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Discussion Column Version 2.0


Discussion Column is intended to organize conversation in the list item without need to enable list versioning. Component allows entering rich text with formatting, images, tables, hyperlinks, etc.

Actually Discussion is similar to an IM message system: many users are able to create rich-text messages, but there is no ability (in some cases) to modify previous messages. As IM, discussion control can show who and when has published post (configured in column settings).

Discussion sample

Useful thing is that it is possible to show all conversations in list view or just a hyperlink to "View Item" form. It is helpful when discussion has many items and page becomes congested.

Discussion show full discussion

Discussion show just hyperlink

You can also arrange your comments in chronological or reverse chronological order. User signature could be displayed on top or bottom of an entry.

Feature List

Feature
Organizing discussion without enabling list versioning
Comments editing
Filtering of empty records
Ability to show whole discussion history or only link to it in list view
Show user name as a link to user profile page
Display posts in chronological or reverse chronological order
Choosing position of user signature
Import data (text) from existing Microsoft® SharePoint® Multiple lines of text column
Language pack support (desired localization could be added by request)

Why ArtfulBits Discussion Column?

It is possible to use standard SharePoint "Multiple lines of text" column with "Append Changes to Existing Text" option for organizing discussion, but:

  • Versioning of a list has to be turned on
  • New version is created each time items are edited

Even if you edit item, new record will be displayed in discussion history, whether it is empty or not.

ArtfulBits Discussion Column resolves these problems and avoids list versioning, also it does not append empty records to discussion history.

 Standard Edition
Organizing discussion without enabling list versioning   
Comments editing   
Filtering of empty records   
Ability to show whole discussion history or only link to it in list view   
Show user name as a link to user profile page   
Display posts in chronological or reverse chronological order   
Choosing position of user signature   
Import data (text) from existing Microsoft® SharePoint® Multiple lines of text column   
Language pack support (desired localization could be added by request)   


Image 1: New/Edit Item Form

From New/Edit Item form user can write a new message.

Image 2: View Item Form

Display Item form displays all messages.

Image 3: List View with date and user login

Discussion Column can display the message with date and user login.

Image 4: View Item Form without date and user login

Discussion Column can display messages without date and user login.

Image 5: List View without discussion history

User can disable showing discussion history in list view.

Image 6: Discussion Column Settings

These settings change displaying mode for list view and view item form.

Preparation for Installation

Before installation, please, check that your target server meets Discussion Column system requirements.

Also, it is recommended to install ArtfulBits License Manager before (if it is not installed).


1. Installation

Download Discussion Column installation package from ArtfulBits website, unpack the file, and run Setup.exe:

Note:

You must be a SharePoint Farm Administrator for successful installation. Also "Windows SharePoint Administration" and "Windows SharePoint Timer" should be running on the server:

SharePoint 2007 SharePoint 2010

After system check is finished, click "Next".

After reading License Agreement, click "Accept" and go to next step.

Select one or more web applications and click "Next".

Wait for install to succeed, click "Next" for deployment status details.

2. License Management

Discussion Column uses Per-Farm License Model (each license is bound to single SharePoint Farm ID). For more details about licensing models please visit License Agreement.

Product works in unlicensed mode for three days from the moment of installation. In this mode all the product features are unlocked same way as with trial license. After these three days either trial license or full license should be entered for product to function.

  • To get Discussion Column trial license click here.

After ArtfulBits License Manager is installed, go to the SharePoint Central Administration page:

SharePoint 2007 SharePoint 2010

Choose "Operations".
Click on "ArtfulBits License Manager":

Click on "ArtfulBits License Manager":

This page shows all ArtfulBits installed products and their license statuses.

Click on product name to view license details.

If product is not licensed you can click "Enter License" link and enter license key (trial or full) into textbox. For upgrading product edition click "Convert License" and enter new license of target product edition.

Pressing "Activate" button will verify the key and in case of verification success license status will be updated.

Note: in trial or unlicensed mode all product features are available for evaluation. This way you will be able to try each and every feature available in the product line which will give you good understanding of what feature set will be necessary for you and it will be easier to come up with the decision which product edition should be purchased. After trial period expiration full license should be purchased which will determine product edition and available (unlocked) feature set.

Special link informing about product expiration is shown in SharePoint pages, where ArtfulBits component is used if product is using trial license or such license is "Expired" or no license is provided at all. Clicking on this link will redirect to product license status details page.

3. Activating / Deactivating Feature

Click "Site Actions" menu in the root site of one site collection, then click "Site Settings":
SharePoint 2007 SharePoint 2010
Click "Site collection features" link in Site Settings page:
SharePoint 2007 SharePoint 2010

In SharePoint Site collection feature list, activate ArtfulBits Discussion Column feature (if deactivated):

4. Product Upgrading

Process of updating Discussion Column is pretty straightforward - just download latest installation package and execute Setup.exe from it. After system check completes, select an "Upgrade" option and then follow setup wizard instructions.

5. Uninstallation / Repairing

Execute Setup.exe from your installation package. On the Repair and Remove section, select Remove radio button and click "Next", the Discussion Column will be uninstalled. Or select "Repair" - to repair the Discussion Column .


