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Configuring and manipulating collaboration layers

Collaboration layers work out of the box, but they might not work exactly the way you want them to. This article shows how you can change that.

Collaboration layers are configured on a conversation or conversation template basis. This means that you can opt to configure collaboration layers differently for different engagement types or different named areas. For example, support agents may only need embedded co-browsing, whereas relationship managers should also have the option of co-browsing documents with their clients.

It’s possible to change settings for collaboration layers on individual active conversations. This article only refers to conversation templates, since that’s the more general case.


Before you start configuring collaboration layers in specific conversation templates, you must activate the licensed collaboration layers. If you don’t, the settings for those layers aren’t available in the settings of your conversation templates.

You can activate the collaboration layers in the GLOBAL (i.e. server) or ACCOUNT scope with the following configuration properties:

To allow and configure text chat in conversation templates, the following property must be true:

To upload files for document co-browsing, you must also enable file sharing:

Mobile co-browsing can only be enabled if:

General configuration options

The collaboration layers that Unblu provides differ in their use cases and the underlying technology employed. At the same time, they share a variety of features:

  • Conversation participants can launch and stop collaboration layers, and you can specify who may do so.

  • Launching a collaboration layer may require the approval of other participants. You can specify which cases require approval.

  • You must specify which collaboration tools you want to allow participants to use.

  • You can make using collaboration tools subject to the approval of other participants.

  • You can show or hide various UI elements pertaining to collaboration layers.

As a result, a number of configuration properties are present for some or all the collaboration layers.

There are also several configuration properties that affect more than one collaboration layer:

The configuration options of individual collaboration layers are discussed in separate articles for each collaboration layer.

Launching a collaboration layer

There are a number of ways to launch a collaboration layer. Which method users choose depends on the stage of a conversation they’re in and their role in the conversation.

Which collaboration layers may be launched in a conversation is determined by three factors:

  • You can specify who may (or may not) launch a collaboration layer in a conversation.

  • The collaboration layer must be enabled in the Conversation features section of a conversation template’s settings.

  • There must be conversation participant capable of sharing the collaboration layer in question. It isn’t possible to launch a mobile co-browsing session, for example, if nobody’s taking part in the conversation with an app that uses the Unblu mobile SDK. In such a case, the controls to launch a mobile co-browsing session don’t appear, even if they would be available according to the conversation template’s settings.

Launching a collaboration layer in the Agent Desk

For information on how to launch and manage collaboration layers in the Agent Desk, refer to the Agent Desk guide.

Launching a collaboration layer from the Floating Visitor UI

In ongoing conversations, a number of settings influence how visitors can launch collaboration layers.

  • You can enable visitors to do so in the Conversation action bar configuration section of the account settings. You can opt to make launching a certain collaboration layer available in the conversation action bar or in the overflow menu. However, this option doesn’t become available to the visitor until an agent has joined the conversation.

    For more information about the scopes you can define these settings on, refer to the descriptions of the configuration properties in that section of the configuration properties reference.

    This feature also affects the conversation action bar in the Agent Desk.
  • Another possibility for visitors to launch a new collaboration layer is by means of the collaboration layer controls. For the controls to be visible, the visitor must have a participation type listed in the com.unblu.conversation.collaboration.showLayerControls configuration property of the relevant conversation template. Furthermore, their participation type must be present in com.unblu.conversation.collaboration.switchLayers.

    This means that once a conversation has started, a visitor can only launch a new collaboration layer from these controls if a different collaboration layer is already running.

    A single conversation may have multiple collaboration layers running concurrently. When someone launches an additional collaboration layer, the previous layer remains available.

  • By and large, not many visitors start a conversation by opening a collaboration layer. You can, however, enable them to do so in the Messenger configuration section of your account or server settings.

    The collaboration layers visitors can start a conversation with are:

    • Embedded co-browsing

    • Mobile co-browsing

    • Screen sharing

    It’s only possible to launch a collaboration layer if there’s a conversation participant who can actually share the layer in question. If none of the conversation participants is using an app that integrates the Unblu mobile SDK, for example, it isn’t be possible to launch a mobile co-browsing session, even if your configuration is such that it’s possible in principle.

Approving a collaboration layer

Each collaboration layer has a configuration property to define whether visitors must approve its use. When set to true, the context person must explicitly consent to launching the collaboration layer. If the collaboration layer displays the screen contents of another participant, such as a secondary visitor or agent, that participant must also approve the collaboration layer. Unblu only launches the collaboration when all relevant participants have given their approval.

Stopping a collaboration layer

Each collaboration layer has a configuration property to specify which conversation participants may stop a collaboration layer.

The relevant properties are listed in the Conversation collaboration section of the configuration properties reference.

Collaboration tools

Unblu includes a number of tools to make working with collaboration layers more effective.

Mark mode

Allows conversation participants to mark an area of the view being shared in the conversation.

Remote control

Allows a conversation participant to take control of the pointer in the collaboration layer. If the layer contains editable fields, the participant may be granted permission to edit them.

Scroll lock

Locks in place the section of the page currently being displayed.

A participant who activates scroll lock and remote control can scroll on a page without moving the section of the page that the other participants can see. For example, a support agent can look for something on the page without inducing motion sickness in a visitor.

Not all collaboration tools are available in all collaboration layers. If a tool is available in a particular collaboration layer, there’s a configuration property to enable it for different categories of conversation participants. For more information, refer to the pages on configuring the individual collaboration layers.

The collaboration tools are configured on conversations or conversation templates This gives you a lot of flexibility. You might decide, for example, that relationship managers should be granted full control of the collaboration layer in conversations with their clients. In conversations between support agents and visitors, on the other hand, agents should only be allowed to mark sections of the layer.

If a participant isn’t entitled to use a tool or carry out an action, the control to do so isn’t available to them in the collaboration layer controls.

Other collaboration layer actions

There are a number of other actions that participants can carry out in collaboration layers:


Stop a collaboration layer. This is defined separately for each collaboration layer.

Access navigation bar

Access the browser’s navigation bar in the collaboration layer. Only relevant for embedded co-browsing and universal co-browsing sessions.

Switch layer configuration

Switch between different collaboration layers. Activate for different participation types with the configuration property com.unblu.conversation.collaboration.switchLayers.

Display inactive layers

Show which other types of collaboration layer are available even though they aren’t currently in use in the conversation. Activate for different participation types with the configuration property com.unblu.conversation.collaboration.action.displayInactiveLayers.

See also