And here we go…
Welcome to connections101.net. This post will more than likely become a part of the FAQ and the “about the authors” pages on the top of the site. But let us give you an indication of what we are trying to do here.
IBM Connections, now at version 4 and with 4.5 due in a few weeks, has been rapidly gaining traction and awareness outside of the initial adopters to a wide range of companies who are interested in extending their communities internally and becoming a social business (buzzword!). We are part of an IBM Lotus community that has known about the importance of collaboration, knowledge sharing and working together for over 20 years and that community is comprised primarily of mainly of Lotus Domino administrators and developers. The Lotus Community has always been incredibly vibrant and open about sharing their expertise and the wealth of public knowledge built up from their expertise over this time around Lotus Domino is enormous.
Connections is part of the range of IBM Collaborative products alongside Lotus Domino so it’s natural that the Lotus Community would see the value in it. But here we hit a problem. Connections is not based on Domino. It is based on Websphere, IHS, TDI, LDAP, EDGE components and back end data. It is a lot of new technologies to understand and a large puzzle of pieces to fit together. For a Community expert in one product, it’s a huge transition to Connections – we know because that’s where we were when we started and because we’re still learning..
In the past two years Paul and I have both seen a large upswing in requests for Connections demonstrations and deployments from existing and new customers. We are long-time IBM engineers. Both of us believe in the value of good education. We want help people over the hurdles we encountered and the concepts we had to learn, by sharing what we have learnt through this blog.
There are a lot of moving parts in Connections so we’re are going begin to at the beginning building a production-ready small Connections environment from nothing, and documenting the whole process over a series of posts. We want to explain why we make certain choices and give you tips to make your life easier. Where we go from there is still up for grabs.
This isn’t IBM documentation. There is a very comprehensive wiki from IBM with regards to Connections which you can find here http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/lcwiki.nsf. What we’re hoping to do is something different but complementary. If we can help you with familiarity and understanding, what will hopefully follow is enthusiasm. It certainly did for us.
What do we assume?
Well, we assume that you have access to the IBM software. We assume you have access to a test environment to work on.
We assume that you can setup servers to host the software. We are going with Windows 2008 server. Again, .nix may follow at some stage.
We assume that you understand what Connections is and what it does. If you don’t, take a look at it in action on Greenhouse where you can get a free account and try it out live. http://greenhouse.lotus.com
We assume you would like to hear someone else’s first hand experience of how to do this.