Now available DomainPatrol Social 14

Posted by:

We are glad to present DomainPatrol Social 14 with support for IBM Connections 6.0 CR4.

In addition, we also added a couple of useful functions.

Communities ACL by user
Add/Remove/Change ACL for communities based on selected users.

Improved usage reports
Get a deeper understanding of what content has been created and used in your Connections environment.

Additional gui-based admin commands

Graphical user interface for some of the most used Administrator commands (wsadmin)

 

So contact us today if you want a free trial of the administration tool DomainPatrol Social for IBM Connections. The unique solution for a flexible IBM Connections environment which makes content movable and solves complex user issues.

0

Tomas on ConnectED2015.

Posted by:

There has been many sessions where IBM Verse has been presented. IBM Verse is a new and more effective way of working with your emails and calendar. It gathers information from the mailfile nsf and displays it on a intuitive console in the web browser. In the console you can filter the information in just a few clicks. The search capabilities are really powerful.

IBM Verse will be available for cloud customers in the first quarter this year. They say that it will be available for on premise customers later this year. There are a lot of integration with IBM Connections in IBM Verse. So the customers with IBM Connections will get the most benefit of IBM Verse. At the moment there are a lot to be solved on how to deploy this on premise. What components do you need to install and how?

The feature I like best is the calendar bar that is always displayed in the bottom of the page.

All the attendants of ConnectED2015 will be invited to test IBM Verse and I'm looking forward to start testing all the new features.

There have been a lot of sessions about the cloud. There are a lot of things to consider before you move to the cloud. Should I go for fully hosted or hybrid? Is my internet connection prepared for the increased load this will generate? What features are included in the cloud offer? How do I provision users? This is where we can help our customers.

My favorite session so far:
BP104 IBM Notes Traveler Daily Business: Administration, Monitoring and Support presented by René Winkelmeyer, midpoints GmbH.

0

Delivering responsive web design in IBM Notes applications

Posted by:

Introduction

Responsive web design (RWD) has been the talk of town the last years. In 2012 it was listed as #2 in ‘Top Web Design Trends’ by .net magazine and Mashable called 2013 the ‘Year of Responsive Web Design’. Many other sources have recommended responsive design as a cost-effective alternative to mobile applications.

responsive

While I assume that a large portion of the internet (and in some cases intranet) sites are nowadays optimized for the device that accesses them, but what about your company’s (internal) business applications? 

Business value

IT departments need to prioritize their activities and internal applications are most often accessed by a smaller audience than external applications. Historically the internal app was accessed with a desktop computer. With the trend of smartphones and tablets taking over the workspace this may no longer be the case in your company? 

With a VPN connection users want to continue to execute their work on this new breed of devices, instead starting up a desktop computer for a single task. Here is where the business value of RWD comes in.

Continue to work on same device = More productive employees = Saving time and perhaps even hardware

Mobile first

A trend is to apply the progressive application strategy of ‘Mobile first’. Instead of designing a complex application for desktop computers first and thereafter gracefully degrade it for mobile devices, the user interface is initially designed for mobile devices and enhanced for desktops with more processing power.

mobile-first-icons

Many RWD frameworks embrace this ‘Mobile first’ concept nowadays.

Options in Notes

So what are your options in delivering RWD in your beloved Notes applications? Depending on your roadmap for the platform and personal preferences you have the following options.

  1. Build the application with XPages technologies.
  2. Build the application with common web technologies.

The XPages way

An approach for your Notes platform that is highly promoted by IBM is to deliver web interfaces for Notes applications with XPages. Not only bring you in Rapid Application Development (RAD) principles in your project also the range of capabilities is much more diverse.

Another benefit is that you can stay on the core technologies: JSF, JavaScript and Java. This you can combine with common web technologies like AJAX, HTML5, CSS and REST services. For the RWD you can use your favorite framework such as Bootstrap or Foundation.

Bootstrap framework

twitter-bootstrap

Bootstrap is a popular framework for developing responsive, mobile first projects on the web. It makes front-end web development faster and easier. Bootstrap is based upon HTML, CSS and JavaScript, technologies already well-known in Notes web apps.

Distribution

You have several options how you distribute the Bootstrap framework to your audience:

  1. Install the files on your Domino server.
  2. Embed the files in a Notes application.
  3. Install an additional XSP library on your Domino server.
  4. Install the latest extension library on your Domino server.

In case you do not utilize the OSGi runtime on your Domino server you can either install the files on centrally on the Domino server or embed the files in each Notes application. The installation on the Domino server makes the distribution of updates easier but the administrator is responsible for the distribution across servers. Embedding the files in a Notes application is less efficient (e.g. caching) but makes distribution of updates a task for the developer.

Probably the best approach would be to utilize the OSGi runtime on your Domino server and distribute the files as a library via an Update site Notes application across your servers. This makes the task even simple and small for an administrator.

If you choose to do so you have the option to either install bootstrap4xpages library as a separate library or you can install the latest extension library (from 10 november 2014). The latter give you several benefits:

  • Custom renderer for the Application Layout control, which makes it easy to define the layout structure of your application.

     

     

    • This renderer gives the control a Bootstrap look & feel, as well making the control responsive.
  • A newer version of jQuery.
  • Latest Bootstrap themes (3.2.0 normal or flat).
  • Additional configuration options in the Application Layout control wizard for the Bootstrap navigation components.

