Social connections round up

So a quick round up of #soccnx
Connections isn’t dead.. Long live Connections. And although the emphasis recently has been on the Domino 10 there is lots of work in the Connections space happening.

IBM are planning on releasing CRs instead of big releases. The plan is twice a year for on prem and up to quarterly, as most customers find it way easier to implement a fixpack change than a full migration/update to a new version. This is a great idea and I do agree that it’s the best way forward.

Connections customizer is the way to go for changing things – look and feel, functionality and it is possible to make huge changes without touching the underlying code – but its Linux only same as the component pack (type ahead, orient me and elastic search) – and an extra box (or 2) for windows customers will be required. It is very powerful and although I was sceptical to begin with I agree this is the way to go. It may involve some extra skills being required for Connections admins and a bit of sell to get the extra hardware, but worth it.

No news on docs, really but CR3 if3 of docs is the latest and it will be updated in the same way as connections.

Connections 6 CR3 has a bunch of cool changes for the look and feel including extra community file views and some cool visualisation features – this will be tested as soon as i get a chance.

Lots of emphasis on using the component pack (Linux only as above) but this has replaced the pink vision previously.

Other news – the awesome guys at ISW have a new version of boards coming – this quarter for cloud, next quarter for on prem – which includes new views for boards including a calander view. Can’t wait to see this.

Ephox is now Tiny not as in small as in the tiny editor. New versions of textbox.io and the tiny editor will be available soon for Connections and other Web apps – exciting times & the aussie party is back at Think 🙂

The guys at AppFusions have a great set of tools for integrating teams that work in. Connections and Office365 – I want to give this a try as I can see many customers that could benefit. Hogne gave a great presentation on this which I will share the slides from.

So all in all its been great.. The community is thriving.. Connections is alive and kicking and long may it continue

It’s IBM Connections Adoption Month woo hoo

I have been a little quiet on the blog as I have been working on a number of Connections related projects and today I see that IBM have designated July as IBM Connections Adoptions month. You can read a brief post about it here.

IBM have produced a fantastic info graphic – (the link to download the large PDF is attached to the image) – we winning social habbits with IBM Connecitons

I have written about this over on the BCC blog as we have lots of articles to help with adoption and offer connections services.

I LOVE IBM Connections – and have done since it was first thrown in my direction as “you know about that WebSphere stuff” almost 10 years ago now. I use connections every day, my customers love it and so do our ICS community .. lets lead the way with showing this awesome software some love and helping people get stuff done.

Think! – Back to the Future

Think is over and man that was full on.

To say this conference was massive doesn’t actually do it justice. The show floor and think park took most of the ground floor of the Mandalay Bay conference centre. A wander around the show floor could easily take an hour without stopping by any booths.

It really was an amalgamation of all the major IBM Conferences in one and other than a few hickups at the begining of the week, the IBM Events team actually pulled it off! Yes there were issues as there always is going to be when trying something for the first time but, lessons were learned, feedback (possitive and contsructive critism) was given and will be listened to.

Listening is something IBM hasn’t been historically good at from an ICS perspective, but they are listening now and it feels good.

The start of the Think week kicked off on sunday with Champion and Community day – a new thing that the conference team hadn’t tried before.

  • We had a keynote around champions, community and a taste of what the week will be like
  • Break outs and round tables about champions, user groups, and other interesting subjects
  • ICS specific sessions for the champions to feed back around
    • Domino, Sametime and Verse
    • Watson workspace and the new zoom partnership
    • Connections 6 and pink, on-prem and cloud
  • Reception for Champions and Community members to get to know people in other diciplines and brands

LOVED Community day – Really hope that IBM continue it going forward. It was also announced that a new site is being launched: community.ibm.com as a hub for users of IBM software. Its already populated with some brand/software communities with more being added as time goes on. It is fantastic that IBM have recognised the power of the user community.

Monday was presenting day for me and Roberto, and the session went well, positive feedback  and I am already thinking about ways to improve it. Thanks to all that attended and the slides can be downloaded from here. Monday was also chaotic, due to the showfloor and think park not being open. There was a little bit of congestion in the hallways and reports of people not making sessions, this appeared to be becuase of the lack of show floor as there was no where for people to go. Luckily I did make a couple of sessions and they were very well presented and well attended.

The General Session with Ginni Rometty on Tuesday morning was very interesting. Strategy and the overall picture of where IBM are going with Watson, Blockchain and other IBM technologies. It was a very strong message.

Chairman’s Address – Join IBM Chairman, President and CEO, Ginni Rometty and distinguished guests for a can’t miss address bringing together some of the world’s top CEOs and business thinkers who are building the future today by putting smart to work.

 

Another session that was interesting was Collaboration in the age of disruption with Geoffrey Moore and Bob Schultz. Discussing real world problems and solutions. I really enjoyed this and it did hit home, especially the section on Collaboration culture which sums up our Community. Well worth the watch.

