Connect 2014 Recap
learn. do. deam.
The Opening General Session
• For the past few years members of of the Notes
Development community have had to adjust as
the focus moved away from Notes to a broader
message about Collaboration.
• This year the message broadened even further as
IBM focused on communicating a message about
how it provides an Exception Web Experience and
a Smarter Workforce.
• Any mention of Lotus was reduced to an
impromptu reference to a game of bingo being
played in the IBM Champions section of the
• The addition of Jay Baer as the compare made the
session flow much better.
• Music from American Authors and guest speaker
Seth Myers were very entertaining.
• It is definitely time to retire the Greenwell
concept from the show. It was at times confusing
and the “actors” were not of the same caliber as
the rest of the show.
• Product? Not a lot of product information or true
demos in the OGS. For Notes/Domino enthusiasts
there were brief mentions of IBM Mail Next, the
consolidation of ICS products to the Connections
brand and the announcement of Domino
Applications in the Cloud.
• Perhaps more members of
Tuesday’s keynote than
creator of Dilbert.
• Scott proceeded to explain
his view that:–Goals are for losers
–Passion is overrated; and
–Luck can be manipulated
Closing General Session
• The closing session provided
little content. Not even a
summary of the key
during the week.
• The session was devoted
largely to a great “geek
Lavery from NASA about his
experiences designing the
Mars rover Curiosity.
• In a world moving agile it
was interesting to see how
NASA projects that last 10+
years operate and only one
chance at success.
Rebranding: Lotus IBM Connections
IBM have announced plans to rebrand its suite
of Collaborative Solutions to Connections. Yes,
yet again the Lotus products are receiving new
It is somewhat confusing that we now have a
Connections brand and a Connection product.
We also have a product called Connections mail
and a large number of other mail products now
part of the Connections brand all offering mail
IBM Mail Next
New Outlook Client
The rebranding effort doesn’t seem complete as
nobody seemed to know what the brand names
would be for Notes/Domino or the Connections
The branding is expected to be implemented as
new versions of each product are released
On the positive side… at least Notes is not being
rebranded as Alcatraz.
Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud
• Introduced at the OGS and
reinforced throughout the week by
IBM was its focus on four key
Looking to smartphone and
tablet apps for larger and
Corporate social networks
becoming the vehicle for
The amount of information
stored is growing exponentially,
making search capabilities, by
themselves, less and less
• A similar message of Cloud First,
Mobile Always, and Flexible Choices
was also repeated.
• These seem to all be defining the
priorities for IBM in 2014 for
• For Notes/Domino this means
Web APIs replacing
efforts to make proprietary languages better
as a cloud service and (hopefully)
as the language of
greater emphasis for enterprisemobile
controls for XPages and/or better
connectivity with IBM Worklight.
There were a number of sessions on Mobile but
not a lot was disclosed about IBM’s strategy for
bringing Notes/Domino to the fore as part of its
A number of sessions focused on making
Notes/Domino work with other technologies
such as Twitter Bootstrap or IBM Worklight.
Outside the session there were a lot of
discussions about the use of alternate mobile
platforms such as Titanium and jQuery.
XPages is still playing catch-up in the mobile
arena. The XPages team and product manager
Pete Janzen discussed some of the projects it is
considering working on for XPages mobile
controls as part of Notes/Domino Next (9.0.2).
It is expected that a beta for 9.0.2 will be made
available towards the end of 2014 with a final
release planned in early 2015. Yes, a mobile
platform with yearly release cycles……
Given its position as a key focus area it
was surprising the lack of detail of how
IBM plans to address the needs of
providing Big Data and Analytics.
In some ways Connections itself seems
hamstrung because of the decision to
build its implementation on DB2, a
relational database engine, rarely used
by major players in the social media
At the Innovation labs several examples
were provided of mining the data
collected in Connections. These
solutions involved exporting the data
first into a graph database for more
efficient query and visual display.
