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A lot of changes this year at Connect, my first time as an IBM Champion, a complete new location in a complete different state, California, and a different city, San Francisco.

This year the venue was the Moscone West Center

For me personally, the venue was not as good as in the past. You didn’t have the possibility to run into someone, grab a seat and have a conversation. Last year we had the possibility to go out in a kind of a garden, now we were in the centre of the city.

When everybody is staying in several different hotels, it’s much more difficult to meet up as when everybody is in the same hotel and having a drink in the hotel’s bar 🙂

But enough about that, part of the above, I had some nice conversations and meetings with interesting people !

I attended a lot of interesting sessions and noticed that IBM is changing its mindset and it is about time that we kick some ass and battle against Microsoft !

Let’s talk first about Domino.

For all of you that think that there is no future anymore for your Domino applications that are present in your company for years…sit back and read further on.

Do you know any other platform that comes out of the box with the following features ?

  • Security
  • Replication
  • Clustering
  • Encryption
  • Ability to go offline
  • Open to other platforms
  • Ability to develop and customize

IBM will enhance its current API framework (Mail, Calendar, Freebusy, Data) to extend capabilities and enable the use of modern application development tools (ex. Swagger)

The additional REST services that will be added to expose more powerful capabilities are

  • Directory Service: browse or search a directory
  • Contacts Service: manage personal contacts in your mailfile
  • Mail Search Service: search your mailfile
  • Subscription Service: poll for changes or register for push in an application
  • Management Service: register users and manage users & groups

Thanks to the openNTF community there is a project available, SmartNSF, that allows access to your Domino applications via REST APIs. It’s available as an extension for your Domino Server and Designer.

For customers that are defining a path for their Domino applications, it is interesting to know that in Q2 2017, Panagenda’s Application Insights will be released.

Application Insights will be free of charge for customers under S&S and will allow you to analyse the 50 most used applications based on

  • Application usage
  • Application complexity
  • Application code

If you have more than 50 applications, then you can by an extra license.

On Wednesday, there was Pink Wednesday. IBM Connections Pink is about a new revolutionary product. Pink is a journey, not a destination.

Jason Gary stated the following “We are not going to build Software for You, we gonna build Software WITH you”.

This means that Pink will be based on open standards and you will have the ability to customize as much as you want without having to lose your work thanks to the new Muse Proxy.

With Pink you will have the choice where you want to store your data, you can have for example all of your files in the cloud and the profiles on premise. The different applications will run in Docker containers, this will allow you to install updates of the different components individually without disturbing another component.

Recently there was a OpenMic WebCast about Connections Pink, you can find all info in here

Gradually we will see the impact of Pink crawling into Connections 6 as new features:

  • Orient Me: the homepage that knows you
  • Modern Communities: allows to modernize the look & feel and to copy the design as a template to create a new community
  • OnBoarding experience: a guided tour that allows new users to get started and get involved much easier through suggested lists of users and communities

IBM Watson Workspace was present everywhere at IBM Connect, there is a tight integration between Watson Workspace and the rest of the Collaboration Stack. During OGS I saw interactions between IBM Verse and Watson Workspace , where you can share a received email in a space so that the ones where you work with in the space are notified and you can start discussing or even start working on a shared document that you get from your Connections platform…

The integration of bots in spaces allows to have nice integrations and acces to all sorts of data coming for instance from your CRM application.

To wrap up I also want to mention that they showed something brand new that is still growing in the labs, IBM Livegrid. Livegrid is the new IBM Application Development platform for IBM Connections. It promises to be something really cool, they showed us a demo where a spreadsheet upload was transformed in a nice looking application in just a few clicks !

So, as you can see, a lot is going on and lot is coming in 2017. Open your eyes and ears in the coming months and enjoy this rollercoaster trip together with us.

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