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!
Within 5 minutes, Angus McIntyre provides a great introduction and overview to Lotus Domino Designer. I'm really excited about the material that's coming from IBM lately: introduction, overviews, and documentation, all to support user and geek education of the product and platform capabilities.
10/06/2009 02:37:01 PM by Chris Toohey
The other day, I took a 2-day course on Time Management, where I basically learned that my procrastination and misuse of time causes me to be inefficient.
I also learned something that we may all know, but it (at least for me) didn't really hit home: we all get the same number of hours in a day, and time is a finite resource.
One of the take-aways from this course was that I should be using technology to make me more efficient. Notice I didn't say productive, but rather efficient. See, smashing my head against a wall for an hour will produce a bloody mess... it certainly doesn't make that hour an efficient use of my time.
So I've started using more and more of the Calendaring & Scheduling capabilities in Lotus Notes... and not just for meetings and appointments. One of the things I learned is that I need to start allocating time within my schedule to do the things that I need to do - if I need 2 hours to put together a project plan for an upcoming project, I should be blocking out 2 hours from my daily schedule solely for that activity, and treat that allocated time the same way I would a normal meeting: focus on the task at hand, and use the time as efficiently as possible.
I've also started to better leverage the To Do functionality in Lotus Notes - I am tracking individual tasks, marking them complete as I go.
I learned that - for procrastinators like me - creating and well-documenting a task list (making sure to put priorities against each task and ensure that each works towards the project goals) is the best way to both keep focused and ensure I do the items that must be done, not the ones that look like the most fun.
So every morning I have 30 minutes blocked out of my schedule to put together and/or review my daily task list.
Another exercise that is intended to help me see my time wasters - which was recommended both in the training literature and by the instructor - is to keep a time diary. The idea is simple - write what you're doing, when you're doing it, and whether that was an efficient or inefficient use of my time.
At the end of a given day, I should have all of my time for the day accounted for - allowing me to see (when compared against my calendar and task list) where I succeeded and where I failed to make the most out of my time.
... so why am I bringing this up here? Well, aside from the fact that I don't think I'm the only procrastinator here and thought that sharing this information could prove invaluable... I honestly couldn't see myself keeping an ongoing diary of my time.
At first, it felt really weird; like I was spending more time working on the diary than working on... work.
Then I remembered - I'm a developer. There's gotta be a better, easier way of doing this.
So I created Time Tracker, a personal time-tracking productivity application for the Lotus Notes client.
This is a simple Lotus Notes Client Application that allows me to create time log entries, categorize each as Efficient or Inefficient, and mark the start and stop times of the given activity.
Where this really comes in handy is Sidebar Widget:
Again, simple: enter a description for the time, and hit the Efficient or Inefficient buttons. If it's the first entry of the day or if you check off the checkbox on the right-hand side of the description, you're presented with a dialog prompt asking you to set the start and end times.
No check in the checkbox or if this isn't your first of the day? It uses the last time entry as your start time and
Now() as your end time, and tracking your efficiency becomes a 1-click task!
I plan on publishing this application once I work out a few kinks (mostly in the Calendar View - nothing major, just not quite there yet from a UI standpoint). It will be a freeware/Open Source application, and I'm thinking of wiring some Readers fields into the backend - defined/toggled via the Preferences - that will allow you to easily put this on a Domino server and have multiple people enter their entries into a single application instance.
Thoughts? Features you'd like to see? I have some time available in my schedule coming up next week where I plan on finalizing the v1.0 release, so let me know what you'd like to see!
05/26/2009 11:43:07 AM by Chris Toohey
Option 1 of our Community Kickoff meeting today went without a hitch! We defined the objectives of the initiative, showcased not only the IBM Lotus Notes Domino Wiki but also the previewed the XPages-based Wiki template that will soon hit developerWorks, and established what Lotus Advocates already knew: this IBM initiative is about using the technology and collaborative tools in and beyond our products portfolio to establish and maintain connections with customers, subject matter experts, business partners, and IBM key players.
Joyce Davis, the Community and Program Manager, has published today's presentation online in case you missed the meeting (or, like some were stuck in your car during the call!):
If you missed this morning's conference call and presentation, there's always Option 2, which takes place tonight at 8PM Eastern (click-thru the link for all conference information).
Once you've signed up, feel free to connect to me via their public Sametime server at sametime.lotus.com, where you'll be able to connect to other community members as well!
I thought I'd take a few minutes to highlight and comment on several of the truly things you should know news items and upcoming events in the IBM Lotus Community lately.
