What's new in IBM Connections 6

Find out about features that are new or updated in this release of IBM® Connections.

What's New in IBM Connections Cumulative Release 5

Files can now be transferred to a new owner

As an administrator, you can now use a wsadmin command to transfer a user's Connections files to a new owner. For more information , see Transferring ownership of user files.

Notification and newsletter enhancements

In the notifications that users receive, you can now add an organization footer, as well as link stripping using a whitelist that controls how links in notifications are displayed. This link-stripping feature helps users spot unknown or misleading URLs. For more information , see Customizing basic notification settings (CR4 and later) .

New content editing capabilities with TinyMCE 5

There are now two full featured editors to enhance content authoring with wikis, blogs, profiles, forums, activities, and communities in IBM Connections. Introducing TinyMCE 5 which delivers a sleek and polished out-of-the-box rich text editor experience to match the expectations of the modern content creator. TinyMCE has a brand new user interface, improved copy-paste, on the fly spell checking, enhanced media embedding, real time link checking, and much more, see TinyMCE 5 Content Editing Features.

There is also an updated version of Textbox.io v2.4 included this release. The Tiny Editors can be downloaded here: Tiny Editors for IBM Connections version Refer to the Installing and configuring the Ephox Editors for IBM Connections for additional information.

TinyMCE 5 Content Editing Screen

Additional file sharing capabilities in IBM Connections Files using Slack

Allow users in Slack to open an IBM Connections file picker, select a file, and share a link to that file in a Slack channel or a direct message. For more information, see Sharing IBM Connections Files in Slack.

Increases communication and adoption
  • Enable more seamless integration of content and communications
  • Share links to files within a Slack conversation or direct message
  • Always reference the current version of the file and not an isolated copy of the file in Slack
  • Easy and adaptable file sharing.

What's New in Component Pack for Connections

What's New in IBM Connections Cumulative Release 4

Connections Engagement Center 6.0.2 upgrade available

Connections CR3 and CR4 customers who added the Highlights app to communities can now purchase a license to expand the use of Connections Engagement Center throughout Connections by upgrading to a full version of the Engagement Center. This upgrade installs the Engagement Center license and adjusts a setting to provide the necessary configuration.

For more information, see Upgrading Highlights to Connections Engagement Center 6.0.2.

New end-user features in IBM Connections CR4

The CR4 update includes the following enhancements to help Connections users engage and focus on their work.

  • Communities
    • A newly designed, card-based Community catalog page replaces the list view, helping you quickly take in your recently visited Communities.
    • Easily unsubscribe from Community emails that you no longer wish to receive, without having to unfollow or leave the community.
    • Wiki pages are locked when you're editing them so that conflicts are avoided.
    • The Highlights app has a new widget configuration user experience with live preview.
    • For mobile devices, new horizontal Community navigation makes it easier to switch between Community apps and keep focus.
  • Files
    • New card based view for recently viewed files.
    • “Share by Link” makes it easy to share and grant read access to personal and Community files.
  • Email notifications and newsletters: New layout, fresh design, and less duplication help you engage.
  • Orient Me home page
    • Announcement banner for organizational news keeps everybody up to date.
    • The Top Updates stream includes cards for external apps. Open an app right from its card, without leaving the home page.
  • Metrics
    • Export Metrics reports to a CSV file.
    • "All year" and custom date range for People and Participation reports.
    • Filter data by geography, role, or department.

For more information about new end-user features and functions in IBM Connections 6.0 CR4 see What's new in IBM Connections?

Email notifications enhanced with visual updates

The templates that render email notifications from Connections apps are enhanced with visual updates for CR4, which you can enable during post-install configuration. Notifications from the updated templates have a modern and cleaner look, clearer ways for users to take action, and are easier to skim. With the updated templates, you can easily customize basic notification properties (such as company name/logo and sender name/email address) from one central location, or continue to customize the notifications and templates in all the same ways as you can with the default templates.

Google Firebase Cloud Messaging support for Connections Mobile

Google has deprecated support for Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) and is replacing it with Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM). Connections Mobile uses this service for push notification and file sync support. Starting with Connections 6 CR4, all push notifications will now use FCM. No changes are required for your Connections Mobile apps. If your company's firewall restricts outbound network connections and is currently allowing access to the domain android.googleapis.com, update the reference to be fcm.googleapis.com instead.

Improved Metrics Reporting

New features in Metrics include:
  • Ability to export Metrics reports to a CSV file directly from the Metrics UI or via an API
  • UI improvement for Top Contributors and Top followed People reports
  • You can add "All Year" and "Custom" support to additional Metrics reports in both Community Metrics and Global Metrics
  • Improved statistics for "Anonymous users" in the "Number of Visits" report viewed by Group
  • New Guided Tour for Metrics.

