Blog

IBM adds audio video calling to IBM SmartCloud for Social Business

IBM announced they added one-to-one audio and video calling to IBM SmartCloud for Social Business this past week. This has been needed for many years.
IBM SmartCloud for Social Business Sametime contact list

While Lync in Office 365 has had this capability since as far back as 2011 (from what I can find), it is a welcomed addition to the IBM SmartCloud. While it is limited to only the SmartCloud and web only, they are promising expansion to mobile devices.

As you can see in the image above, right clicking on any name in your contact list (that is also on SmartCloud) will allow you to launch into the new audio and video capabilities. No, you cannot just do a video call by itself, audio is always required.

I hope this spurs some more interest in the SmartCloud, but I wonder if adding this now is way too late against some of the competitors. There is a bit more on the Sametime blog posting
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    On Wednesday, August 27th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

Sametime "Too Many Chat Windows Open" Warning

In the middle of IBM Sametime client preferences is an option to warn when you have too many chat windows open.  However, it had no information. Here is what I found.
IBM Sametime preferences
This setting in your Preferences, disabled by default, will generate a warning when you have too many chat windows open. Adding to the confusion I already had is that  the documentation actually uses an entry in the preferences file which does not match the UI name, making it even harder to find for the normal person.

Continue reading the entire article in my Sys Admin Tips newsletter for August right here
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    On Wednesday, August 20th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

Diagnostics Enhancements for Sametime 9 Community Server Directory Applications

IBM has made diagnostics enhancements for the Sametime 9 Community Server directory applications. These enhancements in IBM Sametime 9 will, by default, generate diagnostics statistics for the StUsers, StResolve and StDirectory services inside of Sametime
IBM Sametime logo

It is cool what they did by making them available to help you troubleshoot:
The diagnostics data is written to a file and formulated to csv format which gives an easy and friendly way to create graphs and charts. In a few clicks, using Excel Chart Wizard, one can demonstrate Directory diagnostics data over time in a clear and concise manner.

See more and a sample chart on my SocialBizUg Sys Admin article right here
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    On Wednesday, July 16th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

Uninstalling the Embedded Sametime Client in Lotus Notes

Has your company wanted to remove the IBM Sametime client from the sidebar? It is possible with the following steps for uninstalling the embedded Sametime client in Lotus Notes.
IBM Sametime logo

After some digging around for the best option for existing users, I came across steps to uninstall the Samteime embedded client  for all the client platforms. One thing to highlight (shown below) is that uninstalling the Sametime embedded client still leaves the necessary required components for some of the awareness features to still work.

You can read the entire article in my Sys Admin monthly newsletter right here on SocialBizUg.
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    On Tuesday, July 15th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

Removing Sametime Status Messages

Have you created an IBM Sametime status message by accident or that isn't appropriate? One of my readers did. See their question and my answer
IBM Sametime logo

Q: Chris,
As a joke, I made a Sametime status message in my client. It wasn't flattering when I was contacted about it after someone hovered over my name and saw it. They then made a call which caused me some headaches.

Find out the rest of the question and my answer on SocialBizUG right here
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    On Monday, July 14th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

IBM Collaboration Solutions Quality survey

IBM has yet another survey, this time asking questions based on product documentation, installation, wizards, integration and more. This is from their quality group I think.

Survey asking product used

Continue Reading here" IBM Collaboration Solutions Quality survey" »
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    On Tuesday, May 20th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

Follow up: Is renaming Sametime a mistake? Again?


I wrote Is renaming Sametime a mistake? Again? about a week ago. While the discussion thread here was limited, LinkedIn took off. Here are some excerpts and links.
IBM Sametime to IBM Connections Chat


I made the same discussion thread inside of a couple LinkedIn groups and the feedback has been terrific. Some of the threads are generating some good conversation. Starting with the ICS Lotus Software Professionals group:             Continue Reading here" Follow up: Is renaming Sametime a mistake? Again?" »
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    On Thursday, March 27th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

Is renaming Sametime a mistake? Again?

At IBM Connect 2014 we watched, well tried to catch, the announcement from Jeff Schick that IBM was changing the IBM Sametime name to IBM Connections Chat and IBM Connections Meetings. Is this a repeat mistake from years ago?

First let me look at how fast the announcement was made. I barely had time to pic up my trusty camera to capture the moment. It was on the screen and gone so fast you can see the words changing
IBM Sametime to IBM Connections Chat



Here are my thoughts on why the IBM Sametime name change is a mistake (again)    Continue Reading here" Is renaming Sametime a mistake? Again?" »
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    On Wednesday, March 19th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

IBM SmartCloud for Social Business enhancements for March 2014

IBM is enhancing SmartCloud for Social Business in March 2014 to include Sametime with SAML support, IBM Docs enhancements, also web users and Notes user enhancements.
IBM SmartCloud for Social Business logo

IBM Sametime chat with SAML support is coming
If your organization uses federated identity management handled by Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), you can now download and chat using a stand-alone Sametime Connect client and log in with your organization's authentication credentials

There there is SmartCloud Web user enhancements.        Continue Reading here" IBM SmartCloud for Social Business enhancements for March 2014" »
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    On Wednesday, March 5th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

IBM Sametime Limited Use Entitlement for 9.0.1 announced

IBM announced an update to the entitlement program for IBM Sametime that version 9.0.1 is now supported.
The new IBM Sametime Limited Use Entitlement for IBM Notes and Domino V9.0.1 customers delivers a way to chat with coworkers in real time, view online presence status, availability status, customize status messages, view someone's geographic location, and location awareness. It contains the functional equivalent of the capabilities provided in previous releases of IBM Sametime to IBM Notes and Domino V9.0.1 customers and includes support for the following capabilities embedded in the IBM Notes rich desktop client, in IBM iNotes® for web client access, or via the Sametime Connect client:
IBM Sametime logo

If you have been waiting to move up from IBM Sametime 8.5.x now is the time.  Read more on this topic on my Sys Admin Tips article on SocialBizUG
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    On Monday, February 24th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

IBM Connect 2014 OGS and day 1 recap - Lotusphere Podcasts


I recap IBM Connect 2014 day one activities and the Opening General Session (OGS) in this Lotusphere Podcast video. We dig into the backpack, the badge attendees wear and how the opening party went. From there it is all about the OGS:
  • IBM Mail
  • Sametime getting renamed
  • lack of demos
  • tons of customer stories with no demos
  • Snuch in announcements
  • Alcatraz the product

You can also catch the replay of our OGS commentary on LotusphereLive, just select 2014 from the archives.

See the video for the whole story and make sure you subscribe to the IdoNotes podcasts and Spiked Studio channels on YouTube,
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    On Monday, January 27th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

Goodbye IBM Sametime, we loved your name

At IBM Connect 2014 opening session minutes ago, we watched Jeff Schick announce the new IBM Connections Meetings and IBM Connections Chat. This ends an era of Sametime
IBM Sametime 9 logo

This doesn't mean much to you about the current path of enhancements. What it does mean is that a long term and known name is being changed. They did this one before when they renamed Sametime to Lotus Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing. That failed and one year later it was back.

I do not see this name ever going back to IBM Sametime. The path of consolidating is clear. Welcome IBM Connections Chat and Meetings.
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    On Monday, January 27th, 2014   by Chris Miller        

IBM is transitioning from Prometric to Pearson VUE for testing services

I received the notice twice today that IBM is transitioning from Prometric to Pearson VUE for testing services effective January 2, 2014.
Pearson VUE logo

The IBM Professional Certification Program will transition certification and mastery exam delivery to Pearson VUE (PVUE) on January 2, 2014. There will be no disruption to your ability to take and report your exams. As always our goal is to make this transition as easy as possible for IBM testing candidates, and if you have taken an IBM exam in the past, you will be able to continue using your current Candidate Testing ID. Additionally, Pearson VUE will honor IBM promotion codes and most valid and unexpired IBM vouchers. Please note the certification requirements and testing prices will not change.

With the transition to Pearson VUE the test numbers are changing. Correlation Tables have been created that map the current test numbers to the new test numbers

Read more of the very long FAQ on the certification website announcement

Ok I wanted to highlight this one part of the FAQ
Starting January 13, 2014, most unused Prometric vouchers that have not been redeemed or expired will be valid in the Pearson VUE system.

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    On Tuesday, December 10th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

IBM Sametime 9 Compared with Microsoft Lync 2013

IBM has released an IBM Sametime 9 compared with Microsoft Lync 2013 report from the IBM Competitive Project Office
IBM Sametime 9 logo

Here is an overview of the report IBM Sametime 9 compared with Micrsoft Lync 2013:
Continue Reading here" IBM Sametime 9 Compared with Microsoft Lync 2013" »
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    On Monday, November 25th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

IBM taking down most user forums and wikis this weekend for maintenance

IBM has announced that forums, wikis and apps on www-10.lotus.com, www-12.lotus.com and infolib.lotus.com will be down the afternoon of Friday November 22 2013 to morning of Monday November 25 2013.
IBM Notes 9 icon


all other wikis, forums and other applications hosted on www-10.lotus.com, www-12.lotus.com, and infolib.lotus.com are expected to be unavailable from 4:00 PM EST (9:00 PM GMT) Friday, November 22nd, 2013 to 9:00 AM EST (2:00 PM GMT) Monday, November 25th, 2013 due to maintenance work at our facility. This outage does not apply to IBM SmartCloud for Social Business itself.

Just an FYI for everyone that may be looking to read, catch up or post this wekeend.

Go join my IdoNotes Network Facebook page or YouTube channels, I am trying to grow those too :-)
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    On Friday, November 22nd, 2013   by Chris Miller        

IBM updates IBM Sametime and IBM Sametime Meetings for iOS

IBM has released version 9.0.0 for IBM Sametime and IBM Sametime Meetings for iOS devices.  Here are some highlights of the updates
IBM Sametime logo

UPDATE AND WARNING: Others in the comments, and also confirmed by myself, are showing this app crashes and will not work now.
Continue Reading here" IBM updates IBM Sametime and IBM Sametime Meetings for iOS" »
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    On Thursday, November 21st, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 9 and user polices

If you have not read Gabriella's posting at The Turtle Partnership Blog about IBM Sametime 9 and user polices I suggest you go read it.
IBM Sametime 9


The Sametime 9 Community Server no longer has any stpolicy.nsf database or a policies view under the old school web based admin. If you upgrade to Sametime 9 you must install the system console (and db2) to be able to manage and maintain policies going forward

Go read and join the conversation here
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    On Monday, October 28th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8.5.2.x Migration to Sametime 9

So you want to migrate from IBM Sametime 8.5.2 to Sametime 9.0? It is not a straight migration.  Gab and I warned you of this at the Consultant In Your Pocket webcast you need to go watch.
IBM Sametime


Because of changes to Websphere Application Server architecture, it is not possible to perform a straight migration from Sametime 8.5.x (based on Websphere 7.0.0) to Sametime 9 (based on Websphere 8.5.5). Instead, you must deploy Sametime 9 separately from your 8.5.x deployment and then reproduce any custom configuration items the Sametime 9 deployment.

That is straight from IBM in a recent technote that backs up our planning steps for migration to IBM Sametime 9.0 from Sametime 8.5.2. There is much more involved in the technote we may go into in some supplemental material.

Go watch the webcast replay from Consultant In Your Pocket on "What's New in IBM Sametime 9.0"

See also the post on IBM Sametime 9.0 Platform  architecture.
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    On Monday, October 7th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

IBM Sametime 9 Platform Architecture

IBM Sametime 9.0 brings some new capabilities. IBM has provided an IBM Sametime 9.0 architecture diagram sample listing some of the components.
IBM Sametime 9.0 architecture sample


Keep in mind that you may have portions clustered, some not in use and others spread out across multiple pieces of hardware. This is only a sample of the pieces you can include in your deployment.

Make sure to go back and watch "What's New in IBM Sametime 9.0" webcast with myself and Gabriella Davis of Turtle Partnership.  We talk new server features, licensing, migration and deployment

IBM also did a What's New in Sametime 9 webcast that can be found here

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Please subscribe to all of the Consultant In Your Pocket webcast playlist on YouTube and sign up to the newsletter on the right to get notices of upcoming events.
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    On Friday, October 4th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

What’s New in IBM Sametime 9.0 webcast replay online


The What's New in IBM Sametime 9.0 webcast from Consultant In Your Pocket is online and available. Special thanks to Gabriella Davis for joining me and providing so much valuable information in the Consultant In Your Pocket webcast.

Please visit our sponsor for the webcast:

Instant Technologies
develops innovative, enterprise IM compliance and social applications for IBM Sametime.  Instant products for IBM Sametime include IM archiving, IM help desk, click to chat, search and eDiscovery tools.  Learn more today at http://www.instant-tech.com/products/Sametime.cfm

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Watch the replay and subscribe to the Consultant In Your Pocket playlist on YouTube or the entire IdoNotes channel.

You can stream any previous webcast at the Consultant In Your Pocket site and on YouTube.  Recent webcasts include:
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    On Monday, September 30th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 9 webcast in 30 minutes!

You have a few minutes left to get into the What's New In Sametime 9 webcast.  You can register right here

http://idonot.es/sametime9webcast

If you do not get the final confirmation link it is right here but please register above first
http://idonot.es/CIYPSeries4g
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    On Thursday, September 26th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Sametime, Sametime, Sametime, 9, 9, 9, webcast, webcast, webcast

Did you hear the awesome echo there? Registration has seats left for What's New in Sametime 9 webcast on September 26th at 10am CST
Consultant In Your Pocket

In this webcast you can look forward to the following:
Join a panel of expert IBM Business Partners in discussing, and giving their unbiased opinions, on what is new in IBM Sametime 9.0.  We will discuss additional features, enhancements, fixes, and capabilities.
We will also look at server requirements, possible migration scenarios and deployment.  The new multi-person video capabilities, licensing and packaging changes, and what happened to the entitlements?
Our panel currently includes:

Registration is now open with limited slots available.


Please visit our sponsor for the webcast:

Instant Technologies
develops innovative, enterprise IM compliance and social applications for IBM Sametime.  Instant products for IBM Sametime include IM archiving, IM help desk, click to chat, search and eDiscovery tools.  Learn more today at http://www.instant-tech.com/products/Sametime.cfm
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    On Tuesday, September 24th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

What’s New in IBM Sametime 9

What's New in IBM Sametime 9 is the upcoming webcast on Sep 26 2013 from Consultant In Your Pocket.
Consultant In Your Pocket webcast


 In this webcast you can look forward to the following:
Join a panel of expert IBM Business Partners in discussing, and giving their unbiased opinions, on what is new in IBM Sametime 9.0.  We will discuss additional features, enhancements, fixes, and capabilities.
We will also look at server requirements, possible migration scenarios and deployment.  The new multi-person video capabilities, licensing and packaging changes, and what happened to the entitlements?
Our panel currently includes:

Registration is now open with limited slots available.


Please visit our sponsor for the webcast:

Instant Technologies
develops innovative, enterprise IM compliance and social applications for IBM Sametime.  Instant products for IBM Sametime include IM archiving, IM help desk, click to chat, search and eDiscovery tools.  Learn more today at http://www.instant-tech.com/products/Sametime.cfm
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    On Friday, September 13th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

IBM updates Sametime clients for Android and iOS devices

If you run IBM Sametime clients on iOS or Android you will both have been updated the past few days. Here is what you need to know about each update
IBM Sametime updates iOS and Android


Android - reviews have been all over from awesome to it crashes my device and useless.  I always suggest removing and reinstalling in that scenario.  Here is the Android updates:
  • IBM SmartCloud support
  • Tablet support
  • Updated UI for the phone
  • Improved chat history functionality
  • Selectable communities

iOS - updates to 8.5.2.10
  • This update supports iOS 5 and iOS 6. However this is the last update for iOS 5 for IBM Sametime.  All the new updates will require iOS6 on the device

Are you users using the mobile interface against the Sametime Proxy server? Does the addition of multiple communities on Android help?
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    On Wednesday, July 31st, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Enterprise Grade IBM Audio Conferencing for SmartCloud Meetings

IBM has announced an upgrade to IBM SmartCloud Meetings. Enterprise grade audio conferencing has now been made available to subscribers.
Enterprise Grade IBM Audio Conferencing for SmartCloud Meetings

IBM is pleased to announce a new global audio conferencing offering complete with VoIP, toll and toll-free calling in more than 50 countries available after July 23.  

This service is delivered using a security rich private audio network which is tightly integrated into the SmartCloud Meetings experience for true enterprise grade audio quality.  

Users can hold reservation-less meetings for up to to 200 attendees, with Operator support available in 18 languages.  

IBM Audio Conferencing Services for SmartCloud Meetings is available as an add-on for SmartCloud Meetings or SmartCloud Engage.  Pay as you go, or buy a discounted monthly bundle of minutes.  The no-charge, enterprise VOIP service is available for every minute of toll / toll -free dialing you purchase.

I am not sure what back end audio services are in play here, but the addition of the audio conferencing bridge will help reach some more customers maybe.

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    On Tuesday, July 30th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Is Domino 9 compatible with Sametime 8.x server products? Kinda

As we roll out IBM Domino 9 the question of is IBM Sametime 8.x supported comes up quite often.  In a way, yes it is.  Luckily IBM has prepared a bunch of answers.
IBM Sametime 9 logo

The first thing that should be noted is that IBM Sametime cannot be installed on IBM Domino 9 servers. There is no support or supported plans.  You must install a Domino 8.5.x server to support IBM Sametime. Domino 9 will not be supporting the older versions. Instead look to the new Sametime 9 beta announcement that came out.

Next you should note that you can run a Domino 9 directory on the Sametime 8.5.x server without any issues.  That is supported by IBM. So making your mail, Lotus Traveler, XPages and application servers to IBM Domino 9 is a great idea.  This includes iNotes against a Sametime proxy server.

Good luck with the upgrades.  Any other questions?
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    On Thursday, June 27th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Setting auto-status change preferences in Sametime via policy

Have you wanted to set your Sametime Connect client, embedded or stand-alone, auto-status change preferences via a policy? Well you can not. This is a shortcoming in Sametime policies.

For Sametime Connect clients you can use the Sametime policies to set and enforce a few preferences.  In the embedded Sametime client inside of IBM Notes you also rely heavily on the Notes client preferences dialog.

Image:Setting auto-status change preferences in Sametime via policy

While I can manually go in and set these on my IBM Notes client, there is no Desktop policy setting nor Sametime policy that allows me to control this. IBM documentation covers the variables and attribute for auto-status change preferences but that is all behind the scenes. The location os such preferences are also notes in the IBM Sametime wiki, but again no easy way to manage and manipulate.

In talking with some awesome Sametime partners looking for something I missed, I learned just the opposite.  IBM has some preferences that allow users to set their own destiny, but no administrative control or option.

Do you have issues with people appearing online when they are away? Do you wish you could control setting and preferences in IBM Sametime like this?
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    On Friday, June 7th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

Tracking IBM Lotus technotes, hotfixes and fixpacks

It has always been hard to track the growing list of technotes, fixpacks, hotfixes and SPR's that IBM Lotus collaboration software has.  Over the years I have made my own tools:
Image:Tracking IBM Lotus technotes, hotfixes and fixpacks

So as you see it has evolved over the years as the material to collect grows and the capabilities grow the list of fixes have too.  So I will be adding the Notes/Domino Fix List full RSS feed to some of the above to give you timely information when fixes and being addressed and in what version

Let me know what other tools you need or sources added and I will make sure I get them included to help you find the information quicker.  Ok everything but IBM PartnerWorld.  No one can help you there.
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    On Thursday, May 23rd, 2013   by Chris Miller        

BLUG 2013 keynote with Scott Souder and Louis Richardson of IBM

BLUG logo


Join Scott Souder and Louis Richardson of IBM as they keynote BLUG (Benelux Lotus User Group) 2013 in Leuven, Belgium.

Scott Souder covers IBM Notes and Domino Social Edition, Lotus Traveler and more.
Louis Richardson discusses creativity crisis

This is an outstanding keynote worth paying close attention to all the details

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View the list of all the IamLUG 2013 sessions and then make sure you register now while there are still seats. You can also register for this TackItOn session from the IamLUG website
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note: sorry for the angle as the full  tripod did not make it in time.
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    On Friday, March 29th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

SmartCloud for Social Business tune-up coming on March 9th

IBM SmartCloud for Social Business
IBM announced a tune-up for SmartCloud for Social Business coming on March 9 2013.  There are two keys areas:
As part of ongoing service improvements designed to help business users work more effectively - this first tune-up of 2013 introduces changes to enhance the user experience:
  • You’ll see a new, configurable Instant Messaging widget in the lower right corner of the dashboard. This capability is entitled for customers who have SmartCloud Engage or SmartCloud Connections.
  • We’re making the service more personal and visual - user profile pictures are now prevalent along side or in-place of a contributor or members name within the service.


Look for a prompt with the new license agreement starting March 9, 2013 that the administrator for your environment must accept. I think both of these will be a welcome change with easier web access to Sametime and better user profile picture usage.  Having to use a separate Sametime client for this made no sense with the Sametime Proxy and web capabilities
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    On Monday, March 4th, 2013   by Chris Miller        

IBM Notes 9 and Sametime community icons

http://www.idonotes.com/IdoNotes/IdoNotes.nsf/dx/IdoNotes-Episode-88-sametime-community-icons-free-download.htmAlmost exactly two years ago I published IdoNotes Episode 88 - Sametime Community icons and free download on how to modify and enhance your IBM Sametime Connect commuinty icons. With the introduction of IBM Notes 9 this will become important yet again.
Sametime community icon preferences
Looking at the previous posting for Episode 88 you will what the Sametime default icons used to be. Looking at the image above you will see what the Sametime icons look like now. The new icons are different shapes but are so dim and only grey the green status indicator covers the entire dim graphic.

Here is the video explaining how to add the additional icons and change them for each community. I then show the result of the look in your inbox.


I have given you an entire set of icons for use inside of your Sametime Connect client. There are various colors and even fun shapes. All are properly sized.

Let me know of any problems you have in the comments below. Also what do you think of the new icons?
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    On Tuesday, December 18th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM SmartCloud launches IBM Docs, Sametime Meetings and more enhancements

Download the IBM SmartCloud What's New & FAQ for December 2012 by simply sending a tweet

IBM is introducing new capabilities to IBM SmartCloud and adding enhancements to IBM SmartCloud Engage and IBM SmartCloud Notes.  Here is a breakdown including IBM Docs, Sametime Meetings and IBM Connections capabilities. Make sure to get the pdf version of the FAQ and What's New by clicking here to download by sending a tweet back to the blog post!

IBM SmartCloud Docs will be a huge boost to productivity with the co-editing features if users can start working with the online tool instead of locally.
This is a new cloud-based office productivity service providing teams the ability to work on word processing, presentation and spreadsheet documents and offers real-time co-editing support designed to help users quickly edit files and manage file versions within IBM SmartCloud Connections. Users have the ability to upload, create, share, and edit Microsoft Office or IBM Symphony documents.

IBM SmartCloud is then bringing in Sametime Meetings to augment what was Webdialogs. I imagine eventually it will replace the existing system.
Continue Reading here" IBM SmartCloud launches IBM Docs, Sametime Meetings and more enhancements" »
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    On Tuesday, December 4th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

SmartCloud for Social Business aka LotusLive.com is changing it’s domain name and adding Sametime meetings


The notice came today that LotusLive.com (SmartCloud for Social Business) will be officially changing over it's domain name to CollabServ.com starting December 1 2012.  While the LotusLive.com domain will still work with redirects, they are strongly urging you to make the necessary firewall and rules updates as needed.
Early in 2012, IBM announced rebranding of our service, from LotusLive to IBM SmartCloud for Social Business.  This quarter, we are announcing the next phase of the rebranding -- changing the service domain itself.

From:  *.lotuslive.com
To:       *.collabserv.com


The above change will take place on or after December 1 2012 so anything that you specifically allow to this domain should be updated.  Additionally..

Continue Reading here" SmartCloud for Social Business aka LotusLive.com is changing it's domain name and adding Sametime meetings" »

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    On Thursday, November 15th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM Secure Authentication for Mobile Devices

IBM has given another free paper to share with my readers on IBM Secure Authentication for Mobile Devices that revolves around the Tivoli suite of products. You can download the whitepaper here.
IBM Research has developed an innovative security architecture that leverages several Tivoli products including Tivoli Endpoint Manager, Tivoli Identity Manager, Tivoli Directory Server and Tivoli Directory Integrator to provide the validation of a device, device posture and a user's identity prior to authentication to the network.

This solution will be the basis for a 2012 IBM CIO internal offering for managing remote access of Android and iOS devices. This will provide the first ITCS300 compliant access for mobile devices.



You can request and download your free copy of the IBM Secure Authentication for Mobile devices right here . If you are getting into the mobile device management and need to secure access from these devices I would be looking into this right away.
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    On Wednesday, November 7th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

Plantronics updates Spokes software for Mac with Sametime support

With the update of Spokes, Plantronics now has a great call control software for Mac users as it does for Windows.  The Spokes software update includes support for Skype and IBM Sametime on the Mac when paired with one of the supported headset devices.
Plantronics Spokes software supports both Skype and now IBM Sametime, on Mac, giving users an opportunity to enhance their communications environment.
Spokes for Mac enables remote call control and synchronized mute in addition to basic receive and transmit audio capabilities. Lion, Mountain Lion and Snow Leopard versions of Mac OS X operating system are supported.


You can download and get the installation notes on the Spokes software page
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    On Friday, September 28th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM SmartCloud Meetings app on iOS frustrates me!

I have been trying to use IBM SmartCloud Meetings app on my iPad and I am frustrated by the experience. With the variance in behind the scenes meeting services that are supported SmartCloud you cannot often join meetings. This leads to confusion for the users and frustration in the product reliability.

Scenario 1: A user with an actual LotusLive (now SmartCloud) sends you an invite with a meeting id that contains a DASH as in apps.lotuslive.com/meetings/join?id=xxx-xxx.  Yes it needs to have a DASH.  If the moderator has not started the meeting you get an error
Notice
Unable to join meeting session

Not that it hasn't started yet.  Unable to join.  Why am I not able to? There is no more help screens or info.  The user has no way to know they should wait or if the product is working.

Scenario 2: A user gets an invite to a meeting that looks like one of the following: www.ibm.com/collaboration/meeting/join?schedid=xxxxxxx
www.webdialogs.com/join/?schedid=xxxxxxx
www.lotuslive.com/join?schedid=xxxxxxx
Those seven digits are an entirely different meeting service that was previously WebDialogs in the IBM cloud family and will have NO DASH.  However if they attempt to use IBM SmartCloud Meetings app on iOS they get
Notice
Unable to join meeting session

One again the user has no idea what is wrong or why they are being denied. This is incredibly frustrating there is no direction or error controls.

With the constant flux of meeting invites you never quite know which service you are getting.  I hope this helps.

Testing was done on IBM SmartCloud Meetings for iPad build 8.5..201202230736 and should not be confused with the IBM Sametime Meetings Viewer for iPad
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    On Tuesday, September 25th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM retiring numerous technical sales mastery exams on Nov 30 2012

IBM has announced the retirement of numerous technical sales mastery exams to be replaced with new Associate Level certifications.  The following are being retired:
  • 000-M38: IBM Lotus Notes & Domino Technical Sales Mastery Test v2
  • 000-M46: IBM WebSphere Portlet Factory Technical Sales Mastery Test v2
  • 000-M48: IBM Lotus Web Content Management Technical Sales Mastery Test v2
  • 000-M61: IBM Lotus Protector Technical Sales Mastery Test v1
  • 000-M62: IBM Lotus Connections Technical Sales Mastery Test v1
  • 000-M63; IBM Lotus Forms Technical Sales Mastery Test v2
  • 000-M64: IBM Lotus Sametime Technical Sales Mastery Test v1
  • 000-M65: IBM Lotus XPages Technical Sales Mastery Test v1
  • 000-M82: IBM Lotus Quickr Technical Sales Mastery Test v2
  • 000-M83: IBM WebSphere Portal Technical Sales Mastery Test v3

The credit will be active until March 2013, but that seems short as well.
    for this posting

    On Monday, September 17th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

August 2012 Sys Admin Tips is out on LotusUserGroup

This month I talk about the end of an era via the closing of the Lotus Notes based Business Partner forum.  A unique database for over 15 years that allowed partners and IBM to interact directly.  From there I move into:
  • IBM X-Push Error in Lotus Traveler
  • Sametime Configuration Validator
  • Updated security certificates for iOS
  • ID recovery failures

Related posts:
I post all the Sys Admin Tips links each and every month

Visit the Connectria website today and find out why we offer the best in Lotus Software hosting and management.



Eat.Sleep.Host    It is what we do.


    for this posting

    On Thursday, August 23rd, 2012   by Chris Miller        

Small Business Unified Communications for Dummies - free ebook

Another free Dummies ebook is being offered to my readers, this time it is Small Business Unified Communications for Dummies compliments of Avaya.  As you know Avaya is big in the UC space and has hooks into IBM Sametime.
Small Business Unified Communications For Dummies, Avaya Custom Edition


The book runs about 50 pages and covers the why and how unified communications help your business.  It then moves into creating a strategy and reasons to implement.

You can download your free copy of Small Business Unified Communications for Dummies right here
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 6th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM Sametime for Android versioning

After my post yesterday on Android for Sametime. Google Play or your server? I forgot I lastly installed from my own server.  When I checked Google Play it prompted me to update IBM Sametime on the Android device to connect to the IBM Sametime Proxy Server.  What this means is that the version found in the installations for IBM Sametime 8.5.2 and IFR1 on your server is older than the most recently updated version.

So if you have installed from your own servers I suggest you make sure everyone grabs the public update. You will it is version 8.5.2.1 201201121317

Related Posts:

Android for Sametime. Google Play or your server?
IBM Sametime for iOS update 8.5.2.5
Additional mobile controls for Sametime Proxy Server 8.5.2 IFR1 announced
    for this posting

    On Friday, August 3rd, 2012   by Chris Miller        

Android for Sametime. Google Play or your server?

One of the features of IBM Sametime Proxy Server is the ability to have downloadable clients for iOS and Android.  For Android you have the option to download from Google Play or your own Sametime Proxy Server.

If you choose to download from your own server via servername:port/stmobile/Sametime.html then you and your users are prompted that the application is from an unknown source outside of Google Play.  This will be more difficult for user as they have to go and adjust security settings that they will forget they enabled.



The simpler solution is to find IBM Sametime in Google Play and download from there and then configure the correct URL the the IBM Sametime Proxy Server host you will be using.

Related Posts:

IBM Sametime for iOS update 8.5.2.5
Additional mobile controls for Sametime Proxy Server 8.5.2 IFR1 announced
    for this posting

    On Thursday, August 2nd, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM Sametime for iOS update 8.5.2.5

As I deploy more and more with the Sametime Proxy Server for customers hosted or managed Sametime environments, it is good to see IBM actively pushing ou fixes, enhancements and changes.  Yesterday they released Sametime 8.5.2.5 for iOS.

Enhancements include:
  • Improved chat history functionality
  • Performance on resume when Sametime was in background
  • Share your location
  • iPad Retina display support
  • Mange settings from the native app

While this doesn't look like a ton of items, each one marks usage improvements for the mobile users.

Related postings:
Additional mobile controls for Sametime Proxy Server 8.5.2 IFR1 announced
Saying goodbye to Sametime Connect stand-alone and integrated clients

Visit the Connectria website today and find out why we offer the best in Lotus Software hosting and management.



Eat.Sleep.Host    It is what we do.

Image:IBM Sametime for iOS update 8.5.2.5

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, July 31st, 2012   by Chris Miller        

Additional mobile controls for Sametime Proxy Server 8.5.2 IFR1 announced

From a blog reader comes this new technote from IBM announcing how to implement a few additional settings for Sametime native mobile clients when the Sametime Proxy Server already runs 8.5.2 IFR1.
  • A setting to enable/disable the location reporting by the native Sametime mobile client
  • A setting to allow/disallow the end user from exporting the Sametime mobile client contacts to the device address book

You can only implement this as shown below if you have the Sametime System Console at 8.5.2 IFR1.

Continue Reading here" Additional mobile controls for Sametime Proxy Server 8.5.2 IFR1 announced" »
    for this posting

    On Thursday, July 26th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IDC reports the future of email is social - sponsored by IBM

An IDC report came out in February 2012 stating how the future of email is social.  I was interested to see that IBM was the sponsor of the paper.
This IDC white paper takes a look at the current state of enterprise email and the perceived and real problems that surround its use.  The paper discusses the changing nature of collaboration and work fueled by the social web by examining current email trends and the emergence of new social collaboration tools.  Rather than envision "a world without email," it revels a future where email converges with social tools...

The paper begins with a situation overview and a team that needs to work on a project before jumping to a section on the history of email and a statistic that email will reach 2.4 billion users by the year 2014.

The paper covers the standard challenges about the number of emails, mobile access and blurring personal and business use of devices and email. Filtering is given a section on pages 4-5 which I feel is the basis for most of the overload.
Continue Reading here" IDC reports the future of email is social - sponsored by IBM" »
    for this posting

    On Thursday, May 24th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

AusLUG 2012 Keynote replay with Ed Brill of IBM



AusLUG 2012 kicked off in Melbourne, Australia with Mat Newman introducing Ed Brill as the keynote speaker in this video replay.  Ed covered strategy and futures before handing it over to Stuart for live demos and Ted Stanton with more insight.  This keynote runs just at an hour and thirty minutes.

Visit AusLUG to get more information on sessions and register for their Lotus Connections community.

Also make sure to watch the keynote from Chris Crummey at BLUG 2012 in Antwerp, Belgium from the week before,  Spiked Studio is happy to have produced both videos for replay.  Make sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel to stay up to date on all the videos as they get released.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, April 4th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

LotusAppStore launches to sell Lotus apps - my initial review

I received notice about this new app store for Lotus Notes from PDQ Information Systems that launched and went to take a look called LotusAppStore.  As some of you know we investigated and launched into this some time ago, and well it does not float.  Vendors did not have the capability to sell this way were not willing to do so.  So this came as a surprise.  Here is a screenshot of how LotusAppStore looks today with the first listings their own products (of course)

Image:LotusAppStore launches to sell Lotus apps - my initial review

Continue Reading here" LotusAppStore launches to sell Lotus apps - my initial review" »
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012   by Chris Miller        

BLUG 2012 keynote replay with Chris Crummey of IBM


Watch Chris Crummey of IBM at the Belux Lotus User Group (BLUG 2012) in Antwerpen as he covers the strategy, futures and enhancements to the IBM Lotus suite of software. He walks us through live demonstrations of his daily life using the technology and case studies on other businesses embracing the new IBM direction.
    for this posting

    On Saturday, March 24th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

February 2012 Sys Admin Tips is out on LotusUserGroup

You can read the entire newsletter for the February 2012 edition of Sys Admin Tips to read my editorial on names changes again for what was Lotusphere Comes To You.  I then tackle the following:
  • From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Public Name Error in Mailfile
  • Doing the Shindig
  • Quick Tip: Sametime Security Servlet Security Reminder
  • From the IdoNotes Mailbox: The Mail.box is growing!


Look for a bunch of new webcasts coming along from Consultant In Your Pocket as we kick off the spring season   Subscribe to the newsletter on the right to get notified as registration opens and for some free whitepapers.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, February 23rd, 2012   by Chris Miller        

IBM Pulse 2012 - set to stream keynotes for first time

The IBM Pulse conference has been around a while and it seems IBM Collaboration Services (ICS) will be there in a large amount this year talking mobility.  To aid in getting information out to the masses, and after they saw how Lotusphere works apparently, IBM Pulse 2012 will stream the keynote from Kevin Cavanaugh.
Continue Reading here" IBM Pulse 2012 - set to stream keynotes for first time" »
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, February 7th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

January 2012 Sys Admin Tips is out on LotusUserGroup.org

In the January 2012 edition of Sys Admin Tips I cover OpenSocial and Social Business in the editorial section and the following articles:
  • From the Idonotes mailbox: Citrix performance and Notes Standard client
  • OpenSocial as an administrator
  • Lotus Traveler device ids and names of devices
  • From the IdoNotes mailbox: A failed Sametime 8.5.2 IF1 upgrade attempt


Look for a bunch of new webcasts coming along from Consultant In Your Pocket as we kick off the spring season
    for this posting

    On Monday, January 30th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

MR, FP, FR, IFR, Hotfix, IF - what do they all mean?

As a customer and even partner you may struggle with all of the terms that Lotus uses for things outside of the full point version numbering schema.  With some digging I was able to bring together a short list for you to use as reference.

MR= maintenance release

This is the building block of the number system.  Where 8.5 would be the base install version, the MR would be the .1 behind it to make 8.5.1.  You get more fixes with a later MR than an earlier MR with FPs applied.

Extensive testing is done on these and usually we see 1-2 a year.


Hotfix = it's broken and here is a tiny fix till next FP

Self explanatory.  These are normally not mass released and you have to call support to get them (even ones that other customers have) so Lotus can keep track of who installed it.  Beware they are not hard core tested and may contain regressions.


CCH = cumulative client hotfix

A bundle of hotfixes all wrapped nice and pretty. Extensive regression testing is not done on CCHs but will be done when it moves to FP level.

Oh you need like four hotfixes together to make that work.  Here is a CCH for you.


IF = interim fix

This should sit up near fixpack as it is a temporary fix.  They seem to word it more than a hotfix, but not quite a fixpack. These are publicly available, where hotfixes are not


FP = fixpack

This represents fixes applied on top of a specific maintenance release.  They are issued between MRs and are cumulative.  This means installing FP4 would include the same fixes from FP1-3 with new ones to make 4.  A version will be represented as 8.5.1 FP4 for example.

However, you must uninstall hotfixes before applying fixpacks that contain the hotfixes.

"By providing a small number of fixes, customers are able to accept fewer code changes with lower risk, allowing them to "patch" an older Maintenance Release until a more extensive upgrade to the current Maintenance Release is possible
" from IBM.


FR = Feature Release

These are normally blended into maintenance releases and now Upgrade Packs (UP).  IBM snuck some into the following IFR, but you will find new features being introduced when they talk of feature releases.


IFR = Incremental Feature Release

This is a new naming idea that showed itself in the IBM Sametime 8.5.2 codestream.  While it added quite a few fixes it also added enhancements.  Some of us feel the new features should have made it an actual maintenance release, but IBM stood strong and made up the IFR.


UP = upgrade pack

This is quite new to the Domino family.  it is totally optional and adds capabilities to an otherwise stable version.  It has made it first appearance in 8.5.3 to add social capabilities.  I can see IBM doing many more of these since it is not required by anyone.


The new Notes and Domino Social Edition that is pending release will sit atop of Domino 8.5.4 but is optional and in my opinion will be called an Upgrade Pack.

Digging around to get this information found one IBM technote with some of the information.
    for this posting

    On Monday, January 30th, 2012   by Chris Miller        

December 2011 Sys Admin Tips is out on LotusUserGroup.org

In this Dec 2011 edition I give my annual gift guide in the editorial section and the following:

* From the Editor: Chris' 1.0000 XMAS
   - Fitbit Ultra
   - Kindle Devices and Kindle Fire
   - Samsung Galaxy 10.1 tablet
   - Roku XS streaming device
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: iNotes Account Got Hacked
* I Upgraded the Sametime Proxy and No New Features Work
* Quick Tip: Remove Unwanted Sametime Connect Status Messages
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Domino Servers On Different Operating Systems


Do not forget to watch the "What's New in Lotus, Domino, Traveler & IBM XWork Server 8.5.3" webcast that was on October 4th from Consultant In Your Pocket.  
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, December 21st, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Important reminder concerning the IBM Professional CertificationTesting Policy



If you are planning on taking any certification exams with IBM, they have tightened down on their policies and thoughts about how you should study in recent years.  The above blog title was received as an email.  Here is the email content that was received.  I thought it was valuable enough to share with everyone.

Image:Important reminder concerning the IBM Professional CertificationTesting Policy

Please review this important information regarding the IBM Professional Certification Testing Policy.

In order to ensure the validity and integrity of the IBM Certification Program, testing data and results are randomly audited.

All test takers are required to agree to a confidentiality statement which specifically prohibits test takers from discussing test content or questions at any time. This includes casual conversation with colleagues, and especially discussing test content with prospective test takers after completing testing. Additionally, IBM Certification tests are the exclusive Intellectual Property of IBM. Per your IBM Business Partner Agreement the IBM Business Partner Code of Conduct sections referring to Intellectual Property and Unauthorized Sources apply to certification testing. When you (or your staff) are preparing for an IBM Certification test it is imperative to use only the links provided on IBM's Web pages for recommended education and sample practice tests. Many of the "sample" or "practice" test vendors make use of unethically acquired testing material.

IBM has taken, and will continue to take, appropriate actions when testing data indicates that unethical methods were used to prepare for or take an IBM Certification test. Actions may include a temporary or permanent ban from taking additional Certification tests


For full information you should visit Information on IBM Professional Certification Program and Certification testing policy to get up to date on apporoved study material and sources (IBM)
    for this posting

    On Thursday, December 15th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Moving to Sametime 8.5.x




Back at NLLUG 2010 I had the pleasure of presenting to the large group about the idea and planning stages moving to Sametime 8.5.x.  I went ahead and edited the video and got it online for everyone to see.

You may also watch the video in HD on YouTube.

Brought to you by Connectria, you leader in IBM software and hardware hosting.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, December 13th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

IdoNotes Episode 116a - The IBM Sametime team stops by



I was happy to have Lisa Harris, Offering Manager, and Stefan Jonsson, mobile development manager for IBM Sametime to talk about the IFR 1 release for version 8.5.2.  It brought an incredible amount of enhancements and features to mobility not usually found in an IFR type release.

