You may have missed the release of Connections 5.5 earlier this month. This week seems like a good time to contemplate projects that you will tackle in 2016. Connections 5.5 was released on December 18th and IBM did a nice job with two webinars, both available on demand, that cover both IBM Docs 2.0 as well as Connections 5.5. The links are below and the first is an overview of what is new in the release. The second is an open Q&A with the product managers.
The number of new features are too numerous to list but here are some that I found most compelling.
- Further ability to customize communities, something that is very appealing
- Built for purpose communities included with the product
- Discoverable private communities, which are optional and are not visible to members external to your organization
- The ability to reorganize communities and sub-communities
- Rich Content application which allows you to embed content from the web
- Attachments are now searchable, can be 2 GB
- Nested folders in personal and community files
- Round-trip editing, including from the Connections Editor Mobile
Upgrade options remain the same from previous versions, i.e. side by side, although why anyone would want to try an in-place upgrade baffles me. An upgrade path is available from 4.5 and 5.0 to 5.5. As always, consult the documentation for specific releases and fixes required before planning your upgrade. There are no additional server or JVM requirements in 5.5.
Ask the IBM Connections Product Managers – while there was some overlap with the first webinar, there many good specific questions. If you are currently running Connections, this is a must. If you use IBM Forms Experience Builder (FEB), there are a number of items that you will want to listen to the webinar, including that Community surveys must use FEB 8.5.1, regardless of what you are licensed for or have deployed. If you are running FEB 8.6, look at using the rich content application to surface inside of Connections.
If you are running Connections or are looking at Enterprise Social tools, release 5.5 deserves to be on your list for 2016. If you are entitled to Connections Files and Profiles due to licensing other products, such as IBM WebSphere Portal, Connections 5.5 with nested folders for attachments is certainly worth a strong look. As always, if you have questions, contact your Perficient representative and we are glad to assist.