Think-Ing From Far Away Pt4 – It’s All Connections

Today’s podcast of Think-ing from far away is all about Connections.  We have heard so much news coming out of Think already regarding Connections so we were joined by Sandra Buehler from Belsoft and Wannes Rams from Ramsit – both kindly sat on the floor in a quiet corner of the Moscone Center!.  We were also joined by Chris Reckling who leads the design team in Littleton MA to talk about what’s new and what’s coming.

The Connections podcast is here

What is new with CR4, what’s coming with CR5, how to work with customiser and how to register for the design jams rolling out this year starting in April and May.

A great summary page of all that’s new in Connections

Register for one of the IBM Connections in person design “jams”

Keep an eye on the Social Connections site for the announcement of where the European even in September this year with a keynote from Richard Jefts will be held.

Great to hear so much news from Community and developments continuing to progress fast during the transitiion from IBM to HCL.

Next up: Connections from Think 2019 !

Follow Twitter

⁦@IBM @ Think

@IBMSocialBiz

@IBMChampions

#Think2019

#IBMThink2019

@HCL_CollabDev

@IBMLive

@planetlotus 

IBM Champions- All – List

Blogs

PlanetLotus http://planetlotus.org

IBM Collaboration Solutions Blog https://www.ibm.com/blogs/collaboration-solutions/

HCL Collaboration Workflow Platforms https://www.cwpcollaboration.com/blogs

Aha! Domino Ideas Lab https://domino.ideas.aha.io

Aha! Connections Ideas Lab https://connections.ideas.aha.io

Collaboration Today https://collaborationtoday.info

Other In Person Events Already Announced For 2019

https://engage.ug

https://collabsphere.org

https://admincamp.de

https://dnug.de

https://isbg.no

https://socialconnections.info

Think-Ing From Far Away Pt3 – Community Day & Chairman’s Address

Today’s podcast of Think-ing from far away is entirely “far away” as we welcome Andreas Ponte from Belsoft in Switzerland and Mike Smith from The Turtle Partnership to discuss the news from Community Day and the Chairman’s Address from Ginni Rometty that we all watched via live stream.

The Community & Chairman’s address podcast is here

What is IBM’s new message and what does that mean to those of us working in the collaboration space?

Replays including the Chairman’s address:

Watch sessions live stream: https://www.ibm.com/events/think/watch/

Think Today “newsdesk

The new HCL Partner Connect Program https://www.cwpcollaboration.com/hcl-partner-connect-registration.html

Domino 11 Sneak Peek registration on March 14th

Register for one of the IBM Connections in person design “jams”

Great to hear so much news from Community and developments continuing to progress fast during the transitiion from IBM to HCL.

Next up: Connections from Think 2019 !

Follow Twitter

⁦@IBM @ Think

@IBMSocialBiz

@IBMChampions

#Think2019

#IBMThink2019

@HCL_CollabDev

@IBMLive

@planetlotus 

IBM Champions- All – List

Blogs

PlanetLotus http://planetlotus.org

IBM Collaboration Solutions Blog https://www.ibm.com/blogs/collaboration-solutions/

HCL Collaboration Workflow Platforms https://www.cwpcollaboration.com/blogs

Aha! Domino Ideas Lab https://domino.ideas.aha.io

Aha! Connections Ideas Lab https://connections.ideas.aha.io

Collaboration Today https://collaborationtoday.info

Other In Person Events Already Announced For 2019

https://engage.ug

https://collabsphere.org

https://admincamp.de

https://dnug.de

https://isbg.no

https://socialconnections.info

Think-Ing From Far Away Pt2 -News So Far & What’s Coming Up (Tuesday)

Today’s podcast of Think-ing from far away features is an accidental Lifetime Champion full house with guests Paul Withers from Intec and Daniel Nashed from Nashcom alongside Julian, Theo and myself.  We discuss the news so far including work Daniel has been working on providing Docker scripts that is being presented by Thomas Hampel this week and the relaunch of code snippets by OpenNTF.  We also discuss how us far away users are playing along with Think from home by watching live streams and monitoring blogs.

The Penumbra Group were very happy to present this year’s Prism award given to the IBM’er who most helped the BP Community this year to the amazing Mat Newman , Global Executive, IBM Collaboration Solutions.  More details and photo here http://penumbragroup.com.  A big thank you from everyone to you Mat.

