Finally I can say it, Lotus Connections for Business Partners was released by Lotus to test drive

Most everyone should be getting or have gotten a login for Lotus Connections if you are a Business Partner.  This lets the partners get in and bang around on the product and also give feedback.  I will give more input shortly.

Update 1: If you do not get an invite and wish to be nominated then visit and you can nominate yourself as a Business Partner

Well so far it even works with the Notes 8 integrated browser feature.  Good start.

Update 2
: I was able to get my Notes 8 client to connect to Activities on the Business Partner server.  That should be interesting.  See image below :

Image:Finally I can say it, Lotus Connections for Business Partners was released by Lotus to test drive
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    On Thursday, April 19th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

I went to research the ’new’ Lotus ActiveInsight and came across this

Someone might want to talk to them about updating the naming and versions in there.  I know they aren't running this against 6.5.1 and the names have been changed back.


Yes I know , it is just some old marketing info slapped in there.  Just funny to see in a new product set announcement.
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    On Sunday, March 4th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Volker mentioned it back in December

The demise of Workplace Messaging.  The request we just received was what is IBM telling us to do?  Well it was right on the bottom of the document announcing the withdrawl.  Switch to DWA.
End of marketing: Effective January 11, 2007, IBM will withdraw from market the IBM Lotus Workplace Messaging Passport Advantage® offering. Customers who hold current licenses for this program will renew to the following:
  • One (1) IBM Lotus Domino Web Access license for each licensed Workplace Messaging user
  • One hundred (100) Value Units of IBM Lotus Domino Messaging Server for each one thousand (1000) Workplace Messaging users. 100 Value Units of Domino Messaging Server is equal to One CPU.
End of service: Effective September 30, 2008, IBM will withdraw from service the IBM Lotus Workplace Messaging Passport Advantage offering. Customers will no longer be able to receive support for this offering after that date.

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    On Tuesday, January 9th, 2007   by Chris Miller        

Collaboration University Day 2 and announcement

Today was a jam packed day, just like KC with the most technical sessions taking place.  I saw too many happy faces and a lot of people looking like their brains had been overflowed.  Just like a university should do.

Now on for the news. Yesterday Ken Bisconti, Vice President Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Products had his opening session.  Now he made a comment we debated posting at first, but since it was said in front of people from 12 countries in a general forum, here is the snapshot that I am paraphrasing (yes that means not direct word for word but the whole thing in a very clear nutshell):
You will see the name Workplace being pulled from products and being shown as a strategy and direction.

Yes, the Workplace being removed from products, but very much the focus and strategy.  While I can see some industry analysts and other vendors taking a poke at this maneuver, I can also see the strategy position and stance in the marketplace.  Instead of seeing more and more Workplace products, you can then fold the Notes Domino name, Portal and other pieces under this strategy.  With the J2EE footprint in Sametime 7.5 and Hannover, it already existed in other product areas of Workplace.  So cross naming didn't work unless you take a step back and widen the umbrella.
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    On Thursday, September 28th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Workplace Services Express 2.6 base install overview

We had a customer request this for testing purposes on their test server so we wiped the and reinstalled the OS.  We went with Windows 2000 since it is a test box to save some 2003 licenses.

  • You need 4 files (or the cd's).  You can get the part numbers on-line but it is almost 3GB worth to download
  • Put them all in a single directory and unpack them there.  It will create all the necessary folders and structure if you keep using the same exact path for each unpack.  This in turn makes another 3GB of unpacked files on the server too

  • There is a file called launchpad.exe that brings up some Java and a GUI.  Unfortunately that damn thing would never come up, ate CPU like a Survivor winner and hung with an ugly grey box
  • I opened the install guide and went with the command line install instead
  • The old 2.5 version seemed to honestly take between 30-45 minutes
  • This one was the following:
    • Started GUI at 9:22am
    • Switched to command line at 9:26am
    • Started install at 9:27am
    • Install completed at 11:40am

    So that means it took 2 hours as compared to the previous 30-45 minutes.

    With that being said, it still worked fine and installed flawlessly past that point.  The page loads are always horrendously slow the first time.  This was no exception and the install guide even tells you to do so.

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    On Thursday, July 27th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Workplace Services Express 2.6 hits the streets May 19th

  • More users means more capacity means happier people
  • DB2 Express included
  • Workplace Designer included
  • Domino 7 support
  • Exchange 2003 support  who cares  hahaha
  • Upgrade tools for 2.5 versions
  • Pricing and licensing looks the same

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    On Wednesday, April 26th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Announcing a new blog

The launch is official of and the postings have begun.  It will be a shared event of a couple instructors (including me) that are certified to teach the WCS 2.5 classes and are certified in both areas of the product already. (Messaging and Team Collaboration for WCS)

I also decided to move my postings and info for the Workplace Managed Client to that site for those focusing in that areas as well.  I have been playing with it and have some impressions.

