On November 9 at 15.00 BST (16.00 CET, 10am EST), ICON UK will host a special edition of their “Around The Table” webinar series focusing on the recently announced strategic partnership between IBM and HCL. The partnership, which covers the Notes, Domino, Verse and Sametime product families, will deliver a multi-year roadmap for the products, and Notes/Domino 10 has already been announced for a 2018 release.
It this time of the year again: nominations for IBM Champions!
Do you know someone in the community that deserves the title of IBM Champion? Someone who demonstrates both expertise and extraordinary support and advocacy for IBM products, solutions and communities. Perhaps someone who arranges user conferences, create videos to show different concepts, blog and share code. Or someone who speaks at conferences and thus promotes IBM products.
Nominate that person. Or if you are that person, nominate yourself! You are the one that knows the best what you have done. Nominations are open for another week, until November 13, and the URL is https://developer.ibm.com/champions/nominate/.
Finally, here is a video where Libby Ingrassia, IBM Champion Program Manager, explains what the IBM Champion program is, who the Champions are and how to nominate.
We have heard people claiming for years that Notes and Domino is dead. Today IBM announced a move that hopefully should put those statements to a stop.
IBM is partnering with HCL Technologies on the future development of IBM Notes and Domino, as well as SameTime, Verse, Traveler and the other associated products. The products will still belong to IBM, and they continue to manage the product strategy, marketing and licensing using the current offering management teams. The existing IBM development teams will be moving under HCL, where the actual development will happen.
From a customer standpoint nothing will change, except for an increase in investment and development. Support will still go through IBM, using the same PMS system as today. But it will allow IBM to get more developers and resources towards the development of new versions, using the finite budget they after all have. It is a commitment to a sustained long-term roadmap and increased engineering ability.
The big news is that IBM is committing to releasing Notes and Domino 10 in 2018, and also announced that there is no end-of-live date for Domino. Not even an “at least until…” date like before. IBM are even discussing the next version after Domino 10.
What can we expect to see in Domino 10? Inhi Suh, General Manager for IBM Collaboration Solutions, said that application modernization is one of the big focus points. IBM will hold several “jams”, sessions where customers and business partners can give input on what they want to see in upcoming version. You can already register for the first one, called Domino 2025.
Inhi says that not all functions will be in Domino 10, that is not even possible. But there is an increased commitment to the platform, and I expect that we will see many new and exiting features.
In addition, IBM will focus more on small and medium size businesses, not just large organizations. Domino is a great platform even for smaller organizations, so this is a welcome change in strategy.
Anyone who knows their Notes and Domino history knows that the original product, Lotus Notes, was actually not developed by Lotus. It was Iris Associates who created it, under a contract with Lotus Software. many of the developers eventually went from Iris to Lotus, and then to IBM, as IBM took over Lotus. I truly hope that the amazing developers who have been working on the products for decades will be able to move over to HCL and their expertise will be utilized. In my mind that Is crucial for the future success of the products.
If you are a Domino user today, you should be very excited about this news! As more news are made available, I will post them here on my blog.
Recently I did some long overdue changes to my Domino infrastucture. Many years ago, when I initially setup my Domino server, I put it in the domain /Martinsson, since my domain at that time was martinsson.com (as well as martinsson.net). The server was just for practice and fun initially, but I ended up doing more and more.
In 2013, when my wife Christina and I started a small business, I added additional internet domains to the server. Our business Demand Better Solutions strated getting some traction, and I changed my email address from firstname.lastname@example.org to email@example.com. But I kept having issues with the outgoing email. Often people did not get my emails since they ended up in their spam folder. I figured that it had something to do with the domain
It was time to bite the bullet and do something. I decided earlier this year that I would setup a server from scratch, on a new hosting service. I arranged hosting with Prominic, a company specializing in high quality Domino hosting. The account was setup in no time and the Domino server was ready to be configured. My new Domino domain would from now on be /DBS.
I am not a stranger to installing and configuring Domino servers, but I decided have a real administrator set up it up for me, to get everything perfect..This way I would hopefully also learn something. Another reason I wanted some help had to do with setting up cross-certifications with my old server in the old domain. My plan was as follows:
- Set up the new server
- Cross-certify the two servers and admin accounts
- Replicate over all databases from the old server to the new
- Update the ACL on all databases and remove references to the old server
- Delete the old server and all data files
- Install a second Domino server in the new /DBS domain
- Set up replication between the two servers (on different hosts)
I was lucky enough to get help from one of the best, Lifetime IBM Champion Gabriella Davis from The Turtle Partnership. If you need high quality admin help or advice, with Domino or IBM Connections, Gab is outsanding.
Gab helped me set everything up on the new server, I replicated everything, fixed the ACL settings and deleted the old server. The build of the secondary new server went off without any issues, which is not surprising when you consider the stability and maturity of the Domino server platform.
I updated all DNS settings, replicated all databases to the second server, and I was ready to rock’n’roll.
