Monthly Archives: August 2009

Shouldn’t we "own" the REAL TRUTH about Lotus Notes?

Ed Brill’s post this morning – Notes myth v reality discussed in two good blog entries reminded me that I had recently been made aware that some individuals use Wikipedia’s article regarding Lotus Notes as their primary basis for evaluating the product.  Seriously.  These are non technology types – and yeah what are they going to do when they need to find out about technology?  They are going to search on the words “Lotus Notes” and look for the Wikipedia article.  And because it’s on Wikipedia “it must be true.”

Well, take a few minutes and read through it.  In my opinion, having worked with the product since (only 1996), I’d say there are A LOT of inaccuracies.  As Ed pointed out – Wikipedia looks down a bit on vendors updating their own entries.  So come on now…let’s take ownership of what we know to be the truth about the product.  Many of you certainly have the resources to make sure this is truly reflective of what we know to be an awesome product.  Ed also has offered to help confirm the dates/facts and such!  So Yellowverse why don’t we get organized…perhaps we could work together and have it updated before 8.5.1 is released?

Jam, Jam Everybody Jam! LotusKnows wants your ideas!

Rev your engines, mark your calendars, bookmark the URL!  LotusKnows wants you join in the creative process beginning on August 19 at 8AM EST.  Login to a special IdeaJam site and submit your ideas and thoughts for the upcoming LotusKnows marketing campaign.  Note – if you’re already registered at Ideajam.net your existing IdeaJam id will work as your login!  The site will be available until Friday August 21 at 8AM EST.

Beware of the Google Booth Babes!

If you’re thinking about making the switch to Google Apps and you are reading about the migration tool that makes “Going Google fast and easy“, pause a moment and shield your eyes from the glitter and glam.  Sure, the video promises an easy migration.  After all this is a migration tool based on a Lotus Notes application that you run on your own Domino server.  What could be better?  FAST and EASY.  Not!

I’ve used several migration tools, and this one does not rank up there with fast and easy.  And in the course of testing it over five days, Google has already released another version (without notifying the users).  The database does include the design elements, but it does seem to be missing some script elements, and requires MS XMLHTTP (so may require proxy access thru your firewall).  And will in fact overwrite the user password on the Google side with some configurations.

So again, proceed slowly if you’re thinking about the move to Google.  It may be the cloud, but it’s not Lotus Notes/Domino.

Tivoli Directory Integrator: Part 3 – Installing Fix Packs

By Marie Scott and Thomas “Duffbert” Duff


We hope by now that you have downloaded Tivoli Directory Integrator and taken a look at it for yourself.  We’ve had a few questions relating to how to install patches as TDI does use its own unique process for updates.  So we’re going to run through the steps for making sure that TDI is patched and good to go!


First things first… For example purposes, we’re going to demonstrate a Windows installation of a fixpack.  TDI uses an installation software package called GMI for applying fixpacks.  If you’re using TDI on a different operating system, review the fixpack release notes for specific instructions.  You may want to confirm the version of TDI you’re running.  Start the TDI Config Editor, then go to Help – About Tivoli Directory Integrator.  This will display the following screen.  As you can see we’re working with Version 6.1.1 Build ididev_070207b.


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Okay, now on to the update installer process.  It  boils down to just a few steps – downloading the fixpack from IBM FixCentral, extracting the files to a drive where you have TDI installed, and then running the installer.  Like the TDI product installer, GMI also uses Java and Flex, and will display a series of screens during the course of the install.

You’ll need to go to IBM FixCentral , and download the appropriate fixpack for your version and operating system of TDI. You will need an IBM login to download the fixpacks.  If you don’t have one it’s really easy to create one.  [Duffbert – I had never downloaded fixes from FixCentral so this was new to me!] [Marie – sigh.  Developers – do they ever patch their software?!]


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Fixpacks are usually shipped as zip files.  Save the zip file to a designated location on the workstation or server where TDI is installed and extract the folders and files – remember where you save these!  If you don’t extract the folders and files, the GMI installer will not be able to find the fixpack in a later step.

To start the fixpack installation using GMI, first locate the gmi.cmd file.  For a Windows installation, the default location is  C:\Program Files\IBM\Common\ci\gmi\bin

The GMI installer is included as part of the TDI base installation.

In our example, we go to Start, Run, and then Browse to the the location of the gmi.cmd file:

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This launches several Java processes:

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You may also see the Auto Deployment Engine: Update Installer screen as well:


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Welcome to the Update Installer – Select Next to continue:

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Select Next to continue to the installation of the fixpack after choosing “Install maintenance packages such as fixes, fix packs or refresh packs.”:


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The installer checks to see if there is a valid product to upgrade – in this case it finds TDI 6.1.1!  Select Next:


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You will be prompted to choose the location of the maintenance files.  Select the folder that you extracted from the zip file when you downloaded the fixpack:

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The installer will validate the Fixpack package:

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Once the installer has confirmed the version and package, it will display the package that is available for installation.  Choose the one you’d like to install and then select Next:

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We’ll choose install maintenance on this computer only since we aren’t performing a silent install:

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The installer will display the confirmation of what is about to be installed.  Click Install:

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The installer begins processing the files and applying them to TDI:

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If the installer was successful you’ll see the following screen:

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Congratulations! You have successfully upgraded TDI from 6.1.1.0 to 6.1.1.7.

