HCL has released the new version of HCL Connections, V8 at CollabSphere in October 2022, and presented a product roadmap update as well.
Here are the two important milestones when it comes to HCL Connections V8:
- Hosted Preview: March 2022
- General Availability: 4Q 2022
Better User Experience
HCL Connections V8 comes with a re-imagined user experience, a simplified search and ubiquitous sharing:
One of the great improvements is the new Navigation which puts focus on consistency – no matter where you are in Connections. This also allows you easy access to features.
The top navigation comes with a configurable logo, color and environment name. You also get an always present search bar with an updated search experience from start-to-find. The left main navigation comes with access to key Connections apps and is configurable to enable adding more apps.One other great thing is the Important-to-Me bar which is now always on the right and gives users quick access to their key people and Communities.
New Search Bar
HCL Connections V8 comes with a new centrally located search bar which simplifies the user interaction with context sensitive focus and intuitive filtering. You also get a newly designed results page for visual and intuitive filtering of the results.
You also have a recently viewed content on first click which gives you access to commonly used resources.
You can easily broaden or narrow the scope with suggested options.
The new share buttons lets users easily share the currently viewed page within HCL Connections or integrated chat tools. Any page within Connections can be shared within Connections, Sametime, Teams or other chat tools. You can choose to share it with People or Communities while permissions are still enforced on private content.
Another great feature is the option of quickly uploading a file with the new upload and share button.
The Universal Important-To-Me bar
This bar was introduced in Orient Me and Verse; is now pinned and recommended contacts, communities are now available everywhere for instant interaction.
You have quick access to a pinned contact’s updates, content, chat, meeting and more. Recommended contacts based on shared interests and actions are available.
Always the right Homepage
Combining Orient Me with Latest Updates, the Discover view and a configurable “My Page” let’s users choose how they want to catch up on all the action.
- Orient Me delivers updates based on their importance
- Latest updates delivers updates in chronological order
- Discover by recommendations
- My View with dashboard-like access to the HCL Connections apps.
You can easily switch between the 4 modes and set a default.
Customization Made Easy
The new App Registry editor will allow easy customization of the HCL Connections user experience. You are able to easily change colors, logos, text and icon size, location of elements like search and more. There is also no need to restart Connections, the changes will be applied with just a browser refresh.
From Aha! to Availability
HCL has managed to turn a number of Aha! suggestions to reality. Here are some of them:
User feedback is really important so it’s great that the HCL Connections community took the time to come up with ideas and vote for them as well.
Here are some other fixes and improvements HCL is working on:
Notable NFRs are no longer supported in v8
- CentOS Linux (HCL is evaluating alternative community-based Linux, a subject that needs to be determined )
- IBM System z
- Internet Explorer 11
Only newer versions are supported in HCL Connections V8:
- Windows 8.1
- MacOS Mojave Client
- Windows Server 2016
- MS SQL Server 2016
- Oracle Database 12c, 18c
- HCL Notes 9.0.1
- HCL Domino 9.0.1
- MS Active Directory 2012 R2
- NetIQ eDirectory
- Oracle Directory Server 11g
- Elasticsearch v5.5.1
HCL Connections Product Strategy
HCL Connections Roadmap
- Connection v8
- GA: 4Q2022
- Pools and Surveys: Replacing with a limited LEAP entitlement for exclusive use with Connections
- All other Connections v8 features will be delivered and post-v8 roadmap continues as previously communicated
- End of Support for Connections v5.5, effective 1/31/2023
- End of Life for Connections Content Manager (CCM), effective 1/31/2023
- Connections Compliance and Premier customers to be transitioned to direct Smarch Vantage licenses
You can now take HCL Connections v8 for a spin and give HCL some feedback on what you think of it. We’re here if you need help or want to get hosted Connections