In the product showcase solutions such
as Kudos Badges showed one approach
for providing analytics by directly
accessing the DB2 data in Connections.
A great technical session by Julian
Robichaux and Mark Myers provided
details about how this can be done.
During the week we heard a little less about
social and a little more about mail as IBM
moved to position mail as an important part of
any social strategy.
The biggest “Notes” news of the week was the
announcement of IBM Mail Next.
In many ways IBM Mail Next is an extension of
the thinking formed as part of the Vulcan
Project, a new (social) way to approach the the
Mail Next will be available in both the cloud and
on-premises with both versions most likely
A beta is planned for 1H 2014 before going into
production at the end of the year.
As part of its Cloud First initiative the cloud
offering is likely to become available first.
A new version of the Social Business Toolkit has
Social: Notes Next
• A roadmap for Notes shows a new
version (Notes Next) to be released
to the cloud before the end of 2014
and on premises version in early
• A number of “candidates” for
inclusion in the next release are
smaller things currently available in
competing mail products or things
• Based on the proposed feature set
this seems to be more a 9.0.2
release. Given 9.0 was initially
proposed as 8.5.4, it will be a long
time between true major releases
for the product.
• As part of plans to focus on the use
of mail files store information IBM
announced it will adopt Apache Solr
as its search engine.
Social: Connections Next
• The next version of Connections
(the product not the brand) will
– External collaboration
– Desktop and mobile
– Creating a personal experience.
• Key features to be included:– It will be possible to add external
users via an email address.
– The Ephox editor is to be made
available as part of Connections.
– Infinite scrolling is to be added to
– Media gallery merged into files
– @mentions will be universal
– Ability to select start page for
– Integrated file sync with desktop
– Addition of TOC to wikis
– A new communities dashboard
– Notification center
Social: Social Business Toolkit
• IBM’s strategy for application
development focuses heavily on the
Social Business Toolkit SDK.
• A new SDK API 2.0 is to be available
soon after Connect
• Playground and API Explorer have
been enhanced and available on
• New UI Controls based on Dojo
being added based on OneUI or
• A new library for PHP can be
consumed by Wordpress, Drupal,
• An SDK for native mobile
applications will be made available
(iOS pre-release now on GitHub).
• Adapters being developed for use
with IBM Worklight.
IBM announced plans to move Domino
applications to the cloud using its Soft Layer
technology. Not a lot of details were provided
but it is expected to include an onboarding
It should be noted that Ed Brill made a similar
announcement at Lotusphere in 2011.
Outside of mobile it is expected most of the
enhancements for 9.0.2 will focus on making the
XPages (and Notes Classic) platforms more
robust in a cloud environment.
The rebranding of Notes Mail to IBM Mail may
help differentiate the Notes application
Many great technical sessions throughout the
week. Attendance was a challenge due to the
appalling scheduling which often saw three
XPages session in a single timeslot and nothing in
the next few.
A lot of debate also took place over the use of
SSJS versus Java as the primary programming
language for XPages.
A second edition of Mastering XPages is to be
• Jay Baer provided a lighter moment
in the OGS when he called out Brad
“number” (Lotus) for those playing
• Ed Brill joined the fun when he preannounced a Mac
Domino Designer in his session.
• Perhaps the funniest session ever
held at Lotusphere/Connect EVER
was the Geek102 70’s Game Show
Extravaganza. Wes Morgan, turned
in a stellar performance as host to
keep the crowd entertained with a
“Lotus” spin on Family Feud (The
IBMers versus the Champions) and
the Dating Game.
• The Trivia challenge was held again
and many IBM Champions had fun
playing with legos.
• Yes, its on again next year
January 25-29, 2015.
• Expect to see:
– Less technical sessions for
– Better integration with Kenexa
– IBM Mail Next about to hit the
– Consolidation of the mail
– A new name for Alcatraz.
– More cloud offerings on the
– A smaller crowd with more suits
and less t-shirts.
– Mat Newman in a yellow suit
giving everyone in sight a big hug.