Open Text Delivery Server Social Communities Integration: Part 1

Jun 25, 2012
Julio Canadas

Recently, I got my hands on Open Text’s Delivery Server 10.1 documentation which mentioned the integration with Vignette Social Communities so I decided to give it a try. In this series of blog posts you’ll find my experience and impressions of the tool.



I won’t go over the installation – suffice to say it had it’s challenges. I wasn’t able to setup OpenText Common Search and none of the Open Text Social Communities modules on the sample project worked from the start. 
I had to manually fix some items in the sample project to get the forums working. The blogs and wiki will have to wait for now.

Once setup and integrated with Open Text Delivery Server according to documentation, you’ll end up with 2 sample projects inside Delivery Server. I’ll go over the portlet implementation:

User Interface

Main Page

When you first enter the project you’ll be greeted with the following screen:

Open Text Social Communities Index
Figure 1: Index

A little note: By default you’ll get the blog page which I changed to forums as I only had time to fix these. The sample project is pretty basic and it’s meant to be an example (or to build on). You can see a “Hello World” topic I’ve previously created with the “test” tag. You are given pagination, sorting, user login, tag search, text search (Depends on OpenText common search) among a few other things which I’ll try to cover.

Creating topics
 Once a user is logged in they’ll have the option of creating new threads in the forum.

Open Text Social Communities Add Topic
Figure 2: Add Topic

They’ll be presented with a new page that has 3 inputs:
  • Subject
  • Tags
  • A simple Rich Text Editor
The latter should cover most needs although some forum users may miss some features (videos, smileys).


Open Text Social Communities Topic Edit Screen
Figure 3: Topic edit screen

Once done editing and saving all changes the new topic will display on the Forum’s main page. Any new tags added will also show up under the tags section.


Open Text Web Solutions RedDot Social Communities New Topics and Tags
Figure 4: New topic and tags

Here’s topic display:

Open Text Web Solutions RedDot Social Communities New Thread Display
Figure 5: New thread display

There’s an option to display more information for all threads in display. This will show the following:
  • First post snip
  • Last post snip
  • Tags

Open Text Web Solutions RedDot Social Communities More Topic Information
Figure 6: More topic information

Share & Subscribe
 At the top you’ll notice 3 links: 
  • RSS Feed
  • Tell People
  • Subscribe

The tell people popup will allow you to send an email with a link to the particular forum.

Open Text Web Solutions RedDot Social Communities Tell People
Figure 7: Tell People


The subscribe to topic will allow you to get notifications whenever a topic is changed or on a timely basis.

Open Text Web Solutions RedDot Social Communities Subscribe
Figure 8: Subscribe

  
Tag Search
Clicking on any of the tags will show all the topics related to that tag.

Open Text Web Solutions RedDot Social Communities Tag Search Results
Figure 9: Tag search results


Reply
A user can reply to a post in a topic. It uses almost the same elements as creating a topic.

Open Text Web Solutions RedDot Social Communities Reply
Figure 10: Reply

On the next screen you can see how it displays in the sample project. Common functionalities as nested display or quoting the reply post are not included in the sample project. 


Open Text Web Solutions RedDot Social Communities Reply Display
Figure 11: Reply display on topic

That covers most of what comes in the sample project for what regular users can do.

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