ICS/Lotus (mostly), Linux, Travel, Skiing, Mixology, and Random Musing of Interest

Notes Domino Templates Get Slated for an Update. Here’s the Roadmap

Bill Malchisky  October 3 2016 12:05:00 AM
This is the first of two roadmap posts I authored for release this week. Beyond my post last month where I covered lightly that templates would be upgraded, Barry Rosen provided an updated roadmap with two slides covering just Notes Domino Templates. For simplicity, I copy-pasted the prose from the first slide to make it searchable, and appended the time table slide for the second. Nice to see some progress here too. Nice to see that they are filling in the hole created previously from multiple areas.

Templates Roadmap

* The templates would be posted in Fix Central and not packaged with the fix pack installer.
* You will be able to optionally download them to upgrade templates
* Template releases would be aligned to the next closest fix pack release
* Only templates which have changes would be released
* The changes would need to include fixes needed for corresponding core/java [sic] fixes in the Notes fix pack.
* There will be one zip file for English and another for multi languages (possible one each for G1,G2 and G3 languages) posted.

Image:Notes Domino Templates Get Slated for an Update. Here’s the Roadmap

Staying at The Top of Google Searches for Smart Phones

Bill Malchisky  September 29 2016 12:10:00 AM
Although quality web developers have known for a while, Google wants you to be mobile friendly. Thus, if you want to stay at the top of Google web searches when the customer uses a smart phone, then your web site must display well on mobile phones. If not, Google will lower your weighting and you'll suddenly show farther down the list versus when the same search is performed on a desktop.

But never fear, Google offers a free tool to check your site. As I thought this tool is handy, I wanted to provide it for you and see if it might assist with volunteer work you might do, when on-the-job, or even checking your competitors' site(s).

Here are a few quick searches and their results: as expected all three are successful.

Image:Staying at The Top of Google Searches for Smart Phones 

Image:Staying at The Top of Google Searches for Smart Phones 

 
 Image:Staying at The Top of Google Searches for Smart Phones




Awesome Linux Reference Sheets for Developers (and Administrators)

Bill Malchisky  September 27 2016 10:01:00 AM
A blog post for developers? Yes! Though it is not my first and will not be my last, it has been awhile. As an admin, this reference sheet is also helpful. I learned of a great Vim (vi Improved) reference sheet recently. There is a lot of information on a single sheet of paper, organized quite well and easy to use. If you need a handy reference sheet for vi commands... this is a good one to review. Although it works great in color, but he also offers a gray scale version and one for those with red/green color blindness: all in PDF and Excel.
Get the Vim reference sheet for programmers here.

The author links a four additional reference documents, and I thought I would include them below, along with the Vim Wiki. Each is a quality offering, allowing you to get the information in a way that works for you.


Additional References

Vim Wiki
Handy two-sided collated reference, with eight foreign language translations
An excellent end-user graphical keyboard, with succeeding images illustrating keyboard combinations; quite an amazing reference page
Command Reference Mind Map
Collated web site command reference and the Advanced version

Image:Awesome Linux Reference Sheets for Developers (and Administrators)

IMSMO 2.0 (Project Hawthorn) Expands Client Offerings, Crash Avoidance Tip, and an Updated Schema

Bill Malchisky  September 26 2016 10:30:00 PM
On Thursday, 22 September, IBM Social Business Community Call where Luis Guirigay, Barry Rosen, and Scott Vrusho provided a quality session on IMSMO 2.0, IBM re-announced to a larger international audience new support for Outlook 2010 and 2016. This is exciting news to hear. At ICON US in May, Luis Guirigay stated that the new expanded client support would happen this year and at MWLUG 2016, IBM officially made the announcement--keeping their promise. In my working with the product over the past 12 months, I am happy to have version two released and on-time (also as promised), while seeing consistent enhancements through fix packs.

To ensure currency, below are some links to provide additional information on IMSMO client support, how to avoid a crash on Linux x64 with ND9.0.1 FP7, and of course, the current schema image.

