Wednesday, April 1, 2015


This is a special post on the request from many of my friends and followers. Everyone wants to know which is the best approach to integrate Yammer in SharePoint. Yammer has provided multiple options to integrate Yammer in SharePoint, one thing I would like to clear here is that you can combine any of them or all of them to full fill your requirements. There is really not any hard rule when to use which option, here what I am going to share is all depends on my past experience of Yammer integration. With some of my approaches you may disagree, but that's all we have for now.

Lets start with understanding each option and its advantages and disadvantages.

1. Yammer web part:

             This is simple way, all you need is deployment of yammer web part solutions on your farm. Remember it requires farm deployment. After deployment you need to enable Yammer features of web part and configure web part on required page.

Advantages:

1. Simple to configure.
2. Install one time, use many time.

Dis-Advantages:

1. It requires farm deployment.
2. No way for branding as per the branding site have.
3. No way to customize the feeds.

This approach was originally for SharePoint 2010. It does works for SharePoint 2013 on premise.

Some points you need to remember about web part while designing are:

1. It requires farm deployment so not a option for SharePoint online.
2. The web part doesn't have RWD design so cannot work on mobile devices.
3. You cannot show feeds as per your wish.

2. Yammer embedded:

This is another simple approach to integrate Yammer feeds in SharePoint site. Alongside feeds you can do other actions: like , follow a specific page, etc. Find some of the implementation example of embed here.

Advantages:

1. Simple to configure.
2. Its plug and play. It will work on any web site.
3. Can be placed multiple times on same page. Advantage over Web part.
4. No need of any deployment.

Dis-Advantages:

1. Does not support RWD structure.
2. Little scope for branding.
3. Lightweight but slower.

Some points you need to remember while designing:

1. They don't need any farm deployment.
2. Easy placement on pages most time its manual work.
3. Does not have RWD enabled so incompatible to small mobile devices.
4. Little chances to customize as per branding.


3. Yammer App:

Yammer App has been introduced in SharePoint 2013; this is free App. This is great option for SharePoint online. This is very much similar to Yammer  web part. App settings are simple and very similar to the Web part. Though its similar to the Yammer web part it has limited options than web part. To use this on On premise, you need to do setup for App catalog.

Advantages:

1. Easy to install and configure.
2. No need of any deployment on farm.

Dis-Advantages:

1. Minimum provision to change look and feel as well as some functions.
2. Limited feed options.
3. Cannot follow site's branding.

To use on on-premise SharePoint, it needs to setup App Catalog.

4. Yammer REST:

All above integration approaches are available ready made. All of them have a disadvantage that you can not do implementation as per your requirement. Things like applying theme, styles, adding or removing certain features not available in above options. There is little scope for customization in above approaches.

In case of custom development of yammer components you need to use the REST services provided by Yammer. There are various REST services available and covers almost all features of Yammer. Using REST services one can interact with Yammer for  messages, user information, groups, networks and other activities like - follow, like, etc.

Following URL has list of all available REST services. This also contains the SDK for JavaScript.
While developing custom components using REST API you need use this SDK which makes life little bit easier.

https://developer.yammer.com/v1.0/docs/rest-api-rate-limits 

Advantages:

1. Custom component development is possible.
2. Applying Theme, styles possible.
3. Easy to use.
4. Development of reporting component is possible.
5. It is possible to create a component which can support all devices and browsers.

Dis-Advantages:

1. It involves development time and cost.
2. Not all API present at the moment.
3. Microsoft keep changing the API library.

With this much description I  think it is clear to you that which would be best approach for you while Yammer integration with Yammer. Each method has pros and cons; its you who needs to choose the best suitable way for integration. If you still have queries on this then please send a mail so I can help you over finalizing approach.

Happy Yamming!

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