Thursday, May 29, 2008

OCS-Webclient part 2: New functionality

It has been a while since the first article.  As a developer (and a person) you shouldn't restricted yourself to much in the beginning. And in fact it is a good thing not to set the threshold too high for UC-Ajax. The past months gave me as much insight in the workings/quirks of AJAX/JavaScript as of UC. On this article we will go into some functional improvements. The next will go into technical details.

As I spoke to my colleagues in what functionality should be added, it became clear that the added value of the client is seamless integration and adding “Unified Communications” in the context of the page. The question is: where is OCS relevant in a page.

A good example is the integration of the rich client with SharePoint if someone posts something. If you hover over the name of the writer you will be presented with a number of things you can add:

Let’s try to translate some to our scenario with no rich client available.

Options regarding audio and video are not possible. If the user does not have the rich client installed he possibly has no access to a dedicated e-mail-program (like Outlook) either.  There are loads of information available on a contact if you query the presence of a contact in OCS. We can combine them with (possibly hidden) content on the page itself. For instance you can filter out all unnecessary options that do not match within the context of the page.

What about your own presence? The most logical place for UC-driven actions regarding yourself in SharePoint is the upper right-hand corner, between your other personal links. I’ve created an icon of your current state and a pulldown-menu to change it.
It is also very simple to change your status according to the page you are viewing. For instance if you are navigating to your “My Site” and open a new blog post: The webclient can set your presence to ”Busy” and/or your note to “blogging”.


Another possibility is that you want to initiate a call with somebody else. But where can you find your contact list without starting a new window for the MS Webaccess client first? A possibility shown above is to put it in a Web-Part, but it might as well be in another pulldown menu next to your own status. It might as well be any element on the page as log it has an ID attached to it.

The link on each contact is created by the OCS Webclient and could direct you to the mysite of that person, or open a chatwindow. Alternatively a popupwindow can be shown.
If you want to discuss these or other functionalities, feel free to contact us. Feature request send an email to of or just IM us or

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