As you may have noticed, zevenseas has been putting a lot of thought into building solutions that can be installed quickly and easily, by anyone, on SharePoint, anywhere!
Last week we released our “Assembly Free” Team Status application, thanks everyone for the feedback, there is a new version coming in the next few days with some minor tweaks. The most important of those is support for BPOS (Microsoft Online Services).
After releasing this solution I got thinking about how we could make it even better by integrating it with Twitter. I didn’t have to think for long, because this is where TunnelPoint, our “BDC for SharePoint in the Cloud”, comes in.
With TunnelPoint added to the solution I was able to publish any messages added to an instance of the Team Status application to a Twitter account, take a look at the result below:
On the left is Team Status in SharePoint, on the right is Twitter
How might this be useful? Well, imagine a team like zevenseas who wants to publish a stream of messages under a single unified Twitter account. You can use SharePoint to create your messages, and then TunnelPoint to send them over to Twitter. Nice.
The best bit of course is that the entire setup took me less than 5 minutes AND I didn’t have to go anywhere near my SharePoint server or ask anyone from the IT Department to help me! <grin>
Here is how I did it:
1) You must have an Internet Facing SharePoint site, and an account with Administrator privileges.
2) Download and Setup our “Assembly Free” twitter application, and start adding some messages.
3) Sign up for TunnelPoint here: http://account.tunnelpoint.com/Registration.aspx then activate your account.
4) Sign up for a new Twitter account, or have an existing one ready.
This is where the fun starts, you will now have a Team Status site that looks something like this:
After activating your account, Logging on to TunnelPoint and clicking on “My SharePoint” a screen that looks like this:
The next steps are (a) Telling TunnelPoint about our new Team Status site and then (b) Assigning the Twitter service to that site. Click on the “New” button to display the following screen:
After entering all the information and clicking “Save”, you will have your site registered with TunnelPoint and ready to have services assigned to it:
Click on the “MyServices” link at the top of the screen, this is where you specify the services you would like to assign:
As you can see, one of the services listed is “Sent Twitter Update from SP List”, select this service and then click on the “New” button.
Now, the standard “Team Status” list does not include all the columns you need to successfully run this service. Rather than making you do this manually, TunnelPoint can take care of it for you, click on the “Create additional fields in list for this service”. This will add two fields to the existing list “What are you doing?” and “Message Status”.
After entering in the Twitter account you want to publish to, select “Message” as the field that contains the message and “Message Status” as the field where you would like to store the Message Status.
When you are happy, click “Save”, and you are done. Head over to your Twitter account and refresh your timeline. It should look something like this:
Before you go, try it out yourself:
Demo Site: http://demo.zevenseas.com/sites/AssemblyFreeDemos/TPConnected/default.aspx
Usernames: ZSHOSTED\teamstatus, ZSHOSTED\teamstatus2, ZSHOSTED\teamstatus3
Passwords: (passwords are the same as username, eg. teamstatus, teamstatus2, teamstatus3)
Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/assemblyfree (Note: it can take up to 15 mins to publish to Twitter)
Or check out some of the other services. It would be just as simple to set it up so that you received a text message with every new message added. Have Fun!