Blog has moved to its new home

(again) .. I finally got round to moving my domain to a decent hoster (thank you one.com) so I have moved my blog entries back to its rightful place.

never fear if you have book marked a post previously you can find it .. thanks to the power of a handy rewrite rule in the htaccess file ๐Ÿ™‚

I have a bunch of useful stuff to blog which I will crack on with over the next few weeks before hitting IBM Think!

If you find any issues please let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

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 / Connectย  conference ..but not this year. This year IBM have boldly gone –ย  in the way of the Starship Enterprise – to another world for their annual conference this year. BUT not just for us ICS people!

With aย  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 getย  ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย 

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 Donโ€™t Make a Rightโ€”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.

 

IBM Champion and the Domino Jam

Friday the 12th of January was a busy day for me ..

Off to London for the face to face #Domino2025 Jam. I was slightly dubious, not really knowing what to expect but what a worth while experience it was. Approx 35 – 40 of us slip up into teams discussing and prioritising what we would like to see for IBM Domino App dev, mail, apps support and sametime for version 10 and beyond. The teams were split into a good mix of developers, administrators, users and managers and lots of interesting discussion was had, and they were not all ‘the usual suspects’. We talked about what we loved, what drove us crazy and a bunch of small things that could be resolved quickly. There were lots of different opinions and lots of very similar discussions.

The openess of it all was very refreshing, some of the IBM guys who have moved to HCL were there, the UK IBMers were their usual awesome selves (we do have some good ones – you know who you are ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) – the fact there was so much positivity, energy and enthusiasm of it all – from a user of this software I am really looking forward to the roadmap and plans for the future. As an administrator (at least for the Sametime piece of this – as everyone knows I am not a Domino Admin) again there were some very good ideas around admin and the infrastructer that is required – some were quite radical at that .. all in all I am pumped, enthused, insert other excitable words here about it all ..

 

I know that has been a lot of critism about IBM for being slow, behind the curve, too little to late etc .. but I think (and really hope) that all of that is in the past. Things are going to be good. Actually no, things are going to be great .. the momentum has started – we are running downhill, lets not stop or there may be a pile up ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The word on the street is there is going to be lots of news at the IBM Think event in March – if you are thinking about heading to Think talk to me or another IBM Champion for a discount

 

 

 

 

 

Talking of IBM Champions, I also recieved an email Friday morning confirming that I was indeed an IBM Champion again this year.

For those of you who do not know what an IBM Champion is –ย IBM Champions demonstrate both expertise in and extraordinary support and advocacy for IBM technology, communities, and solutions. The IBM Champion program recognizes these innovative thought leaders in the technical community and rewards these contributions by amplifying their voice and increasing their sphere of influence. IBM Champions are enthusiasts and advocates: IT professionals, business leaders, developers, executives, educators, and influencers who support and mentor others to help them get the most out of IBM software, solutions, and services.ย  – you can find out more information here.

This is such a big deal for me, I am so honoured to be a part of this amazing group of people .. so thank you IBM , and thanks Libby who heads up the IBM Champion program across all the brands world wide and Alan who has the task of wrangling the collaboration solutions champions inbetween his day job (you legend).

What a great start to 2018 – I work with the most fantastic group of people at BCC, have lots to look forward to this year work wise and I have been elected as an IBM Champion again. Lets do this ๐Ÿ˜€

Which version of IBM Docs to I have installed?

This morning, after a bit of attempting to work it out for myself .. I ask my good firiend and co speaker Roberto Boccadoro if there was a simple way to work out what version is installed?

WebSphere, Connections and the HTTP Server / Plugins etc all have command line options to find what version (and fixes) are installed and unfortunately its not so simple with docs ..

If you have kept the install files handy you can check but finding out the iFix version under the install\DocsApp directory where there is a handy file called ifix-version.json.

which gives you the iFix version .. which is just a number, 7, 15 or 25 etc. but how does that collate to which Docs version, CR and iFix you have installed?

Roberto has made a searchable list to make it simple to see what iFix version relates to which Docs version.

See Roberto’s awesome blog post here – and thank you so much my friend for doing this as it will save a bunch of time ๐Ÿ™‚

Connections Engagment Center coming to Connections Cloud

IBM have announced (see announcement here), that Connections Engagement Center will be coming to Connections Cloud from the 30th of Novemember.

Having used CEC On-Premises for sometime I know this is going to be a massive enhancement for Connections Cloud users. As with the On-Premises version it will be a seperately priced add-on for Cloud S1 and S2 subscriptions.

