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[ARCHIVE] JiveWorld16

3 Posts authored by: thomaslady

So what comes first?


Well, it depends who you ask. You take the two companies represented at this breakout as a for-instance.


What came first at American Express Global Business Travel?


The answer: Jive.


Full disclosure: Two of the three speakers leading this session were from Yahoo. I’m from Yahoo. So you won’t be surprised to hear this was my favorite breakout session out of the eight I attended.


The two Yahoos in question are Christine Arnould, Yahoo’s Enterprise Community Manager (a.k.a. the Godmother of Jive @ Yahoo), and her rah-rah-in-crime Ashley Wolf, Community Manager for Yahoo’s engineering org.


Joining Christine and Ashley was Bridget Clark, VP of Internal Comms at American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), not to be confused with American Express. Let me explain. Or rather, let me recap the way Bridget explained it.


Bridget gave us the bio-in-brief of the American Express corporation, going all the way back to its founding shortly after the Civil War. GBT was part of AmEx for the longest time and indeed became its largest unit.  And then in 2014 AmEx sold it off. Bridget said they took that opportunity to hit the reset button on how they approached internal communications and knowledge sharing.


Here’s the rub: Given how old and storied and established this company is, you’re talking about a fundamental cultural shift of tectonic proportions. That couldn’t happen first.


No. First, they needed Jive.


In the pre-Jive era at GBT, knowledge and content were shared via email. That meant when someone left the company, their knowledge left with them.


Sound familiar?


In pondering how to give the culture a nudge, Bridget said they considered these four issues.


•    Mindset – strive for a balance between a legacy company and an Internet startup

•    Communications dynamics – cut down rates of death by email

•    Collaboration – down with silos!

•    Transparency – sharing is, after all, caring


With Jive providing both the spiritual impetus and technical framework, Bridget said they did five things to change the culture at GBT:


•    Memos to blogs from day one (what used to be emailed would instead be published as Jive blog posts)

•    Instituted an ambassador network to drive Jive adoption

•    Planned and planted discussions

•    Continued outreach

•    Saved some sizzle for the second release date


GBT’s instance of Jive is called UConnect. It went live in September 2015.


Before UConnect, the closest thing they had to a knowledge / content hub was SharePoint. Rather than gently coax people over, Bridget said they executed the migration with the rip-off-the-tape method. She did emphasize that she and the other Jive ambassadors are always happy to hold people’s hands until they warm up to the platform.


As Yahoo’s Sales and Marketing Community Manager, that sounds all too familiar to me.


Now it was time for Christine and Ashley to step up.




What came first at Yahoo? Culture or Jive?


Answer: culture.


Christine got us in the mood by holding her lav mic to her phone while she played the yodel. Love it!


Christine and Ashley, both of whose tenures started in the summer of 2014, just a few months after Jive went live at Yahoo (April 2014), did a yeoman’s job conveying the culture of fun, openness, and sharing they found when they first arrived. What with quarterly hack days, the Yahoo Employee Foundation, the company’s annual birthday party every March (Yahoo’s 20th birthday in March 2015 was their first experience of that), dogfooding, Friday all-hands and quarterly goals all-hands and the way so much of those company-wide meetings are driven by user questions, etc., etc.


With Jive already bought and implemented when they arrived, Christine and Ashley didn’t want to use it to change the culture the way it was changed at GBT. Instead, their mission was to improve the culture and make it more efficient.


Christine used the phrase “silos of excellence.” In other words, what she saw was a landscape of super smart and talented people everywhere, but who were cut off from each other. What she wanted to do was harness the already open and fun culture and knock down the silos of excellence to make the culture of sharing more efficient.


Enter Yahoo’s instance of Jive: the Yahoo Community.


The obvious challenge was taking the content from its previous homes (Wiki, Google Docs, Salesforce Chatter, ilists) and moving it over, a challenge they acknowledged they’re still working on today. And whereas GBT went with the rip-off-the-tape method with moving from SharePoint to UConnect, Christine and Ashley, as I know from personal experience, modulated their approach. They approached people the way salespeople would, wowing them with Jive’s obvious advantages…while informing them of the sunset date for their old content home.


Another parallel with Bridget’s spiel was the theme of hand holding. Again, I know from experience that once you help someone stand up a brand new space, you’ll need to stay by their side, virtually speaking, and act as consultant and tech support. This is a good thing, as it gives us community managers a chance to continue promoting the power of Jive.


So to recap: When Christine and Ashley arrived at Yahoo, the right culture was already there. They simply used Jive to improve it and make it more efficient via sharing, engagement, and innovation. Exhibit A: The dogfooding space on Jive has been terrific at capturing user feedback and improving our products.


The best part came at the end when they called out the cluster of fellow Yahoos sitting near the front, including yours truly.


I was very proud to be a Yahoo.

“I’m kind of a weirdo. I love tinkering, always have.”


