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IBM Connections 6 has been released

IBM Connections 6 has been released and brings a lot of new features, such as the updates Communities, new Files Sync capabilities as well as the new Orient Me feature, which is a first glimpse at the upcoming PINK solution. Orient Me will give you a nice overview of what happened in Connections and allows you to easily filter the information to relevant persons or communities.  IBM Touchpoint allows you to make the onboarding experience for new users a great one, by allowing them to easily fill out information for their profile, connect to people and discover relevant communities to have an easy start. You can find a more detailed description of what’s new at the end of this blog post.

The base IBM Connections 6 installation is pretty much the same as the one from previous releases, no surprises here. WebSphere will now be required to be 8.5.5.10 and DB2 will need to be upgraded to 11.1. You can find the detailed system requirements here.

Orient Me on the other hand is a big change from the previous architecture to the one being used by PINK. PINK will be a set of new services replacing and complementing IBM Connections services and be released over the coming months and years. Orient Me (such as PINK) is built upon Docker, mongoDB, redis, kubernetes and other modern and open technologies. While Orient Me for Connections 6 is an optional deployment, I strongly suggest to get your hands on it to familiarise yourself with this technology for upcoming releases (if you have not, yet). And no worries, it does not hurt. 😉 You will need either Redhat 7.3 with Docker EE or CentOS with Docker Community Edition to deploy it.

What will you need to download?

Core IBM Connections:

You can find the list of the part numbers to be downloaded for the installation of IBM Connections 6 here.

Optional components:

Orient Me is a separate download from FixCentral, you can find it here.

Type Ahead Search is a separate download from FixCentral, you can find it here.

Ephox Editor is a seperate download from FixCentral, you can find it here.

Touchpoint is a separate download from the IBM Solutions Catalog, you can find it here.

The IBM Connections Desktop Plugins can be found in the IBM Solutions Catalog:

Windows

Mac

The IBM Connections Plugin for Outlook can also be found in the IBM Solutions Catalog.

Required Fixes: 

IBM Connections Day 1 Fix, which you can find here.

TDSOL Fix for Windows, which you can find here.

TDSOL Fix for AIX and Linux, which you can find here.

How do I install IBM Connections 6?

The installation of IBM Connections 6 has not changed a lot from version 5.5. You can find the installation instructions here in the Knowledge Center.

How do I install Orient Me?

You can find the installation instructions here in the Knowledge Center.

Please also have a look at the current limitations.

Here is a summary of the new features in Connections 6:  

Communities

Advanced Community customization capabilities provide Community owners additional options for designing their custom Community. Community owners can:

  • Create Community experiences with enhanced rich text content editing (HTML), 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

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.

For IBM Connections environments with large numbers of documents stored in IBM Connections Files, administrators can now leverage IBM Cloud Object Storage, the hybrid cloud object storage that adapts to your workload needs.

Orient Me

Relevant updates are brought front and center 
– 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

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