One of the more confusing features of the desktop plug-in for HCL Connections is that it limits the number of files it shows for any given folder or file location to a maximum of 500 files. The system doesn’t warn the user of this or tell the users that they can show all items by right clicking somewhere in the folder (not on a file!) and selecting [Get All] (see picture below). So this is easily overlooked by users who then get frustrated as they are not finding the files they expect there.
To force the desktop plugin to show all items (files/folders) add a string key in the policies section:
Windows 64-bit systems: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\IBM\Social Connectors\Settings
Windows 32-bit systems: KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\IBM\Social Connectors\Settings
With the name: ReadAllAlways
And the value: 1 (= All items within a folder are displayed, even if the amount of child files and/or folders exceed 500)
Note: The 500 max was apparently set to allow for better performance on opening a folder. However, folders containing more then 500 files/folders are generally not that common and the benefit of eliminating support calls by confused users who can’t find files they know are there, would generally outweigh the slight delay one might get when opening a big folder.
At one of my customers we ran into the problem that users were not able to upload files larger than 50MB within the HCL Connections Desktop plug-in for Windows but were able to upload files of up to 1GB (server setting) in the browser. The error users got in the desktop connector was “Server returned bad request (400)” when uploading these larger files. I will post the solution they found (and that I can’t seem to find online) here for others to use in case they run into similar problems.
It is possible to change the size at which the Plug-in begins using the large file upload functionality. This can be overridden using a policy set in the registry.
Add a string key in the policies section: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\IBM\Social Connectors\Settings
with the name: LargeFileSize
The value is in megabytes and the default is 100MB. Set it to the size your system allows, for instance: 1024
The solution was tested and works for 64-bit systems.
Note: For 32-bit Windows you could try using: KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\IBM\Social Connectors\Settings instead but this wasn’t tested.If you do, feel free to comment below if that worked.
On November 5th we (Joerg Rafflenbeul and me) did an open call for anyone in, or running a super user / ambassador program for their HCL Connections environment. Aim was to see if there were other organizations interested in exploring the options to broaden their ambassadors knowledge and confidence by doing exchanges or sharing experiences at the levels of ambassadors/super users themselves.
It is always nerve wrecking when you start something like this as you don’t know how many people will attend or will be interested but it turned out great. With people attending from both the business, education and government realm as well as representatives from DNUG (German User Group) and Let’s Connect (HCL Connections User Group).
So what are the outcomes? Well this first meeting was mostly to see if there was interest in doing something in this realm at all. It also highlighted that there are already initiatives under way where businesses running HCL Connections are connecting on the adoption /community management level. Making connections at the level of ambassadors / super users themselves though is still very much a new territory.
Each participant in the meeting explained from which organization they were and what kind of program they run. Which was quite diverse. From programs with mostly formal ‘teachers’, to programs with thousands of super users who get trained to support digital business at various levels, to the guides program at Heitkamp & Thumann that sparked the original initiative for this meeting.
All participants indicated that they enjoyed hearing how others do this and a new meeting date was set for December 3rd at 16:00 CET to continue the conversation and see if we can get even more people to participate.
So note it down and join us if you are interested in participating in this initiative! The call is open to all (so also if you are still setting up a program or even just thinking of one) and let’s see what we can accomplish with this.
Meeting details in QRCode. Scan it with your phone to add to calendar:
Three weeks ago I was able to speak at the virtual DNUG event with Joerg Rafflenbeul on the topic of a program that is very close to my heart. The adoption & guides program at Heitkamp & Thumann. For the last two years I’ve been working one day week with the ‘H&T Connect Guides’ (local superusers/ambassadors) at Heitkamp & Thumann to help them support their colleagues and expand the usage of the HCL Connections platform. Our session is about how this program is set up, what it’s strengths are and also were we feel we still can improve.
Today (2PM CDT/8PM CET) we will doing this session again, this time in English at the online Collabsphere conference. If you are interested then please register for the event. It is free of charge!
Getting to know other programs:
As part of the session we did for DNUG, Joerg and I also talked about our hopes to perhaps connect with other organizations and superuser/guide programs to see if we can build up some sort of exchange. For that reason we have set up an open call on November 5th from 10:00-10:45 CET for anyone working in, with, or simply aspiring to set up a superuser/guides program for HCL Connections. The more the merrier so if you fit this category, are interested or have ideas then please join us! The idea is to discuss options to connect with other programs and perhaps do informal exchanges or other initiatives so that our guides can learn first hand how the platform is used in other organizations and vice versa.