It makes my mind easier knowing people get exactly what they expect at each blog site.  There might be some cross posting or linking as needed
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    On Thursday, February 23rd, 2006   by Chris Miller        

Wonder where I have been all this week? Workplace Bootcamp for 2.5 including WCS and Messaging

I had plenty of comments but found that it was being served separate under another blog already.   Let me get the link....
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    On Thursday, February 16th, 2006   by Chris Miller        

The Lotus announcement from Admin2005 Europe

Uffe Sorensen (see last entry for his title and summary of the whole presentation) was able to announce the following:
"IBM is announcing that the upcoming version of the Workplace Managed Client will support the newly-ratified Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) standard."

What this means? no one company can control how you view your data and with what software.  Hence the word open!  ODF ensures preservation and access with no software restrictions to your data.
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    On Monday, December 5th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Maybe I am confused, or is it this article writer, or IDC and Gartner that really is?

He is the starting point, before I even get into the article.
The new widgets certainly can't hurt, given IBM's struggle to maintain its place in the market for integrated collaborative environments. Both IDC and Gartner Inc. recently came out with studies showing that Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange rules the market, with IBM's Lotus Notes barely keeping pace.

The article is actually about the new 'prefab blogging' being added to Workplace.  Nothing to do with either product above in my opinion.  Now maybe I have been booted from the server a few too many times, but what the heck does collaboration, Workplace and blogging have to do with Exchange?  Domino can blog, Domino can collaborate.  Exchange?  Hrmmmm.

The article continues on to ask if blogging will help IBM catch up.  I am not sure, but how many Exchange back-end blogs are out there?  Am I missing something?  Exchange 12?  Sure, they are talking about it, plus embedded RSS abilities. Through some cool partners, we already have these RSS feed readers based in Domino.  Portable, replicatable, searchable.  Let's see that one.

All this from an article writer (Lisa Vaas) and editor that has been around eWeek since 1995?
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    On Thursday, August 25th, 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!!

Comments Disabled


Well the 4 day training class on the Java version is over.  The last day covered security, some talks on staging and covering what was missing.

  • No view was there for just users or just groups.  They were all placed in one index.
  • The actual documentation for the class suggests putting "(  )" around the names to help sort groups to the top.  Not a good way to do things.  I should have a user, group and all view available from the index.
  • Two people could edit the same group at the same time. There was no locking and the last person to save got an error warning of a conflict.  Confusing at best
  • A cache problem with the browser, across numerous machines.  You would find that after using the interface a long time during the day, no amount of refresh would update the index you needed to access.  Preventing you from grabbing some component, group or area you just added.  A restart and logging back in the browser was necessary..

  • You can lock a document when pushing it back though the approval process.  However, only one copy at a time may be back in draft status for the same part of the published site.
  • As I mentioned before, everything you do needs a refresh as you go along.  So to have good practice, just refresh everytime you have added items and wish to leave an index in the navigation.
  • Security can be added to any part of a site, workflow, stage or design can be done.  In order to get to see a portion of content, a person or group needs access to all the components that make the page.

Staging was particularly interesting as you could have multiple development areas in one installation or totally separate servers.  Partial content may be places on staging servers allowing only certain users access.  The help files did not accurately give instructions on configuring this architecture, but synchronization and syndication seemed to be a large part.

To summarize, I like the product and can't wait to see the enhancements that will and can be done.

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    On Tuesday, June 21st, 2005   by Chris Miller        

ILWWCM Days #2 and #3

Some areas went quite well as we deployed and customized more components, content and areas of the site.  Other areas were not quite so lucky.  Read back a couple days if you missed the posting on Day #1

  • The search never did work right.  Even the demo site that comes gave the exact result we were getting.  I took this as a good sign that we created the necessary components and design, but something on the server end wasn't acting right.
  • Next up was the dynamic menus.  They are supposed to build as you go along and change as you modify site areas.  With the proper filters they are quite powerful.  Now they do eat more resource than some navigators, but you have to weigh which one is appropriate for your usage on the site.  We had some trouble getting the menus to appear at first.  Even after going back over the config about 3 times.  Then they just suddenly appeared.  Wierd.
  • Not enough error checking.  You are able to type in forms, components and other items even if they are spelled wrong or do not exist.  Sure, that is good while building, but something information at least would be a benefit.  You try to paste as much code as possible that you grab from other places, but when entering new, it is up to you to recall "/> is the way to close certain tags.
  • The desire for multiple instances of the same document in draft status while in workflow.  We found instances where this would be appropriate.
  • The constant refresh necessary bit us more than once today.  Sometimes you have to entirely close your browser because even though you can see it in the view, ti won't show in selections.  Restarting the browser takes care of that.

