Feature Updates: March 2016
Happy Spring, everyone! This month, it’s all about the integrations. We’ve added a bunch of new tools to help users collaborate and take team productivity to the next level. Read more about them, as well as our other feature enhancements, below.
We’re on a mission to build an ecosystem of integrations that really empowers users and teams to be more productive and make meaningful business decisions. This month, we’re adding a bunch of great apps to our portfolio: Google Hangouts and Join.me for video and screen sharing, OneDrive Personal for file management, and VMware Log Insight integration to deliver sophisticated and scalable log analytics alerts into Socialcast groups. We’ve also taken our integrations one step further by offering a generic incoming webhook that can be used to create messages and corresponding comments inside Socialcast.
1. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts lets you communicate with individuals or groups through instant messaging, voice calls, and video calls. With this new integration, you can easily start a Hangout with members of a Socialcast chat.
When enabled for the community, users will be able to click “Start Hangout” from the chat gear icon or by clicking the video icon in full conversation view. A “Join my Hangout” link will be sent in the chat so members can join on the web, or on mobile if you have the app installed.
Community admins can enable/disable the Google Hangout integration under Admin Settings > Integrations > External Applications. Toggling this flag will enable/disable the Google Hangout integration in Chat for all community members.
Join.me offers free, simple, fast online meetings. Now you can easily jump from a chat into a Join.me meeting, where you can share your screen, conduct a voice or video call, and more.
When enabled for the community, users will be able to click “Start a join.me meeting” from the chat gear icon. A link to the meeting will be sent in the chat so members can join on the web, or on mobile if you have the app installed.
Community admins can enable/disable the join.me integration under Admin Settings > Integrations > External Applications. Toggling this flag will enable/disable the join.me integration in chat for all community members.
A few things to note to improve the user experience:
- Your IT department will need to whitelist the *.join.me domain for your company’s firewall
- To configure your firewall to allow join.me video, see here
- To configure your firewall to allow join.me VoIP, see here
3. OneDrive Personal
OneDrive is a cloud storage solution for files and photos. This integration allows users to upload personal OneDrive files into Socialcast.
When enabled for the community, members will see the option to attach files “From OneDrive” when drafting a message.
Community admins can enable/disable the OneDrive Personal integration under Admin Settings > Integrations > External Applications.
4. VMware vRealize Log Insight
VMware vRealize Log Insight delivers sophisticated and scalable log analytics and log management for meaningful, actionable insights across multiple tiers of a hybrid cloud environments. With the release of Log Insight 3.3, Socialcast is excited to announce the availability of an integration with Log Insight.
When enabled for the community, Group Admins can add and configure vRealize Log Insight alerts into their groups. The message will include: Alert Name, relevant information such as App Names and Hostnames, and the Log Insight alert URL.
Community admins can enable/disable the Log Insight integration under Admin Settings > Integrations > External Applications.
5. Incoming Webhook
As more and more apps begin to support exporting data and alerts via WebHooks, we wanted to allow our users to “pipe” that critical data from those external systems into Socialcast, making Socialcast a central hub for digesting and acting on important information. This is why we’re excited to introduce the generic Incoming Webhook integration – It is a different approach than other integrations because we are now letting app developers define and create their own custom integration – the possibilities here are endless!
ATTN App Developers: If you are interested in learning more about Incoming Webhooks and integrating with Socialcast, or want more details on how to configure the incoming message payload, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will continue to provide more documentation and highlight successful implementations as we receive feedback from early adopters of this feature. Stay tuned!
6. Reach API Now Available
With thousands of Reach extensions deployed across all our Socialcast communities, we understand how these valuable integrations can increase engagement and bring social collaboration to critical business systems. Customers have specifically expressed interest in extending our Reach platform programmatically into their applications. In order to provide an easy way to do this, we have published our Reach API for general use. You can learn more about it on our API documentation site.
The documentation includes the following Reach endpoints:
- Index (get a list of reach_extensions)
- Show (get a single reach_extension for the authenticated reach admin)
- Create (create an reach_extension for the authenticated reach admin)
- Update (update a reach_extension for the authenticated reach admin)
7. Mark Notifications as Read
This feature marks the first step in our planned Notifications upgrade. Today, Socialcast offers an in-app global notification center for alerts that require the user’s attention, such as @mentions, group invites, new assigned tasks, etc. Unfortunately, the moment you opened that dialog, it marked all the notifications as read.
As of this month, clicking on the notification icon will no longer clear out your unread notifications. Instead, we now will mark an item as ‘read’ only when a corresponding action takes place on the message (liking, commenting, etc), or if a user explicitly clicks on the new ‘Mark as Read’ button.
8. Ability to Convert Existing Groups into Externally-Facing Groups
Over the past several months we have seen a significant uptick in usage of external contributor groups. One of the most common scenarios we have heard from our customers involves a team that starts to work on a project or initiative inside an Socialcast group, but later finds the need to pull in contractors or consultants – people outside of the organization – for additional help. There is a natural progression and requirement in this use case to convert a group, either public or private, and all its content and members to one that supports external contributors.
If External Contributors have been enabled for the community, External Contributor Admins will be able to click on the gear from inside the group, Edit Settings, and then flip the group type to Externally-Facing. If your community allows all members to create Externally-Facing Groups, any Group admin will be able to click on the gear from inside the group, Edit Settings, and then flip the group type to Externally-Facing.
Please take note of the following before performing this action:
- Once a group has been converted, all files, conversations, and members will be visible to external contributors who are invited to the join the group.
- This change cannot be reversed. Externally-Facing groups cannot be converted back to Public/Private groups at this time.
- External Groups have feature limitations, such as no access to Integrations, Projects, Challenges, etc. If the group is converted, these connections will be removed.
*Please note that On-Premise clients will receive these features in a future release.