IBM Connect 2014 – Session Video online – AD206

I had the honor to present with Niklas Heidloff this year. We talked about how to extend IBM Connections and IBM SmartCloud for Social Business by using the REST APIs preferably wrapped in the Social Business Toolkit. We had 2 demos and lots of useful resources to get started. So in case you missed our session, here is a link that leads you to a session replay:

AD206: Build Apps Rapidly by Leveraging Services from IBM Collaboration Solutions

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

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.
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  • 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!
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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!

Get IBM Connections 4.0

Today IBM announced IBM Connections 4.0. It will be available as electronic software download on September 7 and media will be available from october 2. IBM Connections 4 comes with a set of new features. It is designed to help you:

  • Track the activity of your network and respond more quickly using the embedded experience within the activity stream.
  • Bring external applications and content into the activity stream to respond in context, saving time and reducing context switching.
  • Track and respond to the activities of community members using the community-centric activity stream and embedded experience.
  • Quickly bring content from external sites and related communities into your community for faster response and better customer service.
  • Develop insights into community adoption and usage with new standard and customizable metrics and graphical reports.
  • Receive relevant recommendations on people and content using social analytics that now also utilize status updates and microblogging content.
  • Use hashtags to follow important topics and „Like“ updates with a single click.
  • Schedule team events and incorporate into a personal calendar using a new community calendar.

Source: IBM