Dave Johnson on open web technologies, social software and Java
This is the second in my series of Web Integration Patterns. Check out the intro at this URL http://rollerweblogger.org/roller/entry/web_integration_patterns
Make separate web sites and applications appear to be one by using common user interface elements for navigation.[Read More]
Mainsoft's Team Concert to Lotus Connections integration is getting better and better. I know this because I spent about 12 hours last week offering demos of the product at Innovate 2010. The except below is from a blog post on Jazz.net about the newest preview release. You can try it now. There's a download link at the end of the post and, like Team Concert, it's nice and easy to install and configure.
Build a Community around Your Project
Growing a social network around a software project brings developers up to speed faster. New hires and teams that are added to a core team will find all the information they need in a central Lotus Connections community, including blogs, forums, wikis, file repositories, and bookmarks. These collaboration systems offer a broad teamwork base for any software project. For example, wikis can hold product specifications, blogs can be used to publish roadmaps to a wider audience, forums can be used to gather feedback from beta testers, and a file repository hosts nightly builds with download statistics and commentary features.
Creating a new Lotus Connections community, or linking to an existing one, only takes a couple of clicks. The administrator sets the Lotus Connections community in the Social Network tab under project management.
Once the project community is created, all project members are added to it and as new developers join the project, they automatically become members of the project community.
It's cool and just a little weird at the same time to see IBM's social/collab software offerings get some praise from Jeff Jarvis via the Howard Stern show and "Howard's geek guru, IBM's Jeff Schick."
Jeff Jarvis: Now as for Lotus: In their office, Jeff Schick and a colleague generously spent a few hours giving me a tour of what they can do. Ill concede: Its impressive. What impressed me is that IBM integrated the functions of the collaborative, social internet email, Twitter, wikis, LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook Connect, directories, blogs, calendars, Skype, bookmarks, tagging in a way that I wish they would all interroperate: click on a name and get everything about them (contact, place, tags, bookmarks); pull together people in calls or calendars just by dragging them; see how people are sharing your documents; see how people are connected .
Only thing is, IBM had to essentially recreate the internet and all these functions to do that, both so they could integrate it all and so that it could operate behind corporate firewalls. We internet snobs make fun of that, but I understand why they do that. But as we talk about how our internet should operate how open standards for identity, for example, should work the irony is that we could look at the interlocked IBM platforms to see the promise of it. Its closed, for a reason, but it shows what an open structure would look like if it operated on truly open standards. I wonder whether theres an opportunity for IBM to offer these functions at a retail level.
...just noticed that Ed Brill has a post w/comments on this same topic: Have you been following the "why does Howard Stern use Notes" discussion?.
Here's something I've been closely involved with during my entire IBM career (almost 9 months now): making software development more social by integrating Rational Team Concert and Lotus Connections.
In case you don't know, Team Concert is Rational's "complete agile collaborative development environment" with integrated source code control, issue tracking, build management and very slick Eclipse and web-based client UIs -- it's a collaborative environment for software developers. Lotus Connections is IBM's comprehensive social software suite with blogs (Roller based!), wikis, social bookmarking, forums, file sharing, social networking and more -- an environment for more general collaboration.
IBM partner Mainsoft has developed an integration between Team Concert and Connections and it's now available as a tech preview. The product makes it easy for developers to hook a a software development project up to a Lotus Connections and enable software developers to collaborate with the much wider community of folks involved with a software project including end users, subject matter experts, executives and other stakeholders. As you can see from the list of features, it's a pretty tight integration.
If you want to learn more about the integration, check out the links I referenced above. There's also a short podcast available at Developer Works and there will be sessions at Lotusphere 2010 this month and (with luck) at Rational's Innovate 2010 Conference in June.