Watson Workspace Integration into IBM Connections Cloud
I’ve made no secret of my liking for Watson Workspace. Recently the first part of integration between Watson Workspace and Connections Cloud has gone live. This is integration from Connections Cloud to Watson Workspace. The details are in the IBM Knowledge Center. Currently this comprises two areas of integration:
- Switching out Sametime for Watson Workspace for instant messaging.
- Pushing a file in Connections to a Watson Workspace space.
It’s worth saying that this integration is very much in its infancy and I’m sure it will extend and improve as time goes by. This is most evident in the manner that the instant messaging currently only launches Watson Workspace in the browser. It also starts a Watson Workspace direct message based on the email address in Connections Cloud, which may be an issue in some edge cases.
Another key point is that the use of Watson Workspace for chat is all-or-nothing for the organisation. Although it can be switched on for individuals, all chats triggered by that individual appear to go through Watson Workspace.
But the Watson Workspace integration can be enabled without changing the preference for chat. Then it allows just sending a file to a space, or more correctly a link to the file. There are two important differences with files: community files remain restricted to that community, but personal files do get shared.
There were a couple of errors I made when enabling it, mainly through mistaken assumptions, but it’s worth mentioning them in case any one else has a problem. The first is that, even though it’s from IBM, it’s a third-party app available in the App Catalog. Using the app requires a “Watson Workspace subscription”, but anyone can use it because Watson Workspace is free and the integrations don’t depend on any paid functionality. It’s currently just integrating with direct messaging and posting to a space, which any Watson Workspace user has access to.
When configuring, the second tab tells you that to finish enabling the app you need to go to the Chat and Meetings page, as below. Don’t go there just yet – you need to continue through this wizard onto the third step and click “Finish” first.
As mentioned before, you don’t need to the Chat and Meetings page at all if you don’t want to change from Sametime. If you do, and you just want to enable some users, don’t open that user’s settings: it’s not enabled within there. Instead, from the list of settings, click on the drop-down and choose “Add Third-Party Apps”. This will give you the page to enable Watson Workspace for this user.
If you do choose to enable it for chat, you can quickly tell if it’s working. Instead of the status indicator you’re familiar with for Sametime, you’ll see the icon below.
The other aspect I had to hunt a bit for was sharing a file to Watson Workspace. It’s not a sharing option within the file itself. Instead, it’s enabled from the drop-down menu in the view of all files. This then goes through the usual OAuth dance for you to log into Watson Workspace, then allowing you to select which space to share the file to.
The ability in Watson Workspace to select a file from Connections Cloud will be coming in the near future. And, as was mentioned at IBM Think, closer integration between communities and spaces is also on the roadmap.