Yammer REST API: How to bulk-add members to a yammer group

So you want to add multiple users to a yammer group via the API? 

This question comes up quite often partly because there is no yammer documented/supported api on how to add members to a group in bulk. Most users, out of desperation end up hacking endpoints and and their respective parameters by capturing fiddler trace, inspecting browser elements, etc, but these get them into an unsupported state as undocumented APIs could change and/or break at any time without prior notice.

In this blog post, I will share my experience on how I worked with some clients to bulk add users to yammer group programatically - using yammer supported/documented API endpoints.


The Pseudo-code 

This implementation is represented in pseudo-code so as to make it easier for you or your developers to translate this information into any programming language of choice. 

 #Declare variables and constants  
 Array temp = Read userIDs from csv  
 constant group_id = 123  
 constant client_id = c456 
 var userid = 0;  
 ImpersonationURL = https://api.yammer.com/api/v1/oauth/tokens.json?user_id=$userid&consumer_key=$client_id
 GroupURL = https://api.yammer.com/api/v1/group_memberships.json?group_id=$group_id  
 while temp contains value {  
 userid = temp  
 #Impersonate the user with the VA's OAuth token   
 json_response = HTTP.GET (ImpersonationURL, userid).Authorization.Header(Bearer verified_admin_token)  
 #Consume the impersonated user's token from the JSON response  
 if json_response == null   
   exit and/or catch NullPointerException
#Parse the response to type json and read the token value  
user_token = JSON.Parse(json_response).token  
#Now, add the impersonated user to the group  
response = HTTP.POST (GroupURL, group_id).Authorization.Header(Bearer user_token)  
 if (response.status == 201) {  
   render SUCCESS or write userid into success.log  
 } else {  
   Read JSON response and render appropriate message OR write userid with the corresponding http response into failed.log  
 #Do not exceed yammer api rate limit - https: //developer.yammer.com/docs/rest-api-rate-limits. So sleep 
 sleep(2 sec)  

In plain English, what we have done so far are:

  • Read userIDs from the csv that was obtained from data export 
  • Iterate through the user list 
  • Impersonate each user so as to get a pre-authorized token 
  • Make the user add him/herself to the group. Yah!

I think this is needless to mention, but due to some questions that came up recently, I would like to note that it is not possible to impersonate a pending user. Impersonation only applies to active yammer accounts. 



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