Today I’m writing from sunny Orlando, Florida where I’ll be spending the week with my colleagues, customers, and partners at what I’m pretty sure is IBM’s largest annual conference: IBM Connect 2013 (that’s Lotusphere and last year’s Connect conferences now combined). I heard, but cannot confirm, that there are at least 6000 people registered this year. Among them are some of the actual designers and engineers of the fighter jets we like to fly: IBM WebSphere Portal, Web Content Manager, and Connections.
In fact, my team and I were honored to spend time this morning with Rob Will, WebSphere Portal Chief Architect and Distinguished Engineer. He wanted to hear about our experiences building solutions for our customers and whether or not we had any suggestions for product improvements. I thought that was pretty cool. I mean, it’s comforting to know that IBM is reaching out to business partners like us who work with their software every day. They’ve been doing a lot of that lately. Throughout last year, for example, we were invited to provide feedback in several sessions aimed at improving the WebSphere Portal Family wiki, the new Getting Started Guides, the Content Template Catalog, and all new features like the Site Builder.
What seems to be a renewed focus on user-centered design and an increasingly agile development approach has resulted in a pretty impressive line of improvements in relatively short time. That’s the good news. The bad news is, IBM has put their program in such a high gear, I can barely keep up. I feel like I’ve barely started to scratch the surface with IBM WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager V8 and, whadda ya know, they’ve just released a handful of new features in the 188.8.131.52 update. Among them are:
- Simplified personalization with “Content targeting and application objects”
- Sample bootstrap scripts to help you leverage Solution installer for your deployment process
- Integration with MediaBeacon, digital asset management software
- Improved Integration between Portal and Connections with new “Social rendering” features.
- Improvements to Web Application Bridge
- Responsive Web Design providing seamless changes in screen sizes across devices and desktop channels
- List presentation for web content
- Inline editing of web content
- Quicker access to web content items
- Web Content Manager Multilingual Solution
- Social Media Publisher
- New ConfigEngine tasksfor improved management of the theme module framework
- Content Template Catalog 4.0 (separately available in the IBM Collaboration Solutions Catalog, but closely related)
I just scrubbed that list for your convenience, but you can learn more by reading WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager V184.108.40.206 Readme and its parent document, Readme 220.127.116.11.
I’m going to try to get you more information about these new features as well as other news from Connect 2013 while I’m here, so stay tuned.