Separate Mobile devices UI alternative

The extension library (a library with additional XPages controls and functions) provides also so-called ‘Mobile controls’ which allow you to deliver a separate interface for mobile devices for your Notes apps. Via a wizard you can build a ‘single page application’ in a matter of minutes with full CRUD (create, read, update and delete) operations and infinite scrolling through document lists (aka views).

This approach does not deliver RWD but a separate user interface for mobile devices. At least it gives you the option to deliver a UI adapted for mobile devices in a very short time with little investment.

You can choose to make the UI of the app look like a native app for iPhone or Android. Alternatively you can choose to make the UI look in line with other IBM products (iNotes, Connections). A video that demonstrates the controls briefly you can find here: http://vimeo.com/99537780.

The WEB way

In case you do not walk the XPages path but instead you prefer the approach to deliver the application with more common web technologies like HTML, CSS, AJAX and REST services you can still install the files of your responsive web design framework of choice on the Domino server or embed them in a Notes application.

From there you can start to (re)write your ‘traditional’ Domino application as a Web project. In the latter case you use Notes only as a container for your data documents and design elements and use forms and views only as data schemes.

This approach dodges the RAD capabilities in Notes and will demand more development time. But you can apply this approach also to other platforms that you may have. You can later even debate why the data should be stored in Notes and not in a document-oriented database alternative? The layered security and replication capabilities are often good arguments. 

Implementing RWD via the Extension Library option

In the following scenario we will describe the implementation of RWD with the Extension Library more in details.

  • Database enablement.
  • Application Layout.

Database enablement

Assuming you have installed the extensions for the Domino server and Domino Designer (DDE) client according the instructions in the readme.pdf file you can now enable a Notes application.

XSP properties

The XSP properties file allows you to configure parameters for the XPages framework. Open the file in DDE.

Screenshot_1

In the General tab you have now two more themes to select:

  • Bootstrap 3.2.0
  • Bootstrap 3.2.0 flat

The ‘flat’ theme delivers:

  • The resources and styling that comes with Bootstrap v3.2.0.
  • jQuery v2.1.1 resources.
  • Cleanup of specific XPages controls when using Bootstrap.
  • Glyphicon halflings.
  • dbootstrap resources, which provide Bootstrap styling for Dojo controls.

The ‘ordinary’ theme provides all of the same resources as the flat theme, and includes 3D effects to buttons and some other additional styling.

Select one of the two themes:

Screenshot_2

Application layout

The RWD plugin adds a new renderer for the Application Layout control which you normally use to structure the layout of your application. This renderer gives your application layout the Bootstrap look and feel, as well as responsive behavior. When the application is rendered on a smaller screen, such as on a mobile device, it will automatically re-organize the application contents for an optimal user experience.

The control also has new configuration options. Add the Application control on a custom control and open the All Properties tab. In the basics section you can choose now the xe:bootstrapResponsiveConfiguration option:

Screenshot_3

Note: in case you have already a configured Application Layout control you can change the configuration option directly in the Source panel to keep the rest of your configuration (e.g. xe:applicationConfiguration -> xe:bootstrapResponsiveConfiguration).

This configuration options give you several more properties:

  • collapseLeftColumn
  • collapseLeftMenuLabel
  • collapaseLeftTarget
  • fixedNavbar
  • invertedNavbar
  • pageWidth

With the first 3 properties you define how the left column should behave on smaller devices (collapsed for smaller devices, display text when collapsed, item the left menu should be attached to).

You can determine the behavior of the navbar (inverted, fixed (top or bottom)) and the width of the page e.g. fluid = use Bootstrap 'fluid' container (almost full width).

Wizard

When you initially drag on the Application Layout control on the custom control a two-step wizard is presented. In the first step you select one of available configurations. You can filter on responsive and non-responsive.

Screenshot_4

In the second you set the properties for the chosen configuration. In case you choose the Responsive Bootstrap option you will see the following screen:

Screenshot_5

Under configuration you can set the properties for the layout including the 6 additional properties mentioned earlier. Set also the other properties like you would normally do.

Voila! Your application is now ready for development.

Hiding elements for specific devices

The plugin provides only the resources and structure for responsive web design. In case you want to optimize the layout for devices by explicitly show or hide them you can use CSS classes.

Bootstrap provides some handful helper classes, for faster mobile-friendly development. These can be used for showing and hiding content by device via media query combined with large, small, and medium devices.

Classes

Devices

.visible-xs

Extra small (less than 768px) visible

.visible-sm

Small (up to 768 px) visible

.visible-md

Medium (768 px to 991 px) visible

.visible-lg

Larger (992 px and above) visible

.hidden-xs

Extra small (less than 768px) hidden

.hidden-sm

Small (up to 768 px) hidden

.hidden-md

Medium (768 px to 991 px) hidden

.hidden-lg

Larger (992 px and above) hidden

Note that the elements that you hide are still being loaded, but simply not being displayed.

Data View control

Probably a typical use case is the display of table columns or lists. On a desktop you may want to show more columns than on a smaller devices.

Typical you use the Data View control from the extension library to display lists of documents. The information you want to display as a link is defined in the summaryColumn property.

