Tuesday, November 17, 2009

8.5.1 the panacea?

The Notes 8.5.1 client is out, I've been using it for a while and I can honestly say I'm happy with it. I'm not overjoyed, but that might be thanks to the hardware I'm running it on presently. It's a big step forward from 7.x, and small step forward from 8.x and light years away from my first Notes client, 3.1 on OS/2. Mind you I'm still using Windoze and that's enough to drive anyone mental after all these years.
Going to make the jump to Lotusphere 2010 - can't afford not to go, even if it costs more than a two week vacation in Hawaii . . . .

Saturday, February 21, 2009

IBM gets the message?(sic)

So IBM is finally bringing out its DAOS tool for Domino servers, giving customers the option to use a Single Copy Object Store for their attachment storage. All this will do it help exacerbate the problem with inefficient use of email for document storage!
As with many other vendors, IBM/Lotus has a wide array of solutions for messaging and collaboration, but incorporating this option into the messaging toolset in Domino will in my mind reduce the potential for their Quickr product which, amongst other things, asks users if they really want to send attachments and gives them the option to use Quickr to store the attachment(s) and send links to the recipients instead. Quickr gives options to manage files in a collaborative fashion that is far more efficient than using email, but DAOS encourages users to store (and share) more data via email than before. And email will be the only way to get to the data (which means people will save copies in their local/network file systems ending up with duplicates in the environment anyway!). Quickr gives many more options (File Explorer access, Quickr space access via browser etc) and allows options for check-in & check-out and versioning. DAOS doesn't.
I'm sure someone will read this and disagree, but I'm not convinced that DAOS is all that great a solution for Domino Admins out there. It's not even moving goalposts - it creates another set on an ever expanding playing field that is constantly morphing out of control . . . . .

Mobility Features

Not quite gotten Traveler rolling yet - still working on finding a server to use! I'm using WM6 phones almost exclusively these days (thanks to a very generous friend) and want to get traveler going on at least one device to see how it looks. Problem is I don't have a server right now and the place I'm working at doesn't have the facility either :-( but I will continue to figure out a way to do it even if it means adding it to a customer server for evaluation on their behalf.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Outlook at home . . . .

Read Ed Brill's blog entry about the old "Everyone uses outlook at home" adage for pro-M$ folks when looking at email platforms. Interesting insights from a few, some bashing from more than a few, and same old same old from the rest.
In my house Outlook doesn't exist - Express or otherwise - and hasn't done so for many years. I use T-Bird and I've set up my wife's PC to use the same. My machines go one step further - both have Open Office and neither have MS Office! I'm working to remove all MS products from the systems we have but the one stumbling block will be moving to Linux - it may take some new hardware and parallel running to convince my better half it's worth it . . ..

Monday, April 7, 2008

My life with Notes/Domino

There's a thing going around Notes folks on the web talking about how they got started with Notes so I guess I should add my story to the mix.
I was working at a retail bank in Scotland in a group that handled all the non-mainframe systems in the IT Division. As was the norm, we were heavy IBM users so when they pitched Notes to us we bit. My first environment consisted of 14 servers in three locations, running R3 on OS/2 1.1/2.0. The fun part was the use of TCP/IP and Anynet (precursor to IP subnets) to connect the locations together over X.25 . . . .
Since then I've worked at IBM as a contractor handling PartnerInfo servers in Europe, pre-sales engineer for a software company that sold a Domino Server management tool (got me a move to the US!), IT Manager and consultant for IBM BPs in California and Arizona, started my own consulting practice and currently in tech sales for another software company. All the while I've been working with Lotus Notes/Domino.
My claim to fame is I have only had 16 hrs of formal training for Lotus products over the years - R3 Sys Admin 1, 15 years ago . . . . .

Monday, March 31, 2008

BBC on WM6

Somehow I managed to lay my grubby paws on an HTC Kaiser (also known as the AT&T Tilt) and I've update the ROM on it so it has Blackberry Connect. It's not the same as the RIM client, but it's still push email which is what I wanted. It's also got me thinking about the kind of apps I'd like to see on a phone . . . . and I can get the MS toolkits I need if I want. All I have to do is find some time. . . . . .

Monday, March 17, 2008


I want it so bad. Or maybe I want BB Connect on a WM6 phone. One or the other would do. But I don't have a server to install Traveller on, so I guess it'll have to be BBC. But I don't have a phone that I can get a WM6 image for with BBC on it. Maybe I need to contact a friend who can find me the suitable phone!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Notes 8 - good enough for your kids?

RIM decided to remove some of the features of the Desktop Manager in their upgrade to 4.3, most notably (for me) was the removal of Synchronization support for Lotus Organizer. My wife and I have been using Blackberrys (ies?) for years now and since I refuse to use Outlook on any household machine we've used Organizer 6 since well I can't remember when. With 4.3, the support for this and other calender/contact managers "goes away" which leaves me in somewhat of a quandary . . . . move to Notes8 for household email/calender/contacts or keep rolling with Thunderbird for email and switch to Notes for calendar/contacts? I should be using Notes for my domestic and work email, but I have 11 email addresses spread over 7 domains and Notes is, to say the least, not the best at dealing with multiple email addresses forget about domains in a client unlike T-bird.
Which brings me to my question of the day. How can IBM Lotus make a serious move into the collegiate/small business/domestic market (which I believe have similar usage demographics) without having an email client that can support multiple addresses and domains to send from without the need of a server or switching location docs. Even Outlook can do this now! I heard a lot about the re-focusing of sales efforts towards the true (not IBM's past view) Small to Medium Business market (<100 style="font-weight: bold;">any other email client because they've been using it since high-school or college. Not because the other client isn't any better - familiarization is what it's all about - if you're comfortable with it and it does what you need (whether you could do more with another client is another story) then why would you want to change? I've used Notes for 15 years now and I'm comfortable with it. I use Outlook in a new job and I hate it. It's not intuitive (to me) perhaps because I've used Notes for so long. Or perhaps it's because it isn't intuitive - I've used thousands of apps through the years both inside and outside of the Lotus catalog and Outlook ranks up there with the least well designed UIs I've ever seen. IBM Lotus needs to back up the Sales and Marketing effort with a product flexible enough to suit domestic, small business and enterprise users in a single package. It would be very nice to see, but I guess I won't be hlding my breath . . . .

Exchange to Domino/Outlook to Notes migrations

So I've read lately about companies moving to Notes/Domino from Outlook/Exchange and it's interesting to hear that the transitions seem to be much smoother in that direction than in the opposite. Might be something to do with the fact that Notes/Domino is so much more than just email, something that most folks don't get. That can be shown by Microsoft's strategy to get people on Exchange at any cost, leaving many organizations with another platform to support and maintain (Exchange) and still retain a collaboration platform (Notes/Domino) for an extended period while they work out how to migrate to .Net or even if it is possible. In my limited experience with Domino -> .Net migrations, I've had to export all the data out from a database to an Excel spreadsheet or Access Database in order that it can be imported into the .Net app. Since 9x.x% of .Net developers can't spell NotesAPI but most Notes/Domino devs work with Java then the move from non-Notes to Notes/Domino appears to be a less laborious process.
I'll wait for the flames (if anyone reads this!) . . . . . . . .

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A "New" Transporter Suite from M$?

Am I the only one to have noticed this? M$ have released yet another version of their Transporter suite to allegedly migrate to Exchange from Domino and/or "generic" POP3/IMAP email systems. They managed to sneak in the announcement on opening day of Lotusphere . . . . . Judging by their previous attempts this is not likely to fit the billing . . . I guess I'll have to wait for Paul Mooney to rip it apart!