Jive Connect Wants to Socialize Your SharePoint Enterprise Content
When Jive Software (news, site) first announced their Social Business Software Suite, they called it the next big technology solution for the enterprise. Since that time, they have been steadily adding new services to prove that their solution is exactly what you need.

Their latest announcement is part of a new strategy designed to extend SBS across an organization's content silos. The plan? Take enterprise content stored in your Enterprise CMS and socialize it within SBS.

Jive Connect

Jive Connect is a series of modules that will integrate various enterprise content management systems with Jive's Social Business Software (SBS). These modules enable your enterprise content to be surfaced inside SBS and actively collaborated on.

The first of these modules is designed for SharePoint content. The Jive SharePoint Connector tightly integrates SharePoint and SBS in a number of ways:

  • Seamless security via Kerberos/NTLM
  • Activity Streams -- SharePoint Admins can decide how to publish SharePoint activities into Jive
  • Bi-directional searching
  • Jive can tie into SharePoint workflows -- pushing documents into the Jive instance and pushing Jive content into SharePoint
  • Publish content from Jive into SharePoint for storage, and configure Jive to use SharePoint as its content repository
  • Jive web part library to display activity on content -- either an entire instance or a specific type in read-only format

sbs-with-sharepoint.jpg

SBS With SharePoint
 

The connector works for SharePoint sites, lists and document libraries, even individual documents. SharePoint Administrators have a new Socialization Management Settings option to manage the connection settings between SharePoint and Jive. Individual content owners can also select specific documents to be shared within Jive.

The connector was built using Web Services and the Web part framework.

teamsite-with-sbs-content.jpg

SharePoint Teamsite with SBS Content
 

First SharePoint, Next ??

We asked Jive's CMO Ben Kiker and Bill Lynch, Founder and Manager of Products Team why they chose SharePoint as their first connector. They indicated that the choice was driven primarily by customer need. With the popularity of SharePoint in the enterprise today, it was also the obvious choice.

When asked what Enterprise CMS was next, they wouldn't be specific, only saying others would include Documentum, Filenet and even possibly File Shares.

The SharePoint connector will be available later this quarter and more modules will come in the first half of 2010.

A Different Approach to Integration

There are a couple of things about Jive Connect that stand out. First, while most vendors of social software are building directly on top of SharePoint and exposing social collaboration directly within SharePoint, Jive is pushing SBS as the primary tool to use.

Yes, there is a read-only view of SBS content in SharePoint via web parts, but to do anything, even view the content, you are pushed into SBS to work. So now you have two platforms to work in.

The second is the idea of pushing documents into Jive to collaborate on them. SharePoint may remain the record of source, but you still have a copy of each document sitting within Jive. We aren't sure how it works if SharePoint is configured to be the central repository for SBS. Would there still be copies of documents?

We also asked about CMIS integration and were told they were looking at it.

Jive is correct in saying ECMs were not traditionally designed to support rich social collaboration around documents, but many have been implementing solutions to support it. Solutions that are getting positive reviews from the Enterprise 2.0 space (both EMC's CenterStage and OpenText Social Media). 

It will be interesting to see how Jive Connect is received in the marketplace and whether SharePoint users will want another solution to work in.

You can learn more about the SharePoint Connector for SBS and join a webcast for a product walk through.