Rashed Talukder is a Developer Evangelist at Jive. The opening slide said he’s been with Jive for “0.685 years.” Yes, I had to use my Droid’s calculator to find out that means about eight months and change. So he’s a newbie. But if he hadn’t said that, I never would’ve guessed.


The long and the short of it is this: Simple stream integrations (SSIs) allow you to harness salient information from the outside world and introduce it into Jive without the need for a middleware service. Jive-n now runs developer code on the Jive servers thanks to the availability of webhooks and a secured signed public URL.




Rashed whipped through the technical context pretty quickly, perhaps too quickly. A few of the slides I didn’t manage to capture include one showing the required components to be the transform function (translator for params to fit required params), and the need to sample incoming JSON to verify the transform.


Then he showed the SSI add-on file structure, followed by the below slide.




Rashed made it all make sense with a use case I could relate to. Let’s say your sales org wants to know what leads are coming in without Salesforce or Marketo acting as the middleware. You could use Marketo’s webhook and then add in all the profile fields you want for a smart campaign. This creates an SSI that lets you capture all your leads in Jive.


He showed a quick video demo showing how you can enrich SSI activity with Flow. The graphical UI was very user friendly, allowing you to drag and drop icons representing such variables as Get Lead Activities and an HTTP request with the Node.js request between them.


How about beefing up that simple stream to bring you even more helpful info? Maybe you’d like to get more context about your sales leads and bring Jive yet another step closer to being a true hub of knowledge.






In the above scenario, Rashed added the lead’s Twitter feed to capture more context in Jive, such as contact info and interests, complimented by the ability to contact that lead from within Jive courtesy of handy “Call” and “Email” buttons.


He showed us what a cinch it was to use the Jive node SDK to unpack and add the app to the SSI.


SSI considerations:


•    Only for cloud

•    Transform function has 1000ms execution time

•    Data displayed is limited to external service’s payload (e.g. Marketo example, awesome though it is, is still missing info and context a seller might want before contacting a lead)

•    Unable to take direct action on the external service from generated activity because it’s a one-way push into Jive without any external calls


Finally, he went over shared auth for requests using Jive Connects. This provides a secure way for secure auth for app requests. The end user is blind to your credentials. To do this, go to admin panel→App Services. The most important field is the Service URL which is the base URL for all requests.


Rashed brought it home saying what makes the simple stream integration so simple: it takes very little time. He emphasized that he can create powerful integrations like the Marketo example in about a half-hour. “There’s not a whole lot out there that can do that,” he said.


Why SSI rocks:


•    Low investment, high ROI

•    Patternizable

•    High velocity

•    Middleware-less

•    Secure

•    Allows for quick and contextually meaningful collaboration (e.g. searchable, allows for commenting, liking, sharing, marking for action, marking as success, etc.).


Given how easy and powerful SSIs are, Rashed was a bit bummed out that hardly anyone in the audience raised their hands when he asked who out there had already given SSIs a whirl.


“SSIs are just a quick and easy way to get more meaningful info about leads all within Jive.”

“I’m one of those weirdos who loves JavaScript.”


That was the succinct intro by Adam Sinnett, Senior Software Engineer at Jive and the first of two speakers at What’s New: Integrated User Experiences in Jive, one of Tuesday afternoon’s breakout sessions under the Developer track.


Compared to the morning sessions I took on employee engagement, this session as well as the Developer session that immediately followed (and which I also blogged about, concerning simple stream integration) were much more nuts and bolts.


Also, given that I'm not a developer by trade, just about all of the below was new to me. It's like you've been driving a car for a long time, and now I get to see the guts under the hood that make it all possible.


Let's roll...



Adam Sinnett, Senior Software Engineer at Jive


I was pleased to see that Adam’s focus would be on tiles, a feature of Jive I only just started working with about six weeks ago when my employer Yahoo’s intranet was migrated to our internal instance of the Jive cloud.


First, Adam recapped his presentation from the previous JiveWorld in October 2014 which, according to Jive CEO Elisa Steele at this morning’s keynote, approximately seventy percent of 2016 JiveWorld attendees did not attend.


Why tiles exist:


•    Lightweight external integrations

•    Ability to interact with external systems through Jive

•    Easier than widgets / plugins

•    Cloud compatible


How tiles work:


•    Configuration JSON (no idea what this means, but it sure sounds neat)

•    POST configuration and registration data to your service (ditto)

•    Render tile from your HTML / data


Adam then continued with the latest and greatest with tiles since the previous JiveWorld. Since tiles are totally new to me, I didn’t realize that some of the attributes that I’m already taking for granted after six weeks are fresh and a big improvement over the previous version of tiles.


•    Allow community managers to add up to five pages of complimenting customizable content to a single space

•    Exist within pages: places, news, your view, and mobile homepage

•    Makes Overview page mobile responsive


“For those of you still using Overview pages, tiles help Overview pages render on mobile.”