Screenshot_6

Additional columns that are displayed on the right of the summaryColumn will be displayed via the extraColumns property. Each additional column is defined in a viewExtraColumn item which contains properties for styleClass and headerStyleClass. For example you could set these as followed:

<xe:this.extraColumns>

<xe:viewExtraColumn columnName="Date" columnTitle="Date" style="width: 100px"  styleClass=" hidden-xs hidden-sm " headerStyleClass=" hidden-xs hidden-sm"></xe:viewExtraColumn>

</xe:this.extraColumns>

This will show the extra column only for medium and larger devices since they will be hidden for (extra) small devices.

Screenshot_7

Wrap up

Delivering responsive web design on your Notes applications has never been as easy as it is nowadays with the RWD plugin in the extension library. It also respects the rapid application (web) development mantra of XPages.

In case you do decide to follow this path remember you need to check what information you want to show or hide for specific devices.

So what is keeping you from getting a bigger bang for the buck by delivering optimized user experiences for mobile, tablet and desktops for your Notes applications?

 

0

Developing social applications with the Social Business Toolkit SDK

Posted by:

Intro

The Social Business Toolkit SDK (SBT SDK) is a set of libraries and code samples that you use for connecting to the IBM Social Platform. As a developer you can choose which web development skills fits you best: Java, (client side) JavaScript or XPages. Your social platform may reside in the cloud or on premise.

In this post I will give you guidelines and practical examples to get you started. I choose XPages as development environment.

Terminology

In the document terms are thoroughly used:

Term

Description

SBT

Social Business Toolkit

SDK

Software Development Kit

DDE

Domino Designer on Eclipse

XPages

XPages is a rapid web and mobile application development technology

OpenNTF

Open Source Community for (IBM) Collaboration Solutions

OAuth

Open standard for authorization

Managed Bean

Java Beans representing system objects and resources

Endpoint

Encapsulates the access to a service provider, like Connections or Sametime

Installation of the SDK

Prerequisites

Before you can start with development in Domino Designer on Eclipse you need to install the SBT SDK. It can be downloaded from the following address: http://ibmsbt.openntf.org/The files you need to work with the SBT SDK and Domino are located in folder ‘redist\domino’ in the downloaded ZIP file.

Extension Library

Another condition to be able to run the Social SDK within your XPages you need to have installed the Extension Library, available on OpenNTF: http://extlib.openntf.org/. You need to have the library installed on both Domino server and DDE.

Installation for Domino Server

You can find a set of instructions how to install the SBT SDK on an IBM Domino server on the address:
http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/appdevwiki.nsf/xpDocViewer.xsp?lookupName=IBM+Social+Business+Toolkit+SDK+documentation#action=openDocument&res_title=Installing_on_Domino_Server_SDK1.0&content=pdcontent. I recommend the installation via an Eclipse Update site. As a result your Update site should display the following plugins:

Screenshot_4

Installation for DDE

The Domino Designer deployment of the IBM Social SDK can use the same imported update site from the Update Site NSF. On Domino Designer verify that the checkbox for "Enable Eclipse plugin install" is checked in the Domino Designer preferences. You can find a set of instructions how to install the SBT SDK on DDE on the same address:
http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/appdevwiki.nsf/xpDocViewer.xsp?lookupName=IBM+Social+Business+Toolkit+SDK+documentation#action=openDocument&res_title=Installing_on_Domino_Server_SDK1.0&content=pdcontent.

Setting up a Notes application

Create a new Notes application from scratch. I called mine ‘bornsocial.nsf’. Open the Xsp Properties file in DDE. Include the following libraries:

  • com.ibm.xsp.extlib.library
  • com.ibm.xsp.sbtsdk.library

Screenshot_5

Authentication

The Social Business Toolkit leverages a credential store for single sign on. For OAuth for example the user tokens are stored in this repository so that users don’t have to authenticate and grant access to services like IBM Connections for every session. The OAuth application tokens are also stored in this repository so that all tokens can be managed in one central place. You can read more on the credential store here: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/appdevwiki.nsf/xpDocViewer.xsp?lookupName=IBM+Social+Business+Toolkit+SDK+documentation#action=openDocument&res_title=Configuring_token_stores_SDK1.0&content=pdcontent&sa=true. And it is also explained in the following video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CWD70XarX8#t=100

In basic: the implementation of the credential store is performed by the use of a managed bean. The usage of this credential store is then defined in an endpoint. An endpoint encapsulates the access to a service provider, like Connections or SameTime.

In the Package Explorer open the faces-config.xml file:

Screenshot_6

Add the following lines:

<!– Token Store memory implementation –>
<managed-bean>
    <managed-bean-name>CredStore</managed-bean-name>
    <managed-bean-class>com.ibm.sbt.security.credential.store.MemoryStore</managed-bean-class>
    <managed-bean-scope>session</managed-bean-scope>
  </managed-bean>

<!– Password Store memory implementation –>
<managed-bean>
    <managed-bean-name>PasswordStore</managed-bean-name>
    <managed-bean-class>com.ibm.sbt.security.credential.store.MemoryStore</managed-bean-class>
    <managed-bean-scope>session</managed-bean-scope>
</managed-bean>

Endpoint

In the first example(s) we are only going to demonstrate to connect to IBM Connections. Add the following lines:

<managed-bean>
    <managed-bean-name>connections</managed-bean-name>
    <managed-bean-class>com.ibm.sbt.services.endpoints.ConnectionsBasicEndpoint</managed-bean-class>
    <managed-bean-scope>session</managed-bean-scope>
    <managed-property>
      <property-name>url</property-name>
      <value>https://your-connections-url.com</value>
    </managed-property>
    <managed-property>
      <property-name>authenticationService</property-name>
      <value>communities/service/atom/communities/all</value>
    </managed-property>
    <managed-property>
      <property-name>authenticationPage</property-name>
      <value>/bornsocial.nsf/_BasicLogin.xsp?endpoint=connections</value>
    </managed-property>
  </managed-bean>

For value of managed property ‘url’ you must enter the address of your connections installation or in case you are using IBM Greenhouse for demonstration purposes you can choose 'https://greenhouse.lotus.com’.