Referenced Documents

1. Fix List for IBM mail support for Microsoft Outlook (IMSMO) clients ->  http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21989448
 -- Section 2.0 Fix Pack 1 (2.0.0.1) provides new clients listings
2. Download Options for Notes & Domino 9.0.1 Fix Packs ->  http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24037141
3. For x64 Linux, upgrade Traveler & IMSMO servers to IMSMO 2.0.0.2 before upgrading to Domino 9.0.1 Fix Pack 7 (or later) to avoid a potential crash; Technote 1990034 explains further
  --> http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21990034
4. Microsoft Outlook Client Requirements http://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSKTMJ_9.0.1/user_imsmo/use_IMSMO_mail_reqs.html

Notations

A. IMSMO 2.0.0.2 server provides all fixes included within Traveler Server 9.0.1.14
   --> http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21989877
B. For 2.0.0.1, it provides the Traveler Server 9.0.1.13 fixes -> http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21700212


IMSMO Slides to Share

Two slides to share in this post covering architecture and part numbers. I like the first slide slide as it quite clearly shows you what both vendors bring to the table to get the solution working, while highlighting the use of IBM's new SyncML conduit to move data sans Microsoft's Active Sync technology.

Image:IMSMO 2.0 (Project Hawthorn) Expands Client Offerings, Crash Avoidance Tip, and an Updated Schema


IMSMO Part Numbers, both client and server side. If you want the software, knowing all the part numbers desired for your environment can make the acquisition process easier.
Note:
Below are for version 2.0.0.1 only, and requested from the presenter to get a slide with the 2.0.0.2 part numbers. Upon receipt, I will update this post.

Image:IMSMO 2.0 (Project Hawthorn) Expands Client Offerings, Crash Avoidance Tip, and an Updated Schema

Thanks for reading.

IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features

Bill Malchisky  September 22 2016 11:54:05 PM
Preface
In my previous two blog posts pertaining to Verse On-premises (VOP), please note that a few of the items below were covered here previously. This serves as a metric to ascertain what key items are likely to remain. As cited here on July 18, 2016, IBM is fully committed to and on-track to make a year-end release for this product. IBM is discussing a lot of new VOP items at events in multiple cities/countries; for example MWLUG in Austin, TX. Much of what I reported on August 3, 2016 remains true. Below you will find an updated schema along with new features that are being discussed publicly in this blog post.


Disclaimer

Please note that everything in the post is now being discussed in-public by IBM and is provided outside, separate and distinct from any information I gained by being in the Verse On Premises beta program. The slides and content are posted with permission from Uffe Sorensen and Barry Rosen, the ICON UK Presenters.


Foundational Topics of Interest

* Release date is December 2016, which is aligned with my original posts from July and August
* Verse Offline Support - released March 2016, locally encrypted local mail store

Image:IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features


Help and Learning New Features

* On the Help tab (?), "What's New [x]" let's you know about what changed recently... and the number of new items
* The "?" button will have a red dot next to it when new items are available and then upon selecting the menu option, the program will walk you through the GUI to display the feature(s), plus a pop-up window with the text description of each new feature

Image:IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features

* Monthly on the IBM Knowledge Center will include new features in the current month, making it easy to create an internal newsletter for your users.


Additional Value

* Consistency with cloud offering
* Secure offline browser access
* No need for a rich client, if you choose
* Domino application access via ICAA or Notes
* Low-bandwidth option for high-latency environments/countries
* Integration and extensibility to match future cloud capabilities; add your applications to the menu (within Compose), business card, and while reading mail, for example; more features and increased options being developed


Schema

New updated architectural schema (which may change again):
* The API is new
* Need Domino 9.0.1 FP7+, which provides over 100 fixes, VOP API hooks, NRPC port encryption, and JVM 1.8 runtime upgrade capability
* Connections 5.5 CR1, which is optional, for Files, Profiles, Preview, Business Cards, and Team Analytics

Image:IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features

* Techline is available for sizing needs; it is akin to an iNotes deployment methodology, which should make Domino administrators very happy.


Future Items

* Prioritized Inbox (1H preview)
* Action support (1H, preview) - system identifies key actions from emails and helps users complete them; partners can configure the system to identify actions from 3rd party solutions
* "Cognitive shown in white"



Image:IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features

* Bluemix model can be added with cognitive for on-premises but may introduce a future charge - stay tuned; this capability is more complex and thus, the increased design consideration by IBM to get it correct is necessitated
* Future updates for Verse on-premises add-ins: provided via a separate zip file from FPs, but there may be some back-end features deployed through Domino FPs
* Sametime presence awareness under consideration, post-GA
* Language support: English first, then all languages will be provided; VOP will be available in all cloud based languages; future features are dependent upon the language schedule roll-out to teach and code Watson to make it aware of them. English, German, Japanese (funded by two local companies); huge cost to teach a language to Watson, but it is a prerequisite and IBM wants to do this. Relevant as VOP is dependent upon Watson for the cognitive aspects

Thanks for reading. Let me know your thoughts. Have a great day!

