IBM Connections

IBM Connections is a Web 2.0 enterprise social software application developed by IBM to provide online social networking tools for people associated with a company. The IBM collaboration suite, Notes / Domino, Sametime, Portal and Connections was sold to HCL technologies ( in December 2018.

IBM Connections
Stable release
Operating systemCross-platform
Typecollaboration, web 2.0


IBM Connections (or 'Connections' for short) was announced at Lotusphere 2007, and Version 1.0 shipped on June 27 that year.

Version Release date Major release points
v1.0 29 June 2007 First release.
v1.02 6 November 2007 New plugins for Microsoft Windows Explorer, PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.
v2.0 June 2008 Widget based extensibility for Homepage, Profiles, and Communities.
v2.5 28 August 2009 Added functionality: Wikis, Files, Microblogging, and social search / analytics.
v3.0 24 November 2010 Added "wizards" for database creation and profile population, cluster functionality installed out of the box.
v3.0.1 5 April 2011 Name change from IBM Lotus Connections to IBM Connections, Media library functionality, Ideation, Enterprise Content Manager (ECM) integration and advanced mobility possibilities.
v3.0.1.1 17 March 2012 Forums content can be added by non-forum member. Forums question can be filtered on.
v3.0.1.1CR1 16 May 2012 Bug fixes.
v4.0 15 September 2012 Activity Stream, Embedded Experience, Integrated Mail and Calendar, Social Analytics, Mobility.
v4.5 12 March 2013 Content Manager, @-mentions in mobile, two factor authentication in mobile, enhanced ideation, enhanced rich text editing, Microsoft Outlook Sidebar Plug-in, Activity Stream, Embedded Experience, Integrated Mail and Calendar, Social Analytics, Mobility.
v4.5. CR1 26 June 2013 Bug fixes.
v4.5. CR3 30 November 2013 Bug fixes.
v4.5. CR4 10 April 2014 Bug fixes.
v5.0 26 June 2014 File sync, ability to share content with external users from inside the firewall, smart expertise type ahead search, attention management indicators, updated user experience/look-n-feel, push notifications to mobile, redesigned mobile experience, activity stream search, enhanced file viewing and management, community landing, page, new Gallery app for Communities, wiki macros, @-mentions everywhere, copy/paste everywhere.
v5.5 18 December 2015 New Verse-based theme, type ahead search, rich content app, nested folders, attachment search, improved editors.
v5.5 CR1 17 May 2016 Bug fixes.
v5.5 CR2 10 November 2016 Bug fixes.
v6.0 April 2017 New Homepage (first "Pink" element), Communities modernized
"Pink" September 2017 Expected Release Date of IBM Connections Pink

IBM Connections has the following components:

  • Homepage - a portal site which can federate information from many sources.
  • Microblogging - primarily used to stay current with updates from across the social network through the home page
  • Profiles - a social network service - primarily used to find people in the organization by expertise, current projects, and responsibilities. Home page, microblogs, and tags.
  • Communities - a collaborative space for people to work together with a discussion forum space.
  • Ideation - Provides the ability to crowdsource ideas
  • Media Gallery - Used to share photos and videos and stream those videos from the server
  • Blogs - a blogging service.
  • Bookmarks - a social bookmarking service.
  • Activities - a task management tool for groups of people to work together on a specific project or task.
  • Files - a content library for storing, sharing and revision management of computer files.
  • Wikis - a Wiki system for publishing and editing content.
  • Forums - an Internet forum system where people can ask questions, share their experiences, and discuss topics of common interest.
  • Search - for searching across IBM Connections.

At Lotusphere 2010, IBM previewed features being planned for future releases,[1][2] including

  • changes to how user generated content is moderated
  • compliance/auditing capabilities
  • additional integration with IBM WebSphere Portal and Microsoft SharePoint
  • expanded mobile support

IBM Connections uses open standards including ATOM and RSS to integrate with other applications, and provides a REST-like API for developers.[3] Widgets can be added into IBM Connections, including those from Google Gadgets and other services as well as custom developed ones.[4]

IBM Connections has been described as the leading product in enterprise social software market[5][6][7][8] and IDC named it the worldwide leader in marketshare in 2011.


The ten IBM Connections components are built on a set of services according to the service-oriented architecture concept. These components take the form of J2EE applications which are hosted on IBM WebSphere Application Server. This design allows the components to be hosted independently of each other and to support very large scale deployments.


The Homepage serves as a portal for user's social collaboration. Out of the box IBM Connections provides 20 widgets[9] which can be customized by the user.

IT administrators can add new widgets and OpenSocial gadgets for use by users.

The Homepage module also includes a 'recent updates' display which shows changes such as new content posts and status updates which are relevant to the user. A system to update the users status via microblogging is also provided.


Profiles provides an online directory of people within an organization. People can be located by criteria such as keywords, names, responsibilities, interests, projects they are part of, expertise, business relationships, tags, or their location[9]

A person's profile typically contains their name, job role, base location, reporting chain and details about the IBM Connection bookmarks, activities, communities and blogs in which they participate. Profiles can be customized and new fields added[10]


Bookmarks is a social bookmarking service which allows people to bookmark web-content, tag it, and share it. Bookmarks can be located via keyword, tags and the person who created the bookmark.

