Sutol, Pokemon and an awesome time

As blogged over on the BCC page .. a round up of Sutol with some extra Shaz related bitsΒ  πŸ™‚

Last week we were in the beautiful city of Prague for the 8th annual SUTOL Czech user group. It was a small affair with approx. 100 attendees – making it more like an extended family gathering, which actually worked really well. The sessions were well attended and there seems to be a chunk of Czech business that already have hybrid and cloud environments and are uses of IBM Connections.
The Keynote:
Lots of news which was nice .. some of it revisited some of the information that was made public at ICONUK, but there were updated and NEW news!
So Drew Birnbaum kicked off the keynote with a look at ICS strategy through the ages – admitting that IBM had lost its way a little and how they are redeeming themselves going forward. It was very refreshing to know that the beast that is IBM have taken on board what Customers, Business Partners and IBM Champions have been saying – so positive news on that front.
Drew also covered the #newwaytowork message that IBM have been delivering to us over the past few months, and it seems to be becoming more and more relevant to how normal businesses work. One of the statistics that was shown was the average worker consumes approx.. 15.5 hours of media a day – 15.5 hours!! That is a lot of data, it’s no wonder we can get distracted.
One of the things that the Watson and cognitive engines can do is help us make sense of all that *stuff* and we are seeing it more and more as the API’s become available to hook in to. This message was reinforced on the integration into application and services that are cloud ready. Unfortunately there is no news on when on premises customers will be able to take advantage of this – here is hoping that one day we will be able to consume Watson or some of those features as a web service.
Barry Rosen had a lot to say. He is the new hero of our ICS community, and has become the go to man to pass on concerns, queries and praise to IBM. Always ready to listen and very honest, and had already made some changes since he announced the Road map at ICONUK back in September 2016.
The features and fixes to be released in the Notes/Domino feature packs are to be released via priority. Each cycle the highest priority fixes and features will be worked on for release, rather than promising something and not delivering, announcements will be made on what is coming over the next few weeks we hope and that will continue going forward. Again another improvement.
Sametime will also follow the continuous delivery method, which is fantastic news. There were a lot of speculation that IBM would be killing off Sametime now they had Watson Work (Project Toscana) and the alliance with Cisco, but Barry told us Sametime is not dead and it will have continued investment and fixes. Sametime IS the on-premises chat and meeting solution and will continue to be.
The same can be said of application development and x-pages. There will be an announcement in early 2017 on the future of application modernisation, development and the plans IBM have – Connect 2017 will be the place to hear this. Barry assured us that Martin Donnelly’s x-pages team have plenty to do and to release to us – looking forward to more new on that early next year.

If you are wanting to go down the Verse on Prem route for your email client there is also good news. The Connections entitlement to Files and Profiles has now been updated for Domino 9.0.1 customers to allow Connections 5.5, allowing the additional features for Verse on Prem at no extra cost – Shameless plug for the BCC Connect your Domino offering to help you get to that point to be Verse ready.
The ICS portfolio is becoming like a buffet, allowing us to pick and choose what applications and solutions suit our business and needs as users. Improved integration points should make this a lot easier and with the new framework and set of APIs for that framework will ensure that it’s easier to integrate applications and systems.
So exciting times and generally good and positive news all around. I sincerely hope that this is not too little too late and that IBM really have taken note of what Customers and BPs have been telling them. It’s a good message that Customers that can’t or won’t go to the cloud are still going to get support and updates for on-premises software and that if they do want to go hybrid that there will support for that too – Another shameless plug fpr the BCC Admin Tool for Connections Cloud at this point, as this helps with just that very scenario, manage your Hybrid and Cloud users just like your on-prem ones.

All in all ….
A very positive message was sent out by IBM and the attendees and those following the twitter stream seemed also to be enthused by the message, let’s just hope that message and the enthusiasm stays with us to Connect and Engage and well into 2017.

Personally

This was the first time I had been to SUTOL .. It really was like an extended small family gathering .. which was GREAT .. so good to catch up with friends and colleges in our space and with those IBMers that I only get to see at events like this. I finally got to chat to people that I have only spoken to in skype and on twitter. User groups are so important for networking and keeping in touch with what everyone is doing and sometimes you can’t beat a chat over a beer.