  • The power of the software showed through today as we applied workflow and pushed pages to "Next Stage" throughout the machines.  The site administrator can come in at any time and move things along if necessary which is a nice touch.  In case someone takes their time or even goes on vacation.  Of course, a timed stage could be used, but it was not appropriate for the workflow we were building.
  • Browser-based work for most everything (outside of developing Java and other components) makes life easy
  • The template based approach makes changing entire sites awesome.  The ability to change the template on the fly works great for testing.
  • The stages that wrap security inside make working with drafts nice
  • The ability to grab a component for a full page layout/design or randomly pull components in as content on pages.  That allows some cool things to be tossed in where needed
  • The dynamic and content driven navigators!!  I can't say much more there.  If you format them properly, they give off some stunning effect.  Plus as site areas change, you never had to go back to the navigator component and update unless you are providing some filtering.
  • Version control and the ability to push a version back into production
  • The ability to manipulate multiple sites and share some common components and design all at the same time.
  • You know, there is some more but wait for tomorrow's posting on this.

I know I am listing some of the downsides also, but I am just playing fair.

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    On Thursday, June 16th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Hannover comments and an external FAQ document for you to grab

I received a document outlining a Q&A from Ambuj about the announcement of "Hannover".  Since Ed continues to offer an amazing job of grabbing the news highlights, screenshots and others, this is one thing I could offer up.  I love the new UI and see great benefit from it.  Of course, like anyone peeking at it I wonder where some things went or how they will work.  But a lot of those questions are getting asked in the comment section on Ed's blog.  I will just post there like everyone else and get some more answers so everyone can see them.

 This gives you an example of what is in the document.
Q. When will Hannover be available?
A. We are planning to preview this technology sometime next year in order to obtain feedback in our design process.

Q. Will Hannover provide VoIP integration?
A. Yes. Hannoveris based on re-used components across the Workplace family, including real-time collaboration components that have VoIP integration.

Grab that document!

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    On Tuesday, June 14th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

ILWWCM day #1

Here we start with IBM Lotus Workplace Web Content Management (ILWWCM) postings.  This is the first day of instructing a 4 day class on the Java version of the product.  There is a Domino based one I teach in August (I think).  Take all these, as I ramble through, with more than a grain of salt, but an appreciation for the product so far.

The good
  • Overall, I love what the product offers in terms of site management.  The ability to define numerous sites, and then site areas is a great beginning.  But if you do not plan out the site architecture and the taxonomy, it is all a waste of time.
  • You can create numerous, or better yet, a single site plan.  Then let the users only update content.  What a win.  Content management without opening the ability to change layout.  Also, divisions, departments and even subsidiaries can be forced to follow this common theme and layout while taking the workload off of you to update it all.

The bad
  • No logout button as one would expect in an application this powerful.  No really, none.  You close the browser to log out.
  • If you accidentally close the launch window, you also close out the administration panels.  A couple students did that
  • This one should stand out.  The navigator does not fit the way you should work through implementing a site.  To have it make some sense, here is a quote.
When planning and designing a site with the Lotus Workplace Web Content Management, the Information Architecture (IA) of your Web site must be defined.

Unfortunately this is not the first section in the navigator for the product.  It happens to be the third.  Where I am going with this is that the layout of the administration navigator should follow the way a site is implemented. (this is all subjective to me of course)

Image:ILWWCM  day #1

The ugly
  • One nerve racking thing is the refresh. If you do not remember to refresh everytime you add some element to the product, it is not available as a selection anywhere else.  Confusing at best.
  • While working in Content Templates, I accidentally found you can save things with the same exact name with no prompt or warning.  This occurs all over the product.

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    On Tuesday, June 14th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Theme blogging

I have done this once before when I did a string of Dynamic Client Configuration (ndyncfg.exe or DCC for those counting) topic postings in a single week time.  It proved to be highly successful and is still one of the highest hit topics for Google and site searches on here.  So I decided that every so often I will continue that idea of theme blogging.

I am basing that on the possibility I am working on a project, customer inquiries or I have been reading/learning a new piece.  So sit back and relax as this week we will dip into IBM Lotus Workplace Web Content Management - Java side.  Installation, configuration and just general management.

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    On Monday, June 13th, 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

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?


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        

Thoughts on IBM Workplace Live I attended yesterday

Here are my thoughts and opinions, based on statements, comments, statistics and plain theory I gathered.  I waited to write this to review my notes I was taking and to see if my feeling changed, rather than blog as it went along.

This was a day long event hosted by IBM that offered three tracks, with three sessions in each one you could mix and match (technical, competitive strategy and solutions). The goal of the seminar was to launch the variety of products in the Workplace family umbrella and clear up more questions.  I am not sure all the attendees asked the right questions to get it cleared up.  There were around 40 people at the start of the event.  I imagine more trickled in late.

