IBM Connections 6 summary

IBM Connections 6.0 announced, generally available March 31st

They told us at Connect that IBM Connections 6.0 would be made available in Q1, and here’s the announcement that they’ll be sneaking it across the line on the 31st March…

IBM Connections 6 summaryConnections V6.0 adds new capabilities for creating and customizing engaging Communities, and offers users increased flexibility in syncing and managing their online and offline Files folders.

Updates:

  • Community customization capabilities can help to make a Community more useful and engaging for the Community members.
  • Doing so can lead to greater Community participation and provides a more effective collaboration experience for the Community members.
  • File folders can be taken offline to a PC for local work and then synchronized with the online folders.
  • Advanced analytics provide an optional personalized and prioritized home page that will surface information that is most relevant for the individual.

The significant new features are highlighted in the announcement letter, along with some of the implementation details:

Communities are more customizable

Advanced Community customization capabilities provide Community owners additional options for designing their custom Community. These changes allow a Community to be more useful and engaging, leading to increased community vitality. As Community owners build these vibrant communities, they can copy the existing layouts and designs from one Community into a new one.

Community owners can:

  • Create Community experiences with enhanced rich text content editing, so that Community members can enjoy an engaging experience.
  • Choose from new modern layouts with a horizontal navigation bar to better use space on Community pages and match the Community’s purpose more effectively.
  • Create new Communities faster by choosing from existing layouts, which can help to save time and establish guidelines for Community design.
  • Reduce clutter on Community pages by hiding a widget while retaining its link in the navigation menu.

Files delivers added flexibility

Files users can select a top-level folder in their Files and mark it for sync. This permits the users to take the content of entire folders offline to their desktop and keep them synchronized with the files on the server.

Relevant updates are brought front and center

A new optional program, IBM Connections Orient Me, can be used with Connections V6.0 to provide new home page capabilities that apply advanced analytics to surface information and people that are most relevant to an individual.

Individuals can take advantage of new capabilities provided by Connections Orient Me:

  • See, at a glance, the updates and information most relevant to users, displayed in a new visual layout and prioritized based on their interaction with content and people.
  • Apply new content and people filters to better control what users see.
  • More easily view updates grouped by a person, a Community, or content.
  • Receive suggestions about the people most likely to be important and relevant to their work.
  • See a snapshot of their day in the Action Center, accessible throughout Connections.

Connections Orient Me is planned for availability on the availability date of Connections V6.0. Connections Orient Me is planned to be made available for download from the Fix Central website by organizations with entitlement to Connections V6.0

As previously blogged, this is set to be the final on-premises release of Connections built the run wholly on the traditional platform of WebSphere/DB2/IHS/TDI etc. Connections Pink will start to arrive in pieces from later this year, running on an entirely more dynamic and easier-to-manage infrastructure. You will need to be running 6.0 to make that transition, so start the planning process now to get there as soon as you can.

Connections 6.0 will be available to download from Passport Advantage or Partnerworld as usual.

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!