The speaker / sponsor dinner was so much fun – i haven’t laughed so hard and so long for a while .. Prague is also excellent for Pokemon hunting and I caught my first 2 Pikachu on the way, and about 15 other little blighters and many stops (so lots of balls).

The food was amazing, filling and tasty .. and there were many sausage jokes occuring on our two tables (we may have got a little rowdy, luckily we were in a private dining area). I haven’t been to many bars with such a crazy drinks menu .. we had GROG (unfortunately it wasn’t served by a pirate or a busty wench .. or in a wooden jug.. but it was GROG) .. so well worth the night out πŸ™‚

I also won a prize in the closing session – thank you Panagenda for the kit .. I shall have hours of fun playing with that πŸ™‚ The speaker gift was a lovely bottle of Czech wine – made for St Martin’s day (I know it was lovely as I have already finished it).

Thank you Prague .. thank you to the SUTOL team for making me feel so welcome and to Wannes and Roberto for being brave enough to speak with me for a second time. Shout out to Stephanie as well as it was girls on tour for BCC and we had a great giggle too ..Β  bring on the next one πŸ™‚

 

Cloudbit starter kitWineczech pub20161110_19132820161110_191334

So much going on

I know its been quiet here but that is because I have been a little busy with the new job at BCC .. which is great .. I love to be busy

so what I have I been doing ..

Starting at BCC which is awesome, I have been to MWLUG and spoke their again which was also great, We had ICONUK which was much fun (if a little stressful for the organisation team), Run a 5k and raised over Β£1,000 for charity, and I have been to SUTOL in Prague – all this and the day job at BCC πŸ™‚

BUT I do have lots to blog over the next few weeks ..

Main topics

  • SUTOL16 in prague – I will have a run down of what we learnt at the 8th annual Czech user group
  • DB migration from Oracle on AIX to DB2 on Windows for a Connections customer – on going still on how and why we are moving the Connections DB from Oracle to DB2 (its been fun)
  • Admin Tool for Connections Cloud – some of the exciting things I am working on at BCC

and more ..

first up will be the SUTOL recap which I will post this week ..

What’s New In ICS Computing Webinar

A brand new webcast hosted by ICONUK is starting this month on the 14th July at 3pm (BST)

 

This month we will introduce the webinars and also have speakers from the world of IBM Collaborative Services, The Champion Community and the wider user community.
These are going to be regular monthly webinars, so get in quick for the first one, as they are bound to be popular.

 

What’s New in the World of IBM Collaboration: Chris Moore & Leon Becket from IBM will talk about the latest enhancements and updates to IBM’s collaboration solutions. In this session, they will present what the updates have been to Verse, Connections Cloud and more. What these mean to you and demonstrate some of these key updates.

 

Also this month: The Internet of Things talking to IBM Connections Cloud – by our very own Steve McDonaugh

 

You can register for this event here: http://iconuk.org/iconuk.nsf/events.html

And find out more and register for ICONUK here: http://iconuk.org

A new challenge …

I have been a little busy of late – working on some exciting projects (which I will be blogging about shortly).

The planning for ICONUK 2016 is in full swing too – don’t forget to register, submit your abstract or sponsorship over on the iconuk.org site

I have attended Social Connections 10 in Toronto which was an amazing time – was so good to catch up with so many friends, the sessions were fantastic, the venue was lovely, socialising is always good – and Toronto what an great city πŸ™‚

I have been working with WebSphere for what seems forever and as a Connections consultant since version 2 – which I love doing. Learning new things and keeping busy is something that I crave .. so this brings me on to a new challenge ..

