Monthly Archives: April 2010

“You say eether and I say eyether…”

I have been fortunate enough to have worked with email through many of its phases of evolution.  From Host-based systems such as BITNET, IBM’s 8100, S/36, Profs, Officevision, DEC All-in-One, Wang Mail, to LAN-based systems such as cc:mail, IBM Workgroup, Banyan Vines, and Lotus Notes.  And integrated these systems with software such as IBM’s DISOSS and Softswitch and proceeded on to the early days of SMTP connectivity.

Many of the systems listed above have gone to the great IT graveyard in the sky.  New technology is being developed in minutes rather than hours/days/weeks/years.  And based on my own personal experience, whenever an article included the tolling of the death knell of a product, or the introduction of new technology – the reaction of management and users almost always follow Küber-Ross’s model of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. And after reading again the posts that stirred up “Notes is dead” again, it occurred to me that the authors are speaking not to the client software itself as much as the development tools that enable they and other developers to create applications that run on Domino servers.  Look at any list of new programming languages. Why wouldn’t it be IBM’s strategy to incorporate these new technologies?  They surely will work to do as long as they want Notes/Domino and Domino related products to be a viable option in the marketplace.

And finally to sum, I paraphrase the great Gershwin song…“Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto, let’s call the whole thing off…”

A little admin love in 8.5.2 CD4 – Space Used is Back as an Option

The Space Used column has returned as an option in the Files preferences in the Admin client.  It’s currently available in the 8.5.2 CD4 beta client.  I and a number of other administrators missed this option when it was pulled from an earlier version of 8.5.  Here’s hoping it will be included when 8.5.2 goes gold!

What the users don’t see will help them! 8.5.2 Silent Failover!

We as Domino Administrators love our users?  Right?  Of course we do!  Okay maybe not so much.  But with 8.5.2 if this option goes to gold, we might at least receive fewer phone calls!  How many of you have received the phone call when a user sees the popup dialog that the server is not responding and that they should select their cluster server?  Or better yet that they just get the error message that the server is not responding?  In the CD4 version of the 8.5.2 Beta a dynamic desktop policy setting is currently included to allow “silent” failover when the server goes down.

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m all about the users not being required to respond to a user prompt.  Because more than likely if they should respond, they will not! 

Another setting I’m in favor of is the “Enable upgrade of all local NSFs to latest ODS version.”  This is especially useful if you are trying to standardize your users’ desktops or resolve a problem that you may think is related to the current ODS version.

I would however, like to see some additional development in the area of policy administration.  Perhaps a method for testing policies prior to application, and certainly some improved methods for determining when and what has been applied.  Policies and settings are powerful tools, but at this point they’re still more like chain saws when what you really want to wield is a scalpel!

Tivoli Directory Integrator – The Best ‘Free’ Tool You’ve Never Heard Of!

Want to learn more about Tivoli Directory Integrator?  If you missed our Lotusphere session on TDI, join Tom Duff  and me for “Tivoli Directory Integrator – The Best ‘Free’ Tool You’ve Never Heard Of” on April 28th.  Visit the Consultant in your Pocket series to register.  And while you’re there be sure to check out the other sessions available – many are also FREE! 

If you’re using “Smart Upgrade Run As” to deploy upgrades – READ THIS!

A security advisory has been issued by Secunia and a technote has been published by IBM relating to a vulnerability with the password storage of the Smart Upgrade Run As package. 
The recommendation is not to deploy  Smart Upgrade Run As packages until a fix has been provided by IBM. 

Why I’m not attending a funeral for the Notes client…YET!!!!

I’ve been amused by some of the recent postings about the so called “death” of the Notes client.  And several things instantly crossed my mind.

  • I felt like I’ve read this before? (Perhaps when Lotus Workplace was announced…do I need to say more?
  • I remember similar postings about the mainframe dying and it just reinvented itself.
  • I am on the verge of completing a large Notes client upgrade.  And they still seem to be alive and breathing.   Client desktop management is rapidly changing but most organizations are a long way from finding a suitable solution to totally abandon the desktop and (gee déjà vu) go to lite terminals for web access only.
  • Clouds are coming.  I am more than familiar with cloud computing having completed a migration of 30,000 students to Google Apps for Education. And almost 9 months later we are still using components of the Domino back end as an enterprise directory and a mechanism for account management.
  • And finally my least favorite – that postings like these only cause more aggravation for those who are trying to continue to support Notes/Domino in their environment because a CIO or CEO has also read the article and assumes that the author must be privy to inside information and knows more about the future of Domino.

I am the first one to rant when I’m not happy.  So what would I like to see changed? 

  • I want a support organization that supports me as a customer.
  • I want software that goes out the door thoroughly tested before delivery, so that the basic functionality is guaranteed to work.
  • I want client software that is self upgradable and self healing when it crashes and fails over (no matter if it is desktop or cloud-based.
  • I want an open dialog with business partners and developers where I am able to make suggestions without the back room, backstabbing, condescending attitudes of the past.
  • I want more interaction with alpha and beta programs.
  • I want LotusLive to be free to universities.

Well yeah I slipped that last item in just to see if anyone was paying attention.  My point is that rather than sitting around suggesting doom and gloom – speak out with suggestions for improvement.  The Notes client isn’t going away anytime soon.  What can be done to improve it in the interim?  And what needs to be included in the future of Notes/Domino whatever planet it lives on?