Want to learn more about CEC for Connections Cloud? Register for a webinar run by Alan Hamilton & Thierry Batut which is running on Fri 1 December 2017 at 13:30 โ€“ 14:00 GMT

 

Connections 6 CR1 is now available

As promised by IBM we have got it in November (so thanks Connections Team ) …

The full Fix list can be found in this technote here – IBM Fix List for Connections CR1

You can download it from Fix Central here – IBM Connections 6 CR1 download

Included in CR1 are all the day 1 fixes and the fixpacks from June – along with a bunch of other fixes, enhancements and preperations for Connections Pink

 

Current Status – Patching Dev ๐Ÿ™‚ will let you know if i see any issues.

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 2018ย 

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

IBM Docs 2 CR3 is here – and with some cool new features

So at last IBM Docs 2 CR3 has been released and with it some awesome new features that the community have been asking for (thank you IBM).

 

What’s new in Docs 2 CR3? LOADS of new features and fixes including …

The most exciting is probably the ability to deploy the Conversion server on linux (finally)!!

  • You can directly deploy Conversion server on Linux when installing IBM Docs.
  • If you already have IBM Docs installed with Conversion server on Windows, you can migrate existing Conversion server from Windows to Linux.

 

A track change feature for the Docs editor which is another feature that has been on the wish list for a while

  • Added Track Change support in Document Editor. People with editing access can use a new view in the sidebar to see what changes were made to the file and when and who. Changes can be filtered by the timeline and editors. File owners can turn Track Change on and off, and clear change history.

 

You can install CR3 straight over Docs 2, no need for the other CRs or iFixes – make sure you run the DB updates though to update the Docs schema.

 

Additional features and full realse notes can be found here: IBM Connections Docs 2 CR3 release notes

Download it now from Fix Central ๐Ÿ™‚

Issues with IBM Connections 5 / 5.5 and Chrome 60

There is a known issue with Connections 5 CR4 and all versions of Connections 5.5 when using Chrome version 60.

It affects events not being displayed and errors relating to events in the UI. It has also been reported that comments can be affected also.

After multiple BP’s and Customers reported this IBM Support have come up with a fix very quickly.

The fix you need is IFLO92844 – currently it is only available from IBM support – not sure how long it will be until it is available on fix central.

Open a PMR with IBM and reference these 3 PMR numbers: 76364,082,000 – 76379,082,000 – 38309,756,000 and ask for IFLO92844. You will need to specify the Connections version and CR.

The fix updates the Common app and takes about 10 mins to deploy.

Thank you IBM Connections Support / Dev for resolving this so quickly

Connections 6 migration observations

I am sure that lots of you have installed or started migrations to Connections 6 by now .. but I have found a couple of gotchas across the installs and updates that I have managed so far.

I am listing them here for sanities sake as I know when we google an error – this blog will show up ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Connections 6 itself

 

Generally this was a nice smooth install and all worked as it should in a clean 6 environment

On testing a migration though I found issues when trying to migrate some of the DBs.

After dropping and restoring the DBs some were not updating to the latest DB2 version – this is resolved by running the update DB command

db2 upgrade db <DBNAME>

this upgrades the DB to the latest DB2 version – I run this after each restore command now to ensure the DB does update

for example

db2 restore db BLOGS from E:\install\V55_Backup\db2_backup taken at 20170718123342 ON E:\ into BLOGS
db2 upgrade db BLOGS

 

The metrics DB would not restore as it was complaining about heap size – after a quick google on the error I found a page suggesting just to change the application heap size using the following command

db2 UPDATE DB CFG FOR METRICS USING APPLHEAPSZ 4000

This resolved the problem and the metrics DB could be restored

 

I have also seen issues with the Connections DB update wizard when the databases have a lot of data. In a mature environment I generally run through the wizard and save the update commands to a text file. Then execute them manually from the db2 command window – for example

Activities
 1. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\activities\db2\upgrade-55CR2-60.sql
 2. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\activities\db2\appGrants.sql
 3. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\activities\db2\reorg.sql
 4. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\activities\db2\runstats.sql

Blogs
 1. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\blogs\db2\upgrade-55-60.sql
 2. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\blogs\db2\appGrants.sql
 3. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\blogs\db2\reorg.sql
 4. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\blogs\db2\runstats.sql

Bookmarks
 1. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\dogear\db2\upgrade-55-60.sql
 2. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\dogear\db2\appGrants.sql
 3. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\dogear\db2\reorg.sql
 4. E:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -td@ -vf connections.sql\dogear\db2\runstats.sql

.................. ETC.

For some reason if you have large DBs the wizard struggles massively. Running the commands manually from the command window also allows you to dump each commands logs out into a text file if you need to. Great for debugging and used a LOT when I ran through the AIX Oracle to Windows DB2 migration last year.