May 10th, 2009: Nathan highlights the Bob Picciano vs. Lotus Online Community Bloggers conference call, which took place on Friday, May 8th, 2009. I had the privilege of not only attending the call but asking Bob the following question:
You'd mentioned that collaboration was the heart of the Smart Work initiative. Do you see certain products in the Lotus portfolio coming to the foreground? And conversely do you see some products falling to the background? Would we leverage more cloud services? Or are we looking at streamlining Domino? What's the break down as you see it to really drive this initiative home?
At least that's what Nathan quoted me saying, which sounds a lot smarter than anything that normally falls out of my mouth...
Bob fielded each question - including this one - like someone who actually gets it. This was my first interaction with the current General Manager of IBM Lotus, and the impression that I left with was that Bob is one of us.
A few things that you should absolutely take away from the call:
Mac as a client alternative is shaking people up to understand that there's no reason I couldn't have the same level of proficiency with a slick client like Ubuntu.
Nathan highlighted this one as well - the BYOOS attitude of the Lotus product portfolio really shines through with this statement. Lotus products are a cost-savings alternative to competitive collaborative technologies - in part - due to their non-dependancy on Operating Systems, Hardware, etc.
The other aspect of the applications is that it's not necessarily the traditional apps -- they can be apps that come through SaaS, web services, widgets and gadgets which are much less dependent on underlying technology, and as a consequence act as an enabler.
I'll step back here and bring up a topic that was just discussed on the latest episode of The 1352 Report. In this episode, the gang discusses potential marketing to the end user customer.
The thing that I have always found in these Lotus sucks arguments that arguably helped spawn (or at least contributed to) the Lotus Marketing discussion is this: the main reason people complain about Lotus Notes is that they perceive a better usage experience with a different technology. They know the other technology. They've seen what it can do. They've heard good things about it. Whatever the case, the driver isn't something personal against a given Lotus product (again, in most cases) but the want of the day-to-day customer to have a better experience and ultimately an easier work day.
Now, in that context, consider Bob's statement. Lotus products can be used to deliver enterprise level, real-business issue-addressing solutions via SaaS, cloud solutions, widget and gadgets as well as traditional web browser or fat client applications without pushing a given technology. Hell, the technology should be seamless and transparent in the usage experience.
Does this change how you're building your Lotus product-based applications?
There's so much more potential on what we can do today. We've got to get the word out.
This - to me - was the biggest take away from that call. IBM understands - like every yellowbleeder knows - that we are working with an absolutely amazing product portfolio. IBM - more importantly - understands that they need to make customers know that too. And IBM is really starting to push initiatives to make this a reality. I think they understand that their marketing may be missing their targets. They understand that there is a lot of talent outside of the IBM organization and are looking to leverage it with new strengthened community interactions. And while it's not something that can happy overnight, it is happening!
May 12th, 2009: OpenNTF, just this past week, announced their Steering Committee members and released their new online web presence.
OpenNTF's mission statement (if you will):
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.
Browse the catalog to find the projects, components and controls you're looking for which have been made available under the Apache license (ALv2).
Get involved in OpenNTF by contributing code, discussing technical topics or submitting ideas for OpenNTF improvements.
In the midst of this re-launch, long-time OpenNTF contributor Declan Sciolla-Lynch published the following observation: Is OpenNTF In Danger Of Jumping The Shark. Interesting points and concerns that I'm certain are shared amongst contributors and users alike, but the thing that I want to point out here - which serves to drive my earlier point home - is that IBM is engaging the community. In this case, it was by through the OpenNTF Steering Committee members and those IBMers who commented on the post. Definitely a must-read for anyone who leverages the amazing contributions, thankfully contributes themselves, or is especially concerned about IBMs involvement in the Open Source Lotus Notes/Domino community initiative.
May 13th, 2009: And speaking of community initiatives, the Lotus Technical Information & Education Community Kickoff meeting is scheduled for May 26th, 2009.
Join us for the first monthly meeting of the Lotus Technical Information and Education community! Our community consists of IBMers, business partners and customers who contribute to or use technical information for Lotus & Websphere Portal products, as well as those who have worked with the Lotus Information Development Center to provide feedback to help improve our offerings.
In this kickoff meeting, you'll hear about our community building strategy, meet some of our advocates who've agreed to help drive contributions, and learn how you can participate in our community to help keep technical information accurate, comprehensive, easy to find and relevant.
If you have product expertise to share or have opinions on how Lotus technical content can be improved, please join us for this important kickoff meeting! If you can't attend live, be sure to listen to the audio replay which will be posted following the meeting.