We discuss:
  • Why this was called IFR instead of a full point release
  • Android client enhancements
  • iOS client enhancements
  • SUT capabilities
  • Offline messaging
  • and more..

Visit the Sametime team on the Lotusphere 2012 exhibitor floor and in the developer lab and also catch up with the latest news on their Sametime Blog.


Visit the Connectria website today and find out why we offer the best in Lotus Software hosting and management.






Eat.Sleep.Host    It is what we do.

Image:IdoNotes Episode 116a - The IBM Sametime team stops by

    for this posting

    On Friday, December 9th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

November 2011 Sys Admin Tips is out on LotusUserGroup.org



In this Nov 2011 edition I discuss disaster planning in the editorial section and the following:

* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Update on Words with Buttons Disappearing
* Sametime Security Vulnerability Announced
* Quick Tip: Upgrade Domino or Traveler First
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox : Lotus Traveler Issue - Help!

Do not forget to watch the "What's New in Lotus, Domino, Traveler & IBM XWork Server 8.5.3" webcast that was on October 4th from Consultant In Your Pocket.  
    for this posting

    On Thursday, November 17th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Security Alert: Sametime servers with LDAP authentication configured


IBM has released a public security notice and reference for Sametime servers that utilize LDAP as the authentication source. Much thanks to Integrasys for finding and bringing this to the eyes of IBM.
DESCRIPTION: The Sametime server contains a configuration servlet that is accessed by several Sametime server processes. By default, this servlet does not require authentication, which could potentially allow an unauthorized user to obtain read access to configuration data. Administrators are advised to protect this servlet by configuring Sametime to require authentication to this servlet.


The full remediation and workaround can be found in reference #1569452.  This affects servers from 7.0 forward (and earlier if you have a server that old still).

NOTE: We will be having a podcast or webcast around this to take feedback, answer questions and give more information.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, October 27th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

September 2011 Sys Admin Tips is out on LotusUserGroup.org


In the September 2011 edition I cover architecture review in the editorial and the following:

* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Single Sign-on and Active Directory
* What Is the Sametime Proxy?
* Quick Tip: Searches Against Non-existent Databases Can Cause High CPU
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: A List of Authorized Sametime Users

*******************************

Do not forget to sign up today for the "What's New in Notes, Domino & Traveler 8.5.3" webcast on October 4th.

It will feature Paul Mooney, Marie Scott and other partners and customers
    for this posting

    On Monday, September 26th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Saying goodbye to Sametime Connect stand-alone and integrated clients


After much thought on this, I felt it was time to make the prediction of what is to soon come for the IBM Sametime Connect client, both integrated and stand-alone.  There is no insider knowledge, no NDA being broken and nothing that has been shared.  It is simple summation from what we are seeing being delivered as well as capabilities in the IBM Sametime family.

With the evolution of the Sametime Proxy client, based on Websphere, there is no need for the stand-alone client to continue.  Let me walk through my reasoning:

Deployment
The Sametime Connect client package, both stand-alone and integrated, force hundreds of MB of installation.  This is quite prohibitive for small incremental needs and also widescale deployment scenarios.

The new Sametime Proxy as a web interface removes this entire deployment need.  Changes are done on the fly. Fixes are instant.  Sure you must be ready to know it is all web calls and traffic load.  This also means the client will use the embedded browser even more.

If this truly becomes a widget (and not a plug-in) the catalog could push it out.  If it is a plug-in, then simply make the update site for the client.


Mobility
Currently Domino Web Access (DWA or iNotes as you wish) had the older stlinks type integration.  Now with the Sametime Proxy, you get a fully functional client.

Android and Apple based clients are getting the same web based experience through the Sametime Proxy server.  Yes yes there is a download in the marketplace, but it is just a freaking bookmark to the proxy.  So I do wish they would stop calling it native, but that is a different posting.  Coming in 8.5.3 is native SUT capabilities (see this public blog post from the Sametime team).


Functionality
Really not much is different.  With the new widgets and plug-ins it makes it even easier.  Imagine a sidebar widget that shows your upcoming online meetings? Done.  Rich text in chats? Done.  Business Card lookups? Done.  Frequent contacts? Yep. You get the idea.


Image:Saying goodbye to Sametime Connect stand-alone and integrated clients

So this means that I can see IBM slowly moving you toward the web proxy interface and less toward the heavy installed client. More development time seems to keep moving into the Websphere based side as the Domino server side gets less updates and even is now called Legacy in some literature for the meeting services.

Thoughts? Discussions?
    for this posting

    On Monday, September 12th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

August 2011 Sys Admin Tips is out on LotusUserGroup.org


In the August 2011 edition I cover some thoughts on all the user groups popping up plus the following:

* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Notes Standard and Published Citrix Apps
* Domino Web Access and Archives
* Quick Tip: Mail Quotas and Out of Office
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Sametime Problem After Upgrade to 8.5.2


************

You can head over now to watch the AusLUG 2011 keynote and NerdGirls panel in streaming HD!  

Edited, produced and brought to you by Spiked Studio Productions.  Your niche podcast network
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, September 7th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Classic line from Sametime wiki about Sametime Classic


While reading a document in the Sametime wiki I ran across this gem of a line
Sametime 8.5.x includes a Classic Meeting server. You can upgrade to 8.5.x and continue using Classic Meetings if you do not want to use the new Sametime 8.5.x meetings. However, your meeting environment will be outdated

So if you run the current version of the software, you are outdated.

Related Posts
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 29th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Participate in a Lotus User Experience Study


Lotus is looking for volunteers to submit for a futures usability study.  It runs this and next week.  Details below!

The Lotus User Experience Research team is conducting user research the week of August 22nd (extending to the week of Aug 29th as needed) and is looking for participants.

You will be asked to attend a 60-90 minute online session (connection details to follow) where strategic design direction, encompassing multiple IBM products, will be shown and discussed.

We are looking for a diverse audience to represent a rich set of perspectives.

NOTE:
This is not a usability assessment of current products nor a commitment to implement what is shown. This is directional research but your feedback will be used to shape the future direction of the products you use.

If interested, please tell us a little about yourself and available days and times using the brief survey [https://www-950.ibm.com/survey/oid/wsb.dll/s/ag3e3]. Someone will contact you if there is a day/time match.

Thank you for your time!

Regards,

Brian

Brian S. Utesch, Ph.D.
STSM, Lotus User Experience Research (UXR) Lead
IBM Software Group, WPLC, Lotus User Experience Group
butesch@us.ibm.com

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, August 24th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Lotus Search Android app statisitcs and updates


Back at the beginning of July, we launched the FREE Android app version of the Lotus Custom Searches.  The response has been great.  The idea was to test having the technical content you need at your fingertips.

The searches include the following options:
Lotus Custom Blogger Search -
The ability to search across over 300 Lotus related blogs, technical resource sites, whitepapers and more

Sametime search
-
The ability to search across blogs and technical sites only related to Sametime

XPages Search
-
The ability to search against only XPages blogs, technical resources and more for quick, filtered XPages information

You can find the application in the Android Marketplace on your phone and tablets. A YouTube video and screenshots show you more on the application information page.

So the statistics look like this:
Platform version LotusCustomSearches



1 Android 2.2 53.8%
2 Android 2.3.3 28.2%
3 Android 2.1 7.7%
4 Android 3.0 1.3%
5 Android 2.3 1.3%
6
7
8
9
10








Device LotusCustomSearches



1 Samsung Galaxy Tab 9.0%
2 HTC Desire HD 7.7%
3 Samsung Galaxy S 7.7%
4 Samsung Galaxy S2 7.7%
5 Motorola Droid X 5.1%
6 HTC Desire 5.1%
7 HTC Evo 4G 3.8%
8 HTC Wildfire 2.6%
9 LG Optimus One 2.6%
10 Motorola Droid 2.6%






Country LotusCustomSearches



1 United States 29.5%
2 Germany 16.7%
3 India 7.7%
4 Spain 5.1%
5 Sweden 3.8%
6 Malaysia 3.8%
7 France 3.8%
8 United Kingdom 3.8%
9 Austria 2.6%
10 Switzerland 2.6%




    for this posting

    On Friday, July 29th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Free Android app for custom Lotus searches launched!


Through the development skills of OzzyDeveloper, I am pleased to announce the launch of the free Lotus Custom Search application for Android.  OzzyDeveloper took the custom searches you find on the right side of my blog and moved them to a mobile web Android application.  We are happy to give you this application for free.  Look for more additions to the application!

What is included?
Lotus Custom Blogger Search -
The ability to search across over 300 Lotus related blogs, technical resource sites, whitepapers and more

Sametime search -
The ability to search across blogs and technical sites only related to Sametime

XPages Search -
The ability to search against only XPages blogs, technical resources and more for quick, filtered XPages information

You can find the application in the Android Marketplace on your phone and tablets. A YouTube video and screenshots show you more on the application information page.
Image:Free Android app for custom Lotus searches launched!

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, July 6th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

How Lotus fits into the IBM Social Strategy - finally explained


The IBM Collaboration Solutions community call was held this morning and a guest speaker was Scott Neuman, Director of Social Business Marketing at IBM.  He ran through a number of high level slides around social strategy and futures.  But I think he made it very clear in the middle.  I will summarize in MY words
Lotus will be folded into coupled solutions with other IBM software products and services to provide these magical social solutions. Gone will be the days of a laundry list of products you have to wade through.

So you will see things like Sametime, Connections and maybe Portal as a vertical solution offering to customers for example.

Learning WAS, Sharepoint or whatever shouldn't matter to the big question.  If there is a software IBM owns then learn it.  Plain and simple.  If there is a bundled solution approach that covers seven products, learn them.

If social is the keyword of the bi-annual to IBM, then we say ok!  Domino was social, Sametime was social, Connections (for 4 years now) was social.  But now we have the term social applied and we can approach it as new.

The mass world doesn't know or doesn't like the Lotus name, but love and trust IBM as recognizable.   This was ten years coming when IBM bought Lotus.  No need to ponder it now.


We didn't sell previous solutions as social, we did it as collaboration. Guess what, collaboration had to be social to work.  We just have a new word.  Move along.


********
This article brought to you by IamLUG - the North American "Lotus" User Group.  Hotel rates expire July 7th!
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, June 28th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

June 2011 Sys Admin Tips is out on LotusUserGroup.org


In this June 2011 edition I talk about IBM removing the Lotus brand name and the following:

* From the Editor: Chris' 0.0123122 GIP
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Split Notes Data Over Multiple Volumes
* Free IBM Connections testing?
* Quick Tip: Sorry, We Are Unable to Process Your Request At This Time
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Sametime 8.5.2 Deployment Options

************

You can head over now to watch the IamLUG 2011 keynote in streaming HD!  The keynote was amazing, given by Brian Cheng of IBM.

Edited, produced and brought to you by Spiked Studio Productions.  Your niche podcast network
    for this posting

    On Friday, June 24th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Live blogging Admin2011 keynote


The View once again live streamed the keynote address that contained Kevin Cavanaugh, Ed Brill and Chris Crummey for Las Vegas, NV.

After years of it being said that attendees wanted the printed material, WIS announced it went green and would not print materials.

Debbie Lynd announced the Three Musketeers to the stage, Ed and Chris are up first.

Ed started covering:
  • all the product releases, versions and some features
  • three updates to LotusLive since Lotusphere
  • Lotus Protector 2.8 about to ship (or is it IBM Protector now?)
  • Traveler companion for iOS now caches the password
  • Ed wants to talk about XPages Application Server licensing model

Chris Crummey stepped in for live demos:
  • a Notes demo and social demo were on tap
  • Live text was a huge showing of the initial part of the demo

From here I got lost in the flow and point of the demo.  He stated he wanted to do a demo where social and Notes were so blurred that you didn't know which was being covered.  But, then he switched over to the Connections experience which showed the defining line.  Social integration and analytics.

Ed stepped back in and highlighted LotusLive Notes.  They are using an optional FTP approach to send data into the staging servers.  I am still unsure what happened to good old replication that we here at Connectria provide.

"Social Mail" is their idea of next generation messaging.  Back to Chris for the demo.

Chris brings up iNotes as the demo client with Sametime, calendar and the OneUI look and feel.  Makes me think "Social Mail" will head towards my posting of Saying Goodbye to the Notes Client I did back around the #ibmexperience announcements.

Kevin Cavanaugh takes the stage and talkes of Sametime 8.5.2 launch in May.  You can watch a great webcast on "What's New in Sametime 8.5.2"

Chris launched a demo of the new web based IBM Connections client from the Mobile betas.  He shows the IdeaJam Ideation blog from the mobile device as well to vote on topics.  
Funny I would think working with files would be more important immediately than working with uploading photos.  I can see some companies wanting to do this, but more work with files would be higher on my personal listing.

He then went into the native Sametime client on the iPhone, including groups.

Kevin went back into more Sametime 8.5.2 tools like NAT and Bandwidth Manager.  (See above webcast for more info on those.)  Presence and IM on the Android devices including a SUT Dialer for calls and preferred numbers. As well as Sametime Meeting clients for BlackBerry.

Kevin announces that the Connections mobile client is awesome and ahead of schedule. It will be in all the major app stores.  I have heard rumblings from iWildfire not knowing about this coming.

From Kevin:
"Activity Stream services for IBM Connections 4 will also have an installable app to take things offline as well as pivot on those activities and launch into a full embedded experience using the Open Social 2 standard to launch actions from your mobile device."

With Open Social they can make items in the stream actionable.  Meaning click to do something.

After a brief Symphony demo showing off color coded web editing for Lotus Symphony by Chris, we moved to his iPad.  He mentioned iWildfire which I wonder how this fits with the new Connections mobile client.

He then shows the new dashboard, Morning Report, to show everything for the day on his iPad.  It sees the messages, calendar, tasks and more.  Basically back to the old dashboard of the Notes client. You can adjust some settings around showing unread and others. He uses the word analytics and the social business toolkit.  I think widgets.

Kevin talks about the openness being brought into the product line with Open Social standards and 2.0.  The work being shown was being run on an Open Social public sandbox site. We went to some demos of the work IBM has done and Kevin wants Open Social widgets to be brought to the next Lotusphere SocialSphere.

An interface was shown in a browser on the iPad, including file preview from the stream. Basically widgets hooking together social sites.

Ed then announced the IBM Champions, congrats to all the winners!
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    On Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8.5 UI heading back to version 3 with the Yahoo change


IBM has announced that Yahoo is ending the provisioning available via the Sametime Gateway.  Instead, IBM will be offering a new plug-in for the Sametime client that allows users to have their very own Yahoo id to connect.  Basically removing the entire idea behind corporate identity.
Today, your Lotus Sametime Gateway integrates directly with the Yahoo! Messenger servers through single sign-on capability, letting your employees use their corporate Sametime identity to exchange presence information and text chats with Yahoo! Messenger users. Yahoo has notified IBM that it intends to discontinue this method of interoperability in the near future.

As this reads, it is not IBM's fault at all.  But here is my issues with creating and allowing this new plug-in.
  • The loss of corporate identity in how an employee represents themselves is immediately removed.  Users may not create, connect and pretend to be whatever name they wish.  With the Sametime Gateway you knew they showed as their corporate email address.  This represented the company.  Once you open the ability for this plug-in, they will be able to connect as any identity they desire.
  • The current connectivity and presence established will not transfer or migrate.  Users will need to notify clients, customers and partners that they usernames will be changing.  This means that not only are employees required to rebuild an entire buddylist for Yahoo, but outside vendors that may not get notification will simply cease to see your corporate users on Yahoo any longer.
  • Depending on how Lotus writes this plug-in, and the outcome and answers given in the upcoming Open Mic call on June 7th, I imagine that users will go directly to the Yahoo servers.  Unless the users are still ported through the Sametime Gateway, you must now open the Yhaoo ports for any and all users needing this capability
  • You must now change security controls.  This follows the above point.  Your enterprise may have already established their presence using only the Sametime Gateway.  You were then able to eliminate all installed chat clients to the public networks.  This effectively brings you back to that point.
  • The UI for Sametime goes back to the version 3.1 idea of a consolidated client offering multiple logins for different chat systems.  Losing the single sing-on look and controls found today.
  • I must open the policy that currently restricts users from adding multiple communities so they may now add the public chat community for Yahoo.
  • I must push a plug-in out to users
  • Many of the features found in the native (and amazing) Yahoo Messenger client will not be present, driving many avid Yahoo users a bit crazy.

Image:Sametime 8.5 UI heading back to version 3 with the Yahoo change
Image courtesy Carl Tyler from his blog.


I do not agree with the plug-in move forcing users to install a new community that connects to public networks. I may have already restricted anyone from adding external networks to force connectivity points across the Sametime Gateway.  Opening this allows them to add any community. Including the great ones at Bleed Yellow and Greenhouse.  However, it then opens them to go and connect to any  Sametime server that will have them.

If you have not installed the Sametime Gateway, I would suggest this book being your first stop. Installing and Administrating the Sametime Gateway.  While written for version 7.5, it contains all the base information needed to understand the steps and requirements.

Disclosure: Yeah that is my book.
    for this posting

    On Monday, June 6th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Lotusphere 2011 Online closing - and they listened


Long ago I made some commentary that Lotus was wrong to close the Lotusphere Online system each year, instead of making it a growing and nurtured community.
Shouldn't Lotusphere be a growing and nurtured community? Not reborn every 12 months?

Lotus has made a decision here that could have changed some of the communication landscape between tens of thousands of customers, partners, employees, vendors and press.  A living breathing system that grew over the years and integrated more technology, connecting more people together.

Lotusphere should be a constant community with security wrapped around the resources by the the year I attend.  I would maintain an account that allowed me to chat, communicate and look up people.  Lotus would integrate new technologies of social networking tools (outside of Lotus Connections as we went along).  I would be able to access past files from all the years of content that was afforded to me for the years I attended.

Lotusphere should be a Sametime chat community that never closes, now with the zero download client found in Sametime 8.5.  Socialbookmarks should have kept growing.  Throw out Activities since I can only use one such plug-in in my client at work and use it already.  Streamline what communities are there.

So today we received notice via email that Lotusphere Online will be merged into IBM Greenhouse (I am skipping ahead and dropping the Lotus name).
We listened to your feedback that you wanted one ongoing community for Social Business and the IBM Collaboration Solutions. Therefore during June, the existing Lotusphere 2011 Online will be closed and combined into our IBM Connections community on Lotus Greenhouse to establish that single, long term community. Before the site is closed, you will receive an invitation to join the established IBM Collaboration Solutions User Experience Community in Lotus Greenhouse.

The communities will be rebuilt, the presentations moved over and ready for all to access.
We will be making Lotusphere 2011 presentations available and will use the new community for collaboration before and after our events.


You will have to go and create a Greenhouse ID if you do not have one.  But it will allow you to also join into a global IBM Sametime community for chat and other services.  So rejoice in the announcement they are closing Lotusphere Online 2011.  I would like to think I was one of the voices they heard
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    On Thursday, June 2nd, 2011   by Chris Miller        

What’s New in Sametime 8.5.2 - free replay online


On May 18th, a panel of IBM Sametime experts held a webcast to talk about what was new, fixed, enhanced or didn't change in Sametime 8.5.2.  Join the following panel:
  • Carl Tyler, Epilio
  • Gabriella Davis, Turtle Partnership
  • Chris Miller, Connectria
  • Lisa Harris, IBM - Sametime Offerings Manager
  • David Marshak, IBM - Sametime telephony Senior Strategist

You can watch this "What's New in Sametime 8.5.2" and all streaming webcast at any time for free on Consultant In Your Pocket.

To keep up to date on webcasts, replays and early registration news for events, I suggest joining the newsletter in the right sidebar of this or any Spiked Studio site.

Also, remember that IamLUG is back August 1-2, 2011 followed by an awesome day of TackItOn.  IamLUG is free for all attendees and is in it's third year of giving the top technical content.
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    On Tuesday, May 31st, 2011   by Chris Miller        

May 2011 Sys Admin Tips is out on LotusUserGroup.org


In this May 2011 edition I talk about Lotus' attempt at the Exceptional Web Experience and the following:

* From the Editor: Chris' -0.0123 SOC  
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Removing Encryption On a Local Database
* IBM Social Business Toolkit and Wiki
* Quick Tip: Free Sametime Plug-ins
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Plug-ins and Updatesite

Make sure you also:

* Register for IamLUG 2011!  The doors are open for attendees, speakers and sponsors.  The event will be FREE for all attendees and is being help Aug 1-2, 2011.

* Register for TackItOn again right after IamLUG.  This full day (paid) event brings Matt White for XPages 201 and Paul Mooney for Lotus Traveler

* Sign up for both the Consultant In Your Pocket and IdoNotes newsletters in the upper right corner of the blog.  Get early notices before the public, webcast information and commentary not found on the blog.  Did I mention the two free whitepapers on DCC and Search in Lotus Notes just for signing up?
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    On Thursday, May 26th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

My article why IBM should retire the Lotus brand


Yesterday I posted on the announcement made in the UKLUG keynote address by Ted Stanton on the sunsetting of brands (not products) in the IBM naming world.  Earlier in the year I had written an article for publication that I am providing following this news coming true.
In the first week of February 2011, the annual Lotusphere conference by IBM was held in Orlando, FL. Each year a new theme is launched to drive the flow around the conference as new products are announced and futures discussed. The theme for 2011 from IBM/Lotus was Social Business

IBM/Lotus entered the realm of social business about two years ago by placing social networking into the enterprise with Lotus Connections. They soon became self proclaimed, and known to some, as an industry leader in this space.  With the recent release of Connections 3.0, they have made a strong statement.

However, the stigma of the name Lotus hangs heavy. It carries with it 20 years of weight from Lotus Notes and the nagging thought of the old 1-2-3 anytime you say Lotus.  So how would IBM break away, while moving forward the implementations of such products as Connections, Portal and and freshly remodeled and painted Notes?  Removing the Lotus moniker is a first step in that transition.

In no way am I hinting or saying that the actual products under the Lotus banner would be retired.  Simply the Lotus portion of the name itself. They have begun this movement years ago by placing IBM at the head of each product name. Many have been cross branded for some time, such as IBM Lotus Sametime.  Removing the Lotus from the middle is not a trivial task. Nor should IBM treat this decision lightly.

Back at Lotusphere, Social Business was pushed into everyone's minds as soon as the Opening General Session kicked off. while many still sit at companies globally wondering how this affects their email and applications based on Lotus Notes, even the sales reps are being told to push this initiative. The link for Social Business does take you to a Lotus branded URL, but one of the main links announces the IBM Social Collaboration Platform and the just completed IBM Social Business Jam

This new initiative focuses around social analytics, tracking, enhanced customer and web experiences and platforms to deploy these solutions.  All based on a collection of IBM software properties.  From this alone is makes perfect sense for IBM to bring these all together as one brand face and name, much like Cognos was brought into the IBM banner.

Since Lotusphere both the products Connections and Sametime have had the Lotus name removed from the product marketing.  While we do still the the name Lotus in the actual installed product in some places, new efforts will not show it when making future announcements and marketing.

IBM held massive press events last year around Project Northstar.  Their first move of taking software like Websphere Portal and making it the foundation for the IBM Customer Experience Suite.    I blogged extensively on Project Northstar  and during the launch.  While much of the press was there, the splash was not made.

Where does this leave Lotus in the new IBM picture?  As a name that held strength in the enterprise messaging and application platform space.  As a name that still haunts many people as a horrid experience because they were stuck on older versions or never experienced the full customer experience.  As a name to soon be retired, it's jersey hung in the banners and all the awards placed high on the IBM trophy case as an acquired, assimilated and merged product line in the IBM behemoth.  Goodbye Lotus brand name. Hello IBM collaboration.

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, May 24th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

IBM retires the Lotus (and other) Brand - official from #UKLUG


During the keynote today from Ted Stanton (his bio from UKLUG):
Ted Stanton is a World Wide Executive Consultant for IBM's Software Solutions Group. Ted is committed to maintaining high customer satisfaction while helping customers align software solutions with their strategic business goals. Ted’s strong technical background includes over twenty IBM product certifications allowing him to proactively work across technical teams and line of business to build solutions and articulate the business value, ROI, and transformation required for success

He confirmed that over the next two years that IBM will be retiring many of it's brand names by the end of 2012.  Products (think Sametime, Connections and more) will not be going away at all. Brands like Lotus, Websphere, Tivoli and DB2 will be folded in.

We have already seen this with IBM Connections and now IBM Sametime just last week.  Many were questioning and looking for a statement from IBM.  I think we have some answers they were looking for.  This is an overhaul of direction and branding to make IBM seen more as a single package, instead of multiple requirements.  For example installing Lotus Sametime was including Websphere Application Server, DB2 Enterprise and possible Tivoli Directory Integrator.  With the change you will install IBM Sametime that includes an IBM Application Server, IBM Data Enterprise server and IBM Directory Integrator.

Earlier this year I wrote and article for another online publication which I will post in later today in a follow up article.
    for this posting

    On Monday, May 23rd, 2011   by Chris Miller        

What’s New in Sametime 8.5.2 - Webcast tomorrow!


Get ready to talk with a panel of experts including business partners and IBM as we talk about "What's New in Sametime 8.5.2" tomorrow at 10am CST.  You can still register to learn all about the new items, enhancements and fixes.

You can register for the May 18th 2011 at 10am CST webcast right here.  If you want early notice make sure you subscribe to the Consultant In Your Pocket portion of the newsletter in the upper right of the blog.

Also visit our sponsor for the event, GSX for the best in Sametime monitoring tools.
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    On Tuesday, May 17th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

DDM & DCT: What a Team! webcast is tomorrow


Just a reminder that the Consultant In Your Pocket webcast series is in full swing with DDM & DCT: What a Team! tomorrow at 10am CST.
Have you fully dipped into Domino Domain Monitoring with modular documents, collection hierarchies, event workflow and reducing the noise through filtering?  Have you completed a run of the Domino Configuration Tuner ?  Explore all the DDM options, choices and variables to get the most out of your Domino environment.  Use DCT to find out what areas to improve and what to monitor closely with DDM.  Use some of the new automation in DDM to correct problems before you even know they existed.

Join this FREE webcast to learn all about these underutilized features that come free with Lotus Domino.

Then on May 18th come and learn all about What's New in Sametime 8.5.2 with a panel of experts.

Both webcasts are brought to you by GSX, solutions for diverse messaging environments.
Image:DDM & DCT: What a Team! webcast is tomorrow


    for this posting

    On Tuesday, May 10th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Webcast: What’s New in Sametime 8.5.2 on May 18th!


Yet another webcast in the month of May for Consultant In Your Pocket.
What's New in Sametime 8.5.2 on May 18th 2011, 10am CST
Join a panel of experts as they hold an open discussion on Sametime 8.5.2.  Enhancements, fixes, additions and your questions will be answered during this free webcast event.


You can register for the May 18th 2011 at 10am CST webcast right here.  If you want early notice make sure you subscribe to the Consultant In Your Pocket portion of the newsletter in the upper right of the blog.

**More upcoming webcasts**
May 3rd is Social Business & UX Lab with Mary Beth Raven and Velda Bartek
May 11th is DDM & DCT - What a Team
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, April 27th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8.5.2 and widgets?


I was doing some peeking on the web for some information and ran across this public wiki article titled "Working with Sametime 8.5.2 and Widgets" on the Sametime wiki site. Something new is coming...

Image:Sametime 8.5.2 and widgets?

There is some additional information online in the draft Sametime Administration & Installation Guide as well about configurations

Related Posts

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    On Friday, April 22nd, 2011   by Chris Miller        

LotusTechDocs on Twitter updated


I went in with the suggestions I received and tweaked the LotusTechDocs account on Twitter some more.  Apparently you all are finding it useful.  I bring in a bunch of technical document feeds together from Lotus using Yahoo Pipes.  I label and then output the entire thing as RSS.

Everything is there: Domino, Sametime, Connections, Quickr, LotusLive, Redpapers and more.

You can then use your favorite Twitter client to make a column or channel and see them in almost real-time as they are published.   You could also use Wildfire from OpenNTF in your Notes client sidebar.
Image:LotusTechDocs on Twitter updated

    for this posting

    On Thursday, March 17th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Lotus technical documents now on Twitter and full RSS feed



Just as I wrote this morning about IBM having tons of Twitter accounts, a great resource launched on Twitter and RSS for those administrators and developers in the Lotus software world.  If you need to keep up with news and alerts close to real-time, then this is the solution for you.  It covers all the Lotus products.

LotusTechDocs on Twitter and the Lotus Support Megafeed via RSS are both available.  Using Yahoo Pipes, the multiple feeds are brought together, each entry labeled and then output into a single stream in real-time.  Included are:
  • Domino 8.5
  • Domino 8
  • Quickr
  • Connections
  • Sametime
  • LotusLive
  • Redbooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Tech articles
  • Tutorials

Both are identical information (with Twitter a few minutes behind due to pushing).  So you can choose to get your technical updates via Twitter or RSS.  Subscribe today to either resource via Twitter or RSS.
Image:Lotus technical documents now on Twitter and full RSS feed

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, March 1st, 2011   by Chris Miller        

BP120 slides from Lotusphere 2011 - Sametime Gateway: Business Case, Implementation & Best Practices


The session BP120 - The Sametime Gateway: Business Case, Implementation & Best Practices was given at Lotusphere 2011.  I am sorry these do not have tons of meaning without the commentary, but people asked for the slides.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, February 1st, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Lotusphere Podcasts - Vidyo for Lotus Sametime at Lotusphere #ls11

Mark Noble, Director of Product Marketing, shows off Vidyo by hosting our video meeting to explain the integration with IBM Lotus Sametime.  We talk about the plug-in architecture, deployment, multi-video capabilities, screen sharing and more.  From one to many participants, public Internet to behind the firewall, this is a tool for those investing in HD video conferencing.

This is a must see video
.

Lotusphere Podcasts - Vidyo for Lotus Sametime from Lotusphere Podcasts .



Visit Vidyo on the Lotusphere vendor floor and their website for more information.  Below is a sample multi-participant conference.

Image:Lotusphere Podcasts - Vidyo for Lotus Sametime at Lotusphere #ls11
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    On Friday, January 28th, 2011   by Lotusphere Podcasts        

SametimeGuide.com launches with special Lotusphere discount #ls11




I am happy to announce the launch of SametimeGuide.com, a video tutorial source for installing, configuring and managing Sametime 8.5.x and higher installations.

While the videos are being built out, we are currently offering an introductory pricing through the end of February to celebrate the launch, Lotusphere and early access as content is added.  Head over to the SametimeGuide site and get more information and take part of the launch.


I would also like to note this is going to be an excellent companion to the upcoming Sametime Administration book being authored by Gabriella Davis, Marie Scott and Tom Duff for Packt Publishing.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, January 26th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

Lotusphere Online builds in Lotus Traveler and Sametime #ls11


If you have access to the LSonline.info site that was launched, you now have access to Lotus Traveler and Sametime

Image:Lotusphere Online builds in Lotus Traveler and Sametime #ls11

So for those wanting to test it out , now is the time to get in and communicate.  Now I still feel most people will be in BleedYellow for Sametime or even extst.ibm.com but it is nice to see them extend the ability.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, January 20th, 2011   by Chris Miller        

My Lotusphere 2011 sessions and BOF’s - time to vote? #ls11


I am happy to share what sessions I will be presenting at Lotusphere 2011 (#ls11), including the Birds of a Feather (BOF's) up for vote.  Feel free to drop by and see me at any of these and vote for some of the awesome Birds of a Feather:

Sessions
  • LDAP - the Amazing Infrastructure Challenge (and solutions) for BP104
  • IBM Lotus Domino Admin to IBM WebSphere Application Admin -- in an Hour!  for BP109
  • Sametime Gateway: the Business Case, Best Practices and Implementation  for BP120
  • Inspector Widget - How to Successfully Deploy a Widget Catalog (riding shotgun with Jo Ann Card driving) for BP115

BOF's
  • Using Social Media to Consume Lotus Information
  • Sametime Gateway 8.5.x Open Discussion

    for this posting

    On Friday, December 17th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

December 2010 Sys Admin Tips is out on LotusUserGroup.org


In this December 2010 issue I talk about Christmas geek gifts and the following:

IN THIS ISSUE #65
* From the Editor: Chris' 0.02000 PAB
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Move Registered Community Server in Sametime 8.5
* Lotus Traveler - the Movement
* Quick Tip: What 8.5 Version is Needed for Which Feature
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Sametime 8.5.1 and Groups in Domino LDAP


Make sure you:
* Register now for the best pricing at IdoSphere - the live online event
* head over to Consultant In Your Pocket and catch upcoming FREE webcasts and full replays of previous webcasts including "What's New in Domino 8.5.2 Administration
* catch up on the entire Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes (GAMLN) series here on IdoNotes
* Sign up for both the Consultant In Your Pocket and IdoNotes newsletters in the upper right corner of the blog.  Get early notices before the public, webcast information and commentary not found on the blog.  Did I mention the two free whitepapers on DCC and Search in Lotus Notes just for signing up?
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, December 15th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

IdoNotes Episode 89 - Carl Tyler and I talk Sametime plugins and Plantronics (video) #ls11




You can also watch this video in full HD directly on YouTube.

Carl Tyler,
Epilio, and myself discuss the new Sametime and Notes telephony plugin he helped develop for Plantronics.  The features are awesome, the installer smooth and it is only in beta.  The plug-in works across VOIP products, integrates with your status updates and more.

Image:IdoNotes Episode 89 - Carl Tyler and I talk Sametime plugins and Plantronics (video) #ls11

We then walk through numerous headsets and give our opinion on what we use daily.  My go to headsets are:
Get in touch with Carl for more information on the plugin beta!

Disclosure: The above links are affiliate links.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, December 14th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

IdoNotes Episode 88 - Sametime Community icons and free download



Since 2006, when I first posted a set, I have used different icons for the multiple Sametime communities I connect to.  I can then blend groups by project or other means, not just public groups.  What you get is icons showing which community the person is associated with.  The steps are easy to do and I have attached a grouping of ones I have in use.  For example a cool green one for Lotus Greenhouse, yellow for BleedYellow and some fun ones you will find enclosed.

Icon link: Feel free to grab or redistribute


You can also watch this podcast in HD on  YouTube

Below is the preference panel where you add the icon in and select it for the communities.  You can find this in the community settings for each individual community.  Remember you must also enable the ability to see them in the buddylist preferences screen.

Image:IdoNotes Episode 88 - Sametime Community icons and free download
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    On Monday, December 6th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8.5.1.1 adds multiple community push


Something that has been missing from the administrator ability in Sametime was the simple step of configuring and pushing out multiple communities to end user clients.  Sametime 8.5.1.1 added this fix
KRED85SJJ8 - Added the ability to preconfigure then push multiple community and meeting server name values to clients

This should give you more flexibility when wanting to have users access partner, customer or even Lotus Greenhouse.
    for this posting

    On Monday, December 6th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Live blogging: Instant Messaging Market from Radicati


Radicati Group had a webinar this morning on Instant Messaging Market: An Evolving Landscape that piqued my interest.   The panel that was put together included:
  • Jan-Joost (JJ) Rueb - CEO of eBuddy, an awesome aggregator of IM services
  • Eric Young - Sr Director of Field Services at Facetime
  • Dave Kong - Product Manger at Microsoft Lync Server 2010

Sara showed the numerous reports they just released on eDiscovery, email platform for service providers, this one and wireless email market.  She then entered the panel discussion before open Q&A.  Her question in italics and my summary following.

Why is IM still a competitive market?
 Microsoft gave the best answer saying IM is part of the broader solution and framework.  Clearly it has value that communication may start with IM and escalate or be solved with the capabilities such as web conferencing.

With more and more solutions forming federation agreements, how is this changing the IM landscape and what you all are doing?
 All aggregate or federate a connection in some form,  Outside of Facetime that provides a service around the evolution and merging of enterprise and public networks.  Security is something you want multiple layers.  Some is built into the platforms, the rest is needed to be applied.

Security continues to be a concern for business and consumer users.  How well do you think the current IM security technology is keeping up with IM threats?
 People are not advertising the fact they are being hit by malware over IM channels.  Some enterprises cannot tell if it came from the web, IM or even brought in from home technology devices.  In general IM has had more security with things such as presence control.

All speakers agreed secure authentication procedures should be used.  From encrypted wifi networks to SSL.

Will IM move to a bit more mobile technology?
It is a personal way of communication so it makes sense to use your phone.  But the need for advanced capabilities, it is a messaging system and some features will need a computer.

Will IM move to be a simple feature of social networking?
Speakers had some opinions and didn't commit either way.  Each is a unique piece of a social network, so needing a social network to just have IM and presence will not make sense.

Does eBuddy connect with or work with SMS networks?
He can see it happening, but not short term.

Is Microsoft planning support for iOS and Android for Instant Messaging?
Microsoft is looking into different devices right now, but no timeframe .
************************************************************************

My summary

She really didn't dig into anything hard or not presented in their slides.  Quite disappointing with the group she brought together.  I hoped for more content and deeper questions about market and movement.  I wish Lotus Sametime had been part of this as well as it fit right into the conversation numerous times.  I left slightly empty.

***********************************************************************
Sara Radicati did the brief introduction at the very beginning and let each vendor take about five minutes to talk about their product.  Read on that summary below
Continue Reading here" Live blogging: Instant Messaging Market from Radicati" »
    for this posting

    On Thursday, December 2nd, 2010   by Chris Miller        

November 2010 Sys Admin Tips is out on LotusUserGroup.org


In this November 2010 issue I talk about widget catalog issues and the following:

IN THIS ISSUE #64
* From the Editor: Chris' 0.0191762 CHF
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Duplicate Bookmarks Pushed Via Policies
* Options for Connecting to IBM Via Sametime
* Quick Tip: Sametime Client Does Not Have Audio/Video for Some Users
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Notesview Getdocumentbykey Error


Make sure you:
* head over to Consultant In Your Pocket and catch upcoming FREE webcasts and full replays of previous webcasts including "What's New in Domino 8.5.2 Administration
* catch up on the entire Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes (GAMLN) series here on IdoNotes
* Sign up for both the Consultant In Your Pocket and IdoNotes newsletters in the upper right corner of the blog.  Get early notices before the public, webcast information and commentary not found on the blog.  Did I mention the two free whitepapers on DCC and Search in Lotus Notes just for signing up?
    for this posting

    On Thursday, November 18th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Book Review: IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials - A User’s Guide


I am taking a non-biased approach to the book review, knowing both of the incredible authors Marie "CrashTestChix" Scott and Tom "Duffbert" Duff.  

The book, IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User's Guide is written for users, just as the title suggests.  While some edges of administraiton are hit for purely reference points, they do a great job of telling users to call their Sametime administrators for questions and items beyond the scope of the book.  The book is hefty for a user at 284 pages and $40 USD (at time of writing).  But if you want "soup to nuts" information on the Sametime client in your users hands, this is it.  Even as an administrator you learn quite a few tips and tricks on the UI side you did not know existed.

The screenshots and attention to detail makes it almost a show and tell type scenario for implementing anything the authors discuss and suggest.  Sametime is a large product between chat, communities, external contacts, Advanced, meetings and even integration with the Notes client.  Tom and Marie conquer it all breaking each part into it's own chapter.  They build upon previous chapters well and slowly move the user experience into productivity and not just bells and whistles.  This is what makes their style together work.

Explaining what a community is, who authentication and login works and variations in usernames is beneficial to an end user that will read this.  Something most end users books do not take into account.  I also appreciate how they taught buddy list name lookup and management to get users chatting right away once they are connected.

I honestly wished they had included two things.  One, I hoped that they would have chosen the native Sametime Connect for Blackberry instead of Enterprise Messenger, but that is a personal preference.  Two, that they had touched on the plain text integrated chat that shows in the basic client as numerous enterprises still use this as their chat client due to licensing or running Notes (even 8.x and higher) in Basic mode.

This is the only book on this topic and no other will come close.  They have set the bar high for any end user guide in the Lotus software community.  When they wake up, I hope they prepare for another round of writing.


Disclosure: Packt Publishing sent me a free ebook copy wit no review guarantees and I was a reviewer for a couple chapters (of course those chapters rock too).  The links directly to the book are Amazon affiliate links.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, November 9th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Call it a plug-in, not a widget when it’s really a plug-in. Pretty Please?


We need to have a long talk, mr developer.  Yes we do.  I am getting slightly frustrated at the number of "widgets" being placed into catalogs (OpenNTF, Greenhouse and more) that are shown as widgets.  They make the instructions read to just drag and drop this into your widget box.  Yes for a widget that would be correct.

The moment that widget tries to prompt me to install plug-in code from a remote site it changes the game.  The security mechanisms are different.  The controls are different.  The policies are different.  The updating architecture is different.

Go watch this webcast, see what some of the differences are and come back and label all your widgets to the appropriate name.  Yes, you are allowed to deploy plug-ins via a widget.  Fully supported.  But it is not a widget.
This plug-in XXX is deployed via a widget

Just say that.  Also make your plug-in downloadable to place into my site updates.  Not yours.  I don't let my users just go anywhere to get code.  That is what policies and proper site update management is for.


"Deploying Plugins and Widgets for Lotus Notes and Sametime" -  the webcast from Consultant In Your Pocket
    for this posting

    On Monday, October 25th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Collaboration University 2010 summary, pictures and thoughts #collabu



www.flickr.com
IdoNotes' Collaboration University 2010 photoset IdoNotes' Collaboration University 2010 photoset
We closed out another year for Collaboration University, this time in reverse with Chicago being the last city.  With year number five under our belts, it moved along smooth and it is great to see students attend for all five years!  As you can see in the limited pictures I have posted, there was so much going on we forgot to take tons of them during the events as we have in past years (2009, 2008, 2007, 2006).

