My Blackberry Enterprise Server Push Utility for the Lotus Notes Client, allows you to create Jobs for individual Channel, Message, and Browser Content Pushes, as well as allows you to delete Pushed Channel Icons from defined recipient devices.
Blogger, podcaster, writer, and geek Chris Toohey covers topics from application development to the latest must-have-gadgets.
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Products & Applications
The idea is simple. At the start of your day - upon completion of your first task - create an entry highlighting what you did and whether you feel it was an efficient or inefficient use of your time. Based on several requests, you can also select the priority, apply categories, or even align your time against a project.
For Lotus Notes Client v8.0 and above, you can use the Time Tracker Widget to make this process even easier!
My Configuration-based Rich Text Mail Merge and Emailing Utility, Zephyr allows you to create rich, data-driven emails to support automated workflow - all via Microsoft Word Mail Merge-like architecture. Dear <firstname> allows you to personalize each email message not only to the individual recipient, but also to the individual application workflow event!
xCopy is a simple configurable xCopy client for the Lotus Notes client. By creating and defining xCopy Profiles, you can batch process your file backup or remote upload jobs. With the addition of the xCopy sidebar widget, you can easily kick-off these jobs, and modify both the xCopy Profiles and xCopy itself.
Community & Resources
The Lotus Technical Information & Education community is comprised of IBM, business partner, and customer subject matter experts who use product wikis, published articles, white papers, community blogs and the latest in social media to build and share high quality technical content.
OpenNTF is devoted to enabling groups of individuals all over the world to collaborate on IBM Lotus Notes/Domino applications and release them as open source.
Share your deployment experiences and best practices in our wikis and help IBM to create scenarios for successful deployments. Contribute to the community by collaborating on shared content and leverage the shared knowledge from that community.
Welcome to dominoGuru.com!
Focused on being the go-to resource for the IBM Lotus Notes Domino developer, dominoGuru.com delivers introductory-level best practices and advanced development deep dives for the IT professional, book and gadget reviews, and technical weblog, and more!
I've had several conversations in the past few weeks with various customers getting their thoughts on SaaS compared to those on conventional on-premise solutions.
The majority of the con-SaaS feedback was what I had expected:
- Who owns your data?
- What happens when the cloud bursts?
- Can I trust the provider?
... and other various concerns that focus more on IP. Again, this wasn't news to me.
The majority of the pro-SaaS feedback was - quite frankly - a little eye-opening for this IT professional:
I can get things done faster by going outside of the company and to SaaS vendor name.
If I purchase a product, it comes out of my capital budget. If we go with SaaS, it's an expense.
Now, talking to each of these...
This is probably the case with any organization. The reason? Well, let's ignore those situations where you have a disgrunted IT professional who was having his or her "case of the Mondays" and just doesn't want you to succeed in your job because their guild didn't defeat the Big Bad during their LARP outing.
The reason that an outside SaaS vendor will deliver a solution much faster than an internal IT department is often one of two situations (if not often both): bandwidth and corporate IT strategies.
First, let's talk about bandwidth: If you go to Acme, Inc. who delivers your SaaS-based CRM solution... that's what they do. That's all they do. They have server space and an environment waiting, and once your check clears you have your environment.
IT however is putting out fires that are often caused by the people who are asking for more gasoline. They want - sorry, need this immediately. They can't wait for you to properly research and test a solution, let alone investigate with solution would best integrate with your existing technology investments.
The plain sad truth of the matter is that - in most of the sites I've seen - you're fully-qualified IT pros are stuck swapping toner cartridges or trying to explain why it's a bad idea to leave an aircard plugged into the PCMCIA port when shutting down for the night and slamming the laptop into it's case.
The SaaS vendor? Well, they're working on marketing their product to the masses. Getting something slick and now in the faces of the decision makers. And sadly, I've seen it far too many times where the decision has already been made without IT being consulted.
The second reason is far easier to explain. IT forecasts their budgets, adopted technologies, and everything from End-Of-Lease to End-Of-Life products and services often years in advance. For most larger SMBs, that's a requirement.
Your SaaS vendor doesn't have to worry about corporate IT strategies... they just want to slam in their solution, get another customer on their books, and move onto the next demo for sales or marketing.
Now, don't get me wrong: there are great SaaS vendors that actively engage IT Departments and fully-support on-premise integration. I'm not talking about these vendors...
This is an interesting one. It boils down to the "why buy the cow..." argument. The answer... well, that greatly depends on your organization and your specific needs.
Consider this: SaaS is basically leasing software, the hardware that it runs, on, etc.. Indefinitely.
How long are your sticking with this SaaS solution? How will you integrate your SaaS offering with your on-premise technologies and existing investments?
