Why Scuttlebutt Won’t Work for You

Skeptical

Scuttlebutt is a full service client for Yammer, which in turn is a social networking service meant to be used internally within organizations. As an application, it doesn’t try to please everyone – that’s the job of the Yammer team at Microsoft – and the following are the top five reasons why people weren’t pleased with Scuttlebutt:

  1. They don’t have a Mac
  2. Their Yammer administrator disables 3rd party client applications.
  3. Single sign-on (SSO) is preventing normal OAuth2 login on their network.
  4. They just love the web interface and don’t want to use anything other.
  5. They’re not active networkers on Yammer.

Non-Mac Users

If Windows is your operating system of choice, you can install Yammer’s official Desktop Notifier application. Moreover Linux users have the option of installing Lament on their systems. Of course Yammer has official mobile apps for Windows Phone, Android, and iOS. They used to have an app for Blackberry but they removed it in favor of the e-mail service.

Locked-down Network

Premium (i.e. “paid”) Yammer networks has the option to disable 3rd party applications. Usually this means that all apps are disabled by default and can only be enabled in a case-by-case basis. This is usually signified by Scuttlebutt not being able to log in to your Yammer network. If you’re on such network and want to use Scuttlebutt, you can ask your Yammer administrator (i.e. the person in your company who are responsible for administering Yammer accounts) to enable 3rd party clients in your network – primarily Scuttlebutt.

Single Sign-On (SSO) Issues

One of the big problems with single sign-on (SSO) that it’s the details vary significantly between installations and Yammer doesn’t prescribe any way to handle this for client applications such as Scuttlebutt. The symptoms are visible on Scuttlebutt’s initial log-in to your network – either it returns a “no access token” error or in some other instances the error was “invalid redirect URL”. The first case indicates that the SSO process did not return the access token in a standard way (as per what the Yammer API documentation says). Whereas the second case shows that the network refused to use Scuttlebutt’s custom redirect URL to log in to Yammer.

Unfortunately there is nothing that we as a 3rd party developer can do to mitigate this. Not until Yammer provides a documented standard and a reference implementation that is guaranteed to work with all SSO-based networks and a way for 3rd party developers like us to test our applications on it.

Loving the Web

Some people just want to use the browser and nothing else. This is the kind of people that Chromebook targets – a laptop that is “just a browser” and meant exclusively for running web applications. Don’t get me wrong, the web guaranteeing a “lowest common denominator” for everyone is a good cause in itself – although it’s a “one size fits all” solution. 

The Un-engaged

 Even though the company uses Yammer doesn’t mean that everyone are fully engaged in the social network. These kind of employees are not just into these kind of things, and probably they just use Yammer primarily via e-mail to respond to @mentions. Hence you might want to engage more with these people.

So that’s all for now folks. We try our best to serve the Mac fanatic who are engaged in one or more Yammer networks with Scuttlebutt. However if you’re not an OS X enthusiast or not engaged in Yammer, you shouldn’t be using Scuttlebutt. Moreover if your network is actively preventing Scuttlebutt from entering, there’s really nothing that we can do.

That’s all for now. until next time.

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  • Clem Fandango

    People who want a Yammer client that doesn’t crash every time they try to send a message are also encouraged not to use Scuttlebutt…

  • Sasmito Adibowo

    This issue was fixed in release 2.0.3. Thanks for the feedback.

  • basilsalad

    This issue was fixed in version 2.0.3 – thanks for the feedback!

  • Clem Fandango

    Yes, in fairness it was. I am now very happy with Scuttlebutt and I think that, as the only quality client for Yammer which supports multiple accounts, it is worth the price. I would recommend it for people like myself who have completely separate clients and projects, most of which use Yammer. I still think your software company has a silly name though 🙂

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