Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Yammer Integration in SharePoint Server 2013 with Service Pack 1

Microsoft recently released Service Pack 1 (SP1) for SharePoint Server 2013 (KB2817429). Rightpoint has been eagerly looking forward to this particular Service Pack, as this includes support for Yammer, the awesome enterprise social network tool, which we have been using internally in our organization, and have been equally passionate in promoting Yammer to our clients as well.

This Service Pack also includes other enhancements and fixes. Here is the download link for SP1. This link also provides all SP1 related details.

Microsoft released Service Pack 1 (KB 287429) in March 2014, but uncovered an issue that may prevent customers who have Service Pack 1 from deploying future public or cumulative updates. They deactivated this update, and a new update was released to resolve the issue and can be found at KB 2880552.

NOTE:  The steps below are applicable to a SharePoint 2013 On-Premises environment only. The SharePoint virtual machine that I used for this was built per the instructions provided in this document from Critical Path Training.
If you are a seasoned SharePoint Administrator or Developer, then the ‘High Level Steps’ listed below are all that you will need. But if you are someone who is new to SharePoint, or likes a lot of details with screenshots galore, then the ‘Detailed Steps’ below are for you.

High Level Steps

    1.       Install SP1.

    2.       Activate Yammer in Central Administration site (this needs the ‘App Management Service’ and ‘Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Subscription Settings Service’ running in the farm).

    3.        Create a Forward Lookup Zone and Alias (CNAME) record in DNS Manager.

    4.       Create a new Web Application and Site Collection in Central Administration site.

    5.       Add the Yammer App Part for SharePoint in Central Administration site.

    6.       Hide the OOB SharePoint Server 2013 social features. The steps are in this Microsoft TechNet white paper titled, Lead with Yammer for SharePoint 2013 On Premises. Refer to the section titled, Project 1: Hide the SharePoint Server 2013 social features.

    7.       Add the Yammer feed App Part to the My Site Host (or Site Collection).

Detailed Steps

Install SP1

    1.       Download SP1 from the above link. The file name is officeserversp2013-kb2880552-fullfile-x64-en-us.exe.

    2.       Run the .exe file to initiate SP1 installation. It takes a while to install this. So feel free to multitask while this is underway.
    After the installation is complete, the SharePoint Server 2013 product version should be updated to 15.0.4571.1502. See Figure 1 below. 

    Figure 1

    Activate Yammer in Central Administration site

    3.       Launch the Central Administration site.
    Note that the top suite bar displays the ‘Newsfeed’ link as shown in Figure 2 below. This is the link to the OOB SharePoint newsfeed feature. Activating Yammer will replace this ‘Newsfeed’ link with the ‘Yammer’ link. 
    Figure 2

    4.       Clicking on the ‘Yammer’ link in the landing page as shown above. Doing so will displays the page shown in Figure 3 below. Click the ‘Activate Yammer’ button.
    Figure 3

    After clicking the button, it changes to Deactivate Yammer as shown in Figure 4 below. Deactivating Yammer will restore the OOB Newsfeed link in the suite bar.
    Figure 4

    The top suite bar now should now display the ‘Yammer’ link as shown in Figure 5 below.
    Figure 5

    5.       The Yammer App for SharePoint requires that the following 2 services are running in the SharePoint farm:

    ·         App Management Service

    ·         Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Subscription Settings Service

    You can start these 2 services from the ‘Services on Server’ page (/_admin/Server.aspx) which can be accessed by clicking on the ‘Application Management’ link in left menu > ‘Manage services on server’ link under the ‘Service Applications’ section in the Central Administration site. See Figure 6 and Figure 7 below:

    Figure 6
    Figure 7

    Create a Forward Lookup Zone and Alias (CNAME) record in DNS Manager

    6.       Create a Forward Lookup Zone in DNS Manager. Check out the Microsoft TechNet article titled, Configure an environment for apps for SharePoint (SharePoint 2013) for more details on forward lookup zone.

    Figures 8 through 20 below illustrate all the associated steps.
    Figure 8


    Right mouse click on the server name and then click 'New Zone…'

                 Figure 9



                Figure 10

    The ‘Primary Zone’ and ‘Store the zone in Active Directory’ options are selected by default as shown below. 
                Figure 11

    ‘To all DNS servers running on domain controllers in the domain:’ option is selected by default as shown below.

               Figure 12


              Enter the zone name that is relevant to your environment in the screen below.
              apps.spdev.com in zone name that I used in my SharePoint environment.

             Figure 13

    The ‘Allow only secure dynamic updates’ option is selected by default as shown below.


             Figure 14


            Figure 15

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