The Pink philosophy is being used to rebuild Connections from the ground up. Some of this has already found its way into Connections 6. Over the course of the next two years (or so) the existing legacy Connections modules will be replaced by new “Pink” modules. Backwards compatibility with the existing APIs will be available, but a new set of APIs will also allow business partners to extend the product in new ways.
New capabilities are also going to be added as part of the “pinkification” of Connections. Included among these is LiveGrid which is starting to sound more like a new application development platform that will be built into Connections. This feels very similar to SharePoint/O365 and its concepts of Lists, but with @Formulae. It now seems (IMO) most likely that IBM’s application strategy for Collaboration will increasingly focus in this area.
At Engage it felt like the emotions have started to cool and there is an acceptance that Notes/Domino is no longer something that IBM has any plans for significant invest moving forward. Almost all the business partners present in the vendor showcase had offerings tied in some way to Connections. Notes applications are likely to be around for 10-20 years which means IBM are most likely to provide minor enhancements to the product for quite some time to keep the lights on. This includes a steady stream of feature packs that contain enhancements being demanded by its larger customers. During the OGS Ed Brill announced that a free Developer Edition of the Domino server would be made available. Its a little late for this to have an impact on the Domino development market but it is a helpful option for business partners like us that continue to develop solutions for the Domino platform.
I am disappointed that Domino was not chosen as the database engine for Connections Pink, and hence LiveGrids. It would seem to me that with its event engine it might be better match to support integration to IoT via IFTTT. Domino possibly didn’t even make it onto the short-list that saw MongoDB win out over CouchDB. It kind of drives the final nail in the Notes/Domino coffin. There was a time not too long ago when Kramer Reeves and others at IBM were looking to make some “Big Bets” in which a Domino Pink project that involved a re-architecture of Notes/Domino along the lines of Connections Pink might have been the way to go. Its difficult to see a project like this getting off the ground now. Any justification to make such an investment would almost certainly interfere with IBM’s plans to develop LiveGrid.
Its not clear how just many more Engage events are in Theo Hesselmen’s plans, but it did seem like he had at least one more year at a city he has apparently long had a desire to bring Engage. Anyone who has attended Engage over the years will know what an awesome event Theo puts together. His attention to detail is truly amazing. This year’s event was located in a great city (Antwerp) at a brand new venue that was truly awesome inside and outside. It was located next to the main railway station with a number of hotels (needed as much for the bars as the beds) and a large number of restaurants within easy walking distance. We had a a great array of sessions from IBM, business partners, and customers and some pretty awesome social events that included a visit to the neighboring Antwerp Zoo. It truly was a great environment for old (and new) friends to get together. Perhaps the most amazing statistic was that around 40% of attendees were attending Engage for the first time!