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"When will you support Jive for Office/Outlook for Mac???"...

 

This question is being echoed all over the JiveWorks community, and it's something I hear in many customer meetings.

In fact, this question dates back to 2012, when Ryan Musselwhite posted the idea, that so far has scored 790 points, ranking it as the 2nd most desired capability.

So what is going on? When can you expect to see progress here? Hopefully, this blog post will help answer these questions as I share with you the background, current status and plans to get the J4O suite to OSX.

 

Before I begin, let me start with a small confession: I'm a Mac person. I've been so for the past 10 years and I love it.

And I'm not alone – most of us Jivers use Mac products and we are just as eager as you to enjoy Jive goodness in our Office/Outlook on our Macs.

 

A brief history about Office/Outlook extensions

 

Back when we started working on J4O, the only technology that was available to extend the MS Office suite was a technology called COM extensions.

This technology allows the developer to deploy and execute code as part of the Office/Outlook executable, which allows complete freedom to implement our own logic, and manipulate the user interface to provide the best Jive user experience.

 

Having such freedom gives the developer a lot of power to innovate and tinker with the application as they see fit, but it also comes with some undesired side effects such as instability, responsiveness issues, plugin collision issues and issues with software upgrades.

The phrase "with great power comes great responsibility," surely applies here as well...

 

Another aspect to COM extensions is the fact that they are available for just the windows platform, which means that support for web/mobile/OSX needs to be developed independently.

 

Microsoft recognised these shortcomings of the COM extensions, and in 2013, Microsoft introduced an alternative way to develop extensions, named "add-ins," that address most of the issues I've described in COM extensions:

  1. Built on web technologies (HTML/JS/CSS), that opens the door to being platform agnostics.
  2. Running in a controlled sandboxed environment - solves most of the instability/responsiveness issues.
  3. Restrict the capabilities to several extension points - solves plugin collisions and software upgrade issues, and allows for consistency across extensions.

 

You can read more about Add-ins, in the Microsoft dev resources site here - Office Dev Center.

 

Jive plugins are a good example to a similar technology offered by Jive, that have gone through similar route.

The Jive plugins allow developers to execute their code as part of the Jive process, and again, do pretty much whatever they want, and similarly, they hold the same undesired side effects of potential plugin collisions, and complicated upgrades due to the intrusive nature of the Jive plugins.

Similar to Microsoft, Jive shifted to a more managed way to introduce Jive integrations, with the introduction of Jive Add-ons, Jive apps and deep integration patterns such as stream integrations,storage integrations and more.

 

Add-ins support on Mac

 

We at Jive have been closely tracking the developments of "Add-ins", since they were announced back in 2013, to examine the possibilities of a Mac solution.

Unfortunately (#1), up until lately, Add-ins did not support the Mac platform, which left no option to develop extensions (please remember that COM extensions are not applicable for Macs).

 

But then, in April 2016, in the Microsoft’s 2016 Build Developers conferees, Microsoft announced, that they are finally adding the support for Add-ins to the Mac platform.

The news got us all excited, and we immediately examined the new capabilities, to finally pave the path for a Jive for Office/Outlook solution for Mac!

We started a POC to better understand the capabilities/limitations, but, unfortunately (#2), the results we observed were not too encouraging.

 

The state of Jive for Office/Outlook on Mac

 

Add-ins offer a limited set of capabilities to the developer with what they can do to extended Office/Outlook.

For instance, the developer is limited to a few pre-defined UI elements:

  1. Commands & Tabs - Office Dev Center - Docs - UI Elements
  2. Custom panes - Office Dev Center - Docs - custom-pane-outlook-add-ins
  3. Task pane container - Office Dev Center - Docs - Layout for task pane add-ins

 

These UI elements comes with their own set of restrictions, such as:

  • The custom pane has a fixed size, and limited to 450px height.
  • The custom pane is hidden by default, and can only be shown if user has actively clicked on the Add-in.

