Coming Soon: System Messages for SharePoint 2010

Hi Everyone. Based on feedback and requests I have begun work on the System Messages solution. This feature allows Farm and Site Collection Administrators to set either Farm-wide or Site Collection specific banner messages. The solution leverages the native SP.UI.Status API to render the banners. The messages can have one of four priority types: Low (Green), Medium (Blue), High (Yellow) and Critical (Red). The messages can include HTML markup like anchor tags so you can link to other pages within the banner. Farm and Site collection messages can co-exist and will default to the highest priority for display purposes. Site collection admins can edit the System Messages from the Site Collection Administration settings and Farm admins can set farm-wide messages from Central Administration.

Some screenshots:


Set/Change Farm Message in Central Administration

The System Message Settings Page


A medium level message on a blank site

A Site and Farm message visible at the same time. The Farm message has the higher priority.

Looking to release the solution by the weekend. Pricing will run $20 per farm. A 15 day evaluation version will be available. The solution will be ported to both 2007 and 2013 in the near future. Thanks for the comments and feedback. I hope you will find this solution useful.

Site and Farm-wide System Messages

9/5 UPDATE: The System Messages solution is now available for download! Click here for details.

So what the heck does that title mean? If you’ve been following my blog you already know what we’re talking about – SunGard’s SharePoint Intranet and all the cool things we are doing with SharePoint. This is the next installment – broadcasting informational and/or critical alerts to our Intranet users.

Useful for a variety of reasons: Alert users when a system or service is down; a new feature has been deployed; a new flavor of coffee is available in the kitchen on the 4th floor; the possibilities are endless.

So this was fairly simple, thanks to SharePoint 2010’s native status messaging API – SP.UI.Status. We created an interface for site or farm administrators to set and control messages:

The setting of farm-wide messages is managed through Central Administration:

Administrators can then set the message text (supports embedded URLs), the alert type, and if the alert is visible:

The settings are stored in a property bag and picked up by code in our master page:

(Example above is incomplete for brevity – missing executeQueryAsync call and related code)

When alerts are active – they show up on the site pages (or farm-wide):

Informational:

Warning:

Critical:

Another simple feature that leverages and extends the native functionality of SharePoint by allowing us to broadcast messages to our Intranet community. There’s more to come – we’ve hardly scratched the surface on what we’re doing with SharePoint. Hope you found it interesting. Be sure to look for my tweets and blog updates from the SharePoint Connections Conference starting March 26th.