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Think Pink – The Future of IBM Connections

IBM Connect 2017 provided insights into the future of IBM Connections known as Connections Pink.  Jason Roy Gary, Director of Engineering and Distinguished Engineer and Baan Slavens, Senior Offering Manager provided insights as to what is to come in the future.

The upcoming version of Connection will be a complete rewrite and not using any existing code.  Pink is about the journey and not the destination.  The premise how it is going to be done, not what is going to be done.

Key Messaging

  • There are no closed code repositories – Any IBMer can pull down code and edit it
  • Customers can join sprint reviews
  • Pink will still embrace things from the past – capabilities will not be sunset
  • There will be a single code base that will not have versions, CRs, fixpacks etc.
  • Pink allows your data to stay where you want it – e.g. profiles could stay on premise but wikis could be in the cloud
  • Fault tolerance will be built into the platform, e.g. automatically restart services it recognizes are down
  • Pink is cognitive – it will be everywhere
  • It will be API driven – APIs will be available for everything, no feature will be available without an API

Connections 6 – The beginnings of Pink

To move to Pink, you must first be on Connections 6.  There are some great innovations in 6.

  • Orient Me – redesigned home page – Implemented completely Agile and customers participated in sprint reviews
    • Important people and communities always in view
    • Prioritized updates based on your behavior and interactions
    • Updates grouped by person, community or content
    • Notification center is pervasive
    • Modern focused activity stream
  • Modern Communities
    • Provide community owners more design options
    • Owners can copy existing layouts to use as a template for new ones
  • On-boarding Experience
    • Drive adoption by welcoming new users
    • New users are guided through steps to capture relevant info
    • Users can select people and communities to follow through recommendations
    • Guided tours to quickly start with files and community apps
  • Before you can take advantage of Pink, you must upgrade to Connections 6

Technology Behind Pink

Pink will be developed with entirely open source tools and technologies

  • Modern CI-CD framework
  • StrongLoop / IBM API Connect (node.js/express)
  • SWIFT / Go
  • React.js
  • MongoDB
  • Redis
  • Ngnx
  • Docker
  • No WebSphere, Java, Rational etc.  All components are open source

Three Things to Remember About Pink

  • How – “We are not going to build software for our customers and partners, we are going to build software with them.”
  • Omnipresent – “You choose your deployment model and where your data goes.  You can integrate in, and out, with other systems.”
  • Disruption – “Now is the time to change everything, integrate with today and define tomorrow.”

And one last message, Pink is a journey, not a destination.

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Glenn Kline

Area Vice President, Custom Development and Mobile Solutions

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