Opening Keynote
All of this was after a general opening Keynote.  The Keynote was provided by sales and marketing with some live demonstrations.
IBM Workplace represents a strategy for improving the productivity of people at the front end of computing

A grid soon showed that Domino 8.0 will fall into the ability to run as a portlet in the Rich or Managed Client.  This led to some questions and confusion if there was to be a stand-alone Domino 8 client.  The people were assured and the slide reviewed again.   The way ti was placed and stated did look, in all fairness first impression, that there was no option other than integrated.  But, after seeing it again and reading very slowly, it was an option.  But in the Hot News area, the managed client will run on Linux which means with the Notes plug-in you now have Notes on Linux!

One other bit snuck under the fence to confirm exactly what Carl and I heard at Admin2005.  We spend all our sessions using the old name, every question was referred under the old name and the darn client still uses the old name on the interface!!!  "Log onto..."

One last bit of the opening.  They showed a Gartner Group video about the theory of the Workplace environment, loosely relating the product to the need for it.  But I loved how they snuck in "Adhocracy".  I hadn't heard that used and actually looked it back up to make sure it was what I thought.

I proceeded to actually split my session across tracks.  One other thing, about 90% of the room said they were running Notes when a poll was done by the speaker.

IBM Notes/Domino Update Strategy
This session focused more on performance gains on the server side with canned ScreenCam demonstrations which was disappointing.  The talk of the full Webadmin functionality for Linux was a great idea, met with little applause though.  With the pending August or so release of 7 (as stated there), people were still asking about the client future and platform support.
Server performance gains of 50% on Win32 and AIX;  there is 70% on Solaris; an amazing 80% on iSeries and get this; Linux jumps out with 300%.  Across all platforms, there was testing to show improvement of the number of mail users per box while reducing CPU usage in current loads.  Domino Web Access (DWA) increased performance anywhere from 25-100% across the platforms.

My general feeling was the statistics were good, but unclear path for too many in there on whether to turn to the Managed Client, plug-in or native Notes.

The sessions running at the same time were a Competitive Landscape for Greater TCO with Workplace and one on Controls Management with Workplace.

Workplace Services Express
This session had very small attendance, surprisingly.  It was up against a session on Portal and Web Content Management.  I only picked up two things I wanted to share.  One of which I knew before and still eludes me.
  • SIP/Simple can be used to link external connectivity to other chat systems
  • All mail services are pulled from an external mail source (ie: Domino, Exchange or even a POP system).
  This leads to you having the need to license something else, while WCS includes mail services.  I would love to see WSE be totally inclusive as a single point solution for SMB.  Even if there is some SMTP mailer and a message store that relies on the Cloudscape backend, you could pull form it locally and show it in the mail interface.  Yes, I know there are products that are free, but let's have WSE come with something to install.  What a sales tool that offers the sales reps and partners.

Notes/Domino Competitive Update
This was to be a session in the original list as the Competitive Advantages of IBM Workplace - Running a Stable, Flexible, Industrial & Reliable Messaging Infrastructure.  Which I presumed to be Workplace Messaging.  But it turned out to be about Domino 7 and new functionality in the client and DWA.  Amazingly, there was only 5 people in that one including me.  Some good info was pass along for the people that had for some reason, not yet even looked at 7.

My overall observations
I was amazed at the number of people there running Domino, but shocked at the number that had not investigated 7 yet.  It was nice to see such an interest in Workplace in the morning.  But I saw that most people did lose interest and left early, even with two breaks, a quick box lunch and only three total sessions.  Something was missing to keep people wanting to see what it could do.  I did find that the same slide format for advantages was used in every session and constantly gone over.  It seemed to be like a drone by the third session.  I understand the consistent message, but with it showing so often and looking the same, I saw people drift in their minds.

 More demonstrations and definitely some hands on time would have been a great boost.  Maybe some instructions on architecture and scaling would have helped.  They mentioned it over and over how scalable it was, yet there was never a diagram shown of how to design and implement such a solution.

We had a follow-up meeting for Business partners only, of which only 3 partners showed including me.  Disappointing knowing the range and area that St Louis covers.  There is some other partners that would have had a short drive, but the opportunity to get your customers there and then ask questions was too good to pass up.  These will be the same that will not be asking questions later like they never got any information on Workplace.
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    On Wednesday, May 25th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Good to see Lotusphere 2005 (be it mini) made it to Australia

I was actually looking for other reviews of WSE, since we are a launch partner, and came across this referrer to me for my review I just did.  It was interesting to see that Lotus is allowing anyone that purchases the Domino Utility Server, free unlimited licenses to Domino.Doc and Workflow.  I couldn't find anything about it on the Lotus website, but I am sure it is out there somewhere.

