The Enterprise 2.0 conference has kicked into full swing and Microsoft seems to plan on taking center stage. They have already laid out a number of new announcements that give it's flagship content management system SharePoint an overflow of social networking options.
SharePoint does already have some social networking capabilities built into it's core platform. But in comparison to many of the “pure” social networking platforms on the market today, the built-in features really do pale in comparison.
So Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, has been smart enough to collaborate very closely with many of these vendors to integrate advanced social networking with SharePoint. In addition, they have been working on some of their own initiatives to ensure that SharePoint is considered the social networking platform of 2008.
Microsoft Provides a Podcasting Kit for SharePoint
In addition to all these vendor integration announcements, Microsoft is assuring us they are not totally relying on vendors for SharePoint's social media functionality — although it does seem most of it. They have announced the creation of a Podcasting Kit for SharePoint available on CodePlex and as such — an open source initiative.
The kit provides organizations with the ability to create, manage and distribute podcasts via SharePoint. Considering how popular online video is these days, it's not surprising they have produced a toolkit of this kind.
The kit is built on Silverlight and SharePoint and is compatible with Zune (of course), Windows mobile devices, PCs, and other devices that play podcasts.
Some features include:
- Sharing content via personal podcasts that are published on PKS
- Connect podcasters with instant-messaging programs
- Rating system, tag clouds and search capabilities
- RSS subscription to podcasts
- Play podcasts in real time with Silverlight
Consulting firm, Accenture participated in the PKS pilot and liked it enough to start extending it to Web 2.0-based learning and collaboration solutions. Even Microsoft has implemented the technology within its sales organization.
To get the Podcasting Kit for SharePoint, download it from CodePlex now.
Partner Integration News
Telligent announced a while ago that it was working with Microsoft to integrate its Community Server with SharePoint. In fact, Community Server has been integrated with SharePoint already via Microsoft Partners like SharePoint Solutions — but not to this degree. This integration requires Community Server 2008 and relies heavily on Telligent's development of a number of REST APIs and includes shared authentication and single sign-on.
Awareness is a provider of social media technologies that support organizations who deal with people outside the enterprise on a regular basis. The integration of their software into SharePoint provides organizations who use SharePoint as their primary tool to engage with outside partners and customers and other Web 2.0 communities. We will cover this integration in more detail in a later article as this internal/external community integration is essential to many organizations today.
Atlassian is a provider of wiki capabilities. They are now offering a wiki for SharePoint via a connector called the SharePoint Connector for Confluence. This integration will provide bi-directional content embedding and linking, single-sign on and more. We'll take a closer look at this integration in a separate review.
Another enterprise social software provider, although one we've never heard of before, has provided a SharePoint connector and OfficeAssistant. This integration enables expertise identification, a visual view of the social network and an aggregated conversation view. This functionality sounds similar to that provided by Clearspace and SocialText.
Someone now provides tagging and bookmarking functionality in SharePoint via an integration known as “Spotlight Connect for SharePoint”. You can view a demo of this add-on module.