Image:IBM Verse On-premises Third Post: Updated Schema, New Features

A Conversation with Barry Rosen, at IBM: Part II

Bill Malchisky  September 21 2016 12:01:00 AM
UPDATE: Wording change on the IBM Notes Template bullet to read "... getting some development love" plus a new appended sentence to indicate more accurately the type of changes that are slated.


Below is the completion of my interview with Barry Rosen, IBM Offering Manager for ICS. Enjoy!

Notes 9.0.2 and Feature Packs

* As indicated in the slide yesterday, the entire feature set of 9.0.2 will not be released into one Feature Pack (FP), but over four. Yes, the next four FPs will introduce what 9.0.2 would have offered. For some, this may be an eternity. Here is how I look at it: If we waited for 9.0.2 to actually be released, we would be looking at a late Q2 '17 release date at the earliest, based upon IBM not even evaluating the build's probability until Q1 '17. Instead, with the FP model we are getting some features now, others in Q1 '17, for starters. So, through the FP model, we are getting needed features faster with a much lower price point for IBM. Point releases are ridiculously expensive to deploy, whereas FPs are very cost-effect, while allowing the deployment resources to stay focused on development and testing. I like this model as it will keep ICS limber and more readily able to release software in a manner akin to the smart phone update release model we all enjoy.

* IBM had an issue with ND9 FP7, initially discovered with iNotes by Ulrich Krause, who created the SPR and then blogged by Daniel Nashed. Then, I provided Ulrich's PMR and correlated SPR data to Barry, who stated IBM will make its resolution a priority.

* The IBM i partners I know are concerned with the lack of attention the more stable and more scalable operating environments receive. In an effort to comprehend this, we discussed how IBM determines what creates popularity for a Domino platform, and the bias the current system introduces. The current metric rewards instability while penalizing stable scalable operating systems and this needs to change. If one can operate 100k mail users on one Power System box running IBM i, and the Windows equivalent would need a server farm, you are going to get more Windows PMRs. It lacks prudence in my opinion and based upon my experience to then say that there exists fewer users/decreased interest on i, AIX, or z/OS boxes simply because they are successful.

Please note this process applies to new offerings only. Existing products such as Domino 9.0.1 and Sametime 9.0.1 will continue to support the IBM i Platform


* How are Feature Packs helping IBM i, for example? With new products being in-scope for the opened PMR metric, existing products keeping their deployment platforms. Thus, with 9.0.1 FP{n}, IBM i will have a build. If IBM actually went to ND 9.0.2, IBM i, AIX, and z/OS would need exceptions and evaluated before a release could be considered, let alone be offered. So, by bypassing 9.0.2, IBM i lives with Domino, Traveler, and Sametime through Feature Packs. Enjoy the longevity.

* To reiterate the IBM product support announcement from mid-September, IBM Notes and Domino is alive and well. People may choose to spin things based upon what they think they know, or want to believe by how they read the prose. Instead, rather than espouse conjecture factually, I prefer to go to the source, learn sans a filter, and draw my own conclusions. I did that here with Barry. Notes has life, it will have life, and will be one of several methods of accessing a Domino back-end for years to come. That is a fact. Others may choose to split hairs based upon what they wanted to see in the announcement and did not. What I want to know is if the products I love and invested so much still have legs, and they do. This announcement confirmation represents more communication than we received in the previous years combined. It clearly is an imperfect announcement, but it is a good starting point--from my perspective and happy to receive it along with the confirmation of the IBM Offering Manager for ICS. Having stated all of this, I know all too well of the current market landscape and that IBM must turn-around the market quickly. Again, your opinion may differ herein and I am happy to hear it.


Image:A Conversation with Barry Rosen, at IBM: Part II


* Where is the Domino FP timeline? That document is currently being finalized for release. Upon receipt, I will post it on this site.

* Notes Templates are getting some development love. Yes, that is correct! The core templates will all be getting new life in a very near future Feature Pack. Barry is currently building a list of items to include and what needs to be completed for each. From here, he did confirm his commitment to fix what was broken, one step at a time. "Changes correlate to 9.0.2 features and fixes" --Barry Rosen.