 

Keynote – Join renown author Geoffrey Moore and Bob Schultz, IBM’s General Manager of Watson Talent and Collaboration for a lively discussion about the future of work and the powerful role that AI and collaboration technologies provide in improving efficiency, work-flows, and teamwork processes.

 

 

Every Domino session was absolutely overflowing and every one was rediculously enthusiastic.The Domino back to the future session with Andrew Manby and Richard Jefts was amazingly well attended, the session was standing room only and spilled out into the hallway. The same for the Domino on iPad sessions and the What’s new / comining in V10 session with Gab and Ram (Slides can be found on Gab’s blog here). All excellent sessions with plenty of content and news and REAL working code.


Domino Back to the Future

 

The community is buzzing with an energy and excitement I have never seen before and I like it. At the ICS day on Wednesday morning the message was reiterated that Connections pink/ next is coming and being worked on, Watson workspace will be THE place for on demand collaboration and now with the added bonus of zoom integration for on demand meetings too – It really will be a game changer. Domino 10 is coming later this year and a new client and sametime will follow but the emphasis is on making the Domino server backend the priority for the first phase of the 10 release.

Marketing is something that has always been a bit of a joke inside the ICS community as there hasn’t been any – until now. Yup, marketing … it is happening and there will be campaigns around Domino and ICS. The new team are a bunch of really cool and enthusiastic people.

The ICS brand is a small fish in the big IBM pond, and although the other brands have their own communities none are as passionate and collaborative as ours. The IBM Champions program has really helped in cementing the ICS community as the one other brands are looking to. There is no other community that is so passionate and positive, #ICSProud was the hash tag we were using and I am proud to be a member of this community and to be an IBM Champion for Collaboration. Thank you Libby and Alan and the whole Champion team for looking after us so well.

I am very much looking forward to the other user groups this year (and we have some great things planned for ICON UK) to hear the updates from IBM and HCL. Think 2019 will be in San Fransico 12 – 15 February 2019 save the date as I am sure it will be as big and ambitious as this year has been.

 

Vegas Baby .. IBM Think 2018

After the gruelling 10 hour flight and the inevitable jet lag .. IBM Think has started.

Kicking off with Champion and Community day. This is the first time IBM have run a day like this tacked onto the main conference AND so far its amazing. A full run down will happen tomorrow but thank you IBM for this.

I am really looking forward to this week. Catching up with old friends .. making new friends and getting to know more IBM champions from different brands ..

Exciting times ahead 🙂

You better Think!

Think 2018

It is early February .. and cold in the UK, normally we would be just returning or just preparing to go on the annual ICS exodus to Orlando for the beloved Lotusphere / Connect  conference ..but not this year. This year IBM have boldly gone –  in the way of the Starship Enterprise – to another world for their annual conference this year. BUT not just for us ICS people!

With a  potential 40,000+ attendees this year all the IBM standard conferences – Connect (Lotusphere as was), InterConnect, Amplify, Edge, Vision, World of Watson and PartnerWorld are all merged into what can only be described as a MEGA conference. IBM THINK! Which is in Las Vegas – which is as close to another world as we can get  🙂

Discover what the world is thinking at Think 2018, IBM’s first business event to go beyond IT conference, exploring cloud technology, data analytics & security.


Yes its going to be big, and that can be a little daunting, but I was pleased to see that Collaboration isn’t going to be swallowed in the sea of sessions, keynotes and events that are scheduled. Collaboration Solutions has its own Think Microsite which details sessions, keynotes and all the good stuff that we would expect at Connect or Lotusphere. There is even a handy PDF which details all the collaboration sessions at a glance with a key, making it super easy to find sessions that will interest you without having to wade through the hundreds that are scheduled. 

Also new for this year is the event site. Much better layout than we have seen in previous years, lots of quality information about the event and watson is embedded now to help you find sessions of interest and to make recomendations. HUGE improvement on previous years so thank you IBM for that.

The IBM Champions will have a big part in Think too, as its a mega conference covering all the software brands the IBM Champions will be mega too. There are now almost 650 IBM Champions world wide across the IBM portfolio and many will be at THINK. I am very much looking forward to getting to know some of the Champions from the other brands and see it as a fantastic opportunity.

 

Speaking at Think

If attending Think isn’t exciting enough …. I will also be speaking with my fellow IBM Champion and good friend Roberto Boccadoro. Our session will be covering troubleshooting IBM Connections 6 (and previous versions) and its supporting software and lightly touching on the new Pink technology.