This was a big year of learning for attendees as both Quickr and Sametime received major updates since last years graduation.  While you should have been there in person we at least recorded the opening sessions for you.  You can replay all the opening sessions right here on the Collaboration University channel on uStream.

I had the pleasure of presenting the "glue" sessions this year.  LDAP, LTPA and plugin deployment were the starting set.  However, what session drew the attention of myself and attendees was governance, security and ui considerations for social media.  Some attendees have taken to the idea and even blogged about the governance already.

While we can't post all of the content here from the sessions, look for more on the governance on TheSocialNetworker blog.
    for this posting

    On Friday, October 1st, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Replay of the Collaboration University 2010 keynote #collabu




For your viewing pleasure we present the replay above of the Collaboration University 2010 keynote address.  It starts with Gabriella Davis of Turtle Partnership covering Sametime 8.5.1.  Next is Troy Reimer of SNAPPS providing Quickr 8.5 and then then a great thinking keynote from Louis Richardson, WW Sales Executive of Lotus Software.

For those that must see Rob Novak provide the brief intro you can see that video here from the Collaboration University 2010 uStream channel.
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    On Tuesday, September 28th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Quickr 8.5, Sametime 8.5.1 & Keynote : Collaboration University streaming live 9am-12:15pm CST




Collaboration University returns for it's fifth year with the best technical training for Sametime, Quickr and Lotus Connections in one event.  Join us in the live stream as we deliver to you the following sessions all in Central Standard Time (-6:00):
  • 09:00-9:15              Introduction and Welcome
  • 09:15-10:15            What's New in Sametime 8.5.1 with Gabriella Davis (Turtle Partnership)
  • 10:15-11:15            What's New in Quickr 8.5 with Troy Reimer (SNAPPS)
  • 11:15-12:15            Keynote Address with Louis Richardson, WW Sales Executive for Lotus Social Software

Feel free to share this across your blogs and social networks using the hastag #collabu.  You can watch the stream embedded in this posting or click here to watch the stream live native on uStream.
    for this posting

    On Sunday, September 26th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Plantronics updates Persono software for Sametime Plugin

This actually happened a couple of weeks ago but if you have grabbed the Plantronics plug-in for Sametime (both in and out of Notes) then you should get prompted for a software upgrade.  I know I run the option to prompt for software upgrades.  The image shows the upgrade and the install screen with the ton of integration options outside of Lotus Sametime

Image:Plantronics updates Persono software for Sametime Plugin
Imagine a single headset with phone and all the telephony integration? I live with the Savi Office one on all day now switching between both the office phone system and VOIP calls with the click of a button.

Here are the headsets I use in the office and on the road.

Road Warrior Mode
Unboxing of the Plantronics Voyager Pro - my choice for on the road.  Bluetooth connectivity to the PC and about 5 other devices.  You can get it right here

Office Mode
The Plantronics Savi Office headset (PC and Phone connectivity

Home Mode
Plantronics Calisto Pro - speaker, headset, handset, phone and pc connectivity.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, September 2nd, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Free webcasts! Sametime - A User’s Perspective (Aug 25) and Lotus Protector (Sep 1) & "Bag O’ Schwag"

Consultant In Your Pocket webcasts are back in full swing with two awesome upcoming webcasts.  They are both free and include a chance to win the most talked about "Bag O' Schwag".  You can register for both today and one is this coming Wednesday!

***************************************************************************************************************************
Tom Duff and Marie Scott are back for the launch of their upcoming book of the same topic from Packt Publishing:
This session shows you exactly how you can effectively collaborate with your colleagues and teammates both in your organization and outside your organization by using the features of Sametime. It's practical, down-to-earth, and most of all, fun!


You will be able to attend this session on August 25, 2010 at 10am CDT.  Registration is now open!!

Visit our sponsor Plantronics.  Explore how they can help your Unified Communication direction.

Image:Free webcasts!  Sametime - A User’s Perspective (Aug 25) and Lotus Protector (Sep 1) & "Bag O’ Schwag"

****************************************************************************************************************************


Consultant In Your Pocket welcomes Victor Toal for a webcast on Lotus Protector for Mail Security on Sep 1 2010 at 10am CDT. He will cover the following on this awesome product:

Lotus Protector for Mail Security - a comprehensive webinar about this do-it-all appliance

Some of the topics we will cover:
  • What is Lotus Protector for Mail security: capabilities and functionality
  • Architectural options - where can it fit in my environment?
  • Installation and configuration - how to make it work for you
  • Lotus Protector and the Domino integration - the part your users will love


You can register for this event starting now right here.
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 23rd, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Connectria relaunches a unified hosting brand including Lotus products

I am pleased to announce that we (Connectria) have brought in our subsidiary Managed Hosting division, RedPlaid, to create a unified hosting solution.
Launched in 2006, REDPLAID Managed Hosting (“REDPLAID”) targeted small to mid-sized organizations that wanted secure and reliable Windows & Linux hosting solutions with a wide range of managed services. REDPLAID leveraged Connectria’s experience in delivering highly reliable and secure solutions that it had built for companies like Deutsche Bank and IBM. These solutions were packaged into standardized offerings that could meet the needs of a wide audience at very attractive prices. Since its inception, REDPLAID’s business grew exponentially, providing a complementary offer to its parent, Connectria, whose focus has been providing complex hosting solutions for large enterprises.

With the blending of all the services, we now offer under a single umbrella:
  • self managed
  • managed
  • complex
  • cloud


Visit our new Connectria website today and find out why we offer the best in Lotus Software hosting and management.

Eat.Sleep.Host    It is what we do.

Image:Connectria relaunches a unified hosting brand including Lotus products

    for this posting

    On Monday, August 23rd, 2010   by Chris Miller        

August 2010 Sys Admins Tips is out

In this August 2010 issue I talk about the cloud over coffee with you and the following:

IN THIS ISSUE #61
* From the Editor: Chris' 1.0000 LUG
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Are Agents Executed At Once?
* LotusLive Hosted Notes
* Quick Tip: Spellchecker in 8.5.1 Doesn't Skip All
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Sametime 8.5.1 Released, Now What?

Make sure you:
* head over to Consultant In Your Pocket and catch two upcoming FREE webcasts (one being August 18th!! )  or free   full replays of previous webcasts
* catch up on the entire Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes (GAMLN) series here on IdoNotes
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, August 17th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8.5.1 fix list - one of our happy moments included

We have been pushing the edge of deploying Sametime 8.5 to customers and numerous issues have been found along the way.  Gab has been a strong proponent of finding and logging them.  Well one of our fix wishes has shown itself  in the fix list for Sametime 8.5.1.  While you think it is simple, it does solve some things we did not want to work around.
MHEG7ZMKX7  -  Domino LDAP now allows a blank DN

    for this posting

    On Monday, August 16th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

FREE "Bag O’ Schwag" at upcoming webcasts from Consultant In Your Pocket

With some awesome upcoming webcasts at Consultant In Your Pocket (for awesome online Lotus related training) and due to the great sponsors, we will be giving away a "Bag of Schwag" to some attendees drawn for each webcast.  Consultant In Your Pocket will begin giving away the "Bag O' Schwag" at the following webcasts** you need to attend:

Join Kathy Brown as she returns to provide you a fun session "Going Beyond Deploy and Pray"  on August 18th 2010, 10am CST,  covering the following:

Thanks to Lotus and Domino’s rapid application development platform, many developers find themselves in a deploy-and-pray application release cycle.  That can be fine for simple applications in uncomplicated environments, but what happens when the feature requests get more and more complex?  Come hear about different techniques for managing Lotus and Domino application deployment and how to get beyond deploy-and-pray!

You can register for Deploy and Pray  immediately right here.


Join Tom Duff and Marie Scott (Tommy and Marie as they are known now) on Sametime: A Users Perspective taking place August 25 2010 at 10am CST .  With the pending launch of their upcoming book on this very topic, follow along as they take you down the path of what a user sees in your environment and how to better think like them when deploying features and functions.

You can register for Sametime: A User Perspective right here



** Yes, we will be using the webcast attendee names of those that actually attend (not just register) to be fair.  You can always watch the replay online after the event, but then you only get to see virtual "Bag O' Schwag".
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 16th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8.5.1 downloads begin - all 10GB ?

With joyous anticipation, we begin the downloads and installs of the gold code for Lotus Sametime 8.5.1 from IBM.  Supposing we just check the boxes for Windows versions, we were blessed with this..

Image:Sametime 8.5.1 downloads begin - all 10GB ?

I can't wait till we get all the file downloaded for the different systems.
    for this posting

    On Friday, August 6th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8.5 certiified - certificate received (finally)

I am happy to have finally received, in email, my certificate for
IBM Certified System Administrator for IBM Lotus Sametime 8.5


Image:Sametime 8.5 certiified - certificate received (finally)
    for this posting

    On Thursday, August 5th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Plantronics Exceeds Money Projections - Sametime praised

In a recent news story from Unified Communications Headsets, Plantronics beat revenue expectations with some great commentary about UC2 and a blurb on Sametime:
Plantronics also came out with new audio functions and tools for the IBM (News - Alert) Lotus Sametime and Sametime Unified Telephony products. The Plantronics Plug-in for Sametime is new software that delivers intelligent call control between Plantronics’ full UC product portfolio and IBM Sametime, providing users with exceptional online meeting and telephony experiences with enhanced audio quality.


Disclosure, I have been testing some of the Plantronics headsets, especially the UC Pro discussed in the article.  A headset I would definitely check out for Skype, Sametime and any VOIP calls.  Join Plantronics as a SIlver sponsor at IamLUG in just a few days.
    for this posting

    On Friday, July 30th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Wondered about deploying plug-ins and widgets?

Join a webcast next week,  Jun 2nd at 10am CST, that will walk through the components that make up a plug-in and the administrative knowledge you need to deploy them.  Learn about widget catalogs, user rights needed, administrative controls and automatic site updates.  Both Lotus Notes and Sametime will be covered.

You can learn more and register for the Consultant In Your Pocket even right here.

The event is sponsored by Plantronics with a special offer during your registration process.

Image:Wondered about deploying plug-ins and widgets?
    for this posting

    On Thursday, May 27th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Plantronics Voyager Pro UC unboxing and review



The YouTube video above walks you through my commentary on this awesome headset device, the Plantronics Voyager Pro UC.  This is a bluetooth solution for all the calls you take over your computer.  Couple it with the new plug-in from Plantronics for Sametime and you have one heck of a way to save on PC calls via Sametime, Skype or whatever VOIP software you load.  I would peek at the IBM announcements from Plantronics here.

Disclosures:
The headset was sent for me to give an honest review with no stipulations.  However, it has become my headset of choice when using my laptop.

The above link is an Amazon affiliate link so you can find the best deal.

Also,  make sure you keep up with all the product reviews from Spiked Studio on YouTube.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, May 19th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Admin2010 keynote with Alistair Rennie, demos by Ron Sebastian

Great news for all third party plug-in developers for Lotus Notes an Sametime as the keynote kicked off with demos of Gist, Tungle, TripIt and more.

For help in learning how to deploy these plug-ins I would catch the Consultant In Your Pocket webcast on Jun 2 right here.

LotusLive is a key push with the ability for any enterprise to get involved in the beta early on.

We all know that Sametime 8.5 is picking up steam and they want companies to start looking at migrating and upgrading to the new features. If you are entering new into Sametime, it is an easy move and you never know the difference.  If you are migrating up, you can stay with what you have now and run Sametime 8.5 without all the new bells and whistles.  But for the full experience, you need to plan your Websphere deployment parts.

Let's not forget all the UC2 stuff and Sametime Unified Telephony.  VOIP is a big topic all over and the recent Skype integration into LotusLive adds to that argument.

They mentioned social analytics in Lotus Connections version 3.  This is something that was more of an asset in previous versions, I wonder if they are adding some of Atlas for free into version 3.  That would be incredibly helpful.

It will be interesting with the last part of open Q&A, not the normal for a keynote but a great idea!  I wonder if people will step up and ask what they want to know.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, May 12th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Sametime audio chat services and it’s issues and compliments

We have been heavily testing Sametime audio services inside the firewall for a side project and found some nuances along the way I wanted to share as well as some compliments.

1) If you open an audio call with someone and then decide to chat with them, the chat is closed when you close the call.  Losing all the chat data.  Unless you already have multiple chats open in a vertical or horizontal list.  Then all is well.  But just a single chat with that person on the call and poof, it goes away.  Here is an example image:
Image:Sametime audio chat services and it’s issues and compliments

2) Next up we had an issue adding video when only one party had a video camera.  The other got an error there was no input device.  While the one with the camera got a wait status, but could still talk.  The only way out of the wait was to kill the conversation, which took Notes down with it.  Not elegant and downright frustrating to users.

3) We also found that the whole firewall thing sucked for outside callers.

There were compliments on the clarity and the ease of starting an audio conversation and the ability to have multiple people join in.  Call controls overall were tough, and no way to mute anyone as the call organizer, but it was not a meeting center and more like people in an open room.  Once that was explained it was taken much better.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, May 5th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Mobile 8.5 on Blackberry review

I wanted to make sure I fully tested it before making any early comments on the performance and added support for more Blackberry version in Sametime 8.5 mobile.  So far the performance has been faster, the screen reacting better and overall, much more pleasing.  So we decided to roll it out to everyone that wanted the update before a big push through BES.

To read the story of the testing, results and the BES push planning, join the IdoNotes newsletter in the upper right of the blog.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, February 24th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

IBM is changing their Sametime Gateway address - the day before Lotusphere #ls10

I held on from making any fuss around this until it was moved twice and then confirmed.  The night before Lotusphere, IBM will officially take their Sametime Gateway to a new address on the Internet.  This DOES NOT affect extst.ibm.com that some of you connect to.  It only affects those that communicate with IBM from gateway to gateway (SIP to SIP).

This was supposed to take place at the end of December, but due to various reasons (read as it seems some larger customers had issues) with the timing so they moved it.  The date, the day before Lotusphere.  So if anything goes wrong, the connectivity and awareness to IBM will go away for those affected right before communication might be very important.


If you are currently pointing to IP address 207.25.251.165, please change it to IP address 170.225.31.215.
If you are currently pointing to IP address 207.25.251.166, please change it to IP address 170.225.31.216.
If you are currently pointing to IP address 207.25.251.167, please change it to IP address 170.225.31.217.
If you are currently pointing to IP address 207.25.251.168, please change it to IP address 170.225.31.218.

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, January 12th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

A Sametime 8.5 product name change you might want to be aware of

Sametime 8.5 as as have all hopefully learned, includes quite a bit of Websphere for the meeting services.  Yet, it does still have the chat and presence on Domino.  The portion of Sametime 8.5 that runs only on Domino, and does include meeting services as we know them today will be called, wait for it....wait for it...
Sametime Classic


That is right.  Like an old car, you now run a Classic infrastructure (link to naming and technotes).  Time to think about trading up for the new model.  Then again that requires more insurance and a new loan, oil changes, tires and brakes.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, January 7th, 2010   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8.5 downloads as part numbers. Here is the abbreviated name mapping

We know they fixed it for Domino with much push by Ed.  I thought he meant all Lotus products.  Apparently Sametime has not been fixed yet or was not in the game plan


Sametime 8.5 part # mapping
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8.5 welcomes you to ~10GB of download

In order to download just about everything you need for a Windows install of Sametime 8.5 you will be grabbing about ~10GB of files.  The main reason is due to the packaging and installers needed to allow you to install across physical machines easily.

I offer a different approach they could have taken.  Instead of including WAS and DB2 in many of the parts (Media, Proxy and Meeting), the package could have been required to be placed and named a specific way accessible to the installer and then point the installer to it.  This would have saved numerous GB of downloads.

Some would say that my proposed ideas would have meant a change to the installer itself.  True, but since I need WAS and DB2 for any core piece, it is already there anyway.  Why am I forced to have it included over and over?  This would also streamline versioning across the packages with a central code repository for deployment.

I am just saying
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009   by Chris Miller        

RIM compares their Enterprise Messenger demo to Sametime 6.5.x and previous

As we talked to a customer about the choice between implementing Sametime Mobile or Enterprise Messenger on the new Storm 2 devices (which will not work right with Sametime Mobile right now), we can across this gem of a demo on the Blackberry site.   We were a bit stunned.

Image:RIM compares their Enterprise Messenger demo to Sametime 6.5.x and previous

You would think they might update the demo a bit to include new devices and the new features that 2.5 supports.  Plus , with the IBM relationship, possibly update the client they use in the demos.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, November 19th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Live Blogging: Bob P keynote at #TriStateLUG

Smarter Planet is about recognizing the need to see how we are interconnected, how it is instrumented the intelligence contained within.
Bob P - "There is never a better time to be involved with collaboration"

If something meaningful happens it affects people, companies, institutions and man and nature systems.  IBM is driving Smarter Planet thorugh four categories:
  • New Intelligence - data exploding and in silos
  • Green and Beyond - efficiency
  • Smart Work - helping people work smarter together
  • Dynamic Infrastructure - responding faster with cheaper and more flexible infrastructure
Investment was needed to let people know what the Lotus brand stands for.  It was iportant to have a top level cmapaign to let people know what Lotus has to offer.  The backdrop of the campaign is LotusKnows.  Some of us were the behind the scenes ideas of what went into the campaign.

Bob gave examples of what the LotusKnows ad showed and what it meant in their marketing thoughts.  Like situation awareness when the LotusKnows campaign talks about knowing about recent news event.  
Me - Does the public get this message however? I saw this in the cab on the tiny screen and while it was a cool ad the message was lost as to what I would get

This campaign is being invested in for multiple years in multiple markets.  
me - It is agreed that the general business partner reaction is high to have marketing surrounding LotusKnows.


You can now obtain and modify LotusKnows marketing for your own needs through Partnerworld.  Drive your message and customized collateral for internal company needs and business partners.  1439 new customers were added in 4th quarter. with 16,859 new customers since Domino 8 was launched.  Lotus Connections is the fastest growing software product in Lotus history.

The solution delivery strategy is cloud/online and on premise/appliance for all of messaging, communication, connecting and integrating.  Whether that is plug-in, mashups or a portal.

LotusLive is the launchpad of the cloud strategy.  it began with web conferencing, into collaboration and now email.  Click-to-cloud is being offered for not only company to company collaboration, but as ways to create support for communities to include file sharing, meetings and activities.  The goal is to be able to integrate services, such as Sametime in the Click-2-Cloud services to maximize value and consumability.
me - It will be difficult to offer provisioning, integration and policy management between the two worlds.

Email is coming back to being the collaboration console.  With the future of email being Lotus Notes.
Bob P - Panasonic is a recent announcement of a full migration from Exchange to Notes.  They are starting with a few thousand users and then moving down the migration path. The largest company has 2 million mailboxes on LotusLive and grow by 20k a day?

The press is loving the movement and showing it off in press articles and covering the movement.
me - but isn't that largest customer actually an ISP that was purchased as part of Outblaze and not a Lotus collaboration customer in general with each person being unique and not as a single organization?

Lotus Foundations is a growing market as a solution.  Xerox is on board, as seen at Lotusphere, in integrating services and layers on top of Foundations.
Current customers moving to Lotus - Bank of NY Mellon, KBC, Continental, PNC, Ineos

The current product pipeline before we move to live demo by Chris Crummey - Sametime 8.5 (coming shortly), Notes 8.5.1 and Quickr 8.5.  In plans is Connections Next with more netowrk building, compliance, deeper integration and LotusLive integration.  Portal 6.1.5 and Mashups 2.0 with more customization, analytics, Connections portlets and end user page creation.

We will see some new paradigms in collaboration at Lotusphere 2010 (we can't ruin any surprises though)  Bob did a great whirlwind job of running through the strategy and handed off to Chris Crummey for live demos.  Copies of the presentation will be available.

Chris starts out by focusing on the Business Card feature.  This is showing across al of the products and shows more than just a name and picture.  it drives self service with title, location, phone (Sametime UC), microblog status and links to all of your Connections information.  The person can go to your items through your card instead of having you interact.  For example knowing you keep files on Connections, clicking your card and going right to your shared files.

Chris jumped into the unified phone book and phone/ip audio connections.  You don't know how the end user wanted to be contacted, the system uses their current preference and makes the connection.  You can then transfer the call to one of your other numbers or another not in the system.

Chris moves on to widgets, sidebars and the coolness of how they can work together before how IBM does customization.  Of course, Ron Sebastian made a cameo in the demos via VOIP and a business card.
    for this posting

    On Monday, November 9th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Notes Domino Security Certificate call (my transcript live)

If you have no idea what this is about go read my posting right here, this is big for users people
  • Starting on Tuesday the 19th 2009, web browser users who access various applets hitting a Domino/Sametime/Quickr server may receive a message that the certificate associated with the applet has expired
  • This doesn't affect functionality, just the warning error unless the user trusts IBM
  • The certificate was unable to be renewed until they got close to the expiration.  They were limited in time to renew earlier.  Then there was testing to do and prep for posting
  • -----> Open Q&A begins here by pressing *1 and recording your name<--------------
  • Shawn asks - due to time sensitivity there is not much testing time on the new fixes.  Answer: you can test it via java/applet API's to see how it is signed and when it will expire.  Since this is a browser that is impacted you can actually on a test machine try it but setting your clock into the future.
  • Irv asks - on a test server he has overwritten the files.  In the java section of the browser will that date be automatically updated on the next connect?  Will the people with the older expired certificate get the update automatically or will they have to delete and reinstall soemthing?  Answer from Scott Vrusho: The technote will be updated to clarify the this.  The user will be prompted to accept the new certificate in the browser just as they were 3 years ago
  • Ray asks - the remediation effort is just a file swap?  Answer - yes
  • Steve asks -  the new applets on Sametime will force the user to be accepted on a prompt if they previously trusted IBM?  Answer from Scott - yes even if the user trusted IBM previously they will be prompted
  • Rob asks - will this affect BES?  Answer from Scott - nope
  • Scott asks - I just shut down HTTP on the Domino server and it would not allow me to replace some jar files due to them being locked  Answer from Scott - in testing they could just shut down HTTP but you might have to shut the Domino server down
  • Steve asks - they are using the Sametime Limited client, is there anything to do?  Answer - there shouldn't be since this is meetings and HTTP , not chat
  • Tim asks - they are using 7.0.3 with Sametime integrated but they use webmail.  Will they get the prompt to accept certificates?  Answer from Scott - DWA and iNotes shouldn't.  all other stock templates have applets
  • John asks - why the NCSO jar file (sorry missed some of it)  Answer they will update the technote to see why that NCSO file is included
  • ?? asks - On sametime server there is both Domino and Sametime fixes to be applied? they did a test and moved server to later date to see behavior and is that it? Are instant meeting users affected?  Answer - yes to all parts
  • Mark asks - on the technote for Sametime it states version 7 and above yet they run 6.5.1.  Is it the same of a different patch?  Answer - that version is EOL so there is no signed applets for that version.  So get to upgrading or you will get prompts
  • ?? asks - Domino and Sametime with EMS in front.  Do these jars impact/work with the FIPS encryption?  In preliminary testing they did not get into meetings with the new jars.  Are they compatible?  Could they grab the certs and move them into the jar files  Answer - they are not sure and will research.  A FIPS version was not ready
  • Tino asks - specific question for version 7.5 of Sametime and they do not see a fix for that version.  Answer - they were suggested to move to 7.5.1 and the CF1 and CF2.  While it may not be possible, it would be encouraged.  Yet this didnt answer the question.
  • Mike asks - they have 6.5.6 servers with iNotes 6 template.  Is it affected? They loaded a test on a Domino 8,.5 server with the patch.  They had no change for the trust question.   Answer from Scott - they are not affected.  DWA/iNotes is not impacted and no applets on any version
  • Wayne asks - Quickr on Domino, no Sametime.  They use ActiveX verus java for drag and drop is there any concern?  Answer from Jennifer - no concern in either case
  • Lisa asks - running Domino 7.0.3 server with mixed R6 clients and R7 clients on both versions of iNotes/DWA templates. Sametime Connect for browsers are in use, are they affected?  Answer from Scott - iNotes/DWA no impact. Sametime Connect is affected and is in the patches
  • Alan asks - are the expirations time zone related? What about chat functionality through DWA?  Answer from Scott - they aren't totally sure but there is an hour associated with the expiration that will adjust based on timezone.  Yes the chat for stlinks files used in DWA for awareness are affected and should be checked to see if they are unsigned or signed.
  • Ian asks - are there any updates for jar files in the client distribution?  Answer from Scott  - this is fairly niche case where you run and develop web apps to preview in web browser.  The applets would show then with the prompt.  They are not advertising for normal use case to update the client yet it could affect those "rare" instances.  Fixes will be in the later normal later release and fixes for clients.  The 8.0.2 FP2 and 8.5 FP1 will have these updates.  Later when these expire in 2012 this wont cause the same issue due to timestamping in signing so no future prompts they are rolling into future products
  • Lisa asks - Domino 7.0.3 in house and they had to bring the server down to replace the one program file directory file.  She got a prompt for an applet to choose to always run for it not to come up anymore.  Is that normal? Answer from Scott - he questioned which one to see if it was a normal prompt or about the date.  It was about accepting to run the software entirely.
  • Jeff asks - they have Quickplace 7, is there an order to apply with Quickr/Sametime/Domino. Answer - there is no order and no Quickplace patch unless you have Sametime integration with Quickplace.  They will update technotes more on how to verify dates.
  • Mark asks - on all the products they have applied the fix and the user gets prompted, will they also get prompted when they hit Sametime for a meeting the first time or will one acceptance work across? What about our Sametime 6.5.1 servers?  Answer from Scott - one acceptance will take care of all of it.  There is nothing to do for Sametime 6.5.1 servers since there is no patch for them.  Those users will get the security  warning.
  • Rich asks - for Quickplace 6.5.1 there was a patch listed but what about domino? What about the downloadable gold code that is out there now, will these be updated or will I apply fixpacks? Answer from Scott - there is a Domino 6.5.x patch for all versions.  You have to download fixpacks, they will not upload fixed gold code.
  • ?? asks - they have a lot of products running on Domino with multiple patches.  Portal is the front end..  they exported the SSO key and will this affect it.  Answer from Scott - any application relying on the Domino applets will be corrected when replacing the applets. These are just applet certificates, no application or SSO certificates.  No issue there.
  • Tim asks - Their Domino has legacy web apps (over 100)on a 5.0.11 server.  Any recourse?  Answer from Scott - no.
  • Bob asks - They tried pushing the clock forward but cant recreate the popup.  Answer - going into Java settings in the browser to remove the IBM trust will then show the popup again.
  • me - are the files the same for Domino 8.0 and Domino 8,5.  Sizes and everything else matches  Answer from Scott - they should be as they built the Domino 8.5 o n the same codset and no other changes were really made.
  • Andy asks - Domino 7.0.3 with DWA 6.5.3 template.  Answer - no problem

I had to drop off the call at this point, so I missed a handful.  The call went almost 30 minutes late.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, May 13th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Lotus says you have 1 week from today till you expire. Are you ready?

Unless you haven't been reading along in emails and living under administration rocks, you have till May 18th 2009 to replace the following:

The certificate for some Java applets in Lotus Domino 6.5.x, Domino 7.0.x, Domino 8.0.x, and Domino 8.5 have an expiration date of May 18, 2009. Starting May 19th, Web users will see a dialog with a message similar to one of the following when loading a Web page that contains a Java applet from the Domino server:

"The digital signature was generated with a trusted certificate but has expired or is not yet valid."
"The security certificate has expired or is not yet valid."


As this was just not enough, do not forget about the Sametime expirations the exact same day also:


The Lotus Sametime Meeting Server applets are signed with a VeriSign certificate that is valid between May 15, 2006 and May 18, 2009. To prevent users who load any of the Sametime applets such as the Meeting Room Client or Directory applet from seeing a warning message as of May 19th


Want technotes?  Oh we have them..  Domino and Sametime

Now don't think I waited till the last minute to tell you.  Lotus held off to get the digital signatures right.
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    On Monday, May 11th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Lotus puts the hold on Sametime Reflector fixes

I had interest in this since we had a customer using the audio chat functionality quite nicely.  However, firewalls and network translations were a headache.  Lotus had a fix coming along the way but it got put on hold due to a bug in the code according to this recent public technote (1384423):

Sametime Reflector hotfixes, for both client and server, address problems with media connections using a technology called Interactive Connectivity Establishment (ICE). ICE uses STUN/TURN protocol to logically deduce the most logical and efficient network paths between remote endpoints using all available network interfaces. This greatly improves the ability of clients to negotiate audio/video sessions across complex network topologies.

There are fixes available for Sametime 8.0.1 and 8.0.2 servers and clients. Due to the depth of architectural modifications required to enable this new functionality, it is not possible to backport these fixes to any Sametime client or server version prior to 8.0.1. If this functionality is required, please upgrade to at least Sametime 8.0.1 and apply the appropriate fixes.

Note: The Sametime Reflector hotfixes for Sametime 8.0.1 and 8.0.2 are currently on hold. We have uncovered an underlying bug in the code that must be updated prior to release of the fixes. This technote will be updated as soon as the new fixes are made available.


    for this posting

    On Thursday, May 7th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Sys Admin Tips for March 2009

Hot off the presses the March 2009 edition is right here.  In this issue:

IN THIS ISSUE
* From the Editor: Chris's 0.714760 DOP
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Error with DAOS and Writing to a File
* My Domino Service Disappeared When Upgrading
* Quick Tip: Talk to Russ
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Connect Your Sametime Gateway to IBM
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, April 1st, 2009   by Chris Miller        

Sys Admin Tips for February 2009

Hot off the presses the February edition is right here.  In this issue:

* From the Editor: CHRIS' 0.136943 NOK
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Where is the IM Usage Template?
* Sametime Gateway Sizing
* Quick Tip: Startup Folder in the Notes Client
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: What Do I Get With Each Sametime Version?
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, February 17th, 2009   by Chris Miller        

50% off certain Lotus licenses until year end it seems

We were in a meeting today with the VP of Global Sales for Lotus and he reiterated an announcement that they are providing 50% off for gap licensing in Sametime Advanced, Lotus Connections and Quickr.

What that basically means is that if you have only 500 Quickr licenses, but 5,000 Lotus Notes licenses, the 4500 difference can be purchased at 50% off.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, November 19th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Do we need primary contacts in Sametime or less friends?

One of the oddities I saw in the new Standard 8.0.2 Notes client and coming in the 8.5 version also, is the integrated Sametime Primary Contacts feature.  I don't see a reason for this feature.  With the type ahead ability I show on the top arrow you can find anyone, anywhere in your buddylists.  Dragging them to arrow 2 is a non-replicable action which will confuse many users and only begs to make bigger buddylists.  If you need a core group, make a private group that can be stored in vpuserinfo.nsf and will go across clients that you utilize.  Not some random sorting plug-in that showed in Sametime 7.5.1 CF1.


Image:Do we need primary contacts in Sametime or less friends?
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    On Monday, November 17th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Enterprise Twitter Solutions Part Duex - QikCom and Present.ly

Is your organization understanding the values here? It is more than just chats between two people, it is seeing data and conversations flowing throughout your enterprise that can be searched, sorted, tagged and archived.  How much is lost from knowledge archives when you do not log and publicly provide access to all the chats about projects, customers and partners?  Sure, there is some private ones, but have those in private.  The rest is for your business, about your business.  So why does it get treated like personal information.  I blogged about two other products last week and got access to two more this week.

QikCom
Another newcomer into the game, they entice you by offering free administration for your site, hoping you will buy into premium services later.  The premium service includes tabs that can be added to your user interface.  The current list was only 3 tabs for to-do's, competition and frequent numbers.  I am betting they will look to developers to offer tabs for the future growth.

 One cool part was the ability to build an organization chart of sorts for your company.
Image:Enterprise Twitter Solutions Part Duex - QikCom and Present.ly
This adds a level of functionality to the mass amounts of data that could be flowing through the system. Being able to follow not only a flow of conversation, but the flow of reporting chain would be an incredible benefit.  Otherwise, it is what you would expect, a Twitter client.  Now, I did not see alternate clients like a desktop or IM integrated and that is a huge disappointment.

Another key feature is the ability to follow and manage tags for content.  So you can not just find and follow persons, but actually follow tags of conversations.  We are all learning about tags as we social bookmark, so extending this to conversations makes sense.  If this ever face to face communication we are doomed as a society, but that is another issue.

Present.ly
Presently has a few levels of membership offering which changes the landscape.  It appeared that even their free limited function version expired in 60 days, and that was very unclear.  While it said "free" it then said it would expire.  I am presuming it is more of a trial version.

They also offer some administration abilities and groups.  Groups is different than the org chart above since I can grab people from all over the organization.  You can have both public and private groups offering first time users some immediate benefit, no more hunting around trying to find people on the system.

I could not access the option for "Devices" since I was not on at least a Basic plan.  There was a long list of notification options, from email to RSS feeds for all sorts of events.  That was a nice touch on their part.


I would really like both of these companies to offer the limited function options with alternate client ability.  it would make them stronger players in the game for sure.  But enterprise Twitter functions are coming, the question is how long till your company gets on board?
    for this posting

    On Monday, October 13th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Anyone else want to connect in Lotus Bluehouse?

I wanted to test more of the capabilities of those in Lotus Bluehouse and having more connections helps in that.  Also, you can add Bluehouse as a community in your Sametime client once you have an account there.  Humorously they still use Sametime 7.5.1 as shown in this public image.

Image:Anyone else want to connect in Lotus Bluehouse?
    for this posting

    On Monday, October 6th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Enterprise Twitter solutions arrive, Sametime suffers or thrives?

We all know that IBM has had their internal BlueTwit ability, but there was no enterprise driven Twitter like software until recently.  Then 2 bigger ones came out of the gates. I hit a big thought at the end about Yammer, so stay with me

 Let's break them down real quick and see how that they might further improve communication or displace conversations more:

Yammer - free for your company up front, unless you want more admin controls.  Then there is a nominal monthly fee.  Only users from your domain may join your group, since it uses email verification to do so.  From there you get a choice of:
  • web interface
  • Blackberry client
  • iPhone client
  • desktop client
  • email, mobile and IM notifications are available
The beauty is the native tagging inside of it.  So not only do we get the short microblog feel of 140 characters, we get hashtags in postings to find and view information quickly.  If you want to add the management abiltiy it runs about $1 per user/mnth for a totally hosted solution.

Laconi.ca - This is an open source solution you deploy at your own site.  Totally free software to create your own little Twitter empire.  The good news is that desktop software such as Twhirl works against it and there is more coming.  Poeple such as Leo Laporte are already deploying Laconi.ca servers to bring in all of their site members for a more private community feeling.  There is API's, a developers community, libraries, apps and more.  There is a growing and long list of servers running the code found on their wiki too

*******
In reality, the integration with your existing systems is not there (possible with Laconi.ca) so Sametime has a stronghold.  But for those small SMB people that just want some alternative communication abilities in the 2.o world, it is an option.  I really do not see this in any way replacing Sametime, so calm down.  I do so it splitting the conversation into yet another fragmented place that will have to be controlled and somehow integrated.
  • Curiously, there is no way to stop people in your company from starting up on Yammer unless you block all incoming verification messages in your spam filters.  Anyone could start it and be the manager.
  • Laconi.ca does not have the same problem as you need the server installed, so my guess is that would be harder to get in place.

    for this posting

    On Monday, October 6th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Meetings: The way to eat hard drive space

A user had a small partition set for their operating system and never loaded and programs there.  After cleaning up tons of temp files they wondered where some of the space was still being used and they found an interesting site.  As you attend more and more meeting servers it is not reusing the same jar files, but instead downloading them over and over.  Nice

Image:Sametime Meetings: The way to eat hard drive space
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Doesn’t anyone see an issue with this?

After spending these past two weeks doing a third Collaboration University, one thing became apparent.  The disparity between all the collaboration products system requirements.  Let us look first
Sametime Gateway 8.0.1
Sametime Advanced 8.0.1
Lotus Connections 2.0
Websphere Application Server
WAS 6.1.0.11
WAS 6.1.0.13
WAS 6.1.0.13
DB2
DB2 9.1
DB2 9.1
DB2 9.1 FP4


So the way this is designed, I cannot share any infrastructure across the products.  I am destined to install numerous systems.  While I could install Advanced and Connections on the same WAS version, the system requirements for Connections eliminates that while idea.  I could then share DB2 across the Gateway and Advanced, but not the same WAS set.  This is until one of them gets an upgrade and totally changes the game once again.  So plan on at least 4 servers to install the above, but with clustering and scaling for thousands (tens of thousands sometimes) you suddenly jump into the more than 20 range immediately.

You can find and cross verify the requirements under the following technotes
  • Sametime Gateway - 4017448
  • Sametime Advanced - 4018149
  • Lotus Connections - 7011798

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, September 17th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Collaboration University - Day 1 (updating all day)

With the largest attendance in 3 years, we kicked off right on time this morning.  There are over 1 million Sametime users represented and over 14 countries between attendees here and London.  Amazing.  So what I have presented so far...

Sametime Advanced Install - wake up call for the resources to some, but everyone had great questions and comments.  Hopefully everyone got enough in the hour to install it via applianceware or as a whole when they get home.  The prerequisite installer really helps demo systems.

Lotus Connections Install with Mitch Cohen driving the train.  Many of the people in the full room had not really seen Lotus Connections and really needed a crash course.  While we did a demo session earlier, many were at other sessions.
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    On Monday, September 8th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

New UC2 Publication looking for authors

"Wellesley Information Services (WIS), the publisher of THE VIEW and The
  Sphere Journal, is seeking authors and advisors for a new online
  knowledgebase dedicated to IBM's UC² -related technologies, including
  Lotus Sametime, Quickr, and Connections. This new publication's mission
  is to help every reader maximize his or her investment in -- and mastery
  of -- IBM UC² technology through the experiences and wisdom of reigning
  experts and practicing professionals. If you have recently completed a
  project or have an interesting application, WIS would love to hear from
  you! Please contact Erin Durkin at erin.durkin@wispubs.com if you would
  like to get involved in this exciting initiative."

    for this posting

    On Thursday, August 7th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Epilio did in 2 days (free) what Lotus hasn’t done for Sametime in 8 years

Carl pinged me over the beloved Sametime Gateway before announcing it to the world so I could beat it up the new Sametime Buddylist Control Tool from Epilio (did I mention free).  While it is strictly a command line interface, it only took them a couple days of downtime to create this.  There are images of it in action on the website.

So the basics are this:
  • You could never give users a pre-defined buddylist
  • Users had to manually go in and add public groups/private groups and people
  • You want someone in particular added to buddylists, like a bot name
You get the general idea there.  Basically manipulate the buddylist how you see fit.  I would like to see this with a pretty UI wrapped around by someone, but I will take this awesome toolset as is for now.

The install was simple.  I chose to place it on my Sametime server directly for testing.  You can install on another machine, but then you need to trust the IP of that machine in stconfig.nsf.  I skipped that for testing.  Large amounts of processing will take time, of course.  But i was quite fast and the results are immediate.  Here is the real kicker to the whole thing.
The tool can run while the server is up and the user is logged in.  No downtime


Carl and his team at Epilio went as far as to create an actual manual with screenshots that can be found right here. in pdf format.  Amazing job and a welcome toolset for my team.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, July 29th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

IBM Sametime gets 3D with OLIVE from Forterra

NOTE: The darn press release is dated 2008 and just got sent to me .  Sheesh


Forterra Systems
has updated their OLIVE system to 2.2 which includes IBM Sametime support for their virtual 3D meeting worlds. OLIVE stands for On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment. Here is what the system looks like from one example

Image:IBM Sametime gets 3D with OLIVE from Forterra

The software claims to reduce costs even more with the media sharing services and audio capabilities.  Sametime already has native audio and video meeting services so that can't be right.  Now streaming a movie file is an added benefit, but I imagine this could be done without all the virtual stuff.

IBM has already backed away from any virtual world activity inside of Second Life, which they pushed heavily at one point.  The market doesn't need this type of interactivity in the enterprise. Face to face video makes perfect sense.  Pretending via an avatar does not.

Here is a quote from the press release issued by Forterra Systems:
Continue Reading here" IBM Sametime gets 3D with OLIVE from Forterra" »
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, June 11th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

May Sys Admin Tips Newsletter is out..

I know I prompt you a reminder each month, but until they get RSS feeds in play, here is the link.  This month I cover:

IN THIS ISSUE
* From the Editor: Chris' 0.0101527 GBP (ouch)
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Two Questions on Sametime in the Notes 8 Standard Client
* Lotus Notes and the Eclipse Update Site for Provisioning
* Quick Tip: Finding the Hidden Menus in Notes 8
* From the IdoNotes Mailbox: Where Are the Detailed System Requirements for 8.0.1?
    for this posting

    On Friday, May 30th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

ND8 Upgrade Seminar in London recap

One more city down for the Notes Domino 8 Upgrade Seminar, with 2 North American cities left to go (San Francisco and Toronto).  Once again I was not disappointed in what the attendees had to say and provide for feedback.
  • 100% were on 6.5.x and higher (ok outside of one desolate R5 server)
  • 85% used Sametime already and really needed to understand what the new integration offered.  They liked it but had rightful concerns over missing functionality and the locking of the chat as Notes did other things
  • The limited number of users you can get on Citrix with the Standard client sucks and they let me know
  • Widgets need tons of business value demos to sell them to the executives
  • Productivity Tools were the doorstop of the sessions with people stepping right on by
  • Lotus Connections made no sense to 90% of them at first.  Later, about 50% I think really got it (while they all then understood it).  But managing all that additional hardware was brought up
  • Lotus Foundations is a cool product if you don't already have a Domino domain, which they all did of course
  • Integration of Sametime is awesome if it was available while doing something else in Notes 8.  Otherwise they want the standalone version (mentioned again)
  • Integration of Activities is confusing to many as to why choose that or Quickr or why at all.  This got answered
  • The Sametime Gateway is of interest to them but MS connectivity is still a demand in Europe
  • Coffee breaks are not often enough, mainly after huge lunches
  • Attendees love free tools that we give away
  • Expanded policy control for desktops and security will be implemented right away
  • People are tired of Smart Upgrade and want full provisioning,   Oh yeah, and provisioning that actually works, which is broke right now
  • I know the list went on by I will update after I sleep and fly....

