My Site Activity Feed Extensibility

The Activity Feed in SharePoint 2010 My Sites is an automated piece of functionality that tracks actions that have happened in the SharePoint environment; such as tagging, adding notes, and updating profile information etc. There are two faces to the Activity Feed:

  1. Consolidated – activities that I am tracking (such as from my colleagues identified to be in My Network)
  2. Published – activities that I have made

At one of the sessions from the SharePoint Conference today I heard some exciting news about the Activity Feed functionality and how it can be extended. It has been designed in such a way as to make it possible to write custom gatherers for the feed which can track activities from other systems. The examples that immediately spring to mind for our organisation are CRM, TFS or Project Server.

So for example, in addition to SharePoint activities appearing, we could also have activities such as “Glyn has updated account Contoso” or “Glyn has re-published the Contoso project plan“.

There are several different elements that make up an extension:

  • Activity Application, e.g. TFS
  • Activity Type, e.g. Code check-in
  • Activity Template, e.g. “<person> has checked in <filename> in <solution>”
  • Activity Event, e.g. “Glyn has checked in class.css in solution”

I think extending the Activity Feed in this way to match the individual environments of the user and the common systems that they use regularly has the potential to be a big plus in driving up adoption of this area of the My Site – which as it’s a new feature (to SharePoint!) in the corporate environment will be paramount.

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