OGS. The abbreviation seasoned ‘spherians use for the Opening General Session. The fear in the community was a repeat of last year, with endless customer panels with readings from teleprompter and no demos. But IBM listened. There were plenty of demos, and the customers on stage were on for just a few minutes, were well rehearsed and had interesting stories to tell.
The OGS started, as in previous years, with a musical performance. This year by the band OK Go.
Then this years guest speaker was introduced: Michael J Fox. He talked (among other things) about how 75% of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (which Michael is suffering from) are members of an online community.
What new products did we see? Well, we got to see what came out of Project Vulcan: the new Activity Stream. It is integrated with the next version of Connections as well as in Lotus Notes/Domino Social Edition and other products.
Another very interesting product that was demonstrated at the OGS is a plugin that let you run Notes applications totally modified in a browser, without having to rewrite it using Xpages. Finally, LotusLive Symphony has been renamed IBM Docs.
So what is Lotus/Domino Social Edition? Ed Brill explains it well:
What version number is Notes/Domino Social Edition? Answer: It isn’t. It’s a feature version, but it is built atop the simultaneously-forthcoming planned Notes/Domino 8.5.4 release.
It includes the activity stream, but if I understand it correctly, you need Connections in order to fully benefit from this.
Personally I think this was one of the better opening sessions I have been to. It was well paced and had enough news to keep the audience awake. The four customer cases were fairly short, but next year, try just three, and add even more demo, especially on the main product we all use, Lotus Notes.
After the OGS, I had some meetings. When they were handled, I managed to catch two good sessions.
AD111 – The X Path: Practical Guide to Taking Your IBM Lotus Notes Applications to IBM Lotus Domino XPages, presented by Hunter Medney and Stephan Wissel. This was a great session, explaining the recommended steps to move existing Notes applications to Xpages. The speakers explained what to look out for, and how to best perform the conversion.
AD106 -IBM Lotus Domino XPages -Write Them Ones, See Them Everywhere, by Viktor Krantz and Stephan Wissel. Another great Xpages session, showing how Xpages can be consumed by different platforms, including mobile phones and pads.
Then it was on to a reception for an hour, before heading to Joe Litton’s Mai Tai night. Then we all migrated over to Shula’s for the traditional UK Night. The night then continued on the Swan side outside Kimono’s, where a smaller group were hanging out, smoking cigars and swapping war stories from previous ‘spheres.
A great day and night.