New Feature in CR4 – Customizer Lite 1.0

IBM Connections Customizer Lite is a proxy service that allows you to modify the IBM Connections user experience. For example, changing the look-and-feel of the user interface. It is a lite weight version of Customizer as offered in Component Pack, only it removes the requirements of Kubernetes, MongoDB and Redis.

Enhanced API support

Enhanced API support for wikis, metrics, and shared links:

What's New in Component Pack for Connections

Component Pack contains many security updates, including containers running as non-root, storage owned by non-root and not world writeable, an optional adoption of Pod Security Policies, and alignment with many of the CIS Docker Benchmarks. There are also several new Orient Me features including Activitystream 3rd party event support, notification and responses event support, embedded experiences, announcement bar support and hashtag support within Orient tiles. This release also contains the inclusion of an NGINX Ingress Controller and also provides a full upgrade path from the previous release.

For more information: Optional: Installing the Component Pack for IBM Connections

What's New in Component Pack for Connections

Component Pack introduces flexible Kubernetes platform support and provides bug fixes and improvements. Deployment improvements include a new model that further leverages Helm, resulting in easier deployment management and reduced overhead. The new model reduces the amount of time needed for deployment, and lays the foundation for zero-downtime upgrades.

For more information:

What's New in IBM Connections Cumulative Release 3

New end-user features in IBM Connections CR3

IBM Connections CR3 includes the following end-user enhancements to make it easier for Connections users to focus on work:
  • Enhancements to Communities catalog makes it easier for you to find your most visited communities.
  • Add a Highlights app to communities to aggregate content from a variety of sources.
  • New Files features make it easier for you to find and revisit your most-used files.
  • Enhanced Elasticsearch metrics provide greater insights into how users are interacting with Connections content. For example, you can now view a report of how many people have used a community over a date range of "All years," and filter by group such as role, geography, or department. You can also view a Global metrics report by a customized duration.
  • Inserting images in blogs, wikis, forums, and communities is more intuitive and consistent.

For more information about new end-user features and functions in IBM Connections 6.0 CR3 see What's new in IBM Connections?

New stand-alone installation of Elasticsearch for metrics and type-ahead search

If you do not want to install the full Component Pack for IBM Connections, you can install Elasticsearch as a stand-alone component to support improvements to metrics and support for type-ahead search. For details, see Setting up stand-alone Elasticsearch. Additional detail about deploying and using metrics is available in this technote.

IBM Connections Engagement Center supports both stand-alone version and integrated versions

CR3 previews the "Highlights" capability, providing community managers with new options for laying out the content on a community landing page. This integrated capability is provided by the same technology as is used by IBM Connections Engagement Center and will install with IBM Connections CR3. Connections customers will be able to add a Highlights app to a community which gives them access to widgets that allow a community owner to aggregate content on the Highlights page. Customers who have previously installed Connections Engagement Center should be aware of the following installation notes:

Version Installed when Hosted on this server Notes
Integrated You never installed it before and now update Connections to CR3 Communities server Engagement Center is directly integrated into Connections installation
Full You deployed it prior to updating Connections to CR3 CR3 update moves the existing stand-alone Engagement Center to the Communities server Existing "Full" Engagement Center receives additional features based on Connections CR3
Full You purchased "Full" edition and deployed it after updating Connections to CR3 Communities server Engagement Center remains on current server but receives additional features from "Full" version.
Attention: Not all ICEC widgets are supported in the integrated model. Supported widgets are documented in Communities help. Additionally, some of the widgets include options to configure them for personalization, so that the logged-in user will see content relating specifically to them. The personalization options are not currently supported for the Highlights widgets. In this release, mobile users of the News widgets in the Highlights app cannot create content in the widgets. These include the News, News Channel, News List, News Overview, and News Slider widgets.

Visual Update 1 for IBM Connections is available

Visual Update 1 beautifully outfits IBM Connections with the new, modern, airy, less cluttered appearance defined by the IBM Collaboration Solution Design Guide in an effort to ensure that solutions match the IBM design language, thus augmenting performance and giving your users the confidence they need to get their jobs done.

Profile with Visual Update 1 applied

You can find the application and associated installation instructions on the Solutions Catalog. For detailed information on the applied style and further enhancements provided by the Visual Update 1 application, refer to the product page.

What's New in IBM Connections Cumulative Release 2

IBM Connections CR2 includes the following enhancements:

  • Add a new forum.includeAllRepliesByTag property to the LotusConnections-config.xml file to add a feed that includes forum topics and the replies to the topics.
  • IBM Connections supports GDPR requirements. For information, see the following IBM Technote: IBM Connections GDPR documentation.
  • CR2 supports a newer version of Textbox.io. View more information at the support page for the Ephox Editor.
  • Connections 6CR2 contains a variety of fixes to address customer problems. View the list on the IBM Connections Support page.

