Back in April, IBM announced the availability of IBM Connections 3.0.1
. It's a "maintenance release", but it contains important new function as well. Does that improve 'quality' of the product? Well, yes it does. Although we often separate new function from quality improvement, or separate 'what' the software does from 'how well' it does it, reality is that available function directly impacts fitness for purpose, which is a key component of quality. (See my post "What does Quality mean?" from April 25th 2011
on that). So from a quality perspective, we quality folks too are excited about the new functionality, especially:
- the Media Gallery for sharing of photos and videos
- the moderation capabilities for Community owners to screen content,
- the Ideation blog for sharing and voting on ideas within a Community, and
- the integration with Enterprise Content Management (ECM) repositories.
In terms of currency and non-functional attributes, we added (i) server side support for Windows 2008 R2 64-bit, (ii) support for Microsoft Active Directory 2008 as an LDAP, (iii) mobile client support for Blackberry OS 6.0, (iv) database support for Oracle 11g Enterprise Edition Release 2 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008, and on the security side (v) support for CA Siteminder 6.0 and Java SPNEGO for single sign-on.
As usual, our quality program also looks for improvements beyond function, currency and non-functional attributes. One of the most significant non-functional improvements in release 3.0.1 comes from further work on optimizing code performance in the Communities component, where we beat our own goal for the release by a nice margin. And in terms of performance, the Activities and Files components achieved significant improvements in the 3.0.0 release, so users of an environment migrating from release 2.5 to 3.0.1 should see performance improvement in all three: Activities, Communities and Files. The Connectors Help has been updated in release 3.0.1 with a Files connector and an Outlook Social connector. In addition, a variety of internal metrics demonstrate a healthy focus on quality. The defect deferral rate is very low for IBM Connections. Another key quality metric is the release-to-release reduction of the number of support calls per customer, and the number of customer reported defects. Based on early data for the first three months since release 3.0, both metrics are demonstrating continued improvement from release 2.5 to release 3.0. The fix list for Connections 3.0.1
details what fixes for customer reported defects are included in this release. I have no doubt release 3.0.1 will provide even further value to our Connections customers.
And now you can leverage IBM Connections 3.0.1 Portlets for WebSphere Portal
to extend the social collaboration experience of IBM Connections via a WebSphere Portal instance to your collaboration partners. This kind of integration across the IBM Collaboration Solutions portfolio is a key way we deliver additional value of your investment in our software.
If you have suggestions for improvement to IBM Connections, or the connectors, or the portlets, I'd appreciate if you would share it in comments to this blog post. Thanks.