So if they are offering that in a bundle, will anyone deploy it because it is free?  This sounds just like Sametime and what happened with 6.5.x for the integration.  I don't have that many customers that purchased the Utility Server license.  Here is what it offers to solve any confusion or questions:
Q. What does an IBM Lotus Domino Utility Server license include?
A. Domino Utility Server includes the following capabilities, designed for collaborative applications where the number of users is high or difficult to track (for example, a Web application for customer self-service).
  • Access to non-mail collaborative applications
  • Use of individual mail files is not allowed.
  • Client access licenses are not required for Web browser access to non-mail applications, even when user authentication is involved.
  • Access from a Lotus Notes client is allowed, but the Notes software and client access license must be acquired separately.
  • Domino partitioning (the capability to run more than one instance of Domino on the same machine using one copy of the Domino code)
  • Domino clustering for failover and load balancing
  • Limited use entitlement to WebSphere Application Server

So basically it is web only which means that Domino.Doc access is web only?  The Notes client side would require a license?  This seems odd to me.
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    On Wednesday, March 16th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

Press opinion from the Butler Group

This company prides themselves as
Europe's Leading IT Analyst Company providing Analysis without compromise

however with this opinion they came out with without compromise, they attended Lotusphere and came out with this beauty (that is a pickup of the original here that requires free login to view) of a thought from author Richard Edwards (who is the Research Analyst - IT Infrastructure, Intelligence, Collaboration for the group it seems):
Butler Group Opinion

With most organisations only now upgrading to Release 6.0, I cannot see IBM converting these loyal customers to Notes/Domino Release 7 any time soon, and as a result this can only weaken the impact of IBM Workplace on the general market - something of a pity given the platform's huge potential and significant technological advancements.

I agree that a lot of enterprises are still heading toward Domino 6, even after 2 years.  But why not jump straight to some release of 7?  I know a bunch waited for 6.5.x releases for the integrated IM and client enhancements.  With 7 they can get the client and new server enhancements all at once.

Does anyone else see this as true or as an issue?  They are using the leverage of companies just moving to 6, and not moving towards 7 as an issue with IBM Workplace family of products?  As I scratch my head at that confusing statement he made, maybe someone else can make sense of it.
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    On Tuesday, February 8th, 2005   by Chris Miller        

An IBM product name is a name like no other

I hinted that I had some information from the conference call yesterday.  Nothing in there was private or nondisclosure since it revolved around marketing that they will be pushing more and more through Q1 of 2005.  Well guess what, we are in Q1 of 2005 so here we go.
  • The name of Lotus Workplace will transform and slowly move to IBM Workplace.  Lotus and Websphere will continue as brands of course
  • IBM Workplace will get more attention as this moves forward as this is the natural evolution of IBM.  There will be continued marketing around Lotus and Websphere.
  • IBM Workplace is a product family and not a product in itself.  There will be no version numbers associated when referring to IBM Workplace.  But the actual parts of the family will definitely have the version number.
  • WorkplaceTM and the subcomponents are now trademarks of IBM.  So when used you need the little TM thingy.

So you should start seeing this with the 2.5 release.  If you plan on attending the Workplace Forum at Lotusphere, you will here IBM Workplace everywhere and pushed as the name.  All marketing and website links will be redirected also.

Ok, so I gave the rundown, what does it mean to me?  Hmmm, not much in terms of change.  I am concerned with the marketing around Lotus (Ed will have my head for these comments).  If the natural evolution is towards WorkplaceTM then why would the reps remember anything but that?  I am only speaking from experience in dealing with the IBM sales reps over the years at customer sites.  As the new focus moves, it works in direct inverted proportion to what they recall in their heads and sell.  You forget the other stuff and focus on the hot market.

The product family idea is not new.  We have seen this with Domino in some ways and the extended product families.  Websphere also falls into that area sometimes.  Unfortunately when you say Domino someone thinks server and the same for Websphere.  If we want Portal we say Portal.  So saying WorkplaceTM still leads me not to the family but to some installed product.  I guess that takes time getting used to.

As for the trademark.  Wow, what a word to trademark.  Workplace.  I sit in my workplace writing this blog entry wondering where those in my workplace will be heading for lunch today.  I also wonder if they are using parts of the WorkplaceTM that we have installed.  IBM Workplace MessagingTM  2.5 is one of those thing we use in the workplace.  I am only making fun, there is plenty of other products out there that do the same thing.  It is just how the word is used and that is what they were trying to embed in us for making our slides and other marketing materials.
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    On Wednesday, January 12th, 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        

We had our User Group meeting yesterday here also (on Ed’s heels)

In St Louis, we usually meet on the second Tuesday of the month, but due to someone booking the actual room we use, it was moved this one time to Wednesday.  The topic was on all the new features of Domino 7.  Interestingly enough the presenter (Kraig Vanderbeek fro IBM who does a few of them a year) cut out everything that related to Workplace and any other part of the portfolio.  Why is this important you ask?

