Published
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 08:20
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The power of Workplace by Facebook is now available for CiviCRM users!

New button in the User Profile opens up a communication channel within CiviCRM for work chat, team groups, project updates, instant messages or alerts (see pic. 1 below). The functionality will noticeably improve communication across organization inside or outside the office as it falls back on all the strengths Facebook has to offer, the most prominent being the user-friendly familiar interface and secure collaboration.

pict. 1 - runing Workplace by Facebook from CiviCRM

Workplace by Facebook is your own version of Facebook which is a really convenient tool for internal communication. There are enough reasons to be so popular:

  • Facebook is a well-known tool - I believe everybody uses it, so a company can start using Workplace by Facebook immediately without any preliminary trainings
  • Facebook is secure tool so you may not worry about safety of your internal communication
  • It provides a convenient way for grouping the organization members by departments, roles, or other org structure units
  • Using Facebook as an international collaboration tool will allow significantly decrease the number of internal emails
  • Facebook is mobile friendly - you can be sure that your message will achieve recipients almost immediately
  • AND, what is more important, Workplace by Facebook is free for non-commercial organizations as many of CiviCRM users are!

Agiliway, for its part, found a way to make it more of a treat for CiviCRM users by simplifying the authorization process yet keeping data safe. Having added another highlight into our plan blueprint, we had to integrate Facebook into CiviCRM and keep them completely in sync from user's perspective. That is, when the user logs into CiviCRM, simultaneous auto-authorization is enabled for Workplace by Facebook.

pict. 2 - CiviCRM and Facebook integration

To make authentication easy and counter the need to type username and password repeatedly, we used an authentication service Single Sign-On Authentication (SSO) based on the SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) protocol for exchanging authentication and authorization data between domains (see pic. 2). The implementation of the SAML protocol was accomplished through the open source SimpleSAMLphp app.

When a user logs into CiviCRM, the request goes to SimpleSAMLphp and a session is launched. While the session is in progress, request reaches Facebook. Facebook authorizes the user through the received identifier, such as the user's email address and other data.

With Single Sign-On technology, the user status as an employee of a particular company and CiviCRM profile owner will guarantee access to the Facebook communication channel.

For more details please read the full article on the Workplace by Facebook and CiviCRM integration workflow at Agiliway corporate blog.

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