7 Replies Latest reply on May 2, 2013 8:46 AM by dustinupdyke

    Integration and application questions

      This message was posted by Jez Martin on behalf of Dustin Updyke via Jive for Outlook

      Hi Jez, hope all is well.
      We are starting to look at integrating our back office applications with our Jive instance and have run into a few situations where we are not sure how to continue. I was hoping that you might be able to provide us some guidance or at least point us in the right direction on some of these questions:

      1) If I want to display information on an existing Jive page, like a space or group page, what is the best way to do this? In my test group below, the spaces in red are iframes linking back to internal (behind firewall) applications:
      I am not aware of any other way to display partial content on a page like this outside of an iframe, but I am getting a lot of pushback saying that Jive does not recommend the use of iframes.
      What are we supposed to do here?
      2) At a higher level, what should our strategy be in linking applications that are behind our firewall to Jive? Should we link directly to these systems and try to scrape out the pertinent information that we need for a specific application? Should we stick a web service in between that proxies Jive and our back office?
      As an example, if I want to get a list of SharePoint sites that I have access to, currently we link straight to a page within SP that already has this logic. But we're not sure what happens when we upgrade SP. We're not sure how to handle taking SP offline for maintenance, etc. We could certainly move or replicate this functionality to a web service layer that could handle these issues, but then we incur the additional cost of building and supporting out this layer in our infrastructure.
      I apologize for the wall of text, but I am not sure who else to ask. Our TAM has not been able to field developer questions nor find me a suitable contact for this area of Jive.
      Any insight you might provide is massively appreciated.


      Dustin Updyke
      ECM Senior Software Engineer
      Global Technology Services
      1500 Corporate Drive
      Canonsburg, PA 15317

      p: 304.554.5686
      m: 412.463.8053
        • RE: Integration and application questions
          This message was posted by Jez Martin on behalf of Jez Martin via Jive for Outlook
          Hi Dustin,
          Before we go any further, is there anything in your email that is company sensitive?

          I want to publish this into the Developer Space in the Jive Community as I think you raise some great 'real world' questions that should be aired more publicly so that the Developer community also gets the benefit of this discussion

          You will then get the 'official' Jive answers from the core teams as well, so I guess I'm asking for your permission to publish this to a broader audience for everyone's benefit, if I may?

          If not I understand and I will endeavour to get the 'official' answers by raising this internally in Jive

          Kind regards

            jez martin

          technical instructor | jez@jivesoftware.com

          office: +44 (0)118 4026915

          mobile: +44 7590 368808    

          skype: jezmartin

          jive software | the new way to business. | www.jivesoftware.com


          • RE: Integration and application questions
            This message was posted by Jez Martin on behalf of Dustin Updyke via Jive for Outlook
            Hey Jez, thanks for the quick reply.
            I redid the image to remove any references to Mylan just to be overly sensitive. The rest is fine for public consumption.
            Post away, I'm very interested in getting feedback from a variety of situations. I assume you'll @mention us?

            -----Jez Martin <jeremy.martin@jivesoftware.com> wrote: -----
            • RE: Integration and application questions

              Surfacing this as a Question for Guidance from the oracles!

              • Re: Integration and application questions

                Dustin, are you hosted on-premis, at Jive, or are you in the Cloud?


                The answer will dictate your options.

                  • Re: Integration and application questions

                    At Jive on our own instance.

                      • Re: Integration and application questions

                        Dustin, being in a hosted environment gives you a couple options for external system integrations. The preferred approach would be through a Jive App. Apps are the recommended technology, as they are minimally invasive customizations, that are likely to survive as-is through the Jive platform upgrade cycles you are likely to encounter as you take advantage of Jive's feature releases. Apps do have their limitations, such as not being able to render their content in a configurable widget on a landing page.


                        A heavier-handed approach is to create plugin based integrations. Plugin based customized integrations can provide more options for how the data used and presented. New pages can be created, or custom widgets can be created that allow you to place and configure them on space/group overview pages. From your screen shots, it appears that you are interested in the widget approach.

                        Plugins do have risk associated with them. They will always incur at least some effort when you are upgrading your Jive platform. Plugins have the potential to conflict with other plugins, causing difficult to find issues. Plugins are invasive to the point that they can potentially take down the platform if written poorly. I liken them to writing kernal mode drivers for Windows - they have great power, but carry the risk of being able to take down, or crash the platform.


                        Jive 7 will change all of this. Jive 7 ( which should be available for hosted environments in Q4 of this year) introduces the concepts of Purposeful Places, which includes templates and Tiles. Tiles are somewhat similar to Apps, with a major exception being that they present their content and behavior on a Purposeful Place configurable Activity page.

                          • Re: Integration and application questions

                            Thanks so much for this insight John, it is very helpful.


                            But it leaves me with two questions:


                            1) If plugins require some effort with Jive upgrades, how is this different from the risk involved with iframes. Everyone wants to steer me away from using these, but I don' t see the issue when there appears to be no other easy way to embed backoffice application data within an existing Jive page, such as a group or space landing page.


                            2) If I create a service point for an app, I see how that is used to then access remote data within the app, but is the same service point available via the javascript api within a page widget? If this works, then I could potentially rid myself of having to use iframes.