Tuesday’s podcast is here

In the podcast we again mention hashtags , blogs and twitter accounts those of us who aren’t at Think should keep an eye on this week but we now also have live stream content and replays

Replays including the Chairman’s address:

Watch sessions live stream: https://www.ibm.com/events/think/watch/

Think Today “newsdesk

Openntf XSnippets

Daniel’s Docker Github where the scripts will be posted

Paul’s Github for Nodered

Download the Think mobile app for iOS or Android to stream content from there

What’s happening for  ICS during Think

Collaboration Sessions Guide

Tomorrow we hope to have two podcasts on both the Chairman’s address and one focused around Connections announcements so stay tuned.

Follow Twitter

⁦@IBM @ Think

@IBMSocialBiz

@IBMChampions

#Think2019

#IBMThink2019

@HCL_CollabDev

@IBMLive

@planetlotus 

IBM Champions- All – List

Blogs

PlanetLotus http://planetlotus.org

IBM Collaboration Solutions Blog https://www.ibm.com/blogs/collaboration-solutions/

HCL Collaboration Workflow Platforms https://www.cwpcollaboration.com/blogs

Aha! Domino Ideas Lab https://domino.ideas.aha.io

Aha! Connections Ideas Lab https://connections.ideas.aha.io

Collaboration Today https://collaborationtoday.info

Other In Person Events Already Announced For 2019

https://engage.ug

https://collabsphere.org

https://admincamp.de

https://dnug.de

https://isbg.no

https://socialconnections.info

A No-Brainer For Domino Admins

I made this as short as I could – it should take you 3 minutes at most to read.

Do you want to be able to get a free audit report of your Notes clients, including what hardware they are using, what versions of Notes, what memory and disk each machine has, and what databases are on their workspaces?

Would you like to easily set notes.ini, any other ini, and even windows registry settings without the user noticing or being involved?

Would you like to deploy files to client workstations silently?

All of those things are now part of Notes and Domino 10.0.1 free of charge and with virtually no effort on your part.

Many of you will have heard of MarvelClient from Panagenda. Some of you may have heard that a licensed version of MarvelClient is free of charge with Domino 9.0.1 and later.  Why am I only talking about it now? Well MarvelClient now ships with Notes and Domino 10.0.1, which means that if you install either Domino or Notes 10.0.1 then the library files and databases needed to run MarvelClient are already installed for you.

Let me explain, prior to 10.0.1 you needed to deploy a library file to the clients that you wanted to use MarvelClient on, and although that could be done in a variety of ways – including postopen scripts, buttons and mail triggers – most of them involved some degree of user interaction and deployment configuration, and that hurdle was often too high for many customers to take on.  Now that hurdle is gone.

I want to talk about what you get with MarvelClient Essentials and here I’m going to be brief because I want you to deploy it, you want to deploy it, and so I want to be as clear as I can to get you there.  To install MarvelClient Essentials, you do this:

  1. Install Domino 10.0.1 * – that gives you the MC databases in a folder on the server called panagenda.  There is a configuration database for configuring what you want it to do and an Analyze database to show you the results.
  2. Open the desktop policy for your users and add a single notes.ini setting for EXTMGR_ADDINS
  3. Run your Notes 10.0.1 clients and watch the good stuff roll in.

Here’s the IBM whitepaper that goes into a little more detail, but not much because there isn’t much more you need to know to get started, although there’s a lot more you can learn when you’re ready to do more.

So that’s what I did.  I spent less than 10 minutes setting up the ACLs of the two server databases, signing them and updating the desktop policy and immediately the information started to come in.  These are some of the results that showed for Tim and I accessing our development environment using Macs.  What is great about MarvelClient is that it gives me a view and management over the client environment which I can’t see any other way – for instance:-

What directories Notes is installed in, where the program files are and where the notes.ini file is.

Screenshot 2019-02-07 at 21.22.23

Notes.ini settings for each user (note some are “2” where we both have then set and some are “1” where only one of us has it set).  These can be set, changed and deleted by MarvelClient as well.

Screenshot 2019-02-07 at 21.20.14

Notes client preferences, by preference and by person / machine.

Screenshot 2019-02-07 at 21.28.10

Resources, disk capacity / free, memory / free.

