Feature Updates: November 2015

|   Nov 30, 2015

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! To help you ease back into the work-week, we’re sharing some of Socialcast’s newest feature enhancements and product updates for the month of November. Check them out below!

1. Integration Store Updates

Since our launch of the Integration Store, we’ve received tons of great feedback on how we can add more relevant and impactful information to our integrations. After putting in some more spit and polish, we are excited to unveil our newest improvements below.

Updates to GitHub

  • We now offer users more granular control over GitHub events. Our updated instructions show GitHub admins how to select specific events that will create real-time messages. Select only the events you care about to prevent spamming your group with too many messages.


  • We are taking advantage of our tried and true message/comment paradigm by aggregating related activity from GitHub. For example, after a user opens a pull request in GitHub, that action will trigger a message to be posted in the Socialcast Stream. As that pull request is updated, all subsequent activity relevant to that pull request will come in as comments on the original message! This not only saves significant space in your stream, but correlates all the activity together so group members have have contextual understanding of the lifecycle of the code. These correlated comments include @mentions, attachments, and links, and will hyperlink back to the original activity inside GitHub.


Updates to Jenkins

  • We now show updates for builds that succeed, fail, or are aborted. This gives users more information on which builds require further investigation. Our updated instructions recommend Jenkins admins to select the ‘Job Finalized’ option from the ‘Events’ section in the integration setup.
  • We have also reformatted how the information is displayed in the Socialcast stream and removed the tabular layout to a more condensed, streamlined sentence. We display the status of the build, the build number hyperlinked back to Jenkins, and the repository.
  • Because the repository has an appended hashtag, it will start a topics page in Socialcast where you can see all the related builds.


Updates to PagerDuty

  • We have reformatted how the PagerDuty alert is displayed in the Socialcast stream and removed the tabular layout to a more condensed, streamlined sentence. We show the following items in our PagerDuty alerts:
    • Incident number, which hyperlinks back to the incident in PagerDuty
    • Description of the issue
    • User assignment
    • The service where it occurred, which hyperlinks back to the Service page in PagerDuty
  • Alerts are also now aggregated in the stream, keying off the original Triggered alert message. Now all Acknowledged, Assigned, Unacknowledged, and Resolved events will be posted as comments under the initial message. This is a significant improvement for Admins whose goal is to stay on top of who has responded to which open alert, or for triaging alerts during a postmortem.


Updates to JIRA

  • Similar to GitHub and PagerDuty, we have aggregated related JIRA activity into a single thread. For example, when a user opens a JIRA ticket, that action will trigger a message to be posted into the Socialcast stream. All subsequent updates that are made to the ticket in JIRA will come in as comments on the original message. This not only saves significant space in your stream, but correlates all the activity together so group members have have contextual understanding of the lifecycle of the ticket. These correlated comments include reassignments and status changes, and will be hyperlinked back to the original activity inside JIRA.


2. Support for vSphere Windows Server

We are excited to announce our latest integration: support for vSphere Alarms on Windows vCenter Server. Following up on our previous release where we added support for vCenter Server Appliance, we now include the Windows side of the family. Simply create a new Socialcast Group (such as “Production Alarms”) or go to an existing group > Integrations > click ‘Add’ on the vSphere Alarms Integration card > follow the instructions for Windows vCenter Server > select default alarms or create new custom alarms > Save your configuration.


This will result in real-time messages being sent into your Socialcast group from your vCenter Server, allowing your team to better collaborate, manage, search, and coordinate your datacenter.


3. Name/Date Added to Integration Card

Configured integrations will now show the Name of the user who created the integration and the Date it was created on the integration card.  To see this change, simply create an integration in a group and navigate to the Configured Integrations tab.


4. AJAX Allowed Origins (CORS)

Socialcast has many well-documented API’s that customers can take advantage of. It is easy to call these APIs from server-side code (like PHP); however, because we only used client-side code (JavaScript) via the XMLHttpRequest object, this limits API calls in a cross-domain situation (e.g. from intranet.acme.com to acme.socialcast.com). In other words, a resource makes a cross-origin HTTP request when it requests a resource from a different domain. For security reasons, browsers restrict cross-origin HTTP requests initiated from within scripts.

To address this limitation, we now support Access-Control-Allow-Origin header, or the Cross-Origin Resource Sharing (CORS) mechanism. CORS gives web servers cross-domain access controls, which enable secure cross-domain data transfers. This allows customers to utilize our APIs through JavaScript on pages on their intranet.

Community admins can now whitelist certain domains that they want to allow to send cross-origin HTTP requests from. These whitelisted origins will be able to use our API through JavaScript on pages on your company’s intranet with a valid bearer token.

To enable this feature, navigate to Admin Settings > Integrations > Add-ons > AJAX Allowed Origins (CORS) > check ‘Allow non-Socialcast origins to use the API’ > Save. Click ‘Add new origin’ button > enter the URL > Submit.



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


Other Product Updates

5. Retiring List View for Streams

Due to low usage, we have decided to retire the List View option for the stream by the end of the year, December 31, 2015. We will not pull the code immediately; however, we will officially end support for the list view at the end of 2015 and will not fix any bugs related to the feature. Please note that if you continue to use this feature, your experience will degrade over time until we eventually switch the few users that are using the list view over to the regular full view of the stream.


6. Ending Support for Internet Explorer 9 and 10 on January 12, 2016

With Microsoft’s recent announcement to only support the most recent version of Internet Explorer (Internet Explorer 11), Socialcast will also be ending support for all older versions of Internet Explorer (including Internet Explorer 9 and 10) beginning January 12, 2016. As Microsoft will no longer provide security updates for those versions, we recommend all customers upgrade to a browser version supported by Socialcast. For the most up-to-date information on our supported browsers and mobile devices, please visit this page here.

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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