As part of IBM Connections you will find a big REST API that allows you to work with almost every part of Connections such as searching for profiles, managing files and working with communities. As part of our new product (see my previous post) I’m doing a lot with this API. Right now one of my favorite wiki documents is “Searching Profiles programmatically“.
As part of the OnTime Group Calendar we’re building a series of widgets for IBM Connections to allow easier collaboration – the more we collaborate the more we need access to accurate, updated, calendar data. This puts OnTime Group Calendar smack in the middle of the move to social business. We are getting ready to release the widgets as part of the product and we have the first demo ready.
However the real power lies in the integration into communities. Here we bring the calendar of community members into the community is a text list UI and a full graphical viewer based UI as in the rest of our clients. For communities we are also offering a Social Scheduling widget to allow you to find available meeting times and book meetings with community members plus people you may only know based on tags (keywords) or location. Very powerful and possible due to the API offered for OnTime Group Calendar.
Please note that everywhere the access to calendar data is only available if the querying user has sufficient access.
The demo below outlines how OnTime Group Calendar for Social Business brings calendar data into IBM Connections in the Profiles feature and in the Communities feature.
All videos are available on the ontimesuite YouTube channel.
An excellent and a bit overdue addition to IBM Connections is better control over backup of communities. We’re not talking fine grained control and integration with e.g. Tivoli Storage Manager but rather backup to and restore from ZIP-files. The asset has been added to the Greenhouse catalog and is described in the New backup & restore tool for IBM Connections Communities post on the Synch.rono.us blog.
Starting with IBM Connections 3 the Websphere wsadmin command is even more important as the only way to deploy Connections is using Websphere Application Server Network Deployment or ND for short. The wsadmin command is used to check out the Connections configuration files and check them back in after modification. Because some commands require different configuration services to be loaded I have started compiling a cheat-sheet of some of the commands one use all the time. I have created a page for them. Expect the list to grow over time.
Of course the Info centers and wikis also list the commands.
I’ve previously blogged about the goodness of Trust Association Interceptors in Websphere Application Server (WAS) and how I’ve used it to turn the login procedure for IBM Connections on its head. We recently started upgrading the customer I originally developed this for to IBM Connections 3.0.1 hence they needed an upgrade to WAS 7. After upgrading the WAS servers the custom TAI didn’t work anymore. The TAI loaded just fine but it didn’t generate the needed LtpaToken2 for the visiting user. I cried out for help in the Connections forum. I got a few pointers but none of them helped me.
Fortunately I figured it out tonight.
The issue was that my custom TAI created subjects (a subject is the entity that holds the identity of the authenticated user in WAS) in a custom realm that wasn’t trusted by WAS. The only trusted realm was the one that WAS created for me when I configured Federated Repositories. The solution was to add the custom realm as trusted under Federated Repositories, configure <my realm> and then go to “Trusted authentication realms – inbound”. The entry is at the bottom under “Related Items”. Here I simply added my realm as Trusted, restarted WAS and I was golden!! Again this wasn’t necessary in WAS 6 and actually the option isn’t there at all in ISC.
Now I’m back to thinking that WAS and TAI’s are the best thing since sliced bread! 🙂