Screenshot 2019-02-07 at 21.19.30

Below is the full list of things you can do with Marvelclient Essentials.  On the right is the additional features you can get by upgrading to the Basic version which is chargeable.  I think it’s very clear just how much Panagenda and HCL are providing to you at no cost.  Very few of my customers are able to provide a good audit of their client environment and even fewer able to easily make changes to that environment.   It’s a testament to HCL’s commitment to lowering the TCO of Notes that they have provided all this functionality in 10.0.1.

Now what are you waiting for?

Essentials

Basic

Analyze
Desktop, Bookmarks

notes.ini, User Preferences

Mailfile Details

IBM Notes Version and Installation Information
OS and HW Overview
Local Databases / Replicas
Eclipse and Plugin Details
Eclipse Settings (incl Sametime)
ECL
Server<->Client Latency
ID File Details
Locations, Connections, Accounts, Certificates
HW / SW Inventory
Mail Archives
Windows Application Usage
Configuration
notes.ini and MC Config Variables
Any .ini File
User Preferences
Windows Registry
Up-/Download
Upload Data for Analyze
Upload Backups for Rollback
File Deployment
Smart File Downloader
Roll Back User Configuration
Run
Run Programs
Run Notes Processes
Run Agents
Run Notes Formulas
Copy, Move, Delete Files
Compact Desktop
Manage
Workspace Pages
Desktop Icons
Local Replicas
Replicator Page
Bookmarks & Bookmark Folders
Locations
Connections
ECL
ID File Management
Profile Documents
Switch Location
Migrate
Mass Change to Update Database Links
Mass Delete to Remove Database Links

 

Domino 11 Jam Coming To London

The Domino jams continue, now onto Domino 11 and with a date of January 15th in London. No location yet but I’d be very surprised if it’s not IBM South Bank.

I attended a couple of jams last year and I can confirm many of the comments made and items requested ended up in the v10 products and several have already been prioritised into v11.  If you are interested in the future of the collaboration products and especially Domino then you will want to contribute ideas to the jam so email Brendan McGuire (MCGUIREB@uk.ibm.com) and ask to attend.

We all hope to be there investing in the future or products we believe in.  Hope to see you there as well.

If you are interested in locations other than London check out this URL  where there are already locations and some dates announced.

#dominoforever

HCL Launch New Collaboration Site & Client Advocacy Program

Today HCL went live with their own site for their collaboration products at https://www.cwpcollaboration.com. It’s Domino-based and we even have new forums you can sign up for (and the sign up process is easy).

The big news for me is the launch of their Client Advocacy Program which you can read about and sign up to on the site. The Client Advocacy program connects customers directly with a technical point of contact in development, it’s free and open for registration now.  You can read more in their FAQ here, but for those of you who are tl:dr here’s a taster.

Why is HCL Client Advocacy participation beneficial?

A Client Advocate provides the participant:

  • opportunity to discuss successes, challenges, and pain points of the customer’s deployment and product usage
  • a collaborative channel to the Offering Management, Support and Development Teams
  • proactive communications on product news, updates, and related events/workshops
  • more frequent touch points on roadmaps and opportunity to provide input on priorities
  • facilitation of lab services engagements or support team as appropriate

You can request to sign up here

I think we can all agree that even in these early days HCL are showing customer focused intent and following up quickly with real actions to reach out and encourage us to talk to them directly.  I know this is just the beginning, the foot is down hard on the acceleration pedal and I’d recommend you follow HCL_CollabDev on twitter as well as the new Collaboration site.  And feed back.  They want to hear what you think and what you want.  If you feel something is missing or you have an idea, feed back.

Above all don’t paint HCL with the IBM brush, this is a new company with new ideas and their own way of doing things.  Exciting times.

Domino – Exchange On Premises Migration Pt1: Migration Tools

It’s been an interesting few months intermittently working on a project to move Notes and Domino users onto Exchange on premises 2013 and Outlook 2013.  I’m going to do a follow up blog talking about Outlook and Exchange behaviour compared to Notes and Domino but let’s start at the beginning, with planning a migration.

The first thing to know is that if your company uses Domino for mail, Exchange on premises is a step down.  I’m sorry but it is and I say this as someone with a lot of experience of both environments (albeit a LOT more in Domino). At the very least you need to allow for the administrative overhead to be larger and to encompass more of your environment. Domino is just Domino on a variety of platforms, Exchange is Active Directory and DNS and networking and a lot more besides.  In fact Microsoft seem to be focusing on making the on premises solution ever more restrictive and difficult to manage (better hope you enjoy Powershell) to encourage you to move to O365.