From the 1st of August I will be joining BCC

bcclogo

BCC have been working with companies to secure their social business infrastructure, automate underlying administration processes and ensure regulatory compliance for over 18 years – I am really excited aboutΒ  joining a fantastic team and I will be continuing to work in the Connections space on some new and exciting products and projects ..Β 

My first “outing” with the BCC team will be at MWLUG in mid August

So here is to new things – onwards and upwards πŸ™‚

 

It’s almost time for ENGAGE :)

It’s that time of year again when our community gathers in a European city for the biggest user group meeting outside Connect / Lotusphere .. the fabulous Engage User Group. This year we are meeting in Eindhoven in the Netherlands in a fantastic location of Evoluon.

engageLogo Evoluon1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am speaking again with my good friend and college Mr. Christoph Stoettner on Wednesday, March 23 atΒ  16:00 in Room D. Saturn – We will be covering everything connections related, installing, migrating, backing up etc πŸ™‚

Tomorrow I am meeting the lovely Tim Clark for the roadtrip to engage .. looking forward to seeing friends, learning some great new stuff in the amazing amount of sessions and some good old social networking .. see you there πŸ™‚

Can you spare an item to help raise money for two amazing causes?

Friends, Geeks, Costumers, fellow Disney fans, lovers of star wars, friends of friends, basically everyone ….

As some of you know I am part of a team behind a charity convention later this year (August 7th).
LargeImage

Our aim is to raise much needed funds for two amazing causes

Demelza Hospice Care for Children – a charity supporting children and young people (0-19) who are not expected to reach adulthood, and offer support to their families across Kent, South East London and East Sussex

Feel the Force Day (registed charity – 1st sensory legion) – Feel the Force Day is an accessible film and TV event designed for visually impaired and disabled people. Days include tactile costumes, props, vehicles, TV and film related smell jars… plus a few new and original ideas at each event.

All proceeds from Invictacon will be split between the two charities above – as you will agree both great causes.

 

So how can you help us?

The Invictacon team are looking for donations from you .. not in the monitory sense (although cash donations are lovely) – we are looking for items that we can use in our raffle and blind auction.

It can be anything related to film, tv, sci-fi, comic books, gaming, sport, any fandoms etc… that will help us raise some funds for Demelza and FTFD

 

How can you get it to us?

  • IBM/LOTUS/Conference people – we are at Connect 2016 in Orlando and Engage 2016 in Einhoven – bring it along (as long as i can fit it in a case)
  • Costuming friends – we will be at a few sci-fi / comic cons this year – let us know where you will be and we will come and collect or arrange for a friend to accept it on our behalf
  • Anyone else -You can contact us to arrange pick up (if you are local to the southeast of the UK) or postal / courier

 

Any donations will be gratefully received – and we would love to tell the world that you have donated a prize (if you don’t want us to do that, that is also ok)

We are also looking for category sponsors for the costume / cosplay competition (or for the whole comp) – a small prize, trophy and certificate will be presented in each category

  • Kids under 10
    Kids 10 – 16
    Adults 16 and over
    Best Group

The competition is being judged by the lovely Alan Flyng – Star wars (ESB / ROTJ – storm-trooper and imperial officer) who is an amazing costume maker / wardrobe master who has worked on thousands of TV, film and theatrical productions.

 

Thank you

So my plee for help ends .. if there is anyway you could part with something no matter how small to help us raise funds for both causes the whole team would be so so grateful.

The team and I can not thank you enough – we are all volunteers and get nothing but a warm and fuzzy feeling for raising some well needed funds for two amazing causes.

 

So thank you

Sharon, Sam, Nathan, David and Nicky

 

flyer_back FlyerCharityFront

IBM Connections 5.5 and Docs 2.0 announced

At last what we have been waiting for the latest versions of IBM Connections and IBM Docs are available this Friday the 18th of December.

 

There are over 100 new features included nested folders, there is a new cleaner look continuing the trend that we have seen over the last two releases.

 

 

  • Organize your documents, presentations and more into your own nested folder hierarchy in Personal and Community Files
  • Brand new file viewer experience which allows you to find the content that you need faster and review it quickly without having to download
  • Build powerful team sites specific for your team needs (e.g. HR, Sales, Marketing, etc) with new configuration capabilities such as:

 

  • New community layouts
  • Responsive apps so you can just drag-n-drop between columns in one motion
  • Rename apps based on your audience
  • A brand new Rich Content app which you can use for announcements or embedding content from the web
  • and much more.. !