The below QR code will add the invite to your calendar with all the relevant details:
or use the following link to join: Meeting link (Meeting starts at 10 CET)
ps. We realize that this is not an ideal time for other time zones but if you are interested but can’t attend then let me know and we can perhaps schedule another call.
So for those not knowing yet, HCL is shortly before launching it’s newest release of HCL Connections version 7 and it is looking promising! The main keys of this release are to create a better collaborative experience in Communities, connect the platform to the Microsoft eco-system so you’re no longer working in disparate systems that act as islands but can integrate all the collaborative work you do. Whether it’s in Connections or Teams. And lastly to export content in an easy and comprehensive way to take with you, archive or print.
So lets go through a few of these new features:
Community/ Tailored experience:
Tailored Experience: When creating a new community you now get a step by step wizard that leads you through all the steps needed to set up a new community
Community templates: Part of this new community wizard is that you can now also select a community template to base that new community on! Each organization can set up their own preferred communities templates. These templates don’t only work in regards to allowing you to copy over the activated apps and config of a community but also can include content like pre-populated files, wiki pages, community image, blogs etc.
Community homepage/Highlights improvements: the old ‘overview’ page will be replaced by the highlights page. For that purpose, Highlights has received a redesign and has been extended, allowing it to be much more intuitive to set up and use.
Microsoft eco system integration:
Outlook integration: Redesign of the whole integration means that it is now easier to add files, link to content and generally work more efficient from within Outlook.
SharePoint integration: Allows you to use a SharePoint repository within your community and even replace your community files app with that if your organization prefers using SharePoint for files.
Teams integration: A exiting feature that forms a good basis for the further integration of Connections with the Microsoft world that allows you to show Connections content (Blogs, Files, Forums, Highlights or Recent Updates) in your Teams channel tabs, share content to your community directly from your Team (and vice versa!) and start a chat with a user directly from your profile. E.g. a two way integration option that really allows you to work across both platforms.
Print & Export
Last but not least and one I’m stupidly excited about… It is now standard part of Connections that you can Export activity, blog, wiki, or forum content to PDF. Per entry or per selection (for instance all forum posts after a certain date…).
Seeing it for yourself
This presentation from Let’s Connect’s recent online conference goes through the main features and shows screen captures of the main features to give you an idea.
However, if that isn’t enough, you can actually see it live already! HCL has provided an online preview version of Connections 7.0 which allows you to test and see all that is new. Including the Microsoft Teams integration. To request an account go here: HCL 7 Preview
And if that isn’t enough, sign up for HCL’s Digital Week event and get the latest ad greatest directly from the guys themselves.
I’m often asked about how to best use the Survey tool in HCL Connections to set up questionnaires or polls. Rules often play an important role and often cause questions. So to document how I do this (for myself as well as others who might benefit), I will write down a few tips below.
Where do you find Rules?
How do you see which rule applies to which question?
How do you set up to and show an additional text box when an ‘Other’ option is selected?
How do you set up a rule to show a text when an answer is right and a different one on when an answer is wrong? (conditional showing)
Well not really of course, but lets face it, it’s an interesting way to start an article about a conference that will be held just short of German October Fest in the heart of Munich. Especially knowing that I might be Dutch but work for an Austrian/German company and just happen to have a dirndl (don’t ask, it was a dare)….
So what am I really talking about? I’m of course talking aboutSocial Connections. The user group for users working with Connections (what was formerly known as IBM Connections). This event is organized roughly every 6 months somewhere around the globe and brings together customers, partners and HCL to talk about and present about the platform. Most importantly though this time is special as it will be the first major event completely focused on the Connections platform since the announcement of the sale of the platform to HCL. It’s also being touted by HCL itself as a flagship event and THE place where they will be talking about the plans they have for the future. Some of which has already been discussed at the Factory Tours and other events as well of course….
My Drive was introduced to replace the previous sync options of IBM Connections. It offered some additional features like being able to sync not only files but also complete folders. Great! But working with My Drive also often causes a lot of confusion which might need some explaining….
The below is my private opinion and in no way reflects the opinion of either my company or the customers I work with…
anyone who has anything to do with IBM connections will have already heard this
and must be fully aware but yes, the sale of the IBM Collaboration portfolio
(including IBM Connections) was finalized
by the first of this month. This means that from now on IBM
Connections is…. Connections.