 

Once the DBs were restored and updated run the reorg and runstats against each of the DBs before you start it up and if you can also run theย clearScheduler.sql for each DB.

That should sort out the majority of DB issues you may see during the update.

 

Connections TouchPoint

 

Again a fairly easy process once you work out what the documentation is talking about – things of note

The document speaks of copying the touchpoint folder contents to the htdocs directory –

 

 

 

 

 

 

you have to copy the entire folder – for example

Copy files from E:\install\Connections\Touchpoint\touchpoint to E:\IBM\HTTPServer\htdocs\touchpoint the wording in the documentation doesn’t really make that clear.

All of the paths etc in the documenation are case sensitive.

Another thing of note which has tripped me up twice now so I have to blog it (thank you Ben for the extra eyes on this one) is the contents of the touchpoint.deploy.properties

The touchpoint.deploy.properties which is included in the install files is different from the example the documentation gives, we basically mix the two and have the contents of the file looking like this

# when install to a clustered environment, provide clusterName.
# when install to a standalone server, provide node and server name.
clusterName=apps
#nodeName=icbvtDB2Node01
#serverName=server1

# setting required REE custom properties
ree.prop.image.upload.path=E:/IBM/CnxData/shared/touchpoint/upload_pic
ree.prop.profiles.app.entrypoint.host=connections.url.com
ree.prop.profiles.app.entrypoint.scheme=https
ree.prop.profiles.app.entrypoint.port=443

NOTE:ย  If using windows the image upload path must have / the linux way not \ the windows way. It will fail if you don’t even if you have it in “E:\IBM\etc…” it appears to be a java / python thing and the error will complain that it can not pass the properties file if the slashes are not /

 

IBM Docs CR2

 

To use IBM Docs with Connections 6 you must update to CR2 for Docs – that is fine (and see previous blog posts about issues with applying the CR2 fix).

There is an awesome gotcha that my good friend Roberto pointed me in the direction of the fix for – this one was a good one (thank you Marti for writing the blog)

The symptoms are Docs editing works fine, but when attempting to view a file the error : CLFAF400W: Canโ€™t access the document repository appears

Its a super quick fix – edit the viewer-config.json which can be found in the (i.e \IBM\WebSphere\AppServer\profiles\Dmgr01\config\cells\<cell name>\IBMDocs-config)

Under the section

"components": [
 {
 "config": {
 "uploadRepository": "lcfiles",

find the line

 "class" : "com.ibm.concord.viewer.lc3.repository.LCFilesEJBRepository",

and replace it with

 "class": "com.ibm.concord.viewer.lc3.repository.LCFilesCMISRepository"

Just above that you can see the files_path

 "files_path": "E://IBM//CnxData//shared/files/upload"

Add the additional info to that section

 "j2c_alias": "connectionsAdmin", 
 "s2s_method": "j2c_alias", 
 "server_url": "https://connections.url.com/files",
 "files_path": "E://IBM//CnxData//shared/files/upload"

So the full section will now look like this:

 "components": [
 {
 "config": {
 "uploadRepository": "lcfiles", 
 "adapters": [
 {
 "config": {
 "j2c_alias": "connectionsAdmin", 
 "s2s_method": "j2c_alias", 
 "server_url": "https://connections.url.com/files",
 "files_path": "E://IBM//CnxData//shared/files/upload"
 }, 
 "id": "lcfiles", 
 "class": "com.ibm.concord.viewer.lc3.repository.LCFilesCMISRepository"
 },

 

Save the file and do a full sync once a restart of the viewer app is done the viewer will now work.

 

One other thing of note when it comes to migrating the Docs data and DBs is that almost every time you do a migration the wasadmin user will be out of sync and you will see duplicate user issues in the log.

easily resolved by running the syncMember command from the DMGR\bin directory

wsadmin.bat -lang jython

execfile("filesAdmin.py")

FilesMemberService.syncMemberExtIdByLogin("wasadmin")

 

Other things you should do once the docs data has been migrated is to run the generate thumbnails command (also from wsadmin in the filesAdmin section)

wsadmin.bat -lang jython

execfile("filesAdmin.py")

FilesThumbnailService.generateForAllFiles()

 

Also to migrate any drafts from the docs installer directory i.e

wsadmin.bat -lang jython -f E:/IBM/ConnectionsDocs/Docs/installer/docs/tasks/start_migration_tool.py

 

Hopefully you won’t come across any or more than one of these issues, but if you do hopefully there will be a quick resolution.

If I find anything else I will be sure to blog them.