 

  • Smart type-ahead search to find what you need instantly
  • Enhancements to the rich text editor such as permanent pen, sort table data, and more
  • Real-time alerts on your desktop (for HTML5 browsers) to notify you when content needs your attention

 

 

I am really looking forward to getting the latest releases downloaded and tested over the Christmas break .. great work from the product management team …

Read the full post on Luis blog here

FEB / Connections Surveys – custom LDAP attributes

Thanks to Christopher Dawes in the IBM Forms support team a long running issue I have seen with FEB (Forms Experience Builder) / Connections surveys is now resolved!!

Once of my long standing very awesome customers was seeing a problem with Connections surveys. They do not use a standard LDAP attribute for their displayname – the cn is the employee number and the uid is a short name which is not always easy to differentiate between users. These are the 2 attributes that FEB expect to use as the user display name. Not always easy to tell who abc12345 is .. or sbell123 so I opened a PMR to get to the bottom of how to change this to a custom LDAP attribute – in this case we use fullName – which displays my user as Sharon E Bellamy.

After a bit of backwards and forwards, many logs and tracing and a bit of DB hacking to prove the theory we now have a solution.

So here is how to resolve it.

Firstly you need your custom LDAP attribute – fullName
You will the repository Id of your LDAP – this is basically the label you have given the LDAP in the configuration. In this case it was novell as the LDAP is Novell E Directory

LDAPID

 

 

 

 

 

 

but in another example here you can see an Active Directory example (ADInternal)

 

 

LDAPID2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 1:

Add a new WebSphere Entity Type – wsadmin

open a command prompt to the deployment manager/bin directory

run wsadmin (you do not need to set the lang type to jython)

enter the command to set the new entity type – were name = your LDAP attribute name and repositoryIds is your LDAP identifier

 

[blockquote]

$AdminTask addIfMgrPropertyToEntityTypes { -name fullName -dataType String -isMultiValued false -entityTypeNames PersonAccount -repositoryIds Novell}

[/blockquote]

 

 

 

 

 

This registers the attribute in the WIM config.

 

 

 

Step2:

Add the entity type into WebSphere

open the WebSphere admin console / ISC

browse to Security > Global Security > Configure federated repositories

Click on the link for your repository identifier (novell in my case)

LDAPID3

 

 

 

Once in the repository config, click on the Federated repositories property names to LDAP attribute mappings

 

LDAPIDs4

 

Enter a the new attribute for our custom LDAP entry (fullName)

 

LDAPIDs5

 

Where Name = a meaningful name for the new attribute

 

Property name = the LDAP attribute name

 

Entity types = PersonAccount

 

Apply and save

 

Save a lot

 

then restart the deployment manager.

 

Step 3:

Edit the Builder_config.properties on the node where FEB is installed (in my case the primary connections node)

the default directory where this is kept is

Windows – C:\IBM\Forms\extentions

Linux – /opt/IBM/Forms/extentions

Open the property file in your favourite text editor

near the top of the file ensure the

ibm.was.MemberManager.userProps.displayName property is not commented out and add your new LDAP attribute

in my case

 

[blockquote]

ibm.was.MemberManager.userProps.displayName = fullName

[/blockquote]

 

 

 

 

 

Save and close the file

 

and restart everything

 

Now when you create a survey or fill one in your new attribute it used.

Existing surveys are updated with the owner / creators name when they log in. The freedom (FEB) DB is updated when the user logs on and the display name is updated.

 

There you have it – took a while as there was a little bit of jiggery pokery with the wsadmin command and the PersonAccount attribute but it works πŸ™‚

Hope this helps anyone else seeing the same problem

IconUK .. yes we are a go

As hopefully you will have seen ICONUK 2015 is going ahead ..

Registration will be open shortly and please start thinking about those abstracts as you will soon be able to put those forward too.

The call for abstracts will be open until the 31st of July .. and sessions announced in August.

Of course if you wish to sponsor this amazing event the sponsor pack will be available in the next few days ..Β  you can also mail sponsors at iconuk dot org for more info πŸ™‚

Please check the ICONUK site for further information.