Yammer DSync != Office 365 DirSync

While Yammer is now a part of the Office 365 suite and is becoming more and more integrated at this point the identity management is still somewhat standalone.

This is not necessarily news to anyone who has deployed Yammer and its directory synchronisation solution – referred to as DSync.

The Yammer site has a great amount of information regarding enabling DSync and configuring it, however as I recently found it has no information about disabling it

Effectively the DSync application is completely separate to the Azure Active Directory DirSync appliance. Even though the source objects are the same and the destination are somewhat the same the application and back-end identity components are still separate.

Yammer DSync differs from Office 365 DirSync in one of the ways that: to disable Office 365 Directory Sync user has to explicitly disable it from the Office 365 portal or using PowerShell

However with Yammer DSync the sync gets disabled automatically in any of these cases:

•    If DSync Client is disabled

•    If DSync Client is uninstalled

•    If DSync Client is not running

Something to note however is the ‘Sync Status’ page on Yammer Admin-> Directory Integration section.

The sync status displays the status after every sync is run. Once DSync is configured and run, there is a history of Sync that’s maintained.

So at this point of time even if the Yammer DSync is disabled explicitly or it just stops running the ‘Sync Status’ page will show the last sync date and time. And will never say that Directory Sync is disabled (this is by design).

Yammer predictions

Having recently attended the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston, Texas – you could really get the feel that Yammer is in the air.

If ever there was one product to permeate through Microsoft staff pores it is Yammer. Many internal conversations at Microsoft have moved away from traditional distribution lists and are now Yammer conversations. The product is now thoroughly integrated with both SharePoint & CRM products – replacing both of their built-in social feeds.

While Yammer contains some similar functions (eg. pages, documents, etc.) these pale in comparison to what SharePoint brings to the table – so will they remain built into Yammer, or will they be depreciated and customers guided towards adopting the big boy?

One this is for sure – and that is Yammer embodies the consumerisation of IT approach. It is easily adopted in organisations through the freemium model, its branding/sales/marketing is all funky and friendly, and it focuses on success as one of its key metrics – something that is visible through its use of “success managers”.

Many organisations have been using Yammer for quite some time. My wife actually introduced it to me several years ago when she was a project manager at a software development firm that utilised the Agile methodology. To them Yammer was a key part of their internal communications strategy.

In Australia some of our largest organisations such as Telstra (our largest telco) and NAB (one of the big 4 banks) have talked about their adoption of Yammer as part of their Enterprise Social strategies and how successful it has been. On the contrary many small organisations see it as another form of noise, however these are generally the organisations that have yet to embrace any form of social media into their business.

The purchase of Yammer by Microsoft has legitimised it as a business product and something Microsoft takes very seriously, which is something we should all take very seriously.

Several questions remain, some of which double as my predictions for Yammer over the coming year:

  • Will the functionality be split out (ie. why have document storage in Yammer if you’re integrating it into SharePoint)?
  • Will an on-premises version be made available (Yammer Server?) for non-cloud implementations of SharePoint Server and Dynamics CRM – or will they be forced into a hybrid just to utilise the service?
  • Will the chat functionality be replaced with Lync (or Skype / Skype Pro) integration?

I would say to have a conversation with me on Yammer about this, but it doesn’t really work that way. J