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The related community is a new feature in IBM® Connections 4.0 that saves other community links in the current community as references. These related community links can be from any other Connections deployments, such as w3 and SmartCloud, and from the Related community view, you can obtain information like the title, description, and recent updates of other communities.
This feature engages customers, partners, and suppliers with social bridging in an efficient way. In this article, we first address some useful tips for the advanced usage of Related Communities and then explain how to troubleshoot possible issues.
Using a related community
There are two ways to use the related community feature: One was is from
Bookmarks, and the other is from the community overview or related community page.
Using the Bookmarks method, you just need to drag the Bookmark link into browser toolbar, following these steps:
Figure 1. Related Community Button option
- Click the Bookmarking Tools link at the bottom of the Connections Communities page.
- Follow the steps under “Related Community Button” to install the Related Community plugin (see figure 1).
3. After enabling this plugin, notice the bookmark named “Related Community” in the browser.
4. Open any community, click the Related Community bookmark, and add the current community as a related community via the pop-up window (see figure 2).
Figure 2. Add to Related Community pop-up
From the Community Overview or Related Community page, you can add a Related Community using the “Add a Community” link/button (see figure 3).
Figure 3. Add a Community pop-up
However, before you can use that link/button, the Community owner must add the Related Communities widget (see figure 4) by customizing the Community because the Related Community widget is not added by default when a Community is created.
Figure 4. Related Communities widget
Note that only:
- the latest five Related Communities are listed in the Community Overview page,
- the Community owner is able to add/edit/delete Related Communities, and
- Communities from other IBM Connections deployments can be added as a Related Community.
Getting recent updates of Related Communities
On the Community Overview page, you can click the Recent Updates link to check the community's updates (see figure 5).
Figure 5. Recent updates via Community Overview page
Also in the Related Communities full page, there is a “More” link besides each related community that you can click to view recent updates (see figure 6).
Figure 6. Recent updates via Related Communities page
Embedded Experiences in Related Communities
To use Embedded Experiences (EE) in Related Communities, in the EE pop-up window, you can download attachment files, add comments, or post replies directly (see figure 7).
Figure 7. Using Embedded Experiences
In this section we show how to resolve some problems that you might encounter when using Related Communities.
Problem 1: Failure to add or delete a related community (see figure 8).
Figure 8. “Unable to process your request” error
To troubleshoot this error:
- Check whether the user has Community owner access. Only Community owners have access rights to add or delete a Related Community. If the user is not an owner of a community, he cannot see action buttons to remove or add a Related Community and, if using Bookmarks to add a Related Community to multiple communities, it will fail.
- Check whether the target community has enabled the Related Community widget. If a Community has not enabled the Related Community widget, when using Bookmarks to select target Communities, users will not be be able to add a Related Community to the target Community.
Note that, in this case, if you choose more than one target Community using Bookmarks, only the target Community lacking the Related Community Widget will fail, and other Communities will succeed to add a related community.Problem 2: Failure to receive the Related Community's recent updates.
Possible causes of this error are:
1. If the Community is migrated from a pre-4.0 version of IBM Connections, no recent updates will be available for it (see figure 9).
Figure 9. “Recent updates are not available for this community” message
2. The Related Community is from another site that needs a log in. An error message such as that shown in figure 10 may display.
Figure 10. Log-in required error
3. The User doesn't have access rights to visit the Related Community. An error message such as that shown in figure 11 may display.
Figure 11. Access rights error
4. The Related Community has been deleted from the site, with an error message like that shown in figure 12.
Figure 12. Related Community does not exist
Problem 3: URL is not accepted when adding a Related Community (see figure 13).
Figure 13. This is not a valid community URL
The Related Community window accepts only the URL of a community, and users cannot add an entry with an incorrect community URL address. For example, it must start with "http://" or "https://", or else you will get an error. Here is an example of a correct community URL:
Problem 4: Bookmark cannot detect an existing community from a Web page (see figure 14).
Figure 14. Add to Related Community window
The issue occurs because a Bookmark can only detect communities in IBM Connections 4.0 or later versions. Also, the Web page must be a community overview page or community widget page.
Problem 5: Other errors of Related Communities.
To troubleshoot other errors:
An Administrator can debug to get details from logs by enabling a trace log like below in the Admin console and checking trace.log:
You should now have a good understanding of the mechanism of the new Connections 4.0 Related Communities feature and how to troubleshoot errors.
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About the authors
is a Staff Software Engineer based at IBM's CDL working on the IBM Connections team since version 18.104.22.168. She is the Lead for the Functional Verification Test Team of Forums for Related Community testing. You can reach her at email@example.com
is a Software Engineer based at IBM's CDL working on the IBM Connections team since version 3.0. He is response for testing Related Community. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org