So What About Domino @ IBM Connect? Review Post #2

Domino was very visible at Connect this year, not only in both of the opening sessions but in about 40% of the sessions overall.   The ones I picked to attend were talking about strategy and futures so that’s what I wanted to talk about here.

Verse on premises which shipped at the end of Dec 2016 is a very nice browser mail client right now which is easy to install on your Domino server (and you should) but it’s missing an updated calendar interface,  so I was pleased to hear the commitment to deliver that and other functionality to bring on premises in line with Verse in the cloud.  If you don’t have Verse installed on premises now on your Domino servers you need to be looking at it as your path forward.

Feature packs continue to be the strategic path with updates coming via FP installers but with template updates slipstreamed in optionally and separately downloadable through Fix Central.  I wouldn’t look for the templates to ship in step with the feature packs so you’re going to have to plan to subscribe to fix central for updates if you aren’t already.

From Barry Rosen’s strategy presentation here are a couple of snapshots showing planned feature pack features including those for FP8 which should ship soon.

Notes Feature Pack highlights screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-20-51-26

Domino Application Development feature pack highlights (FP8 shipping soon)screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-20-51-41

 

For application design the path IBM appear to be on is one we and many other Business Partners have been pursuing for some time with Domino as a back end data store and a web based UI on whatever platform you choose.  To that end the really good news is that we will finally be getting some extensions to the existing REST APIs including ones for

  • Directory
  • Mail Contacts
  • Mail File Search
  • Polling for changes in databases

In addition the application modernisation story at the conference was focused around partner solutions.  Of particular interest is Panagenda’s ApplicationInsights tool coming in a freemium model to all maintenace customers in Q2.  That version I believe will allow you to analyse your most prominent existing applications and instances to see what is being used by who and how. More information about it can be found here.

So lots of Domino sessions, lots of talk of future client and server developments, lots of confirmation of support at least to 2021.  For a nearly 30 year old product that’s not bad going.  With the investment in Verse and the introduction of cognitive features in on premises applications as well as a cognitive plugin for Notes, I’m feeling positive about where we are and the support IBM are offering.

Oh and my watch word for 2017 continues to be “Hybrid”

 

 

IBM Connect 2017 – Review Post #1 The Good & Not So Good

So here I am still in San Francisco, it’s Friday morning and IBM Connect officially finished its last session at 3.15 yesterday but we all know sessions are only part of the story, there was then the on stage photo, the post conference Penumbra meeting (in the bar of course) the post meeting drinks, the post post drinks early evening drinks with people who left last night and then the wrap up celebratory drinks.  I’ve drunk a lot of water overnight.

So – how was it?  I’ll summarise here but I want to go into more details on further posts today and over the weekend. I didn’t want to make this too big.  Someone asked me last weekend what would I consider a successful Connect for me.  It was a good question and my answer goes to the core of what any conference is about for me, did I learn new things and find new things to learn.  The answer this year was yes, I most definitely did.

In fact I would say it delivered the best content in an IBM conference for years.  

(going all in on the formatting there to make sure the point isn’t missed).

So what worked and what didn’t?  I’m a positive person and I came out of this conference on a high and excited about the future of what the products are delivering for customers and how IBM are entirely changing (at least in one area first)  their development process. Oh and I have lots of shiny new things to learn. I was told that not everyone likes to learn new things but I refuse to believe that.  So I’m starting with the good. If you want to see the not so good scroll to the bottom and maybe question why you want to do that 🙂

  • The engagement sessions on the expo floor were a great idea. 30 minute sessions that were held in a cubed area within the show floor with lots of interesting side topics given by industry presenters.  My favourite being “The Internet of You” given by Linden Tibbets the CEO of IFTTT.
  • Friends and champions were there. Seeing people in person, talking honestly about what we think is good and bad and where we go from here, is a huge part of why I attend
  • The content and breadth of topics was better than I’ve seen in years and in fact I went to more sessions than I have probably been to in a decade, and learnt more too.
  • Having the design studio as well as the research lab on the show floor accessible in an open area
  • The format of both Opening General Sessions
  • The speaker at the closing general session (Eric Whitacre) – who spoke about music, creativity and collaborative choirs.  This is the piece he finished with which was accompanied by an onstage choir as well.  I think most of us found it hard to speak afterwards. Go watch this http://ericwhitacre.com/the-virtual-choir/history/vc4-flytoparadise
  • The IBM team who were not only available but seemed genuinely positive about the products’ future, their own initiatives and the conference. Everyone was keen to both hear our feedback and ask questions.
  • The Nerd Girl session on The Imposter Syndrome which was I believe our most successful yet.  I’ll be posting slides and more
  • My own session on Single Identity including risk and the Internet of Things. I was nervous but I think it went well.  I want to add some more words to the slides for anyone downloading and once i’ve done that i’ll post it.
  • Being able to say “see you in three weeks at Interconnect” or “see you in Antwerp in May” to friends as we parted 🙂