I broke their hearts when I taught all about site updates to only let them down with it isn't working.  On the good side, I think many are excited about the upgrade.  I was surprised at the length of time a lot will be taking to get upgraded in full.  We are talking well into next year.

Food this week was excellent, and I caught the play Billy Elliot (review here).  Dinner the first night was Kare Kare, an excellent Indian place.  Next up was a chain before the play for speed reasons and finally Amaya.  Outside of that it was all conference food for me :-)
    for this posting

    On Thursday, May 15th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Unyte as Saas or crash?

I got this little tidbit in email today and had some thoughts:
Good news for your business! Now, IBM can help you make a splash in the software as a service (SaaS) market. For the first time ever, IBM is offering you the opportunity to sell Web conferencing services to your customers. The IBM Lotus Sametime Unyte Meeting solution - a full feature, easy-to-use service - is now available via Passport Advantage. Come join us to learn how to grow your business by selling Lotus Sametime Unyte through Passport Advantage. We'll also outline the IBM SaaS strategy, and how we hope it will create more business opportunities for you to sell your way into bigger profits and happier customers

Previously, Lotus.IBM attempted this very offering on their own.  Unyte gives them a better exposure and ease of use than the previous Sametime offering, but each partner now competes directly with each other and with IBM in sales.  From what I know learned at Lotusphere, you as the partner are not hosting this offering, simply pushing the business to IBM directly with some markup in there.

So will you go after this market?
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, April 29th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Is Sametime 8 in Notes 8.0.1 burnt toast, half baked or a perfect loaf?

One of our customers made a point today with a wonderful comment on something they noticed in their testing of the 8.0.1 administrator client:
Looks half-baked to me for an 8.0.1 client with supposed Sametime 8 integration

Now that is a horrible statement for an isolated icon like this and I promptly responded.  What little things will make people say that everything is wrong for an icon color

Image:Is Sametime 8 in Notes 8.0.1 burnt toast, half baked or a perfect loaf?
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, April 8th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Bug in the Sametime Advanced installer - Applianceware version

If you attempt to run the ApplianceWare installer on Linux for Sametime Advanced, you will notice that the plugins for Websphere fail, which in turn breaks the entire install of course.  Some examination shows that line 167 in the installer file refers to a directory with an Uppercase while the actual install file creates it with a lowercase.  So I edited the installer for the ApplianceWare version and the install went off just fine.

Chalk one more up on the wall.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, April 3rd, 2008   by Chris Miller        

"Update Status after login" error in 8.0.1 - close to solving

Every time the client goes into a standby (not hibernation but definitely where Windows closes the screen down and stops spinning the disk, the error shows.  I let  a machine sit and then logging in gave this

Image:"Update Status after login" error in 8.0.1 - close to solving
    for this posting

    On Friday, March 28th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Understanding the new AOL IM filtering rates

Some of you hopefully read the posts and technotes regarding the new filtering rates that AOL has deployed against chats coming through the Clearinghouse.  Well I started getting emails and pings asking what it all meant.  So to honor everyone's requests, I did some digging around with AOL people to get some answers:
  • The rate limit numbers are not linear
  • The rate limit numbers are built dynamically with an algorithm, meaning each company will be different
  • If you run a bot that does heavy traffic, like an automated helpdesk or query bot, through your Sametime Gateway into the Clearinghouse, you may contact AOL to have it provisioned

So as you see there is no hard numbers per customer, per connected Sametime Gateway.  It is a dynamically changing rate based upon your normal usage.  Now I know they do not have 40 guys that are there doing simple math charts.  Which means that if you suddenly spike the amount of traffic you are sending through the gateway into the AOL Clearinghouse, you might get limited down until they figure out what is going on.  Meaning you might end up calling them.  So if you are implementing a new bot, I would get in touch with them and get it provisioned first

Make sense?  If not let me know.
    for this posting

    On Friday, March 21st, 2008   by Chris Miller        

(Dis) connecting from extst.ibm.com is easy to do, since you cant connect

Some of the IBM bloggers (Chris Pepin and Adam G) have recently posted on how strong and wonderful the external Sametime server, known as extst.ibm.com,  for IBM is.  Now let's clarify a few things.  First, it is not a Sametime Gateway server.  It is an old Sametime 3.1 server as shown in this image here:
Image:(Dis) connecting from extst.ibm.com is easy to do, since you cant connect

If it was a Sametime Gateway, then everyone would be firing up gateway servers to connect to it, you could not use your Sametime client directly. So moving on.  I am able to log into this site via the web interface (HTTP), I am able to chat via the old Java connect client.  But I cannot log in via the Sametime Connect client, for about the last two years.  This has been pointed out in the partner forums for a long time, and each time the upgrade and fixing of this service gets pushed for numerous reasons.  Adam once again mentions a quarter and change freeze.  What happened to all of 2007 and 2006?  That freeze gets mentioned over and over.  That must be one of the coldest server rooms in existence.  Yet the demo servers in DFW get upgraded on a consistent basis.  Chris pointed out that it worked for Sametime 7.5, yet that was a select few.  Many people got bumped somewhere along the road and the excuse was also made of compatibility issues.  So we have compatibility, freezes, finance and a ton of others for the past few years.

I am one of the lucky ones that do communicate over the Sametime Gateway.  I am on BleedYellow.  But to have a public facing Sametime server that doesn't work right for years is not a good experiment..  Mitch (a hosted blogger here as well as a large customer reference at Lotusphere) even comes out with a blog comment on the state of the server.

So I will go out on a limb here and make a theory. No insider knowledge, just a theory.  Many of the employees do not want you contacting them directly, bypassing support.  Many of them would get understandably overwhelmed with pings form all over.  I really try to be sparing in contact because I know how my chats can be overwhelming during the day sometimes.  So having this take it's little time, and having sites like BleedYellow and demo3.DFW.ibm.com make it an extra step for an IBM'er to log in.  Adam does a good job of being online all over, but he is product management and wants the exposure.  Developers really do not.
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    On Wednesday, March 19th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

My thoughts on the 2 current Sametime Gateway technotes

I have gotten plenty of emails and pings looking for clarification or thoughts so it is faster to put them out there.

Let's conquer the easy one first, AOL.  In the recent technote #1296449, IBM announces that AOL has finally taken the same approach on the Clearinghouse that they do with the normal public chat  servers, which is to limit your chat rates and also strip filter URL's that point to executables to provide some security.  After talking to AOL yesterday, they have no hard number to give on what rate flow they watch for.  But, if your site runs a Sametime bot accessible via the Gateway that is hit a lot, I would imagine you will see that slow down considerably.  What I didn't understand is:
  •  without any numbers, how can I scale a large user site that is forcing all users through the Gateway now instead of letting them load AOL.?
  • will each user count or the total number of chats through the gateway itself?
  • will presence awareness be affected by this?
  • will a user get blocked for a certain amount of time, or throttled as they do in the public client? (if you want to test this go run AIM and send a ton of chats at once and AOL will warn you that you are being slowed down)
  • will the URL's be replaced with text about the blocked URL or will the sender be notified?
I am sure I will think of some more.

Now for Google.  This is a huge hole on the Google side, no the Sametime Gateway.  let's be clear there.  IBM technote #1295505 and 6.  Basically anyone that you know (company) that has a Sametime Gateway that connects to Google Talk can be temporarily shut off by registering their domain in the small business services.  While Google is working on the way to clean this up, it makes for a weird issue that can't be stopped dead until then.  It is more of a nuisance since you can go in and take back over control if someone attempts this.  But you may troubleshoot in the wrong place.  A quick way to check if a domain is set-up in there is to go to the partnerpages and add the domain name to the end.  If it says not found, you are good to go.  If it attempts to log you in, get to finding out who is trying to mess with you.
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    On Thursday, March 13th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Unyte is free in Skype (up to 4 people)

This threw me off as Gabriella and I were talking today.  I wanted to screenshare something for her in Lotus Foundations and was about to fire up a Sametime meeting when I said, I wonder what Skype has?  Well low and behold it has Sametime Unyte in it.  For free I say.


Image:Sametime Unyte is free in Skype (up to 4 people)
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    On Friday, February 29th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Bluehouse question on icon choice

Without breaking any form of NDA, I am looking at the homepage, so everyone breathe.  I mentioned this before, when you have a brand image, you try and never change the image in an amazingly different way.  Look at Pepsi, Coke, Kleenex.  They all look the same over the test of time.  So notice how Bluehouse refers to Sametime in the image below.  That isn't your 8 icon staring you in the face.

Image:Bluehouse question on icon choice
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    On Wednesday, February 13th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Errors in the videos on installing the Sametime Gateway from Lotus

Adam, Carl and some others have posted on the new videos for installing the Sametime Gateway.  I went through the first 5 videos here at lunch and already see a couple errors and omissions.  Careful...

No, I am not going to clarify them here on the blog.  Maybe I am in a bad mood today but after much hard work on the book and then the hands-on and BP sessions at Lotusphere, having something like this come out with errors gets to me some.
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    On Wednesday, February 13th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

WebMessenger open free consolidated IM client for Balckberry and Smartphone

A good business move in my eyes and thought.  The announcement first:
WebMessenger, Inc., an enterprise mobile messaging software and services company, today announced they have opened up free downloads of their market proven WebMessenger Mobile IM clients as well as free business-class IM service for mobile professionals who use BlackBerry, MS Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Palm PDAs and smartphones. The free IM service provides single client access to AIM, Google, MSN, Skype, and Yahoo.

So why is this good?  There is only a couple consolidated IM clients for the Blackberry and none were free that worked well.  Sure, each IM provider made their own, but having an all in one makes perfect sense.  Then they get you to move up and pay for the Alerts program and other parts for Sametime and Jabber.  Business move at it's finest.
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    On Monday, February 11th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Sametime oddity

Might just be my mind playing tricks on me, but all my IBM contacts in my Sametime buddy list show 7.5.1 when many of them used to show 8.0.  Call me crazy but that is bizarre with the beta of 8.0.1 floating around that they showed at Lotusphere with Sametime 8 embedded in it.
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    On Tuesday, January 29th, 2008   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8 client hotfix issued - I saw this one coming

Issues have come about with the deployment of the Sametime 8 client.  There is some missing pieces to the provisioning mainfest that will prevent the ability to properly upgrade/update the client in the future.  If you already have 8, you have to get the patch out there.  If you are just staring to deploy Sametime 8 clients, then get this in place first.  This technote goes into full detail on the fix and what is being changed.
Without implementing this fix, administrators will not be able to successfully maintain Sametime Connect clients and keep them up-to-date with the latest maintenance releases.

If the Sametime 8.0 Connect client has not yet been deployed, administrators can simply replace the provisioning manifest (also known as the install manifest) with the updated one included in the download package referred to above. This issue impacts both the stand-alone client installation package as well as the Network Client Install (NCI) package.

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    On Saturday, December 29th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

IBM shows off Metaverse

I just came across an article on Publish.com discussing IBM Metaverse project.
IBM's Metaverse virtual reality software ... Though still a bit rough around the edges-it won't be mistaken for Second Life-some 2,200 IBM staffers are testing ways to collaborate with colleagues in the Metaverse, according to Mike Ackerbauer, innovation manager for collaboration development at IBM.

Ackerbauer said IBM staffers leverage IBM's internal virtual conferencing application through Web services to have online meetings in 3D.  This approach is a boon for IBM employes, who are spread out all over the world.

The meeting room Ackerbauer showed eWeek was sparsely furnished, but serviceable, with a screen on the wall to simulate the typical conference room.


What interested me was the statement in the article that they are looking for VOIP solutions inside of it, including hooking it to Lotus Sametime.  Forget making profiles in Lotus Connections, get ready to make avatars.
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    On Friday, December 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Update on ’Click to Map’ and ’Convert to Call’ Blackberry posting

I posted a couple days ago on the missing feature that we saw at Lotusphere2007, but didn't seem to surface in the Sametime or Blackberry messaging client.  Well I finally got some updates from same avid readers to the blog across timezones (I love the Internet) :
The demo that was shown at Lotusphere used the Ascendant to bridge all the Sametime users into a conference call.


Then another update showed from someone else putting it all together
Today, you are "linking" a Sametime user to an entry in your address book so that you get the added menu items of "Email, Call, SMS, MMS."  RIM will add the Click to Map feature


Looks like a winner when it arrives!
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    On Wednesday, December 19th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

’Click to Map’ feature with Sametime and Blackberry - where did it go?

I happened to be poking around Lotus Greenhouse and saw a bookmark from January 2007 (Lotusphere2007) for a press release between Lotus and RIM.  It highlighted the new "Convert to Call" and "Click to Map" that would be possible.
RIM Showcases Unified Communications Breakthrough for Blackberry Users At Lotusphere
RIM is showcasing a new feature called "Click to Map" that will allow users to generate maps on a Blackberry handset within the context of a Lotus Sametime session.  The "Click to Map" feature will launch Blackberry Maps from within the Sametime client software and generate a map that illustrates a colleague's location based on presence information retrieved from Lotus Sametime.


This is a cool feature I would love to see in place.  I know the "Convert to Call" is kind of there, but that seems to not be in place either.  Maybe I missed something in implementation or does this need the Sametime 8 Advanced Server that is not due out till next year some time?  Also, does the map render from the location they type into the client?  I am not sure how that would work either looking at the preferences in the Sametime Connect client for the Blackberry as shown in this screen capture:
Image:’Click to Map’ feature with Sametime and Blackberry - where did it go?

I can't seem to find a menu item for mapping the user in the Business Card or main screen.  Anyone?
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    On Tuesday, December 18th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8 server install - no DA for you!

Sametime normally would create the required Directory Assistance on the fly and keep right on rolling.  A fresh Domino 8 server and Sametime 8 install gave the following today:
error returned from CreateSTDatabases
Error encountered in the local server while setting up LDAP directory support da.nsf

File does not exist
DDNALocalDominoSetup returning with error code = 0103
SetupLocalSvr returning with error code = 3701
SetupSvrMergeWithDomino returning with error code = 3701

function: TermNotesRT


I quickly started the Domino server, created the Directory Assistance and then restart the Sametime setup.  Weirdly it now saw the install as the ability to:
  • Install a new instance of Sametime ?!?!?
  • Upgrade an instance of Sametime ?!?!?

I took upgrade as fix the install that is there please.  And away it went.  Now let's see how it did.
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    On Friday, December 14th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime and Skype - let the rumor mill begin

This article on ZDNet  went by quietly and unnoticed by others that post on Sametime, so I thought I would share..
Jim then connects the dots to envision, as he says, a "possible IBM licensing partnership for incorporation of Skype technology into its various Sametime real time communications offerings where appropriate?"

I can read the tea leaves, and I think Jim is right.  Such a partnership is likely to be attempted.

That is just a small touch of what the entry outlines.  Could such an arrangement be made when WebDialogs was such a strong development partner for Skype and now is under the IBM wings?  The Skype hooks into the public POTS infrastructure for expanded VOIP integration is not a stretch of any imagination if we look at the hints Lotus gives with each introduction of the new product family.  This isn't speaking from someone that is "in the know".  Strictly from what is out there now and what they hint about in slideshows and presentations.

So what do you think of some sort of Skype integration for VOIP instead of relying just on Cisco, Avaya and other partnerships?  The Sametime Gateway already reaches into the public IM providers, the voice and video had to be close behind.

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    On Thursday, December 13th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

The Sametime 8 upgrade is not an upgrade in reality - lesson learned from yesterday

I made this posting yesterday to an interesting number of comments and this one might go a bit further.  Sametime 8 gets closer to an actual provisioned installation.  Much better indeed.  I praise Lotus for listening to my rants on provisioning and deployment management.  However, this became a noticeable problem here and after consideration and some talks with those deep in the bowels of Lotus Sametime development we (as in they and I) confirmed my fears upon first testing.

Here is what happens.  Sametime 8 does not see the previous install path (as shown yesterday) since it is not upgrading your Sametime 7.5.x client.  It is installing Sametime 8 and then uninstalling 7.5.x from your system.  It reads your settings and places them into a lookaside database to move them across during provisioning of the new 8.0 client.  What this means to you is that you then cannot install into the same directory you had 7.5.x at first.  If you install 8.0 into that folder and then it goes to uninstall 7.5.x it really removes all the new files also.  Quite the conundrum isn't it?  I know I want mine in the same path all the time.  With this scenario, I cannot hit the site and have it upgrade what I have in place.  So if you have company standards on how the client is installed, you may be looking at uninstalling the old version from everywhere, then running the install for 8 afterwards into that same directory.

Lotus also changed the folder structure and naming of the Sametime Connect files.  This adds a new level of change for the plug-ins.   We will cover more on plug-ins on the next posting.
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    On Wednesday, December 12th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

One of the first problems with the Sametime 8.0 client upgrade arises

This image shows on a fresh laptop that only had Sametime 7.5.1 installed a couple weeks ago.  This was the network install attempt and then the locally saved attempt at a Sametime 8 client install on the same laptop.  The first thing to arise was that it did not see my previous installation path.

Image:One of the first problems with the Sametime 8.0 client upgrade arises
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    On Tuesday, December 11th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Issue with the Sametime 8 network-install if you misconfigure the original network package on the server

Here is what I found.  I installed the Sametime 8 server and also placed the network-install package on the server.  For those of you not familiar with it, I suggest you go read how this is done over here.  I then started the download.  I forgot to specify the base URL inside the download properties though and when the install attempted to complete, it came up with errors.  Lots of errors.

I then went back and placed the correct URL in the download properties file and tried again.  I noticed that the install seemed to download incredibly quick.  Halfway through, it then stopped and just sat there for a long time.  I killed the install and tried again.  Same thing.  It then hit me.  The original download was still in my cache for the browser so it was still reading the bad data.  Here is a screenshot:

Image:Issue with the Sametime 8 network-install if you misconfigure the original network package on the server

So I went in and removed that bottom file from the cache to see what the result would be.  As expected a much longer download started again.  You need to know the original part is 29MB and then more is pulled from the server.  The client code itself is still 135MB when it is on the machine.  So I am off to delete the file and redo the install.
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    On Sunday, December 2nd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 8 hit the streets in many forms while I was in the air

The IMLU or Sametime Limited Use it still around, allowing just the basic integrated chat features.  Follow that up with Sametime Entry which offers just the basic chat features plus a list of items:

Presence and instant messaging chat
  • Integration with e-mail and productivity applications such as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, and IBM Lotus Notes
  • Multi-way chat
  • Rich text, time stamps, spell check and emoticons
  • Contact type-ahead search and contact detail display
  • Local chat history
  • Contact list management: Sort contact list, Show short names, Show online contacts only
Then you move on to Sametime Standard that jumps up to meetings and everything else, just like you have now.

Sametime 8 Advanced will be a bit longer, but should be worth the wait.
    for this posting

    On Friday, November 30th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Adam G shows off the new Sametime homepage off IBM.com

Adam posted a blog entry announcing that ibm.com/sametime is now live with a new look and feel.  Cool.  However, I always used http:/www.lotus.com/sametime and it seems to go to an entirely different page still.  Weird, but awesome news that Sametime makes it to the big leagues with version 8

Image:Adam G shows off the new Sametime homepage off IBM.com
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    On Thursday, November 29th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

CRN Article - IBM Takes On Microsoft With WebSphere, Rational, Tivoli Products

From the article which I was lucky enough to be in..
IBM  is stepping up its bid to derail Microsoft  unified communications onslaught by unveiling new or enhanced versions Tuesday of its WebSphere, Rational and Tivoli products.

This is going to significantly reduce the startup and management costs for implementing unified communications with the IBM infrastructure.

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    On Wednesday, November 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Yes, I have Lotusphere2008 sessions this year

The final session numbers have been assigned and I waited to get those to make life easy for you to say you will be attending them!

HND302 - Setup and Administration for the IBM Lotus Sametime Gateway.   (yes this is hands-on folks)
BP105 - Installing and Administrating the IBM Lotus Sametime Gateway        (myself and Kyungae Lim of IBM)

So there you have it..  fun filled sessions all about the Sametime Gateway.
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    On Monday, November 19th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

I am hosting a LotusUSerGroup topic this week

This week I am hosting the Administrating Sametime 7.5 and Deploying Plug-ins.  Post the questions fast as the holidays are fast approaching.
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    On Monday, November 19th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

How much memory does the Sametime Gateway consume?

I get asked this question often and there are factors around total usage, number of chats and the rest of the usual suspects.  But I wanted to show you a simple screenshot of memory from the gateway being up somewhere around forever in terms of the Sametime Gateway

Image:How much memory does the Sametime Gateway consume?

There you go, just over 600MB of RAM dedicated to the gateway including some DB2 processes
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    On Tuesday, November 6th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Follow-up for issues with Premier audio adapter

So last week I had a blog posting about the issue surrounding the Premier Audio Adapter for Sametime.  One question came in that needed a definite answer.  Some of you were trying to update the certificate and could not find the location.  Well from Chris O himself who did the majority of making Premier talk through submission holds, here you go:
Location of keystore for Premier - Tell him to look in the notes.ini for the location of the java SSL keystore.  That is the location of the file it is using.  We actually had to remove the file and then create a new one with ikeyman and import the Equifax cert since it is not a default certificate

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    On Monday, November 5th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Overview from the ND8 Upgrade Seminar in Las Vegas

So all 3 days are completed here in Vegas.  We have already done Philly and Chicago is only 2 weeks out.  I missed almost all of day 1 flying in, but I was here for days 2 and 3 to talk to attendees around presenting.  I gleaned the following facts:
  • About 95% of the attendees did not want to have a session on the Productivity Tools.  Many said 10 slides glazing over the topic would be enough as they are so entrenched in MS licensing there was not a recent chance.  plus, they were not the ones that would even make that decision
  • About 85% of the attendees here already had Sametime running and were eager to see more info on what was coming in integration and implementation
  • About 20% had any interest in Lotus Connections.  70% had no clue what it really did and the remaining knew already they did not want it.
  • About 15% of the attendees here had over 20k users installed.  Many with large DWA implementations in place
  • About 80% really wanted to get more info on Quickr
  • About 95% loved all the ways that the products were starting to integrate tighter.  For example, all the hooks with Lotus Connections and Quickr into Notes 8 and Sametime and Sametime into Notes 8.  It is all making a cohesive direction from Lotus

One last stat came to mind:
  • About 99% of the people in Las Vegas will wear absolutely anything on Halloween to win $1500 at the Voodoo club contest.  Even 50 stories above the strip, most clothing is optional.

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    On Thursday, November 1st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

A warning if you run the Premier Audio adapter for Sametime

We ran into this issue the past week and I wanted to share this.  We have a Sametime server that runs the 7.x code stream with the 7.x Sametime code on top.  It also has the Premier Audio Adapter for holding the audio bridge conference portion.  Well it suddenly stopped working and communicating with Premier to begin the bridge.  IBM seemed to be stumped and pushed us to Premier.  Premier says they don't totally "really" support it either since it was developed by IBM and handed to them.  So we get stuck in the middle.

Alas, never mind that portion we found the culprit of why it stopped working.  Premier updated their SSL certificate on October 4th of this year.  The local keyfile had the expired previous certificate.  So it just never connected.  No warning, no alert, no log.  No connection.

We could get no debug variables to place in for the adapter so after a clean install and replace some files I copy in below, all was well once again after a week of running in circles.  Good job to Chris O at my office for sticking this through and beating out of them that they changed their SSL after we told them that was an issue a ton of times before we got confirmation.

The AA install program installs a stkeys.jks file that I cant 'open' using Ikeyman, (haven't tried certsrv). So after a re-install i delete the stkeys.jks file that the audio adaptor creates, and then create a new one using Ikeyman. But the Equifax cert ( the SSL cert premiere uses )  isn't included by default so I had to download it and add it to the stkeys.jks.

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    On Tuesday, October 30th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

The new Sametime 8 logo finally surfaces

Looking back to July of this year, Alan put the icon on his page showing the well known blue Sametime icon now all grown up and Web 2.0 - ified and morphed into the bland icons we see all over 8.  I say bland because they are all so similar in shape and color it is hard to tell them apart sometimes in your start or dektop menu.

Well it finally reared it's changing head in some recent code (I got permission to say so relax).  So when the recent stream got installed, it now becomes hard to find mixed in with the other Lotus icons.  See the image insert here.

Image:The new Sametime 8 logo finally surfaces

So what do you think?  Will users miss the long time blue balloon or embrace the new icon?  I say it is a trademark of the product itself and should continue for some time to come.
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    On Friday, October 26th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Live from the Lotus Collaboration Summit - St Louis

This event was well run and on-time the entire day so far.  An interesting group after lunch that did on the spot comedy routines.  But as for content, it is what was expected.  Over 100 registered to attend, I would say around 80 arrived. Many were IBM employees however, here to learn more.  The sessions covered all the important parts of Lotus Connections, Notes and Domino 8, Quickr and Sametime.  A surprise session (since the agenda website always said TBD up to yesterday) was Antony providing a competitive landscape session.

Was there things missed?  In my opinion, a few here and there.  Not enough demos and too many slides for the technical session on Lotus Notes/Domino 8 deployment.  Otherwise, well balanced for 45 minute slots with two rooms running at once.
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    On Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

IBM executive interview in the Philippines, someone may want to talk to him

I saw the link pop in my newsreader and jumped over.  Humorously there is a lot reporting wrong in the article that interviews Michael Karasick, director Lotus Software Development for China Development Laboratory in Beijing, China.  Some of my favorite quotes:
IBM still believes that enterprise customers use e-mail as its main application for collaboration.

I am not quite sure about this
Push e-mail service will become available soon, the executive said.

Asked how it works, Karasick said IBM was working with partners but declined to give details. The new version also revives a web access client.

"We haven't quite figured out how to make Notes available on a mobile device. We have no timeline," he said, when asked to provide more details about the push mail feature in Lotus Notes.

"But we will support mobile devices natively and through collaboration with vendors," he said.

He apparently has not seen Traveler or the anticipated timeline.

One application called Lotus SameTime version 8 is also offered on the Mac, PC and Linux platforms.

I know for sure this one is not available yet.  He is a little ahead of the timeline here.

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, October 17th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

live blogging the Sametime 7.5.1 Open Mic call this morning

So while I wait on hold for it to begin, I will take a few guesses at questions that might get asked.  This session is being recorded by IBM
  • Provisioning
  • Performance
  • Policies
  • Stlinks
  • Telephony integration
  • Peer to peer audio and video

Ok, here we go...  Bill McAnn was the call moderator. hey took some questions from the forum first to prime the call
  • Lock a client to connect to a specific Sametime server geographically? Yes, point to a home Sametime server.
  • I have installed Sametime 7.5.1 client and did the Outlok disablement hook after following the workaround.  But when upgrading to FP1 it came back.  This will possibly be fixed in a later version, but not 7.5.1  Technote #1259391 addresses the issue

off to the live calls
  • I know the voice and name of this caller!  But I wont call him out.  He wants to build a silent install package to dump out with SMS.  There is some issues with this.  There is a new client with the proper fixes, including CF1.  It comes with the installer and since it is a full client you have to open a PMR to get the updated installer package.
  • Provisioning the preferences in the Sametime client. One is the site update.  One is the plug-in customization.ini, but that only gets read once.  Does the site update have to be a feature jar file?  The feature jar file approach is delivering a new or updated piece to the plugin_customization.ini filer.  This file is read each time the client is started.  The ini provides the default settings preferences.  End user overrides in the client preferences will still overtake what is set in the ini file.  You cannot swap it out at install time.  An update site must be a jar file
  • Policies regarding chat recording, with the value set to save or not save.  If you uncheck this does it force down to users not saving chats.  Lotus says unchecking this does not set auto-save in the client.  Checking this forces the user to save chats.  There is actually two policies.  One allows them to save at all and the other allows auto-saving.
  • When was the silent install that includes the msi, when was it released?  Sep 21st or so was the release date.  Also, they want to fill in the community name and pre-configure TLS?  Craig jumped in to say he belive it is possible now.
  • They have multiple servers, a web portal with stlinks, web conference server and chat servers.  People get logged off when the move around servers, why?  Jennifer at Lotus says Portal was giving a new IP address coming in so it was being seen as another user.  She gave the example to ignore when you come in twice that goes in the config section.  The user must also be homed to a Sametime server or cluster.
  • The CF1 version of 7.5.1 takes care of a lot of issues but one they had.  When you install and launch the client the Terminal Services application continues to run?  Harry, dev manager at IBM, asked to clarify operating system and client.  It was OSX 10.4.10 with Sametime 7.5.1 CF1.  When you launch the Sametime client it also launches Terminal Services.  They do not quit and continue to stay launched.  The client works fine, but you must manually quit the Terminal Services.  The Sametime 8.0 beta weas brought up to try it there.
  • The next caller wishes to turn off the resert button in the client.  Craig said there is no policy or previous request to turn this feature off.  The caller saysd for compliance reasons they muyst lock the user from being able to change communities.  Craig says 7.5.1 said you can change the host without resetting the user, which could be an issue.  He referred to the policy to force the default community.  Unless you have multiple communities, then this policy would apply.  The caller has Facetime in the middle to capture for compliancy.  Lotus suggests hiding the Sametime MUX so no user can directly connect to it.
  • The user policy, user preference, and then plugin_customization.ini is the order of load for the Sametime Connect client.
  • I missed one call for a person coming in, sorry
  • The next caller asked about the StReflector being set up.  If you are doing many audio or video chats then moving it to another box will assist in performance.  Voice chats work fine internally but not over VPN nor outside, including NAT.  The reflector will let each clients see the others IP address.  Point to point will always be first, then the reflector.  With exxternal users with symmetric NAT you put the reflector outside the organiuzation.  A normal or non-NAT firewall, the clients will still try to do point to point.  The reflector must be able to go through the firewall.
  • Prudential wants to deploy a basic client and send out the features, yet they cant lock them down.  They want a list of what cnd cannot be locked down.  The only settings available for lockdown are those in the policies on the server
  • Can you secure audio and video to a particular group?  Yes, use policies

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, October 16th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

An interesting update on the Sametime Gateway architecture

This is something I did not know and never would have encountered due to the way I implement this solution at customer sites.  In the Gateway configuration you specify a local Sametime Community.  Which of course is where your users reside.  Well you only specify one server in this listing (or I should say one DNS name) for connectivity.  The Gateway then goes about it's business and starts serving presence awareness and chat services for the public providers.

Well unknown to me, if you do not run in a central clustered environment and have users spread across servers that may be geographical or just in the same place , but not clustered, the gateway needs and wants a port 1516 connection to each and every server, which it then holds in a local file.  This does not worry me as much as it appears some company security groups.

The Gateway is just what the name applies, a gateway.  Just how you deploy external SMTP servers and then only allow them in through the firewall, via trusted IP's usually, this acts the same.  So have no fear, the Gateway is doing it's job by not storing data and only offering a direct connection to the public providers and then 'proxying' the traffic to Sametime.  Your user directory is not affected as well as you can control which providers come into the Gateway and then how just the Gateway communicates to Sametime.

So do not freak out, it is all in how you present it to the team in most places.  Those that still don't get it, probably never will.
    for this posting

    On Monday, October 8th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Revisiting the Sametime Plug-in Catalog

It has been a while since I had wandered over to the plug-in catalog site so it was time to see what new things partners had added.  There now seems to be only 25 entries into the catalog.  A bunch of new VoIP type plug-ins are there but they require additional services to function, like servers that fit into your existing VoIP or POTS systems.  Interestingly enough, there is now quite a few alternative meeting plug-ins or add-ons for the Sametime meeting services.  I find that interesting.  Does it imply that the current Sametime meeting offering is not functional enough?

I would also have imagined that the catalog would have grown in leaps with over 100 million users out there.  I know IBM has a bunch internally that are not loose in the wild, those are the kinds of samples that help sell the product.  We need more plug-ins to show what the product can do.  Widgets are being developed across Yahoo and other IM's at a record pace, I am hoping the same shows for Sametime soon from a bunch of handy developers.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, September 25th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

MeBeam (not the old Sametime DataBeam) offers free 8-way video conferencing

I ran across this site and pinged Carl to jump in and see what we could make of it.  There is the good and the bad.  No the bad is not this following screenshot.
Image:MeBeam (not the old Sametime DataBeam) offers free 8-way video conferencing

So we were being silly to play around with the features.  Headsets on backwards and others.  When you use the chat room it takes a snapshot of just how you are when you click send.  So the pictures are resized too small for you to see, but Carl and missing pants is bad all around.

Good
Free video conferencing is good no matter how you slice it if it works well.  This one seemed to do just fine.  Now, we didn't get 8 people in the room, but that is next on the list.  You had the choice between hands free audio and push-to-talk type.  Both seemed to function fine.

Creating a room for the conference did not even require registration at this time.  Simply name a room and click invite and it copied the link to the clipboard.  It then uses the Flash connection for your video and audio.  No problem, worked right away for both of us.  No fuss, no mess, no firewall issues, no downloads.  The chat was, well chat.

Bad
It seemed there was a way to record but I couldn't find the button.  Chat worked fine, but needs a bit more ability.  Attaching or sending a file would be nice so everyone could talk.  It still is not a 1.0 release so I imagine more is coming.  I am curious about the bandwidth as this grows, but let's see how it plays out.

So overall, did I say it was free with no firewall issue in the tests?  No tunneling and numerous ports for AV like I got asked yesterday for Sametime
    for this posting

    On Friday, September 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5.1 slide upload limit

I received a ping from a Sametime admin/company/user with a question regarding the limit in the number of slides per set you can upload to 7.5.1.  Apparently after 100 it would not allow the slides to be uploaded.  So some hunting around came up with this little bit of info for all of you to try out in case you are having 7 hour meetings with hundreds of slides.  Oh the pain of that type of meeting...
You can work around this issue by either creating a presentation of fewer than 100 slides or by not selecting the Master Slide option in PowerPoint.

    for this posting

    On Thursday, September 20th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Part 2 - the Sametime Gateway Open Mic call last night

I went ahead and posted my notes on this since I had answers (posted in each one with italics) to some of the questions they were asking.  Maybe some of the callers will find this posting.  These were quick notes to myself, and I only slightly cleaned them up.  So bear with me.  (I am headed to vacation)
  • Asia Pacific area looking for a proof of concept install for their business and need NAT and public CA documentation.  Caller said they got the wrong certificate purchased, that it didn't support TLS.  Lotus is working hard in 8 to simplify install and config.  As for NAT, they list the restrictions for NAT due to SIP.  Certain NAT providers are becoming SIP aware due to VOIP and other real-time collaboration.  As I posted about the morning call, I will shoot out some diagrams for everyone since this seems to be a main focus.
  • Caller is implementing Sametime 7.5.1 and having client issues, even with CF1, of getting layout and pre-population to clients.  Preference controls like auto-status changes, for example.  Lotus suggested utilizing the   plugin_customization.ini file to change and set some of the settings.  They have no policy control with the 6.5.1 server and Sametime Connect 7.5.1 CF1.  The issue is that they must then match the new policies when going live with the server on 7.5.1 or 8 to make sure they do not change everything back.  This is a big part of rolling out the advanced client and wanting particular features enabled or set a certain way before the server policies are deployed.
  • Another caller emphasizes the issues with SSL config from Premium Server as first caller.  Thawte server worked fine.  Yes, I am seeing in installs that you need to import root certificates in many instances to get it to work.
  • Australia - IBMUS and Australia connectivity problems.  Customer is using dual network cards trying to route public and private address.  asking if the OS will do the routing.  Part 2 - Wants to talk his SIP to their SIP.  Asked about port 443, which is not right.  He needs port 5061 for encrypted, not 5060 which is unencrypted.  No 443 need.  1516 and 1533 open for internal connectivity on 7.5.1.  Then 1516 for 7.5.1 CF1.   Also asked about LDAP server connectivity over 636.  DB2 server, is it encrypted by default and does Express C handle it?  Not by default, and maybe not in Express version, have to verify that.  IBM SIP gateway connectivity actually needs port 5060 for the first connection then 5061 to finish.  LDAP SSL relies only on the LDAP server having a public certificate.  What data is stored in the DB2 database, a security concern question.  Lotus answers that in the DB2 database you can find the gateway configuration data, user id and group id in UNID form.  Last question, checkpoint firewall in front to cover NAT issue?  Lotus has customers with it.  Multiple NIC cards not an issue as long as its config'd correctly.  I say why not use NAT and routing with a single NAT instead of trying the dual-NIC approach.
  • What kind of arrangement does IBM have with the chat vendors in terms of IP address changes?  same question as this am, same answer.  Then MSN connectivity question.  no official statement yet from Lotus.  I see the IP address changes a hard part for firewall teams that are trying to set the port to only allow certain addresses to talk to the gateway.  That is a tough move when you are relying on a 3rd party (IBM) to tell you when they are changing their IP addresses.  How about just moving to a DNS range for the provider and then everyone is happy.
  • SIP phone as PBX install.  Asking for connectivity options as general PBX integration.  Good question but no comment was provided to direct them to the vendors writing plug-ins and softphones.
  • Customer wants an  easy way to find out what other corps are using the gateway?  Lotus does not keep or publish that.  Creating a Sametime Gateway group in Facebook or a posting in the Sametime forum was a recommendation.  There is a Facebook group for the Sametime Gateway already with a good couple handfuls of members

    for this posting

    On Friday, August 31st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Thoughts on the Open Mic call for the Sametime Gateway 7.5.1 this morning

I attended the Open Mic call on the Sametime Gateway this morning to see what everyone had concerns about. (Do not worry, this call goes live again one more time tomorrow I think, see the website or Partner Forum for details).  Well I came away with concerns myself as I see how this is getting implemented at the larger enterprises.

There were at least 15 calls taken, and I managed to capture and write down the main point of each one.  The majority revolved around a couple key areas, and that is where the concern is.  Participants were asking for network diagrams, port settings and allowable IP addresses and better clustering support.  While some of the questions did receive direct answers, in my opinion some did not.  Now someone there will say it was not official support inquiries, no official statements, yada, yada.  But when you have large enterprises trying to deploy a clustered solution in large deployments with too many network security teams in the mix, well you get confusion.

First thing to the companies.  Too many companies are trying to reverse proxy, put servers in front of server even in the DMZ, build SIP clusters with load balancers/IP sprayers.  I agree with one thing for sure, everyone needs the cluster support to deploy this is an enterprise solution.  As for all this worry over this server in the DMZ, why the stress?  No data sits on the gateway server, it connects over SSL to your internal LDAP (further restricted by port and hosts is needed), it uses the encrypted VP protocol to the Sametime clusters in the back.  DB/2 can sit behind the firewall restricted by host/port access also.  So you basically have a shell running a program that acts as the gatekeeper.  Or gateway as it is named.  Get the security team to understand this.  There is no data to be protected, if the gateway gets bombed or hijacked, then they get an empty shell that you cut off.

Second thing is to Lotus.  Come prepared.  Half answering chat logging questions, diagram requests, proxy support and numerous clustering questions won't fly for long if this is truly an enterprise solution.  Yes you did answer some areas of what is coming, things that are verified in support and even how to map multiple O's through LDAP queries to Domino.  But the lack of testing of clustering and the network outline support is frustrating to most of the callers if my current pings I am getting are right.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, August 30th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Computerworld - IBM and Siemens teaming to take on Microsoft (and my quote)

This article just talks more about the deal with IBM to closely tie OpenScape into Sametime.
Chris Miller, director of messaging and collaboration at Connectria Corp., a managed IT services company in St. Louis, said the added support for VoIP technology could cut costs significantly for corporate users. Connectria sells and supports Sametime and is also a Sametime user.


The rest of the article is basically another user comment and some base info that everyone read last week.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, August 28th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Carl posts a comparison between Unyte and Sametime

Jump over and watch the video and see for yourself..

he has a higher quality version here too
    for this posting

    On Friday, August 24th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

IBM purchases Webdialogs and introduces Sametime Unyte

Today, IBM announced it has acquired WebDialogs, a privately held, leading provider of Web conferencing services and a partner of choice for the Conferencing Service Provider market with over 70 relationships and 200 brands in the market today


Unyte already has plug-ins for Skype and Yahoo, the Lite version is free.
So besides some new plug-ins for the Lotus suite, here is the interesting piece, Lotus basically says that Sametime is not made for extranet meeting in this section of the press release... not the second sentence in the overlap question....
You get the added value that IBM plans to bring by developing plug-ins for WebDialogs to seamlessly integrate with products in the IBM portfolio such as:
  • IBM Lotus Sametime
  • IBM Lotus Notes
  • IBM Lotus Quickr
  • IBM Websphere Portal

Q: Are there overlaps between the IBM and WebDialogs product portfolios?
The IBM and WebDialogs portfolios are complimentary.  While both companies offer products in the real-time collaboration space, the Lotus Sametime offerings are primarily used on premise and by all company sizes.  WebDialogs' Web conferencing service has seen wide adoption with small and meduim-sized businesses as well as 3rd party service providers.


