Facebook is the latest application to be integrated with GroupWise through Riva from Omni. Our objective was to test out the Riva SDK by integrating a popular third-party application with GroupWise. In less than a week, the Facebook integration was complete. While not necessarily a mission-critical integration -- compared to the GroupWise integrations we have developed for SugarCRM, SageCRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft SharePoint, Bluefin, Salesforce, and info@hand -- it is an important proof point that any application can be integrated with GroupWise using Riva's Collaboration Integration Platform.
Based on customer requests, GoldMine, SuperOffice and Siebel On Demand integrations with GroupWise will be released in the next quarter.
How to Get Started with Facebook Integration
To get started with Riva Facebook Integration for GroupWise, you need to set up a Facebook and GroupWise account. A minimum of GroupWise 7.0.3 with SOAP enabled on the post office is required. After that, join the Facebook group link below, go to the application link and follow the three steps outlined on the page to install the Riva Facebook connector for GroupWise:
Riva synchronises Facebook contacts to GroupWise, providing similar functionality to the various Outlook synchronisation products for Facebook. The primary difference between the two is that the Facebook sync products for Outlook are plug-ins whereas Riva runs as a separate application that integrates Facebook with GroupWise.
Information that is synchronised to the Facebook Address Book is available on all GroupWise clients. Riva Facebook Integration for GroupWise can run on any machine in your environment. It does not have to be running on the machine that you use to access GroupWise. You can have multiple instances of Riva Desktop Edition running on the same machine to synchronise multiple Facebook accounts.
Riva creates a new Facebook Address Book in your GroupWise account. Basic information from your Facebook friends is synchronised with GroupWise 7.
With the release version of GroupWise 8, Riva will sync the Facebook personal photo to the contact information and make the following custom Facebook fields available in the Facebook Friends GroupWise address book:
Favorite TV Shows
To view the Facebook custom fields in your GroupWise 8 Address Book or in the Contacts folder, right-click on the header, select "More Columns" and add the columns that contain the information you want to see. Custom fields are supported on Windows, Linux and Macintosh with GroupWise 8. Depending on your configuration, these headers might not be available immediately.
Just as with all Facebook address book integration applications, there are restrictions. The Facebook API does not provide the ability to extract personally identifiable information from Facebook (email address, phone information, house address). These restrictions provide privacy from harvesters and apply to all Facebook integration applications. Therefore, this information cannot be extracted from Facebook to be synchronised to GroupWise.
Riva checks to see if there is a match between a Facebook contact full name and existing entries in a user's personal address books. For entries that match, we extract the email address and phone number and copy this information to the Facebook contact entry. Note: There may be fewer matches than you expect because the Facebook full name may include the middle name while GroupWise's full name may not.
Once a contact has been synchronised, any time the Facebook account changes (including status changes), the user information will be resynchronised. A best practice is to schedule synchronisation to occur once every 24 hours.
A Few Technical Details
Riva Facebook Integration for GroupWise is only available with the Riva Desktop Edition. We don't see much of a need for Facebook to be delivered as a Riva Enterprise Edition option.
For now, Riva Facebook Integration for GroupWise requires a Windows machine. The Facebook API requires the .NET 3.5 Framework. We will look at porting Riva Facebook Integration to Linux using Mono after we get feedback from users and enough users in the group who want to run Riva Facebook Integration on Linux desktops to warrant the development effort.
Riva Facebook Integration for GroupWise is pretty straight forward to configure. Install Riva, configure the GroupWise account login and Facebook account login. Under Settings, the two tabs that apply to Facebook are Scheduling and Address Books.
Based on feedback, we may include Events and/or other modules to the synchronisation. This is why we have left the extra tabs visible on the Settings screen.