As of Jive 8 at Yahoo, our internal corp apps team has instructed me to discontinue using Overview pages specifically because they are not mobile responsive.


Adam also showed us the new tile types:


•    Narrow

•    Wide

•    Hero (currently only on the News page)


Internally at Yahoo, we were supposed to get the Hero with the 2016.1 release, but that release was so buggy, they pulled it back. Thus far, only bulk content management has been made available through 2016.1.


Next, Adam covered the tile pages API.


•    CRUD service for PageEntity

•    Prototype endpoint for getting started:

•    Required fields: name, parent, page type

•    Layout and one tile required for creation (I learned this right away when I began using tiles, that you cannot create a page on a space without creating at least one tile, even if you don’t build any content in it.)


When it comes to custom content creation, you have two tiles too choose from: HTML and Custom View.


HTML tiles:


•    Single instance of static HTML-based content

•    No setup

•    Able to be created and configured by admins

•    Fast and responsive content

•    No access to user session or external JavaScript

•    Saving SV requires admin or Save Script permissions to be granted

•    Cannot be reused without recreating (biggest pain point for me since we use HTML tiles for our left-hand nav across spaces under a single parent)

•    Only on the cloud

•    Able to upload images and CSS within tile

•    Simple to make mobile friendly

•    Permission-based ability to save JavaScript


Custom View tiles:


•    Add-on-based global tile with custom content

•    Access to Jive APIs, user session, external services

•    Easier to build user interactive experiences

•    Configuration view to customize each tile

•    Data to present may be retrieved from configuration data, per user store or pushed by middleware

•    Easily reusable in multiple places (where have you been all my life?)

•    Jive hosted or external service hosted

•    Slower to render than HTML tiles, speed comparable to Jive apps

•    Because they’re slower, only two are allowed per page


At Yahoo I only know of one Custom View tile on our Jive 8 instance, and it’s a simple product description used on our Dev space. No word yet on when we’ll get to use more of these, but suffice it to say it would help immensely with having to recreate the left-hand nav on all my pages / spaces.


To wrap up his session, Adam exited his deck and navigated to a dummy group on the Jive Community called Custom View Tile. In short order he whipped up a bunch of code on a plain text file, slapped in the appropriate place, toggled back to the Custom View Tile group, and refreshed to show us the new Custom View tile he’d just created.


Et voila…




Talk about near and dear to my bleeding eighties heart!



Ed Venaglia, Staff Software Engineer at Jive


Ed, too, kicked things off with a droll, deadpan intro. After telling us how he architected and patented Jive’s add-on framework and is a full-stack expert in this, that, and the other code language, he said, “I just love building things, whether it’s with wood, metal…and lasers.”


I’ve never heard anyone say so casually that they work with lasers as a hobby.


Ed focused on the latest and greatest in add-on experiences since the last JiveWorld.


First, he covered two kinds of UI extensions: pre-install and configuration.


Pre-install UI:


•    Shown before the add-on is installed

•    Useful for checking connectivity or licenses

•    Can prevent the install of an add-on

•    Only available to add-ons installed from the global registry


Configuration UI


•    Requires the admin to configure the add-on before it can be used

•    Can save configuration locally or in a middleware service

•    External Storage Framework (ESF) UI connects Jive to third-party storage provider


These two UI extensions have something in common: they’re lightweight apps.


Why lightweight apps are awesome:


•    Simpler since they only use HTML, CSS and JavaScript

•    Automatically include most popular features like jQuery, Core API, OpenSocial, OAuth

•    Simple handlers for open and close

•    Easy to pass data in and out

•    Support responsive UI for mobile

•    Similar runtime environment as a Jive app


Here are the JavaScript features for lightweight apps:


•    Easy access to common JS libraries

•    Access specialty Jive APIs

•    Simple API to pass data back and forth with Jive

•    Support for responsive UI and mobile browsers

•    Defined using a benign query parameter in the URL


Winding down, Ed gave high-level snapshots of public resources, bundling apps with add-ons, and Health Check.


Public resources:


•    Installed directly from the add-on package and “ridiculously fast” because they’re served by Jive instead of a middleware service

•    Can be used to store any UI resource

•    Anonymous access

•    No authentication required


Bundling apps with add-ons:


•    App availability managed by Jive admin

•    Preferred over deploying apps using the Apps Market

•    App resources can be public resources

•    Can still use URLs (convenient for migrating away from Apps Market)


For using URLs, you’ll probably have to contact your Jive AM or support person.


Now how about that Health Check?


•    Good to have when using a middleware service

•    Easy to implement

•    Can inform Jive admin if service is having issues or undergoing maintenance

•    Can expose details about middleware service components (e.g. database problems, micro-service status and health, problems with upstream services, may include remediation instructions)

•    Inform admin about upcoming scheduled downtime


One final note from Ed concerned the Add-on Validator. This is a static analysis tool of add-on packages that you’ll need if you are bundling add-ons.


To wit:


add-on validator.jpg