Connecting Communities with Bridges

When you connect two communities with a bridge, people can see activity taking place in a community that's separate from the one they're currently using.

For each user, visibility into another community will rely on their having a user account in both communities. Bridged communities use Web services to communicate with one another.

Note: This is an optional feature available as a module. For more information, ask your Jive account representative.

One Way or Two?

Administrators from communities at both ends of a bridge decide whether the bridge should support content visibility one way or both. An administrator managing or configuring an internal community (one designed to serve a closed audience, such as a company's employees) might see value in requesting a bridge to an external community (such as a support site for the company). Content from the external community visible to employees internally could offer an easy way for employees to see external content from customers. But going the other way—internal content visible to external community members—is often not as valuable.

When setting up a bridge, administrators from both ends will make a decision about whether, and how much, content should be visible from their own community to the other. Bridge settings at both ends provide the ability to enable or disable these features.

Bridged Features

With bridged communities, users of the local community can:
  • See a list of the bridged communities.
  • Log in to a bridged community from the local community.
  • Add widgets that present information about activity in the bridged community.
  • Receive results from the bridged community as part of their searches.

Setting Up a Bridge

A community uses web services to retrieve information from other bridged communities, presenting much of the same information in the local community that people can get by going to the bridged community directly.

Fastpath: Admin Console: System > Settings > Bridges

When you set up the bridge, you're not just making the connection possible. You're also setting how people who are using the community will see the connected community. So as you set up the bridge, when entering values to help identify the bridged community, be sure to enter values that make sense from a user's perspective. When you add a bridge in one community, you're sending a request to the other community that an administrator there will need to approve.

To create a bridge from the current Jive community to another:
  1. On the community you're connecting to, enable bridging for registered users (Admin Console: System > Settings > Web Services > Bridging).
  2. Back on the primary community, add the bridge by going to System > Settings > Bridges and clicking Add bridge.
  3. In the Bridge URL box, enter the URL for the community you're bridging to. This should be the community's root URL, which points to the community's home page.
  4. For login credentials, enter the user name and password that should be used to connect to the bridged community. These credentials should correspond to a valid user account on the community you're bridging to, and are used only to make the request. When the connection is approved, a shared user account is created and used for authenticating between instances.
  5. Click Lookup. The local community will attempt to connect to the instance you're bridging to. After it succeeds, you'll be prompted to finish configuring.
  6. In the Bridge name box, enter the name that users should see when they are browsing content retrieved from the bridged community. If the bridged community's name is a long one, it's a good idea to use a short version of it here.
  7. For Bridge elements, select the features that should be available across bridged communities.
  8. If you have an icon that represents the bridged community, browse for its image file. For example, you might want to use the bridged community's favicon.
  9. When you're finished, click Save.
An administrator from the bridged community must approve the bridge request using that community's Admin Console. To review the bridge request:
  1. In the Admin Console, go to System > Settings > Bridges and locate the pending bridge request.
  2. When reviewing the bridge request, you can:
    • Approve the bridge request by clicking Approve in the corner of the bridge's settings box.
    • Reject the request by clicking Reject.
    • View information about the requesting community (such as its URL) and select features that should be served (that is, reciprocated) to the requesting community by clicking View/edit details.
Note: If you have trouble searching across the bridge, double-check the OpenSearch engine associated with it. In the Admin Console, you can do a test search using OpenSearch engines.

Disabling or Deleting a Bridge

You can disable or delete a bridge so that the bridged community's content is no longer visible in the current community. Disable or delete the bridge on the Bridges page of the Admin Console.

Fastpath: Admin Console: System > Settings > Bridges
To disable or delete a bridge:
  1. In the Admin Console, go to System > Settings > Bridges and locate the bridge you want to disable or delete.
  2. In the corner of the bridge's settings box, click Disable.
  3. To delete the bridge, after you've disabled it, click Delete this bridge.