There were a lot of sessions about new technologies and strategies and I want to talk about each of these in separate posts but briefly…

Domino, Cognitive and REST APIs

Several good news items from the Domino side but I think IBM “buried the lead” somewhat in the OGS with only a brief mention of the new REST APIs that are coming out for Domino including those for directories and calendar.  I also spoke to several IBM engineers about Domino and they are very pleased about the move to feature packs because it allows them to roll out new features sooner.  There was no downplaying of Domino or its future and some interesting updates coming in FP9.

Connections and Connections Pink

Take a deep breath – this is exciting and speaks to a complete change in how IBM are approaching product development and engagement with partners/customers during development.  If you are using Connections on premises then Connections 6 with all its new features is due early in Q2 and you want Connections 6 not just for itself (Orient Me and custom Community design to name only two) but also because that’s how you will then get to Connections Pink.

So what is Pink?

Imagine IBM has thrown out the current Connections architecture, no more WebSphere, DB2, SQL, Oracle, Cognos, J2EE applications all gone.  Imagine they have a single code stream for Connections so that whether you’re in the cloud or on premises the features are identical.  Imagine all of this is deployed inside docker containers – basically a way of packaging and deploying applications that don’t require you to understand how the applications themselves work, only how to install the containers (think VMs yet not VMs but like VMs but not).  Now imagine you can choose where your data is stored by service, maybe you are happy to have your blog content stored in the cloud but want your profiles data stored on premises.  Imagine you will have a proxy service that allows you to not only “skin” Connections to look how you want but also to place your own elements like buttons and actions “floating” on top of an activity page for instance. Now imagine all of that without any data or system migration to get there.

It’s a magical world and there are a lot of very very smart people who are working hard to get you there.  Much more on this on my next blog post.

Livegrid

A new development platform for Connections Pink (led by the work of the amazing Maureen Leland) to allow you to write your own applications (in addition to all the extensibility stuff). Intended for use by everyone from power users up to hardcore developers.  Very promising ideas still in early days but working in real life and with a big shining light directed on it.

Watson Work Services

You’ve heard the jokes about how will on premises customers get access to Watson right? I mean it’s a huge giant brain and you can’t just install that in your offices. It’s also been presented as a solution to big problems within big industries, healthcare for instance, so exciting as Watson is conceptually it was hard to see how most businesses could access it. What if I want to use the intelligence of Watson in my applications or even for development – how do I do that?  Watson Work Services is the answer as it allows you to write code that calls on Watson in the cloud and delivers back data in response to queries. It’s charged by the number of calls you make to the service so, as the designer of the application, the cost is entirely within your control.  Even better, as application developers our cost of entry to introduce Watson services into our applications is potentially pennies. IBM confirmed that Verse on premises will have cognitive services and that there will even be a cognitive plugin for the Notes client.

Sametime 9.0.1 Fixpack 5

Not just any old fixpack but one that includes lots of new features for on premises that bring it more inline with Sametime in the cloud.

Onto The “Not So Good”

Let me start this by saying I’m not someone who lives in the past, I believe in what’s in front of me having as much potential as what’s behind me.  This isn’t Lotusphere and I’m not just saying that because the name changed. Or the month. Or the location.  It just isn’t that conference. It has a very different feel and focus.  Having said that, I missed the Dolphin Rotunda. I’d take any single place where you can sit and see people as they walk through and bump into friends and just hang out. With everyone staying at different hotels (7 or 8 different ones) there was no chance of bumping into people, nowhere to retreat and watch the conference pass by and a lot of effort required to arrange meet ups each evening.  Wherever Connect ends up or whatever it ends up being we need to fix that next time.