So I hit their webpage to see what the company full offers and see an image on the homepage..
Image:IBM purchases Webdialogs and introduces Sametime Unyte

So I go and read and it looks like IBM/Lotus will offer a choice and support online meeting services to go after that WebEx marketspace with the Sametime name.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, August 23rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Lotus Sametime Advanced 8.0 thingy - my thoughts on the name

Until Mike Rhodin actually announced the name about the upcoming Sametime changes, it was all hush hush as always.  I said this earlier to IBM'ers...  do not name them Advanced and whatever (looking back it is Entry).

Advanced means that what you have now is not one of the best corporate instant messaging and web conferencing solutions.  It suggests that you have some basic model and there is something better.  I think a much better choice would have been Expansion Pack for example.  They made this same naming mistake with Basic and Standard in Notes 8.  You don't go to market with updated products naming making the older versions inferior to not new functionality, but the core itself.
Sametime Entry takes the IM capabilities already embedded in some IBM products and turns them into a stand-alone offering. The aim is to seed the market and encourage corporate users new to IM to use Entry and later move up to the Standard and Advanced flavors, Morse said


Sametime Advanced builds on the Standard version and adds in features like the ability to share one's desktop with others and ways to store and reuse geographic information. The software also includes persistent chat so that a person can log onto their company's group chat and be able to browse what was discussed earlier, particularly useful in the financial services business where staff in different time zones are continually tracking the markets.


Persistent chat?  Carl, didn't you have that a while ago?

Ok, I am done, back to Lotus Connections
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, August 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Part 3 of Sametime 7.5.1 CF1 schtuff

So here is the big issue.  The documentation indicated you can set a policy for multiple groups of users and then update the users with different settings, plug-ins and pushed updates.  Some of this is quite true.  UNtil we get to site update parts.

I would have sent you here on Notes Net, but apparently the published info for CF1 is not complete.  See line 21 for some humor.

So what happens is that you can set an update site in the default policy, but it then overrides all the new group or explicit policies.  You can not set alternate update sites for different users.  They are grayed out with the provided default site.

Move on to leaving the update site blank and then the sub ones are forced to be blank.  Same scenario as above in reverse.  So in essence you have to provide only 1 update site at this time for your user population.  That doesn't help if you want users to get alternate updates or plug-ins at this time.

I bet it is on the list for the future though..
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, August 8th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Mitch compiled the list of things not updated via site update for CF1 of Sametime 7.5.1

You can find it right here on his new Connectria hosted blog.
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 6th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Part 2 of this mornings posting on Sametime 7.5.1 CF1

Well here we sit at the next step.  First of all, the update itself requires 2 restarts of the Sametime client.  While a full installation would only require 1.  Yes, they are updating components that need other updated first.  Just a warning for users.

Image:Part 2 of this mornings posting on Sametime 7.5.1 CF1

So the updates do fire down the changes, and they do leave the other files locally, just one of those things to deal with.
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 6th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Houston, we have a bug..err fix..err thingy for Sametime 7.5.1 CF1

After some gracious time on the phone with Lotus following Friday's posting, we found a few things to make this next screenshot work.  I had the site update listed in stconfig.nsf as the
URL for UIM provisioning:


Image:Houston, we have a bug..err fix..err thingy for Sametime 7.5.1 CF1

This never seemed to work.  Updates were not coming down as I talked about on Friday.  We then placed the site update in the default policy.  Unfortunately we also had to do a reboot.  So I am not sure if the reboot or using the policy instead of stconfig did the trick.  We are testing that again one step at a time to let you know.
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 6th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Interesting.. the site update isn’t updating anyone yet for CF1 and they did some goofy naming in the updates

I already had the site specified for all the users in stconfig.nsf.  It was the same one I used before for the patches for the Sametime Gateway in 7.5 CF1 world.  Unfortunately it is not updating the clients now with the changes.  I am doing this in stages, meaning I have not rebooted the Sametime server since changing the site.xml file.  It shouldn't need to be done, so I didn't.  I simply updated the xml and waited for today.  Nada, nothing.

So looking at the local files in the plug-in directory you already have for Sametime Connect 7.5.1 compared to the new site update, none of them seem to match from the first 10 iI checked.  Either they had
com.ibm.collaboration.realtime.feature.version

listed instead of the new ones that did
com.ibm.collaboration.realtime.751.CF1.feature

or they were entire new features that did not exit before.  So the new ones should come right down.  But how about the ones that do the same thing but compete?  Shouldn't they simple update the date at the end of the feature line.  Instead of
com.ibm.collaboration.realtime.sprite_7.5.1.20070416

They go and toss some oddity name of
com.ibm.collaboration.realtime.sprite.feature._7.5.1.20070723-1402


How does that update the existing one or how does it know which to use unless called from somewhere else?  How can we clean up these older ones with the updates?
    for this posting

    On Friday, August 3rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Overview of the Sametime 7.5.1 CF1 upgrade (updated already)

First let's cover the files.  There is a CF1 for the Sametime Gateway out there, just not Windows yet.  Amazingly the Sametime 7.5.1 server only gets a mere 69MB of update download while the Sametime Connect client gets a whopping 204MB file download

The Readme for the CF1 update can be found right here.

Server

So I compressed the installer and let it fire off for the server.  It says the total update size is 79.9MB and goes on quite willingly.

Client

So you have choices to either run the installer in it's entirety on the local machine or push out updates via the update site.

CAUTION(S):
Not all updates are applied when using the update site method.  Read the release notes carefully to know if your issue is covered band by which method.  Also, you may not want the automatic update if you have not aplied at least CF1 to 7.5.  There is an admin update that must be done as shown below in the image.

There is quite a few packages as shown in this image:
Image:Overview of the Sametime 7.5.1 CF1 upgrade (updated already)

Also, the Single Sign-on with the operating system is now available, as well as additional dictionaries.  Those are added plug-ins that need to be deployed. Each comes with it's own site.xml that you can merge centrally or push into siteupdate.nsf from a Domino 8 server.  Then you get the user policies in place.

Let me run the update and full installer and let you know those results next
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    On Thursday, August 2nd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

A Sametime cross site scripting vulnerability posted

From reading the web advisory and then the IBM technote, it seems to be all versions of Sametime, including 7.5.1 with an availble hotfix for all versions.  Future updates and fixes will contain the fix also.
Problem In very specific scenarios, there is a possibility that a Sametime® server could be exploited by a Cross Site Scripting vulnerability.   Solution In a specific instance, it was found that a precisely crafted Sametime meeting could potentially contain text that would expose a Cross Site Script vulnerability.

This can be addressed in Sametime 7.5.1 by applying an available hotfix. All future releases will contain this fix within the shipping version. Additionally, the same issue was not seen using the EMS server.


    for this posting

    On Wednesday, August 1st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Want to influence how Sametime documentation is put together right now?

Then head over to the new blog from the Lotus Technical Information and Education Team Blog.  They are asking for input on documentation on a few products including Sametime !
    for this posting

    On Friday, July 27th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Collaboration University recap - KC and London (and links)

I see I have been a giant slacker as I wake up this bight and sunny Saturday morning.  .  Everyone has started to recap the events but me.  Rob Novak, Carl Tyler, Mike Smith over at Turtle Partnership blog, and even Paul Mooney and Warren and Kitty Elsmore live blogged some of it!  I am sure there is others I missed reading yet in the blogsphere.

Let us go back a couple weeks to the beginning (cue dream sequence music)

Kansas City was a blur with the speakers getting together on Sunday morning to work all day.  We forced ourselves to finish the cd's and any editing.  It was a long day of anticipation of the second year.  We knew the alumni returning were looking for fresh and new material.

The first day went semi-smooth as our live video feed made it through Mike Rhodin fine and maxed out when Satwik went on for Quickr.  A good trial experience.  I will talk about the technology used in that later on.  We appreciate Mike for coming to the event.  The attendees gave good marks on his presentation where he personally did live demos.  From there on we raced through a long day of sessions to have the first cocktail reception.  The location this year was excellent and our same jazz musician returned from last year to play during the reception.  I even bought a cd from him...

Day was the longest day.  Due to comments from last year, we went from 3 tracks at a time to 2. This gave you a chance to see every Sametime or every Quickr session.  It also made day 2 go from 8:00am to 6:45pm.  Whew!  They were glazed and hurting by the end of that day.  I personally have both LDAP and Firewall/network sessions to give that day so I did my best to fill everyone's heads.

Day 3 only came after staying up all night to make sure the workshops were configured correctly.  read on....
Continue Reading here" Collaboration University recap - KC and London (and links)" »
    for this posting

    On Saturday, July 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5.1 CF1 hitting the streets and a note in the fine print

Well interestingly enough there is more fixes in the CF1 for Sametime 7.5.1 (there is 84) than there was in CF1 for 7.5 (there was 69).  What you need to look out for is that if your fix happens to be in this maintenance release, some of the SPR's require a full installation instead of the site update version.

Keep that in mind when deploying the update.  Some of the features will not be updated properly without downloading and installing the full package just as you would for a fresh install.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, July 19th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

The live broadcast with Mike Rhodin was a success and was recorded. We will have it ready for payback shortly...

Carl is busy encoding the copy we will hopefully merge with the slides, but the raw broadcast I will link in a bit.  We might sneak in one more session live, like the Top 10 or the overview session from Collaboration University
    for this posting

    On Monday, July 9th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Watch (and hear) Mike Rhodin’s keynote from Collaboration University live online. Yes I said live

Need I even say more than 8:30am-10AM CST on Monday July 9th 2007.  We will turn on the live feed a few minutes early and run it till the opening is over.  Look for some new things from Mike to be covered.

http://live.collaborationuniversity.com
    for this posting

    On Friday, July 6th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Trillian Astra - a new feature not seen in Sametime 7.5.x yet

I am on the new beta for Trillian and will talk plenty about it shortly.  But this one preference was more than interesting.  I talked to Adam G about it briefly and he named it TiVo for Trillian.  They call it Time Travel as shown in the image:

Image:Trillian Astra - a new feature not seein Sametime 7.5.x yet

Notice you get to replay quick bursts of audio and video chat.  Quite the cool tool when you miss something.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

An email about the Lotus Collaboration Summit Online lists Sametime 8 in it

Image:An email about the Lotus Collaboration Summit Online lists Sametime 8 in it
Technical Sessions

1. Notes & Domino 8.0: Technical Architecture Deep Dive

2. Lotus Sametime 8.0: Technical Architecture Deep Dive

3. Lotus Quickr: Technical Architecture Deep Dive

4. Lotus Connections: Technical Architecture Deep Dive


    for this posting

    On Friday, June 29th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Screenshot of IBM’s "Effective Meeting Client" found online.. gasp! could this be the future of Sametime?


I presume this is a way early demo shot of what is to come, but it looks like a long leap if it revolves around Sametime. My gut reaction is this is some sort of new item, since there is nothing to be had online anywhere in searching. I am betting on the side that says this is some other type of meeting service and not Sametime.


However, this would be quite a cool tool to have for meetings and change the way you look at the meeting windows for Sametime. Mainly with the P2P video and audio abilities. A nice corporate directory with everyone's pictures would be a good start for most of you so you do not have a circle of gray-man group members looking at you in a circle

    for this posting

    On Friday, June 22nd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime and LDAP issue/solution

I am calling this an issue whether it gets counted as such or not.   While working with a new Sametime 7.5.1  cluster (version doesn't really matter here) against a Domino LDAP cluster (version 7), we set a limit of 100 for the maximum number of entries returned against LDAP browsing and searching.

This broke the ability to add names to policies or browse from the 7.5.1 Connect client.  If I allow the maximum returned entries to unlimited, it allows you to add names to policies and browse from the Connect client.

In my humble opinion, I should be able to set a limit, still add names to policies and only have a certain amount returned when someone tries to browse the entire LDAP directory.  This would force the user to use a finer search string and release load on the LDAP server when there are over 20,000 users involved.

Make sense?  Bug or no bug?
    for this posting

    On Sunday, June 17th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Carl finds the Sametime 7.5.1 Easter Egg. We were playing around today and kudos to him

Go peek right here
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, June 13th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

New Sametime 7.5.1 feature? The server answers your chats when testing? (screenshot)

Image:New Sametime 7.5.1 feature?  The server answers your chats when testing? (screenshot)
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, June 13th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Extra files for Admin2007 Sametime Gateway session

Sorry for the delay, I was traveling out of the country right after Admin2007

Sametime Gateway extras.pdf
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, June 6th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Admin2007 Jumpstart Day review

This was the official first day of the conference in Boston.  It was good to see many of the faces from previous years and quite a few new people attend the jumpstarts.  Quite a full room of people there to dive into Sametime for my session. Andy P of Technotics was next door selling Server Statistics 101.  A great session by all counts I heard.  I did find that most of you that took m little survey about your current Sametime version are well advanced in the curve.  Smaller than 5% of the room had Sametime 7.5.1 installed and running.  Many had no Sametime and a the rest were upgrading.  I spent quite a bit of time on the architecture side and scaling before working a piece of the client in.  There is a session this week on the client and plug-ins.

Photos will start being online shortly, as I only have a handful.
    for this posting

    On Sunday, June 3rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Extra slides and images for Admin2007 Sametime Jumpstart attendees

Here is you completed file.  Email me with any questions.  I put the extra slides, Sametime install movie and the extra images into a zip file

Admin2007 Sametime Jumpstart.zip
    for this posting

    On Sunday, June 3rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Attensa responds to my posting on their new RSS reader for Sametime

It is nice to get feedback with either corrections or just plain happiness for a posting.  Attensa sent the Director of Marketing to show me that you can install the new beta of their RSS reader into your Sametime Connect client.  This beta has a few options in the install.  It will hook into Outlook, IE, Firefox and Sametime.  Nice touch, don't think you need it everywhere at once however.

It does prompt you to become your default RSS reader, so beware on those screens.  It also puts a desktop alerts icon in the system tray, I am waiting to see what that part does with a follow-up posting.  Here is the screenshot from the first part of the install after selecting ONLY Sametime components.  It did drop a nice amount of files into other areas however, not just a plug-in as one would normally expect.

Image:Attensa responds to my posting on their new RSS reader for Sametime
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    On Friday, June 1st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Another RSS reader plug-in for Sametime 7.5.x

So I talked about and did a podcast with newsgator a bit ago about their plug-in for Sametime to pull RSS feeds.  It works quite well from what I saw but lacked the ability to be a standalone plug-in.  It had to connect to their news server to get data.

Now come an announcement from Attensa that they have a RSS plug-in for Sametime (and a slew of other products).  So I happily went to the site to get even an evaluation or screenshots to be disappointed that they also offer this plug-in only if you hit their servers.  While it will run standalone in Outlook (ugh), not Sametime on the recent beta.  I sent an email off to get them on a podcast and see what info we can get on it for you.  Here is a screenshot of supported OS and software versions from their site

Image:Another RSS reader plug-in for Sametime 7.5.x
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    On Tuesday, May 29th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Notes 8 beta 3 integration with Sametime 7.5.1 oddity

So I loaded up the new beta 3 code and was happy to see everything it offered so far.  First weird thing (outside of the mail template that I am paying with and making sure I am updated right first) is that Sametime 7.5.1 can get installed and even places an icon in the system tray.

However, there is no click or double-click on this icon.  Only right-click that has status changes and the ability to log off.  If this will not offer the normal client functionality, then I say remove it.  More confusing that I cannot double-click and have it open my contact window or pop it open in the client.
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    On Friday, May 25th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5.1 video and audio user prompt issues

Here in lay the issues:
  • I send a video chat request to another user, they get an audio prompt
  • I find out the local laptop firewall might be interfering and disable it temporarily
  • I get video to work (which runs across the UDP ports)
  • Recipient drops randomly and can't see text chat windows
  • I end video chat and text chat I was typing appears

Later, I check the memory utilization.  If I do not start a video or audio meeting, I can get the memory down to 5MB or so after the initial launch through the old bug they still have in how you minimize the client.

However, if I run a video chat, no matter how I minimize the client I still eat over 40MB of RAM.  I will grab some screenshots shortly.  This is amazingly high compared to any other chat program I run, even Flock
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    On Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime version usage poll for all of you (prepping for Admin2007)

Take a look and pick the version you are running in this poll on my blog posting. I am just getting a feel for what version of Sametime is in PRODUCTION at your companies


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    On Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Gateway install/upgrade issues update and solution

I frustratingly gave up on the upgrade path after getting a couple more emails of the same issue happening to them.  So last week I stopped  trying to run the scripts IBM sent and wiped the machine of all components of the gateway.  That meant Websphere, DB2 and the gateway code itself.

I totally reinstalled 7.5 FP1, then patched Websphere to 6.1.0.7 and the gateway to 7.5.1.  All seems to be well at this point.  But note, when I say removed and reinstalled, I did not create any community connections until the code was upgraded.  Apparently if there is any community defined, the error commences.  Without them, or a new install, you are good to go.

So I am back on AOL, Google Talk and Yahoo through the gateway.
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    On Monday, May 14th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Gateway 7.5.1 new installs have different directory paths then previous.. should have seen this coming

While performing a fresh install of the new code, Sametime Gateway 7.5.1, I found that the path for the Gateway code itself now defaults from the previous RTCGateway to STGateway.

DB2 also takes a new table name as STGW.  While the upgrades will work just fine, it is interesting to see such changes as this.  I imagine this has much to do with the renaming of the product from the original Real-time Collaboration Gateway to Sametime Gateway last year.

However, the profile name does remain the same at RTCGW_Profile and the server as RTCGWServer.  Weird some areas made the shift but not others..
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    On Wednesday, May 9th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Gateway frustrations on the 7.5.1 upgrade

We went through this before with the FP1 patch for the Sametime Gateway.  If you refer back to my previous posting, once the patch was applied it destroyed the portlets for management of the Gateway portion in the Integrated Solutions Console.  It was easy to fix by uninstalling the patch.

I then mentioned that I went through the 7.5.1 upgrade and it did the exact same thing.  Now I have been getting some help from Lotus, but I don't get how having communities defined would break the install.  I also thought it might just be me until I finished a customer call this morning who had a pilot of the gateway running.  They attempted to upgrade and got the same exact same portlet destruction.

Pardon my frustration..
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    On Tuesday, May 8th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Partnerworld review of the "Lotus Software: Expanding your business across the collaboration continium" session

This is the only session I walked over to see and was pleasantly surprised.  While there was not a ton of new information in there, it moved very fast and well orchestrated for the 100 or so people that came to see it.  I even went so far as to grab audio of segments of this I will make into a podcast later today so you can match my notes to the actual talks.

Tim Kounadis did the opening, and you got to hear form him yesterday on IdoNotes Episode 31.  His intro was more than brief and he quickly turned it over.  Then I learned why.  They have 5 demonstrations they intended to do in this session plus some talk at the end.

Ken Bisconti and Ron Sebastian were up next.  Ken did the slides and talking while Ron did his usual lightening speed, well defined, working demos.  This is a huge posting so I am putting in the keep reading link.

Continue Reading here" Partnerworld review of the "Lotus Software: Expanding your business across the collaboration continium" session" »
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    On Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Connect 7.5.1 upgrade concern passed on to me

I have not tested this yet as I was uninstalling the beta code or upgrading beta code.  So if you have older versions, confirm this since I do not have a moment to do so right now:
On the 7.5.1 Connect client installation, it asks if you want to remove any existing Sametime 3.x or 7.0x.  Generally you would say yes as I did.  It then identified that I had Sametime 7.0x and asked if I really wanted to remove it.  That was OK because I knew what was going on.  But the problem is that I didn't have Sametime 7.0x, I had 7.5

P.S. after I installed, I launched it and the About splash screen didn't go away.  But that was fixed once I rebooted. :-)  

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    On Friday, April 27th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

An intermittent Sametime Connect 7.5.1 bug starting to appear

I had seen this before and heard it from another person but could not get it to reproduce on any consistent level.  However, it has now hit the Sametime forum on Notes.net as a thread.

It seems that under certain circumstances the Sametime Connect 7.5.1 client keeps looking for the Microsoft Outlook profile.  Even with Lotus Notes clients on the desktop and Outlook not configured.  A check of IE shows that the mail program preferences is also set to Lotus Notes, so no conflict there.

There is the new Office integration component that is offered, however the client still prompts for Outlook profile upon launch after configuring it to use Notes.
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    On Thursday, April 26th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

A Sametime 7.5.1 question I got in email last night

I imagined someone would ask eventually or at least figure it out.
Hey Chris, saw all your postings today on 7.5.1.  I downloaded the new client but don't see anything but the full exe file.  Do I need to expand that to get the Eclipse update or will that be coming soon?  Great postings, thanks!


Well that is a great question.  One I have asked.  You would expect with all the hype around Eclipse and provisioning clients you could simply toss some code for a site update.  While this would be many files and larger than a normal small push, it would all be done in the background and then they get restarted and viola.  However, Lotus said they were not ready for it at this release, or something in those words.  You get the drift.

So what that means is you must have each client download and install the full new code, just like a fresh install would be.  It will upgrade seamlessly, it is just a packaging step you need to do.
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    On Thursday, April 26th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Gateway 7.5.1 upgrade issue - broken in under 3 minutes this time

I first reported this issue back in January, as seen here Link    It seems that if you have existing communities in the Sametime Gateway and attempt to upgrade it breaks it all.  Now how do I get back is what I am figuring out right now.  This was immediately after the 7.5.1 upgrade, WAS .7 patch and launching.  Then a restart and launch did the exact same thing.

Image:Sametime Gateway 7.5.1 upgrade issue - broken in under 3 minutes this time
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    On Wednesday, April 25th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Installing a plug-in without restarting Sametime Connect 7.5.1 client

You receive the choice to restart the Sametime Connect 7.5.1 client after installing a new plug-in.  You can also apply and continue working and restart later to activate the plug-in.  I chose to apply and keep working.  I got the following:
Image:Installing a plug-in without restarting Sametime Connect 7.5.1 client
Either that is a cool white plug-in or something is amiss
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    On Wednesday, April 25th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Things you will see, shouldn’t see and hope get fixed in the Sametime 7.5.1 client

I loaded the new gold client on a couple fresh machines to see what results we got.  While the new UI is shiny and nice like I promised, here is what I saw on the "hope it was fixed" list:
  • The memory utilization is crazy.  Upon launch with no plug-ins loaded yet, it was 67MB of RAM.  Compared to other chat programs, that is an easy 3-4 times larger for some of the exact same functionality (like Yahoo messenger 8.x)
  • If you happened to load the previous Eclipse updates for the Sametime Gateway on your Sametime 7.5 CF1 server, then you get the following prompt that new code was added.  However, this isn't newer as they changed the numbering scheme (see image below)
  • You are not prompted to change your geographic location for the new install and fill out you location information
  • You users will appreciate the icon changing from Sametime Connect 7.5 to Sametime Connect (no version number listed).
  • Privacy settings for different communities is still a single point and not set up to support the feature of logging into multiple communities
  • It seems some people are getting two instances of the client when they install and click to Launch the client right away instead of closing the installer and then launching.


 Image:Things you will see, shouldn’t see and hope get fixed in the Sametime 7.5.1 client
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    On Wednesday, April 25th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5.1 launched

Apparently IBM launched it today.  I will have comments for you shortly.

On second thought, here is some now.  Yes there is the new point-to-point video, UI changes to the client and slew of new features in the link I gave above.  However, the memory consumption is quite large, so be prepared.

Tabbed chat is awesome, both vertical and horizontal.  There are some issues with strange UI behavior with horizontal I need to test more.

Policies have been enhanced greatly.  I will give them that.  They listened and added quite a few.  There is a ways to go for full management,but most of you will be pleased.

more shortly.
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    On Tuesday, April 24th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Let’s do a poll on the online meeting topic, come visit the blog to see the poll in this posting


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    On Friday, April 20th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Google buys Marratech, an established Swedish competitor to Sametime and WebEx

Strike up one more for Google in buying things with the billions in cash they have to make them stronger:
As a company, we thrive on casual interactions and spontaneous collaboration. So we're excited about acquiring Marratech's video conferencing software, which will enable from-the-desktop participation for Googlers in videoconference meetings wherever there's an Internet connection.

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    On Friday, April 20th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Domino 7.0.2 FP1 doesn’t fix the nHTTP crashes? Lotus says so.

Problem


Java virtual machine (JVM) changes made to Domino 7.0.2 are causing nHTTP crashes.

Content

If you are running a Lotus® Sametime® server release 7.0 or 7.5 on Domino® release 7.0.2 you may experience nHTTP crashes.  These crashes do not occur in versions of Domino prior to 7.0.2.


This issue is under investigation by Quality Engineering as SPR #TTRT6XBQPE.  Until a fix can be provided, the following workarounds are available.   Note that 7.0.2 FP1 does NOT fix this issue.

  1. Do not upgrade to Domino 7.0.2 (or later) on any Sametime servers running on Windows.

    or

  2. Revert to the JVM from an earlier Domino release.
    To do this, copy the \Lotus\Domino\JVM folder from a pre-Domino 7.0.2 installation and overwrite the same folder on your Domino 7.0.2 server.   Be sure to make a backup of the existing JVM folder before taking these steps.
    For Unix and Linux the JVM is located in /opt/ibm/lotus/notes/latest//jvm/ by default.

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    On Tuesday, April 17th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

IBM has requested I push you to the Lotus Business Solutions Catalog for Sametime products

I talked about this same topic in my April edition of the Sys Admin Newsletter that is coming out shortly.  There is a huge lack of products and partners that represent Sametime add-ons, plug-ins and tools.  Yes there is quite a few partners that make products, but you have to know where to look.  Having a central source is a great idea.  Now what I didn't like about the current state of the catalog I addressed in the newsletter.  But here is what IBM is asking of you:
If you know of any business partners or anyone that is wanting to have their ST plugin / ST Gateway Plugin / or other ST solution- validated through Partnerworld and listed on the business solutions catalog, let me know... or just give them the links below. We are trying to get our business partners to actually use this catalog and thought with your exposure, you could at least have this information at your disposal.


So head on over.  You can even find links to get your solution certified
Lotus Business Solutions Catalog
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    On Tuesday, April 17th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Not sure why your your instant message goes to the Notes integrated chat instead of the new Sametime 7.5 client?

I get this question a lot.  Why do some chats go to the integrated client versus some with the Sametime Connect client?  Previously, Lotus has issued documents stating in depended on what order they were logged in or where the chats came from.  I had this well drawn out from experience and older technotes on how it chose.

Well recently (few months) they finally documented that Sametime would look to send a chat to the oldest client version logged in.  They have now reversed that in the Sametime 7.5 server and higher.  The server now looks for the most recent version of logged in client for the user.

For example, you log into a Sametime 6.5.1 server with the integrated client from 7.0.2 and also the Sametime Connect 7.5 client.  No matter what version the other party sends the chat from you would get it in the older version (integrated client).

Now upgrade that server to Sametime 7.5 and it will look and send to the Sametime Connect 7.5 client by finding the newest one.  I still have seen this a bit flaky but for the most part true.
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    On Wednesday, April 11th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Newsgator announces RSS plug-in for Sametime 7.5

Direct from their newsline:
March 28, 2007 - NewsGator Technolgies Inc., the leading RSS company, today announced two new RSS readers for IBM's Lotus messaging and collaboration environments.  The NewsGator Plug-in for Lotus Notes delivers RSS feed-reading capabilities within Lotus Notes 6.5 and higher, while the NewsGator Plug-In for Lotus Sametime adds this capability to version 7.5 of the enterprise instant messaging client.


It seems this plug-in connects to their enterprise server only.  I hope they make this for purchase or free download for those not running their enterprise server (personal type usage)
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    On Monday, April 2nd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Microsoft’s new PBX to VOIP gateway

While this was announced on the web a couple weeks ago I tried to do some digging to see just how Microsoft plans on implementing a gateway that will take PBX traffic into VOIP to enable Office Communications Server 2007 and Communicator make a stand against the IBM/3rd party integrators.

So far it leaves much to be desired in actual technical information.  While the IBM and 3rd parties have not only marketing content but technical content in how this all works.  Microsoft did align with Nortel to get some known name in the market behind them, but I know we lack the confidence to have a Microsoft piece of hardware sitting between us making calls or not.

To top it off, Microsoft has it's own version of SIP that they are basing this on.  Even Trillian is writing a new plug-in labeled LCS and everyone else is SIP to make note of the differences.  So if they are writing custom code around their own custom SIP, you will be knee deep in MS land with your phone if you take this route.
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    On Friday, March 30th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Location awareness in your IM client

I was just sitting here thinking about location awareness features in Sametime AOL it seems.  From the provider Skyhook comes a free plug-in for AOL to show location awareness of who is around you if enabled.
Mobile IM
AOL has released a location plug-in for its AIM messaging client. The plug-in, developed by Skyhook Wireless, allows AIM users to see where people on their buddy lists are physically located. Skyhook tracks locations by using the wireless pulses emitted by all Wi-Fi transmitters, including Wi-Fi-enabled computers. The AIM plug-in allows users to add a new "Near Me" group to their buddy lists. This group will show usernames of those AIM members who share their locations and are within a set distance. The plug-in, which is a free download, also enables users to see a buddy's location on a map as well. Currently this is available only for PC users - however Skyhook has said it expects to see the location capabilities eventually integrated with AIM clients on mobile phones.


Interesting twist as the race continues for IM domination...
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    On Friday, March 23rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Real-Time Collab Seminar Frankfurt photos

You can find the photos either on Yahoo Photos or on Flickr, your choice.  Those are all of them from Frankfurt.  Now some blog silence while I take a couple days off to travel in Germany.
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    On Thursday, March 15th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5 plug-in for Plazes, why yes it is free

Many of you know there is a few of us bloggers that use Plazes to show where we are or have been in the world.  You can see mine over on the right side of my blog.  Well, while in Germany, I found out about a partner that wrote a Sametime 7.5 plug-in that replaces the local Plazes program on your computer.  Supposedly, the newer one will even help set your location setting in the Sametime client.  No more typing at new sites!!  The screenshot looks like this:

Image:Sametime 7.5 plug-in for Plazes, why yes it is free

So go and get it from
Ebf.de or use the very simple site update they provide if you have trouble reading German.  You can use the site.xml for your client at the following:
http://ebfdus1.ebf.de/sameplace/site.xml

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    On Wednesday, March 14th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Real-Time Collaboration Seminar in Frankfurt recap days 1-2

Everyone in the room just about had a Blackberry.  So all those talks about not many European countries having them is way off in this attendee group.

Sametime 7.5 was not widely deployed, it was only in testing at a couple sites.  Scaling the current sites as they migrate was a key factor to the entire group.  They had many wishlist items, some of which I posted into the necessary forums.

There was no chat logging requirements or demand from anyone here.  Most of the concern seemed to be, from my angle, how this gets deployed, how I manage the new Sametime Connect client, what kind of plug-ins are available and issues around current deployments.

Now one thing I hold close is the Sametime Gateway.  Eyebrows were raised when we covered this topic as the business need could not be defined.  Each of the US cities we did for this seminar wanted more time for this topic.  Here, it was well received, but we spent extra time on reasoning and doing live demonstrations showing the differences live in how a user would appear using a public name versus a corporate name in the public systems.  I had a couple side questions after the sessions that showed there was some interest now that it was better understood.

More after we start the Blackberry sessions.
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    On Tuesday, March 13th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

DST steps from the sweep we did

I said I would type this up so I went one better and recorded a mini podcast from the St Louis User Group meeting today where we talked about the DST changes we did at Connectria. I will compile that tonight and get that published.

But as a quick note, look for another new agent (4.0.2.7) to come out and fix some of the looping script errors we received on numerous servers while running the server based agent against the mailfiles.  We saw this on more than a few customers across versions of templates as well as Domino versions.  It drove us nuts, and wasted a lot of time to have to go into the text files and remove the offending user mailfile to get the agent to run on.  Until it encountered another one and looped again.  Now some ran without incident.  Others stopped more than 20 times on larger sites.

I also talk about the order we did things and across the product lines.
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    On Tuesday, February 27th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Blogging our DST patch morning live

5:00am - Quick team meeting in my office to go over everything we need to get done.  Blackberry pushes and Sametime are first up on the list.

5:30am
- So first up for me was the Sametime servers.  Others were prepping the DWA, calendar and RnR stuff.  I have some of those to do in a bit, but I started with our internal servers first.  Running the JTZU patch took far too long to search the Sametime systems.  You really cannot run this tool in interactive mode since then you need to specify what gets updated and you have no clue.  It even prompts you that letting it search could take hours.  It really only took a few minutes when all was said and done to find what needed updating.  It did take a while to run however.

6:16am
- This was incredibly frustrating when the IBM support site was up and down all morning also.  Yes we have knowledgebase locally, but it is faster to web grab some of the files.  Also, it also would be nice not to get just random error messages on documents not existing when you know they do.

7:00am
- First batch of RnR changes completed and one test mailfile set done.  One weird error on one customer and the rest went smooth so far.

8:00am
- Script errors when the calendar agent runs on a bad mailfile in the text list.  We find endless script loops running.  Removing the last mailfile attempted (and all previous completed ones) from the text list and restarting the agent fixes it.  Some clients have no issues at all, others have a handful that cause grief.  It has you going back to each server and making sure it it not looping.

8:30am
- The path for managed and hosted server is an issue, so we created numerous agents with different drive letters that we can fire off.  Now AS/400 and some random servers ever have different data paths from the norm.  Standardization I say, standardization.

8:50am
- Encounter first Domino Directory in foreign language.  Script in agents only works on English views.  It says it can't find the Server\Mail Users view.  Which is there, however it is Servidor\Usuarios do Correio. First glance doesn't show where the agent grabs that view name to change it.


So I will give another (after much sleep) overview tomorrow on steps, commands and other things we figured out and streamlined as we went along to make your life easier.
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    On Sunday, February 25th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

DST preparations - step 1, read technotes and run in circles. No, ok really here we go...

So reading the technotes we have some gaps in what will transpire and in what order at most customer sites.  A lot of this relies on the ability, or timing, of getting the desktop operating system patched.  If you follow the simple step plan in technote #1254624 you will see that (1) the server OS gets patched, (2) then the Domino version (if possible), (3) the JTZU for Sametime servers or other Java dependent apps and then it gets fuzzy.

(4) is in relation to putting the OS patch on the clients.  For one thing, Lotus suggests that the Notes client is closed when the patch is applied.  How many of your users leave the client open all night long?
The computer should be restarted after the patch is applied and before restarting Notes.  If the computer is not restarted after installing the patch, Notes will return the old time zone information for time zones other than the current time zone.

A lot is riding on this client restart or even patching.  I am also not sure how you are forcing your users with machines at home or laptops to do it.  If you start scheduling meetings across the clients that do and do not have the OS patch, then you will get variances in what they see and how correct they are.

Now to toss in some confusion, (5) should be done as soon as possible in relation to the OS updates.  This is finely designed and choreographed dance folks.  The amount of errors that DWA users will get relies heavily on this.  See technote #1241063 for the alternative issues.  From simple error pop-ups to meetings getting scheduled in Greenwich Mean Time, I think we have a problem here.  There is no way to get all those DWA user machines.

(6) moves on to the RnR database and the users mailfiles.  Now, if the users have local replicas also, they should be grabbing the change agent through replication before you run it on the server too.  See technote #1254639.  The RnR Manager must be shut down when the agent runs, and you even get a prompt while running this from the database Action menu.  Note, you will be signing these agents with some id file that needs at least editor access to the RnR database.

I will have more info for you to follow this one as we finalize and formulate the plan to update servers globally, hopefully it helps.
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    On Wednesday, February 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

My attempt at a full day of Sametime Mobile work ... errors and usability

So today I went all day trying to use Sametime Mobile for my normal day to day activities while on the road.  This just didn't cut it for a power user that is used to manipulating around the client.  This would have been one of those areas that should have been in beta for some testing.  I don't know if it was, some let me say that also, it might have been.

1) I had a chat, invited another per the menu item but it opened another chat window instead.  Ok, I might have did it wrong, but the way it shows the screens does not make it clear how to select multiple people at once or to add someone correctly to an existing one.

2)  Now, the new chat window only had one menu item in it for some reason., the word Close.  I took that to be close that chat.  No, it closed Sametime Mobile entirely!!  I then had to log in again to go the #3

2) Finally figured out how to do group chat.  Once the 3rd person joined it threw an error  Cannot chat with cn=xxxx/O=Connectria.  Error code = -2147475456.  Now after clicking the OK button, it took me into the group chat.  I think this is a bad closing of the single chat moving it to group mode.  The icon changed to a group symbol with my name instead of the normal of whom I was chatting with as an individual.

Of course, I still do not like the blue and black where everyone in the group is blue.  Can we get different colors for each person?  Now that would be a huge benefit too
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    On Wednesday, February 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Day 2 - Real Time Collab Seminar and Sametime Mobile bug/enhancement

A couple quick surprises.  One, most everyone in the room did not run Lotus Domino on Windows.  Instead it was iSeries, Linux and even some Solaris.  Interesting twist.  The second part is they really got the infrastructure session and asked some great follow-up questions about scaling a Sametime architecture for each of their needs.

Now the Sametime Mobile client has something missing I had not noted before.  The Blackberry Enterprise Messenger service, that hooks into Sametime works quite well and is being enhanced even more.  The one thing it does do that the Sametime Mobile developers looked over is that if I am not in the actual chat, and lets say the device is in my holster.  The Welcome Screen has no indicator at the top that there is a pending chat.  Yes you would get the vibration, and if it was the last thing received it would go right into that chat.  But, if you get email behind a chat, for example, and let the Blackberry sit, there is no visual indicator a chat came in unless you check yourself.  Theirs, of course, shows that indicator.  Just one of those things that users demand.
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    On Wednesday, February 21st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

The Sametime Plugin Exchange from IBM goes live

You can jump over to it right here.  It will be interesting to watch how many go up since you are allowed to upload your own plug-ins and even report copyright issues.  How many of you have plug-ins that you can share already?  This is not a marketplace site at all it seems, but a freeware type area where people can pop up quick code they have created.

The IBM sample ones are already there and ready for download it seems.
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    On Tuesday, February 20th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Day 1 - Real Time Collab Seminar and a Nasty sametime.ini variable

During the day, which had decent turnout even right behind Lotusphere, a question arose revolving around trusting the IP address of the Sametime Gateway in the Sametime server.  The person stated that they had placed the following:
VPS_Trusted_IPS=1

in the sametime.ini thereby allowing all IP addresses to be trusted.  So in turn, did they still need to go into stconfig.nsf and list the IP address of the Sametime Gateway.  Some research says this is not the setting they are using and that if they are using the one I think:
VPS_Bypass_Trusted_IPS=1

instead, then they are allowing any server to connect to their Sametime server.  The first ini variable should have been a list of IP addresses and not a 1 (one).  This setting should only be utilized during debugging connectivity issues and then should revert back to the trusted list.  If they are running this in production, we will cover it tomorrow in how to clean it up.

Otherwise it was good to see everyone in the room was running Sametime, outside of 1 person, already.  A few had test installs of 7.5.1 running but no one had gotten near the Sametime Gateway.  The user ranges were from under 50 to over 10k.  Which gives a nice slice of environment sizes to cover examples with.  It seems there are still not enough Sametime marketing campaigns for some reason to reach everyone.  While they have it in place, so much of the capabilities and architecture were still unknown to them.  Wait till Day 2.

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, February 20th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Update to yesterday’s DST patch and Sametime Mobile issue

I mentioned we found the issue with the DST patch issued by RIM that caused Sametime Mobile on the Blackberry to stop working.  Well removing the entire Sametime Mobile program and downloading it again fixed the issue.  Sametime Mobile works once again.  This was posted as a comment to my blog posting and also we had confirmed it earlier in the morning today on our own Blackberrys.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, February 15th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

New DST bug found for Sametime Mobile and Blackberry

We went ahead and moved on with more internal testing with all the DST patches before our big outage.  This test was to push the Blackberry DST patch to the handhelds and have them restart.  Patch went on great.  However, after the patch was loaded, Sametime Mobile client for Blackberry will not start.  As soon as the client code begins it crashes.  No log in screen, nothing.  Blackberry without the DST patch loads the Sametime Mobile just fine still.  Yes we did this on more than one BB device of different versions too.  Sucks to be them (for some reason my DST patch didn't download).

Update: After this point I got one IM saying they had the same issue and now an email with the same result. Blackberry Enterprise Messenger will still work however.
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    On Wednesday, February 14th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Video email, do we need it? We do have P2P video in Sametime coming in 7.5.1

So we already host a company that provides video email capabilities to broadband providers.  This relies on the fact that you will receive them in email however.  I am not sure I want all of our end users receiving large video files in their email, it defeats the purpose of quotas.  It also goes overboard in unified messaging expectations for most companies and enterprises.

Along comes EyeJot offering a web based solution.  You can subscribe via RSS and even get your video mail in iTunes.  Interesting concept.  Even a recorded greeting video.  I created an EyeJot page on my blog real quick to see how it functions.

I bring this up since Sametime will soon be offering point-to-point video.  While there is no storage at this time for offline or emailed video, I can see this type of plug-in being developed under development as we speak.  The ability to leave an offline video/voice message that gets stored on a central server and removed when grabbed or listened to would be highly productive.  Yes, some call this email, but it takes it a step further having virtual visits from your friends.  Expression are carried over, tense and tone are carried, much unlike email and IM.  Heck, your face becomes the virtual emoticon  Image:Video email, do we need it?  We do have P2P video in Sametime coming in 7.5.1
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    On Thursday, February 8th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Gateway - now you see them, now you wish you used the @aol in the name

Working with the product as much as I do I encounter some weird little nuances every so often.  Here is a couple for you to ponder and watch out for..
  • The Clearinghouse works well for adding @aol.com and @company.com names and does not fare well with @aim.com names
  • If you add someone to your buddylist with an alias it does not add the little fancy orange running dude next to their name and instead adds the globe.  This , of course, gives no indication that they are even an AOL person you added.  I need to try this with Google Talk and Yahoo in a few


    Image:Sametime Gateway - now you see them, now you wish you used the @aol in the name
    • If you add someone with an alias to your buddylist from @aol.com, you can never again see their online name from the UI.  You can go local into the buddylist file, but not from the client.