To accommodate schedules, we've setup two meetings:
- May 26th, 2009 @ 9:00AM - 10:00AM Eastern (-5:00 GMT)
- May 26th, 2009 @ 7:00PM - 8:00PM Eastern (-5:00 GMT)
We will be updating the Lotus Technical Information and Education Community (Greenhouse Login required) with more information on the meetings as we get closer to the date! If you're not on IBM Greenhouse (or are and haven't joined the the Lotus Technical Information and Education Community yet) there's still time to join before the call!
Those of you on Facebook can get more information via the following published events on the Lotus Technical Information and Education Facebook page:
05/08/2009 10:35:54 AM by Chris Toohey
After my post from the other day - Getting Lotus technologies to tomorrow's developers - Marie Scott shared information on the following IBM program: IBM Academic Initiative - part of the IBM University Relations program:
From the Become a member section:
Join the IBM Academic Initiative and get access to our valuable resources, at no-charge.
Great - where do I sign up?! ;-)
Who can join? Faculty members and researcher professionals at accredited institutions of learning and qualifying members of standards organizations, all over the globe. Membership is granted on an individual basis. There is no limit on the number of members from an institution that can join.
I have contacted one of the people in charge of the IBM Academic Initiative and will hopefully have some more information to share on this program soon. Until then, check out the IBM Academic Initiative home page - especially if you work in the education field!
However, in the comments section of my post from the other day, Jan posts:
We are a student organisation (11 national places) and we use notes internaly: 300 ID User, alumni as webuser, notes used as webCMS, email and to organise our projects. We do avything unpaid and during our freetime.
We have two big problems with notes/domino right now: we once started with notes because we got a sponsoring from IBM. This is not anymore happening, you need to have some contacts in the right place, which we don't have anymore. This means two things: first we need to pay for updates, which is a big blow for our financial situation and second, we don't get to use new technology like sametime, conection and so on. Which basicly means that IBM misses the oppertunity to show their producs to 150 new students, which will become engineers and manager in a not so distant future.
The bigger problem is, that we don't get any students anymore, which want to play around with a notes/domino system. Most of them want to play with "cool new" MS thingies or "cool PHP" and noone wants to learn the unsexy beast, which is notes/domino. This is becoming a big problem for us, as basicly our system is going into "unsupported" mode during these days as the main persons responsible for the system finished their studies.
I think this is a problem with marketing: Notes is a software, which is "uncool" and so noone wants to have something to with it if he can't help it. Also, as it is not aimed at "normal" users, only at big companies, almost no student has heard of it or used it. And noone has thought about programming for it or played around as an admin.
The even bigger problem is, that noone sees it as a future career path. PHP, Open source, MS, that's the way to go, but N/D?
I've brought this comment out in it's own post, because I think it's something that should be discussed!
Now, I don't know Jan nor do I know the whole situation, but I think that we can all at some level empathize with that feeling of a great technology that we love being looked over for something that we absolutely know to be inferior, all the while being relatively helpless to do anything about it.
To address Jan's issues specifically:
I don't know if Jan was enrolled in this program or another one and something changed... If you were not enrolled, it sounds as though this program may meet the needs of your school. If you were enrolled in this program... what happened?!
This issue goes to the heart of my post from the other day - how do we drive interest in a product that is being marketed and directed to CIOs and has no real focus toward the typical day-to-day customer usage experience.
Years ago - decisions like this were top-down, no questions asked. Today, that's shifting. Employers are looking to keep employees happy, but more importantly keep them productive. If that's the case, do you go with a product portfolio that no one's ever heard of?!
Today I was lucky enough to participate in on a phone call with Bob Picciano, as well as a few other Lotus Online Community bloggers. During the call, he described a scenario he recently experienced where someone using the Lotus Notes Client was able to go from their email into LinkedIn via a Live Text Widget. In a very real world scenario, this person was able to get the information that they needed within seconds using Lotus technologies! Before I could unmute, Nathan said what we were all thinking:
That needs to be in a viral video on YouTube!
The good news? IBM gets it! They're engaging the community - business partner, customer, and global alike - like never before. There are new and exciting products and offerings, as well as better emphasis on adding requested (and often demanded) features into existing products. The technology is sexier, is more capable, and is focused on improving the real world day-to-day customer user experience.
But who knows about all of that hard work and innovation? How do we effectively showcase the Lotus product portfolio in a way that gets people as excited about XPages in the Lotus Notes Client as the most die-hard yellowbleeder? And while we put the pressure on IBM to create better product, better marketing material, and push the message... is there anything that we can do?
Thoughts and comments appreciated...