There are countless other questions that you should ask before you go with SaaS or on-premise solutions, but the answer is a clear one: engage your internal IT Department. It's their job to facilitate the business... and they might be in talks right now with another vendor that delivers a solution - be in SaaS or On-Premise - that will not only deliver the feature functionality that you need, but that also ties in better with other department needs and other technology investments.
If you're in IT - reach out to your customers and their departments. Take time to listen and inventory their needs. Eerily enough, you'll find that all departments - from Finance to Facilities - often need the same fundamental capabilities with few niche requirements.
For the others, use the 80/20 rule and at least address some of their needs.
07/15/2009 01:13:25 PM by Chris Toohey
No technology - no matter how amazing - can survive in a vacuum. It takes integration with current technology investments, understanding of the need to integrate with future technology investments, and especially today leveraging Cloud services to make a technology truly valuable to your customers... be they internal or external to your organization.
The move to the Eclipse-based client - for more forward-thinking developers - meant that we could better wire our enterprise applications to interact with other technologies; that we finally had a platform for our product families that would allow us to deliver the usage experience our customers demanded.
And while there are still the occasional obstacle in our path, I'm much happier today as a Lotus Domino developer than I was a few years prior.
With the advent of Widgets and LiveText in the Lotus Notes client, a developer could give a user the content they needed within two mouse clicks versus loading applications and clicking through several different screens. Take this experience to the Cloud, and you have a limitless supply of technology integration points.
"Notes is the first open collaboration software to be able to provide users with desktop direct access by both LinkedIn and TripIt. This demonstrates the versatility of Lotus Notes in Web collaboration," said Kevin Cavanaugh, VP Messaging and Collaboration, IBM Software. "Whatever Lotus customers need, there's a widget for that."
Not only should you - true believer - get your marketing and sales force the LinkedIn sidebar right now, but you should also consider what in-house applications would benefit from their own Widget/LiveText integration with the Inbox - where your customer spends the majority of their day.
If there is an interest, I'll put together a series of step-by-step DIY Widget/LiveText integration articles showing you how you can get the most out of your Lotus Notes client - just comment to the post and share your thoughts!
03/03/2009 12:38:12 PM by Chris Toohey
I had the opportunity recently to speak with Sean Poulley - Vice President of Online Collaboration Services at IBM - about LotusLive - a Business 2.0 service offering that is far beyond "yet another social network".
Expect to see an article on the whole conversation, discussing things that customers and business partners should know about LotusLive, later this week... but today's post discusses one of the key phrases that I was introduced to while speaking with Poulley: onsite product portfolio.
See - LotusLive is only partially a cloud service! One of the intentions is to allow you to seemlessly integrate the onsite product portfolio with the ever-expanding LotusLive services portfolio - allowing you to better leverage (not abandon) your current technology investments in the Lotus brand.
One of the integration points that's available today is the LotusLive Plug-In for Lotus Notes 8 (LotusLive Login Required).
I'll give you a visual companion to the directions supplied by the LotusLive Support Team via the LotusLive Engage Support FAQs, and when complete you will be able to push and synchronize your Lotus Notes Contacts with your LotusLive Contacts!
Perform the following instructions on the workstation where you have Lotus Notes installed.
1. Using a text editor, open the following file:
Notes Install Directory\framework\rcp\plugin_customization.ini
The Notes Install Directory is usually C:\Program Files\IBM\Lotus\Notes
2. Perform one of the following steps:
If the following line is not present, then add it to the end of the file:
If the line is present, make sure that the value is equal to true.
3. Save the file and close your text editor.
4. Stop and restart Lotus Notes, if it is running.
Next, go Lotus Notes and perform the following instructions.
1. Select File > Application > Install. The Features Update box displays.
2. Select Search for new features to install, and then click Next. The Application Location box displays.
3. Click the Add Remote Location... button, and then add the following:
Name: LotusLive Updates
4. Click OK to continue. LotusLive Updates displays in the list of locations.
5. Click Finish and a new window displays.
6. Select the check box for LotusLive Updates, and click Next.
7. To continue, you must accept the license agreement, and click Next.
8. Click Finish. If a window displays about trusted signers, you must select Install this plug-in and OK to continue.
9. Select Yes when a message to restart Lotus Notes displays.
Now that you've installed this plug-in.. you'll want to use it! Simply select Tools\Sync contacts with LotusLive from the Lotus Notes Client File Menu.
If all's fine in the world, you will be prompted for your LotusLive User Name and Password credentials:
Author's Note: If you were originally a bluehouse.lotus.com user and your account was ported to LotusLive, change your account password via LotusLive Administration. Apparently (as I - and several others - experienced this exact issue) those ported accounts would allow us to access LotusLive.com, LotusLive Sametime and LotusLive Connections (even via the Activities sidebar), but thus plug-in only accepted authentication credentials post-account password change.
Once you've successfully authenticated, your Lotus Notes Personal Address Book Contacts will be pushed to the LotusLive Contacts list, and any changes with those contacts updated!
