IBM Connections Next – new features

Most of our IBM Connections customers as well as we can barely wait for the new release “IBM Connections Next”.  End of June 2014 is the estimated date for the release.

In order to shorten the time until then, I made a summary of information we already have about IBM Connections Next in this blog post.

IBM announced some of the new features and technical details in its session “What to expect in IBM Connections 5 (Next)” –

For sure the visitor model is the most important new feature we`re all waiting for. But there are also a lot of other new features to be included into this release.
Let me summarize them shortly (these are the most important changes for me – there are some additional features):

External collaboration

Externals will be marked like shown in this picture


  • Invitation via profiles feature
  • Community owners can choose to allow external people or not
  • Communities with this feature enabled are specially flagged
  • Pictures and names of external users are specially flagged

Technical background to external feature

  • User enablement done via „Waltz Profiles Integration“ – more details still open
  • Anonymous access needs to be disabled
  • External users are registered into profiles db (I still do not know how authentication is done – but as there will be no self registration tool the external users most probably need to be registered in the customers LDAP)
  • A new role “employee.extended” is introduced
  • Features enabled via:
    • editing LotusConnections-config.xml
    • add
      <genericProperty name="visitorModelEnabled">true</genericProperty>
    • Restart the server
  • Waltz Profiles Integration (WFI) needs to be enabled via:
    <sloc:serviceReference profiles_directory_service_extension_enabled="true" serviceName="directory" />

Technical restrictions

  • external people should not be given access to Sametime chat – disable sometime chat
  • CCM will not be enabled for external users – this will be introduced later this year (I supposed that external people will not see the library widget when added to a community)


  • A “deleted” community is not deleted permanently – it is just moved to a trash area so that it can be recovered easily (this is a real nice improvement)


  • Inline preview of documents
  • Media gallery feature will be replaced by the Gallery App
  • Already used media galleries will still work
  • File sync for mobile / desktop

General new features

  • Improved Activity Stream provides more relevant information – Overview of all notifications in one view
  • Navigation reorder able (mobile)
  • People type ahead improvements
  • Direct Activity Stream search
  • @ mentions can be disabled throughout all features

Technical improvements

  • WAS
  • SAML v2
  • Redhat 6.4 support
  • Support for Windows 2k12
  • IE Support for 8,9,10,11
  • The installation routine for CCM and metrics will be simplified

I`m a bit disappointed that CCM does not make use of the external user feature. But this is scheduled to be implemented later this year.
We are still not 100 % sure how external users will be stored. But I think that either a custom repository or the customer LDAP system will be used to store external users – if you know more about this we are happy to hear from you 😉

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