As you may be aware Yammer ‘on by default’ now as part of Office 365. This means you *may* get a Yammer network provisioned at the *.onmicrosoft.com domain associated with your tenancy.
Here’s a tip
If you want to take advantage of this make sure that you create the tenancy as a Trial and then buy licences later. Taking this approach means you get the Yammer ‘on by default’ experience more or less as you would expect, it will be provisioned within a hour or so (maybe sooner).
If you instead purchase a tenant right away, they apparently wait a while as the expectation is that you’ll want to use a vanity domain for your Yammer network… “But I want Yammer ‘on by default’ with my paid tenancy”! You can create a Yammer network on your default Office 365 domain just by logging into Yammer with your *.onmicrosoft.com account BUT you don’t get the integrations with Office 365 – the app launch app, the link to Yammer admin from admin centre. Based on my experience, you will get these integrations eventually – I saw them appear more than 6 weeks later!
I had a long call with Microsoft support regarding this and they weren’t able to provided any solid explanation or reasoning; the information contained in the post is based on my experience rather than official guidance.
Create new (dev/test) Office 365 tenancies using a Trial subscription and buy licences later if you want to use Yammer without a vanity domain.
There is a somewhat confusing logic behind when the FOLLOW button is displayed on the search results hover panel (a.k.a document preview).
What I am talking about?
If you are building a solution that relies on the following of documents but you are using Yammer rather than the SharePoint social feed then you may be wondering why, from the search results hover panel, you can follow pages, users, sites, but not most document types.
NB. If you are finding that you can’t following anything, check that web scoped feature ‘Follow Content’ has been activated on each site which contains content you wish to be able to follow.
NB. You can still follow the document types in question by clicking ‘view in library’ and using the library item menu to follow.
In many cases, wanting both POST and FOLLOW doesn’t make a lot sense as a primary reason of following documents is to populate the activity feed which is not available when Yammer is being used as the enterprise social experience. As such, please consider why you want this behaviour at all. In my scenario the user’s list of followed documents is promoted to the home page and bookmarking documents is a key user story.
What is going on?
The search results hover panel is built from a number of display templates which you can read about in more depth here (TechNet) or here (Chris O’Brien) or many other places.
Importantly, there is a display template which defines the common actions (buttons) across the bottom of the hover panel and when to display them. The display template is called Item_CommonHoverPanel_Actions and can be found here:
Site Settings > Master Pages and Page Layouts > Display Templates > Search > Item_CommonHoverPanel_Actions.html
If you inspect this display template you will find an if else block around the rendering of the POST and FOLLOW buttons. The logic can be summarised as: The POST button is visible if Yammer is enabled and the result type supports it, otherwise the FOLLOW button is visible if the result type supports it, at no time will both buttons be visible.
If you download a copy of the display template HTML file, update it to remove the ‘else’ as in the code snippet below, and then upload it again, you will find the both the POST and FOLLOW buttons will be displayed in the search hover panel when supported. Success!
But is it okay update that file?
The short answer is yes. Take care as this file is used by every hover panel in SharePoint (to my knowledge, there may be some completely unique ones) and so changes could break something that isn’t obvious.
The major risk is that if Microsoft decide to update the hover panel which require them to produce a new version of the display template file (they have done this previously when introducing the POST button). In the case that you have modified this file, then your changes will be lost. This can happen without warning (unless you have a second tenant on first release to catch these issues before they hit production – you should be doing this!).
For very minor updates such as this, and to support non-critical functionality, it may be okay to make these changes and be prepared to re-implement them should Microsoft issue an update.
The alternative is to make a copy of the display template with a new name. This approach means that your changes will not get overridden but it also means that your solution will not get the updates that would otherwise be pushed to this file. We call this ‘customisation tax’ and it is a trade off as to which way you’d rather push changes.
In this particular scenario this latter approach is not very practical as every result type references the existing display template. You would be required to make copies of all the result type display templates that are applicable (possibly a dozen or more), and update the result types themselves to use your new templates. Unless you are bypassing result types and using a single display template for all results, this feels overly complex for such a minor change, but major changes will necessitate the effort.
EDIT: A colleague of mine, Luis Manez, pointed out that with a little JS you can force a custom hover panel to be rendered for all result types. You can read about it (approach one) and some other approaches to associating custom hover panels here (Elio Struyf).
Yammer and SharePoint Online are becoming more and more integrated. Recently, with the Yammer Embed widget supporting SSO from Office 365 to Yammer, we are in a situation where we can perform actions against Yammer from SharePoint Online without requiring further authentication.
This opens up opportunities for utilising the Yammer SDK and Yammer REST API to build all kinds of Yammer interactions directly into your SharePoint pages. It also allows us to start implementing some of those anti-patterns that customers want but Yammer doesn’t want to support as they’re against ‘social freedom’. A prime example of this is forcing users into groups. In some scenarios it may be rather practical. I won’t discuss the pros and cons of this further but do consider that Microsoft would rather you coerce users socially to make their own decision to join the ‘correct’ groups rather than programmatically deciding for them.
Regardless of that, I’m going to provide an example which, upon page load, joins the current O365 user’s Yammer identity to a Yammer group based upon their SharePoint user profile.I’d like to point out that if Yammer Embed is present on the page and is enabled with Single Sign On, then the authentication piece can be hidden entirely from the user. I am currently unaware how to achieve SSO with Yammer from SharePoint Online without pigging-backing Yammer Embed, although I haven’t looked in earnest so I suspect it’s achievable without too much effort.
A few notes on the code:
Add the first code snippet to a page with a Script Editor web part. It calls the initiation code and any configurations can be provided here, and modified when live
The second code snippet contains all the logic. This can be included to the page in any manner you wish but you must ensure it has loaded prior to running the init function
In order to use the Yammer SDK you must register a Yammer app on the target network and provide the client ID as the data-app-id attribute on the script element which includes it
Each user must authorise the Yammer app, just once, before it can act in their behalf. I have implemented this as a status message, an example of which can be seen in the image below
The code references ‘hut Id’ which is just a value stored in user’s profile and which is used to map a user to a Yammer group
I use local storage to prevent the code executing more often than every 24 hours. This has been commented out for clarity, however I would recommend functionality such as this is re-implemented
The experience of signing into Yammer from SharePoint is different if SharePoint is hosted on-premise or online. Only when online is the same identity used and can an SSO experience be achieved. In contrast, on-prem, the disconnect between O365 and Yammer credentials allows users to to provide credentials for any Yammer user in any Yammer network rather than being restricted to the associated identity
And finally, the code:
Finally, for completeness, here is a the settings object which I pass to Yammer Embed to achieve SSO with Yammer from SharePoint Online. I find that in practice anywhere I would want to run the above code I also have a feed of some sort that is appropriate to display. If this is not the case for you, hiding the feed with display:none will achieve the same result as long as the width of the Yammer Embed is equal to or greater than 400px. Note that this is *not* required, however without it the user may be prompted to provide their Yammer credentials.