Over the last months developers have contributed several open source projects on OpenNTF.org to build extensions to IBM Connections and to access IBM Connections from custom apps. Below is a short overview.

IBM released the Social Business Toolkit SDK which can be used by web and Java developers to easily access IBM Connections. Phil Riand said in his Connect session that you can expect frequent updates to this SDK with even more functionality. Watch this video for an overview of the SDK.

XPages developers can also use the XPages Social Enabler to integrate Connections functionality in their apps. Watch this video for how to use the social enabler and how to embed XPages in the Embedded Experience in Connections.

In order to extend Connections communities without having to deploy every extension one by one there are several 'generic iWidgets'. The generic HTML widget allows for example embedding YouTube videos or Slideshare decks in communities (video). The generic XPages widget allows integrating different XPages apps without having to deploy anything (video). The generic NSF view widget allows rendering data from NSFs without using Domino Designer (video). Similarly you can access NSF content using the IFrame-able View Controls which even create Notes views for efficient queries (video).

The award winning project Notes Mail and Calendar for IBM Connections allows access to Domino mail in Connections 3 (video).

With the attendance widget IBM Connections users can track their work hours directly from the Connections home page (video).

In addition to these open source projects OpenNTF (Inc.) also hosts CollaborationToday.info, a news aggregator for IBM Collaboration Solutions professionals. Connections developers can keep track of development related news and administrative topics.

Recently OpenNTF announced the Appathon. As part of the Appathon there is a dedicated development contest for IBM Connections. We'll describe and launch this contest soon.

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