SharePoint Chat Web Part for SP 2010 – Sandbox Solution

 SharePoint 2010.

We’ve just released our first full version of a chat web part that runs in SharePoint called the Lightning Chat Web Part. You can learn more about it, and download a free trial from here:

Lightning Chat Web Part

The text below is the old blog post:

Because there is so much interesting new stuff in SharePoint 2010 we decided at Lightning Tools to implement the 20% personal project day where people could work on any project/product they wanted. We’ve always got a long list of ideas of things to build for SharePoint so this is an ideal time for people to take one of them forward, implement it how they think it should be built and learn some new technology along the way. Today we are setting free into the wild the Lightning Chat Web Part – with 2 more coming tomorrow.

Chatter, chatter, chatter.

As you may know the Lightning Tools crew is spread around the world – UK, Armenia and Russia. This means a lot of our work is done via chatting on Skype. Rather than using Skype why not build ourselves a tool that can exist within SharePoint? We generally have one subsite for each project so the idea was to have a chat section for each project using a SharePoint list for storage. As everything is running at site level we also decided to develop this as a Sandbox Solution for SharePoint 2010 so it is something site collection administrators can deploy rather than having to go and nag the SharePoint administration folks.

We’re happy to introduce to you the Lightning Tools Silverlight Chat Web Part for SharePoint

image thumb SharePoint Chat Web Part for SP 2010 – Sandbox Solution

[click the image above for a larger view]

You can download the web part from here:

[The Silverlight version isn't available anymore - you can download the new trial version from here]

Here’s how to get it running:

1, In Central Administration ensure that the Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service is running.

2, Open SharePoint at the site collection where you want to use the Chat web part and go to Site Actions –> Site Settings

3, In the Galleries section click on Solutions

4, From the Solutions tab click on the ‘Upload Solution’ button and browse to the WSP you have downloaded.

5, After uploading it, Activate the solution.

6, Go back to Site Settings and click on the ‘Manage site features’ link. In here activate the Feature for “LightningTools.LightningChat -> List Feature”. This simply creates a SharePoint list that will be used to store the chat log.

Now you can go to your web part page, put it into edit mode, and add the Silverlight Chat Web Part from the Lightning Tools category. When the web part is added it may not display for a couple of reasons:

- you need to install Silverlight 3, if so just follow the instructions presented in the web part
- sometimes it seems the web part doesn’t initially load while in edit mode. Try saving and publishing the page

Also you’ll probably want to set the web part height and width to 500 pixels to give you a better view of it.

Take it to the desktop

One of the great features of Silverlight 3 is being able to take the application out of the browser and install it to the desktop and run it as though it were a windows application. To do this with the Chat Web Part simply right click on it and choose to install it to the computer

image thumb 1 SharePoint Chat Web Part for SP 2010 – Sandbox Solution

This will allow you to create a shortcut to the application from the desktop or start menu. From then on you can click on the shortcut and the application will run as a standalone application outside of SharePoint – pretty damm cool! icon smile SharePoint Chat Web Part for SP 2010 – Sandbox Solution

What if we can’t use Silverlight?

We realize that not all organizations will allow their employees to install Silverlight, so as an alternative we have built a different chat web part that makes use of the new SharePoint ECMAScript javascript library. When you are adding the web part to the page simply choose whether you want the Silverlight or Ajax version.

The ajax version isn’t as pretty as the Silverlight one yet, but we’ll be working to improve it over time.

What’s next?

Well you tell us icon smile SharePoint Chat Web Part for SP 2010 – Sandbox Solution Is there a need for this kind of web part. What are the critical features we are missing? Leave a comment here with your feedback and ideas…

  1. I trying the query web service and running into som problems.. I get following error System.InvalidCastException when I try to use service.Query(queryXml);If I use service.QueryEx(queryXml); I’ll get a result. Has the Querypacket changed in some way that you cant use same query between query and queryex….

  2. Ashiq


    I am looking for a chat webpart in sharepoint 2007 having the following functionalities.

    If you have any products that meets the below criteria. Feel free to email me. Expecting your reply asap

    • shall support real-time text chat
    • shall support one to one chat sessions as well as unlimited simultaneous group discussions.
    • chat utility shall allow the administrators to allow the users to create discussions rooms.
    • chat utility should be able to archive all the conversations to be accessed by the administrator if required.

  3. nafiseh


  4. Thanks Mike, what is interesting is the way the community pushes each other to do more. I saw Serge Luca’s LINQ to SharePoint web casts and i said hmmm, I wonder if I can do something with that in BCS and SandBox Solutions and then coded away! Thanks for your support, I dont know how you find the time (tell me your secret) to post so much valuable content yourself…..

  5. Hey guys,

    I found your chat web part very useful looking and wanted to see it work for myself. However after I installed the solution it didn’t want to show for me. I can right click on where it is only to find a single option “Silverlight”, which when I click on tells me about my Silverlight options.

    Just to make sure it wasn’t Silverlight, I updated it to the latest “4.0″ version from the website.

    I also tried using the “Ajax” version, but that part just gives me web page errors and doesn’t want to submit the text. I think it’s an error on my part but I’m not sure because I followed your basic instructions carefully.

  6. Hey again,

    Thanks for the quick reply, I made sure that the feature was enabled on the website but I’m still getting a black screen with the silverlight or page errors with the ajax. It’s probably a problem on my end and not with the webpart but I just wanted to see if you had any more advice on how to get it working. Thanks again.

  7. poder

    This doesn’t work. We get javascript error using AJAX stating the page Allitems.aspx has an error. The silverlight app doesn’t render.