For SharePoint 2013 products:
Operating Systems: Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
Windows Server 2012
Server: SharePoint Release:
  • SharePoint Foundation 2013 or SharePoint Server 2013
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0
Browser:
  • Internet Explorer 8+
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari
  • Google Chrome
For SharePoint 2010 products:
Operating Systems: Windows Server 2008 x64 SP2
Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows 7 x64
Server: SharePoint Release:
  • SharePoint Foundation 2010 or SharePoint Server 2010
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.5
Browser:
  • Internet Explorer 8+
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari
  • Google Chrome
For SharePoint 2007 products:
Operating Systems: Windows Server 2003 x86/x64
Windows Server 2008 x86/x64

Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003/2008
(Please read about limitation)
Server: SharePoint Release:
  • Windows SharePoint Services v3 or SharePoint Server 2007
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or 3.0
Browser: Microsoft Internet Explorer 7+ is recommended for Advanced Administration features

Also compatible with:
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Apple Safari
  • Google Chrome

Questions List


How to get my "FarmID" value?

There are several ways how to get your SharePoint Farm ID.

Method 1:

  • Make sure ArtfulBits License Manager is installed on SharePoint Server and activated
  • Go to your SharePoint Central Administration site
  • Open Operations page (for SharePoint 2007 only)
  • Click on ArtfulBits License Manager link under ArtfulBits Solutions Configuration group
  • Click on Enter License button for certain product
  • FarmID will be displayed on License Management page under License Information section

    NOTE: By clicking on "Click here to get license" link you will be redirected to "Get Trial License" page with auto-filled FarmID


Method 2:

  • Download FarmInfo.zip (ArtfulBits utility for retrieving SharePoint FarmID)
  • Run it on your SharePoint Server

The application dialog will look like this: Retrieving SharePoint FarmID using ArtfulBits SharePoint Farm Info Tool

Method 3:

  • Run Windows PowerShell on your SharePoint Server as administrator
  • Type in the following command to set minimal reqired execution policy:
    Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
  • Hit "Enter" key to confirm default choice
  • Enter following commands one by one:
    [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SharePoint")
    $spFarm=[Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPfarm]::Local
    $spFarm.Id
Output of commands execution will look like this: Retrieving SharePoint FarmID using Windows PoweShell script commands

How to convert ArtfulBits column to standard SharePoint column and back?

ArtfulBits Progress, Follow-Up, Category, DateTime and all ArtfulBits Lookups columns have "Conversion" feature.

ArtfulBits column can be converted from an existing SharePoint Column and can be converted to the standard SharePoint Column.

Convert from standard:
  • Try to add needed ArtfulBits Column as usual
  • On settings page expand "Column Conversion settings" section
  • In drop-down control choose which standard column will be converted to ArtfulBits Column (will be empty when list doesn’t have proper columns)
  • After selecting existing standard Column and clicking on “Covert” button - warring message will be shown
  • Click "OK", and standard Column will be converted to ArtfulBits column

Convert to standard:
  • Open settings page of existing ArtfulBits Column
  • Click on "Convert" button in Column Conversion section
  • Warring message will be shows, click “OK” button
  • ArtfulBits column will be converted to standard SharePoint Column

How to enable Datasheet view support?

To enable Datasheet view mode support, make sure that ArtfulBits Column site collection feature is activated.

For DateTime, Progress, Category and Follow-Up columns editing in Datasheet is enabled by default.

To enable column editing for Parent Selector, Cross-Site Lookup and Cascaded Lookup do the following:

  1. Open column settings page
  2. Go to "Datasheet Compatibility Mode" section
  3. Choose "Allow Editing" option to enable column content editing in Datasheet view

I received error: Unable to cast object of type
'System.Web.Configuration.ScriptingScriptResourceHandlerSection' to
type 'System.Web.Configuration.ScriptingScriptResourceHandlerSection'...

Possible reason of this issue is conflict in versions of System.Web.Extensions assembly.
To fix the problem, do the following steps:
  1. Backup web.config of your web-site
  2. Add following code into assemblyBinding section of your web.config file:
    <dependentAssembly>
       <assemblyIdentity name="System.Web.Extensions" 
          publicKeyToken="31BF3856AD364E35" 
          culture="neutral" />
       <bindingRedirect 
          oldVersion="1.0.61025.0" 
          newVersion="3.5.0.0"/>
    </dependentAssembly>
  3. Restart IIS service

How to upgrade ArtfulBits SharePoint product to newer version?

  1. Just download new version of product from our site
  2. Unzip files and run "Setup.exe"
  3. Follow wizard steps and select "Upgrade" option

NOTE: Upgrade operation is safe and doesn't affect on existing user data.


Is ArtfulBits SharePoint product update free of charge?

Yes. You can upgrade to newer version within the same major version number completely free of charge. For example, if you've purchased a license for any 1.xx product you can upgrade to any higher 1.yy version. Higher major version will be licensed separately. So, version 2.0 will need a new license.

How to check if AJAX is installed on a server?