Everything worked well for a while, until I noticed that some email services still categorized a number of my emails (but not all of them) as spam. I did some research and realized that I never changed the SPF record for my domain to point to the correct mail server.
SPF is a email validation system, it works similar to a DNS lookup. When a mail from my domain arrives at a mail server, it performs a lookup to get my SPF record. This record, which is just a plain text string, describes which server(s) are allowed to send mail on behalf of my domain. If the server connecting to the mail server is listed in the SPF record, the email is accepted.
I updated the SPF record, and everything now works perfectly.
This is just another example of how powerful but still easy to use IBM Domino is as a server. The only issues I had were external ones, not related to Domino. Kudos to IBM (as well as the original developers at Iris) for building such a robust and still easy to use platform.
Yesterday IBM formally launched Watson Workspace as a general availability product. Anyone can now sign up for the free version, previously you needed an invitation. But the interesting part is the enterprise version Workspace Essentials, with features for security and control needed in that kind of environment. There you can also create and manage guest accounts, and you get 20 GB storage per user, compared with 1 GB for the free version. Another difference is the access to support. The free version uses online forums while Workspace Essentials has support and offers SLA. The cost for Workspace Essentials is $6 per user and month, somewhat less for large number of users.
There are a number of ways you can use Watson Workspace. Access through a browser (except Internet Explorer) or on your phone (Android, iOS). There are also native clients, both for Mac and Windows, built using Electron, just like Slack. The desktop app is fast and the user interface is nice and clean.
So what makes IBM Watson Workspace different from other group messaging software like Slack or Microsoft Teams? The answer is Watson and cognative technology. I have been using Watson Workspace for several months, and one of the features I like the most is called Moments, the ability to get a summary of all the messages I missed while I was away so I can catch up quicker. It has been working really well for me. Watson analyzes the messages, group them together by subject and decides what the most important parts are, and display that to me. I can then expand and see more if I like.
Just like in Slack you can add apps to Watson Workspace. The number of apps available now at the launch is very limited, but I would expect many more to be available in the future. Among the apps available are IFTTT and a connection to Slack. In Workspace Essentials there are also apps for IBM Connections and Microsoft Outlook email.
As you expect there is file and image sharing as well as presence indicators. But there is also one (or two, depending on how you see it) missing function. As of now you can’t edit or delete a message. This is however something IBM says is at the top of the list for the next iteration, in the near future.
Watson Workspace has a public API, and if you are a developer you can write your own bots or other tools that integrates with the software. You use Watson Work Services for this.
So will I replace Slack with Watson Workspace? Not fully, as I use Slack to communicate with a number of people today. But I will continue to run Watson Workspace, and probably expand my use. The Moment function is addicting, I really miss it when I use Slack and need to catch up on perhaps hundreds of messages in some channels.
Well done, IBM.
Yesterday I presented at MWLUG, and I want to share my presentation with both the ones attending and anyone who was not able to be there. I am posting two version, one with just the slides, and one with speaker notes, where I tried to capture the content, if not the exact verbiage of the session.
I hope to be able to post the demo database with the code later this week or early next week.
Tomorrow, August 8, you are welcome to attend my presentation “Elementary!” at MWLUG 2017. In about 45 minutes I will show how to easily incorporate Watson functionality in your own applications, both on the web and in your Notes client applications.
I will be using Node-RED and IBM BlueMix to do this, and I think many will be surprised how easy it is, and how little code is needed. For example I will implement translation from English to Spanish with two (2) lines of server side code. To call this from the web you just need another handful of lines.
I hope to see you tomorrow at 5pm!
It is less than 2 weeks left to MWLUG 2017, an outstanding Conference that I will be attending for the third year. This will also be the third year I will be speaking, and this time it will be a brand new presentation. My session, AD103, will be on Tuesday, August 8 at 5pm.
I hear that there are still a couple of openings left. If you have attended a previous MWLUG conference you are entitled to 25% off the registration fee of $100. But even at $100 this is a great deal, with over 50 sessions and much more.
There are a a few openings available for MWLUG in a couple of weeks. The conference is taking place August 8-10 in Alexandria, VA. It is shaping up to be a great experience, with over 50 sessions, two free workshops as well as social events and two round table discussions with IBM on the future of development. Among the many great presenters you will find 20 IBM Champions, as well as several IBMers.
The early bird registration has expired, but if you are a previous attendee, you get $25 off the regular price of $100. If you haven’t registered yet, don’t miss out on this great conference!
I hope to see you at MWLUG. My session Elementary – Incorporating BlueMix, Node-RED and Watson in Domino applications will be Tuesday, August 8 at 5pm.
This year the conference starts a day earlier than usual, on a Tuesday. But everything you are used to from the previous years will be there. Keynotes, sessions, workshops, breakfast and lunch, receptions, networking events, access to experts, and much more. A new even for this year is Linuxfest, known from Lotusphere/IBM Connect. It is again hosted by Bill Malchisky together with a (as of now) secret guest speaker.
You can register for MWLUG 2017 here.