  8. Mike


    I found it interesting at this Chat Web Part. However, can it add organization’s Active Directory user List?

    For example, it loads our Windows Messenger.


  9. maurex

    I try to activated in the Site Collection (SP Foundation) onder Gallery -> Solutions the Chat Web Part but I receive the following error messages. Fehler
    Es wurde kein verfügbarer Sandkasten-Codeausführungsserver gefunden.

    Führen Sie die Problembehandlung mit Microsoft SharePoint Foundation aus.

    Korrelations-ID: 17c49fe9-c52b-4a8e-b56d-032518c7eb4b

  10. Martin

    Hey Guys,

    great Job! It’s a nice, little and useful tool with an easy installation. Only the Error when aktivating the feature is a bit confusing.
    It would be great, if I would be able to change the font-color, background-color, font-name, frame-witdh, frame-color, etc.
    This would make customizing the chat-window optically fitting to the rest of the existing website more comfortable.


  11. Speedy2k10

    Nice little app. I have 1 suggestion…add a sidebox that lists all users currently in the chat.

  12. Speedy2k10

    Nice little app!
    One suggestion…add a box at the side that lists all usernames currently in the chat.

  13. Aaron Fischer


    This looks like a great tool but I can’t seem to get it working. The webpart just shows a blank white box. Checking in and publishing the page doesn’t help and I’m running Silverlight v 4.0 on my workstation. Does Silverlight have to be installed on the SharePoint 2010 server? Is there anything else I can try?

  14. Lola

    I agree with the Martin’s comment. There is definately a need for this feature. The ability to change the font and background color would absolutely make a difference.
    As always….Great Job!


  15. Anony Mouse

    My favorite part of this app is the part where it just doesn’t freaking work! Weaksauce!

  16. Boby


    Good one! May i know, whether this control can also be used for chat between external users (public) and SP user? Since i’m the beginner of the SP, i’m quite confused with access rights also. If i am not wrong, external users must login before start chatting..Then only, they can it? Kindly clarify

  17. vv


  18. Dan

    Anyway to modify the theme of the chat? The blue background doesn’t really mesh well with my site theme.

  19. Ali

    The zip file is not working.. there is an error while extracting it
    “! The archive is either in unknown format or damaged

  20. Chris

    Hi guys

    I just tried to install this (following the install guide).
    The problem is, when I go to the page where I want to have the webpart, it doesn’t show up in the list of webparts I can choose.

    Do you know why this could happen? (I did everyting exactly like in the install guide).


  21. Dan

    How do I uninstall this correctly? I did the following:

    -Deactivated site feature via Site Features menu(Site Actions>Site Settings>Manage site features)
    -Deactivated solution (Site Actions>Site Settings>Solutions)
    -Deleted solution

    When I go to Add a Webpart, I still see the “Lightning Tools” category with both the AJAX and Silverlight web parts. How do I remove this category?

  22. Sourabh

    HI All,

    Its Gr8. Working well for my intranet.


  23. Chris

    Hi guys,

    I tried the installation for the second time now and everything went well until step 6. I always get an unexpected Error message (or something like that, my sharepoint is in german…)

    Do you know why this would happen?

  24. CM_Slaven

    Hi guys, I installed Silverlight and did everything in this manual but it doesn’t work. It just says Sliverlight Chat web part and that’s it.i installed the latest Sileverlight, version 4 something. do you know what could be the problem??

  25. Manoj

    Hi , Is there a way we can integrate ADS account into this chat so that only online users can see each other and talk ?


  26. Mohannad Flefel

    i think that this is the best chat web part i’ve ever used,
    with the ajax and silverlight displays, i can choose what is better for my needs.
    and when it comes to support, i can say that this is the most professional support i could have as a developer.

    Thanks again and good job!

  27. Mohamed

    I found an error when trying to activate the solution or activate Fratures
    el Exception as below :
    Exception from HRESULT: 0×81070905

  28. Ricardo Harmon

    Would love to use this solution but I cannot get the solution to work AJAX or Silverlight. I have tried everything. The box displays and nothing else.

  29. Ron

    I uploaded the WSP but it will not activate.
    No error, just won’t activate.
    I did enable the sandbox service.

  30. gobad


  31. Tawanda

    I have followed all the steps as above but when I add the web part to my page, it does not display. All I see is the Title Bar which reads “Silverlight Chat Web Part”. Has anyone experienced this?

  32. Waldemar


    I am having a problem activating solution.
    displays the following error:

    Web Part Error: Unhandled exception was thrown by the sandboxed code wrapper’s Execute method in the partial trust app domain: An unexpected error has occurred.


  33. Vijaivel

    Great Job! Chat Webpart for SharePoint 2010. I have downloaded the .wsp file and i have followed the steps mentioned in this post. I have started the service “Microsoft SharePoint Foundation Sandboxed Code Service” in Central Administration then i have uploaded and activated web part successfully.
    When i add the web part in my home page in Edit mode – Add web Part – I am getting an error “The sandboxed code execution request was refused because the Sandboxed Code Host Service was too busy to handle the request”. Again i have tried the same but i am facing the problem. Is there any solution to overcome this error.

  34. We wish to purchase this webpart. Please reach us immediately.


  35. Kobidaeschnake Maceda

    hi! just like to ask how can I edit the height of the chatbox area?

  36. Inayat

    this is a great web part. the only thing that it should have is to show the online users and then to pick one of those and chat with the selected person. I hope this functionality will be embedded soon.


  37. Thank you
    This is exactly what i was looking for.

  38. samesa

    I got an error after uploading the solution in the site collection, and it wasn’t available under the manage site features what could be the problem please?


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