 

These restrictions put large obstacles to getting J4O, for instance:

  • There is no way to "replace" the email view, with our own Jive view, as we do today with Jive for Outlook.
  • The experience of having to click, each time,  on the Jive Add-in to be able to view the threaded Jive conversation will result in a poor user experience, and will impact the adoption greatly.
  • No ability to offer functionality such as Super Search.

 

In addition, as Add-ins are executed on demand, per user action, there is no ability to execute code in the background, which again, really limits the capabilities of advance solutions like Jive for Office.

 

What's next?

 

We feel that the current capabilities of Add-ins in Mac are such that will not allow us to provide the same experience you've come to expect in the Windows platform.

We expect that Add-ins will gain more capabilities, but will always be limited compared to COM extensions.

 

We will continue to offer and evolve our solution for OWA & Office online, as an alternative to our Windows only desktop offering, to allow Mac users to experience Jive on their Outlook and Office while in working in their favorite browser.

     

                         (O365 JiveAnywhere cartridge)                                                                 (OWA JiveAnywhere cartridge)

 

We are continuing to monitor the development, and think of other "out of the box" ideas to get Jive for Office/Outlook for the Mac platform.

 

Wrap up

The idea behind this blog post is to provide you a deeper insight into the complexity of porting our extensions to support Mac.

Hopefully, this helps with the understanding of where we stand with our efforts, and our intentions.

I will continue to update you as progress is made.

 

 

 

We've released a new minor update to our O365/SharePoint Online cloud integration service to introduce a new capability to allow users to use the Jive preview, instead of the O365 preview:

Screenshot 2017-03-26 22.52.11.png

 

When should you use the Jive preview?

The O365 preview is a read only preview that requires a user authenticated session with O365.

In cases where SSO (single sign on) is not present or possible, the user experience will not be smooth, due to the fact that a user login is required.

In addition, we have a known limitation with IE11, that causes the O365 preview to be corrupted, when the user is not logged in.

Using the Jive preview you are overcoming these two issues, while not scarifying any of the functionality.

See below the differences between the previewer modes:

 

    O365 Preview

Screenshot 2017-03-26 22.52.19.png

 

     Jive HTML5 Preview

Screenshot 2017-03-26 22.52.26.png

 

 

How to change the previewer?

The previewer settings can be found in the storage instance configuration (which is found in the Admin Add-on page, under the "Storage" tab").

The change only applies to files that are synced after the configuration change was applied.

Existing connected places will not be affected by the previewer configuration change, unless you re-save the storage place configuration of the connected place, by opening the place setting, clicking on the storage places settings, and then clicking on save.

Starting with the Jive Cloud Fall release that launched in mid-November, we now have a brand new version of Jive for Office and Jive for Outlook that continues our deep integration and enables you to bring your work to where you are. Please see the updates to the Jive for Office and Jive for Outlook for details of the new functionality available in Cloud.

With our continued efforts for increased security, stability and performance, as well as the desire to drive innovations in our integrations, we are announcing some changes to the supported Microsoft versions in the next release.

 

Starting with the Fall Cloud release and rolling up into Jive 7 hosted/on-prem (and using the new v3 eAPIs), the following versions will no longer be supported:

  • Office 2003
  • Outlook 2003
  • SharePoint 2007
  • OCS 2007

 

Customers on Jive 5/6 using eAPIs v2.5 or below will be unaffected by these changes. Nearly all of our customers use versions more current than these, so will not be affected by the change. But we wanted to communicate this early in case there were any questions or concerns. If there is anything you need, please let us know.

Starting with Jive for Office and Jive for Outlook v3, which will be released with our Fall Release, .NET 4 framework (minimum client profile) will be required to support these integrations. .NET4 is the default for Windows 8, and is available for installation against Windows XP, Vista, and 7. Developing against this framework allows us to continue to innovate our products while maintaining the strictest standards for stability and performance.