To give you an example, during the migration we had an issue where mail would suddenly stop sending outbound.  The logs gave no clue, I spent 2 days on it finding nothing and eventually decided to pay Microsoft to troubleshoot with me to find out what I’d done wrong.  5 hrs of joint working later we found it.  It wasn’t Exchange or any box I worked on.  It was one of the Domain Controllers that didn’t have a service running on it (kerberos key distribution center) that was causing the issue.  Started that service on that box and all was fine.  Three days wasted but at least it wasn’t what I did 🙂

MIGRATION TOOLS

First of all we need a migration tool unless you’re one of the increasingly large number of companies who just decide to start clean.  This is especially true when moving to O365 because there often isn’t either the option or the capability to upload terabytes or even gigabytes of existing mail to the cloud.  Having tested 5 different tools for this current project here were my biggest problems:

  1. A tool that was overly complex to install, outdated (requiring a Windows 7 OS) and the supplier wanted several thousand dollars to train me on how to install it
  2. Tools that didn’t migrate the data quiitteee right. It looked good at first glance but on digging deeper there were misfiled messages and calendar entries missing
  3. Tools that took an unfeasibly long time (>12hrs per mail file or even days).  The answer to that problem was offered as “you are migrating too much, we never do that” or “you need a battalian of workstations to do the migration”
  4. Tools that required me to migrate everything via their cloud service i.e send every message through their servers¨. I mean it works and requires little configuration but no.  Just no.

Whatever tool you decide to use I would recommend testing fully against one of your largest mail files and calculating the time taken against what that does to your project plan.  For my current smaller project I am using a more interactive tool that installed on a workstation and didn’t require any changes on either the Domino or Exchange end.

You’ll notice I’m not naming the tools here.  Although there are a couple where the supplier was so arrogant and unhelpful I’d like to name them, there are also several who were incredibly helpful and just not the right fit for this project.  Maybe for the next.  The right migration tool for you is the one that does the work you need in the time you need and has the right support team behind it to answer finicky questions like ‘what happened to my meeting on 3rd June 2015 which hasn’t migrated”.  Test. Test. Test.

Many of the migration tools are very cheap but be careful that some of the cheapest aren’t making their money off consultancy fees if paying them is the only way to make the product work.

QUESTIONS

So our first question is

“What do you want to migrate?”

Now the answer to this will initially often be “everything” but that means time and cost and getting Exchange to handle much larger mailboxes than it is happy to do.  That 30GB Domino mailfile won’t be appreciated by Exchange so the second question is

“Would you consider having archives for older data and new mailboxes for new”

You also need to ask about rooms and resources and shared mailboxes as well as consider how you are going to migrate contacts and if there needs to be a shared address book.  The migration of mail may be the easiest component of what you are planning.

Now we need to talk about coexistence.  Unless you plan to cutover during a single period of downtime during which no mail is available you will need a migration tool that can handle coexistence with people gradually moving to Exchange and still able to work with those not yet migrated from Domino without any barrier in between.  Coexistence is a lot more complex than migration and the migration tools that offer it require considerably more configuration and management for coexistence than they do for the migration.  Consider as well that your coexistence period could be months or even years.

One option, if the company is small enough, is to migrate the data and then plan a cutover period where you do an incremental update.  Updating the data every week incrementally allows you to cutover fairly quickly and also gives a nice clean rollback position.

EXCHANGE CONFIGURATION

The biggest issue in migrating from Domino to Exchange is how long it takes getting the data from point A to point B.  I tried a variety of migration tools and a 7GB mail file took anywhere from 3hrs to 17hrs to complete.  Now multiply that up.   Ensuring your Domino servers, migration workstations and Exchange servers are located on the same fast network is key.

Make sure your Exchange server is configured not to throttle traffic (because it will see that flood of migration data as needing throttling) so configure a disabled/unlimited throttling policy you can apply during the migration.

Exchange’s malware filter, which is installed by default and only has options for deleting messages or deleting their attachments, is not your friend during a migration.  Not only will it delete your Domino mail that it decides could be malware as it migrates but it also slows the actual migration down to a crawl whilst it does that.  You can’t delete the filter but you can temporarily disable it via Powershell.

Next up.. the challenges of the Outlook / Exchange model to a Notes / Domino person.