Social Connections VII

Only 14 days to go before Social Connections VII starts in Stockholm. I am really excited since it will be the first time I attend this event. I spoke to a couple of people who had attended previous events and all I got was positive – no, enthusiastic – feedback. But that’s not the only reason I go, here are some more:

  • Great content from awesome speakers in short sessions
  • High level of knowledge in one place
  • Lively discussions about Social AND Connections
  • Many open and social people

So let’s meet in Stockholm and be social. If you see me around stop me and say hi! Looking forward to meeting you all. Thanks to all people involved organizing this event.

Ways to get in touch:

@schmhen

LinkedIn

The Social Business Toolkit – First Project

In the first two posts in this series I talked about the Social Business Toolkit (SBT) in general and showed how to install all necessary items in order to use the SBT in XPages.

  1. The Social Business Toolkit (SBT)
  2. The Social Business Toolkit – Getting Started

Today we are going to build an XPage, pull data from IBM Connections and show this data in a Data Table control. So let’s go. First we have to define our endpoint. The endpoint in SBT terms is the definition of the data connection to IBM Connections. We are going to use Basic Authentication in this example. Open you faces-config.xml and add the following lines: Continue reading

The Social Business Toolkit (SBT)

SBT

This is the first post of a series that introduces the Social Business Toolkit (SBT) and provides examples of how to use it and how to ship around pitfalls. There are many valuable resource out there dealing with the SBT. This series is based on my experiences with the Toolkit.

So, what is the SBT? Short answer: A service wrapper that provides an easy to use API to call Web2.0 services. The main focus is on IBM Connections and IBM SmartCloud for Social Business (SC4SB), but it also provides functionality to access other non-IBM services like twitter, facebook or dropbox. Continue reading

Don’t reinvent the wheel! AD206

Are you somebody who uses open sourced code in your applications in order to reduce development times and costs? Or are you using code that you or somebody else in your company has implemented before to achieve your goals more quickly and cost efficient? Either way, you are on the right track!

One thing is to re-use code. The other thing is to use services that applications provide. An example is SAP that offers BAPI modules which can be called to create any kind of SAP objects like Purchase Orders (PO). So you could write a workflow application that allows to enter PO related data, send it through an approval process and send it to SAP to finalize the purchase process. Continue reading

IBM Connections 4 – Key Features and Benefits

2 weeks ago IBM announced IBM Connections 4. This is an exciting new version which adds so many new capabilities to this great piece of software that every existing installation should get updated as soon as possible. Here is a short video showing an overview.

What I like most about Connections 4 is:

  • Activity Stream
    The activity stream  shows a list of all your activities. This is not limited to ToDos but shows twitter or Facebook like activities like personal information, information about updated documents and even eMail! So you have got everything you need in a single place. It has to be well balanced though not to get flooded with stuff and miss the important information.
    ***
  • Embedded Experience
    How cool is that? When getting an entry in my stream let’s say from a vacation app I can approve or reject an application right from my activity stream using Embedded Experience. This example obviously only works if a developer enables the vacation application for Embedded Experience. Or somebody sends you a document and you can edit it inline. So cool!
    ***
  • Integrated eMail and Calendar
    Access your eMail and Calendar right from IBM Connections. It does not matter if it resides on a Domino Server or an Exchange Server, although I hope you are on Domino and not on the server that must not be named.
    ***
  • Social Analytics
    IBM Connections 4 ships with an IBM Cognos component that allows to analyze social activities in Connections in various ways. It comes with a huge set of predefined analytic templates  to get you started. That’ll help you to understand how your Connections instance is being used and what’s needed. It also helps to detect trends and current favourites.
    ***
  • Mobile Access
    Well, this is quite cool but kind of expected to be available nowadays.  Install the Connections App on your device and use it anywhere you want.
    ***
  • Connection Connectors
    We all know the Quickr Connectors which allow to use Lotus Quickr from Lotus Notes, Windows Explorer, MS Office (Word, Excel Powerpoint), Sametime and so on. Now there are IBM Connections Connectors although they are not called connectors. Luis Benitez just blogged about the Desktop Plugin and has some nice videos on his blog.

