So THAT’S what it’s about

“A New Way To Work” – all of us in the IBM mail space have heard the phrase and seen presentations but does it actually mean anything to me – a set in her ways mail and calendar user who just wants mail to work and be fast?

In the past few months I have been using Verse On Premise in its beta form as well as the beta versions of Verse for iOS.  I had previously played around with Verse in the cloud but since my 20 year old mail file is on our Domino servers, the majority of my mail and searching activity was done via Notes and Traveler.  iNotes was never a client of choice for me.  I don’t archive mail very often (alright never) and so there’s a lot of history there.

So what have I found? I absolutely love Verse.  It’s fast and the layout is clean but as promised there are features that are so ridiculously useful** they have literally changed how I work for example

  1. Flagging for “needs action”  via a single click which then lets me set an action date for today, tomorrow, a week or other
  2. At the same time I can add a  personal note to the  message that travels with it,  and is visible when reading it in Verse.
  3. I can then remove the  message from my inbox by clicking on it.
  4. Viewing just those messages that need action which are automatically categorised by “today”, “tomorrow” etc.
  5. All of that, the action, the date, even the private notes transfer to Verse for iOS on my phone and iPad.

Add to all of this is the fact that it’s my same mail file on my same Domino servers. I could and can still open using the Notes client, using iNotes, even using Outlook if I want.  There are lots of things to enjoy about Verse and everyone works differently, but this is one group of features that live up to the hype of having tricked me without noticing into a new way of working ūüôā

** no screenshots in here as it’s advanced beta still under NDA but the features have been shown publicly and hopefully will be in final product

You Lie! Error Messages and When To Ignore Them

Building Connections this week and troubleshooting some errors reminded me to share the process I have adopted when dealing with IBM error messages – which is to treat them as hints that can set you on the right path but also send you badly down the wrong one.

Problem 1:

Installing Connections itself via Installation Manager.  One of steps during the install requires you to specify the DB2 server, the database names and credentials to connect to them.  I click validate and it fails  with error CLFRP0030E and launch error!.  That points to this technote which says I left a space after the hostname for the DB2 server.

I absolutely didn’t leave a space and didn’t copy/paste. ¬†Just in case (and working on the assumption that it’s always me and not the product) I cleared it all and typed carefully again. I confirmed the hostname was correct and could be reached. ¬†I also relaunched Installation Manager and started from the beginning. ¬†No luck.

It’s ¬†at this point I have to accept the error is referring to something else and that’s all the information I’m going to get from Installation Manager. ¬†So now I move to asking myself “what if I saw no error but it just failed to connect”. ¬†Well the first answer to that is to check if the connection details, hostname, credentials etc actually work at all. ¬† Having confirmed the hostname and ports (there were no firewalls turned on or virus software), I logged into the DB2 server and checked the LCUSER account. Locked out. ¬†I unlocked the account and the install then completed.

Problem 2

The test server in this environment is one box with everything DB2, TDI and all the applications on it. ¬†My base WebSphere install was WAS 8.5.5 FP10 since Connections System Requirements for WebSphere 8.5.5 says FP8 and higher and I wanted to test that out. Everything installed fine right up to when I went to install Connections Surveys. ¬†That’s when I hit a 2 day brick wall. ¬†Installation Manager couldn’t connect to the Deployment manager despite it being on the same server.

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-18-26-10

Well that’s odd. ¬†Deployment manager is running. ¬†The hostname resolves. The port is listening. I try to find out what the system requirements are for Connections Surveys but for 2 days last week and through the weekend the IBM system requirements pages for Survey were down. ¬†I’m stubborn so I won’t let it go. ¬†Even the Forms Experience Builder requirements for earlier versions were down. ¬†So eventually I had to leave it and move onto the production build. The work needs completing and I was suspicious that the issue might have been installing everything on one server.

I build production across 4 servers and this time I stick with WebSphere 8.5.5 FP8 just in case.  When I get to the Surveys install it goes without a hitch.  So back to the test server I go.  Roll back Websphere to 8.5.5.0 and then forwards to FP8 (thank you Installation Manager!).  Surprise surprise Surveys installed perfectly.

So. Not an issue connecting to deployment manager or port or the server running but instead “Connections Surveys cannot install onto WebSphere 8.5.5.10 at all.