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Is there a way to give a user the ability to comment, using a comments box, on any item within a list?

I’m thinking like FaceBook. Where when a user posts a status this will be the equivalent to a List item. And if I want to share my thoughts about the current item, or any item for that matter, then I can comment on it just like how people comment on a user’s status on FB.

Can anyone point me in the right direction, articles, etc?

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Not exactly what you are looking for, but similar, and it may appease the requestor in the short term while you continue working on a long term solution:

Use the following three components: 1) In the default view use the "Edit" button which is available in view settings, 2) a MLT column with append to text enabled, and 3) a Designer workflow that copies the last append to text comment to a "mirror" column so that the last comment entry is visible in the list view (versus the "View entries..." text).

Users would click the "Edit" button to launch the form, enter their comment in the MLT column, and then click Save to close the form. On form close the workflow would run and copy the comment in the MLT column to the "mirror" column.

This blog outlines how to create a workflow that copies the last comment from an append to text field with a "mirror" column.

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It is possible, but not easy. A couple of years ago I found this brilliant post by John Liu

Here is a brief rundown of my notes on the process:

  • ​​​Download SPServices and add it to the page -- master page, page layout, content editor webpart, whatever makes sense. All of this can be done without SPServices (REST or peraps JSOM) so that is a direction we might want to go with it.
  • Create a new Discussion List it can be on the same site or elsewhere.
    • Add a column to the discussion list to hold a RelatedItemID​ -- it could be any unique identifier that will connect discussion threads back to the item it is discussing.
    • In the Discussion List settings say no to ​"​Allow items from this discussion board to appear in search results?"

Regardless of whether you use REST or SP Services, you'll need bits that basically do the following.

  • On the in-place page where you want the discussions add a content/script editor (or it could be part of the page layout) add the code and design elements.
    • We use the ItemID as the RelatedItemID. We get it from the URL parameters but could be gotten some other way
    • Code to get Discussions with related ID
    • Code to get replies to Discussions
    • Code to create new Discussion
    • Code to create reply to a given discussion
    • After creating, a new query for updated discussions

The big tricks in the code:

  • Discussions are "folders" and need a FSObjType with a value of 1. If you don't set that it might work or might not.
  • Replies need a FSObjType of 0.
  • The Replies have a BaseName and FileRef that is the name of the parent discussion. In managed properties those are replaced by OriginalPath and ParentLink

Stuff we still haven't done/resolved. - How to include basic rich text formatting like bold or underline. - How to allow '@' mentioning of people. - liking/rating of comments.

There are so many moving pieces to getting this going. I would suggest doing some kind of proof of concept and asking specific question about each part once you've decided if you want to use REST, SP Services or something different.

  • Thanks Rothrock! I'm currently looking into your advice and at the article myself. I will ping back with any updates. – Aspire27 Oct 14 '16 at 15:58
  • You could probably also implement it with the basic discussion board and add a column to contain the Related Item Key and then a CSWP (or Query Webpart) to display the related discussions. That is the core of making this work, some way for SharePoint to know "This discussion item goes with this list item." Good luck. This is a major feature that SP really should make easier. – Rothrock Oct 14 '16 at 18:15
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For a simple but effective OOB functionality you can also look at the SharePoint 2013 discussion board - it allows you to comment on items and has nice OOB UI.

Here is article relate to this feature: https://joostvanlier.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/sharepoint-2013-discussion-boards/

enter image description here

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You can Create Discussion Board List.

  • Navigate to Site Contents -> Add a app and select “Discussion Board”
  • After creation, you can create new discussion.
  • In the new discussion you can Reply, Edit and via call up menu select Alert me,Mark as featured and delete for the discussion.

Read more: Discussion Board list in SharePoint 2013

  • I tried that too. This is the best way OOTB but the client wants it to look like a list. There are also default views to this that are not necessary for users and the add new discussion is a dead giveaway that it's not a list. I have not found anything remote to how to tackle this at all:( – Aspire27 Oct 13 '16 at 21:23

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