Login page

A custom login page will presented when a user initially tries to connect to IBM Connections:

Screenshot_7

The elements for the login page are in the XPagesSBT.nsf application which comes with the SBT SDK. The nsf is located in folder redist\domino. The login page consists of the following design elements:

Name

Type

_BasicLogin.xsp

XPage

sbtLoginPage

Custom Control

sbtLoginPanel

Custom Control

You can simply copy the design elements from the sample application in your application and modify them e.g. for branding.

Connecting to Connections

Your application is now ready to connect to Connections. Where you place the code to connect to Connections is up to you. A recommended approach could be to establish connections via Managed Beans.A managed bean is nothing more fancy than a registered a JAVA object.

Managed Bean

In our first example we are going to read the content under My Files in Connections. These are the files that you have uploaded and shared.

  1. Create a new Java design element (Java Class).
  2. Enter the following code:

package com.quintessens.bornsocial.sbt;
import java.io.Serializable;
import com.ibm.sbt.services.client.connections.files.FileService;
import com.ibm.sbt.services.client.connections.files.FileServiceException;
import com.ibm.sbt.services.client.connections.files.FileList;

public class ServiceBean implements Serializable{
private static final long serialVersionUID = 1L; 

    public FileList getMyFiles() {   
                FileService service = new FileService();   
                try {      
                    return service.getMyFiles();   
                } catch (FileServiceException e){
                return null;
                } 
        }
}

Code explanation

The function getMyFiles gets handle to the FileService object. Then the getMyFiles function is called to get all the files (both private and shared) the user has uploaded in Connections. Then a FileList object is returned to the caller. 

The FileList object can then be used in a suitable XPage control e.g. the DataTable or the DataView control. 

Registration

In order to access the Managed Bean you have to register it. This is done in the faces-config.xml file. Open the file and add the following lines:

 <managed-bean>
    <managed-bean-name>ServiceBean</managed-bean-name>
    <managed-bean-class>com.quintessens.bornsocial.sbt.ServiceBean</managed-bean-class>
    <managed-bean-scope>session</managed-bean-scope>
  </managed-bean>

You will access the bean via its name ServiceBean.

XPages

Finally we have come to a point where we can display the files that the managed bean returns from IBM Connections. I have choosen the XPages environment to do so.

Custom Controls

A best practice in XPages development is to divide functionality in individual blocks known as Custom Controls. This make it easier to re-use the functionality across your application.

Custom Control for a ‘My Files’ overview

  • Create a new Custom Control design element.
  • Add the following code to the control:

<xe:widgetContainer id="widgetContainer1" itleBarText="#{javascript:return compositeData.widgetTitle;}">
    <xp:panel>
        <xe:dataView id="dataView1" var="file" rows="5" columnTitles="true" styleClass="filesDataView">
            <xe:this.extraColumns>
                <xe:viewExtraColumn columnTitle="Filetype"></xe:viewExtraColumn>
                <xe:viewExtraColumn columnTitle="Created"></xe:viewExtraColumn>
                <xe:viewExtraColumn columnTitle="Size"></xe:viewExtraColumn>
            </xe:this.extraColumns>

            <xe:this.summaryColumn>
                <xe:viewSummaryColumn columnTitle="Filename"></xe:viewSummaryColumn>
            </xe:this.summaryColumn>
            <xp:this.value>
                <![CDATA[#{javascript:ServiceBean.getMyFiles();}]]>
            </xp:this.value>
            <xp:this.facets>
                <xp:panel xp:key="noRows" id="topicsPanel2">
                    <xp:div styleClass="lotusWidgetBody">
                        <xp:text>
                            <xp:this.value>
                                <![CDATA[#{javascript:return (viewScope.myFilesAvailable ? “No files found.” : “My Files unavailable.”);}]]>
                            </xp:this.value>
                        </xp:text>
                    </xp:div>
                </xp:panel>
                <xp:panel id="summaryPanel" xp:key="summary" style="width:50%;white-space:nowrap;">
                    <h4><xp:link styleClass="dataViewLink" escape="true" id="link7" target="_blank" text="#{javascript:return file.getTitle();}">
    <xp:this.value><![CDATA[#{javascript:return file.getContentUrl();}]]></xp:this.value>
</xp:link></h4>
                </xp:panel>
                <xp:panel id="typePanel" xp:key="extra0" style="width: 20%;white-space:nowrap;">
                    <xp:text>
                        <xp:this.value>
                            <![CDATA[#{javascript:return file.getType();}]]>
                        </xp:this.value>
                    </xp:text>
                </xp:panel>
                <xp:panel id="sizePanel" xp:key="extra2" style="width: 15%;white-space:nowrap;">
                    <xp:text>
                        <xp:this.value>
                            <![CDATA[#{javascript:var size = file.getSize();
var kilobyte = 1024;
var megabyte = kilobyte *1024;
if(size < kilobyte) {
    return (size + " B");
}else if(size < megabyte) {
    return (Math.round(size/kilobyte) + " KB");
}else {
    return (Math.round(size/megabyte) + " MB");
}}]]>
                        </xp:this.value>
                    </xp:text>
                </xp:panel>
                <xp:panel id="panel1" xp:key="extra1" style="width: 15%;white-space:nowrap;">
                    <xp:text escape="true" id="computedField3" value="#{javascript:file.getCreated()}"></xp:text>
                </xp:panel>
            </xp:this.facets>
        </xe:dataView>
    </xp:panel>
</xe:widgetContainer>

