Chatter for SharePoint Version 1.5 Released!

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

New and updated features in this version include:

  • 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)
  • Added ‘Following’ filter to show all feed items from users and groups you are following
  • Added ‘Bookmarked’ filter to show all feed items you have bookmarked
  • Added support for bookmarking items from within the web part
  • Added ability to post to group when in the group feed
  • The group dropdown is now trimmed to show only groups to which you are a member
  • Fixed issue with hash tags and searching
  • Fixed Alpha filter error on Chrome
  • Fixed spelling error for Unliked link
  • Fixed issue where the ‘Also Share on SharePoint’ option was not working properly (2013)
  • Fixed issue where share box panel would not expand on the ChatterFeed form (2007)
  • 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
  • Updated mouse-over event for bookmark/delete functionality to be on the item rather than the right-corner
  • HTTP timeout values adjusted to 30 seconds
  • New and updated debug information in the logs

Please download the latest version of the documentation for descriptions on the new features.

Chatter for SharePoint Version 1.4 Released!

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

New and updated features in this version include:

  • Added ability to delete posts and comments from the feed web part
  • Added poll support
  • Added new feed navigation
  • Added new feed filters
  • Added file attachment doctype icons
  • Added ‘Share from Anywhere’ control
  • Fixed issue where under certain conditions the web part would cause a loop while trying to write the license key to the web.config file
  • Fixed issue where under certain conditions users would see an Access Denied message when the solution opened a modal window
  • Many internal code improvements; new css; new and updated images

Please download the latest version of the documentation for descriptions on the new features.

SalesForce Chatter Integration to SharePoint

UPDATE: Click here to download the Chatter for SharePoint solution.

Hi everyone – sorry it’s been awhile between posts but got really busy at the end of the year. This article continues my series on SunGard’s corporate Intranet and the custom development we’ve done. As we were designing the branding we had some challenges around where to put some of the native controls and ribbon elements – especially two in particular: ‘Tags and Notes’, and ‘Like’. Since we effectively hid the ‘Browse’ tab, those default ribbon icons were MIA – but we didn’t want to lose that functionality. Another tab in the ribbon seemed the most logical place, and would serve as way to integrate other social aspects into SharePoint.

Being new to working with the SharePoint Ribbon, I looked on the net for examples – and found a great one on CodePlex: http://socialsharepoint.codeplex.com/ . This project helped me create the new ‘Share’ tab on our intranet and relocate the ‘Tags and Notes’ and ‘Like’ buttons. The tab also contains other sharing options, like ‘Email’, ‘RSS’, and ‘SalesForce Chatter’.

Above: The Share tab open on the ribbon.

When SunGard standardized on Chatter as their social platform, the focus became integrating Chatter into SharePoint as seamlessly as possible. We’ve approached this process in stages. The first stage was basic integration – common authentication, status updates, and shaing pages, documents, and list items. The first phase was achieved with the Share on Chatter feature in the ribbon, and a custom web part for posting status updates (detailed later in this post).

Above: Clicking on the Chatter ribbon icon opens a modal window with the selected page, item, or document as an embedded link. Users can add comments and share the item on Chatter.

The Ribbon enhancement and the web part use OAuth and the Chatter REST APIs to communicate with SalesForce. The user’s token and secrets are stored in hidden fields within their profile. Once they authorize the KnowHow Application on Chatter once, they can use any of the Chatter integration features we design.

Users can also post status updates simultaneously to both SharePoint and Chatter by means of our Status Update Web Part:

This web part is placed in everyone’s Sidebar (see: https://marcrdavis.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/persistent-personalized-content-in-sharepoint/ for details on the Sidebar) making it quick and easy to post updates. The user’s posts are sent to their SharePoint profile as well as posted on their Chatter feed.

The second stage, which is underway now, involves bringing the many different feeds in Chatter directly into SharePoint. Doing this has proved challenging, since only this weekend has the Chatter v24 API been rolled out in our Org. Our Feed web part will leverage the above common authentication and will allow site owners to place feeds directly on their sites. The web part uses the REST API to pull down feed data as a JSON array (http://json.codeplex.com/) and then parses that data into feed-items and their components. Then, with some CSS and markup, we format that data into a wall view. Properties in the web part control what feed is shown (personal, company, or group) and options for supplying default credentials for Chatter, which can be used to authenticate users that do not have a Chatter profile or have not authorized the site on their profile yet. In that mode, all feeds are read-only. The web part also leverages Ajax to provide dynamic updating of the feeds without the need to repost the entire page

Our Status Update web part will then get an overhaul – adding the user’s personal feed view right in their Sidebar.

I personally would have loved to see true threaded discussions, micro-blogging, and a wall-like interface in SharePoint natively (maybe v15) – would have saved me a lot of work. But we’ve been able to do some really cool things with these two platforms and while getting them to place nice is a challenge, our end users really enjoy the experience and this helps us drive more traffic to SharePoint now that they can seamlessly collaborate on our external social platform.

Up next – our take on Exchange and Outlook integration with SharePoint.