enables IBM WebSphere Portal page editors to add social data that is hosted on a remote IBM Connections server in the context of portal pages. It provides a pre-defined set of list of social objects that allows page editors to add specific IBM Connections data in context of portal page. For example, the social objects can be lists of blog posts, files, or discussion topics. Page editors can control the visual appearance of the social objects in the query result list. They do so by selecting the formatting component of choice from a predefined, yet extensible set of formatting components.
Site designers provide the formatting components and define them in a style that is consistent with your portal pages. They can also customize and extend this set of formatting components. This way your page editors do not need to know the markup generation and CSS styling details of the formatting components. Even without that knowledge, they can still choose from a rich, but consistent set of visual designs for your lists.
As a result, page editors can focus on assembling meaningful portal pages that are enriched by social data. They select the appropriate content for the individual portal pages and lists of social objects to be rendered alongside. Inline editing capabilities allow to select the visual appearance of the social list. They can also adjust the selection logic of the social list. For example, they can show the most recent blog entries that are created in the IBM Connections community to which the current page is associated. Page editors can select individual social lists from a set of predefined social list definitions and drop them onto portal pages. When a page editor drops a social list onto a portal page, the corresponding content item that represents the social list definition is copied to the page. The page editor can then modify it independently of other social lists on the same page or other pages as the modification is performed on the item that had been copied to the page.
In general, social lists combine a specific query for social data from IBM Connections with a formatting component that determines the looks of the query results. The formatting components are IBM Web Content Manager (WCM) personalization components. The social list definitions are stored as WCM content items of the type Social Objects Query. As a consequence, social list definitions function the same functional aspects as other WCM content with regards to versions, workflow, and syndication.
Social rendering provides you the following components:
- A set of social list definitions
- Two formatting components for visualizing the social lists in two different ways: a condensed simple list design and a comprehensive list design.
What's new in social rendering
IBM WebSphere Portal Version 8.001 included the social rendering feature. It introduced the pattern of using WCM design components to render social data from a remote IBM Connections server. With IBM WebSphere Portal & Web Content Manager v188.8.131.52 CF11
, social rendering provides additional capabilities on top of this pattern and add extra query, filtering, and rendering options. In addition to reading and displaying social information on your websites, the feature extensions also allow for interaction handled through WebSphere Portal. Your site visitors can use these interfaces to contribute information. For example, they can create blog posts or participate in forum discussion.
The new social rendering capabilities leverages Digital Data Connector (DDC) framework to build custom social list using Connections query URLs and render the data using WCM. It also provides capabilities to implement user interactions. Site designers can implement formatting components that support an interaction between the user and the social data. For example, a user can post a new reply to a forum topic or delete a previous reply.
The social lists that are provided with social rendering use the IBM Connections search service feed to retrieve the social objects displayed in the list. This has the following consequences:
- Only information that is available in the Connections search feed can be displayed in the social lists.
- Updates to social objects in Connections do not appear in the social lists provided with social rendering until the index of the Connections search service was updated.
The benefit of using these new social list is that the social data served using these social lists is updated as it does not depend of search service.
The Digital Data Connector framework
IBM Digital Data Connector (DDC) for WebSphere Portal framework can be used to retrieve more data from the IBM Connections server. Examples:
- You can define custom queries against all IBM Connections remote APIs. For example, such a query can be "Show the list of community owners of the community that is associated to the current portal page".
- You can provide access to IBM Connections service-specific object metadata. An example is the community membership role.
Digital Data Connector profiles
IBM WebSphere Portal & Web Content Manager v184.108.40.206 CF11
includes a set of DDC profiles. They facilitate the transformation of data that is served by the Connections server into data structures that you can render by using WCM design components. The following profiles are available:
- Blogs (ibm.portal.sr.blogs)
- Blog details (ibm.portal.sr.blogs.details)
- Blog posts (ibm.portal.sr.blogs.posts)
- Blog post comments (ibm.portal.sr.blogs.post.comments)
- Communities (ibm.portal.sr.communities)
- Community members (ibm.portal.sr.communities.members)
- Forums (ibm.portal.sr.forums)
- Forum topics (ibm.portal.sr.forums.topics)
- Forum topic replies (ibm.portal.sr.forums.replies)
- Forum topic and reply attachments (ibm.portal.sr.forums.attachments)
- Profiles (ibm.portal.sr.profiles)
- Profiles connections (ibm.portal.sr.profiles.connections)
- Social objects (ibm.portal.sr.search)
- Wiki pages (ibm.portal.sr.wikis.pages)
- Wiki page comments (ibm.portal.sr.wikis.page.comments)
- Wiki page attachments (ibm.portal.sr.wikis.page.attachments)
These profiles can be used to define social list for the following types of social data that is served by the Connections server:
- Blogs, blog posts, and blog post comments, as served by the Blogs service
- Communities and community members as served by the Communities service
- Forums, forum topics, forum topic replies, forum topic attachments or reply attachments as served by the Forums service
- User profiles, user network connections as served by the Profiles service
- Wiki pages, wiki page comments, wiki page attachments as served by the Wikis service
- Search results as served by the IBM Connections search service.
The profiles define the attribute names that you can use in your [AttributeResource] tags when you generate the HTML markup for your bean lists. You can either manually add the AttributeResource tags to the design component of a social list, or you can use the Insert a Tag
user interface of WCM. Example: If a profile defines an attribute that is named title, you can write out the title value of the items in your list by using the following tag: [AttributeResource attributeName="title"].
Social lists are more than a presentation of social data that is hosted on a remote Connections server. Site designers can implement formatting components that support an interaction between the user and the social data. For example, a user can post a new reply to a forum topic or delete a previous reply. The sample list appearance components contain HTML form definitions that you can use to create, modify, and delete information on the Connections server. All interactions are implemented by using the generic Digital Data Connector data sink plug-in.
For more information, read The generic XML Digital Data Connector data sink, refer to the article The generic XML Digital Data Connector data sink
for more details.
The following interactions are available:
- Create, delete, like, and unlike blog posts, blog post comments
- Create, delete, like, and unlike forum topics, forum topic replies
- Accept and reject forum topic replies as answers
- Join and leave public communities
- Accept and reject network invitations
- Invite users to networks
- Remove user from network
- Like and unlike wiki pages.