My second biggest problem with the event was the attempt to hang onto the past and still move into the future, at least that’s what it felt like.  Things like Gurupalooza and references to the “nifty fifty” are meant to be comforting to us old schoolers but to me they are just a depressing reminder of a time that has past.  It was great, I loved it for 20+ years but it’s gone now and let’s not pretend otherwise.  We don’t need pandering to and we don’t need a pretzel cookie.  Those of us that are there are there because we have moved forwards and we do believe what’s in front of us is better to focus on than what’s behind us. YMMV

I hated the location. The Moscone West is fine as a conference site but it was a bit soulless and there wasn’t really anywhere to hang out. The surrounding area was ‘let me walk you back to your hotel” sketchy as well.  And the food. Oh dear. Universally cheap and terrible and I’m not usually bothered by that kind of thing. Cold sandwiches, plastic cutlery. Cheap cheap cheap.

The low energy crowd in the OGS was a bit disconcerting.  There were several places I would have applauded but it didn’t feel the room was with me.  Interested yes.  Enthused no. The pocket of Champions in the room were giving it the old school energy but I realised this conference had a very difference audience and they weren’t responding as “we” used to.  It’s OK. In every technical session I went to that didn’t happen and people were clapping all the way through.

So that’s my initial wrap up.  Lots of good.  Enough so that if it had been held somewhere else I would have said it was better even than last year.  Let’s do it again soon, just maybe not here.

 

 

Connect 2017 Plans & Presentations

I’m very excited to confirm that three of us from The Turtle Partnership will be at Connect 2017 in San Francisco in February.  Between us there is some overlap in what we hope to get out of a conference but our interests are very different. My fellow IBM Champion Mike Smith will be attending strategy briefings, client stories and anything to do with futures.  Tim who looks after the development side of Turtle is keen on Monday’s hackathon and the new technology sessions as well as the Workspace and Watson APIs.  For me, as well as technical sessions about new products, I’m working a lot in the hybrid and security spaces so those sessions (including my own) are of interest to me. I also always enjoy the expo and this year the pop up and theater sessions that fall outside the traditional breakouts are something very different I’m suspect I’ll get a lot out of.

I am presenting and hosting three sessions this year:

On Wednesday at 12pm in Moscone West, Level 2 – Room 2009 I am presenting

Benefits and Risks of a Single Identity

What is valuable about a single identity, why is that something people want and how achievable is it? As people work across multiple systems they encounter an equal number of barriers where they must authenticate or otherwise prove their identity in order to gain access. Ideally we always want to be showing the same information about ourselves regardless of where someone searches or how we are found. In this session we’ll discuss the issues behind both creating a single identity and simplifying authentication. We’ll also review the risks you need to be aware of, the technologies available to you and the importance of good and current personal information.

On both Wednesday and Thursday in the Expo Engagement Theaters on the Expo floor we are doing Nerd Girl sessions.  On Wednesday we will have sparks talks around the topic of The Imposter Syndrome and on Thursday around the topic of Relationships IRL.   

The Imposter Syndrome is about the feeling of being unqualified in a situation.  We are looking for only four speakers who can talk to that, either because they live it, have been through it and have lessons to share or have experience of working with or managing people who have it.

Relationships IRL is about how we build and maintain connections with people when many of us work alone, attend web meetings that have no time for small talk or spend the majority of our time looking down at devices and not out into the world.  Again we are looking for 4 people who can speak to those issues or even if you don’t consider it an issue and why.

The Sparks talks do not have to be about your work or career, both the Imposter Syndrome and Relationships IRL can refer to any aspect of your day to day life.

If you are going to be in San Francisco, would be interested in joining us or would consider speaking then please reach out to me or any of the Nerd Girls to discuss.

The really great news is that since both sessions are in a theater room on the Expo floor, anyone with a $89 USD Discover Connect pass can attend.

The Imposter Syndrome is on  Wednesday at 12pm EXPO Engagement Theater # 750

Relationships IRL is on Thursday at 9.20am EXPO Engagement Theater # 300

A Tip For Submitting A Best Practices Session

If you go to submit a session for Connect 2017 (which you can do here )- you’ll notice there is no specific Best Practices track like we’ve had in the past.   In fact all the tracks have changed and been grouped under themes

Emerging Technologies
Strategy & Business
Development, Design & Tools etc

So how do you submit what you consider a Best Practices session and more importantly how do attendees find those sessions on the agenda considering they have always been the most popular by far at any conference.  Well the way to do it is to use a session tag.

On the session submission form you have a field for “New Tag” where you can categorise your own session.

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-17-38-27

In that field make sure you enter the word “BestPractices” (all one word) and your session will appear as a Best Practices session in the agenda so everyone can find it easily.