As a result the files in IBM Connections for the authenticated user will be listed e.g.: 

Screenshot_8

Code explanation

The DataView control is using the getMyFiles function from Managed Bean ServiceBean for data binding:

 

Screenshot_9

<xe:dataView id="dataView1" var="file" rows="5" columnTitles="true" styleClass="filesDataView">            
            <xp:this.value><![CDATA[#{javascript:ServiceBean.getMyFiles();
        }]]></xp:this.value>
            …
</xe:dataView>

It iterates through the returned FileList object and for each column values from each entry in the ‘file’ collection the value is computed e.g.:

<xp:panel id="summaryPanel" xp:key="summary" style="width:50%;white-space:nowrap;">
                    <h4><xp:link styleClass="dataViewLink" escape="true" id="link7" target="_blank" text="#{javascript:return file.getTitle();}">
                        <xp:this.value><![CDATA[#{javascript:return file.getContentUrl();}]]></xp:this.value>
                    </xp:link></h4>
 </xp:panel>

API Explorer

Use the SBT API Explorer which method each object provides:

Screenshot_10

Link: http://greenhouse.lotus.com/llapiexplorer/.

Summary

As you have seen getting started with the Social Business Toolkit is not that difficult for XPages developers. As alternative you could also choose JavaScript or JAVA if those skills fit you better. The SDK will help you understanding Connections piece by piece from a developer perspective.

In the example information is read from Connections but you can also post data. The SDK allows you to create great 'social enabled' applications. This can be applications that solely work with Connections or integrate with other platforms e.g. IBM Notes. 

I hope to write more on the Social Business Toolkit in another post. Thank you for reading.

Patrick Kwinten

 

 

 

 

 

2

Room and Resource mobile application

Posted by:


Preview

of our coming mobile application Room&Resources for mobile. It will be released in February 2014 and will be available in a site-license and in an userbased license via Appstore.

Prerequisite

  • An IBM Domino environment using Room and Resource functionality

The Problem

  • Not possible to quickly find out if an empty room is booked or not
  • On peak hours often difficult to get a room with short notice, all rooms booked but not always used
  • Conflicts in room booking, several person assume having booked the room
  • Not possible to book a room on the fly both in the office and while travelling
  • Existing LN db very slow and difficult to find bookings and only accessible in the PC

The Solution

  • A mobile Room Booking App for smart phones
  • No server preferences needs to be changed
  • Simple and fast to use

Demo

 

0

IBM Connections@Electrolux

Posted by:

Headquartered in Stockholm, AB Electrolux is a global leader in household and professional appliances, selling more than 40 million products to customers in around 150 markets every year. Brands include Frigidaire, AEG and Molteni, as well as many known only in local markets. In 2012, Electrolux had 60,000 employees working in 60 countries and sales of SEK110 billion.

Enhancing employee engagement

Every global enterprise faces the challenge of ensuring that employees separated by geography, time zones and culture feel engaged and connected with the corporate entity. Otherwise, their productivity and job satisfaction could suffer.

With many thousands of employees spread over dozens of countries, Electrolux faced this issue, particularly vexing for a company whose success depends on developing innovative products and bringing them to market quickly. Employees isolated in their geographies or departments could find it difficult to locate experts or knowledge elsewhere in the company. Without proper tools for communication, collaboration and networking, Electrolux could fail to maximize the potential of its collective brain power.

Electrolux had an intranet, but it lacked interactivity. The company used it mainly for pushing out corporate news to staff from the top down. As an example, a message from the chief executive officer (CEO) seemed more like a pronouncement than opening a conversation. Still, the organization evaluated managers by their ability to foster engagement with their teams.

“Electrolux has a philosophy of engagement, but we weren’t leveraging online tools,” says Ralf Larsson, director of online engagement and development at Electrolux. “From a leadership point of view, we recognized the importance of having a connected organization.” A key idea was that crowd sourcing, soliciting ideas from employees through an informal and interactive process, could improve everything from product development to everyday business processes.

Networking staff with IBM Connections software

This led Electrolux on a journey toward social business. The plan was to enhance the intranet with Web 2.0 networking capabilities that would create a sense of employee belonging while improving collective knowledge sharing, productivity and product innovation.

