Friday, March 27, 2020

HCL Connections 6.5 CR1 available for download

HCL has relesed CR1 for HCL Connections 6.5that includes as usual  some fixes  , some new functionality and the return of a missed feature.

You could see the new functionality in this video from HCL youtube channel:

The feature comes back from the past is  HCL Connections MAIL that permit the integration of  mail and calendar inside Connections:

Last but not less important HCL has introduced a new upgrade also for the Component pack that upgrade the elastic stack and finally support Kubernetes 1.17.2 , instead of the previous out of support 1.11 version (here the upgrade procedure for CP to the last version).

The upgrade procedure are same as previous CR, follow the Update strategy article  , here the technote with dbs upgrade , you could find all the packages inside flexnet looking for   "HCL Connections v6.5 CRs and APAR Fixes"

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Engage 2020 , another great event ! Some thoughts about it with my presentation deck

This week I had the pleasure to be part of  Engage 2020 , the biggest European user group related to  HCL Digital solution software (Domino,Sametime,Connections,Dx) that has been in Arnhem (NL) with more than 400 peoples..

For the first time I had also the honor the be in a booth because Factor-y was one of the event sponsor.
We have presented our cloud solution ,  proposed as future of IBM Smartcloud in quality of HCL MSP certified provider.

Quick recap :

HCL: the key word is "Evolve". HCL has started the evolution of the whole DS portfolio to be able to collaborate and empower the customer's business. HCL is also investing in R&D and it's hiring peoples all over the world . I like to highlight the come back in the family of Luis Guirigay hired as "Senior Global Director" !

Domino e Sametime: during July 2020 will be released the Progressive web app (PWA) of  Verse 2.0 and Sametime , that will runs on Win, Mac and Linux!!
During the second part of the year the new Sametime Meeting will be available too.

Connections : the key word it's integration with all the principal production tools.
A fantastic example could be the MS Teams  integrations that will be released with Connections 6.5 CR2. We have also seen some screenshot and anticipation of Connections  7.0 who will runs entirely into  Kubernetes.
I like to reuse the motto "The future is Bright" because it was never true like in this moment !

I strongly suggest you to check the twitter feed to see slides and comments from the conference..

Congrats to the Engage team that have made another time an exceptional job, finding a beatiful location and has provided all kind of support needed: THANKS !

Last but not least, below you could see the presentation deck of the session I run with my mate, Wannes Rams from ISW and my colleague in the LetsConnect Team.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Factor-y is an official "HCL Cloud Hosting Managed Service Provider"

As you probably already know during the next July 2020 , IBM Smartcloud service will be shut down, because not included in IBM , HCL deal.

Factor-y (the company who is loving supporting me since 2012) has been certified as HCL Cloud Hosting Managed Service Provider.

For every technical and commercial details needed I like to point you to the dedicated page on our site .

I'm really exited about the opportunity to live this adventure in the fast lane.. and to have the opportunity to work on this project close to HCL and the others HCL MSP.

See you all at Engage !

UPDATE: We have scheduled an English webinar to present our solution March 5 2020, 3 PM CET

Friday, February 21, 2020

LetsConnect 28-29 September – Bienvenido a Madrid!

Some days ago the Let's Connect team has announced the location of the 2020 edition : Madrid !

As you probably already know Let's Connect it's the new name of Social Connections user group dedicated to HCL Connections and HCL Digital experience.

2020 will be an important year , with huge changes like the transition from IBM Smartlcloud to the new cloud managed by the HCL MSP partners and at the end of the year will be release the new V.7 build on Kubernetes (no more traditional installer !) .
DX will not be inactive as well continuing the evolution with V.10 in similar way to a new modern infrastructure.

If you are customers , consultants or HCL Partners I strongly recommend to join the conference because the networking opportunity in this kind of events are unique !

More updates like call for abstracts and sponsors will be announced during the first half of the next month, don't forget to check the site and.. see you in Madrid!

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

HCL Connections 6.5 : Activities Plus doc and setup tips

HCL Connections 6.5 , contains inside the Component pack 6.5 a new version of  di activity , build by ISW , named  Activities Plus.

If you already know Kudos Boards (I'm a big fan) , it's a sort of Boards light where MindMap and Timeline are not available  that gives a better way to use one of the most outdated component of Connections.
This apps increase the value of the component pack because runs reusing the infrastructure component already deployed for the other parts.

In this post I like to recap some setup tips and share an installation line because in my opinion the official docs isn't written in a correct logical sequence so reading this lines before the setup could help.


