Awareness Helps SharePoint Build Customer Communities

3 minute read
Barb Mosher Zinck avatar
Awareness integrates with SharePoint for Web 2.0 Communities
Most of the integration news we hear about SharePoint relates to the creation of internal, employee focused solutions. Here's one that flips that around and focuses on SharePoint as an external solution. Awareness, a provider of social media solutions, has integrated their product with SharePoint -- both WSS3.0 and MOSS -- to provide Web 2.0 communities capabilities inside the SharePoint world. Awareness is an on-demand social media platform for Web 2.0 communities. It offers the full range of Web 2.0 technologies including blogs, wikis, discussion groups, social networking, RSS, tagging, photos, video and the list goes on. All this functionality is provided for an organization in a secure environment which includes the ability to control what is happening and moderate the content being created. Organizations either implement complete communities created by Awareness or they leverage the Awareness APIs and widgets in their own websites.

Awareness Summer 2008

Awareness Summer 2008 is the name of Awareness Inc's latest version of their communities platform. It offers several new and enhanced features such as:* SharePoint Integration* Advanced Social Networking and the ability to create social groups inside communities* Ability to connect people and content through the use of portable widgets and an improved API. The widgets can be placed within any website or within Facebook and iGoogle* Improvements in Reporting for Administrators including self-service graphs, reports and metrics on individual communities* Improvements to performance and scalability

Integration with SharePoint

Awareness collaborated with Microsoft to create an integrated solution that provides SharePoint customers with the ability to tie their internal collaboration to their external Web communities.They have done this by taking their widgets and morphing them into SharePoint web parts.

Basically, Awareness creates a Web 2.0 community for your organization and then provides you with a set of customizable web parts you can add to your SharePoint site. These web parts provide capabilities such as:* Monitoring, moderating, contributing and searching content* Display user details and status* View a dashboard of community activity* Access to the community social networking functionality* Enhanced user-generated content functionalityIn addition, SharePoint content and community content are integrated into the SharePoint Search facility and security is integrated with Microsoft identity management.Many of these social computing announcements made at the Enterprise 2.0 conference came from companies that also provided a little more detail on how they went about integrating with SharePoint. Unfortunately, Awareness was not one of these companies so we don't have all the details on how this integration is really put together.With the popularity of SharePoint in organizations today, it's not surprising that smaller social media vendors like Awareness are offering integrated solutions. This is certainly a smart way to climb to the top of the ladder of Enterprise 2.0 world fast.