The initiative began with a trial of potential solutions. Working with IBM Premier Business Partner Infoware Solutions, an expert in software development and collaboration technology, IT and business executives at Electrolux assessed the functionality, usability and technical capabilities of three platforms. Key requirements included the following:

  • Providing support for interactive, multi-way communications, where staff could easily initiate discussions, comment on others’ ideas and feel more involved
  • Facilitating the creation of searchable content such as profiles that would enable staff to locate knowledge and experts based on their skills and interests
  • Delivering networking capabilities that provide interesting ways to share, collaborate and participate in work-related communities and virtual events
  • Supplying support for mobile access on various devices and operating systems
  • Providing integration potential with the existing IT infrastructure

IBM Connections software won the trial because it closely matched these criteria. Of special note is its ability to help employees create a social network of colleagues and subject matter experts and then tap that network to further business goals. Key features include searchable profiles, file sharing, communities of interest, blogs, wikis, and the ability to share news, links and status across the network at any time. This makes it easy to discuss ideas, locate experts, work collaboratively, plan and track project tasks and more, whether from the desktop or a mobile device. The IBM product also offers strong integration capabilities with back-end software, including Microsoft SharePoint software, which the company uses for project management.

Electrolux launched the intranet powered by Connections V3.01 software in early 2012, including a video of the CEO demonstrating blogs and other collaborative features. This strong buy-in from top management is contributing to the success of the social strategy. Over the first few months, some 40 percent of employees actively began using Connections software, logging in from desktop PCs as well as from mobile devices.

The usage statistics are impressive. The intranet is home to more than 100 information portals managed by 450 editors and accessed by 9,000 users daily and 15,000 monthly. With more than 1,100 collaboration spaces with 8,500 members and 179 communities with 4,500 members, Electrolux employees are engaged with management and their peers in new ways. In a survey, users who found business value in Connections software felt highly positive about their jobs and the company in general.

“IBM Connections has helped to put collaboration on the Electrolux agenda,” says Ulf Stider, sales manager at Infoware Solutions. The company’s commitment to social business is evident from its plans to upgrade to the latest version, Connections V4.5 software, in the coming months. Especially welcome will be advanced integration capabilities and new mobile applications for the iOS and Android operating systems as well as BlackBerry devices.

Engaging employees in a social network

Although it’s still early in the social business journey, Electrolux has realized many business benefits.

For example, employee engagement with management is much improved, as is corporate transparency. Take the formerly static message from the CEO. Today, when the CEO posts a status update to product strategies, employees feel free to comment. “In the past, I wouldn’t dream of picking up the phone to speak with the CEO,” says Larsson. “But now I can comment on his posts. He knows who I am and my thoughts, and he can ask me to elaborate. When everyone has this capability, it’s really powerful.”

Another example relates to internal communications when Electrolux had to relocate an office. What could have been disruptive went smoothly after the human resources (HR) and legal teams created an online community to share information about the relocation with affected employees. They felt more comfortable with the process when able to post questions and voice concerns.

HR and line managers also use the social platform in employee on-boarding, showing new hires how to create profiles, blog and join communities. This helps them feel comfortable in their roles and become productive more quickly.

The social platform improved product innovation as well. In October 2012, Electrolux hosted a Global Innovation Challenge on the intranet, a three-day crowd-sourcing event attended by some 30 percent of the white-collar workforce. Staff responding to product-development topics online generated 3,500 ideas and 10,000 comments. The event resulted in three new products being added to the pipeline.

These and other social interactions help users connect to Electrolux experts who might be outside their regular circle of colleagues. Whether from searchable profiles, blogs, wikis, forums or communities, social networking improves knowledge sharing and helps employees succeed in their jobs. As Larsson says, “With social business, we’re becoming smarter, better connected and more competitive.”

0

Din molntjänst kommer vara en hybrid.

Posted by:

Till att börja med några av argumenten för molnbaserade tjänster:

  • Säker mobil access (“Vi kunde omöjligt hänga med takten på nya mobila enheter och förändringar i webbläsare med vår egen IT-personal.”).
  • Enhetliga tjänster – funktionell symmetri.
  • Efterlevnad av lagar och regler samt säkerhet.
  • Servicegrad, högre SLA i molnet.
  • Ingen geografisk närvaro, tjänster som lämpar sig för moln, t.ex. filhantering över geografiskt spridda platser.
  • Kostnadsbesparingar såsom infrastruktur och underhåll.

Vad det gäller Notes Domino tjänster finns det saker att funderar på när du överväger fördelarna med molntjänster. Det som gör det annorlunda från organisationer som använder Exchange, Novell Groupwise eller Oracle är ett antal skäl:

Den mest betydelsefulla skillnaden är att Notes Domino handlar inte enbart om e-post och kalender, det har det aldrig gjort. Visst är de viktiga tjänster men dessa funktioner är underordnade Dominos egentliga värde och det är.

De flesta verksamheter som har investerat i Domino har åtminstone något beroende till Domino/Lotus Notes-applikationer (databaser). Även i organisationer som inte anser sig tunga Domino Apps konsumenter finns det nästan alltid ett par kritiska applikationer.

En annan viktig omständighet är att Domino tenderar att fungera som en länk mellan flera viktiga system i en organisation tack vare dess enkelhet att driftsätta och schemaläggning av kod.

Tyvärr för de flesta (läs: alla) som tänker sig övergången från Domino appar kommer de att upptäcka att de program som var lätta och billigt att bygga på Domino plattformen tenderar att vara dyra och svåra att återskapa på andra plattformar.

Allt detta innebär oavsett molnplattform som du väljer kommer Domino-servrar och eventuellt Notes-klienter förbli en del av din miljö för en lång tid framöver.

