Optional: Installing the Component Pack for Connections

The Component Pack for HCL Connections introduces new connectivity capabilities that enhance collaboration and boost productivity.

Component Pack offerings

Component Pack for HCL Connections includes the Elasticsearch, Customizer, Orient Me, and Activities Plus services:

Elasticsearch can be either a stand-alone installation in Connections or part of a Component Pack deployment. This service can be used as the storage and retrieval service for the Metrics, Type-ahead Search, Orient Me, and Elastic Stack features.
  • Metrics

    Search and metrics capabilities based on Elasticsearch give you greater insights into your data. If you are an administrator, you can get meaningful metrics that demonstrate the business value of Connections in your organization. You can chart Connections events such as every time that users read a blog entry, create a To Do item in an Activity, update a wiki page, or follow a Community. Community owners can also get metrics for the communities that they own. Track who visits the community, information shared such as comments, and participation in such activities as downloading file. Whether your organization is deploying metrics for the first time or migrating your existing Cognos® metrics data to the new metrics, you can now visualize your data more easily with the improved interface.

    Tip: If you plan to use only Metrics and/or Type-ahead Search, you can simplify your deployment by making Elasticsearch a stand-alone installation in Connections. For information, see Setting up stand-alone Elasticsearch. If you initially deployed using the Elasticsearch offering of Component Pack and want to move to a stand-alone Elasticsearch instance, you can migrate your existing Metrics and Type-ahead Search data to the new instance as explained in Migrating Elasticsearch data from Component Pack for Connections.
  • Type-ahead Search (CR3 or later)
    Type-ahead remembers where you have been recently so you can find content faster. You can configure type-ahead search using either the stand-alone Elasticsearch server or the Elasticsearch component of the Component Pack. For more information, see Setting up type-ahead search.
    Note: The new CR4 Catalog views display once Type-ahead Search and Metrics have been configured, regardless if either a stand-alone Elasticsearch installation or a Component Pack deployment is performed.
  • Orient Me Top Updates

    Starting with Component Pack, you can choose to have Elasticsearch store and retrieve your home page top updates instead of Solr.

  • Elastic Stack

    The Elastic Stack implementation (optional deployment) integrates with the Component Pack Elasticsearch cluster to provide a centralized logging solution.

If you plan to use Metrics and Type-ahead in conjunction with Customizer or Orient Me, both Kubernetes and Docker deployments are required. In this case, it makes sense to leverage those requirements and have them also install Elasticsearch as part of the Component Pack deployment.

HCL Connections Customizer is a proxy service that lets you modify the Connections user experience. Customizer intercepts and modifies requests from clients and responses from servers, so it can customize anything that flows through it, such as the behavior of APIs or the look-and-feel of the user interface.
Orient Me
The Orient Me home page provides your users with a cognitive view of their most essential Connections content. Orient Me shows users prioritized updates, with content from the people and communities they interact with the most at the top and grouped by source, or view a single stream based on time. The page is fully integrated with an updated Notification Center to truly make the home page a command center for managing time and attention.
Activities Plus (for HCL Connections Activities)
With Activities Plus, your users can view an activity as a board, giving them the option to drag and drop their Tasks and Entries and filter the content of their boards by person, by priority, by color, and more. Activities Plus uses the existing Component Pack infrastructure (Docker/Kubernetes cluster), and is seamlessly integrated with Connections on-premises applications such as Communities, Files, Activity Streams (Orient Me), and the Connections mobile application. Activities Plus is the team collaboration tool (replacement of Connections Activities) that makes work easier and more intuitive. Existing Connections activities can be converted and imported to boards, where users can continue to work in a more modern and effective way. Activities Plus uses the Mongo database already deployed inside the Component Pack.

Before you begin

If you plan to use Customizer and/or Orient Me, you must install Component Pack before installing them. In this case you can also install Elasticsearch and its related features as your storage and retrieval service.

If you already have an existing stand-alone Elasticsearch server supporting Metrics and Type-ahead search, you can skip installing Elasticsearch in Component Pack, and configure Orient Me to use the stand-alone instance.