Trying to create a user forum on a SharePoint Online site

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New Contributor

I am trying to create a user forum for employees of my organization to interact within my company's internal news site. However, trying to use the search terms "Sharepoint forum" can be very frustrating given the nature of the search terms - can anybody point me in the right direction? 

13 Replies

@fred_valaris 

 

The functionality within SharePoint that would cater for this is I believe called a Discussion Board but note that I don't think it works in Modern SP (credit to Rob for confirming this below).  It really would depend on what version of SharePoint you're using as to whether this was available.  An older thread is available within these forums that discusses this very topic, which you can access here.

 

Depending on how you're building the blog, a Yammer webpart might meet your aims better than the legacy discussion forum. 

 

A video that looks useful for the discussion board can be viewed here.

@fred_valaris if a Yammer community wasn't suitable (which it probably would be) what I would probably do in this scenario is to have a form on your SharePoint site that saves the response to a list in SharePoint via a flow in Power Automate. You would create a view of the list and format that view with JSON to make a nice-looking forum-type section on the page. I've done this one one of my sites for a suggestions forum-type situation. 

forum.png

 

Come back to me if this looks like what you want and you need the detailed flow steps and the JSON code. But you'll see we are also using a Yammer community.

 

Edit: @Steven Andrews the discussion board can't be used in the modern experience, so Yammer or my solution above with a form, flow and list are the available - and very good - options.

 

Rob
Los Gallardos
Microsoft Power Automate Community Super User

@RobElliott 

This looks very interesting, thanks for posting this..  If @fred_valaris doesn't want to learn more I certainly do!  I'd be interested in the steps you mention.

@Steven Andrews  Sorry for not posting more about my environment in my original question; still very much a SP novice. If I'm not mistaken, I'm using Sharepoint Online Modern and I believe Yammer will work for my needs. I'll play with that and see how it goes.

 

Thanks all for the feedback and information!!

No problem and do let us know how it goes. Some wise heads meander around these parts. Good luck.

@RobElliott 

 

This is very interesting. I am looking for something like this.

 

User to submit question.  

 

Wil you be able to share the JSON for the view.

 

Thank you

 

 

@fred_valaris 

Hello,


See this video on how to customize search results with bookmarks: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNjgo2YlpWo&ab_channel=ArefHalmstrand

With this, you are able to have a SharePoint Forum and decide what search variables should point to the specific site as highlighted content.

Yours sincerely,
Aref Halmstrand

@bbsin The user submits a question using a form from Microsoft Forms embedded on a page and that form triggers a simple flow in Power Automate:

 

flow-1.png

 

flow-2.png

 

flow-3.png

 

The suggestion is added to the list and any response is added separately. The view of the list that we display on the page is shown below:

forum.png

 

..and the JSON view formatting for that is:

 

{
  "$schema": "https://developer.microsoft.com/json-schemas/sp/view-formatting.schema.json",
  "hideSelection": true,
  "hideColumnHeader": true,
  "rowFormatter": {
    "elmType": "div",
    "_comment_": "MAIN DIV",
    "attributes": {
      "class": "ms-bgColor-themeLight"
    },
    "style": {
      "display": "flex",
      "flex-wrap": "wrap",
      "align-items": "stretch",
      "flex-direction": "row",
      "padding": "20px",
      "margin-bottom": "16px",
      "max-width": "400px",
      "border-radius": "10px",
      "background-color": "#660066"
    },
    "children": [
      {
        "elmType": "div",
        "style": {
          "flex-grow": "1",
          "display": "flex",
          "flex-direction": "column",
          "flex-wrap": "nowrap",
          "align-items": "left",
          "max-width": "400px",
          "min-width": "205px"
        },
        "children": [
          {
            "elmType": "div",
            "style": {
              "display": "block",
              "font-size": "15px",
              "font-weight": "normal"
            },
            "children": [
              {
                "elmType": "span",
                "txtContent": "=[$Title]",
                "style": {
                  "display": "=if([$Title] == '', 'none', 'block')",
                  "color": "white"
                }
              },
              {
                "elmType": "span",
                "txtContent": "[$SubmittedOn]",
                "style": {
                  "display": "=if([$SubmittedOn] == '', 'none', 'block')",
                  "color": "white"
                }
              },
              {
                "elmType": "span",
                "txtContent": "='Suggestion: ' + [$Suggestion]",
                "style": {
                  "display": "=if([$Suggestion] == '', 'none', 'block')",
                  "padding-top": "20px",
                  "margin": "0 20px 20px 0",
                  "color": "white"
                }
              }
            ]
          }
        ]
      },
      {
        "elmType": "div",
        "_comment_": "DIV TWO",
        "style": {
          "flex-grow": "1",
          "display": "flex",
          "flex-direction": "column",
          "align-items": "left",
          "max-width": "310px",
          "min-width": "155px"
        },
        "children": [
          {
            "elmType": "div",
            "style": {
              "display": "block",
              "font-size": "15px",
              "txtContent": "='Comment: ' + [$Comment]",
              "font-weight": "normal",
              "color": "white"
            },
            "children": [
              {
                "elmType": "span",
                "txtContent": "='Comment: ' + [$Comment]",
                "style": {
                  "padding-right": "5px",
                  "display": "=if([$Comment] == '', 'none', 'block')"
                }
              }
            ]
          },
          {
            "elmType": "div",
            "style": {
              "display": "block",
              "font-size": "15px",
              "font-weight": "normal"
            }
          }
        ]
      }
    ]
  }
}

 

Rob
Los Gallardos
Microsoft Power Automate Community Super User

Hi @RobElliott 

 

yes this is what I need. will try your solution.

 

the MS form is on the left hand section.  The center suggestion boxes are build with?  Do I just include the JSON above for the purple boxes?  thanks

 

Appreciated your kind help and information.

 

Hope it works on my end. :)

@bbsin the form saves the form response via a flow in Power Automate to a SharePoint list. The centre display of the suggestions is just a view of that list formatted with the JSON I gave in my earlier post.

 

Rob
Los Gallardos
Microsoft Power Automate Community Super User

@RobElliott 

 

thanks.. will try to figure it out.. :)

 

Is there a  video to build it step by step ?  :)

@bbsin  I've described all the steps to build this earlier in this thread.

 

Rob
Los Gallardos
Microsoft Power Automate Community Super User

@RobElliott  - Thank you.  Will try it. :)