 

Domino in the Back, Party in the Front

This is my presentation from Icon UK in September which discusses making client decisions whilst keeping Domino, the best mail server in the world, as your underlying architecture

How often do you hear that the business is discussing moving mail platforms because “our users want X” where X is nothing to do with the server and everything to do with the client UI. Domino remains the best mail server available but often user dissatisfaction drives a move and that comes from being asked to use the wrong client or from a bad deployment. If you’re using Domino you have an ever expanding range of clients to choose from browsers, iNotes, Verse, Traveler with iOS integration, Android applications, POP3 and IMAP. 

screen-shot-2016-10-24-at-09-51-18

The full presentation is here

Icon UK – UI, Sparks and Changing Technologies

Icon UK starts tomorrow, well officially tonight / late this afternoon.  I have a busy week of presenting and helping others present but I wanted to share some of that here

Tomorrow I have a presentation called “Domino in the Front, Party in the Back” which is about all the client options available to you if you’re using Domino for mail.  All 10+ of them.  Including Verse on Premise….

The Icon UK site is down right now but on the agenda I believe I am just after lunch on Thursday http://iconuk.org/iconuk.nsf/agenda.html

Talking of lunch.. that will run from 12.35 – 1.15 and then please come and join Nerd Girls who will be running Spark Ideas from 1.15 – 2pm.  Our speakers are

Amanda Baumann – embracing being a performer
Devin Olsen – Gas, Tires, Oil, and Smoke: Living fast and loud with your hair on fire
Femke Goedhart – The happy pilgram – adventures with strangers on the Camino Portugues
Ben Poole – It’s just twigs and dust isn’t it? Vegan cooking by a meat-eating newbie
Rene Winkelmeyer – pledge1percent

.. this year we will be taking questions for the speakers after their 6 minute talks so come prepared 🙂

Anyone who is at Icon UK and can volunteer to video the sessions for me , please get in touch.

On Thursday night in speedsponsoring I will be talking about how to a maximise your investment in Domino as a mail server including talking to the business about client options.

Finally on Friday, again just after lunch, Mark Myers and I will be holding an open forum discussion on “Changing Your Technology” – how to highlight your skills, work out what to learn and position yourself as a technologist.  I hope you can join us.

So lots of things for me to do , none of them as deeply technical as my usual sessions so that’s a bit scary for me and outside my comfort zone.  It’s going to hopefully be a fun few days

 

Icon UK & Spark Ideas

I’m very pleased to say that i’ll be speaking at Icon UK being held in London from Sept 15th – 16th at IBM South Bank.  The only user group event all year I get to travel to from home..

I have two sessions, plus Nerd Girls are doing a combination Sparks and panel on the first day and I’ve signed up to do speedsponsoring which may be about Traveler performance. Or Domino tips.  Or something…

Domino at the back, party in the front – choosing the right UI for mail
Day 1 @ 2.50pm
How often do you hear that the business is discussing moving mail platforms because “our users want X” where X is nothing to do with the server and everything to do with the client UI. Domino remains the best mail server available but often user dissatisfaction drives a move and that comes from being asked to use the wrong client or from a bad deployment. If you’re using Domino you have an ever expanding range of clients to choose from browsers, iNotes, Verse, Traveler with iOS integration, Android applications, POP3 and IMAP. Come to this session to learn how to find the right client to fit the business and keep your Domino infrastructure.  

Choosing The Right Path – What Kind Of Technologist Are You?
Day 2 @ 11.50am
How do you present yourself and your skills to others? Do you talk about products you work with or your technical skills? You may consider yourself an IBM developer or admin but the brand is less important to your career than the knowledge you have. In this freeform session we’ll discuss how to identify and highlight the skills you use every day that make you stand out and then use that understanding to decide what to learn next. Come along and join in the discussion

Nerd Girls – Spark Ideas
Day 1 @ 1.15pm
We are bringing  the very popular Spark Ideas to Icon UK, celebrating everyone’s uniqueness , what drives us to create our own path. We are once more looking for  people who want to talk on any subject important to them, that’s interesting, fun and hopefully inspirational. Oh and that lasts 6 minutes 🙂   We hope you will grab the opportunity to  speak especially if you never have before.

If you want to see what Sparks is all about,  take a look at our Vimeo channel of previous sessions

Contact me with your ideas or if you need help deciding what might work or just if you wonder what this is all about.  

I hope to see you there ..