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IBM ConnectED 2015: Integrating Digital Experience and Connections

The Digital Experience has many components. IBM makes the case that they can create an empowering and relevant experience based on all the tools in the Digital Experience Suite.

  • Commerce
  • Integration
  • Marketing Management
  • Analytics Optimize
  • Cloud
  • Portal
  • Personalized targeting
  • Social and UCC
  • Mobile
  • Content Rich Media
  • e.g. lots of products

Example: Jyske Bank. They used IBM’s Suite to delivery to more than 1,000,000 customers.  They highlighted web site, mobile apps, mobile web, etc. Case study highlighted the lower costs over time to deliver that experience.

Value of social business comes in many areas. Here are a few:

  1. Product development. Companies who employ social collaboration bring products to market in 1/3 the time.
  2. Marketing: Show a 100% increase in reaching new audiences.  This is for things like discussion forums, communities, etc.
  3. Sales: Improved by 50% according to IBM
  4. Customer Service: 5% reduction in customer defection rate, increasing profits up to 68%

Communities don’t need to collaborate just with your fellow employees.   You can and should focus on sharing internally and externally and do it with the web site and native mobile applications.

Example: Fidelity Investment uses portal and connection integration to create an investment briefing area.

Building The Experience

The concept is simple, create a contextual digital experience by using the social rendering portlets, lists etc in Portal and WCM.

There are a lot of tools and components.

  • CCM portlet;: only Connectios 4.5/5
  • Social rendering extension for DDC: 4.5 / 5
  • WCM Social rendering lists: 4.0/4.5/5
  • Connections Details porltets 4.0/4.5/5
  • Social Media Publisher 4.0/4.5/5
  • Communicaty pages / community membership access control 4.0/4.5/5
  • Connections business card integration 4.0/4.5/5
  • Tag federation 4.0/4.5/5
  • Search integration 4.0/4.5/5

Successful Infusion Patterns

Content / Application

Discussion thread for specific content or application. Also includes lists  of social objects that are related to the content or applications

Social Object

Additional social information that has something in commong withthe displayed object. (e.g. same author, same tag, etc.  For example, show ideation blog on the users welcome page to ensure the right focus.

Target Social Content based on user segments

For different users that login to the site, you can have specific areas where you display based on a geographic community for example.

Feature community content in web site.

This is the entire community where you use the portlets to display the components of the community

Infuse teasers for web content updates into external social network

e.g. publish your social content to other social networks

Infuse connections files into web content

Use the rich text editor to link to documents in Connections.  Acquire and publish the metadata

Infuse social business cared into web site


Infuse public social tags into portal tag cloud

Combine both tag clouds.

WCM Social Content Rendering

This allows you to make a call from WCM via a REST service and grab that content. Only caveat is that the content doesn’t show up in search until the next index run.  Lists include:

  • People
  • Blog posts
  • Discussions
  • files
  • Communitys
  • Community events: only display within context of communite page
  • Community contents

You can customize the look and feel via an admin form. Define the content sources, apply filters, apply by security type, etc. Filter also includes: search term, tags, tag selection support, and even sorting criteria.  Finally, you can update the formatting of the list.  You can create a display component to determine the formatting of the display social content.

Portal 8.5 makes it even easier:

  • updated social rendering slides
  • support for forum discussions
  • extensibility based ono DDC
    • DDC Profiles for IBM Connections
    • Connections Context rendering plug-in
  • Dynamic Search Query Overrides.
  • Enhanced Resolution Capabilities

The DDC basically makes the call, gets the data in XML, apply the right plugin. All features are available with one exception: version 8.5 supports forum topic details.

Connection Detail portlets

Category 1: Wrap an existing function and wrap it.  Activity Stream portlet, Connections Content Manager portlet,

Category 2: Web Experience factory portlets.   This is custom built by making data calls.

  • Forums portlet with two way interaction.  Allows you to configure to show specific items with the service: only show this one forum
  • Blogs portlet is another example. View blogs, comment on blogs, create blog posts.
  • Community Overview portlet, (follow, join, unfollow, leave community).
  • Wikis portlet provides a subset of features in native Connections. View, start a wiki, create a new page, etc.
  • Profiles portlet; search by keyword tag, search by name, view report to chain, view network, accept invitations, etc.


Showed a site using the CTC demo template as it’s baseline.The site was based on an event.  Goals: enhance the site with functions and content from Connections.  Inject a forum based on a session topic, show forums, highlight community members, etc.


  1. Put the page in edit mode
  2. go to the About Page
  3. Create new content
  4. Find list of community events and drag it to the page
  5. Edit the portlet / open edit form
    1. Limit to an existing experience conference community
    2. Keep the events filter
    3. Remove the comments and button functionality by choosing different list appearance.This assumes you’ve edited a new list appearance before. (display template)
    4. Rename the title from the WCM edit page
  6. Go to the topics page
    1. Edit the page
    2. find applications
    3. find the blog detail portlet and place on page
    4. navigate to the blog you want
    5. edit the portlet
    6. pin the blog to show content from there
    7. This is an ideation blog btw
  7. Go to Track page
    1. edit the page
    2. Choose the page icon to edit the page
    3. Select a community to associate
    4. Find a community forum topics portlet and add to page
      1. note: it’s already associated to a community so it automatically filters to that community
    5. Edit the forums topic portlet
      1. Filter it by using a search term, “development’
      2. Change the list appearance by choosing a new list
        1. or by just changing to the oob simple list
      3. save it all in the portlet
      4. Change the title of the portlet to something that make sense

Key Announcement: This integration will include integration to Connections Cloud. Starting with CF03.  Uses a “TFIM” via a SAML response.  Has some known limitations.  See the link in the presentation.


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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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