This is not only a pretty slick feature on it's own, but it should both show you where LotusLive can go once you understand integration with the onsite product portfolio, as well as give customers and business partners ideas on how they can make their own products integrate either with other cloud services or specifically with LotusLive.
See... it's stuff like this that makes me giddy: Lotus Notes is being positioned/has the potential to be positioned as the solution that binds cloud service offerings, in-house custom application development efforts, and thus the single functional dashboard to a customer's world!
If you're not already signed up, I suggest checking LotusLive out. And while you're there, feel free to make me a connection!
While at a dinner party last weekend, a guy who spends his days implementing telephony systems started talking about this pretty slick little device that - for $20 USD for the entire year - allows you to make landline calls through your high speed internet connection. $20/year, and it's a gadget... I was intrigued to say the least.
The gadget - the magicJack - is a pager-sized device, complete with a USB male port and a telephone female port (see pictures below). The device allows you to connect a "landline" telephone into your computer, where it will utilize the software installed on initial setup of the device to communicate back to the magicJack VOIP service - all this allowing you to pick up your telephone, hear a dial tone, and call anyone in the US or Canada (US Virgin Islands, and a few other places too...) for $20 USD at the time of this publication.
I thought you - my fellow geeks and gadget aficionadi - would be interested in such a device and the accompanying service. So, I want thank the team over at magicJack for sending me a review unit, and I plan on doing a "first impressions", "two weeks in", and "28 days later" series of reviews (as you have the option of using the 30-day Free Trial).
Unboxing the magicJack
My son came in from grabbing the mail the other day and, seeing the package in his hands, I immediately knew what it was - I had received my magicJack! Surprisingly my wife was even more excited than me. See, she evicted Vonage from our home... as she would constantly run into distortion, dropped calls, and other pains with VOIP. The magicJack was the promise of a smaller phonebill, and the buzz was that this was the product that could deliver where Vonage had failed in our household.
The above slideshow will walk you through the unpackaging process. Excellent. Consumer. Packaging. No Driver CDs to misplace or papers that just add to the clutter. You had the folder-like cardboard cover with the protective styrofoam packaging, the device itself (which contains all of it's drivers), and a USB extension cable.
Installing the magicJack
I'd love to make this section long and drawn out, but this is what I have: As pictured, I plugged in the device to my laptop's USB port. After about one minute (probably less to be honest), it did what it needed to do (installed the drivers and softphone media directly from the device source), and I was done. Done meaning that I was able to open the magicJack console/smartphone application (see below), plug my landline phone into the back of the magicJack, and I got a dial tone. Yep, even with taking pictures, it took me about 10 minutes to go from packaging to making my first round of test calls.
This thing is really designed for the consumer, and while the console software might not scream sexy, it's certainly functional. I tend to judge a product - especially a consumer electronics product - by how many times my parents would call me - the family's resident geek - during the installation. So far, I can't imagine getting a call.
Using the magicJack
You get two "usage scenario" options with the magicJack - the obvious "plug your landline phone in here" option, and the possibly not-so-obvious softphone option. This option is nothing new to those of us using VOIP software clients like Skype, but it works wonderfully for podcasters (which I am) who want to be able to record landline calls on-the-cheap with high fidelity.
You can specify whether you want to use a handset or another audio source for your phonecalls simply by making the change in the Headset Options dialog. As shown, I've toggled the magicJack to use my podcasting/VOIP headset (a Plantronics DSP 400 I think.... doesn't say) and it just works. Again, simple, and perfect for a consumer.
Now, I said earlier that I judge a product based on how many calls I get from my parents... and here's the kicker - the first real magicJack to landline call I made was to my mother. I 1) needed to speak with her and 2) wanted to test out the voice quality. After spending an hour on the phone, I brought up the magicJack, and mentioned that I had been using it for the past hour. My parents are currently paying >$100 USD/monthly for their landline. I told her that for $39.95 (the cost of sign-up/activation + the first year of service), she'd be done for the year.
I think I know what I'm getting them for Christmas this year... but I'll be putting this thing through the paces over the next month - properly vetting the device and the service, before both giving it my "must have" seal and picking it up for my parents.
So far, so good. Few things that I didn't like:
- ...was the fact that I could enter both alphanumeric characters into the input field on the softphone... but those characters would not translate (like they do on most smartphones), but rather just strip them off. Making 1-800-IBM-HELP dial 1-800, which threw an error!
- The documentation states that you must plug the unit directly into the computer and not into a hub... and that can be confusing. The device pulls it's power through USB, so if you had a powered USB Hub you're fine. I know... but, as a consumer product, people might think they need to unplug their current peripherals in order to set this thing up.
- Faxing didn't work, but this is a VOIP thing. Would have rocked though.
- My wife won't give it back...
Expect a follow-up to this review in the next 2 weeks!