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IBM Connect 2016 – What’s New in WebSphere Portal and WCM

shutterstock_279329402_350One of the most popular sessions at IBM Connect every year is “What’s New in IBM WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager.” This year John Boezeman, CTO of IBM Digital Experience,  gave us a great presentation on the innovations that have been delivered over the past year. This is all made possible by the continuous delivery capabilities foundational to verson 8.5.  Some of the new capabilities and focus areas include:

Cloud capabilities

  • Softlayer – You can deploy on the IBM cloud or an on premise cloud
  • IBM Digital Experience on Cloud is a fully managed implementation
  • Partner clouds are another option
  • Business services (SAAS) – An example includes mobile content management
  • More services are to come on Bluemix

4 Patterns for consuming Bluemix services

  • Script Portlet – Build script based portlets using REST/JSON using WCM
  • Digital Data Connector (DDC) – Integrate REST/JSON directly in WCM presentation templates
  • Web Application Builder (WAB) – Integrates other websites through a proxy
  • Web Application Integrator (WAI)

Content as a service

  • Intended to make it easy for LoB users to define and create, manage the lifecycle and personalize content
  • Intended to make it easy for developers to access content from mobile apps, get it offline and define content types for presentation

Site and content creation

  • Content Template Catalog (CTC) – common template catalog
  • Simplified site creation using the site builder
  • Next generation content editor – JavaScript based editor – eliminates the need for the Java applet
  • New UI improvements such as a new tree view for content and drag and drop content
  • Segments – Improvements to personalization – now managed as part of WCM
  • SEO enhancements – Can customize portal response to URLs that don’t address web content to handle 404 return codes
  • Rich media addition improvements include image renditions, image and video editing and bandwidth optimization
  • Digital marketing integration integrates with IBM Interact and IBM Marketing Center

Other key notes

  • Web Developer Toolkit – Set of tools to help developer productivity
  • Theme self service / tooling is available including 1 click creation of themes and ability to see them in one spot
  • Multiple releases around Forms Experience Builder to quickly create web forms without coding
  • Deep integration with IBM Commerce using the DDC and script portlet consuming the IBM Commerce REST services.  A sample site is available
  • Connections integration continues to improve including Connections portlets, social rendering lists and security improvements
  • TeaLeaf guidelines for portal – Lets you replay user sessions, heatmaps, etc
  • Script portlet is now part of the product (included in CF9) and doesn’t need a separate install
  • Everything must work on mobile.  No product solutions or capabilities will be shipped if they don’t support mobile
  • IBM Mobile First integrates closely with portal

For a deeper dive and examples,  check out the IBM Digital Experience Developer Center.


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Glenn Kline

Area Vice President, Custom Development and Mobile Solutions

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