by Doug Davis
This week Quest released in Beta form a new WebPart for improved Discussions in SharePoint 2007. A lot of this was driven by our great success in Notes Migrations. One problem is that Notes folks are very used to dynamic and easy discussions in Notes, but when they hit SharePoint 2007 it's a bit of a disappointment.
Discussions in SharePoint 2007 have a couple of glaring challenges. First off you can't see the post you are replying to, and if it's a long one there is a lot of back and forth between two tabs to check the original. There isn't the normal tree view so you can't expand and see what's up and you can't preview info. It's also hard to combine a lot of discussions together (well, pretty much impossible without breaking out SharePoint designer) so if you have a very active discussion community, well it gets hard to keep track of all these discussions.
Here is the usual view of a discussion board
Certainly can be improved upon, so Quest has introduced the new DiscussionView WebPart to solve some of these core issues.
First off, you can see the original posts and all its replies, allowing you to really follow the discussion itself. Also you can combine many existing discussion boards into one big omnibus discussion view that you can interact with. It's very easy to configure, you can choose exactly what fields you want to see, you get posts in the order they come in, reply is available right there, you can cascade them and more.