Den molnlösning du väljer kommer sannolikt att vara en hybrid av andra anledningar:
Antag att din organisation är mer än ett par hundra användare så kommer allt inte existerar helt och hållet i molnet – exempel:

  • Producenter av innehåll <-> Konsumenter.
  • Heltidsanställda <-> säsongs/timanställda, entreprenör, ombud, konsulter, agenter.
  • Mobil (+BYOD) <-> kontor.

Åtminstone kommer du att ha infrastruktur för användarkatalogen, provisionering, autentisering och SMTP (för t.ex. relay) på plats och förmodligen mycket mer.
Mer än troligt att du kommer fortfarande att ha applikationer, mottagande e-post och andra verktyg kvar hemma.

För att inte nämna ta vara på redan gjorda investeringar. För Notes Domino (8.5.1) kunder finns möjligheten att behålla delar av infrastrukturen intakt hemma och samtidigt blanda med IBMs molnbaserade tjänster – bland annat m.h.a. pass thru.

Tips: testa IBM SmartCloud Engage Advanced gratis i 60 dagar  (+ gratis externa konton).

Image

0

jQuery in XPages

Posted by:

If you want to make XPages not just look good, but to look awesome, you might want to take a look at jQuery in XPages. Mark Roden gave a funny and hands-on session on how to do it and how don’t. If you’d like to get started, go to his webpage (http://xomino.com/) and geek on from there.

0

Moving to the cloud and migrating e-mail in general.

Posted by:

If you are in the progress of moving your IT services to the cloud – or just want know more about the activities involved in migration and getting co-existence to work with the focus on Notes e-mail, I want to share/recycle some information and experiences.

First – I can really recommend reading the articles by Marie L. Scott – they are very useful:

Chasing the Cloud, Part 1 – What Domino Administrators and Managers Need to Know

Chasing the Cloud, Part 2 — Plan and Prepare for Moving Your Domino Environment to the Cloud

Chasing the Cloud, Part 3 — Migrating Your Users and Data

As the articles above are really helpful, they give a comprehensive description of steps involved in moving to Cloud services, links to others sources of information and overall activities – my additions are a bit more detailed regarding activities and in the form of statements – can be used as a checklist in complement with “Chasing the Cloud”.

Co-existence

As migration will not move all Personal Information Manager tools overnight there is a period when users are using a mix of PIM services – maybe a very long time.

  • Plan for co-existence and for believable length of time.
    • Calendar, example
      • Free/Busy Time look-up.
    • Applications, example:
      • Determine how sending Notes links in e-mail should be handled/solved.

Network services and mail routing topology

  • Decide which mail system “owns” the Internet domain, i.e. how mail flow and e-mail addresses are affected.
  • Identify Firewall changes.
  • Identify DNS (MX) changes.
  • Identify AntiSPAM changes.
  • Identify AntiVirus changes.
  • Match current max mail size with changes.
  • Identify TLS and SSL certificates changes or supplementary.

Global Address lists in sync.

  • Identify existing directory integration – example LDAP look-up, directory Export/Import.
    • Match directory integration and risk of duplicate name entries.
      • Example a mobile condensed directory.
  • Decide how central distribution lists should be managed.

Need for migrating, synchronizing or integrate directories – there’s a really good Lotusphere presentation on Mary’s blog.

Workstation

Moving to a new mail solution requires some thought regarding the clients – example:

  • Study you default associations for different activities and how it will affect users, example:
    • Default action on Mailto:-links, calendar, contact/business cards activities etc.
    • Notes links (in mail).
  • Identify how authentication and authorization is affected. Example:
    • Passwords, policies
    • Single or Shared logon.
    • Changes in ID files.
    • Web authentication (used by Traveler – i.e. maybe need to update passwords on devices).

Mobile service

  • Identify how the existing mobile service will be affected, example:
    • BES
    • Traveler

Personal Address Book

  • Decide the overall plan, example
    • User initiated migration – example addresses not synced to iNotes.
    • If Notes client still be used, i.e. for Notes apps – what about the addresses after the migration, need to eliminate risk of confusion.
  • Is it good or not to migrate personal distribution lists.

Delegated rights

  • Is delegated rights on mailboxes/calendars really supported in the migration, most likely not – at least inform about this.

Personal e-mail

  • Size of mail boxes, matching new mail system – been too generous maybe.
    • Quotas/Warnings.
  • Encrypted mail (must be user-migrated).
  • Mail archives.
  • What is the plan with the migrated mail files.
    • OK to send mail from (is the sender/reply address OK)?
  • What happens to different forms, if they are used?
  • Identify if reply on old letters from the new mail system is a problem.
  • Is read/unread status migrated.
  • Status (icon) on “replayed” letters – probably not migrated.
  • Follow up flags.
  • And find out if there are issues with Rich Text/Plain text migration.

Team mail boxes

  • Identify the usage of Team mail boxes and what service the new mail system offers.
    • Functionality as the existing solution – example today you are using OpenNTF TeamBox.

Meeting invitations

Calendar services is most likely to give you the most headaches, especially regarding rooms and resources reservation, i.e. offer a complete service of reserving you physical conference rooms correctly across the different calendar systems. Other items to study:

  • Identify how participants in meetings are handled.
    • And events not yet responded to.
    • Updates
    • Repeated meetings.
    • Rooms and Resources.