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, January 31st, 2007   by Chris Miller        

How to destroy your Sametime Gateway server in 21 seconds

So I willingly placed the fixpack 1 onto the Sametime Gateway server this morning.  In a full 21 seconds flat of install time.  Now as for the install, I am not sure why this couldn't be wrapped into a simpler exe file or even something to use the Websphere Updater.  It required a nice long script to typo in with plenty of room for typographical errors to make you try and try again.

Much to my humor after it was installed, it destroyed the management screen changing the gateway section to portlet entries that would not launch as shown below.
Image:How to destroy your Sametime Gateway server in 21 seconds

So I went back in and uninstalled following the simple task of switching the word install for remove.  Another 21 seconds later and I am back in business, without Yahoo integration, but back in business.

initCleanupWorkDir:
   [delete] Deleting dir

initRemoveAdminPortlet:

remove-servicepack:

BUILD SUCCESSFUL
Total time: 21 seconds

    for this posting

    On Monday, January 29th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Announcement: Installing and Administrating the Sametime Gateway Guide book release

Installing and Administrating the Sametime Gateway

Industry expert Chris Miller delves deep into the installation and configuration of the Lotus Sametime Gateway. Follow along as he walks you step by step in how to get your Lotus Sametime environment connected directly to the public instant messaging providers with ease. He also covers management and network topology placement in this first book in the series, "Consultant in your Pocket Guides".

Special pricing through Lotusphere 2007!!

    for this posting

    On Monday, January 8th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Omnifind plug-in for Sametime 7.5 from IBM

I downloaded the deployment plug-in (not the source version yet) to test it out and see what help it could provide.  The first thing I noticed is that it unpacked into the wrong directory.  You are supposed to download the zip then unpack straight to the plug-in directory of the Sametime client.  It added an extra folder layer so I moved everything up to the root folder and it started working right away.  No big deal, just packaging.

From there I started manipulating the browser to use (a button to browse the local OS would be nice instead of having to figure out and type it in manually) and what search host.  I couldn't figure out how to use my Sametime custom search engine yet, but it worked well otherwise and you can change the name and play with some of the basic code to make a nice internal Intranet and specifically targeted search.  You could then deploy this to the right people for some good quick reference help.

Take a peek if you haven't.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, January 3rd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Availabot... standing at attention when your buddies come online

Apparently Carl talked about this months ago, I just read about it, :-)

A company in the UK has taken presence notification to a new level through
Availabot.  Instead of getting a pop-up, sound or notice that your AOL/iChat buddy has come online, you have a puppet that stands up from a connected USB port.  You need as many ports as buddies you want to stand at attention.
Availabot plugs into your computer USB, stands to attention when your chat buddy comes online, and falls down when they go away.  It's a presence-aware, peripheral-vision USB toy


Apparently you can preload them with your data and even have them customized to look like yourself.  Interesting concept for handing out at conferences
Availabot stores the IM details of the friend it represents in the puppet itself.  That means that you can buy a few, load them with your own IM screen name and service, and give them out like business cards to your closest contacts.


It seems to be ready for Mac with Windows on the way.  Could you see the overzealous CIO with a room of 1000 of these to see how many employees are online in Sametime working with a Sametime Gateweay hooked up?  I found they even have a
youTube video of it working.  Now that theory I just had really gets some humor.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, January 2nd, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Gateway nuance of the day (yes again)

So I received an inbound chat to Sametime from an AOL person through the gateway.  This person was not on my list previously in Sametime as a buddy.  So while in the chat I clicked the Add icon and they were successfully listed in the right group.

However (isn't there always one of these with me), they showed with the custom icon for the community and not with the little AOL running man.  So I removed the username entirely from my buddylist, and then manually added a new contact from the buddylist window.  I choose external contact and add the AOL name and the AOL running man shows up just fine.

Bizarre and makes sense in a weird way, it is broke.
    for this posting

    On Friday, December 29th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Gateway nuance of the day

Do not look at these postings as whining or complaining, just things the users need to be aware of in usage in advance so they do not question you later.

I never looked until today, which I should have.  While running the Sametime Mobile client for Blackberry, you can see all your AOL and gTalk contacts just great.  However, when they see you through the gateway, they do not get the mobile icon like other Sametime users see.  This might be a limitation of the gateway itself, but users will notice, trust me.

So what you get is the standard online and status ability, just not client type indications.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, December 28th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Gateway - adding a person as an alias "bug" to me

If you add a user from the Sametime Gateway with an alias name, such as IdoNotes@gmail dot com, but give it a friendly name such as Chris on GTalk, you can then never again see the email address you add.  I tried looking at Edit Nickname from the menu, but that only let's you change what you set, not see the address you added.  I saw nothing under the menu items either.  Yes, you could look at local XML, but for a user that will not fly.

So chalk this one to a 'feature request' I guess.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, December 26th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

It seems Lotus has the Sametime Gateway working in some test areas for themselves

I received a Sametime to Sametime ping via the AOL Clearinghouse today from Adam G.  Not sure if this is live public stuff yet so I blurred the host so no one went crazy, but yes it did happen from their test servers.

Image:It seems Lotus has the Sametime Gateway working in some test areas for themselves
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    On Friday, December 22nd, 2006   by Chris Miller        

AIM 6 upgrade from Triton adds a couple new twists

To follow up on this mornings posting, I was interested to see that AIM 6 now allows 1000 buddies in the list, plus a tabbed interface (like Trillian), offline messages (like Yahoo) and local chat logging (like Trillian again and now Sametime).

I have an interesting bug or something bizarro that bothers me if it isn't to post in a few minutes after some testing on the Sametime Gateway however.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, December 20th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Oh why can’t Sametime 7.5 do this?

Sametime 7.5 should grab your local or server buddylist for AOL, Google Talk and Yahoo and import those into the buddy list via script, even keeping groups if there is XML ability like the below image does.  What a way to move people to the Sametime Gateway!!

Image:Oh why can’t Sametime 7.5 do this?

This is the new update for AOL Triton install.  I saw that AIM Pro does something similar, but this is too easy for users.  (Why can't this grab your local Notes address book I wonder too? A simple look-up for online name fields and email names?)  Just one more fight to have some public system instead of Sametime for smaller sites.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, December 20th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

December LotusUserGroup.org Sys Admin newsletter is released

You can now receive it in HTML or straight text, it is all up to your profile on the LotusUserGroup site.  So head on over and get your recent copy right here

This month I had a nice array of things I wrote (I like to think) from Hannover to Sametime hardware sizing.
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    On Tuesday, December 19th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

The Sametime Gateway shows the Sametime icon on AOL now (image)

Pretty straight forward... they assign it to you automatically.  You don't get a choice here. The below is Trillian and I added an attachment for the AOL Triton look and feel of people through the gateway.


Image:The Sametime Gateway shows the Sametime icon on AOL now (image)


AIMRTC.gif
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    On Tuesday, December 19th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Mobile on Blackberry error I am encountering

I have a public group from our corporate directory.  Not a large one, maybe 40 people.  I can talk to most everyone just fine while using Sametime Mobile on the Blackberry 8703e.  However, there is one person I go to talk to and it throws the following screenshot error.  I wonder if it has to do with chat history

Image:Sametime Mobile on Blackberry error I am encountering
    for this posting

    On Thursday, December 14th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Overview of Real-Time Collaboration Seminar - Philly

So today ends the 3-day seminar.  I crammed in a podcast, announcing the Lotusphere2007 t-shirts with the Taking Notes guys and even digging deep in the conversations around the Sametime Gateway.

As for here, the normal array.  Only a couple hands running older versions of Sametime, from 3.1 and below.  No one really had a full implementation of 7.5 outside of a couple small shops.  One site even used the integrated calendaring feature to invite the Sametime server for all of their meetings.  I do not see that often at all.

The demand for scalable and clustered architectures was the largest I had seen so far.  There were some larger enterprises represented that were asking about architecture design and deploying everything from clusters to MUX's with load balancers.  It was nice to see that Sametime 7.5 is becoming a commodity and looked upon as a business tool.  The session on plug-ins showed some of the capabilities, and now that I have tested and actually ran the auto updates from the server side, it made the push in that direction stronger for myself.  I took great interest in the new redpaper Carl mentioned and can't wait for it to hit full redbook.  It has a couple cool plug-in ideas.  It will offer some sample code download too.

Deployment was a concern, mainly over the amount of features.  I posed a question to Adam G offline asking about the ability to reduce memory load by removing feature sets from the client.  This was asked more than once by attendees here and other cities.  Basically the thinking is that if I am not using it or deploying it, why do I have to show it and can I save from that in memory.

Dinner the second night (the first night I missed a connection due to mechanical issues on the plane) was at Bella Trattoria.  Excellent food, thanks to Andy P for choosing.  Otherwise I got to see nothing outside of the hotel and a walk to a local sports grille.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, December 13th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

AOL makes amends on my ’broken’ icon in the Sametime Gateway

"AOL Operations has verified that connectria is misconfigured. However we do not see other misconfigurations right now. Would be good if you could let us know other domains that are not ok."


After checking today, it seems I have the nice little yellow ball of awareness next to my name and the MS Office icon is gone.  They are uploading the Sametime blue chat thingy we all know so well.
    for this posting

    On Monday, December 11th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Interesting that Sametime shows to the outside world as a Microsoft image on awareness in RTC

Here is the screenshot from Trillian.  Ouch, hahaha.  That is not my windows icon nor what I use for Trillian icon as most of you know.  So did it grab it form my OS?  Either way that is funny to me

Image:Interesting that Sametime shows to the outside world as a Microsoft image on awareness in RTC
    for this posting

    On Friday, December 8th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime Gateway status here

AOL is now connected fully and NULL errors seem to have vanished with much tweaking and un quietly announced patches.  Google Talk went live today and seems to work fine, it prompted me for the authorization to add awareness and to my buddylist, I am still waiting on the green light however.

I am getting lot of IM's and a few emails over setting this up and I hope to have a nice document shortly to answer those burning questions for all of you
    for this posting

    On Thursday, December 7th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

I have been reading over on Ed’s blog today, hence the lack of posting

You can catch up over here
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, December 6th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Admin2006 Vienna - BOF Experts Panel live blogging

I had the pleasure of sitting with Andy and Rob of Technotics, Susan Bulloch of IBM for a four person panel BOF to answer whatever questions they had across all areas.  This is what we had to cover (minus a couple):
  • how to deep fry a turkey
  • change users SMTP domain name across 17 acquired companies
  • whitelisting servers
  • Sametime error codes for users dropping connectivity
  • set update flag in local address book
  • multi language notes clients?
  • strip attachments from NDR's?
  • port failover in a clustered server - teaming NIC cards as solution at hardware level
  • migration of domains by moving everyone into the new domain and then recertifying
  • server_transinfo_range  proper setting?
  • Nomad questions on the uninstall/U3 and performance speed issues on USB

    for this posting

    On Thursday, November 30th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

I popped up in a eWeek article this week..

I had the link forwarded to me..
"IBM has worked with the Google Maps API so you can highlight everyone on your buddy list and show where they are currently located on the map," said Chris Miller, director of messaging and collaboration at Connectria, a St. Louis-based messaging integrator. Miller has clients who have taken open-source code integrations with their directory servers to show the organizational hierarchy of their IM buddies. "This cuts down the time they have needed to find someone for a particular job," he said.

    for this posting

    On Monday, November 27th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime (RTC) Gateway info again..

I hesitated last time to talk about site.xml and feature updates.  They snuck a fix into the RTC Gateway installer that you need to apply to your clients again to get Yahoo and Google to work correctly.  This is something that will frustrate you if not done in advance.

This is exactly what should have been done for the CF1 patch that came out, but now you have it.  I would either read more on how to configure or build the site.xml, including all formatting or I see there is a session on it at Lotusphere in using your Domino server to push and become a site update server for your Eclipse updates.
    for this posting

    On Monday, November 20th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Announcing the Sametime Gateway ( yes they changed the name for RTC Gateway)

You should start to see the website updated on Lotus and I got the ok to change my slides for Admin2006 and the Real-Time Collaboration and Mobility Seminar.  They wanted to make the name more synonymous and part of the Sametime family.  Makes sense.  I hear rumblings of a fixpack for both Sametime and the gateway coming too.
    for this posting

    On Monday, November 20th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

So let’s talk RTC Gateway

I had to gather my thoughts on it with all the pings/emails/podcasting and such.  With much discussion about why they picked WebSphere, will it ever run on Domino, why does it require so much hardware out there, we need to focus on the real issue, installation and deployment.  We can blow that smoke till we are blue (bad choice of colors with IBM involved) in the face.  Currently, there is no talks of any other path for RTC than what you see.  It takes whatever hardware it takes.  Now, I am not saying I agree here either.  This area is not the topic of the debate at the moment.  But more like how do we get this thing running?  So I started compiling a checklist.  Not of the step by step, I worked enough helping build those during the beta and they are documented now.  But more of key items to consider and this you should/shouldn't do.  Off we go on revision 1 below.  It was too big to leave on the main page in entirety.  Just click the Read More that is to follow and you get the info on the following:
  • Installation
  • Security
  • Management


Continue Reading here" So let's talk RTC Gateway" »
    for this posting

    On Friday, November 17th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5 Admin servlet bug found (we think)

Scenario: While doing demonstrations today I proceeded to log into 2 different Sametime 7.5 admin clients via IE at the simultaneously.  Login was successful on both.  However, while viewing Monitoring-Logins for live user polling, the two windows got reversed info.  Interesting if you manage multiple servers and are trying to watch load.  You might be seeing the wrong numbers if you are accessing multiple servers at one time.  I did this twice and got the same result after closing and reopening new browser sessions entirely. Here are the screenshots

StAdmin1.gif

StAdmin2.gif
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, November 15th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Real-Time Collaboration and Mobility Seminar - Toronto Day 1 end and Day 2

The plug-in session moved along well.  Everyone is still waiting for IBM to give some good samples it seems.  No representative here said they were developing their own.  I think people will get moving whenever the Plug-in Catalog opens and there are trials, freeware and paid choices.  I know there is the iscoord softphone out there and the obligatory IBM samples.

People were very interested about the future of the RTC Gateway and how it will fit into most enterprise deployments once again.  Looking at some of the IBM webpages and info with them proved beneficial for discussions.

Dinner was back at East, a Thai/Chinese/Pan-Asian restaurant I enjoyed last time here.

We spent this morning building the infrastructure with eager eyes to see architectural diagrams, sample deployments and suggestions.  Questions were flowing in this session around mux deployments, clustering and load balancing.  We jumped into configuring and deploying the client and the areas they have to manually control as Lotus policies haven't jumped to that point.  If you weigh what you control as the administrator versus what the user can do, they win at this point.

Since Sametime 7.5 went live with mobile (see my postings last week here and here) the live demo went over well.  The viewer used for the Blackberry is a bit slow, but n-way chat, business cards, status, emoticons and chat history (yes on the device) was well received.  Everyone there was bound for Blackberry and not Windows Mobile at this time.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, November 14th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Real-Time Collaboration and Mobility Seminar - Toronto Day 1 (opening)

A little change from Chicago a couple weeks ago.  Sizes of installations go from 35 to ~140,000 users for Sametime.  There is a couple still sprinkled in that are in the planning stages so I hope they get to take a lot away from the seminar.  Versions installed run from 3.1 to 7.5.

After covering the bandwidth and basic server build session again, many were left for lack of better words, stunned.  A few were there to gain some more insight into the whole bandwidth area.  I am beginning to see a trend develop that I bet will continue.  Getting a handle on what they need to support a fully implemented Sametime 7.5 environment including all features and functions.

IBM once again took the stage with a local person from Toronto that did a good job.  We lost Internet for a moment in the first session but recovered and continued on after lunch.  He had local servers which assisted in the outage.

Next up is plug-ins and I am curious to see what ideas this group has for expanding them into their deployments.  I will let you know shortly.
    for this posting

    On Monday, November 13th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5 Mobile oddity we are seeing (gif to prove it)

While in the client, I expand my buddylist to see who in the group is online.  Yes this group is from the same list I share with the desktop.  But people show offline when they are there:

bbSametime.gif

So that is a weird thing to me when I see and can chat with them.
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    On Thursday, November 9th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5 Mobile on Windows Mobile 5 device issues

PROBLEM: Ok we learned a couple things about the Mobile install for Windows Mobile on a XV6700.  The user here was smart and installed it on the memory card instead of the local device.  It installed and dropped the icon but would never launch.  Nothing, no click.

SOLUTION:  We removed it from there and installed to the local device and it came right on.

PROBLEM: Each time he closed a chat or Sametime with the 'x' in the upper right corner it kept dropping him back to the page where you had to specify the hostname and port.

SOLUTION: I found that I only created a profile for the Blackberry users and not the Nokia/Windows users.  I created that profile and it fixed that issue.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, November 8th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

A Sametime review and score in the news

SametimeScore.gif

I found this review of Sametime out in the wild of the Internet.  Here is the quote I found interesting.  No Domino base under Sametime officially stated somewhere?
Alternatively you may want to wait for the upcoming Linux server release (due out in the first half of 2007) which will be based on open-source middleware and do away with the Domino dependency altogether.


While I know there is talks of this move, mainly with the RTC Gateway running on Websphere, that is a huge leap in Sametime.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, November 7th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

More Sametime 7.5 Mobile on Blackberry

  • I received a comment yesterday asking about the 7100 and SureType.  Well an answer was presented in the Sametime Forum that says SureType is possible with a quick manual user intervention.  You need to go into Preferences on the mobile device for Display and select Full Screen Input.  But then enter doesn't just send the text, you have to click the wheel.  I didn't like that much.  Luckily mine is the 8703 so I don't have that issue.
  • Setting text size bigger than small made it easier to read but took up a lot of real estate which meant scrolling.  So the default small font worked for me. Emoticons looked the same.
  • Chat history on the mobile device is great.  When you jump into a chat it pulls the previous bit of history.  That is very cool
  • The icon for the 7200 series is just a big blue square.  However, on the 8703 it shows as the familiar Sametime icon, even if it was a bit larger than the other desktop icons.
  • Port 80 access for tunneling seems to work as Gerco reported, we went for the default 8082 to test.
  • The ability to flip between multiple open chats and the buddylist is nice.
  • N-Way chats are very cool and interesting.
  • Get ready for the standard blue and black text
  • Get used to the option in the click menu.  I thought would back me out until I realized it did close Sametime instead of the window I thought I was in.   is at the bottom of the scroll list instead of towards the top
  • I didn't test Quick Find yet, will do when more are online with the new client
  • Alert Me should be fun to play with.  I wonder if it carries over into the client too, or just the mobile device.

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, November 1st, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Quick Tips for going live with Sametime 7.5 mobile on Blackberry

So the test server went to CF1 as Carl and I pointed out yesterday.  So today I went through the download and install of Sametime 7.5 mobile.  The server side was fairly painless.  Went quick, found the Domino install and had only 3 clicks.

Now then, the rest is where I sat silly for a moment but then it all made sense.  You must manually add Fallback MIME types to the httpd.cnf file in order for it to see the .jad file that is needed for the RIM installs.  I was hitting the server with the browser before I realized this was a step to perform.  A quick restart of HTTP and you are off.

They also suggest you create an easy to remember web redirect for users.  I will do that later after testing.  The code then did an OTA install fast and I launched the client direct from there to the server.  It uses port 8082 so make sure firewalls are ready for that.  I tried hitting another Sametime 7.5 server without CF1 on it and the connection failed every time no matter what port or connection type I selected.  So the fixpack install is required for this to work right.

One other thing, you should go into the new Configuration-Sametime Mobile and set a couple default fields to make it easier for your user once they load the client.  Sort of like creating a pre-populated sametime.ini for the device.

So the device list for now looks like this:
  • Microsoft Windows Mobile 5 and 2003 SE
  • Nokia Eseries
  • RIM Blackberry 7100/8700 Series

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, October 31st, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5 CF1 out, so to follow onto Carl’s postings..

Carl went crazy with a string of posts today on Sametime 7.5 CF1.  There was one minor discussion about utilizing the Eclipse framework to push out this change.  Brett van Gelder points out before I could even get to typing that Lotus did not package the update this way.  I imagine most of you do not have a site.xml in place for beginners to handle the updating.

From there the clients are not set to properly retrieve incremental releases from a central site.  Forgiving all of the config areas on our part, the package that came from Lotus also uses forces an alternate directory for installation (Carl makes a good point in the comments on why they may have made this change) and was not wrapped with the proper feature and manifest files to move into the site.xml for automatic distribution.  However, this screws with plug-ins it seems.  We have found no documentation around this in the readme yet.

I thought that was one of the points, but I am not sure when we can expect this to be available.  I would love to grab a fix from Lotus, update the site.xml section appropriately and let it fly so everyone gets the prompt that the updates are installed and do you wish to restart the Sametime Connect client now, or in 5 minutes as the documentation around it showed as an example.
    for this posting

    On Monday, October 30th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Startup Sequence of Sametime Services

I was asked about this more than once this week at the seminar.  Luckily Lotus had put together a technote on it but I had never ran across it I could recall.  So for my records in the future and your reading, here is the technote on it.


************************************
Meeting and community servers each have their own startup mechanisms, however, both are Windows NT service-based on Win32. The following is organized by the overall startup, and then the individual startup sequences of the two components.

Sametime startup/shutdown:
The Domino server task nSTAddin is responsible for starting and stopping the Windows NT service "Sametime Server" (STLaunch.exe). This task waits until a configuration item called SametimeBootstrapInitialized equals 1 in the notes.ini file. This configuration item is set to 1 by the servlet DominoBootstrapServlet. On normal shutdown, the bootstrap servlet will reset the value to 0. On forced shutdown, the next startup will probably already have the value 1 and the nSTAddin task will not wait. This is not catastrophic as long as you have not made custom port modifications to the EventServerPort, which is typically 9092.

STLaunch will start the Windows service Sametime Meeting Server (stmsservice.exe). Upon launching, this will wait for two minutes. The assumption being that the CPU and disk will be taxed while starting up the subtasks, so it waits a bit before proceeding.

STLaunch will next start the service ST Community Launch (STCommLaunch.exe). STLaunch does not monitor the stmsservice or STCommLaunch.

After Sametime has started, the nSTAddin task reports "Sametime Running" even if the services are shut down manually or abnormally (this is a known issue). The command "tell staddin quit" will cause the STLaunch service to shutdown. STLaunch will tell the Windows service for meeting and community to shutdown.

Continue Reading here" Startup Sequence of Sametime Services" »
    for this posting

    On Friday, October 27th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Real-Time Collaboration and Mobility Seminar - Chicago Day 1 final

After presenting the session on the RTC Gateway, the response was stunned looks.  Enterprises represented still have concerns over the business case that would have them opening and connecting to public providers.  Security is always a concern and that issue was raised as there is no known (to me) message handler writers currently for SPIM and anti-viruses that are ready for the gateway.  The ability to have your corporate name shown to other enterprises through the clearinghouse and to the public side opens need for an IM Policy to be written to cover what should be transferred and how you represent yourself. You can restrict who can access which channel (provider) but the actions of that person now directly reflect your organization. No more hiding behind screen names.

I have more to say on this topic but I am thinking of a series or podcast.  Any takers on comments/interview of your thoughts in a podcast?

Dinner the first night was Wildfire, a pretty good local chain.  Apparently they are expanding to other cities like Atlanta shortly.  Besides the snowshowers that hit tonight, dinner was split among people trying to go to different places.  We ended up at Momotaro, a Japanese restaurant for some sushi.
    for this posting

    On Monday, October 23rd, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Real-Time Collaboration and Mobility Seminar - Chicago Day 1

Now the humorous part is that the total hotel lost power this morning at around 7:15am.  So that meant walking down the stirs from upper floors, power generators in the meeting room for the projector and laptops and candles on all the tables for some light.  (it was quite cloudy and dreary outside)  About halfway through the first session it all came back on.

I have had the link to the
Real-Time Collaboration and Mobility Seminar on the side of my blog for some time.  An excellent turnout for the first city with over 120,000 Sametime users represented with versions ranging from 3.0 to 7.5.  Many did not have Sametime installed anywhere at this point.

After covering the bandwidth and basic server build session, many were left for lack of better words, stunned.  You can consume unbelievable amounts of bandwidth with audio/video in place and configured for higher quality.

IBM took the stage to do two sessions (one in progress) on Web Conferencing and one on IM.  They were built around the high end of show and tell, not just marketing, but not highly technical.

After lunch we jumped into plug-ins in the Sametime client.  From building to deploying and where they get updated from.   Peeked at a couple samples and showed some security concerns around them

Last session of the day was opening your environment to the public networks with the RTC Gateway.  More on that shortly.

    for this posting

    On Monday, October 23rd, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Moving from SIP Gateway to the new Real-Time Collaboration Gateway (RTC)

For those of you that are currently running a SIP gateway and want to prepare to move to the RTC, a technote gives the first indication of what is to come.
The Real-Time Collaboration Gateway is an extensible platform built on WebSphere® Application Server, and allows various real-time collaboration communities such as IBM Lotus Sametime and public instant messaging (IM) services to share presence and exchange text-based instant messages with each other. The Real-Time Collaboration Gateway receives messages from one or more communities, checks their legitimacy, translates them if necessary, and forwards them to their destination.


So you will need another piece of hardware to replace the current Sametime SIP gateway, or just reuse the one you have with an outage.  Keep in mind the outage could be a couple days as you provision with AOL to get connected directly.  DNS and domain management will be a key to you deploying the RTC Gateway successfully.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, October 12th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Prepping steps and info for Collaboration University - London

With the success, and successful feedback from last week, we are making some enhancements and changes to a few areas and presentations.  No fear, those of you that attended last week won't miss out, we will get you the info too.

Look for a change to the Top 10 Support issues for Sametime and some more information on building Sametime clusters and the session from Gab "To MUX is Not Enough".  We had some ideas and changes around that to help explain architecture easier.  It was great to see so many people get a handle on geographic distribution of the MU to handle loads in areas with limited bandwidth.

Another tech post later today, I had to play catch up on some other things first.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, September 21st, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Collaboration University Day 2 and Announcements on Wiliki and Quickplace 8.0

Wiliki
Image:Collaboration University Day 2 and Announcements on Wiliki and Quickplace 8.0
Hawaiian for "Engineer" made to be a set of blog and wiki templates in Quickplace. You can deploy it now on current versions and it is open source based on Ajax and Web 2.0 capabilities.  It can be packaged as a PlaceType for all or used individually.  The RSS and Atom feeds will be awesome.

Quickplace 7.0 and beyond through 8.0
There will be a fixpack for QP 7 that will contain some new features before we move into 8.0

Quickplace 8.0 will have numerous enhancements launched around the time of Domino 8.0
  • Simple (if not almost automated) upgrade from version 7 to 8
  • The features above from Wiliki are listed as native in 8.0 of Quickplace
  • Better integration into Lotus and Microsoft
    • editing of QP content directly within Microsoft
    • Access QP from directly within Notes and Hannover
    • ODF support with integration from the IBM Productivity Tools
    • A Place Superuser access role
    • Better administrative reporting and dashboard control
    • Access content from within Sametime 7.5 chat , meeting or buddylist.  WOW
      • Transfer files from within QP right through Sametime
      • A Quickplace shelf (plug-in) for ST with even more capabilities in the screenshots
      • Subscriptions to key data like calendar, folders, what's new
      • My Places would move into folders in the inbox of your mailfile
        • Drag a mail thread right into Quickplace
        • Future mails in this thread get automatically pushed
        • A Quickplace Dashboard (we have to meet the Web 2.0 acronyms)
        • UI right click actions sensitive to users rights in the QP and context of usage

        Quickplace Next has even more changes in mind towards the second half of 2007
        • Backup and restore Team Spaces
        • Offline access with the rich client - Hannover
        • Desktop integration - Office and Windows Explorer
        • Solid document management capabilities
        • New blog and Feed Reader ability

        So how does that sum up announcements at Day 2?

    for this posting

    On Thursday, September 14th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Opening session for Collaboration University

Opening remarks were from Rob welcoming everyone and showing off the fun events for the week.
  • "Down to Earth" session with IBM.  Real talk, real input.  No 30,000 foot views
  • live jazz from Albadeen for the welcoming reception
  • "Operation Red Flag", go peek.  IMAX show of fighter pilots becoming part of a team
  • The speaker introduction was funny as there was serious and then a 'little known fact' for each
  • We got to see the video from the launch event happening in NYC right when we were starting the conference

The keynote speaker was David Marshak of IBM, Program Director and Senior Product Manager Real-time Collaboration
  • The focus is the second generation of real-time collaboration in his presentation
  • IM as a vehicle for presence-driven lifestyle in organizations
  • Mobile device support will be cool.  It will be extended to include as many Sametime 7.5 features as possible, like click-to-call
  • He covered the RTC and how it fits into the future enterprise.  I have a whole slew of separate comments on the RTC.  Presence and voice chat are in the first release.  More functionality later, like video and file transfers
  • That is where the first generation ends and we enter the second
  • Open extensibility model, rich media and collaboration within and outside the organization
  • David moved into a live demo of the future
  • Knowing where people are is becoming just as important as knowing if they are online in this day of the mobile workforce
  • Location services will move to the server side, but the client can decide to show where they are still
  • Dogears was covered as Mike Rhodin has done in recent talks.  This becomes interesting in larger enterprises where the amount of data can be overwhelming.  Subscriptions to watch other's tags yields great power but can also get us into the RSS/blog issue of information overload
  • Freejam, Skilltap and Broadcasting was addressed from the current ICT (IBM Community Tools) as how it will roll into the second generation

You get the idea.  I have to head to prep for my session so I am missing the end of the kenote..

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, September 13th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5 tip.. don’t have IE loaded? You better

It is well documented but you need to be aware of this fact, mainly with Linux machines.
The Sametime Connect 7.5 client does not support configurations where the only browser installed on the machine is Firefox.  This may be, for example, a Windows machine where Internet Explorer has been uninstalled, or a Linux machine where only Firefox is installed.


Otherwise certain features do not work, like chat
    for this posting

    On Friday, September 8th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Collaboration University is only 1 week away

Ok,  I am on vacation this week but had this set to publish today to remind you there is still some seats left (as of Fri Sep 1 when I wrote this) for Collaboration University in Kansas City, MO next week.  There is plenty of time to register for both there and London (for the end of September).

I think most of the discounts are over now, but that never stops you from going anywhere, now does it?

Get on over and register by clicking here or the image on the left.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, September 6th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Tandenberg announces video integration for Sametime 7.5

A BusinessWire news article showing the growing partners seeing the value in Sametime 7.5 integration into their products:
Lotus Sametime users with a PC webcam will be able to instantly connect to other video users, checking user presence and availability through the Lotus Sametime 7.5 Connect client, as well as escalate an IM or web-conferencing session into a real-time, face-to-face meeting. In addition, video calls can be launched from a PC to any standards-based, business-quality endpoint, further leveraging existing investment in video.


Pretty soon you will be able to have any kind of VOIP or video conference it seems with all the integration going on.  Avaya and the others already included in that mix.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, August 29th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Call to all Sametime 7.5 Plug-in Developers for Collaboration University

As you know, Collaboration University is right around the corner.  Some of our sessions will include talks of plug-in capability. We thought, what better than to demonstrate the Business Partner and customer power?  Your plug-ins would not be disseminated to people in any way, but full credit would be given during the session.

A nice free marketing move for you and a live demo tool for us.  While the samples are out there and a few that are being put together, I know there is a wider array people are working on.  I know some are not finished, but even a skeleton would be a great start.

Email myself "IdoNotes at Netscape.net " and let me know!  If you have not registered hit the image link on the left, and bring some friends.
    for this posting

    On Friday, August 25th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Are you @Live with Sametime 7.5 yet?

Well a funny thing resurfaced in the world of Internet shortcuts.  People are getting into the habit of using the '@' symbol for the word 'at' more often, instead of just in email addresses.  Like:

'Meet me @ 5'
'I will be @ the office'


But, I found that when I went home last night with the new Sametime 7.5 Connect client, I said @Home in my Location when prompted.  Unfortunately it blanked out the Location field from showing.  If I simply removed the @ symbol,, it all came back.  Bizarre and from reading it was deferred to a later fix.

On the positive side, the location setting is great and makes finding how to contact and where people are a great thing.  It works well so far for our sales team that upgraded right away and some of our people at customer sites.  Good stuff there.
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    On Thursday, August 24th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

I actually like this Sametime 7.5 comment in the Release Notes, it makes sense in a way

Normally a Sametime server in the past would have the Connect client code laying around for anyone to download placed on the server upon installation.  Removing the download link only became a deterrent and not a measure to not have users install it.  Why would this be a concern?  Because you might be running in 'free' mode using the integrated components with the Notes client only.  A user connecting with the full client would be a license issue.  So in Sametime 7.5, whether on purpose or not, does not have the package available for download unless the administrator puts it there.

After you complete the installation of the IBM Lotus Sametime 7.5 Server release, you will need to copy the Sametime Connect 7.5 client installation files to the Sametime server. End users will be unable to download and install the client files until you perform this task.

The client installation files are posted on the IBM download site. There are 3 files, one for each client platform:

Windows:        sametime-connect-win-7.5.0.exe


So if you are looking for it when you install the Sametime server, you must grab it separately and then place it on the server yourself to make it available.  Cool..
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006   by Chris Miller        

My Friday’s posting on Sametime 7.5 got some email and responses

People were questioning what I was hinting at.  Well since I see 7.5 coming out the door in official launches and such soon, I should explain there is room to grow in the management and some things deferred till later that would be awesome now.

Sean Harris points me to
Chris Pepin's posting with the pdf from Lotusphere on the scalability of the IBM Sametime environment.  Taking a screenshot from there, how many of you could get your enterprise to offer a server farm like this (of course scale to your size of employees) ?

Picture multiple MUX servers with Community Sametime servers sitting behind that.  A world of possibilities yes.  But my posting was not about the server side as much as the client.  


Image:My Friday’s posting on Sametime 7.5 got some email and responses

My comments revolved around how fast it jumped out of of beta even after a beta call just days before, not the scalability of the product. That is to be determined at a later date as usual.  I personally think (since this is a personal blog) that I was anticipating another beta drop or longer cycle to clear some of the items to get built in or fixed for the product.

The server core stays the same in 7.5 with a few added things and UI for web meetings.  Most of the work is in the awesome Connect client.  However, there is still management things to be done with this amount of capabilities.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006   by Chris Miller        

*cough* Sametime 7.5 released? *cough*

'Nuff said
    for this posting

    On Friday, August 18th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5 Connect and memory usage

I have had a couple requests on memory usage with the Sametime 7.5 Connect client.  How much does it take? What are the minimum requirements on the PC? Etc..

Keep in mind these numbers are represented by the latest beta code and might still have debug left, yada yada.  You know the drill..

Well here is what I have found for the standard user on Windows XP:
  • When first launched and opened it was eating ~32MB
  • When minimized to status bar with the minimize button and not the 'X' it drops to a nice low ~2-3MB
  • When reopened to the screen it was ~12mb
  • When a text chat comes in it jumps to ~42MB and then settles back into ~35-37MB
  • When closed with the 'X' to the status bar it stays at ~34MB
  • When a chat is open but the buddylist is sent to the status bar with the minimize it ran about ~10-13B
  • When a chat is being typed in with the buddylist minimized it ran about ~17MB
  • A voice chat kept the system at ~38MB plus another sametime.exe at ~2MB
  • Chat History ate up about the same memory as when you have the client opened
  • Instant Meetings didn't change the client memory just added the browser usage as expected

So take that how you wish, but that is what the basics are for now
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 14th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime on Linux server, delivered to your doorstep

Adam G has all the info and press releases being updated on his blog.  What does this announcement mean to us?  Not quite sure yet.  We don't get as many requests for Linux and Domino as one would think.  Yes, we have some, just not as many as people would lead you to believe.  Then again, you still pay about the same rate for a supported and licensed Linux server.  The desktops are a whole other story.  With Sametime Connect 7.5 plus Notes on the desktop, you are now holding the power of change and negotiation in your hand.
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 14th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

I must apologize and amend my earlier today Sametime 7.5 posting. I found it in the new beta stream!

(NOTE: Adam G hit my posting as a response before I could retype this one showing the same thing, yes they fixed it!  Thanks for the example Adam)

Apparently somewhere along the way they fixed the issue from what I posted right below.  In the recent beta you can go into preferences for the community and change icons.  That always worked.  Then under Contact List Window you select (which the UI changed from earlier) to show the community icon for each person with some percentage of transparency and viola!!

Now we have to see if that is true for the RTC stuff.  I know there is some hidden AOL icons in some jar files, so I bet it will exist somehow.  Crossing fingers...  (this is looking like Trillian in the main buddylist window now) Prey for tabbed chats.

    for this posting

    On Thursday, August 10th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Customizing Sametime 7.5 so far and a small rant

I went ahead and loaded the SDK and Eclipse dev platform to see how hard some plug-in manipulation would be for the average non-developer user.  Let's say it is not pretty.  While I was able to follow the steps in the pdf file to get it started fairly well, from there it gets blurry.  I will update more on that part later.  Now..

So I went into simpler items such as adding community icons to my client and trying to replace the darned greyman group.  If you have not seen it yet, when a users does not have a picture available, it shows a nice grey head of a person as a placeholder.  I was able to track down that .png image in the .jar files and replaced it with a company logo.  Turned out quite nice actually

The specs:
  • Image_Placeholder better known as Greyman Group is 37x37 pixels
  • Community icons are 16x16 and only affect the community icon at the top of the buddylist window, not anyone associated with it.

Here are some new icons I added for the communities for more color selection.  Orange, "Yellow is the new black" and green.  

commIcons.zip

Go away, nothing to see here, it has been fixed, see newer posting above this one.....
< rant >The community icon should apply to each person you add in my eyes.  That really bites as it would be nice (like other clients, *cough* Trillian) to tell which community a person came from.  Then you can cross match groups by task, team or whatever and see where they are linked to.< / rant >

    for this posting

    On Thursday, August 10th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5 and migrating privacy data utility required

Upon reading the Release Notes for the current build of Sametime 7.5,  I came across a good thing to know for all administrators that have current Sametime environments.  If anyone has utilized the function of "Who can see me" in their previous Connect client, there is a utility that must be run after upgrading to covert these over to the new Privacy functions.  If not, they won't function the same.  They added some new capabilities and you can see that in how they note in the Connect client preferences that certain things are for 7.5 servers and users only.

There was a technote references under #1242317 for "Migrating privacy data after upgrading to Sametime 7.5."  Unfortunately this is being held.

I found the UpgradeBLUtil.jar on the server but I am not sure what flags or whatever to run so I am holding off testing it for now.  Let me see if I can get some info.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, August 9th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Adam G answers yesterday’s posting on the RTC

Yes I wish he had done it over here or a link, so I will give you one instead.  In his defense, I did not read all the press releases to catch a mention of the RTC being behind the GA of Sametime 7.5

But in my defense, then he is correct in his posting, it wasn't quite loud when it was announced that it would be sometime behind in release date.  I did some searching and the
first article on a Google search was an excellent article done in May 06 on DeveloperWorks.  It states the following:
The initial release of the RTC Gateway is scheduled for Q3 2006 and will be free of charge with a Sametime server. This Gateway also provides free integration with public IM communities. IBM will release four protocol connectors with the initial ship of the RTC Gateway.


Of course, that date coincides with the projected release date of 7.5 itself.  So some more reading only talked about the architecture of it.  There might have been some dates in the Lotusphere slides but I will follow Adam saying it was told to us, just not loudly.


Some more searching through articles in July across InfoWorld and ComputerWorld Hong Kong gave me the same thing.  Yes, the MS integration is 2007, mobile support is late 2006 but the RTC never hints being past the GA release date.

So there, that shows you for reading and believing me in any way :-)
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, August 8th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5 and the RTC Gateway

I have been interested in this since it was announced at Lotusphere just over 6 months ago.  But it seems that the Real-time Collaboration Gateway will not see light of day when Sametime 7.5 first ships.  I have not heard a peep about beta of this portion of the product and out perusing the blogs I came across Adam G's posting on how the Mac will not make it into the first GA release either.

I would love to see this ship sooner or even start playing around with it.  I have companies asking about this ability since it will allow a more controlled chat environment with the rest of the world.  Now the gateway will use SIP to hit the outside products (Yahoo, G-talk and AIM) which the native protocol will take care of Sametime to Sametime connectivity.  I can see a bunch of connectors (including one for Sametime to Sametime communities) you can install or turn on and off to control which outside chat vendors your people speak to.  Or maybe this will move into policy control also.
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 7th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Playing with an interesting install twist with Sametime 7.5

With the move to the Eclipse based installation for the Connect client in 7.5, even though it is quite the memory muncher at this point, I thought this would finally be the perfect way to get the full Sametime client onto the U3 USB key, just like Nomad.  Currently some things are still written to the Windows registry, even though beta 2 was a fully independent and just ran from a simple directory.  I wish it had stayed that way.