Well Ed posted about his overview of the recent couple meetings he attended in Dallas and Houston, and some nice responses by Alan and Steve Castledine.  But here is what I think, and well if you don't like it comment away.  Ed talks about all the things they have done for Lotus the past few years.
There's also the level of investment IBM is making in integrating Notes into newer technologies (where newer is only a statement about age). Domino Application Portlet, common PIM portlet, Bowstreet tools for WebSphere Portal.  Notes client plug-in for the IBM Workplace client technology.  These are major efforts to protect existing skills and investment...and continue to provide a relevant platform for those Notes applications for a long time to come

Which I totally agree.  But what gets missed is that people are asking just for what is coming and changing in Domino in a lot of these shops.  I heard it yesterday at the User Group and it is why I like the approach Kraig took in presenting.  He basically said (as I paraphrase greatly)
You came to this to see what was new in Domino 7, not in what we are merging with Workplace and other Websphere things.  So I cut those out.

Bravo!  Ed points out all the integration changes and other things made, but people in a whole lot of shops are working with straight Domino technology and need to know what is enhanced there and only there.  Portlets are awesome if you are running an environment where you need portlets.  But how many times do we say, "I can do that in Notes" to someone in the organization?  We say it a lot.  Then the marketing comes in that Workplace, Websphere Portal and all these others are the way to plug-in.  So I went on and on enough in a long circle to say one thing.

I love all the integration into newer technologies.  I even promote and support some of them through installations and hosting.  But a lot of the companies come to us asking, "just tell me about Domino and nothing else.  Where is it going without one mention of Workplace or Websphere in your answer and how can we keep leveraging that power.  We don't want the other ones......yet."
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    On Thursday, December 16th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

ILWWCM and your JRE version

I figured I should finish out some more words on ILWWCM since it was a nice running topic with far too much to talk about.  During the install last week for 2.0 there was some notations for supported JRE versions for the product.  They had a list of 'supported', but one that was 'recommended'.  Well the machine I was working on already had a higher supported version installed so I went with that.  Now it all seemed to work well, but others complained of some things not functioning.  So I went and grabbed the list of JRE versions but product version for ILWWCM.  Here you go:
Lotus Workplace Web Content Management 1.1
  • JRE 1.3.1_03
  • JRE 1.3.1_06
  • JRE 1.3.1_08
  • JRE 1.3.1_09
  • JRE 1.4.0_01
  • JRE 1.4.1_05

Lotus Workplace Web Content Management 1.1.1
  • JRE 1.3.1_03
  • JRE 1.3.1_06
  • JRE 1.3.1_08
  • JRE 1.3.1_09
  • JRE 1.3.1_11
  • JRE 1.4.0_01
  • JRE 1.4.0_04
  • JRE 1.4.1_05
  • JRE 1.4.1_07
  • JRE 1.4.2_03
  • JRE 1.4.2_04

Lotus Workplace Web Content Management 2.0
  • JRE 1.3.1_03
  • JRE 1.3.1_06
  • JRE 1.3.1_08
  • JRE 1.3.1_09
  • JRE 1.3.1_11
  • JRE 1.4.0_01
  • JRE 1.4.0_04
  • JRE 1.4.1_05
  • JRE 1.4.1_07
  • JRE 1.4.2_03
  • JRE 1.4.2_04

Almost a mouthful isn't it?

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    On Monday, November 15th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

ILWWCM dreams and some reader feedback

I received a few emails on people dealing with the IBM Lotus Workplace Web Content Manager (ILWWCM) installations and wondering the best path to take.  But the best was an email telling what might be expected in future releases.  Keep in mind these are written in stone yet though.
it provides an automated installer amongst other new features - a Portal-based authoring UI, LDAP support for authors (through Portal)

So there is one thing I really would like to see, and I even commented on.  A more automated install.  I would rather have a nice long set of GUI screens where I enter data, that I can guarantee will go in the right place in the config files.  This way there is no guessing and missing.  Plus, there can be a nice final screen showing all the choices I made that should be easily comparable to a sheet from the install guide showing a sample basic installation.

Imagine a world free of touching config files? Almost like a Willy Wonka story isn't it?

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    On Thursday, November 11th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

ILWWCM question follow-up from the comments

Declan Lynch posted a good question in response to my posting yesterday.  He asked the following:
I'm currently doing a lot of work on the Domino version of LWWCM. The installation is a lot easier and is the better option if you already have a Domino infrastructure to take advantage of.  In terms of failover and load balancing how does the Java edition fair out ?