Image:A Conversation with Barry Rosen, at IBM: Part II

Last But Not Least

Auditing process
- as we all know, no one has an issue with IBM ensuring license compliance with paying customers, it is the approach the auditing team takes that creates the problem. A year ago at Social Connections in Boston, the audience via several business partners from three continents offered their take on how the process could be improved and how it is costing IBM loyal customers. Fast forward til September, 2016, the situation's complexity is now better understood by IBM and they want to change it. Happy to learn that Barry and his team understand the problem and seek to address it--despite the fact that it is larger than ICS, you need someone to support the cause.


Part II Summary

IBM knows they have a lot of work to do. With new leadership and management, come the opportunity for positive change. Big Blue understands now, that they made some serious mistakes in 2013-2015, and are now, addressing them. I know the schedule delays, Feature Pack schedule from here, loss of customer base, loss of trust, and increased frustration generated previously may seem like 'too little, too late'. For me, with what I personally witnessed and learned this past week in London and over 2016, I am firmly in the camp of encouragement. IBM should not expect a clean slate from the community, but I personally like the changes I am witnessing and am optimistic for the future of ICS. Thank you to Barry for his candor and being so generous with his time. I would like to hear your opinion.

A Conversation with Barry Rosen, at IBM: Part I

Bill Malchisky  September 20 2016 12:02:00 AM
During ICON UK 2016 in London, I took some time to talk with the IBM Offering Manager for ICS covering IBM Notes, Domino, Verse on Premises, and Sametime, Barry Rosen. Our initial Q&A turned into about a 30 minute dialogue, which I found quite informative. With his permission, I am posting the more interesting parts of our conversation, in summary format from my perspective.


Acknowledging Reality to Reset the Norm

IBM recognizes --- as do their customers and BPs --- that over the previous three years, they became a "rudderless ship [drifting]". With Inhi Cho Suh's leadership, ICS is clearing a massive backlog of items needing attention. She is focused on making dates and that mantra is lucid with her team. What we are now seeing is an ICS developing products while committing to release dates and unlike in years past they are making these dates. Project Hawthorn 2.0 (IMSMO) and ND7 FP7 both delivered as promised, along with IBM Verse On-premises definitely on schedule for a year-end release--and with the new internal design structure, the fastest out-the-door release of any product.  In June 2016, IBM stated that ND 9.0.2 would be re-evaluated in Q1 '17 due to resource constraints all focused on Verse on Premises. Then, IBM changed their mind when they switched to the Feature Pack delivery model and started releasing those features sooner than later (more on that Part II).

From here, IBM needs to address the application development side, repairing the perception of disparity with Office 365, Feature Pack quality, commence marketing the brand, and regain trust. With such a backlog, it will take time, and no matter how IBM ordered the list of items to accomplish, many people will say they are doing it incorrectly. For me, it is important that they are getting things done--the order for me is less important than making progress and keeping their word going forward.


Application Development

1. Application development's strategy is gaining momentum and will be released---perhaps later than many would like and I can understand that, but again, this is one of many items in the backlog needing attention. And development is getting attention--both within ICS and in the community. You don't have to go any further than my friend, David Leedy's blog post on features missing on the Dev side to understand the significance of this data point;

2. To address the need, IBM is making a big announcement in Q4 about development. This, I believe, would be a compliment to the September 2016 ICS announcement about Notes and Domino being actively developed, maintained, and supported til at least 2021. Why so long? With the new management changes in ICS, it will take a couple months for teams to learn their new roles, define a vision and execute it;

I'm not being defensive of IBM, just being realistic with how long things can take. I know many of my developer friends will be either irked or perturbed with such a delay, but I would rather receive this information this year when then can commit to it, rather than hearing something now that never happens;


3. Java 8. I know many people wanted to have this feature in FP7, or earlier and they have a fair point. See the rudderless ship comment above to know why it's delayed. The good news is that IBM committed publicly to include Java 8 in FP8, due in January '17.

Image:A Conversation with Barry Rosen, at IBM: Part I
Part I Summary

IBM has a new cadence now for releasing items and they will build trust through delivery. Otherwise, in a year, we may all be looking for a new line of work.

See  you tomorrow!