Now to confirm your version, open the Configuration Editor, and click Help > About and see that we’re now running Build idi611_090609a:

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Once you completed this process, you should have an up-to-date installation of TDI and be ready to work magic!

Dream Lotusphere 2010!

The planners of Lotusphere just called you.  They are in desperate need of assistance.  How can they improve what is one of the premier IT conferences?  Hmmm….as I sit in my cube dreaming of Lotusphere 2010 and wondering whether I’ll be there or not…here are my “suggestions”:

  • Segway transportation for everyone
  • Free ZIGABIT wireless everywhere
  • Beer (warm & cold), Diet Coke, Starbucks coffee spigots – available 24×7
  • Powerstrips for laptops, macbooks during sessions
  • Hands on sessions with Alpha code
  • Your own Lotus Developer for a day
  • Vendor giveaway bags delivered to your room free
  • Podcasts and videocasts
  • Tweetups every 15 minutes
  • Beanbag lounge area with Guitar Hero consoles
  • Lounge area with tables/whiteboards for “unsessions”
  • Back massages in the afternoons (those backpacks do get heavy!)

What else would you add? Seriously or not so seriously?

Fix Central Maintenance August 11, 2009

Heads up — IBM Fix Central will be undergoing maintenance tonight.

Tivoli Directory Integrator – Part 2: Installing Tivoli Directory Integrator

By Marie Scott and Thomas “Duffbert” Duff

In this installment of the TDI series, we’ll take you though the installation process.  It’s so easy, even a developer can do it. [Duffbert – so that means I can install it!] And for reference, we’re installing this onto a Windows XP 32 bit machine.  But given that Java is a prime component of the installation and running of TDI, you should see many of the same screens regardless of your target OS. [Marie – TDI 6.1.1 is not supported on Windows Vista or the Mac OS. See the release notes for specific instructions for installing TDI on the OS of your choice.]

A quick note on the complexity of the installation… Imagine your complexity scale goes from Notes/Domino on the simple end, to something like WebSphere Portal Server, or WAS, on the “abandon hope, all ye who enter” side.  With Notes/Domino, you get a wizard that prompts you for some key information, and everything pretty much sets up from there.  With just a little bit of knowledge, you can get the install working nearly every time.  TDI does have its own method for installing fixpacks – using the GMI installer which is installed with TDI.

Where does TDI fall in this scale?  It actually makes the Notes/Domino installation look complex.  But is really that easy…

After downloading the software (you did do that already, right?), you go into the tdi_installer folder and launch the install_tdiv611_windows.exe file: 

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This will start a FLEXNet installer window that will run for a few seconds…

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Once this is completed (again, only a few seconds), you’ll get what looks like a more traditional install splash screen for TDI:

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Of course, you accept the license because we ALWAYS accept the license:

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And then the package starts to check and make sure it can complete the installation process (yes, it really is this easy):

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Your first real decision comes when you choose to take custom or typical installation.  Go ahead and select Custom, so you can see exactly what’s about to be installed:

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Decide where you want to install the software.  In this case, we just took the default choice:

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Next, you’ll be given the choice of which components to install.  Since we selected Custom earlier, all the options are selected by default.  We’re going to leave it that way.  One of the most important options to keep selected are the examples, as they will help you when we get to the development part of this series.  [Marie – if you’re only installing TDI on a workstation to do development work – there is no need to install the AMC and embedded version of Websphere Application Server. ] 

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Finally,  you’ll be asked for a location for your Solutions Directory.  This is where TDI will store your agents and assemblylines that you create.  In this case, we’re choosing to just use the install directory on our machine to keep things simple. [Marie – I usually put this in the TDI subdirectory under my TDI home directory – administrators versus developers…what can I say?!] 

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Again, the installer will check to make sure all is still good to proceed:

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The rest is all auto-pilot after you click install:

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Congratulations!  You’ve installed TDI:

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Now, before we close, let’s make sure you can start TDI with no problems…

Somewhere in your start menus, you should see the following:

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Click on the Start Config Editor option, and you’ll temporarily get what looks like a command line interface:

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Not to worry… just let this sit for a few seconds, and you’ll be rewarded with the TDI workspace:

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See — we said it would be easy…

Go ahead and get TDI installed on your workstation or server.  Our next article will start to explain some of the terminology you’ll encounter in the TDI world.

[Marie — if you do run into install issues — check out this technote for some troubleshooting tips. Reference 7013120]