Activities Plus it's free but  customer needs to request a licenst to ISW .
A registration process will drive the customers and they will receive a license in a few minutes. This license  will be inserted in the most important pieces of this setup  boards-cp.yaml that will include all configuration data of the applications involved..

WebSphere Config

Once customer has received the license  the next step are some WAS configs to register the new oauth application, place that setting in the connectionsProvider.xml and save the client secret for the  boards-cp.yaml . This process is well described in this page.


All the configs like license, admins, oauthsecrets,NFSserver ,etc  must to be inserted inside the boards-cp.yaml .
This file it's located where you have unzipped the component pack  in this path:


A description of the options could be find  in the HCL docs and on KudosApps docs site
Before precede with the setup I've upgraded the helm chart with the one linked inside this HCL technote.


One of the first steps of component pack setup it's uploading the images in customer docker registry and the included in the component pack it's bugged.

To be sure to upload all the images, use the one linked in this HCL technote..

NFS moung
Setup process suppose customer is using   /pv-connections/ as NFS mount point.
If you are using a different one, you needs to specify the correct path inside the  boards-cp.yaml (thanks Urs)

     persistentVolumePath: yourCustomPath

Migrazione Activities

The last setup part is the migration of the activities from the old app ,
Unfortunately the migration of some of my activities was hang and restarting the migration pod wasn't helpful because the state was remembered.

ISW support suggested me to insert inside  boards-cp.yaml the following options

     PURGE_MIGRATED_ACTIVITY_IDS: ActivityID1,ActivityID2,..

and proceed with a redeploy of the   kudos-boards-cp-activity-migration .
This purged the migration queue and this time I was able to complete the migration.

Be careful to use this setting and remember to remove that after you have deployed the app.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

IBM Champion class 2020 announced

During last days IBM has announced the new IBM Champion class 2020 and I'm really honored to say I'm still part of the group !

After 6 years in collaboration sphere (now sold to HCL) I was nominated IBM Champion in "Cloud & Cloud Integration".

The IBM Champion definition is still the same:

These individuals evangelize IBM solutions, share their knowledge, and help grow the community of professionals who are focused on IBM offerings. IBM Champions spend a considerable amount of their own time, energy, and resources on community efforts — organizing and leading user groups, meetups, and events; answering questions in forums and building community; contributing articles, code, and applications; publishing podcasts; sharing instructional videos; and more.
I really recommend the program to everyone is into IBM software or hardware because it's a great benefit that help us Champion to do our job better every year.

Thanks IBM I'm really happy to be again part of the family !

Monday, January 20, 2020

HCL Connections , some consideration on last roadmap news and slides from DNUG Connections Day

During the last week DNUG has organized a day dedicated to HCL Connections

Christoph Stoettner wrote a nice and complete post about it  , below I will make a short recap with some consideration .

Where we are now

Connections V 6.5 has been released during December and it's the first release branded HCL. It's a bug fixing of the 6.0 with some important new features like Activity Plus , New invitation apps for external collaboration and a revisited Touchpoint app for on-boarding.

Last important thing the upgrade from previous release has better than ever.

What we have to expect from 2020

A huge number of releases and features will be added during this year !

During the first 3 quarter of 2020 will be released 3 CR with features and INTEGRATION (the bold is correct because emphasis is required..)

6.5 CR1  (Q1) :

  • Mailintegration in CNX Ui
  • HCL Wash
  • Docs
  • CEC
  • Plugins
6.5 CR2  (Q2) :

  • MS Teams
  • New Outlook Integration
  • MS Identity platform
  • Orient Me enhancements + Print PDF
  • Docs CR4
 6.5 CR3 (Q3) :

  • Interactive OM calendar
  • Leap integration
  • Sharepoint integration
  • OneDrive integration
And last release of the year will be V 7.0 (Q4)

  • O365 Integration
  • Intuite UX
  • Robust mail, calendar and chat integration
  • Containerization

The list of features and integrations like this is speaking by them-self , we have NEVER seen a roadmap like this planned to be released in 12 month.

From my point of view the integrations with MS products will be the most important step ahead because will transform Connections to a trasfersal product able to exist and run also in MS centric environment..

With version V 7.0 the containerization will be ultimated and the whole environment will runs inside  Kubernetes.
Some of the classical apps will still run in WAS container and will be migrated to other appservers (like openliberty ? ) in future releases.

I'm really happy to see all the work and the energy HCL is enforcing in a product where I spend most of my working time and passion at night while I work with the rest of the team organizing Let's Connect events.

The future is Bright ! I'm sure 2020 will be a year full of satisfactions !!!!!!!!!!