Joe Cromer, director of enterprise collaboration at DEG, and Sofia Sharkey, enterprise collaboration coordinator, also contributed to this post.
During the redesign and migration of a large corporate Intranet to SharePoint Online, DEG was asked to develop a scalable commenting feature to add to corporate content pages. The corporate communication department needed an easy way to add new content and pages to allow its 11,000+ employees to collaborate with peers and leadership.
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The Solution: Yammer
DEG selected Yammer Feeds to solve the business challenge. While SharePoint’s native social community features allowed for an easy OOB implementation, Yammer gave a more robust solution to facilitate conversations within SharePoint.
The next hurdle was to organize the conversations in Yammer to be related to the specific content. Creating a new Yammer group for each page would quickly become unwieldy, so another solution was required.
The final design was to leverage a single Yammer group and take advantage of the Open Graph embed option. In Open Graph, Yammer messages can create objects associated with the page URL.
Below are advantages of using Yammer Open Graph embedded inside a SharePoint page:
- The commenting feed allows you to comment, follow, like, tag, and click on specific conversations while inside the SharePoint page.
- There is no need to create multiple Yammer groups for the different content pages. By using the Open Graph embed, Yammer will filter comments associated with the page automatically. If you need to create more groups to segment comments, however, that is still possible.
- Yammer permanently stores the relationship between the object (page URL) and the Yammer comment.
- There are links to seamlessly navigate back and forth between Yammer and SharePoint, allowing for a more fluid user experience.
- A new Open Graph feed is created when the Yammer widget is added on a SharePoint page, allowing contributors to easily add new content to SharePoint that is “Yammer enabled.”
- Open Graph feeds can effectively become a social fabric added to all types of content and solutions including blogs, pages, and business applications developed or surfaced in SharePoint.
Steps to Implement Yammer to SharePoint
To add an Open Graph Feed to a SharePoint article page as described above, follow these steps:
- Create an Internal group in Yammer.
- Copy the group’s ID from the URL
- In your SharePoint site, choose
- On the ribbon, choose Insert > Web part > and in the categories list, select Media and Content > Script Editor
- Locate your new Script Editor > choose Edit the snippet.
- Embed the Yammer script below on a page individually, or on the article page layout to ensure it will be added to new content moving forward.
- In the Yammer script, replace the Network and Default Group ID highlighted in yellow with the correct values.
Yammer script starts below >
<div id=”embedded-feed” style=”height:400px;width:100%; “></div>
promptText: “Comment on this article”,
header: false, footer: false
Yammer’s commenting feed allows you to comment, follow, like, tag, and click on specific conversations.
The Yammer widget will now be surfaced on your SharePoint page and will allow users to follow, like, tag, and leave comments.
Additional Lessons Learned
While researching the solution, other options included using Yammer Embed Feeds and Yammer Embed APIs, which at first glance seemed like straightforward solutions.
However, after testing scripts on SharePoint publishing pages, the team noted the following issues:
- Yammer couldn’t maintain the relationship between the articles and the feed. Comments from different pages displayed across multiple non-related articles, which made it impossible to match the right comment to the right article page.
- Lack of connectivity between Yammer and SharePoint online. There was no link to SharePoint from Yammer’s group page, which led to a bad user experience.
- Multiple Yammer groups had to be created to keep comments specific per published page.