 

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Troubleshooting IBM Connections

Monday, 12:30 PM – 1:10 PM | Surf B | Session ID: 1409A

 

 

If you want to learn more about Connections Pink troubleshooting you need to be at fellow champion Nico Meisenzahl‘s session – as Nico will be taking you through all the new Pink feature troubleshooting in his amazing session:

Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right—Troubleshooting IBM Connections

Monday, 10:30 AM – 11:10 AM | Surf B | Session ID: 1574A

 

Attenting Think? Would you like a discount

Want to attend Think and would like a discount – talk to an IBM Champion

 

I am SO excited about this new big conference – I will be reporting from Think, Tim and I will be hopefully be grabbing some interviews and soundbites for ICONUK – more info coming soon.

If you would like information on BCC’s products and services, be sure to catch up with Tim and I at Think – or schedule a meeting with us. See you there.

 

Version 10 and beyond – I Aint Dead

You are a Connections / WebSphere admin what do you care about Domino? I hear people ask – well actually I care a lot .. I use these products every day – I can’t do my job with out Domino / Verse / Notes and Sametime.

After what can only be described as a lack of love for the Domino/Notes stack IBM have made a HUGE announcement in partnering with the development team at HCL Technologies to bring a new version to the beloved Domino stack.

IBM signs strategic partnership with HCL Technologies to increase commitment and deliver major release in 2018 

No official press release as such but there is a post over on the IBM Social Business Blog here.

The IBM Team that look after the Domino family will be working closely with the team at HCL to bring us version 10 of the Domino family products as early as the second half of 2018. When I say Domino family it really is the entire stack .. so obviously the server (Domino), but we will also be seeing new versions of the Notes client (yes .. you heard me correctly .. a new client version with new features and things will be fixed), Verse and Sametime .. so it really is the WHOLE family.

Needless to say on the IBM Champions call that I attended last week there was a lot of excitement and questions .. this partnership is for the Domino family so the Connections and Docs development stays with IBM – I see this as a good thing. It’s fair to say for the past few years as the Domino family worked it wasn’t shown a lot of love, but there are things that need attention and IBM didn’t have the resource. Now they have – existing Connections and Docs development can continue at its agressive rate and the Domino family of products will get the development attention it deserves.

Some naysayers may say too little too late – but I can tell you that even though some customers have moved their mail away from Domino on premises to MS, Google or IBMs cloud there are hundreds of thousands of customers who rely on their Domino applications and can not run thier businesses without them.

I for one actually like using my Notes client for mail, I also use verse (both cloud and on premesis) and have a bunch of apps that I need to use both for my employer and customers that are Domino based.

To quote Granny Weatherwax from Terry Prattchet’s Discworld series

 

I Aint Dead

I am looking forward with excitment to what the new partnership is going to bring, improvements to the Domino family and news of the roadmap. This is not just about a version 10 .. this is a long term, forward thinking continuous longevity plan.

There is a video that Ed Brill has published with some information and a jam that you can register for to give feedback, ideas etc in to what you need in any future versions of the product. The jam is entitled Domino2025 and you can register for it here.

Don’t be put off by the name .. that doesn’t mean that it will all end in 2025 – infact IBM have said they could have picked any name – they just selected 2025 , maybe they should have used Domino4ever 😉

We are encouraged to get as many people who care about the future of Domino to sign up for the jam .. you can use the hash tag #domino2025 when talking about it .. This jam will help shape the future and plan the roadmap going forward – I do like it when people ask for feedback and then listen. It has taken IBM as a lumbering beast to get this .. but our ICS community has always got this.

The IBM Champions play a great role in getting feedback to IBM and I am still honoured and humbled to be part of this community and part of this group of awesome people.

Docs 2.0 CR2 – here we go again

I am blogging this mainly so I remember how to solve this

Big thanks to fellow ICS community member and all round great guy Robert Farstad for blogging this

Again you can see a problem when patching Docs 2 to CR2 as it can’t find the FQDN of the hosts.

The code has changed so it’s not possible to use the work around that we had previously.

There is a slight twist to getting it to work which Rob has explained fabulously so thank you mate .. you saved me a lot of grief .. and even IBM point people to that blog as they did when I opened a PMR to find out how to fix it .. 🙂

Want to go to IBM Connect .. be nice to a Champion for a discount

Being an IBM Champion is great and it does come with some benefits.

Today all IBM Champions are happy to announce that we can offer YOU a discount of $100 for IBM’s upcoming ICS event – IBM Connect in San Francisco

So what do you need to do – just reach out to an IBM Champion tell us why you want to go to Connect and what your expectations are and as if by magic we will give you the dscont code.

Now is a great time to register .. and I wish I was going to be there with you all (but I will be in Orlando – on a very long awaited family holiday) – so ping a champ and get the code 🙂

6 years a Champion !!

I recieved an email yesterday – just before I joined a live stream to watch the IBM Champions for ICS be announced.

[blockquote align=center]

On behalf of IBM, it is my great pleasure to recognize you as a returning IBM Champion in 2017. Congratulations!

