Last year at Lotusphere 2011 IBM “released” its Social Business Toolkit.  Since then there has been much confusion over what the Social Business Toolkit is, both inside and outside IBM.  First, like Project Vulcan, the IBM Social Business Toolkit is not a product!  When the toolkit was released last year there was a sample environment released where you could try out some of the technologies, such as AcitivityStreams and embedded experiences, in the toolkit which really confused people.

So what is the IBM Social Business Toolkit?  The toolkit wiki actually does a good job of explaining what it is…

The IBM® Social Business Toolkit is a set of extensible tools and resources for developers who want to incorporate social capabilities into their applications and business processes.


In short it outlines technologies developers can use to make apps which are more “social”.  What does it mean to make an applications more “social”?  In my opinion it means addining functionality to an application which allows you to share and collaborate with other users to get “stuff” done.  For example, maybe you post events that take place in an application to an activity stream to share something with others.  Maybe you start sending embedded experience emails to your users to notify them of events that take place in the application.  There are several examples, but the collection of technologies in the toolkit can help you add functionality to applications that helps people work in a more social way.

That brings me to my question, what do you want to see in the toolkit?  What is missing?  What are you confused about?  What would make it more useful?  I would love to hear your feedback!

Ryan J Baxter

Husband, Father, Software Engineer