So pointing the chat transcript folder to the USB drive doesn't always work either as the drive letter might change each time you plug the device in.  A native directory path to the Sametime folder would be nice however.  Or just turn it off for that instance of the Connect client is my next thought.

Sorry for the rambling thoughts on getting certain features working, but I am really trying to make sure this works on the USB now.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, August 3rd, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime, Skype, Blackberry and WebMessenger

Talk about a mix.  I came across an article found here that then linked to WebMessenger.  Now I had seen this product when we started doing Blackberry rollouts for customers (and ourselves) but never investigated further.  I found the first part interesting in how the company states that their mobile client is used by IBM.  I never have seen anyone mention it from IBM or seen it in action.  I am curious to see how that would function as an extension to our Sametime environments.

Next, Naylor says, WebMessenger will be expanding beyond Skype. "We have SIP compatibility as well, and so we're going to be rolling out similar capabilities for various SIP-enabled networks and telephony systems," he says.  "On the enterprise side, we're close partners with IBM - in fact, they deploy our mobile client internally as the extension to Lotus Sametime on the desktop."


But this is the part I really enjoyed.  Grabbing connectivity to other SIP providers for integrated click-to-call and conferencing.
The release of Lotus Sametime 7.5 this fall, Naylor says, will add a full set of voice capabilities. "They'll have click-to-call and Web conferencing, all tied into various telephony systems from Avaya, Siemens, Nortel, and so forth - and all of those are SIP-compliant systems as well, so we can provide that same capability out to the mobile device for them," he says.


I grabbed the Sametime integration for WebMessenger and will play with that and the Skype part on the Blackberry.  Here comes the review.

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, July 25th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Convergence on IM and email - following Ed’s posting linking to Scott that didn’t allow comments

First, this is one issue with blogging.  Not everyone allows trackbacks or comments and your own comments sometimes get lost in huge threads of others.  I prefer to rant on my own blog to solicit feedback and reach readers the other bloggers may not.  So read this whole ramble as it jumps around.

Ok, Scott brings up an interesting point about IM becoming email without some of the functionality of archiving and foldering wrapped around it.  I say this all depends on how you look at it.  With the ability to save chat logs by date or who the conversation was with, that is a form.  Add in some indexing ability and you have searching right away.  Whether or not a central server is in the mix is no matter (as Scott points out that is more a store and forward mechanism).  But without that store and forward, things like Yahoo would be less functional to get messages from when you were offline.

Now, it would be great is Yahoo would see that and convert that to an email that has some intelligence wrapped around it to know you prefer to be notified in some manner.  That leads to mobile IM capabilities across numerous devices.  Blackberry can log into all the messenger services, including Sametime.  Windows Mobile devices can log into everything.  So there is no real time you have to be offline if you desire.  I almost forgot.  Go here to see a nice layout of what different packages can do acorss platforms.  You have to scroll the whole page but a nice layout that someone spent time doing.

Scott goes on to mention email will soon die off with IM being the form.  I tend to think the convergence of the two will be seamless, with the capabilities of both being integrated.  Spam is already present in IM and will only grow as devices hook into it.

IM is replacing email for the younger groups because of the ease of usage and communication, the sense of relationship it brings and the integration into many facets of their daily lives.  IM is now used as a selling point of cell phone abilities and chat takes the place of what kids did with the phone years ago.  Then there was the ability to have 3-way calls on phones.  Now there is n-way chats.  It grows.

So go back to Ed's thread to read the tossing of ideas there in asynchronous mode
    for this posting

    On Monday, July 17th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Announcement: Collaboration University

Have you ever wanted to drop the sales hype and see a strictly technical conference on Sametime and Quickplace? This now exists at Collaboration University brought to you by a collaboration between some Lotus Business Partners and IBM.  I am one of those partners participating and presenting at this conference of awesome speakers and knowledge (no I am not talking about myself)

Block your calendars of now to attend in either the United States (Kansas City means cheap domestic flights) or London.  Both dates are in September.

Here are some of the highlights of the conference:
  • Deep-dive into Sametime 7.5 and preview Quickplace 8.0
  • Programming code examples
  • More challenging as the conference progresses.  Meaning apply what you just learned and grow your knowledge, not jump in too far at first
  • All the sessions are from Business Partners that specialize in these products or the IBM persons responsible for bringing them to you


Now here are the bonuses:
  • Dinner with the speakers for some of the first that select that option. (See the site for details)
  • Phone follow-up consultation with the expert of your choice from the conference (See the site for details)


Check out the site to gather all the information, including early-bird discounts.



Image:Announcement:  Collaboration University

    for this posting

    On Monday, July 10th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Well since the cat is out of the bag.. for Sametime 7.5 testing

Interestingly enough they sent the link for the web conference and left the Sametime Connect 7.5 download there in advance for the upcoming conference .  I am not quite sure (on a personal note) if that was the right choice since there is no formal reporting mechanism for these users yet.  That link should have been disabled and the package removed until the announcement was made.

All this is my opinion, but dealing with that many test users on a test server with test code is going to get loud.

You can catch all the announcements on Vowe, Ed, Bruce and Chris W at this point.
    for this posting

    On Tuesday, June 20th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Don’t you hate when you can fully talk about things..

Image:Don’t you hate when you can fully talk about things..

I want to, I really do.  So let me read the NDA and license agreement about Sametime 7.5 so I can unblur that picture some.  I don't want to tell any trade secrets or show things that might not make it to production, just the simple things like what you see on press and other blogs (hint hint Ted Stanton of IBM).

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, June 14th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Comments on the ND7 Upgrade last US city

I promised to blog last week from the conference and did not.  Time flew and I kept saying, I will do it shortly.  Plus, my posting announcing the conference didn't even post for some odd reason.  I republished that 6/7 posting today and it worked.

So, attendance was great.  The attendees were great.  Now for the specs.

Very few running Domino 7 out of the group.  A few test servers here and there, but no real production yet.  Domino 5 was still running in a few shops.  The session on Domino Domain Monitoring was well received as many had no investigated the abilities it had to offer.  There was great interest in the Sametime 7.5 product, people were asking about what it would offer them.  They were not pleased to hear that the integrated client would not see many of those features.  Understandable since many run Sametime not just for the awareness, but the free chat services of the
IMLU.

Side questions are the ones that interest me most.  What I mean is questions that do not get asked in front of everyone, but are brought to us as presenters on the side when there is a break or lunch.  I had a couple on SMTP, a couple on Nomad and a few on various issues/problems that are always unique to that persons environment.  There was one I have to investigate and get back to them.  Looking at Stats and DDM is there anyway to see diskspace on AIX and monitor it?  Novell and Windows are covered in there.

I also pushed some people to forgo the upgrade from 6.5.x to 6.5.5 or so and go into Domino 7.0.1 instead.  The upgrade is simple and straightforward, so why waste the time with the in-between point version that requires just as much of an outage?


P.S. Dinner was awesome the nights I was there.  We went off the beaten path to Tufano's with Jon Raslowski of IBM.  Excellent Italian food and they only take cash and checks, amazing in itself.  Another night of dinner was spent at Star of Siam for Thai food.  Hot, spicy and excellent.  Close walking distance to the hotel we were in and we were lucky enough to get a seat the moment we walked in.  I took pictures of Cirque Shanghai that we caught the second night they were there.  The first was sold out to dignitaries and the such.  Impressive acts (well we could stand to lose Marco Polo) and very affordable show.  No reason to sit in the first few rows for the extra few dollars, as all seats are great in that outdoor amphitheater.  From reading reviews and such, they made over 400 costumes for the performers across the different acts for the show.
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    On Monday, June 12th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 7.5 slated for 2007? Network World says so..

I received the recent edition of NetworkWorld and an article there shows not only the waging word war between Lotus and Microsoft over backwards compatibility and such, but a nice grid of release dates for Hannover and Domino Next.

 Unfortunately the grid in not open online in the article itself, but I thought that they were trying to sneak the 7.5 of Sametime out this year.
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    On Friday, May 26th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Interesting twist, Trillian dropped from Google Pack

I never found a need for the Google Pack (but some family members did), so I was a bit surprised to see Trillian pulled from it.  No explanation exists currently.  But I use the Sametime plug-in with Trillian sometimes when I am running plenty of other apps and don't need the Sametime Connect client sucking up some memory.
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    On Monday, May 22nd, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Before we move into Sametime 7.5, how big is your contact list?

Problem

If you attempt to add a high number of names to your Sametime Connect client contact list, only some of the names are added. Is there a limit to the size of the buddy list?


Content

Release Contact list size limit
7.0 64 KB
6.5.1 64 KB
3.1 60 KB
3.0 IF2a 60 KB
3.0 32 KB


This limitation applies to both the Sametime Connect client for desktop (C++ client) and Sametime Connect client for browsers (Java connect)

    for this posting

    On Monday, May 15th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

My thoughts on Nathan’s posting/rant from today

You can find the full posting right here.  I read it through twice and we talked a few on IM.  I promised I would post some of my own thoughts on the matter.  I saw a couple other bloggers chime in on the comments area of the posting.

I am starting from inside his rant area
Static interfaces are yesterday's news.  I want the ability to turn EVERYTHING on and off.  I want the ability to alter every single menu item on the screen.  I want control of everything in the bookmark bar.  I want to be able to set mail preferences that completely hide entire functionality sets

I know Lotus is working hard to control more area via policies, but take a step back and look.  Policies were a major change for Domino 6, undoing years or local client ini settings and management.  Functionality and features are way beyond what policies are currently.  DCC was introduced in R5 behind the scenes for simple location document changes.  I see policies being stronger towards Hannover and Domino 8.  Saying that, there are areas in policy control Lotus should have entered at the same time features get rolled out.  But look at DCC and Sametime.  The ability to natively (without coding a subform on a policy) change and set the home Sametime server, did not appear until 6.5.4.  Yet, integration took place in 6.5.

Now Nathan goes on to another point that makes perfect sense:
GUI design 101 says that users get confused when presented with more than 7 options in a list.  The context (right-click) menu in my Notes inbox has 27 choices!  TWENTY SEVEN!!!!  It fills the screen in 800x600 resolution!  The inbox has 9 action buttons across the top and 18 items in the Actions menu!  How do you digest that?  I've been writing software for this platform for almost 15 years, and I get lost in my own email!

Lotus jumped right into more menu items in 7 with further right-click menu options for Sametime.  You can find almost everything in an Action menu, button, right-click or Smarticon.  There are menu items that Mary Beth is brining  up (like Quote Selection) that I had forgotten about entirely!  So cleaning up the menu choices would be a nice thing.  Mainly if it could be controlled via policies.

However, to keep this short.  The type of granularity needed would be hard to manage.  Most enterprises do not want to entertain explicit policies just to have some menu item function.  So finding the balance on what the user needs/wants/finds are all different.  They need reply and with history and without attachment.  Should that be admin decided?  I say no.  Some say yes to reduce message sizes.  But with the new better mail threading and showing of threads in a message, keeping history is a key thing.  

So where does that leave us? I fully believe in shrinking many menu items.  I fully believe that Mary Beth is attempting that in some of the questions she is asking.  I fully believe that we won't get a lite or stripped client to keep up with functionality.

Official statements on Sametime 7.5 controls and policies are needed as well as any greater policy control in Hannover.  My bet is that it is not finalized, so they won't make statements since something might not make it.
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    On Thursday, April 20th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime and IM, business necessaity for some, IM a bother for others?

From CIO Decisions today comes a story on Sametime in use to save lives and how one company banned it since they could not copy everyone on the team every IM message as the corporate policy stated.
But the IM experience is much different at IntelliCare Inc., a medical services company that considers instant messaging mission-critical. The Portland, Maine-based company's staff of nurses field medical questions and monitor patients through a nationwide network of call centers.

 If a nurse is monitoring weight for a patient with congestive heart failure through a scale hooked up to the telephone and has a nagging question, she can IM an expert colleague and get advice. If she is fielding a call from an anxious parent about a child's illness, she can bring a pediatric specialist in on the conversation in real time.


Now look at the flip side which sounds more like bad IT policies and management to me..
Then there was 5W's company directive that all the members of an account team be copied on every correspondence -- not possible when using IM, which frustrated account managers.


How about simply logging and then making the logs available for searching or sorting?  Makes much more sense than banning doesn't it?
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    On Tuesday, March 21st, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Ed posts the new Sametime 7.5 screenshot, I post what I see connecting to him with old client

I see his version, location and anyting else he puts in, quite nice.  See pic.

Image:Ed posts the new Sametime 7.5 screenshot, I post what I see connecting to him with old client
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    On Tuesday, March 14th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

A rebuttal from Microsoft and my readings/comments on public IM connectivity in Sametime 7.5....

An accurate response came from Microsoft to my post yesterday.  LCS 2005 does offer connectivity to outside public IM systems through PIC (Public IM Connectivity).  Sametime will have the VOIP options built in also.  I agree that the integration needs to be made further in the phone systems.  DUCS is still under-utilized and full VOIP integration needs to be completed.  Awareness in both products is everywhere.

We can now move on to IBM/Lotus's statement that this feature or function will be free.  From the LCS website here, there is more costs involved:

Public IM Connectivity licenses are available on a per-user, per-month subscription and are additional to the Live Communications Server Client Access License (CAL). Public IM Connectivity has two licensing components associated with its use, a Services Subscription License (SSL) and a User Subscription License (USL).

Public IM Connectivity service licenses are available for Microsoft Volume License customers only and are not available for retail open customers following other Microsoft subscription licensing programs.


You then jump to this site to fill out forms to get public connectivity.  Unfortunately the Public IM Connectivity Partner site has nothing there yet either and states so.  This is how you merge your ID into the public systems.

Let's see how fast organizations move into federated connectivity with a free system versus licensing, I am curious.
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    On Friday, March 10th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

More on CCH1 code people want for the Sametime fix

I had this on hold since 3/3/06 and forgot to publish it.  Shame, shame on me.  Plus I had to check the publication rights to the entry below

"CCH1 is not yet available.  We have been told that it should be out sometime next week.  It was pushed back because xxxxx  xxx xxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxx with the Notes Client and the development team wanted to include them in the CCH rather than having a CCH2 come out soon after CCH1."


It also followed with this (keep in mind these are never hard dates and should not be taken as such)
A server side hotfix is available for all platforms for effected customers via standard support channels; so if you have a support contract - and you are actually affected by this bug - call support and get it
  • A client side fix will be included in Notes 7.0.1 Cumulative Client Hotfix (CCH) 1 due out by end of March 2006 (possibly sooner), available for effected customers via standard support channels - so once again if you have Notes clients affected by this bug, and if you have a support contract, call support and get it
  • This fix will be included in Domino 7.0.1 Fix Pack (FP) 1 due out in 2Q06; I have heard that this is probably around late April, but don't hold me to it
  • This client and server fix will also be in the next Maintenance Release, 7.0.2 due out 3Q06

    for this posting

    On Wednesday, March 8th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

I am always on the lookout for new and cool chat tools or services, this was interesting.

Sure most of you are die hard Sametime and Trillian fans like me.  But, you can never speak well about what you run if you are unaware of the options.  There are so many that pop up it gets overwhelming.  So I only comment on the few that have something special that catch my eye.  ChatBlazer was one of them.  They came out with an installed or hosted chat platform that contains all the necessary auditing and audio/video requirements.

So what is the big selling point they have?  It runs via Macromedia Flash to all platforms and most browsers can access it.  One install, all web based, right out of the box.  Commendable.  There are profiles, multiple rooms and bundled with Flash the ability to put graphics, banners and change the UI/skins.  It does integrate with the major chat services also.

Does it integrate with Domino? it could always be embedded on the web side.  Does it look at your Domino LDAP server for directory information? Couldn't find it on the site anywhere.  They did have a lack of detailed specs, but provided all the OS and browser info necessary.
    for this posting

    On Monday, March 6th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Sametime server starting to hang using the integrated client? Patches and more patches

Problem

Notes Instant Messaging encounters a looping condition causing the Sametime server to become unresponsive or to hang.


Content

Under very specific circumstances the Sametime server can receive incoming requests at an extremely high rate from the Notes client.  These incoming requests must be resolved in order for instant messaging users to communicate and share presence information.  As a result of receiving these requests at an extremely high rate, the Sametime server can become unresponsive as it consumes system resources during the processing of these incoming messages.

The Sametime servers' state of unresponsiveness may manifest itself as out-of-memory errors or by disconnecting from the Sametime Mux (which is used to route instant messages).

Symptoms of this problem can include:

  • The nlnotes process on the Notes client spikes to 100%.  Logging off from Notes client IM returns the CPU on the nlnotes process to normal.
  • The CPU on multiple processes on the Sametime server are pegged at above normal rates that may eventually reach 100%.
  • Attempting to open a chat session with another client shows the message "Initializing chat: Resolving User Name".  This is an organization-wide outage.
  • Attempting to add someone to a contact list will take an inordinate amount of time.
  • On iSeries this problem will appear as an abnormal termination of the StMux task.  You would probably not notice a CPU spike because the CPU has so much processing power available.

To fix this problem, the Notes client must be upgraded to 6.5.5 CCH1, 7.0 CCH1 or 7.0.1.  If upgrading to these versions is not an option, the administrator can request a hotfix for 6.5.3 and 6.5.4.

    for this posting

    On Tuesday, February 14th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Lotus answers my question on IMLU (Lotus Instant Messaging Limited Use) in technotes and online

You can find the thread of documents I had on the IMLU software here. Basically it was not well defined what you did and didn't get, what was covered and where the software could be had.  A technote was released under #1221360 on 1/3/06.  Here you go, an answer!  (Also do not forget to see the FAQ that was posted)

Abstract


What differences exist between the Sametime Limited Use 7.x Server and the Full Sametime 7.x version?


Content

Also refer see this Frequently Asked Questions document for Sametime Limited Use.
Sametime 7.x Limited Use Server Sametime 7.x Full server
Connect client for Desktops Disabled Enabled
Connect client for Browsers Enabled Enabled
Notes Instant Messaging Enabled Enabled
Instant Meetings (from ALL clients) Disabled Enabled
Meeting room clients Disabled Enabled
Domino Web Access Enabled Enabled

The Sametime 7.x Limited Use Server installation entitlement is only for the use of the Lotus Notes Instant Messaging client.  The Java Connect client is enabled to support Domino for Web Access (DWA) entitlement and can be used by IBM Support as a troubleshooting aid.

Entitlement can be verified by calling Passport Advantage Hotline at 800-266-8720. Passport Advantage Customer Care is available at 800-978-2246 to assist in locating software on the Passport site.

To verify that the server was installed with the Limited Use software:

  1. Launch a browser
  2. In the Address bar, enter the URL of the /stcenter.nsf to bring up the stcenter page.
    (Example: sametime.ibm.com/stcenter.nsf).
  3. If the Limited Use server is installed, you will see no options for attending or scheduling a meeting.

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    On Friday, January 13th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

I hear JINGLE bells while I SIP tea and dabble in MEEBO (anyone get that?)

If you didn't get my subject line, here is what it breaks down to:

Jingle is the new extensions for XMPP from the Jabber Software Foundation (press release from them). Basically it is an alternative to SIP, without the additional hardware.  If you have built some infrastructure on XMPP, then it will use that exact infrastructure for negotiations and setup.  What a cost savings for enterprises instead of having to create and manage SIP servers.  This might be something for IBM to investigate and get them back into linking to public IM networks.  I would not be surprised to hear they already have this being tested somewhere.

Now here is the real kicker.  Google Talk is already using something quite similar Jingle so they are pooling their resources.  Trillian has, of course, stated it will support Jingle in upcoming releases.  Who are they to be left out?

Ok, so Meebo.  Picture three friends that come up with a great idea and actually do it.  It is an ajax-based web interface that lets you log in to the major chat providers from any machine with a web browser.  They grab and encrypt your passwords after you type.  I wish SSL would pop up but the idea of this is quite fascinating.  No client locally to install, it supports most everything but audio/video at this time.  So if you are the grandparents or kiosk, one interface lets you log into the chat providers.  Mini windows are maintained in the big one, so that can get cluttered if you have a lot going on.  From reading, they haven't added Skype yet but have interest in it.  The big 4 are there and ready to go.  My first experience was excellent and I could see the promise.  Their end goal is to sell the rights to use code I imagine as the service is free and donations are accepted for all their hard work.  Emoticons and stuff need work but who cares at this point.  I was more interested in the technology and basic functions.  But then again everyone whined and Sametime is tossing them in now aren't they?
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    On Wednesday, December 21st, 2005   by Chris Miller        

A recent article on adults and lack of IM knowledge (Sametime included?)

I saw this article from Conntact.com (a Connecticut newspaper's online site) in a Google alert but the tag lines caught my eye first.
Unlocking the Code: A Grownups' Guide to Instant & Text Messaging

So I thought to myself, they will do the usual drabble about abbreviations and stuff teenagers use, plus identify some messengers in it.  But it took a bizarre twist toward the corporate use for most of the article. Here is an example:
IMing has its place, but it's typically not the best medium for the "business end" of business. Not too many deals are being negotiated via IM, but it does have its place in the office.

"Some people swear by it and it has its place, but it's not for everybody," says Bill Thompson, vice president at NSI, a Naugatuck-based computer consulting and systems-integration company.

"I get the sense that it's being used more internally than externally to clients," says Thompson. "There may be some situations where you're in a high customer-service orientation where they want that instant feedback and organizations might authorize that under a secure environment, but I think it's used by more people who are internal to an organization."


As Thompson explains, there are choices for those looking for instant messaging capability. "Under a more specified environment such as Lotus Notes, you have to have your own server and would have to authorize access by people in the company or outside."

Hmm, true in many instances and those of us that breathe it run multiple systems for the outsiders.  With the proper auditing and usage it is for business needs and deals get done a lot over IM around here.  Papers get signed later, but deals get done.

But these same people quoted go on to say:
"Instant messaging, particularly in the business sector, is really only being adopted by people who are already and have been familiar with it for some time now: namely the 20-something crowd such as myself."

So all you older people stop using it now!!!!  You have no business using IM if you are over 30 apparently.
    for this posting

    On Friday, December 2nd, 2005   by Chris Miller        

A review of a password recovery program that came to my desk today for IM packages and a question to my readers

I was hesitant at first on Advanced IM Password Recovery by Elcomsoft (they apparently do a ton of software, but Notes was not one of them), but did some research and reading on the web about it.  It clearly does what it says, and quite easily.  The freeware version is limited, it will do the task but not always give you the password depending on the complexity.  They are very up front in the readme about the few things they can or cannot do, which was nice to read.  GoogleTalk was recently added into the mix as another IM provider.



The point of all this you ask? Sametime was not listed if you peek at the images.  But imagine that it was, which in turn gives a person your Internet password.  In turn, this might sync to your Notes password.  So the question begins, how many of you maintain numerous alternate password across systems, and from web to id file?

we could run numerous directions with this one, form retention times, to forced password changes to password quality and complexity requirements through policies and registration.

Give me the feedback, I tihnk it could be a good thread this week in numerous directions, theme blogging time!
Image:A review of a password recovery program that came to my desk today for IM packages and a question to my readers

Image:A review of a password recovery program that came to my desk today for IM packages and a question to my readers
    for this posting

    On Monday, November 28th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

I missed this IM announcement last week from a 3rd party vendor

Sametime holds the lead in enterprise IM, hands down.  We all know that.  But, I always get curious at the growth of the smaller proprietary systems. This was an interesting twist, but not surprising when you sit back and think about it.  A lot of people know MessageLabs as a relay site for spam filtering and virus control already.  So who would turn over their IM to them also?

MessageLabs, which claims a customer base of over 12,000 businesses, today announced that it has plans to acquire Omnipod, a proprietary, closed-network IM vendor.

Omnipod's Professional Online Desktop (POD) is designed for enterprise use and offers integrated collaboration features such as persistent chat, global SMS, WebEx online conferencing and file sharing and transfer capabilities


I can see this as a quick and easy to deploy solution with gateways, but not proven as scalable yet.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, November 9th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

IMLU again, again

There is a catch-22 in the wording for the IMLU and using Java Connect.  Since Domino Web Access 7 forces the user over to Java Connect and not the integrated web chat, does that mean that it is now free also?  Tim sent a comment over on Mondays posting  to that effect.  Asking about the Java Connect and does that mean it is now free with the current wording.  Well that I am not sure of.  So I am posing that question here, and of course in the Partner Forum to see if we can get clarification.
    for this posting

    On Wednesday, October 26th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Update on my earlier today IMLU posting

I did some digging and found that IMLU actually came out as a theory, not a product in 6.5.1 with the Limited Use Agreement for integrated Sametime chat.  In Domino 7 there is actual code install if you read the guides correctly.  This code can be updated to the full product..

Now something else interesting, is that the Domino 7 version uses the Java Connect as the primary client.  The integrated is included, of course.  But the Sametime Connect is still not for free.

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    On Monday, October 24th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Lotus snuck a new Sametime package in 7, not announced well

I know many enterprises have been looking for ways to control licensing when using the free integrated client.  If the user installed Sametime Connect or tried a web meeting, that was a license usage technically, and not covered in the free ones through integration.

The only way was to strip down the meeting services.  Some technotes even provided insight.   Well Lotus has another product that I could not find referenced anywhere except the
Release Notes for Domino 7 and Designer Help for 7 until I stopped searching for IMLU and went for the whole string.  So read for yourself, IBM Lotus Instant Messaging Limited Use is even found in the Sametime Install Guide for 7:

Limitations using Sametime Server with IMLU

If your Sametime Server is running the IBM Lotus Instant Messaging Limited Use (IMLU) configuration, you are restricted to Instant Messaging capabilities only.  The Instant Messaging  Web Conferencing options are invalid.  You will experience these limitations:

1.  If you attempt to create any of the Instant Meetings options (audio, video, shared and or collaboration) within Notes, the following error message displays :

(picture removed since it was huge, but it said and I quote)

"Error: The meeting can not be created due to the following error: An attempt to establish a connection with the meeting server has failed

Please contact your system administrator."



2.  Since Web Conferencing is not enabled on your Sametime server, when an invitation to a Sametime meeting is sent to you*, you will not be able to join.  Instead, you should choose the Respond button from the dialog box and notify the Initiator that you don't have the Web Conferencing capabilities.
* A person connected to a fully enabled Web Conferencing Sametime Server has the ability to include you on their Sametime meeting invitation.


Image:Lotus snuck a new Sametime package in 7, not announced well
    for this posting

    On Monday, October 24th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Thoughts on the webcast today from Microsoft titled "Introduction to Microsoft SharePoint for the Lotus Notes Administrator (Level 100)"

Where shall I begin?  How about I have attached the PDF printout of the slides to this blog entry for everyone that did not register to throw darts at read and review.  It was given by Amy Blumenfield and Gary Devendorf, which in itself drew attention from about 17 diehards.  See Sharepoint has an image of an auditorium that shows virtual seats taken by attendees.  With 180 seats per section and 3 sections in the diagram, we were all forced to sit in the front row like bad kids in 3rd grade that don't pay attention.  Ok, so I managed to not always pay attention to this either.

MS SharePoint for the Lotus Notes Administrator.pdf


Some of the comparisons were fair, but left off was hardware requirements (no mention at all) and some other interesting comparisons that left off Quickplace or other areas of Domino,  I expected no less.  The Domino directory one could be expanded to show LDAP integrations since SSO was a point that was mentioned more than once, referring to AD.  The actual presentation was not as smooth as expected and the constant banter form Gary made it seem not like a funfest collaborative presentation, but interruptions.

Now WSS being free is a stab at Sametime chat, which is the only part free.  But of course, you must have Windows 2003 purchased to get it free.  Once again sounds like Domino client licenses.  Lets look at the real picture.  Can you not create a document library in Domino that has check-in and out capabilities (document locking anyone) that can be replicated securely to your local machine?  Is this not part of Domino already?  Nothing more special needed?  I am really beating the horse trying to formulate where this product compares/fits.  It will grab pieces, almost like portlets from Domino (iNotes for example) to serve up too.

One twist was they tossed a line in about Groove replication but refused to make comment in a question asked at the end saying they could not talk about Groove integration.  Let's not put it in slide #23 then.  No need to comment on Windows clustering against Domino clustering.  One point made was that Domino has a 64Gb limit in Domino 6 yet Sharepoint is unlimited.  I want some testing here folks.  Everything else you can read in the file since my lunch is here and I am starved.
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    On Wednesday, September 14th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Post 1 of 3 today - Sametime 7 install issues

Short story, loaded a fresh Domino 7 server on a fresh Win32 machine for a new customer.  Attempted to load Sametime 7.0 on this server after watching the server launch right a couple times.  The following, enticing, error popped up:
You are attempting to load Sametime 7.0 and it requires Domino 7.0.0, do you wish to continue anyway?

Ok, call me silly but I think I am loading on Domino 7.0.0. if you add in the extra decimal.  Lotus hints that this is normal on pre-release versions of Domino 7, but not the gold.  But the ending Init error stops it cold and it will not launch
    for this posting

    On Friday, September 2nd, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Sametime cluster catch-up : the final day

It took a few days to get this out of me, but here we sit.  The cluster was built.  The legacy chat and meeting servers were still in existence also.  The next big tackle was making them all works together, that includes passing the authentication tokens around.  Apparently, Sametime tokens are like hot potatoes and no one wants to hold them.  The music stops and you have to leave the chat.

That might be a little strong.  It is more like the new kid at school being put in a locker and no key.  You have the option to choose LTPA only, or LTPA and tokens.  We had deselected the option to allow the tokens and even removed the stauths.nsf database as it was not needed for the secrets.  The database stautht.nsf should never be replicated as it contains server specific info.

I am about to leave you sitting here wondering if there will be a part 2 to the saga.  I am sure there will be.
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 29th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Continuing the Sametime clustering catch up - Day 2

This time I was lucky enough to find 3 access points but all were WEP.  Bummer.  So this time I found a cool tiny Thai place for dinner.  The service was fantastic at Thai Basil.

But down to business.  I know part of the customer team reads this daily (however we know that the IBM'ers here do not and have no idea what they are missing right?) and are expecting a lot.  But I won't let too many secrets out.  In my eyes the basics of the cluster are a success.  There were modifications to be made to a class file that searched and modified the appearance of the Sametime home server when using LDAP.  But they also had some other customizations that we have to build back in.

Replacing the Home Sametime Server (HSS) is a main key of Community Clusters.  Proper DNS plays a major role in this since we are parsing the server name with the LDAP queries.  Integrating this new cluster with an existing Sametime chat server (during the migration time) and then the internal and external meeting configuration is all still to come.

We did somehow manage to make a Sametime admin client that only did Meeting Services.  How we got it, we don't know nor did we spend the time to work it out.  But it was blue (from the new Sametime FP1 for 6.5.1 changes. Yes, this means that IBM put a blue IBM banner at the top for branding above the normal yellow.  The only strange part was that the product title was called IBM Lotus Web Conferencing.  I wonder what happened to the Instant Messaging part of that title bar?  And now it goes back to Sametime.


I am definitely full from the Keang Keow Wan (Thai green curry with chicken, medium spicy) and a dessert that was recommended.  Fried bananas with mango and green tea ice cream.
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    On Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005   by Chris Miller        

A day in the travels (and Sametime catch up from May)

I started the threads and posting back in May to a nice set of comments wanting to know the outcome and what the final solution was.  Well I shall unveil it to you this fine day in August.

The customer stuck with the F5 solution.  Testing went well over the past few moths and the actual server hardware arrived and got loaded with the operating system of Windows 2000.  The current plan is creating an exact duplicate of the single, existing Sametime server and moving that into the cluster architecture.  Which in turn, mirrors the test cluster we built in all the configurations.  Let me bring one point to the front that you should know and is verified in technotes.  Make sure you have a
loopback record in stconfig.nsf and the world may be at peace.  Not really, but with some proper planning, good budget, etc etc.

Ok, that is a bit strong as there is a myriad of patches and the recent FP1 to be applied to 6.5.1 of Sametime to start.  Interestingly enough, moving the database across that had transaction logging enabled threw a bit of a wrench in the works for a few minutes.  Some compact -t to remove that flag assisted.  We ended up with a corrupt NAB on one server for some unknown reason, but replacing that made the universe at harmony once again.

So how are we moving from the single server to the load balancer and having two new servers as a Community Cluster?  Sounds like you will have to wait until after the sauteed mushrooms, pesto basil pasta and tiramisu at my current location.

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    On Monday, August 22nd, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Microsoft LCS grabs at the Mac users Sametime doesn’t touch

Reading (as usual) some info on IM.  It seems Microsoft has enhanced the Microsoft Messenger 5.0 for Macs running OS X with some new interface looks and the ability to have a 'Personal' and 'Corporate' tab.  You log into Passport with the personal one and to your corporate LCS with the other.

We all know that everyone has personal and corporate accounts.  We all wish that one interface would solve them.  (Did I just hear Trillian with the Sametime plugin?)  I know, Sametime was made as an enterprise application that used to have one public component.  Comparing that to what was a public IM system embedding the new enterprise package from the same company with Microsoft.

But isn't the mere possibility of tapping the untapped market the whole point. Not if the package does both personal and business, but if it touches somewhere that the competitor doesn't ?
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    On Friday, August 12th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Ease of collaboration in Sametime?

I jumped over to Simon Barratt's blog, yes because of Ed, and found his recent post interesting.  He asked the following:
One complaint we get with Sametime, is that it is too complicated to setup a meeting to collaborate on a document.  Having this ability right inside of Excel or Word, seems like a good idea.  It exposes the functionality and make it easy to use.

IBM should take note.  I can't imagine it would be difficult to do that same sort of thing with Sametime.

With the open toolkits form IBM, the functionality is there for it to be programmed.  Heck, I know of
one partner that has already done this for the Microsoft integration.  But to make life simpler, having instant meetings and choosing to share an application is second nature around here.  Mainly with scattered sales representatives.  Instead of emailing me document after document, just open a quick IM, ask if I am busy and let's collaborate on anything you desire from your desktop.

I guess the point is, it is all about training and exposing the functionality that is already there.  Now I can go as far to say that Microsoft did make this pack downloadable and readily configured.  But Domino 7 has Sametime integration everywhere you turn.  Plus with the simple checkbox in the designer now, you can make presence show up all over.

So do you install the Notes client with integrated awareness, presence, chat and instant meetings.  Or do you install a full Microsoft suite of products (Communicator, all of Office, and Messenger) to get there?

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    On Tuesday, July 26th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

An interesting Domino 7 Beta 4 change on the integrated IM I didn’t read about

I was gone all last week as my faithful readers know.  I logged in as usual to the integrated IM while gone, as well as using Notes Buddy as a demo during one of my sessions.  I do not use the Sametime Connect client on any machine.

To make a long story short, I had this error on my screen when I returned as I rarely ever close Notes at the office.  Anyone else seen this?  Looks like what you used to see on AOL and on Yahoo! still

Image:An interesting Domino 7 Beta 4 change on the integrated IM I didn´t read about
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    On Friday, July 22nd, 2005   by Chris Miller        

My Advisor2005 presentation files

Here is a zip file of the three presentation files with all the updates.  Let me know of any questions!!

AdvisorVegas2005.zip

Comments Disabled

I love this new Notes 7/integrated Sametime feature

Image:I love this new Notes 7/integrated Sametime feature


Do I even have to explain the above picture?  :-)  For the integrated Sametime in the Notes client, just save the chat transcripts right to the new view in the mailfile, and toss a timestamp in there while you are at it.  Here is the snapshot of that new view in the Domino 7 mailfile.


Image:I love this new Notes 7/integrated Sametime feature
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    On Tuesday, July 19th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

A primer lesson in SIP

There has been lots of talk recently around SIP and getting connected to each other via Sametime.  What the heck is SIP?  To most of us it is just magic after many hours of stirring the kettle of SSL and ports.  Would it trouble you to know they designed the RFC's for SIP around the SMTP, HTTP and SDP protocol RFCs ?  It goes on to scavenge parts of others before finally deciding it can run on multiple protocols like TCP and UDP.

NOTE: However, Sametime SIP does not support UDP, only TCP.  Sametime also does not allow you to add groups from a SIP community to your buddylist.  You can create a group and then add SIP users individually to that group.  You cannot just grab a group like you are able to from the Sametime directory.  The SIP task in Sametime is also one of the last tasks to start up.

Whew!  Who knew it could be so much fun.
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    On Wednesday, June 29th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Using another 3rd party tool instead of a native Sametime connection?

Apparently some big companies do not want their users utilizing such things as the IBM produced hook for Trillian, GAIM or even some business partner products to access Sametime (what are you doing over there Carl?).  A new technote shows how to block these outside clients (even Stlinks) from your Sametime server.
Problem


The Sametime Toolkits allow a variety of ways to connect to a Sametime server.  Is there a way to see which users are connecting with a custom built client, and can I prevent those users from connecting?


Content


The Sametime server can be configured to allow only certain clients to login based upon their unique Client ID.  Today, clients who login to Sametime declare their login type upon login.

C++ Connect clients use login type of value 0x1000

Java Connect clients use login type of value 0x1001

C++ toolkits, by default use login type of value 0x1002 (can be configured in the toolkit API)

C++ toolkits, by default use login type of value 0x1003 (can be configured in the toolkit API)

Sametime links clients, use login type of value 0x100A


It is possible to configure the server to allow only specific client types to login to Sametime.  In the [Config] section of the sametime.ini, under[Config] use the flag VPS_ALLOWED_LOGIN_TYPES to specify the allowed login types. The flags affects all logins where this Sametime server is the home server.  By default (if this flag is not specified) all login types are allowed.


Example:

[Config]
VPS_ALLOWED_LOGIN_TYPES=1001,1002


Note: The client filter is only available on:
Sametime 3.0 IF3

Sametime 3.1 with a hotfix.  Please contact Lotus Technical Support for a copy of the fix.

Sametime 6.5.1

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    On Thursday, June 23rd, 2005   by Chris Miller        

WebEx first to offer a true archive for conferences? I think not

I read this little gem snuck in on the right side of a page on MessagingPipeline.  There are some claims by WebEx in the capabilities of recording meetings.
The content is recorded in a secure format optimized for scalable storage, and customers can use the solution's administrative settings to customize the settings to meet their specific retention polices. The new product is believed to be the first that provides a true archive for web conference content, and puts WebEx at the forefront of solutions that meet the communications needs of financial services companies while addressing their compliance requirements.

I believe Sametime has done this recording for a long time and stores it as rap files that can be archived off, imported into new meetings and even have security changed as you put it out there for broadcast.  So how the heck does WebEx claim to think it is the first?

It is always interesting to see claims from vendors when they know there is another solution that provides the functionality for some time.  I took into consideration they are working off the idea that Sametime is an enterprise type solution, while WebEx is for just about anyone.  Without having to run your own server.

So if we take that a step further, how do they store, and also provide retention for these recorded meetings to meet all the standards?
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    On Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Sametime, clusters and Websphere Portal

After that wonderful adventure a few weeks ago creating the Sametime cluster I blogged about, little things like to pop up.  Like why won't the Websphere Portal utilize the cluster name for awareness?  One server works just grand.  After a bit of searching I came across this little gem.  Ever hear of rolling snake eyes?

Technote #1111116
Problem

A customer has clustering set up with Domino Servers for QuickPlace, Sametime, and Notes databases, including mail databases.  The customer would like to be able to  use the cluster name instead of the specific server name so that the Lotus Collaborative Portlets, which run in Websphere Portal 4.x will use the advantages of Domino clustering.  Is this setup possible?



Content

This functionality is not available in WebSphere Portal 4.1x.

An enhancement request for this functionality has been submitted to Lotus Software Quality Engineering.  It may be investigated for inclusion in later releases.


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    On Tuesday, June 7th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Sametime 6.5.1 FP1 pulled from downloads

I just got off another support call for a customer issue and we were thinking about FP1 to see if it would assist in fixing a problem we had.  Due diligence before just upgrading. Thankfully we did not as it has been temporarily pulled from download due to some sort of issue caused in one of the services.  It would have left us worse off from listening.
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    On Tuesday, May 31st, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Well it is going, think I

Ok so we saw Star Wars last night at the midnight show and everyone is still talking like Yoda.  Luckily that did not fall over into my first session.  Carl Tyler and myself are playing tag team on instant messaging and web conferencing today to a full house.

Here is the one tip that made it into a new slide yet no the actual cd's that went out to attendees.  You can troubleshooting the integrated Notes client connectivity for Sametime by using a notes.ini parameter.
IM_Request_Dump=17
debug_outfile=c:\temp\imdebug.txt

The Notes client must be restarted but it provides some useful information on connectivity and some buddylist issues.
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    On Thursday, May 19th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Sametime cluster, what names have to match?

Really this one is quite simple.  A cluster name is a placeholder for Sametime as well as Domino.  The Domino server and physical server name do not have to match.  Neither does the Sametime cluster and anything else.

Carl always says it best.  If you do not understand that FQDN matters in Sametime, then don't load Sametime.   Of course, I am paraphrasing there, but it is so true.  A Sametime cluster name does not get referenced except internally inside the server in stconfig.nsf.  You will use a virtual DNS entry for the cluster through some sort of load balancer.  A Domino cluster is for the clients and servers to find and talk to each other only.

I found that having some form of similar name matching for Domino clusters worked wonders to identify where the Sametime cluster resides.  Now is a Domino cluster required?  I would say that for vpuserinfo.nsf it is of course required.  How else would buddylist changes get pushed across.  If you are using LDAP then the directory is of no immediate importance so you are pointing to the same clustered source.  Admin4 won't process much since there are no name changes on the servers directly.

