Discussion Board Plus 2.0, Part 3: How to Create Private Discussions and Replies

Sometimes, you may not want to share your topic with everyone in a Discussion Board Plus list. To limit access to a select few, you can use the private topic. I personally think this is one of the best features of Discussion Board 2.0.

For example, when User 1 creates a private topic and shares it with User 2, 3, and 4, they each will receive an email alert once the topic is created. They can also access/respond to the topic.
Note: Only users who belong to the permission group have the right to create the private topic. To easily understand, please refer to the permission table below:

Action Recipient/ Topic Owner Contribute Design Full Control Site Collection
System Account
Create Topic No No Yes Yes Yes
Share With Yes* No No Yes Yes Yes
Access Topic Yes No No Yes Yes Yes
Get Alert Notification Yes** No No No No No

* Yes, if the user has a Full Control permission level.

** Yes, the alert was sent to the Recipients only.

To create a private topic on Discussion Board Plus, first, create a new list. Go to the Forum Settings on the ribbon to enable Private Topic.

In the Forum Settings, the Private Topics can be enabled.

You will see the Add new discussion as private at the bottom Discussion Board Plus list.

Click Add new discussion as a private option to create a new private topic. The Share Topic column will now show in the New Item form. Here, we can share topics with users or groups to follow. Remember that users and groups must be added to the list before sharing to follow the list permission.

After creating the private topic, you will see the recipients list shown at the top of the topic. Only listed users can access the topic.

Moreover, each of the recipients will automatically receive an email alert after the private topic is created.

In Release 1.5, Discussion Board Plus follows the out-of-the-box SharePoint discussion method that posts a user’s reply to the bottom of the thread automatically. Discussion Board Plus 2.0 now allows users to select the option to reply with or without a quote.

To begin, create a new Discussion Board Plus list. Add some discussions, then a reply. You will see three options: Reply, Reply with a quote, and Private Reply.

If you select the Reply option, it will show the New Item form without text.

If you select Reply with a quote, the New Item automatically includes the discussion at the bottom.

To make your reply private, create a new Discussion Board Plus list.

Go to the Forum Settings on the ribbon to enable Private Reply. In the Forum Settings, the Private Reply can be turned on or off.

Go to your list, create a new topic, and then create a Reply by selecting the Private Reply option.

The Private reply will be indicated as an icon.

Moreover, the recipient will receive an email alert as shown below:

Want more Discussion Board Plus?  Check out the rest of our User Guide series

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