 

As your users install or upgrade to the latest versions of Jive for Office/Outlook after their release, they will be prompted to install the .NET4 framework if it is not detected on their computers. Administrative rights are required for this installation, so if your users do not have such rights on their computers it is imperative that they get the framework upgrade prior to installing these latest versions. If you package and mass deploy the plugin to your users, please ensure that they also have .NET4 installed, or the update will fail.

 

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Jive for OCS/Lync

Posted by mavital Employee Jul 12, 2013

Jive for OCS/Lync

 

Overview

 

Jive for OCS/Lync leverages your corporation's native OCS/Lync client to bring presence and status indicators into Jive, enabling faster contact and collaboration.

 

  • See user's availability and status from their profile or avatar hover
  • Initiate a chat conversation with a user
  • Supports integration with OCS and Lync features such as chat and call
  • Does not require installation or configuration on client servers. Configuration and integration happens through MS Communicator Web Access (CWA) for OCS 2007 and Lync 2010, or Unified Communications Web Access (UCWA) for Lync 2013

 

OCS Demo Hover.png

 

OCS Demo Profile.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jive for OCS/Lync is a commercial solution – an additional commercial add-on license is required to use the module. In order to take advantage of this solution, please contact your Jive sales representative.

 

Documentation

 

Jive Cloud:

End User Documentation

Admin Documentation

 

Jive 6 Hosted and On-prem

End User Documentation

Admin Documentation

 

Jive 5 Hosted and On-prem

All Audiences Documentation

 

Jive 4.5 Hosted and On-prem

All Audiences Documentation

 

Version Information


12.07.2013

Jive for OCS/Lync v2.5 supports Jive 6.0.1+ and Jive Cloud. On the Microsoft side Lync 2013 is supported


27.03.2013

Jive for OCS/Lync v2 supports Jive 4.5.7 - 4.5.8, 5.0.1 - 5.0.4 and Jive 6.0.0, on the Microsoft side OCS 2007 R2 and Lync 2010 are supported

 

Usage of this plugin relies on installation of Extended APIs. For more information, please refer to the Extended APIs Plugin download page

The newest version of Jive for Office is now available. Please refer to the plugin download page for more info:

 

Jive for Office

The newest version of Jive for Outlook is now available, please see the plugin download page for more info:

 

Jive for Outlook

Jive for Outlook v2 has been released. Please see the official release announcement here: Jive for Outlook Module - v2

Please see the official release announcement here: Jive for Office Module - v2

Jive for Outlook has been updated for compatibility with Jive 6.0. For more information, please refer to the Jive for Outlook Module - v1 overview and the Jive for Outlook Plugin v1.x.x - Version Compatibility Matrix.

Jive for OCS/Lync v2.0

Posted by mavital Employee Sep 28, 2012

Jive for OCS/Lync

 

Overview

 

Jive for OCS/Lync leverages your corporation's native OCS/Lync client to bring presence and status indicators into Jive, enabling faster contact and collaboration.

 

  • See user's availability and status from their profile or avatar hover
  • Initiate a chat conversation with a user
  • Supports integration with OCS and Lync features such as chat and call
  • Does not require installation or configuration on client servers. Configuration and integration happens through MS Communicator Web Access (CWA)

 

OCS Demo Hover.png

 

OCS Demo Profile.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jive for OCS/Lync is a commercial solution – an additional commercial add-on license is required to use the module. In order to take advantage of this solution, please contact your Jive sales representative.

 

Documentation

 

Jive Cloud:

End User Documentation

Admin Documentation

 

Jive 6 Hosted and On-prem

End User Documentation

Admin Documentation

 

Jive 5 Hosted and On-prem

All Audiences Documentation

 

Jive 4.5 Hosted and On-prem

All Audiences Documentation

 

Version Information

 

Jive for OCS/Lync supports Jive 4.5.7 - 4.5.8, 5.0.1 - 5.0.4 and Jive 6.0.0, on the Microsoft side OCS 2007 R2 and Lync 2010 are supported

 

Usage of this plugin relies on installation of Extended APIs. For more information, please refer to the Extended APIs Plugin download page