There you have it.  Then again my mind is like butter as I prepare for this week so I know that sounded (read) like a bit of ramble.
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    On Monday, May 16th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Sametime apologized and submitted

After a nice day of getting everything working, a quick dinner at O'Connor's Beef & Chowder House.  Yes they have fine corn and crab chowder tonight in huge portions (eating as I type).  I don't do the beef thing but the salmon and chicken choices look great.

Blogger's note to his faithful readers:
So I wrote a bit more below but on third reading edited some. I thought that heck, here is a quite a bit of a guide the past few days to get you rolling, but just hire me to do that darn thing for you instead :-)  It might be my hunger thinking that right now, or small amounts of greed. Bwa ha ha ha ha!!!  But either way I loved the experience of doing it again at a customer site since we already do this on our hosted side and have the steps down to a nice science.  Anyone upset over that?  Forgive me in advance if so


Ok, down to business.  Carl was right in saying that the client chose the F5 hardware based solution for load balancing.  We have it set to load balance some ports and let the servers talk to themselves behind it on others as necessary.  Server 2 had a hard time understanding it was to really run Sametime, so it spent a lot of time overnight on the naughty mat as I stated and for punishment got reloaded today.

So chat fails over from the Java and Sametime Connect client.  The Notes client does not have that ability in the current releases, but that is on the list for later ones.  Instant Meetings are a whole other posting that needs to be done with some sort of Matrix that only the Swedish Chef from the Muppets could understand.

One key thing when setting up Community Clusters, do not forget to work with and choose if you wants Secrets & Tokens or SSO.  Don't try and be fancy and do both.  Domino has hard enough time, then layer Sametime and it's ability for S&T and you get a deadly mix.  Yes it does write to the notes.ini when making this change but playing with that isn't the route to go.  You should sneak and see my session on notes.ini deciphering at Admin2005 for that.

One other side tip, we learned another important lesson.  Sametime debug parameters rely heavily on ] and not on } now don't they?
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    On Wednesday, May 11th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Sametime clustering and the bad bad server put on the ’naughty mat’

So to catch up on progress, the community chat cluster works great behind the hardware based load balancer.  When one server is taken down (for testing), the Sametime client drops and moves to a connecting status.  Within a minute (it was at 30 seconds in our testing) the client reconnects to the clustered chat server.  Magic at it's finest.  So as long as the load balancer is working, people can chat to their heart's content.

Now instant meetings are started on the home server (or the one connected to in a cluster) so if that server dies, then you lose that meeting when you fail over.  Now this is where one server became a very very bad server.  One of them decided that it would not start a meeting no matter how hard we begged.  So a quick rebuild tomorrow and we will test that last piece.  I have one remaining question. If I am on the server that stays up as the owner of the instant meeting and the other participant was connected to the server that dies, will they stay in the instant meeting and reconnect for chat?  Oh those begging questions to be answered.

Anyone want me to run through the steps of how to cluster two Sametime chat servers?
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    On Tuesday, May 10th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Sametime clustering, two left feet and no toes

I have the pleasure of working with a large-scale Domino deployment that also uses Sametime.  Now they are quite possibly the largest Java Connect deployment i have heard of, anywhere.  Without going into any issues they have fought and overcome (and the ones still left), the goal here is to build a chat cluster, leaving the Meeting Server for later.

After some brief time of just getting to know more particulars about their Sametime environment, we got right into it.  Look for some tips as we move along the next couple days.  For starters, most of you already know how important DNS is to Sametime.  It becomes even more important as you deploy some sort of load balancer.  Note I said load balancer and not round-robin DNS entries.  There is no heartbeat or knowledge of a server being down in that approach and ultimately, the scaling and deployment will fail miserably.  So they were well prepared with a hardware load balancer solution in place.  But, due to DNS update times, we got most of the cluster built, documents created and servers ready and had to wait till tomorrow for a move of some DNS names.

I will cover the document building in the next post, my Chimichanga is here.
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    On Monday, May 9th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

AOL added 4 new IM partners

Basically this change will allow all those platforms to communicate with each other as extensions to their IM network.  However, I do hear time and time again at conferences how the AOL integration vanished from the Sametime Connect interface (due to licensing issues).  I wonder if Lotus can get the licensing back?  The new program launched by AOL attempts to bring some federation to the IM communities (yes federation as in what you do with multiple directory entities in LDAP).

The latest arrangement coincides with the launch of AOL's Enterprise Federation Partner (EFP) program intended to help communities of at-work instant messaging users connect and communicate in real time.

The EFP program, which added partners Antepo, Jabber, Omnipod, and Parlano, will allow each company's customers to communicate in real time with co-workers, vendors, partners and customers who use the AOL messaging network


Now personally, I did not like or use the integrated AOL in Sametime Connect since it lacked so much functionality.  I do like the rich text and emoticons.  So moving to Trillian and the integrated IM in the Notes client made life quite simple.  Notice that the ones they partner with up front are not that large.  Of all those listed I have only played with the Omnipod client.
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    On Tuesday, April 19th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Follow-up on Sametime, tunneling and two NIC’s

I originally posted this on March 17th, and got the first part working successfully.  Clients on the outside are easily able to connect either tunneling or direct depending on their ability from the outside.  Unfortunately there was another catch were weren't so bright about.  If you happen to use the Sametime server in tunneling mode and NAT (Network Address Translation) to the outside world, and then for good measure decide to toss a second NIC card into the mix, well lots of things can break.
  • If you leave the second NIC enabled then it will start trying to grab that NIC as the bind and tunneling and whiteboarding starts to fail
  • If you disable the second NIC and run enterprise backups across it (as most companies will), then you screw yourself there
  • If you move a NIC out of the NAT into a DMZ or other area, you expose the server
  • If you chant loudly "Sametime rules the planet and LCS is a spawn of Satan" nothing happens but you feel better about your decision to use Sametime

Ok, I am kidding about the third, I mean last one.  Needless to say I need everything to work together.  Backups, two NIC's and Sametime with tunneling.  By the way, yes Lotus pushed out a technote under #1088421  Link
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    On Friday, April 15th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

My recent experience with Sametime tunneling, firewalls and ports

With Sametime being the tricky beast that it can be for networks, it is no surprise that I should be posting some thoughts on tunneling setups.  I did bounce some quick ideas off of Carl, to verify my days of work were for naught.  Basically we have a customer that wanted a tunneled Sametime server behind our firewalls, that also accepted direct connections if the client could do so.

First we ran into the Sametime server binding to the wrong NIC card.  This was causing the MUX to act like a person in the mall that forgot where they parked the car.  They knew it was in the garage somewhere, but were busy looking on level 2 instead of level 1.  This lead to it thinking the port was stolen.  Much like a person would think  their car was also.  The solution for now was to disable that second NIC card.  The sametime.log file then showed that the MUX was binding to the right IP address and NIC card.  Then that card is NAT to the Internet .

This is where the firewall comes into play.  So what we are looking for as the final result is that the MRC (meeting room client) of Sametime will download to the meeting attendee and try the standard ports to access the Sametime server for the meeting.  If those ports are not available through their network, or we are preventing them from getting in via the firewall, then the MRC should try port 80 for a tunneled connection.  However this is where you can have awesome success or some failure.  So here is where it stands on how to do it.

Install your 6.5.1 server as tunneled, if you did not you can always make the changes manually.  Quite simply too.  Then open the firewall for ports 80, 8081, 554 and 1533.  This will allow tunneling and also attempts at direct connect for screen sharing, whiteboarding, chat and broadcast meetings.  This has nothing to do with audio/video tunneling.  That is a whole other topic.

Make sense?
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    On Thursday, March 17th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

I talked about IM Usage Policies in my E-Pro newsletters, but...

This article at Geek.com was more tuned to a blog entry than the previous articles I wrote here, here and here (ok the E-Pro site for the newsletters is down and I can't grab those links right this second).  But to boldly go forth
In the past few days AOL has updated the Terms of Service for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) users. The changes have been met with raised eyebrows and anger, as AOL has included clauses that remove all privacy from the user. As part of the new terms AOL reserves the right to record all content posted through the AIM service and use it as it sees fit in the future without any communication with users.

If you read through this article, plus a handful of comments, you will see that AOL has decided that if you use it's products, including chat, they may at any time use portions of your chats as they see fit.  Now, one would presume they could not go through everything line by line.  But what about keyword type searches of the IM chatter on their network?  This is easily done and also can be found in at least one of the Sametime monitoring packages that are available for your enterprise.

This all jumps back to the IM Usage Policy.  AOL is stating it in a well defined policy, no matter how much we agree or disagree.
To agree says yes, this is a free public usage system, that I cannot even expect any privacy.  It goes across networks I do not know or own, into servers that are owned by AOL and then into other sites of systems I do not know or own.  This traffic could be captured in numerous places along the way.

To disagree says I expect some form of privacy.  AOL offers encrypted traffic ability in the recent versions, right?  Well yes they do, but does that still change the rights they have to the actual chat traffic across their servers?  No, not since they are announcing it to you in a EULA type arrangement.  I would expect some of your own companies have not issues that type of agreement with the users.  But I bet you have an Internet usage and e-mail usage policy don't you?

Reading around shows that Microsoft has only stated it does nothing and does with your chat data at all.  I didn't have time to check Yahoo, but ICQ I can imagine will the same as AOL since they are one in the same.
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    On Monday, March 14th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

The MUX that can’t (Sametime for all of you others)

We started having an issue on one of our customer's hosted Sametime servers where during the day, at seemingly random times, the MUX service would just die and goa way.  Only to return a short time later when it restarted itself.  Now there is a NSD outfile for the MUX service that shows it is notes a Notes service.  That is awfully confusing when it is a Sametime service that runs on Notes.  So I can see where it gets confused.  The server is also tunneled and was trying to assume the IP address of the internal NIC card that we use for the backup network.  Instead of the external NIC that is NAT to the Internet.

Unfortunately the only technote that is close, and describes the problem almost exactly, has no fix.  The almost exactly part states that you get MUX exception errors in the Windows Event Viewer only when the service terminates normally.  So basically, don't worry about it.  But I am getting the exact error, on the exact operating system version while the server is running and not shutting down.  Still the answer is quite simple:
This issue has been reported to Quality Engineering.


UGH!   Updates on the solution as they come in.
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    On Wednesday, March 9th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

AOL turns face and integrates with Oulook through plug-in

This is an interesting twist as we saw Microsoft try to pry their way with LCS almost a year ago (where the heck is that bulldozer of a product right now in deployment anyway?).  But with the lack of interest still blossoming into a dead product, Intellisync creates and launches an integration point for Microsoft Outlook and AIM.  Plus the loss of Sametime and AOL connectivity in 6.5.1 release.

Basically you will get awareness in the address fields (sounds like Notes/Sametime to me) and in vcards with the little AIM 'running man' icon.  Almost like what you see for my awareness on the left of this posting.
In addition to gathering and providing presence information, the plug-in also serves a marketing function: Once it has completed a scan of the user's Outlook contact list and offered to import matches into the user's AIM buddy list, it provides a second list of users that are unregistered with the AIM service and offers to send invitations to them to join.

I see value in scanning my mailfile and building a list off of that for a possible buddy section.  Emailing everyone is not necessary in my eyes, and what if they cannot relate certain IM names with the sender of an email.  How many of us have AOL IM names that have nothing to do with email addresses?  Many of us I can imagine will never match, or worse yet, have multiple IM accounts.

I don't even need to say where this goofy quote comes from,  ok I will. Radicati Group.  Where else!
"It's functionality they should be offering natively if they can," he said, noting that Microsoft has largely dominated in terms of basic integration between IM and other applications, and presents a challenge to AOL's ability to penetrate the enterprise market.

I am beginning to think they have never seen or heard of Notes and Sametime.

The biggest benefit I do see ifs with Outlook running in lots of desktops, and this being a plug-in, there could be some good and easy penetration without AOL having to join the fight for enterprise IM space.

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    On Monday, February 28th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Came across this while teaching the Sametime class

I am teaching the Sametime Admin class at a LAEC yesterday and today. There have been speedbumps and potholes all along the way during the first day.  The course material is still 3.x while we are teaching 6.5.1.  But most of the issues arise over misconfigured DNS or host name entries in the server documents.

Well we came across an issue where the checkbox to enable Instant Messaging could not be found in the Domino Web Access preferences.  I know it should be there, and the users had a Sametime server specified in their person records.  I was dumbfounded that it wasn't there for some reason.  So I broke out the laptop to do a quick search of the Knowledgebase.  The new IBM support for Lotus really bites and sometimes it seems you cannot even find technotes with the darn number in the first place.  So here is the exact reason (technote #1190873) that is was not showing, matching down to the version.  Who knew they made this little gem of a change?  Quite frustrating when a point release makes a change like this for some reason.

Problem

In Domino Web Access (iNotes Web Access) 6.5.3 or above, you want to use the Instant Messaging feature.  The Help documentation states to do this you must enable Instant Messaging via Preferences > Other > Enable Instant Messaging.  However, when you navigate to this area the "Enable Instant Messaging" option is not there.  This option is definitely available in previous releases of Domino Web Access 6.5x.



Content

This is working as designed starting in Domino Web Access (DWA) release 6.5.3.  An enhancement request was made in DWA 6.5.1 to hide this "Enable Instant Messaging" option in the user preferences if the DWA server is not configured for Instant Messaging.

This request was addressed in DWA 6.5.3.

Excerpt from the Lotus Notes and Domino Release 6.5.3 MR fix list (available at http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/):

Instant Messaging

  • SPR# PTUL628GWM - The enable instant messaging setting in Preference/other will not be available if DWA is not set up for using Lotus Sametime.

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    On Friday, February 11th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Testing the Premier Conferencing Adapter for Sametime 6.5.1

I finally got off my behind to start testing the new conferencing adapter.  Let's make this very simple.  Just download and install.  Well maybe.  There are a couple things to be aware of.
  1. The download includes an updated template for the Sametime Meeting Center (I always presumed this database name won't change since it is hard to type Lotus Web Conferencing Meeting Center onto a desktop icon).  This new template has some changes for the adapter, but of course will wipe out any customizations you might have made to your own template.  So, as always, back it up first before the install.
  2. Next is a catch with the Sametime Meeting Room Client (MRC651).  This downloadable piece that gets installed when you participate in meetings (remember the nice grey screen as you wait for a server, that is this downloading).  Well if the user does not have permission to install or this gets blocked then the meeting won't work either.

Now if you play with this new feature and don't like it or want to turn it off there are two simple steps you must perform.  Yeah simple, right.
1.        Open the stconfig.nsf database and edit the MeetingServices document. Set the Audio Bridge Services field value to "false."
2.        Run the "regedit" command and change the following registry setting to "0":
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Lotus\Sametime\MeetingServer\ServiceAudioBridgeServer\Enabled

So we are playing with this new piece and will let you know as the test goes on.
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    On Monday, February 7th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

E-Pro: Connecting Sametime and Lotus Workplace with the Lotus Instant Messaging Gateway

With companies starting the deployment of Lotus Workplace for the deskless worker, Lotus has done some work to let you share instant messaging and presence awareness between Sametime in your Domino environment and Workplace. It relies totally on the Lotus Instant Messaging Gateway. To quote from IBM Lotus directly:

A Sametime server and a Lotus Workplace server each use a different infrastructure to support presence and instant messaging functionality. The Sametime server uses an infrastructure based on the proprietary IBM Lotus Virtual Places (VP) protocol while the Lotus Workplace server uses an infrastructure based on the open standard Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).

The Lotus Instant Messaging Gateway serves as an intermediary, or translator, between the Sametime and Lotus Workplace platforms and performs operations that enable users connected to these two disparate platforms to communicate through presence and instant messaging.

There are some network considerations that you must follow to get this gateway working though. As many of you know, Sametime makes use of TCP port 1516. The Lotus Instant Messaging Gateway actually uses this port for all communications to the Sametime server. So, if the gateway resides outside of a firewall, then this port must be accessible between the two for communication to work properly.

The port used between the Lotus Workplace server and the Lotus Instant Messaging Gateway may be selected during configuration of the gateway, or you may allow Lotus Workplace to use any available port. I personally prefer specifying the port number for ease of firewall and network administration. The communication over this port will utilize TLS (Transport Layer Security) for transmitting instant messages. Now, you must make available port 5061 for Lotus Workplace to talk to the gateway for certain other communications.

The above ports are the default ports, so the administrator can configure them as alternates. Refer to the administrator guides for all the products if you plan on modifying the default ports.

One key thing to note about using the Lotus Instant Messaging Gateway. Reverse proxies are NOT supported in either direction between the gateway and Sametime or Workplace.

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    On Tuesday, January 11th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

I had mentioned this notes.ini change once before for the Sametime server

Apparently this ini line was originally put into place to force users to a consistent UI for chat using the vpuserinfo.nsf database to store the buddy lists.  While in Domino 7 they are changing it permanently (well you can revert with another new notes.ini), 6.5.2 had a bug that uses this same notes.ini line to fix it.  Funny how these things creep in and out of versions.

Problem

In a Domino Web Access 6.5.2 mail file accessed via the browser, adding a name to the Buddy List from the Domino Directory does not work unless the hierarchical name is changed to a common name in exactly the correct case.

For example, if you attempt to add John Doe/ACME, you will not be able to in 6.5.2, although doing the same thing in versions 6.5.1 or 6.5.3 you will be able to add the name.

If the name is entered in 6.5.2 as John Doe, assuming John Doe is the correct case, the name will successfully be added.  However, entering John doe or john Doe or john doe or JOHN DOE, etc. will not work.



Content

This issue appears to be isolated just to version 6.5.2.

As a workaround for the 6.5.2 Domino Web Access server, add the following parameter to the 6.5.2 Domino DWA server's Notes.ini file:

iNotes_WA_SametimeJavaConnect=1

This setting will use the Sametime Connect for browsers user interface, rather than the Domino Web Access chat user interface.  


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    On Tuesday, December 28th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

For those playing with the SIP gateway on Sametime

If you have installed the SIP gateway and are working with adding users from another Sametime community to your buddylist, you will find that you cannot add groups.  You must create a local group, that gets stored in vpuserinfo.nsf on your Sametime server, through your Sametime client, and then add people one at a time to that group.

 Of course, adding the group straight from their directory would be nice, but what would happen if you both had groups with the same name?  So I do get why they did it that way.  Mainly in the first implementation.


Problem

You use the Sametime Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Gateway to chat with users in the external Sametime community and would like to add groups of SIP users to your buddy list instead of adding them one at a time.  Is this possible?



Content

Currently, you can only add one external SIP user at a time to the Sametime Connect client buddy list.

An enhancement request to add a group of SIP users at one time to the buddy list has been submitted to Quality Engineering.

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    On Monday, December 20th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

LCS 2005 and Sametime integration

Since I have now had an email and also a Google hit searching for this information, I might as well give my thoughts, which will be quite brief.  Unless you plan on implementing SIP/SIMPLE what is the desire to make the two coexist?  I cannot see using one or the other for internal communications and then another of the products for meeting services.

That last part was the basis of the email I received.  For some reason they loved the integrated chat client inside of Notes, but were being asked by management to get LCS up and running.  So I get lost in this type of logic.  I talked previously about some LCS issues, lack of encryption being one.  So I directed them to those posts for now.
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    On Wednesday, December 1st, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Forcing DWA users to use the Java Connect for Sametime

I came across this little gem today to force Domino Web Access Users to use the Sametime Java Connect chat interface instead of the integrated one.
iNotes_WA_SametimeJavaConnect=1

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    On Thursday, November 18th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Still running a Sametime 3.01 CF1 server with the new integrated clients?

Problem

After installing a Sametime 3.0 Critical Fix 1 (CF1) server, users that connect to the server with a Sametime 6.5.1 client see the error message: "Application version does not match the server version. Please upgrade."



Content

This is an issue with Sametime 3.0 CF1 and has been reported to Quality Engineering.

There are two ways to fix the problem:

1.  Disable Critical Fix 1.  In order to disable the Sametime 3.0 CF1 set the VP_SECURITY_LEVEL ini parameter in the sametime.ini to 0, as described in technote #1145812Link.
2.  Copy the stsecurity.exe file from a Sametime 6.5.1 server and use it to replace the original 3.1 CF1 version, as follows:

a.  Stop Domino on the 3.1 server.
b.  Rename stsecurity.exe to stsecurity.old.
c.  Copy the stsecurity.exe from the 6.5.1 server to the Program directory on the 3.1 server.
d.  Start Domino.

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    On Friday, October 29th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

A technote to share from one of my sessions

The session was on IM Tips and Tricks and then this same question came up at Ask the Experts on Monday evening.  The administrator wished to know how calendaring & scheduling interacted when reserving meeting rooms for Sametime meetings.  I was not sure of the workflow behind it off of the top of my head so I found this technote.  It was worth sharing with everyone so we understand the flow better.
How it Works
-  The Chairperson creates a meeting invitation in the Calendar view of his/her mail file and selects the option, "This is an Online Meeting".   The fields for the type of Online meeting, the meeting place and attachments appear.  

-  The Chairperson clicks the address picker for the place and selects the Online Meeting document from the Domino Directory.  

-  When the Chairperson clicks the 'Save and Send Invitations' action button, the meeting gets mailed to the Resource Reservations database.  

-  The router on the Resource Reservations database does a lookup on the meeting notice, and once the router finds the field called 'External Address' on the meeting, the meeting gets copied and then forwarded onto the external address.  The external address is the name of the Mail-in Database that is in the Domino Directory, usually named Stcs.nsf.  

-  In addition, the router mails a copy to the Sametime Meeting Center (Stconf.nsf).  The router autoprocesses the reservation and sends an accept notice from the Online Resource to the Chair.  The meeting is placed in the database for the external address, Stcs.nsf and the Sametime Meeting Center (Stconf.nsf) on the Sametime Server.

-  The meeting is tracked by the Notes Calendar Servlet (Stcal) by its meeting identifier, which is the APPTUNID.  When the Chair and invitees click the 'Attend Online Meeting' link in their meeting invitation, the browser opens the URL to the Sametime server with the link to the Stcal servlet, processing the meeting APPTUNID.

There you go, the flow of C&S when inviting a meeting room.

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    On Wednesday, October 20th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

E-Pro: Sys Admin Newsletter Oct 2004

Editor's Note: Chris's 5.27814 FRF
In today's market, the Information Technology groups are starting to slide back under the control of the CIO in some enterprises. Cost control is back for IT spending and getting approval for new projects remains scarce. So, as consultants, technical partners (all shops that offer technical services or products fits into this one no matter what size they are), and even employees being hired, when you start discussions about capabilities, it is becoming more important to express your capabilities up front.

Three months into a long-term project is not the right time to tell the company that you left out the lack of a certification, information about a previous employer, or inability to perform a job function. This puts both sides in a peculiar position. While you may have shown outstanding abilities to serve their needs, not disclosing that information may have hurt the project. Can they overlook that fact and let the project continue, knowing you understand the discomfort in learning about it so far along? Do they forgive that fact and let the project continue if you show some concessions and desire to get it completed no matter what? If you are lucky enough to get that chance, embrace it and make every effort to make the project successful.

To avoid this situation (if you aren't in it already), let the company judge all the information before you sign the line on the contract. If you are in this situation now, open up and tell the enterprise exactly what was left out. You might be pleasantly surprised that even though you have never done work on a certain software, your skills in all your other areas are wanted. They might even be willing to work with you and get you the training you need.

****************************************
How to write an IM Policy

I completed two parts on writing an enterprise IM policy.  You can read both articles right here:
Part 1
Part 2




Reader Q&A



SMTP CONFIGURATION

Q: I have been reading various manuals and other books on how to set up SMTP mail routing to the Internet, but there is conflicting information on how to do this. Can you tell me the correct way to set it up?

On an internal SMTP-enabled Server, I need to set the SMTP field to enabled when sending mail outside the local Internet domain. On the Relay host for messages leaving the local Internet domain field, I need to indicate the host name/IP address of the single Outbound SMTP gateway server...

Read the rest of the question and all of Chris's answer here.







Administration Tip



CONFIGURING RELAY HOSTS IN SERVER CONFIGURATION DOCUMENTS

As I went through a recent reader question about SMTP configuration, I realized that many enterprises still are not using the power of DNS for mail routing. Instead, they rely on IP addresses. In earlier releases of Domino, the relay host field only accepted a single IP address, making redundancy a dream. But Domino 6 fully supports the use of DNS names in that field. The positive reasons behind using DNS entries instead of IP addresses are easy to outline.

DNS entries follow MX weights for mail routing. This lets you have multiple hosts that take the load evenly. It also lets you have multiple hosts in case of failure. Multiple hosts under the MX records let you scale and plan your infrastructure. At any time, you can add a server into the relay (or virus scanning list) to be used as a relay by simply adding the DNS entry for the server and then putting that DNS entry as an MX weight into the same name you are using in the relay host field. There is no need to stop and start the router in Domino. When DNS refreshes, the new host is seen and will be used!

Read more, including some sample entries, here.






Administration Tip




DECIPHERING THE VPUSERINFO.NSF DATABASE IN SAMETIME

I came across an e-mail in the IdoNotes mailbox that asked how to read the vpuserinfo.nsf database to see who is blocking other users from seeing them. The answer to this comes from the Lnotes-L mailing list.

Q: I just got a request from a manager who wants to know what an employee is preventing him from seeing them online... Can anyone make heads or tails of the data stored in the vpuserinfo.nsf to determine this?

Continue reading to find who's blocking whom here.




    for this posting

    On Thursday, October 14th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

How to Write an IM Policy (part 2)

Administration and Strategy: How to Write an IM Policy (Part 2)
Last time we investigated an outline of the reasons an enterprise would want to invest the time and effort into creating a policy specific to instant messaging (IM). We covered the why, who, and how often of IM policies. This month, we explore implementation. Based on some of the reader feedback so far from the first one (big thanks to everyone demanding to know when this second part was coming out), I might even take all the extra loose thoughts and wrap them into a third part. I would like to point out that Christopher Byrne did write some nice blog pieces (including a follow up) on this topic.

One thing I plan to stay away from in this article is citing specific products or companies that provide these services. I know some of the products personally, some from reading about how they operate, and others from the marketing materials only. The key of this article series is the actual implementation itself and not necessarily what you choose (or if you choose) to use in terms of a third-party product. One other thing I am not touching in this issue (although maybe the next), is the legal aspect of logging and auditing. There are reasons that some enterprises are required to log all the chat traffic, while others simply want to monitor what types of information are being shared.

What Should I Tell My Users?

Well, isn't this a conundrum right off the starting blocks? Spying on the employee makes the employee feel untrusted in their work environment. When it finally comes out that you are logging, watching, or auditing chats without telling them, sit back as they stop using IM or turn to public encryption (like the new AOL can offer). If this was a controlled 'work only' system, such as Sametime, how much productivity would be lost if the users ceased sending IM messages? How much would phone expenses go back up? I know these might seem like silly things to think about. The company controls the network and resources right? The employee can't control if you want to audit and archive chats. But they can stop using it if they feel it is untrustworthy or that you don't trust them.
What is it you should offer in terms of information to the employee then? I believe this can be a simple as a one-paragraph explanation. Let everyone know what is being logged. Is it based on keyword, who starts the chat, or is it every line typed? Do you show what files got transferred in or out of the company? The more you clarify, the less surprise later. If certain behavior is not tolerated, specifically state what actions are not, such as installing unapproved IM clients (even though this falls under desktop and network policies) and what the consequences are. I had a conversation with one company following part 1 of this article that had put the beginnings of a policy in place. It stated what was acceptable plain and clear. Yet there was no mention of what actions would be taken against the employee if these guidelines were not adhered to. Without the consequence, you do not have much ground to stand when reprimanding the employee.

How Do I Control Deployment?

The worst nightmare for your technically savvy users is controlled desktops. The best fantasy for the IT group is controlled desktops. So looking for that common ground, how about Web versions of the IM client? This way there are no downloading or installation issues. Patches are instant the next time a user logs in and controls can be set centrally for many aspects of functionality. Browser version and security controls are what you would have to deal with. But I already know everyone is doing that for the security of the users already. Right? In Part 1, I mentioned that everyone is going to be affected by this policy, so everyone should be affected by the implementation as well. Letting certain groups or people not fall under the guidelines set by policy leaves the enterprise itself open for legal and internal troubles.
Suppose the product you select does not have a Web version? Packaging is a great way to control what is installed on the desktop. If you are using Sametime and have not played with the Sametime Client Packager, then you are missing out on a neat tool. It will walk through the install package letting you pick and choose the parts. You can then build a few different packages, for example, if you want one group to have file transfer ability and not the other. Notice that everyone here still falls under the same policy, you are just expanding functionality to different users, creating a totally acceptable and fairly applied IM policy.

What Choices Do I Have For Implementation?

This is where you get to have some fun as an administrator: trying out the different options. Many vendors today are pushing towards software that gets installed on the instant messaging server to log, audit, and restrict chat sessions. Others take the approach of a network device that all traffic is funneled through like a gateway.
Taking the theory of the software approach that gets installed on the IM server, you have a few considerations. One is revisions and updates. How fast will the vendor supply new versions when the IM software vendor has you upgrading and applying fixes? If the vendor cannot be as aggressive in upgrade cycles and support of newer versions, you could be left behind. How many times has this happened in your environment already where you cannot upgrade due to a software package installed? Also, unless you are funneling all type of traffic somehow through this IM server, you really aren't preventing or restricting access for the other chat products. Getting an integrated product that supports logging of multiple IM products doesn't make much sense as you are then loading your primary IM server(s) with additional load from other chat services. That will lead us into the topic of the gateway products.

The good side of an integrated product is that it all runs (mostly) on a single piece of hardware; the administration interfaces are complementary or similar to the IM software you are running, and it has good interoperability with the IM software. Also logs and audits are easily performed as the data resides on the same server.
We also have gateway products, which are separate devices that sit on the network and can be as passive or aggressive as your enterprise desires. I have mixed feelings on this type of implementation (then again, I have mixed feelings on both types). The ability to funnel all the traffic gives you a central point for logging of all types of IM, and many vendors have multiple chat product support in one device. This also gives you granular control in turning off one or more chat products and a single interface into all the logging and auditing.
One other key feature immediately comes to mind: if the gateway device supports it, you can utilize LDAP or name space mapping to your internal infrastructure to log certain users and know what internal name maps to what external name across all the product lines.

With all those positives (and there are more), I get asked what could be negative? The primary example to give is that if this device fails then all chat logging, auditing, and outside access can be lost in a single gateway implementation. Essentially this could shut down IM until a fix or repair is put into place. How detrimental would that be to your productivity? This needs to be weighed heavily. The maintenance on this additional piece of hardware may outweigh the demand for having it, for some smaller shops. But for larger implementations, it is a viable solution with many options.

Conclusion

While writing this second part, I received another e-mail asking if I had a template or standard document they could work from. Interesting as I don't think I would want to base my unique enterprise on someone else's standards. I do understand the desire to have a place start in thinking and writing your own policies. I will take that debate back and see what I come up with. Who knows, by the time this article series is done, we might have explored everything from why to write one, what gets included, legal aspects, user experience, and an actual template. Then again, maybe this is enough for you to start your own already. IM me at IdoNotes and let me know... that is if your policy allows unrestricted outside communications. :-)
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    On Thursday, October 14th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Forget downloading IM at random, plug and play for SMB

Jabber has announced an appliance to ship next year that is an IM ready plug and play device.
Jabber, which is working on an XMPP-to-SIP Gateway to achieve interoperability with IBM's Lotus IM product, said the release of an SMB instant messaging appliance will coincide with a new version of the Jabber XCP Platform and an upgraded Jabber Messenger desktop client.

Now what I like in the announcement is the piece I highlighted above.  Imagine a Jabber XCP device on the network to control IM and hook to enterprise Sametime environment?
It will also support Web Services (define) to embed presence and messaging into other applications using SOAP-based APIs and a Presence Mirror to allow access to users' availability information via a database connection.

Jabber said the product suite will also include wireless instant messaging clients for RIM (BlackBerry), PocketPC, SmartPhone, J2ME, Symbian, SMS and WAP.

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    On Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004   by Chris Miller        

How to write an IM Policy (part 1)

Administration and Strategy: How to Write an IM Policy (Part 1)
Our e-ProMag.com editor and Lotus Informer author, Libby, suggested a great topic.  She suggested some tips or direction on creating an Instant Messaging policy.  It seems that you, the ravenous reader, have requested this type of information as your companies start to deploy and grow these installations. So let me begin with the first of two parts.  The first one will deal with the why, who, and how often.  Then, part two will cover the actual implementation.  I will make it as direct and short as possible, intended only to guide you in the iniital planning.  Each company must make some hard choices on allowable clients and usage that fits everyone's needs.  Your companies might have to make an investment to get the right hardware or software in place when the policy is done, but it is one step in better protecting the network and entire company.

Part 1

We can cover statistical information for days, with all the current research that is being done on productivity, who is sending messages to whom, and how many users are accessing the technology at work. The end result of the research will tell you one thing: No matter what number of users your enterprise has, as soon as there is an enterprise, it is time to establish the IM Usage policy.

Why?

The Why's are quite simple. In one sentence: you put a policy in place to protect the enterprise and the employee. Nothing more and nothing less. Every article and tip you read addresses one of those two parts of the puzzle. Many of you understand the issues with viruses via e-mail, but the real attacks on IM have not occurred yet. Imagine not only all those desktops running AOL Instant Messenger (IM)IM and Yahoo!, but also all the connected home machines and laptops with VPN access that dump those clients right onto your network. Mentioning the possibility of data leaving the network is not even necessary anymore (but I still did anyway, for those who have been sleeping on IM deployments)

Who?

Who gets the policy assigned to them? Everyone. This includes the technical staff and CEO. For some reason, when we perform audits (with IM becoming an ever increasing request in audits), we see that the technology bandits excuse themselves, and the CEO or other officers of the company have special requests. This should lead you down the path that any policy has to address all the employees, from the needs of the heavy constant user, to the needs of those who don't understand exactly what IM does.
Identity control is a large portion of the Who. If you run an internal IM system from a corporate directory, then you know who each person you correspond with is. But the name mapping for external systems is the trick. Letting employees use personal accounts with names you cannot control to have communication with customers is asking for trouble. A username on the Internet could be offensive or even derogatory and this may reflect on the enterprise if used in day-to-day business interactions.

How Often?

How often the policy gets applied and updated should be planned for simplicity. Having to revisit the policy on a consistent basis means the original draft was not well constructed. The policy gets applied to every user, on an instantaneous basis. As soon as they need access to the approved IM systems, then they must sign a copy (preferably digitally through Lotus Notes, of course) that shows they have read and understand the regulations surrounding usage. You can do follow-ups by adding addendums to the document as you introduce new technology or expand the deployment. Adding to the policy via Notes mail and a mail-in database can reduce the time needed to add to the policy and notify all the users. With a simple database, you can track usage agreements and add addendums that notify users with a link that a new document must be read and approved.
So you are off and running that fast. Start the document ideas simple before you even get to what technology will make it all happen. The biggest fight seems to be in the Who area. Who will get what rights and who is restricted. The next difficulty is in determining how to do standards enforcement if you choose to use an outside or public system as the prime communication vehicle (I shudder thinking of this one). The next installment looks at the actual deployment and opportunities for controlling the IM traffic.
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    On Thursday, September 9th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

From Network World on a Nemertes Research IM Survey

What if my employees have five or 10 different sessions running, like my teenage daughter?  I don't know how she does it, but I don't want that in the workplace.

From an anonymous director of technology as a midsize retail firm

Come on now, are you saying that the phone cost savings, productivity possibilities and more effective communication isn't what you want?  Or is the concern that the chats are not with co-workers or sales channels?  If so, then restrict it to controlled IM systems.  Manage it, archive it, track it, map user names, use SSL or encrypted traffic, provide accountability through a stated and signed IM policy.  There are a myriad of things you can provide to offer these services.

Facetime uses a great approach in mapping directory names and policies across ALL the public IM services.  So even though each system is on it's own, the enterprise knows that it is controlled as one.

So now that we reviewed the survey in general, it leads to the same answer at the end.  The research firm shows that companies should standardize on Lotus Instant Messaging or Windows Messenger internally with controls set for external program access.  Does your company have an IM policy in place?

The full article can be found here.
    for this posting

    On Thursday, September 9th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Messaging Pipeline: Radicati Group Calls LCS 2005 "Bold Step Forward"

Chris writes a lot about instant messaging, so this seemed like a good article to highlight.  
LCS = Microsoft Live Communications Server.  The 2005 version is supposed to ship later this year; yet this article seems to indicate that the particular report is written in present tense.  The article covers other interesting analysis by Radicati Group :
Radicati Group expects Microsoft to make serious inroads into the enterprise IM market with this important addition to LCS 2005. To date, LCS has garnered about 18% of the market, according to Radicati's analysis. "We expect that this connectivity, once in place, will help to strongly position LCS as a market leader in enterprise IM, and will increase its market share significantly," the report says, explaining that no one else can provide this type of connectivity.
Are you running LCS?  I find the 18% number pretty surprising, but maybe
Carl has seen that level of activity.
More on Messaging Pipeline -- Radicati Group calls LCS 2005 "bold step forward" ...
    for this posting

    On Monday, August 30th, 2004   by Guest blogger        

Sorry for the posting delay, but I did post twice Monday :-)

Carl Tyler dropped in (virtually) and linked back to a thread he had on his blog about my last posting.  Which of course I lacked in reading his recently as I haven't surfed the blogs much or caught up on RSS.  So on to his thread and some more thoughts.  Nevermind what the analysts say, or the IBM spokesperson.  She did come out and say IBM might rethink it though through customer demand.  Interesting as the customer is demanding it already and that is why Microsoft did the announcement.  She also went on to say she won't let recent news in the press set the agenda.  I agree when people are talking about some hot new technology that isn't proven.  But when you already offer the largest seat count of enterprise chat software, it really isn't too recent of news to make plans to take over it all.

I think it would be great if Lotus could enter the an agreement in letting them add connectivity in their enterprise client, or do namespace mapping for internal names through the LDAP directory.  I will even step back and say SIMPLE could be the way to go.  But which ever way, state it loudly and make the tools available.  I talk to many sites that do not understand that the SIP gateway is there on another cd ready to install.  Or better yet, what the heck to do with it.  Sure there is documentation (before I get a nasty email from someone), but it is not clear what needs to be done on the other sides to make it work all the time.  Maybe a Redpiece or something on the topic would stir some enthusiasm.  Hey Carl, want to get together and write a white paper?
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    On Wednesday, August 25th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Sametime and large whiteboard files

As you start using Sametime for more and more meetings, all the sudden sales wants to use it for everything.  Well the whiteboard becomes a mainstay for them to show their slides and then draw like little kids at a Crayola party. Unfortunately, most of them do not understand compressing screenshots in gif images, they just paste the bitmap ones right in don't they?  The next call you get is a nondescript error from their browser as they attempt to attach these files to the Whiteboard.

Netscape at least gives you a nice HTTP error code of 500.  Microsoft Exploder only throws a Cannot find server or DNS error out for some reason.  But to make it short, here is why when you are running on Domino 6:
Sametime 3.1 and later releases run on a Domino 6 server.  Domino 6 introduced two new fields that can affect this:

1.  In the Server document > Internet Protocols tab > Domino Web Engine tab > POST Data section > Maximum POST data (in kilobytes) field.


2.  In the Server document > Internet Protocols tab > HTTP tab > HTTP Protocol Limits > Maximum size of request field.

Change the values of these fields accordingly.  Entering 0 in each of these fields allows unlimited size.


I would never recommend setting the value to zero, that is just asking for trouble in ways that no one has even dreamed up in error code land.
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    On Monday, August 23rd, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Domino 7 and Sametime integration changes

Reading the announcements on Domino 7 they are talking about Sametime integration expansion.  That is right, expansion.  The ability to start instant audio and video and even screen sharing meetings.  So that brings us right to a licensing question for now.  If they only support chat as a free service through the integration, how will adding these features into the client affect what you have to purchase?  How can you disable that portion.  I mean it is even in the right click menus when logged in from the Notes client.  Very cool stuff, but we have some customers that are beginning to read and ask.  Now this might be answered out there somewhere already, I just haven't read it yet.  Maybe some updated information from Ed or others will give insight.

But of course there are some cool things, like that the chats have their own threads now and the buddy list can be minimized to the task bar.  I run it in transparency mode, but some people like it open all the time.  There are also some new options preferences on how a new IM alerts you.

I will update if I get an answer to this.
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    On Tuesday, August 10th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Configuration Bridge not starting in Sametime?

Working at a client site this week and installing Sametime on servers that had Domino components previously.  Well the configuration bridge was dying which causes meeting services to stop.  So here is what I found and verified
  • DNS was ok since we were using local host files for the testing, and the Net Address field matched it in Domino.  NO problem there.
  • Java Servlet was set to Domino Servlet Manager which is the right setting there
  • The Sametime.ini file was not properly showing the right configuration though!  A HA!

Some of the lines from the [config] section for some reason were incorrect.  Fixing those let SSL fire up correctly and removed the configuration bridge error.  Issue solved.
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    On Wednesday, June 30th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Confusion over running QP 6.5.1 and Sametime 6.5.1 on the same box?

If we reference technote #1084238 it says you cannot run both together on the same Windows box.
For Windows servers, installing Lotus Instant Messaging and Web Conferencing (Sametime) 6.5.1 and Lotus Team Workplace (Quickplace) 6.5.1 on the same server is not a supported configuration. A Domino server limitation prevents all Java class files required by both of these servers from loading when both Sametime and QuickPlace are installed on the same machine

But then you can run them both in the same environment, just different servers. Yes we quote again from the same technote:
Quickplace 6.5.1 can run with the following versions of the Sametime server:

3.0 (until the server can be upgraded to the preferred 3.1 version)