Tuesday, September 04, 2007

User Presence in WSS

You might have noticed the User Presence icons in SharePoint. They have been there since version 2. You will see them appearing beside a user name, like "Modified By" or "Assigned To".

This will work with your instant messaging software to display your availability status to others. For organisations that have Microsoft Office Communicator installed, this works with little or no configuration. You can see when your colleagues are online, and even look up their other contact details, such as their extension.

The User Presence information also works with MSN Messenger. The only hassle with this in WSS v2.0 was that you had to use your MSN Messenger e-mail address in the SharePoint environment. Well, now in WSS 3.0 you get to specify a separate field for your User Presence details. So you can now get your SharePoint alerts submitted to your work account, but have your User Presence information based on your MSN account.

To update your details just go to the top right corner of any page on your SharePoint site and drop down the Welcome ... menu and select My Settings.

You can then edit the SIP Address to be the e-mail address of your MSN Messenger account. Voila – your user presence details should now be available for others to see. Change your status in MSN Messenger and the user presence information updates almost straight away on the SharePoint site.

No? Still can't see your user presence details? You might want to add your WSS site to the Trusted Sites zone in Internet Explorer (Tools – Internet Options – Security)

One final thing – the SIP Address information is stored at the Site Collection level. If your environment has many site collections, then you will have to update each one individually