What's new in IBM Connections interim release IFR1

As IBM has made an alternative software program (Elasticsearch Metrics) available for the Metrics feature used within IBM Connections 6, the IFR1 interim release has removed Cognos Business Intelligence 10.2.2 as a supported program from the Connections License.

  • Existing Connections 6.0 customers who wish to continue using Cognos Business Intelligence 10.2.2 should NOT deploy this interim release.
  • This release is a License only modification. There are no new features or functionality changes.

For more information on Cognos end of support, the continuing support option, and how to move to Elasticsearch Metrics, see IBM Connections 6 Metrics update on the IBM Support site.

What's New in IBM Connections Cumulative Release 1

IBM Connections CR1 includes the following enhancements:

Active Content Filtering now uses a white-listing mechanism to provide additional security by only allowing uploads of content that meets your criteria. The legacy filtering feature that uses the black-listing mechanism is still supported. For more information, see Securing applications from malicious attack.

Custom and third party widgets must be registered in the Widget Container. Previously, custom and third party widgets only needed to be added to the Widget-config.xml; however an additional step is now required to make the Connections deployment more secure against malicious attacks. This new step is documented in the topic Gadget registration commands. For more information on this new requirement, see the IBM tech note, IBM Connections 6.0 CR1 requires all widgets to be registered in the Widget Container.

Download the latest update and ifix from IBM Fix Central.

What's New in Component Pack for IBM Connections

The following improvements were added in version
  • Full upgrade path
  • New Sanity monitoring service (see Using Sanity to monitor Component Pack)
  • Elasticsearch performance enhancements
  • Support for changing the ICp user credentials
  • MongoDB now uses Intermediate CA for internal communication

What's New in Component Pack for IBM Connections

Component Pack for IBM Connections includes the following services:
  • The Orient Me home page provides your users with a cognitive view of their most essential Connections content. Orient Me shows users prioritized updates, with content from the people and communities they interact with the most at the top and grouped by source, or view a single stream based on time. The page is fully integrated with an updated Notification Center to truly make the home page a command center for managing time and attention.
  • Search and metrics capabilities based on ElasticSearch give you greater insights into your data. If you are an administrator, you can get meaningful metrics that demonstrate the business value of IBM Connections in your organization. You can chart Connections events such as every time that users read a blog entry, create a To Do item in an Activity, update a wiki page, or follow a Community. Community owners can also get metrics for the communities that they own. Track who visits the community, information shared such as comments, and participation in such activities as downloading file. Whether your organization is deploying metrics for the first time or migrating your existing Cognos metrics data to the new metrics, you can now visualize your data more easily with the improved interface.
  • IBM Connections Customizer is a proxy service that lets you modify the IBM Connections user experience. Customizer intercepts and modifies requests from clients and responses from servers, so it can customize anything that flows through it, such as the behavior of APIs or the look-and-feel of the user interface.
Note: Component Pack for IBM Connections requires IBM Connections 6.0 CR1 or greater.

What's new in IBM Connections 6

Connections 6 contains a variety of fixes to address customer problems. View the list on the IBM Connections Support page.

The Ephox Editors have been updated for both Connections 6.0 and Connections 5.5.

What's new for users

For information about new features and functions in IBM Connections 6.0, see What's new in IBM Connections?

What's new for administrators

Installation, Migration, and Configuration
  • Connections 6 runs Installation Manager, Content Navigator fix pack 8, and Content Engine fix pack 5.
  • You can migrate from Connections 5.0, 5.0CRx, 5.5, or 5.5CRx to version 6.0.
  • Install the Orient Me home page to give your users a card-based home page that helps them focus on what is important to them and tune out the noise.
  • Install the IBM Connections Touchpoint app to onboard users and help them become engaged users.
  • Use the new CommunitiesService.removeInactiveUsers command to remove all inactive members from the specified community or subcommunity.
  • Use the CommunitiesService.removeWidgetsByWidgetDefIdForAllComm to remove a specific widget from all communities and subcommunities. Use CommunitiesService.removeAllWidgetsByWidgetDefId to remove all instances of the specified widget from the specified community.
  • Configure the Files application to work with an object store such as IBM Cloud Storage.
  • Configure an NGINX proxy server to manage push notifications instead of using IBM HTTP Server.
  • Starting with Connections 6, support is discontinued for the Ephox EditLive! editor. The Textbox.io editor continues to be supported. The editors are available for download from IBM Fix Central.
IBM Connections Mobile app
For more information about updates to the IBM Connections Mobile app, follow the link to the operating system of your mobile device:
Troubleshooting and Support