Feature Updates: August 2016

|   Aug 24, 2016

This month, we have a bunch of great new integrations, APIs, and feature enhancements. For those of you converted over to the new (v7) interface or preparing for the update, we’re continuing to release enhancements that end-users will definitely appreciate. Read more about it below.

1. Skype for Business

We are excited to announce our latest integration with Skype for Business Server (formerly Microsoft Office Communications Server and Microsoft Lync Server). Skype for Business offers real-time video and web conferencing which can easily be used in Socialcast 1:1 and group chat spaces.

To enable Skype for Business video meetings for all users, community admins will need to configure the integration by going to Admin Settings > Integrations > External Applications > Skype for Business. You will need to have administrator rights to your Skype instance to set up this integration. Once enabled, the Skype for Business option will be available in chats for all community members.


2. VMware vRealize Code Stream

VMware vRealize Code Stream provides release automation and continuous delivery to enable frequent, reliable software releases while reducing operational risks. Integrating vRealize Code Stream with Socialcast will allow group members to be notified of updates to their pipelines.

Community admins can enable/disable the Code Stream integration under Admin Settings > Integrations > External Applications. Once enabled, Group admins will be able to add and configure this integration in their Groups.

3. Search Within Attachments

Our search capabilities just got much more powerful! Utilizing our elasticsearch technology, users can now search within a group and get matches based on the text contained in most popular file types (e.g. pdf, docx, pptx, and text), in addition to matching the filename.

4. Added features for External Contributors

As we continue to work on enhancing the experience for External Contributors, we have made more functionality available to them. External Contributors can now:

  • View their Sent stream
  • View their @Mentions stream
  • Update profile information based on community-defined fields
  • Access Group Integrations (Group admins will need to configure this in order for External Contributors to see integration alerts in the stream)

5. Create External Contributor API

As our ecosystem grows here at Socialcast, we have seen an increased number of integrations that need support for External Contributors. As of this release we have added API parameters to specify the type of user being created. Simply set the account_type to either standard member or external contributor. (Value: Must be one of: member, external). Please note the default is set to member.

We also now allow you to set the optional group_id parameter (Value: Must be Integer).  If the user being created is an external contributor, the group that they will be allowed to interact with needs to be specified.

Further documentation can be found here.

6. API to create webhooks

We have also added the ability to access and create webhooks with external systems via the API. Admins can access our API documentation located here.

7. API to create Org Chart type connections

We now support an API to retrieve a list of users (employees) for whom the user is the manager. You can access the API documentation here.

V7 UPDATES

1. Collapsible Left Nav

We added the ability to collapse the left navigation menu so users can have more viewing real estate for the stream. You can now click on the hamburger icon located in the top header, left of the company logo to collapse and expand the navigation menu.

CollapseLeftNav1
Image: Left navigation is expanded

CollapseLeftNav2
Image: Left navigation is collapsed

2. “New” indicator for new notifications in Left Nav

If you have collapsed any of the three sections or have a filter applied in the left navigation menu, there is a possibility that you will not notice new chat notifications. To avoid missing any important chats or updates, we now display “NEW” next to a particular section (Public Spaces, Private Spaces and 1-1 Chats) that has new notifications currently not in view.

This “NEW” indicator will be visible next to a particular section if that section has one or more chats with unread notifications. This indicator will continue to show until there are no unread chat notifications under that particular section.

NewLeftNav1
Image: User is in favorite and text filter view. Private Spaces and 1-1 Chats section has spaces with new notifications.

NewLeftNav2
Image: Filters have been removed by the user. Private Spaces has been expanded and new notifications on Q2 results chat group is visible now; “NEW” indicator as a result is no longer shown. 1-1 Chats section is collapsed and hence “NEW” indicator is still visible.

3. Removing Chat or Post streams from groups

By offering two different communication paradigms in groups – chat and post – we offer the most flexibility for your collaboration needs. Getting the hang of when to use which will depend on the needs of your project or communication style/preferences of your team. When you create a new group, you might not be have made up your mind as to whether you want to use chat or posts or both. We’ve made this process a bit more seamless by allowing group admins to add and now, remove chat or post streams from a group. With this feature, group admins will have total control on what streams they want on their groups even after creating a group.

Note: Removing a particular stream from a group will purge all the content posted on that stream permanently and it will not be recoverable.

Group admins can remove a particular stream from the group using “Edit Settings” page. Expand the group header by clicking on the . Select  “Edit Settings” by clicking on the gear next to the group name. Uncheck Chat or Post to disable that functionality in your group and remove any existing stream of that type. Click Save after acknowledging the informational message around content deletion to remove the stream from the group.

RemoveChat1
Image: Edit Group Settings

RemoveChat2
Image: Removing Chat stream from Newsletters group

RemoveChat3
Image: 1-1 Chat Stream is removed now from the group

4. Ability to collapse Helpful Links sidebar

After much feedback, we have added the ability to collapse the Helpful Links sidebar so users can focus on stream content. You can now click on the sidebar icon at the top right, next to the Helpful Links section to collapse and expand the sidebar. This feature is available across groups and streams (Home, Company, Bookmarked and Custom Streams)

Please note the open or closed state of the sidebar will persist across all your groups and streams. This means if you close the sidebar on group A, the sidebar will remain closed upon navigation to other groups or streams. You will need to open the sidebar explicitly to access the Helpful Links again.

Sidebar1
Image: Sidebar is open

Sidebar2
Image: Sidebar is closed

5. “Join Existing” Public Spaces

When creating a new public space, users have the option to join an existing group in case there is something that already serves the same purpose. We have extended this functionality so you can now find and join existing Projects, Challenges or Town Halls based on what has been enabled in your community. Click the tab for the existing space you’d like to join and use the text filter and/or sort options (sort by Name, Created Date, Last Activity, etc) to find a particular space. By default the spaces under each tab are sorted by Name. You can either navigate to a particular space from this page or click the “Join” button to become a member.

JoinExisting1
Image: Create or Join Public Spaces modal

JoinExisting2
Image: Join Existing Public page with Projects tab in view

Since a user has to be added to private Projects, Challenges, or Town Hallls, only the public Join Existing page will have tabs for these spaces. The private Join Existing page will only list private requestable groups which user can request access to.

JoinExisting3
Image: Join Existing Private page. Note only private requestable groups are listed

 
* Please note that On-Premise clients will receive these features in a future release.

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Author Spotlight

Samantha Lee
Samantha Lee Client Development Manager View full bio

What is Socialcast?

Socialcast by VMware (NYSE: VMW) is a social network for business uniting people, information, and applications with its real-time enterprise activity stream engine. Behind the firewall or in the cloud, Socialcast enables instant collaboration in a secure environment. Socialcast is headquartered in San Francisco, California. www.socialcast.com