In addition to simple searching, Bookmarks can dynamically refine search results with the user identifying users or other tags of interest to them.

Bookmarks can output bookmarks via standard feeds and provides an API so that third-party tools can integrate with it.[11] As of Connections 2.0.1, the API can be used for:

  • Searching bookmarks
  • Getting a list of bookmark tags
  • Getting a list of popular bookmarks
  • Adding bookmarks to a Web page
  • Adding a list of bookmarks to a Web page
  • Adding popular bookmarks to a Web page
  • Creating bookmarks
  • Deleting bookmarks
  • Retrieving bookmarks
  • Updating bookmarks


Activities is a task management system which enables groups of people to easily collaborate on a task. Activities are structured in a nested tree hierarchy where entries, to-do items and sections branch off from the root activity.

Any non-section entity in an activity can contain rich-text and custom fields for files, links, text, people and dates. To-Do items can also have a due date and a person the To-Do is assigned to.


Wikis are a new capability added to IBM Connections 2.5 which facilitate the collaborative creation of web content. Wikis are collections of pages about a particular subject. Wiki members can edit or comment on the pages, or add their own pages. Teams can use wikis to create a central place to collaborate on a project.[9]


Files is a personal file-sharing service that is part of IBM Connections 2.5, used to upload, share, tag, recommend, and comment on files.[9]


Communities enable ad hoc and planned collaboration around a project or area of interest. A Connections Community can have its own media gallery, event calendar, ideation, microblogging, blog, forums, bookmarks, activities, feeds,[12] member list, Wiki and Files.


Blogs provide blogging functionality for groups and individuals.


Forums is used for discussions. It was added as a component in 3.0, and was previously part of the Communities component.


IBM Connections integrates into existing applications via plug-ins. Out-of-the-box, the following plugins are available, most included as part of the license:

Other integration with Microsoft Sharepoint and Microsoft Office Communications Server has also been done.

ISVs have also integrated into the IBM Connections platform, such as Trilog Group to add Social Project Management for complex projects, ISW & Bunchball to add a gamification layer, Blogsy which serves as a native iPad blogging app for IBM Connections,


  1. ^ "IBM's Social Strategy Includes Support for CMIS, User Generated Content and Compliance". CMSWire. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  2. ^ "IBM Lotus Connections Adding Social Analytics, Moderation". eWeek. 2010-01-21. Retrieved 2010-01-21.
  3. ^ Archived 2012-07-15 at
  4. ^ "Adding widgets to the Home page". Retrieved 2011-12-08.
  5. ^ Sid Burgess (25 January 2009). "IBM Lotus Connections 2.5: Twitter-type micro-blogging tool!". Archived from the original on February 5, 2009.
  6. ^ "BlackBerry - Press Release". 2008-05-14. Archived from the original on 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
  7. ^ "MySpace Gets a Corporate Makeover" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26. Retrieved 2011-12-08.
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b c d "IBM United States Software Announcement 209-210" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-12-08.
  10. ^ "Customizing Profiles". Retrieved 2011-12-08.
  11. ^ "Dogear API". Retrieved 2011-12-08.
  12. ^ "IBM Connections". 2011-08-15. Retrieved 2011-12-08.

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Connections is the plural of connection.

The term may also refer to:

Connections (Canadian documentary), a documentary on organized crime in Canada

Connections (game show), a British game show of the 1980s

Connections (journal), a military/defense periodical

Connections (TV series), a documentary television series and book by science historian James Burke

Connections (video game), a 1995 educational adventure video game

Connections Academy, a free public school that students attend from home

IBM Connections, a Web 2.0 enterprise social software application

Connections (album), a 2008 album by A. R. Rahman

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Lotus Quickr can be described as three things:

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Team Collaboration – that let you store, organize, access, and share content and team projects

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IBM Sametime

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Because IBM Sametime is middleware, it supports enterprise software and business process integration (Communication Enabled Business Process), either through an IBM Sametime plugin or by surfacing IBM Sametime capabilities through third-party applications. IBM Sametime integrates with a wide variety of software, including Lotus collaboration products, Microsoft Office productivity software, and portal and Web applications.


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Lotusphere is an American annual conference hosted by Lotus Software (now one of IBM's five software brands). In 2013, Lotusphere was re-branded as IBM Connect.

Except for the first conference, which took place in December 1993, Lotusphere is held in late January. It starts with a reception party on Sunday night and continues on through the closing session on Thursday afternoon. The conference is held at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels. Most years it has used the additional space at Disney's Yacht and Beach Clubs.

In addition to the annual conference in Florida, between 1997 and 2000 there was also an annual Lotusphere Europe conference, first in Nice (1997) and then in Berlin.

"Lotusphere Comes to You" events were for a few years held by local IBM Business Partners, where some of the information presented at conference was presented and business partners could connect with local users who were not able to attend the big event. These events have been replaced by local LUG (Lotus User Group) events like IamLUG (later Icon US), MWLUG, ILUG, UKLUG (later Icon UK) and many other.

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