What's new in HCL Connections
Find out about features that are new or updated in this release of HCL Connections.
See the article Update Strategy for HCL Connections 8.0 on the HCL Support site to obtain the latest updates Connections Server, including required critical updates.
Harbor is an open-source container and Helm registry hosted by HCL for the Component Pack build. It simplifies deployment compared to the approach in previous releases, which involves using a zip file and a local Docker registry.
When you install or upgrade Component Pack, you will need to add the HCL Harbor repository to your Helm CLI so that you can pull container images and Helm charts for your deployment directly from Harbor. For more information on the steps you need to perform for installation or upgrade, see Installation and upgrade.
Customers with credentials to access Connections in the HCL Software License & Download portal may apply those credentials to access Harbor.
Attention: Connections customers are given a transition period to prepare for the new Connections 8.0 user experience. During the transition period, no defect fixes or enhancements will be made to the Connections 7.0 UI. Customers must plan to transition to the Connections 8.0 UI by HCL Connections 8.0 CR2. To switch to the 8.0 experience, see Enabling the Connections 8.0 user experience.
What's New in HCL Connections 8.0 and Component Pack 8
- System requirements
- Refer to the HCL Connections 8.0 System Requirements.
- Connections 8.0 requires Java 8, so you need to upgrade Security Directory Integrator 7.2. For more information, see Deploying Security Directory Integrator into a new install of Connections.
- Connections 8.0 requires IBM Install Manager 1.9.x.
- For Component Pack 8, see Prerequisites for Component Pack.
- Refer to the HCL Connections 8.0 System Requirements.
- Connections and Component Pack - automating your install and sizing your deployment
- HCL's open-source GitHub documents provide details on setting up end-to-end automation to install Connections and Component Pack. The respective Git locations are:
- HCL Connections 8.0 Sizing Guide: Provides sizing and deployment recommendations for both Connections and Component Pack, based on HCL performance tests and best practices learned and confirmed by multiple customers through time.
Roadmap to Connections and Component Pack
- Connections 8.0: See Installing Connections or Upgrading and updating.
- Component Pack 8: Component Pack for HCL Connections introduces several offerings that enhance collaboration and boost productivity. Upgrading to Component Pack 8 requires the replacement of MongoDB 3 with 5, and Elasticsearch 7 with OpenSearch. Refer to Installing and upgrading Component Pack for Connections.
- Check which new features are supported for a Component Pack and non-Component Pack deployment in Deployment requirements for supporting 8.0 functionality.
HCL Connections 8.0 will fully support the following in a future CR:
- Bi-directional languages – refer to Supported languages for more information
- HCL Connections Mail plug-in
- The TinyMCE editor in the Connections 8.0 user interface
Community surveys are no longer supported in Connections 8.0.
To replace the Polls & Survey app, Connections 8.0 customers will now receive entitlement to HCL Leap to build apps integrated into Connections. For more information, see What's new in the Connections end user documentation.
Promote your message using a site-wide banner
Share important news and announcements within Connections using the administrative banner – the banner displays your message at the top of every Connections page for high visibility. You can control the content and functionality of the banner, including how it looks on the page, by configuring its properties.
Depending on your deployment, you can set it up through the app registry or using Feature Foundation. For details, see Administering the display of a site-wide banner.
Search from anywhere in Connections
An updated search experience from start-to-find:
- Simplified search box
- Central and constant location so you can run a search from any page in Connections
- Context-sensitive focus means the scope of the search intuitively adjusts to the current app
- Access to commonly used resources: recent searches and recently viewed content
- Redesigned results page
- Intuitive filtering effortlessly broadens or narrows the scope of your search for more relevant results
- Closing out the search results page takes you exactly where you left off
More usable and intuitive navigation
A clear and consistent design reduces the clicks and steps, saving time and effort.
Easier customization also allows you to:
- Add your most-used applications to the side navigation bar so they're always in reach
- Tailor the look of the top navigation – the logo, color, and environment name – to reflect your own branding
For more information, see Customizing the navigation bar.
Increased collaboration with universal upload and share
New upload and share buttons on the top navigation makes content sharing easier.
Share lets you share the content you're viewing, such as a blog post, inside Connections or through integrated services like Microsoft Teams.
Upload lets you quickly share a specific file with someone from any page in Connections.
Quick access to important contacts
Pinned contacts and communities are available everywhere in Connections for instant interaction:
- Click an avatar to open a community's landing page.
- Hover on a person's avatar for shortcuts to connect and to view their business card. For further information on using the filter icon, refer to Top Updates: Keeping up with what's most relevant to you.
Connections Engagement Center in HCL Connections
Expand the use of Connections Engagement Center throughout Connections by upgrading to a full version of the Engagement Center by purchasing an additional entitlement. Follow the Installing Connections Engagement Center after downloading the update and license package from the HCL Software License & Download Portal.
Interested in Connections Mobile?
Check out the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android for the latest information and release. Refer to HCL Connections Mobile product documentation for additional information.
What's new for end users
For more information about new end-user features and functions in HCL Connections 8.0, see What's new in HCL Connections?