you have asked for it – I am trying to fit it in.

Probably will be a lot more added to that list before 1.6 is finalized. Not seeing a feature you need? Better let me know soon so I can consider it for inclusion in 1.6. Keep that feedback coming! Thanks.

On Deck: Chatter for SharePoint 1.5

Good evening (or whatever time of day it is where you are) and welcome back to SharePoint Snapple. Another week – another new version of Chatter for SharePoint is getting ready to be released. You guys keep asking for features and I’m happy to deliver. Here is what we have coming up in 1.5:

  • Added ‘Load more posts’ option to the bottom of feed to fetch next X number of feed-items into the web part
  • Added support for callback URLs to provide a better and faster authentication experience (your web applications need to be SSL for this to work; the forms authentication method is still present for non-SSL sites)
  • The group dropdown is now trimmed to show only groups to which you are a member
  • Fixed issue with hash tags and searching
  • Hash tags are now searchable within the web part. Just click on a hash tag within a feed item to search for all instances of the tag
  • New ‘Following’ filter to show all feed items from users and groups you are following
  • New ‘Bookmarked’ filter to show all feed items you have bookmarked
  • Added support for bookmarking items from within the web part
  • Updated mouseover event for bookmark/delete functionality to be on the item rather than the right-corner
  • Fixed Alpha filter error on Chrome
  • HTTP timeout values adjusted to 30 seconds
  • New and updated debug information in the logs

Some screenshots:

Above: Navigation showing the new ‘Following’ and ‘Bookmarked’ filters

Above: Bookmarked items and the add bookmark control (on mouseover)

Above: Searching for hash tags within the web part

Still a few more things to fit in before I close up development on 1.5. Expect to see it on the blog in the next 2 weeks. Thanks for all the suggestions!

Chatter for SharePoint 1.4 – More New Features

Good evening everyone. I wanted to share with you the latest new features and some additional screenshots of the Chatter for SharePoint solution. Version 1.4 is shaping up to be one of the most significant updates to-date. I was just about finished with the scheduled updates for this version when an idea came to me in the shower (seriously. I have a lot of my ‘eureka’ moments in the shower for some reason).

As useful as the web part is – it’s still just a web part on a page. If you’re not on the page with the web part, you can’t use it. Since the purpose of this solution is to provide integration points from SharePoint to Chatter, I’ve come up with a new one: a way for the feed to be accessible from any page without any additional configuration. I’ve achieved this with the addition of a custom web part page and a custom action in the user-control:

Users can now click on the user-control at the top of the page and choose ‘Chatter Feed’ to instantly collaborate on Chatter:

A new modal window will appear with the Chatter Feed web part. This integration will allow for even greater collaboration as it doesn’t require users to be on a given page to view or post to their feeds.

In addition to the new Chatter Feed action, I’ve also added a new feed filter to the navigation: ‘To Me’. This filter will show feed items that are targeted to you.

Also squashed a number of bugs, including one big one where under certain conditions users would get an Access Denied message when opening the modal windows from the ribbon if they did not have read permissions on the root site.

I am hoping to have the new version ready by the end of the week – if time permits.

Thanks for all of the feedback!

Coming Soon! Chatter for SharePoint 1.4

Hi everyone. Wanted to share some details and screenshots of the upcoming release of Chatter for SharePoint. The release date is still to be finalized – depends on what else I think I can reasonably finish in the next week or so.

In addition to performance tweaks and fixes, version 1.4 has some exciting new capabilities including:

  • Ability to delete your posts and comments (admins can delete any post or comment)
  • Poll support (users can vote, edit their responses and view poll results)
  • New feed navigation (ability to select company, personal or group feeds right from the web part)
  • File attachments now represented by product icons (Word, Excel, etc)

Let’s take a look:

As you hover over the right-corner of a post or comment, a delete icon will appear if you have permission to delete the item. After confirming you want the item deleted it will be immediately removed from the feed.

Users can now respond to polls created on Chatter right from the web part. You can vote or change your vote and view or refresh the poll results. Note – polls still must be created from SalesForce Chatter for now.

The web part has a completely new and intuitive navigation system. Clicking the feed control now displays a context-menu which allows you to select the feed to view or to refresh the current feed. When selecting Groups for the first time, the web part will load and cache all of the selectable groups and present them as a drop-down within the menu:

Finally – we have a number of ‘fit-and-finish’ improvements to the UI, including doctype attachment icons that leverage the SharePoint DOCICONS cache:

As you can see – a lot of new and useful functionality is in the works. I’m also considering a PowerShell script or GUI Setup to further simplify the installation. Also in the pipeline, but not in the 1.4 release, is support for language localization (RESX), @mentions and post-targeting.

So look for the new version shortly here on the blog and keep those suggestions coming in. I appreciate the support – and for those that haven’t bought the web part yet – what are you waiting for? Seriously – if your must-have feature isn’t in the solution yet, I can fix that. J

Disclaimer: Screenshots above are from the 2010 version and are still in progress. Final features and appearance subject to change, yadda yadda.

Coming Soon: Chatter for SharePoint 2007

I’ve received a number of inquiries on support for WSS 3.0 and SharePoint 2007. Initially I did not plan to support this platform – but I’ve now decided to take a look at what would be involved to get Chatter for SharePoint working on this version. I’m happy to say it wasn’t half as bad as I feared – sort of. While the web part itself was easily ported to 2007, the other features like the Ribbon Integration and Federated Search need some tweaking.

So – expect to see a WSS 3.0/SharePoint 2007 (x86 only) compatible version of the solution soon. Final features and pricing TBD. In the meantime – here’s a screenshot of the web part running on WSS 3.0:

More details coming soon. Thanks for the feedback and comments.

Chatter for SharePoint 2013 Released!

Hi Everyone – I am very pleased to announce that the new 2013-compatible version of Chatter for SharePoint is now available! You can download the latest version here.

The 2010/2013 versions are functionally identical – except where differences in the platform need to be handled. The 2013 version has an updated look that honors the native SharePoint 2013 branding:

It is my intention to manage the 2010 and 2013 version in lock-step, until such time where it is not practical or 2013 gains more traction. A new version of the 2010 solution is also available which includes some cosmetic updates and fixes.

Version changes include:

  • Initial support for SharePoint 2013
  • Fixed issue where URLs to feed items in search results were linking to feeds rather than the actual item
  • Fixed issue where URLs from Links list types were returning the display-item URL rather than the URL of the actual link
  • Fixed issue where the Group breadcrumb would not reload the current feed when clicked
  • Added support for sharing 2013 Task list items
  • Added support for sharing 2013 Picture library items

The 2013 version is licensed in the same manner as the 2010 version – by farm. Same price too, just $49 USD. I’m very happy to offer solutions for both of these platforms – and to be the first to offer a 2013-compatible version. Please check them out and be sure to send me any comments or suggestions. Thanks!