  1. Open Global Assembly Cache (GAC)
  2. Find System.Web.Extensions assembly

Which Lookup Column do I need?

See the following features comparison chart of ArtfulBits Lookup columns that helps you make the right choice:

SharePoint
Lookup
 

Parent
Selector
$75,00

Cross-Site
Lookup
$150,00

Cascaded
Lookup
$200,00
Lookup data from lists cross-site within site collection
Lookup data from lists on the same site
Lookup data from the same list
Ajax support enabled
Supported JSLink
Single and multiple lookup
Parent-child relationships
Supported single-single, single-multi, multi-single and multi-multi relations
Unlimited number of cascading levels
Support lookup data from subfolders
Picker Dialog for searching items in lookup lists
Filtering retrieved data using existing list views
Supported default values
Adding items to source list via new item form
on the fly
Adding lookup items via inline entering
on the fly
Adding lookup items via New Item form
on the fly
Editing lookup items via Edit Item form
on the fly
Excluding own item from lookup list during item editing
Checking whether hierarchical data is non-cyclic
Datasheet view support, including edit mode
Conversion among "ArtfulBits Cascaded Lookup", "ArtfulBits Cross-Site Lookup", "ArtfulBits Parent Selector" columns and standard SharePoint "Lookup" column
Download Download Download

Item Version Size
SharePoint 2013
ArtfulBits_Discussion_v2.0_SP2013.zip
Zip file contains ArtfulBits Discussion Column install files for SharePoint 2013, user guide and install guide documents. For more details about installation process select Installation tab.
2.0 1975 Kb
ArtfulBits_Discussion_v2.0_FullPack_SP2013.zip
Zip file contains ArtfulBits Discussion Column and License Manager install files for SharePoint 2013, user guides and install guides documents for both products. For more details about installation process select Installation tab.
2.0 3913 Kb
SharePoint 2010
ArtfulBits_Discussion_v2.0_SP2010.zip
Zip file contains ArtfulBits Discussion Column install files for SharePoint 2010, user guide and install guide documents. For more details about installation process select Installation tab.
2.0 1974 Kb
ArtfulBits_Discussion_v2.0_FullPack_SP2010.zip
Zip file contains ArtfulBits Discussion Column and License Manager install files for SharePoint 2010, user guides and install guides documents for both products. For more details about installation process select Installation tab.
2.0 3911 Kb
SharePoint 2007
ArtfulBits_Discussion_v2.0_SP2007.zip
Zip file contains ArtfulBits Discussion Column install files, user guide and install guide documents. For more details about installation process select Installation tab.
2.0 1957 Kb
ArtfulBits_Discussion_v2.0_FullPack_SP2007.zip
Zip file contains ArtfulBits Discussion Column and License Manager install files, user guides and install guides documents for both products. For more details about installation process select Installation tab.
2.0 3877 Kb
Documentation
Discussion_UserGuide.pdf
Discussion column user guide.
726 Kb
Discussion_InstallGuide.pdf
Installation guide describes installation and licensing steps.
952 Kb


Note: FullPack is not required if you already have installed or download ArtfulBits License Manager.

Release Notes

Version Notes
v2.0
(April 22, 2013)
New Features:
  • Added SharePoint 2013 support
v1.62
(February 07, 2012)
Improvements:
  • Added cross-browser support for comment editing
v1.61
(June 09, 2011)
Bugs Fixed:
  • Fixed column settings update
v1.6
(June 03, 2011)
Improvements:
  • Added support for new licensing model (ArtfulBits License Manager v1.4)
  • Added "Save site as template" support
v1.54
(April 27, 2011)
Improvements:
v1.53
(March 23, 2011)
Improvements:
  • Added item custom forms support
v1.52
(February 4, 2011)
Bugs Fixed:
  • Fixed issue when column version upgraded
v1.51
(January 22, 2011)
Bugs Fixed:
  • Fixed SharePoint Alerts
v1.5
(November 16, 2010)
New Features:
  • Added Russian and German localization

Bugs Fixed:
  • Fixed minor issues
v1.41
(July 08, 2010)
Bugs Fixed:
  • Fixed error with 6622 Event ID in Event Viewer (Field type DummyField has duplicated definition)
v1.4
(June 11, 2010)
New Features:
  • Added comments editing functionality

Improvements:
  • Improved Setup Wizard
v1.3
(May 13, 2010)
New Features:
  • SharePoint 2010 support added

Bugs Fixed:
  • Fixed column value clearing during item editing (when nothing entered)
v1.2
(February 01, 2010)
Bugs Fixed:
  • Problem with product version (Setup Wizard only)
v1.2
(January 21, 2010)
New Features:
  • Added ability to import data (text) from existing SharePoint Multiple lines of text column
v1.1
(January 12, 2010)
New Features:
  • Added Entries’ order customization (chronological or reverse chronological order)
  • Added Signature position property (displays user signature on top or bottom of an entry)

Improvements:
  • Improved Setup Wizard
v1.0
(November 02, 2009)
Initial Release

[PRO] - Professional edition
[ENT] - Enterprise edition

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