If you like IBM Connections as much as I do and you are a developer you should not miss out on the OpenNTF development contest. Develop something for Connections and win $1000!

XPages development for IBM Connections – Win $1000!

Inspired by Niklas‘ blog posts on the topic I started my fist baby steps in developing small apps for IBM Connections. Once you understand the basics it’s quite easy to do. As an xpages developer you can create apps that seamlessly integrate into connections. People do not see or feel that they are working in an external app.

You can use all Connections data in your app by utilizing the Connections REST API. The extension library provides single sign on controls so that once you are logged into Connections you are also logged into Domino. It’s all there, what’s missing are some app ideas and examples. The 4th OpenNTF development contest sponsored by IBM Business Partner hedersoft now opens a door. All of you out there interested in giving xpages in IBM Connections a try now have the chance to get a reward for your efforts.

Win $1000 for your idea! Niklas put a little video together that should help you to get going. If you don’t have an IBM Connections environment IBM jumps in. You can work on a shared image provided in the IBM Smart Cloud. It is running IBM Connections 3.0.1, Domino 8.5.3, SSO already up and running and the latest Extension Library. Just drop a note to Niklas (niklas_heidloff at de dot ibm dot com) and he will give you access to the image.

The submissions are due on December 2nd 2012. This sounds a long time but do not underestimate the time till you got everything in your bag to get you going. So send a new mail to Niklas now!

Happy coding and good luck!

A Lotus Link Collection

Here is a collection of links to lotus resources and information. The list is most likely incomplete. Links missing but worth listing are welcome. I don’t list links to Lotus Notes / Domnio resources here since there are too many. If there is a demand for such a link list please let me know and I will provide a separate list.

LOTUS CONNECTIONS:

Product homepage: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/connections/
Wiki: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/lcwiki.nsf
Developerworks: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/products/connections/
Lotus Greenhouse (Test Connections Online): https://greenhouse.lotus.com/home/
Download (login needed): https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/dswdown/dswdown.wss/web/searchDescription?ls=true&tt=DD&st=All&sl=image&apd=0&txt=lotus%20connections
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Connections
Blog (The Connections Blog): http://lotusconnectionsblog.com/ 
Blog (Synch.rono.us): http://synch.rono.us/social/blog.nsf
Blog (Luis Benitez): http://www.lbenitez.com/

LOTUS QUICKR:

Product homepage: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/quickr/
Wiki: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/lqwiki.nsf
Developerworks: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/products/quickr/
Lotus Greenhouse (Test Quickr Online): https://greenhouse.lotus.com/home/
Download (login needed): https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/dswdown/dswdown.wss/web/searchDescription?ls=true&tt=DD&st=All&sl=image&apd=0&txt=lotus%20quickr 
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Lotus_Quickr
Blog (The Quickr Blog): http://quickrblog.com/

LOTUS MASHUPS:

Product homepage: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/mashups/
Wiki: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/mashupswiki.nsf
Developerworks: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/products/mashups/
Download (login needed): https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/dswdown/dswdown.wss/web/searchDescription?ls=true&tt=DD&st=All&sl=image&apd=0&txt=lotus%20mashups
Wikipedia: —
Blog (): —

LOTUS FOUNDATIONS:

Product homepage: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/lotus/products/foundations/start/
Wiki: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/lfndswiki.nsf/ 
Developerworks: —
Download (login needed): https://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/dswdown/dswdown.wss/web/searchDescription?ls=true&tt=DD&st=All&sl=image&apd=0&txt=lotus%20foundations
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lotus_Foundations
Blog (Foundation and Empire): http://lotusfoundations.blogspot.com/ 
Blog (Bilal Jaffery): http://www.bilal.ca/ 
Blog (Foundations for SMB): https://www.asnddesigns.com:4443/blog/Fdn4smb.nsf/

 

This list should enable everyone to get started. Finally there is one more source of information I want to recommend:

PlanetLotus.org: http://planetlotus.org/

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