That is a fair question to ask actually and the answer can be the same depending on how you are storing the back end content.  Keeping in mind that the actual server itself still relies on Websphere, you must cluster there also to have the same availability that you would expect from Domino.  We won't even consider network issues yet.

I think that this part of the product has not been explored or addressed fully yet by IBM/Lotus.  They do get into caching, but not nearly enough for me to be comfortable with configurations and expectations of caching yet.

So to answer the question in simple terms before my brain wanders, I think they fair exactly the same at this point.  This reminds me of Sametime before Community Clusters were fully understood but yet people were looking to this to scale.

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    On Tuesday, November 9th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

ILWWCM installation completed and my thoughts

I started talking about the IBM Lotus Workplace Web Content Management 2 installation last week.  At that point in time I was incredibly frustrated also since the Citrix servers we were using for the installations decided to go AWOL on me.  Later on Thursday evening it was back and I was back to work.

After a brief walk, much "shoot the monster' on the PS2, my head was clearer and I could get back to working with the configuration files.  I don't much like the effort of having to go into text editor for .properties and .cfg files to place absolute paths.  There was even a large environment variable that had to be manually entered into the Windows system.  That to me just seems wrong that the install package doesn't account for that yet.  Troubleshooting a typographic error there could take some time.  Troubleshooting ones in the text editor is much simpler.

So, getting back to the story.  You have to place the path where you place ILWWCM files, the node information for Websphere in some places, the host name (for gosh sakes) and definitely the port information over and over.  I would think it should come with the host name (pulled from what you type in during install) and append the port.  Then there could be specific instructions on how to modify it outside of the standard if you so desire.  I did a lot of Find-Replace commands with Wordpad as I went through the instructions.

There are also lines that you comment and uncomment with the # sign, but that is not so unusual and did not concern me as much since this is not a GUI type managed configuration.

But once installed, the management screen was consistent throughout the steps I went through on customization.  Some of the menu items were not easy to grasp at first why you only saw certain documents, but flipping around I could find what I wanted.

More later, phone........

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    On Monday, November 8th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

E-Pro: IBM Lotus Workplace Web Content installations

Hello all, I find that filling in for Libby and coming up with the right topic is difficult. But the past two days gave me plenty to talk about. I spent Nov 4th and 5th installing and customizing my first install of IBM Lotus Workplace Web Content Management 2. It was quite the experience and time consuming.

The main part was the actual installation. For those of you who've done IBM Lotus Workplace at all, you know there are numerous pieces just for the basic functionality. ILWWCM holds its own there also. While the required software is much simpler, the time spent changing local configuration files is where you need to have patience and attention to detail. One wrong character and you can find yourself going back through every step. I would definitely use the Websphere error logs and some of the built-in scripts to test as you go along.

Having said that and finished the installation, I'll add that the user interface was nice and consistent across each area of the content management. You have to get used to refreshing the screen each time you add something new, as it does not do it for you automatically when saving. (That would be a big benefit). I bring this up because if you do not refresh and you try to use what you just created while in another component, it will not even show there.

You can head over to my blog for a fuller account of what transpired. Until then we will keep on guest blogging and await Libby's return!

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    On Sunday, November 7th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

IBM Lotus Workplace Web Content Manager 2 install

I am going through my first ILWWCM 2 installation.  This in turn brings back headaches and memories of my Lotus Workplace Messaging installation I talked about here.  So I am finding that the config files in the documentation still need a bunch of work and much of this should be automated.  There is too many config file changes that should be configured through GUI or part of the install itself.
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    On Thursday, November 4th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Something I am exploring with e-learning and RSS

We host a ton of e-learning for Lotus products here through what was LearningSpace and now into Lotus Workplace and the LMS (still).  To give a quick catch-up before I ramble on, basically when you log into LearningSpace as a student you have a page that covers "My courses".  Well instead of building this over and over, plus all the custom pages that companies want for courses, I decided that embarking at a better automated way was the answer.  So it came to me today as I was in Trillian reading blogs.  Yes Trillian.  I was reading feeds.

Well it hit me, why not have each course as an RSS stream for the synopsis, objectives and syllabus all put into a personal page.  SO as it changes in the course the homepage for the student then gets updated dynamically through RSS.  The teacher no longer has to worry about static information on the pages that the students will see.  This also affects changes to schedules and what will be covered when.  Classroom discussions could be RSS or even portlets in the course itself.

