Buried in some of the many announcements IBM puts out on a weekly basis, you will find that they just changed the entitlements for two of their baseline portal packages. Both Portal Enable and Portal Extend now include the ability to use the profiles and file services from the social networking tool, IBM Connections. Here’s the announcement.
If you have IBM® WebSphere® Portal Server, IBM WebSphere Portal Enable, or IBM WebSphere Portal Extend on an active Passport Advantage® Software Subscription and Support contract, you are now entitled to use IBM Connections Files and IBM Connections Profiles. This entitlement lets users find experts and easily share content with other people.
With this new entitlement, you can access IBM Connections Profiles and IBM Connections Files capabilities directly or from within WebSphere Portal Server, WebSphere Portal Enable, or WebSphere Portal Extend. You can now more easily share your organization’s collective knowledge.
IBM Connections Files allows users to easily share content with other people. It also allows you to make the content you create available so other people can easily find it, make recommendations, and share it.
IBM Connections Profiles helps users find the people they need by searching across the organization’s content using tags to identify expertise, current projects, and responsibilities. It shares skills, interests, and organizational structure for others to discover and use to their benefit.
IBM WebSphere Portal web experience software offerings help organizations create highly customized, engaging, personalized web experiences. Each offers capabilities essential for delivering and sustaining exceptional online experiences, and now include use of social services that help you quickly locate the people and content you need.
What This Means
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This does a couple of things that I find very positive:
- It gives you access to two very common needs inside of portal and does so in a way that provides a lot of flexibility. Yes, IBM WebSphere Portal already gives you a profile but let’s face it, Connections Profiles is much cooler and if you ever decide to use the Connections product, you aren’t faced with a migration decision or task. The Files tool is also fairly flexible and introduces new sharing capabilities over what the portal currently offers
- It takes away some of the the uncertainty involved in the previous offering of a file library through the Quickr product. Quickr offers more than a file library and many in the community are uncertain as to where that product is going. We KNOW IBM Connections is moving forward and has a lot of R&D $$ associated with it so we also know that Files will continue to improve
- Both Profiles and Files run as services on top of an app server so you can scale them pretty easily and without too much fuss from an architecture perspective. I like things that don’t make my life harder.
What I Want to See
So while this announcement is great, I still want more. Profiles provides a RESTful service that allows you to inject profile hover over tags almost anywhere. No need for improvement there. But the Rich Text Editor inside the IBM WCM product currently connects to Quickr. I want to see the button so content authors can easily link to existing files. They have to make that as easy as possible.
I’d add more to my list but I’m easy to please right now.