Lightning Storm Forums

We are delighted to announce we’ve just pushed out version of Lightning Storm Forums for SharePoint.

Here’s a quick overview of the updates:

– allow authenticated users to post anonymously

– subscribe to alerts for a whole forum

– performance improvements around rendering

You can get a trial download of the web part from here, or if you are an existing customer check out the downloads page once you login.

Here’s a bit more information about the new features:

Allow Authenticated Users to Post Anonymously

This certainly is a feature we were not sure about, however we had enough requests for it that we knew we had to implement it. The scenario is based around a company wanting to get anonymous feedback from employees through their SharePoint site. Most SharePoint sites are using active directory to save their users having to login each time and have anonymous access switched off. Of course not everybody wants people to be able to post anonymously so it has been implemented as something that needs to be switched on.

1, Put the page into edit mode and bring up the web part toolbar for the forums. You’ll see an option for ‘Allow authenticated users to post anonymously’ – tick this:


2, Save the settings –> now when you go to create a new topic or reply, before the Post button you’ll see a checkbox to post anonymously. If you check this then there will be no username saved against the post


If this isn’t ticked then the users name will be posted.

Subscribe to alerts for a whole forum

You could previously subscribe to individual topics to get email alerts when a new reply was made. We’ve also added the ability to subscribe to an entire forum, so when you are viewing all the topics within a forum you can see the new subscribe button


Performance Improvements

We have been happy with how the web part performs under testing but we always keen to get things faster. We’ve tested it with thousands of topics with thousands of replies and it was working well, but we were using the ASP.NET 3.5 listview and databound events. We knew the databound events would be expensive so now we are getting all the data we need to display in one go and rendering out the html all in one go. We’ve seen a 50% improvement in performance which we hope you will enjoy!

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