So I am starting this path, anyone already done something like this?
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    On Thursday, August 26th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Lotus Exam 820 is on the blocks and warming up

Lotus announced the planning and expected dates for Implementing and Administering IBM Lotus Workplace Messaging 2 Exam right here.  I would brush up on this new certification area for Workplace.  Exam 830 will focus on developing using the Lotus IBM Workplace Web Content Management in 2 for those developers that humor themselves to even read my blog for disturbing admin news. (I thought I would toss something out there to keep you appeased)

While the study guide is not ready yet, some basic suggested requirements and a redpaper are already released to get you started.  Also, as recently announced, Workplace 2 was pushed back some so you have even more time to get out there.  There will be some webcasts in July and August and I expect to see some practice tests sneak out too
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    On Wednesday, July 7th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Workplace 2.0 beta 3 still thriving

I have noticed a rash of site searches on Workplace 2 and the beta.  I imagine people are looking for updated information on how the install goes.  Well here is some quick points.
  • Just because you get a "Build Successful" in any of the scripts in Step 18, doesn't mean it actually was successful.  You will find you move on to the next manual script and it fails.  When you post this in the private beta forum, the response was, well go back and search for the work "Failed" in the last script.  What??  It said successful, right?  Then why would I search for failed?  Because, well, ummm, just do it.
  • The load time is enormous.  While you think you will set the land speed record for installation when you begin, you come to realize that 20-30 hours is a good thing for installation.  Doubt me?  Go ask Jason of CertFX who did the presentations for Admin2004 a month ago.
  • Make sure you have all the packages available (of the 20 or so required) and keep the sheet handy that shows what *.exe file maps to what package you need.  Without it you get lost easily.
  • Explode all the packages to the same directory for easier installation.  It will try to follow the path while looking for the next package.  That makes life a lot easier.
  • Make sure you configure your LDAP directory successfully before trying to link it together.  Follow the darn requirements for what version of what directory is supported.  Don't come crying when you tried to be sneaky and use another version of the LDAP product and suddenly authentication won't work.
  • Maintain lots of aspirin for the upcoming headaches, mainly generated from staring long hours at the screen and your head pounding on the desk.

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    On Monday, June 14th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Observations after first 5 hours of installation of Workplace 2 Beta 3

Yes I am aware this is beta code.  Yes I am aware this is beta code.  Yes I am aware this is beta code.

Just in case someone out there was going to say, but it is still beta man!  I  had great success going through the steps all the way to #18 so far.  But in 18 you must run some scripts from a command prompt that build stuff in the background.  There are four scripts listed on the page.  The first script run took about two minutes and had an error.  I found that one of the lines you have to manually specify from step #17 was case sensitive on the COM portion of the line.  It never mentions that but was the only difference I could find in the output log file (which yes you should use as the documentation states) and the actual line.  I fixed that but the second script ran for 37 minutes before it decided to fail.  I am troubleshooting that now but everything matches so far.  I will see.

My point is that wouldn't it be nice if these could be run in the background from a wizard where you fill in the necessary fields and then the properties file is configured and the scripts run to build everything.  Too much manual interaction in my opinion. Then it could read your input and just go about it's merry business.  No way for you to screw up an extra space or very insensitive case in the   COM:ibm:db2:jdbc:DB2ConnectionPoolDataSource  line for DbDriverDs for example.
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    On Friday, May 21st, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Workplace 2 beta 3 load began yesterday

Not bad so far.  As Jason Collier kindly pointed out and the documentation states, if you can get all the installation files into a common root directory, it will attempt to find the right package and just keep going through the install of each piece.  A much nicer enhancement this time around since they actually show you the "cd number" and part number in a table format in the release/install notes.  It makes life a ton easier.  Now keep in mind if you download all the files and prerequisites, you are talking like 5GB worth of data.  Enough to make someone mad if you dump it on the filer so you can access it anywhere in the office. (I am speaking from experience here folks).  When it is done installing they suggest you plan on it using 13GB of space before any data is inserted in there also.

That was your lunchhour update.  Back to regularly scheduled programming
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    On Thursday, May 20th, 2004   by Chris Miller        

Started the download of Workplace 2 beta 3

Let's say there is a lot of components to currently download.  A few GB for a fresh install.  Now I would hope that as the beta ends, the product install is put into cd's in some sort of order. Even if it takes multiple cd's, that is fine.  But downloading random pieces that have weird numbers (package numbers IBM assigns to software) locally is not conducive to a smooth install.  Jason Collier made a good point at Admin2004, that the install takes 20-30 hours for all the base parts.  The actual loading of the Workplace code is short (under a couple hours) in comparison.  If my blog ever gets read by anyone in the big wide IBM world, let's shoot for a set of numbered cd's that you install and it unpacks in order.  Mainly if you plan on enterprises moving into this.  Now I have seen that this beta release is much more feature rich that previously, don't get me wrong there.  I just think a packaging and distribution issue remains.
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    On Tuesday, May 18th, 2004   by Chris Miller