IBM Connected Pt 1 of 3 – My Presentation Content

As I head home from Orlando I have a lot of things I want to share so it seemed best to split these into different blogs about different things.  This one is just the content from my three presentations.  I hope you found them useful if you came along and I hope you find these useful if you couldn’t make it but just download them.

Thanks to Terri Warren from IBM for working with me on the Connections and Directory Integeration presentation. It was our first time presenting together (and first time meeting!) and I think it went well – we had a lot of very technical content as you’ll see but the room stayed with us right to the end.

I was asked a lot about Connections101 and when it will be updated.  I am working on the Linux v5 version now including IBM Docs and that hopefully will start appearing online in the next few weeks.  Then I’m considering an iSeries install version if the hardware works out…

BTE201 – Working with External Users in Connections

BP201 – Creating your own Connections Design

BP206 – Connections Directory Integration (with Terri Warren)

A Conference Kind Of Year (Ch-ch-ch-changes)

As I come up for air having completed my presentations for ConnectED 2015, starting this weekend in Orlando, I am in a reflective mood.  I have 3 presentations this year (plus two halves) and I’m really excited about the content.  In fact I’m really excited about what I’ve been working on recently and I already have travel plans to be at (and hope to present at) Engage in Gent, Social Connections in Boston and MWLUG in Atlanta in March, April and August respectively.  This is the year of the conference..

I’m also delighted that many of my friends who can’t make ConnectED are still coming into town to hang out and visit. It’s going to be a very new and different kind of conference. I expect to go back 20 years to the days of quietly wandering the corridors unnoticed and going home to my rented house in the evenings and that’s OK – just so long as those of you who are going enjoy my presentations and say hi

BP201 Creating Your Own Connections Confection – Getting The Flavour Right
Swan, Mockingbird 1-2 Tuesday 5pm.
This is the session where I attempt to explain how to build your Connections environment and take into consideration all the additional products you can bolt on such as Forms Experience Builder, IBM Docs. What features do they give you and how do they affect your design.

BP206 Connections Directory Integration:  A Tour Through Best Practices for Directory and Security Integration With IBM Connections (with Terri Warren from IBM)
Swan Mockingbird 1-2 Monday at 3.45pm
This is a highly technical session looking at the structure and behaviour of directory services for IBM Connections.  How does LDAP behave, how do the Connections applications use the directory and what are the biggest traps people fall into.

BTE201 How to LDAP – Working With External Users in IBM Connections
Dolphin S Hemisphere 2 Monday at 1pm
Adding external users into your Connections environment was a new feature with Connections 5. In this session I’ll take you through the options for configuring external user access and what is the external user experience.  Includes live demos ! (oh yes.. i’m not scared)

Then there are the sessions I’m organising or “guesting” in.

Nerd101 Spark Ideas – What Are Your Inspirations?
Swan 3-4 Tuesday 2.30pm
If you have never been before then Sparks are 7 or 8 people talking for 6 mins on a topic of their choice, this year our theme is what or who has inspired you and we have great new speakers bravely talking about fear, challenging themselves, and what inspires them every day.

MAS101 #UserBlast2015
Swan 7 -10 Sunday 5pm
Let’s face it, this is Mat Newman’s show:-)

My first visit to Orlando was in 1989 – the year Tim and I got engaged and we went using timeshare certificates given by our parents.  In 1990 we went back for our first ever stay at a proper grown up hotel for our honeymoon (they Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress).  In 1991 we went for the last time, we were getting ready to be grown ups, get on that career path and start a family.  We bought a Magic Kingdom “brick” as a memory of our last trip (we expected) for 20 years (until our kids grew up).  Well life doesn’t do what you expect and in 1996 I was working with Lotus Notes for another company, Tim had a job he hated and we hadn’t started a family – we came back to Orlando to Lotusphere.  I remember sitting in our room at the Port Orleans trying to work out how to cram in sessions to as short of time as possible so we’d have a chance to go to a park.  I remember walking around and knowing nobody and nobody knowing me, just Tim and I isolated and looking in from the outside.  I remember sitting three exams in a row in an attempt to get my certification and finish early so I could – again – go to the park. My first exam scored 98%, 2nd 86% and third 77% – just passing.

Later than summer we both quit our jobs having no idea what we were going to do and started The Turtle Partnership with our friend and colleague Mike Smith.  We’ve been to Orlando every January since.  It’s time to say goodbye properly.

Connections File Sync For Mac (and Windows)

Last week IBM shipped the new Mac Desktop client for IBM Connections which is downloadable from Greenhouse.  It fully supports the syncing of files for on premises Connections servers as well as Cloud servers.   I have tested the File Sync features against one of my own servers as I’m very impressed. You must first configure your server to support File Sync and the instructions for that are here but essentially you need to edit files-config.xml by doing

wsadmin -lang jython -username iscusername -password iscpassword



then go find the files-config.xml file and edit it using a text editor.  Look for and edit this section (my example below)

<fileSync enabled="true"> true" url=""/> true"/> </fileSync>

Then check the file back in using


Once this is checked in, sync the nodes and restart the Files App. Now the Mac Desktop client can be downloaded and installed.  The users shouldn’t try add the server in their client until Files Sync is enabled or it will have to be re-added.  So what happens once it’s installed

Setup accounts for your Connections servers , either on premises on Cloud. You must choose Basic authentication for on premises servers.

Setup accounts for your Connections servers , either on premises on Cloud. You must choose Basic authentication for on premises servers.


My Finder in Mac now has a folder for my Connections server.  I named the folder when I configured the server and I can have multiple folders for multiple servers

My Finder in Mac now has a folder for my Connections server. I named the folder when I configured the server and I can have multiple folders for multiple servers

Now I can drag and drop files into my sync folder or save files from any application to my sync folder and the desktop application will upload the file in the background, creating new or adding a new version

Once a file is set up for sync, it will continue to sync until you choose to disable sync for it.

Synced Files

Of course this is also available for Windows desktop clients here ..

Finding A Workable DB2 Client

Let me be clear.  DB2 10.x is the bane of my life.  Unfortunately it’s also the default version for products like IBM Connections and Sametime.  Prior to 10.x there was a GUI admin interface installed as part of the DB2 server which meant I could remote to a customer’s server and easily review data ,tables, schemas etc.  More importantly my customers jump on their own servers and , without much DB2 expertise, be able to review the system databases.  Unfortunately as of DB2 10.x there is no graphical interface.  So what are my options?  In theory I could (and do) easily install DB2 Data Studio on the server to act as a client but it’s not only a fairly overblown install for the few things I need, it isn’t in my experience very intuitive for customers.

For me, I’d like a simple , small (not 2GB like Data Studio can be) graphical client that I can add to any of my VMs and use to attach to any of my customer systems.  I’ve tried Squirrel SQL but that’s mostly useful for running SQL queries, but for a visual review of large amounts of data i’ve found it to be not as useful.  So I’ve now settled on Advanced Query Tool from  It’s a small (10s of MB) install.  It is simple to configure and it does everything I need, it’s also simple for customers to understand.  It’s big disadvantage is that , unlike Data Studio and Squirrel, it’s not free and the Advanced Edition costs 360 USD. Right now that’s worth it to me for all the time I save and the knowledge that the data I’m looking at isn’t the result of a poorly written SQL query.

I’m definitely preferring AQT over Squirrel and for my own VMs i’d rather not install Data Studio.