[/blockquote]

 

 

 

 

I am so honoured to be amongst a great group of champions again. I have been an ICS IBM Champion since the program began in 2011.

Being an IBM Champion is all about being part of a great extended  community, sharing knowledge, giving feed back and constructive critism and helping IBM with what ever they will let us help them with – from documentation to ideas about Connect.

In my 6 years of being an IBM Champion .. I have made some great friends and been introduced to some great IBMers (who I now class as great friends), helped influence some products, given a lot of honest feed back, and assited with my favourite thing – Documentation 🙂 It really has been a blast .. and I would still continue to do these things If I wasn’t a Champion 🙂

Being an IBM Champion doesn’t mean you have to be a *yes man/woman* – It just means you are passionate about what you do and have the right attitude – that doesn’t mean agreeing to everything, being constructive, giving feed back and ideas is part of being a champion which is why I love it.

 

So thank you once again IBM and especially to Amanda and Libby for everything they do for us Champions .. and I hope to be worthy of this title for the next year 🙂

 

So Docs 2 CR1 and iFix 1 is not playing ball

I knew that some of our community had seen issues with applying Docs 2 CR1 and the accompanying iFix, so I purposely held off applying it.

But low and behold on Saturday afternoon when I did attempted to install CR1 I had problems.

The Docs and Viewer applications deployed without issues, but the Conversion server had these errors:

WASX7303I: The following options are passed to the scripting environment and are available as arguments that are stored in the argv variable: "[remote_install_a_version, connections.hostname.com, [u\'connections.hostname.com\'], 8]"

WASX7017E: Exception received while running file "../execwas.py"; exception information: com.ibm.websphere.management.exception.AdminException: CWWSY0102E: Target with name connections.hostname.com was not found.

My friend and co-speaker Roberto Boccadoro had had this exact issue .. so off I went to his blog and round this post: IBM Connections Docs 2.0 CR1 fix does not install.

Excellent .. Followed the instructions but that didn’t resolve it – exactly the same issue. I checked the machine name, its host entry and FQDN and they were all correct – stumpted I asked in the Connections skype chat as I know other people had seen similar issues.

Monday morning .. I started getting some answers ….

Another quality participant Robert Farstad had seen issues with the Conversion application installing the iFix 1 for CR1 so I checked out his blog post here: Docs 2.0 CR1 iFix 001 – Conversion app will not update. Where there is an issue with the conversion-config.json in the Dmgr config not having the iFix attribute in the build section
i.e

 "ifix_version": 6,

I added this at version 1 for my test as I hadn’t applied any fixes at this point.

Tried to run the update again and you guessed it – failed again with the same issue as previously.

Roberto went back through his notes and found another post he had made on another Docs install he had issues applying the fix on ..IBM Connections Docs CR1 installation may fail with an error on Conversion server. This issue was exactly the same problem as I had the resolution is actually very simple

  1. Edit the applypatch.py in the Docs CR1 install directory
    Comment out the 2 lines in red from the def update_apps() section of the file

    def update_apps():
    
     “””update apps in present work directory”””
    
     for filename in os.listdir(‘./’):
    
     if(filename.endswith(“.ear”) or filename.endswith(“.ear.zip”)):
    
     appname = get_app_name(filename)
    
     CONFIG.call_was_task(‘update_app’,[appname, filename])
    
     #if os.path.exists(“docs_remote_installer.zip”):
    
     #update_conversion_binary()
  2. Under Docs CR1 install directory, go into the DocsApp subdirectory and rename the file concord-config.json to concord-config.json.OLD or something similar
  3. Re run the apply update script – it should work this time AND update the ifix version number in the config file to 6.
  4. Stop the Conversion cluster
  5. Under Docs CR1 install directory open the DocsConversion subdirectory. Unzip the docs_remote_installer.zip to a directory (in my case this was E:\Install\Docs\IBMConnectionsDocs_2.0_CR1\DocsConversion\docs_remote_installer)
  6. Check the [SYM_COUNT] which is the number of instances of symphony that are configured, typically this is between 4 and 8. Check the <Conversion_Install_Root>\symphony directory (in my case E:\IBM\ConnectionsDocs\Conversion\symphony)
  7. From the docs_remote_installer directory () run the command
    upgrade_node.bat --installroot <CONVERSION_INSTALL_ROOT> --symcount <SYM_COUNT>
    
    i.e
    
    upgrade_node.bat --installroot E:\IBM\ConnectionsDocs\Conversion --symcount 8
  8. Check fixpack.log in directory <CONVERSION_INSTALL_ROOT>\logs\
  9. Restart the Conversion cluster

Now all is good with my Docs update .. its working perfectly with Connections.

Thanks again to Roberto and Robert for helping me find the right solution.