In today’s collaborative environments, in which teams are often spread out all over the world, in multiple locations and across different time zones, having a centralized place to keep the lines of communication open between the teams and subject matter expert(s) is of critical importance. The out-of-the-box Discussion Board in SharePoint is an extremely useful tool for this type of collaboration and sharing of information without constantly bombarding team members with email.
At the end of last year, Bamboo released Discussion Board Plus for SharePoint 2010. Discussion Board Plus allows users within your organization to move beyond simply asking and answering questions in a forum adding game-changing features, such as the ability to:
- Elevate the most important topics to the top of the Board via the sticky option;
- Mark the most accurate answer as correct;
- Suggest a reply as possibly being the correct answer;
- Rate a topic or post based on the content via the Bamboo Rating Column (included);
- Search and find answers more quickly via Bamboo List Simple Search Web Part (included);
- Visually identify the status of posts via icons; and more.
In addition, Discussion Board Plus supports various environments in SharePoint 2010, including:
- Windows (Classic Mode)
- Windows (Claims-based)
- Forms-based authentication (including SQL provider and AD provider)
Very soon, the following new features will be introduced to Discussion Board Plus with release 1.5:
Automatically subscribe authors to receive alerts on topics they post to:
When you post a question about a particular topic, you don’t know when the subject matter expert or someone who’s had the same issue will provide the answer. For the application to automatically subscribe you to the thread so that you’ll receive an email with the update when someone posts to the thread can be quite useful.
Since the alerts leverage SharePoint alerts, subscribers can go back and modify the alert properties, such as receive immediate email, daily email, specify a time, etc., or remove the alerts altogether.
Insert videos in the threads:
For some users, embedding videos with step–step instructions increases comprehension in a manner that’s much more effective than simply reading instructional steps with screenshots included. As well, for some subject matter experts, it’s easier—and takes less time—to record the steps than writing down the steps and taking screenshots, and in such circumstances, teams and the communities are able to leverage the video feature to disseminate the information that much sooner as a result.
Discussion Board Plus R1.5 is scheduled to be released in the very near future. Want to be among the first to know when it’s released? You can sign up to get alerts when the new version will be available on our storefront site.