30 July, 2008

Integrating SharePoint social networking with your ERP system

SharePoint provides a base of social networking capabilities (more on SharePoint social networking features here). This includes the Colleague Tracker which is a web part on your SharePoint My Site showing updates on what's going on in your network of colleagues within the enterprise. So for example, when a colleague has a new phone number or have changed position, the Colleague Tracker will tell you this. It also shows what documents your colleagues are working on and what workspaces they become member of. It introduces an amazing level of visibility and can be a serious booster for collaboration.

The Colleague Tracker can report on any user profile property, including all your custom ones. When you create a new profile property through the SharePoint SSP there is an option to select whether changes to this property should be shown in the Colleague Tracker.

The user profiles can be extended with properties being imported through SharePoint's Business Data Catalog. This means that employee data from your ERP system, such as organisational unit, cost centre and job title can be imported from the source of truth to your SharePoint user profiles. And when those properties are configured, there is an option to track changes to them with the Colleague Tracker.

The result is a social networking experience in SharePoint which is integrated with your ERP system. When you change position, organisational unit or location, your colleagues will automatically be notified of this.

8 comments:

Edith said...

Nice... Im working on an extension of this wp, to show notifications like twitter...
Do you think this is possible?

Thanks!

Kristian Kalsing said...

Are you building a new version of the Colleague Tracker web part?

Edith said...

No, Im just trying to extend or modify this wp to show my colleagues recent posts (peeps)...

I just dont know if that is possible...

Kristian Kalsing said...

Most (if not all) out-of-the-box web parts are sealed so you cannot inherit from them and extend them that way. You will have to develop a new web part from scratch.

The Colleague Tracker web part does however show recent blog posts of colleagues (if the blogs are hanging off their My Sites). Is that what you meant?

Edith said...

Nop... I was hoping this wp can be extended as the CQWP, adding properties to it... and showing peeps from a particular list... hosted on the root site collection...

I dont want blog posts, this functionality is like an "internal" twitter, where the users post comments about their mood or whatever...
and anybody who is following that user can see the updates...

hehe complicated huh? Maybe I should do a custom webpart... dont you think?

Saludos from Mexico...

Javier said...

Hey Edith how is the progress coming along with your twitter-like system. I was looking into developing something similar

Anonymous said...

hi,
can i use colleague tracker on a site which is not mysites, such as on the landing page of a corporate portal?

Kristian Kalsing said...

Yes, you can definitely place the Colleague Tracker Web Part on another site. In my organisation we have it on the intranet home page.

Just export it from My Site and then import into the page you want it on.