Thursday, April 7, 2011

Download Now: IBM Connections 3.0.1

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The latest version of the Connections product is now available for download: 3.0.1 only . If my math is correct, this is the 10th major release for the product in the last 4 years and it comes only 130 days since our last release which was 3.0.

So what's new in 3.0.1? Tons! Here's a recap of what was announced at Lotusphere and is now available:

Media Gallery for sharing and viewing media in a community
The Media Gallery feature permits community members to upload and share images and videos for viewing within a community. The Media Gallery page displays thumbnails of the multimedia content in your community's media gallery. You can see who uploaded a file and when the file was last updated. You can also see how many people have downloaded or commented on a file, and preview photos or videos using the gallery previewer.

Ideation Blog for sharing, commenting, and voting on ideas in a community

The Ideation Blog feature is designed to help make it simpler for community members to post new ideas, vote on them, and turn them into projects. A community owner can choose to add the Ideation Blog feature to their community. Community members can then post new ideas to the Ideation Blog. As new ideas are added, community members can post comments and cast votes for their favorite ideas. An Activity can be created for promising ideas so that work can proceed on turning the idea into reality. This feature can be used, for example, to gather suggestions from customers on how to improve products.

New community content moderation capabilities

Community owners can moderate content using pre-moderation or post-moderation. Pre-moderation enables a community owner to approve or reject content before it appears in the community. With post-moderation, a community member can flag content as inappropriate. This action sends a notification to the community owner who can then review the flagged item and take appropriate action by quarantining the content or dismissing the flag.

Integration with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) repositories

The ECM integration allows users to store, access, and edit documents residing in FileNet Content Manager and IBM Content Manager from within a Community.

Integration with IBM Lotus® Sametime® server

The IBM Lotus Sametime server integration allows users to collaborate in real time from IBM Connections.

Suzanne Livingston has created a demo that shows all the new features.


You have several options when installing 3.0.1:
  • Upgrade directly from 2.5
  • Apply as a fixpack on top of 3.0
  • Install 3.0.1 directly (ie. if you are new to Connections, there's no need to install 3.0 first)
I installed 3.0.1 last week and the process went super smooth. One thing that caught me was that I forgot to configure the AJAX proxy for my ECM server. So don't forget to do that after you install 3.0.1.
If you want to learn more, I'll be presenting about Connections 3.0.1 and its extensibility options at IBM's Impact #ibmimpact conference in Las Vegas next week. Both of my sessions are on Wednesday. I'll also be manning the Exceptional Work Experience ped. Hope to see you there!
So go on and download and enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Calling IBM Social Business Partners

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One of the things that I've been working on in my new role, along with many colleagues, is on a new program for our business partners.

On Friday, IBM started to offer a Social Business Authorization where Business Partners can certify as Social Business partners. I thought this was interesting because the authorization (or certificaions, depending on how you want to call it) is focused more on demonstrated skills than on actual certifications (i.e. passing tests). There is, however, a requirement to pass certain mastery tests.

The authorization also includes offerings from different brands in the IBM portfolio for a complete Social Business offering. The idea is that a partner must know how to work with Connections but also with the complementary offerings from Cognos and/or SPSS.

If you would like to be part of this new authorization, or want to learn about the benefits, you can find out more about in PartnerWorld here. The list of mastery tests is included here.