My Two ICON UK 2016 Session Decks

Bill Malchisky  September 19 2016 09:00:00 AM
What a great few days in London. Once again, the entire team there did a great job to offer the IBM Community an excellent learning opportunity. Thank you as well to the quality sponsors that committed to ensure this user group would happen. The organizers and the sponsors all deserve our gratitude. From that, I spoke at two sessions:

Day 1 - co-presented with Keith Brooks
Migration:Impossible... Not so


Day 2 - co-presented with Serdar Basegmez
Back from the Dead: When Bad Code Kills a Good Server


The slides are available here, along with session abstracts. Thank you for the interest.

Image:My Two ICON UK 2016 Session Decks

IBM Verse On-premises Architecture and Insight

Bill Malchisky  August 3 2016 12:30:00 AM
Yesterday, IBM provided a preview call for select customers covering IBM Verse On-premises (VOP). Those in attendance were amongst the first to receive updated particulars on this product. I explicitly asked and received permission to provide this information. Here is a subset of relevant items discussed/presented.

Disclaimer: As certain features are still being developed, anything and everything below is subject to change. The data below reflects what was presented to me and is believed to be accurate at the time of this writing.

Image:IBM Verse On-premises Architecture and Insight


Data Points
* IBM professed that the installation would be easy (second body paragraph in that post); from the diagram above and responses provided on the call, they are keeping to that promise
* The Indexing Service will be one of two options: Domino or another DB
   ** I asked if that would be No-SQL or an RDBMS? IBM offered that it would be either Domino or a simple No-SQL indexing solution; for me, this is very encouraging
* SOLR is used with Verse Cloud for high-speed searching, but is neither required for Verse on-premises nor should it be perceived as such; again, it will be a simple indexing service or Domino to run it
* IBM Techline will be Verse On-premises trained and knowledgeable very soon; so those with Techline access will be able to receive information on server sizing, for example
* Connections is optional. What it provides is the ability to receive the faces features at the top of the mail client, the Me to We capability, and sharing messages in a social space, for example
   ** If you incorporate Connections, you must use Connections 5.5; older versions omit enhanced key features that Verse On-Premises requires
* Fix Packs
   ** The latest Domino fixpack will be required; which will be either FP7 or FP8
   ** Domino FP7 has a target release date of August 27th, +- a couple of days
   ** Domino FP8 is well underway with planning, and may or may not be available in-time for the Nov/Dec VOP release
 

Pricing
* IBM is looking to provide entitlements and keep it affordable
* Will be available in Passport Advantage as a option for all customers that are current on their licenses and support costs


I will blog more as I learn more and am permitted to do so. Once I enter the VOP beta program later this week, I may not be able to write as much as I would like (if at all). Let me know your thoughts.

IBM Verse On-Premises Coming Soon

Bill Malchisky  July 18 2016 07:00:00 PM
Today, IBM's VP - Offering Management and Design for IBM Collaboration Solutions (ICS), Ed Brill announced that select customer sites are using the Verse on-premises beta. This shows that since announced at Social Connections 10 in Toronto (Jun '16), they made adjustments to the 2016 calendar release schedule to better focus on priorities with a defined plan. The previous few years, it became painfully clear to business partners and some customers that the development team lost focus, impacting quality. Since the tenure of Inhi Cho Suh as the ICS General Manager in January '16, things are definitely different for the better. Despite Notes Domino 9.0.2 being delayed (again) til 2017, the on-premises version of Verse is a welcome piece in the ICS puzzle of innovation. In my opinion, this shows that despite some frustration with previous delays, IBM is keeping its word now and is focused on delivering quality products to its customers. The targeted release for Verse on-premises is December 2016; so with a customer beta now, IBM would appear to be on-track to make that milestone.

Additionally, I also learned at the Social Connections 10 Ask IBM session that the installation for IBM Verse on-premise is easy. "Very easy," as one product manager offered, and told me that he tested it himself. That is a nice change from what we learned a year ago in Boston for Social Connections 8, when IBM stated the installation would deviate from the normal Domino upgrade administrators preferred, and move into the IBM Connections/Sametime installation camp--in-terms of complexity. Great to see that IBM also evolved this part of the release model. To be fair, I do not have particulars on whether the test was on a plain vanilla environment or a more complex infrastructure when upgrading, but the installation message is more zealous than a year ago: a good sign.

All in all, I would say good news on two counts. Good luck to IBM on making the year-end release with easy installation and upgrade paths.

Image:IBM Version On-Premises Coming Soon

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