Tasks/To-do

  • Delegation.

Personal Journal

OOO

  • What happens with users and Out of Office turned on?

Language

  • Are several languages supported – will they be in the new system.
    • Study how the migration/on-boarding tool(s) supports languages

Tools in personal e-mail

  • What happens to the rules in the mailbox?
  • Stationary.

Features/applications that send email

Overall Plan. Is the inventory of systems that has e-mail integrated known?

  • Sends email and text-only.
  • Sends e-mail with Lotus Notes links.
  • Sends forms.
  • Receives e-mail, example
    • Team boxes.

Focus above is e-mail, it’s still a work horse – due to the robust transport – and therefore critical for the business, still.

0

Moving Lotus Notes Traveler using new host name.

Posted by:

Scenario: you wanted to test Lotus Traveler so Traveler was set up to an existing Domino server at the time, or even the only server you had. Now you want to move it out to another server, as the Traveler workload is heavy, better performance is the goal and/or to eliminate the risk of Traveler issues* affecting your other service(s) on the machine, example it’s your iNotes server as well.

The need is to minimize user intervention on mobile devices moving to new dedicated Traveler server.

*) Heads up: Banned documents and Repeated Crash Protection for Lotus Notes Traveler: “By default the repeated crash protection is enabled and set to detect and ban a document after the second crash.

Ok – so if you can keep your host name and IP address for Traveler you are good to go ahead to do a machine swap, refer to “Moving Traveler to a new server” on the Notes/Domino wiki for more information.

But what if you can’t keep IP address/hostname – reason being host name that ended up in Traveler profile is the same name as your iNotes server, it is home server for Notes users and you did not use another virtual web server host name for Traveler. So basically you have a lot of dependencies to your host (might even have the same host name as Windows computer name) – some examples:

  • Thru iNotes redirect application and Mail server redirect setting web mail users need to end up on “server1.acme.com” (and that’s the same as in the Traveler profile) – evens if it’s thru “webmail.acme.com”.
  • You have other Notes applications and services on the server besides Notes/iNotes mail.
  • Integration to other systems.

Okay – so changing host name of Traveler server is it possible to do this without touching all existing devices – yes, if you have a reverse proxy it is. The proxy would use the existing host name and then pass (not redirect back to the device via 302) the request to the right server. This would avoid having to change the host name on the devices. It does add another component into the system for Traveler and iNotes so maybe this is not possible (due to the extra expense and administration etc.) – but it also is very useful, and a requirement if you want to have high availability for Traveler.

But is there another solution using redirects, modified IWAREDIR.NSF and/or “External URL” Traveler setting?

For the sake of argument, let’s say creating a redirection rule as if the resource requested by the URL had moved to another location (which it has – right). Even if it works – do you really want the dependency for Traveler users to the old server plus the extra load on HTTP crunching all the Traveler requests? I would not recommend it.

I checked with Traveler development team and they also responded:

The Apple iOS devices will not tolerate the HTTP 302 redirect that is proposed.  Most of the requests are POST, and the device will respond to a 302 redirect by repeating it as a GET which means the body of the POST is missing. This goes down error paths on the device and tends to cause odd device behavior noticed by the device user.” And “The devices will be making extra requests with all the redirections and that will affect battery life.

Alright – so these are some of the reasons you read in a lot of places that don’t change host name and IP address on Traveler installations.

Say you have a management solution for mobile devices so you could update profiles on devices centrally, how would that work. I have not tested this but if it’s even possible (note: I assume it is not recommended you should re-configure devices from scratch) – again for sake of discussion I suppose it’s like a server replacement from the device perspective – you should (must) stick to the same version so if upgrade was in the plan you have to do that later. Again from the Traveler wiki “There is no problem for the clients if the server must be replaced (e.g. double entries on the mobile device). The mobile device will not receive duplicate entries on the server or device. The one downside to this situation is that if a user had made changes on the device that were pending synchronization, then these changes will be lost when the server is restored. This is because when the server comes back up, the synchronization anchors are no longer accurate between the server and device, so the data must be refreshed on the device with the server version.”

And what about timing and testing this change – do all devices at one go – seems uncertain to me.

Convinced that changing host name on Traveler is too much hassle and still not want to have to touch the devices – maybe do the other way around, vice versa, change host name and IP address for the Domino mail server.

You could do that but that also requires careful planning. If you have Notes clients their location profile needs to be updated with the new home server – you could do a “Move to another Server”. But what about Notes applications shortcuts (i.e. Bookmark and/or workspace). You could set up a Domino cluster and Internet Cluster Manager as a work around/complement, maybe even letting ICM handle redirects (not my recommendation however). As mentioned earlier, you might have integrations points to this server with other services that could break.

If you choose to set up a parallel Traveler server and reconfigure devices you have the possibility to use the newest version and even to improve how the Domino topology is set up using a different Domino domain but keeping certificates so you have no need for cross certification. So when new devices and updates to Traveler arrives you can easier upgrade without impact on your other Domino domain (as long as you break replication of NTF:s – use “Surely Template” from OpenNTF  (love to see similar functionality in DomainPatrol PRO 😉 )

Summary: There is no simple way to change the Traveler host name. The only way for everything to work is for the devices to get reconfigured over time (pick your length of time or all at once) or use a reverse proxy solution.

0
Page 1 of 2 12