Lotus Greenhouse Shutting Down – And What That Means For Me..

So if you login to Greenhouse now you will see a note saying that it will be retired in late 2015 or early 2016.  Although IBM have always said Greenhouse was a temporary environment and I assume they now want people using the Connections Cloud environment, this is going to be a big loss.   I’m hoping they have plans to replace the community that exists there.  I’m hoping even more they have plans to put the Solutions Catalog which is the only place to find downloads of the Connections plugins and even Connections Mail.  That last one makes me very twitchy.

…. Plus taking away Greenhouse removes the option for potential customers to test technology before committing (oh yes unless they have a cloud account, which isn’t so easy to get).

You have a plan for all of this right IBM? Like migrating everyone to a new environment where the solutions catalog still exists?  Like moving all the beta and idea discussion forums somewhere we can still get at them ?  Right?

There Has To Be A Better Way

I subscribe to IBM notifications for software. That means that every day I receive at least two, or more usually 4 notifications.  The reason I receive more than one? I apparently have two accounts on the IBM site, one for my email address which lets me open PMRs and see technotes and one for my IBM ID which  lets me download software and log into Partnerworld. Let’s not go there. I’ve spent 2 years escalating that to get it resolved and am now accepting of it 🙂

I have a customer who today reported NSDs on the HTTP task – well I know they are on the very latest fixes and patches so when I get a software report this afternoon with titles like “DOMINO SERVER CRASH ON HTTP” obviously I immediately want to go look at a new problem.  Unfortunately when I click on the link in the email I am told to login to the IBM Site before I can see the problem.  When I do that (and use the wrong ID) it tells me I’m a member of Partnerworld but not allowed to see technical support documents.  So I shut down my browser and try again with the other ID.  Finally the document opens up and this is what I see

Local fix
Problem summary
Problem conclusion
Temporary fix
Comments
This APAR is associated with SPR# PEJA9ZXRWJ.

That’s right. Nothing.  No problem detail, No Domino version or OS detail, No resolution. Nothing.  I click on the next problem in the email and get a similar technote.

I want to help IBM support their customers, I want to support my customers.  If there isn’t more information just don’t publish the technote because at this point it’s not a technote, it’s just a problem.  I have problems.  I hope that IBM only tells me of solutions.

Surely there’s a better way ?

Determining Connections Versions

As I start a new Healthcheck today I thought I’d share a tip with you.  One of the first things I do when coming clean to someone’s Connections environment is try and determine what’s installed, including CRs and fixes.  Installation Manager is good at telling you what it installed but less so if you installed fixes outside of its interface.  There are other methods too like checking the version logs and reading the about.jsp, but it can be fiddly to piece together all the information.

One of the best resources I’ve found is an IBM technote from this July which shows how to identify exactly what fixes and CRs are installed.  The most comprehensive is updateSilent which produces a report on screen of every version, CR and iFix.  Here’s the table of what each utility can do.

Identifying Connections

The updateSilent utility is run from with the updaterInstaller directory under your Connections install and the command is:

sh updateSilent (bat or sh depending on your OS) -fix -installDir <ConnectionsInstallDir>

You may have to set WAS_HOME first before it will run so my commands in Linux are:

WAS_HOME=/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer

export WAS_HOME

sh updateSilent.sh -fix -installDir /opt/IBM/Connections

It will then output to screen every CR and iFix that exists.