Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Android, Lotus Notes Traveler and other Info

Get your Android Lotus Notes Traveler news here

Documents? You want documents? Evidently you also want more screenshots(have to wait till I get home).

A number of questions got asked of me since my post this morning so here are more details for everyone.

Some of these will just be links to more details, yes, there are many details.

Lotus Notes Traveler official homepage at IBM. It has screen shots and some break down by device OS type.

First, this is the IBM Wiki with the Android Limitations and Restrictions.

Second, this is the overview part of the Wiki on Lotus Notes Traveler(aka Android's)

Third, What's new doc for

IBM Mobile Connect is also supported and advised for those that want access to their Domino applications.

Lastly, although I could not find it in any document, many people report that encrypted mail support is NOT available. The line below sums it up:

"no encryption support on traveler for android. You can sign mails on mobile, but can't send or read encrypted mail."

Jan Kenney in this blog post says:

Ensuring the security of company information is a top priority for every Lotus Notes Traveler release, and is no exception. Lotus Notes Traveler synchronizes data (in transit) via secure HTTPS connection and stores the data (at rest) in encrypted form on the Android device. Lost or stolen devices can be remote wiped; either the entire device or just the Lotus Notes Traveler information. Administrators can monitor the mobile user community -- by name, password, device type, build version -- all from a single point of control and allow or deny access for users based on company defined policies.

If anyone has more input on this subject, please let me know and I will edit accordingly.

Traveler on Android Tablet

android tablet Lotus Notes Traveler icons
My kids, age 8 and 6 received for Chanukah an Android Tablet which is where the screen shot above is from. You can see all the icons Lotus Notes Traveler adds to Android devices. And in the top left corner an email with a number on it, that's Traveler letting me know I have email. Lookup is for corporate email contacts. Shame I gave this to my kids.

You can click on any of the images to see them in full size.

Don't care what the Mac people say, I was not buying them an iPad(cost?) or iTouch(size?).

We thought about getting them a new laptop but decided against it.

We specifically did not want a device with a camera or extra fees to get online, wi-fi is fine thank you.

So we ordered a Black Friday special from ToysRus.

It came, I set it up and tried to download the latest version of code and it wasn't having it. Until a few days ago when a new icon appeared, so I updated it and it now runs faster and is more efficient with it's screen size.

So I decided to load Lotus Notes Traveler on it once Traveler code came out. Our server was updated the other day so it should work right? Well I am happy to say it does and includes a whole bunch of icons.

I only want it to get my email, here is a screen shot of the email notifier on the left and the email itself on the right:
email notifier lotus notes traveler
email on an android device for lotus notes traveler

Not interested in calendar or contacts as I don't need the kids killing my data, but to test out traveler and email on the device I figured was worth it. And it works well. And full of options, unlike my Windows Mobile Phone.

Here is a shot of the calendar weekly view which is very clear and quite clean compared again to my phone. To be fair the tablet has 3-4 times the screen size of my phone. But you get the idea and I am sure your iPad looks and acts similar to this.

Calendar view of the week lotus notes traveler
Could this be created/branded a Lotus device?

If one adds on IBM Mobile Connect to get to some apps, perhaps put it in a yellow casing?

An interesting idea to pursue. Something Eric and I discussed a bit based on his blog post for new ideas.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Avoiding the RVTSCAN error after preload in 852

When I last posted about this, I had tried some various items but nothing got rid of the message.

fun since 8.x it appears
Until yesterday when I was directed to a recent Technote from IBM that elaborates on the Preloader option.

There is an IBM Technote # 1424193 ​on the preloader which is what is causing this to appear.

In it they discuss adding another exclusion to one's anti-virus. In my case my personal machine uses Avast and I had this problem.

If you make AntiVirus/AV exceptions at the EXE level (for example. NOTES2.EXE, NLNOTES.EXE or NTASKLDR.EXE), then you should consider adding NNTSPRELD.EXE to that same exception list.

However, if exceptions are made at the directory or file level, the preloader acts on the same set of files as the Notes client when it starts.

If you make exceptions for specific EXEs to run, then the NNTSPRELD.EXE should be included in those exceptions.

The NNTSPRELD.EXE runs with user privileges, in the same manner as the NLNOTES.EXE process.

No longer a problem.

After adding the exclusion items I no longer receive the error pop up message.

Edited addition:
There were 2 more things I did which may have helped, so here you go:
1) Found in one of the laptop logins when I went into MSConfig(Start-Run-msconfig go to Startup tab) and the startup items saw a second preloader. Disabled it, but left the other one to run.
2)Follow this ehow page, which suggests clearing some references which maybe should not still be in use. Runs the wbemtest which until I read the page I had never used.

Your Mileage May Vary but good luck

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Book Idea: Troubleshooting Lotus Products an 8 Part Series

Ben asked for suggestions, so here is mine.
If you think it has any merit, vote for it over at

The problem is this could be a tome, but maybe it will be done in 8 parts.
1) Notes
2) iNotes
3) Domino
4) Quickr D/J
5) Sametime
6) Connections
7) Portal
edited after Bens comments to include:
8) LotusLive
Start with the obvious issues, move to more extensive problems that deal with iNotes integration, SSL, SSO and more.
A true collbaorative effort as one person can not do it all, but this is what is on my mind.
Admins have the info centers, wikis and blog posts, so do people in the field, but yet many people out there do not trust blogs, believe it or not, but they do trust content in books.

This will be a series of books on troubleshooting different products, possibly in some cases like Notes and Domino have separate volumes just on Install tuner, Calendaring and Scheduling, DAOS, ID maintenance, SSL, SSO etc..

When Site Administration in Quickr Goes Missing

The joys of December, cold days, last minute projects, admins that forget what they are doing and blow up their servers.

Yes it can happen to you as well, so for all of those who will be up at all hours of the night doing things only IT people do, this one is for you.

Ever get a call from an admin on Quickr Dominio saying they can no longer see the Site Administration options, or any other admin type options? I have and since it comes up often enough here it goes, with some other tidbits thrown in just in case you really messed up.

First I will walk through what happens then show how to resolve it. I will presume you have previously set up the correct Domino Directory or LDAP configuration which to locate the admins or users. If not, look for more details in my upcoming book from Packt Publishing on Quickr 8.5 Administration available in January 2011.

So you have a Quickr server you login to as the administrator. You decide to make sure only admins can create new places on the server. Very good, however watch out for selecting the wrong box.

One should see the options on the left on the bottom of your browser screen after you login to Quickr. Click on Site Administration and then see the screen on the left below where you select Security and will then see the screen ont he right.

As you can see there are 2 options, first, the who can create new places option, second is the "God" admin role so to speak. In situations like this, someone has inadvertently added an admins name to the first setting, thus knocking them out of the second and so when they login next they lose the Site Administration.

Brilliant! So now you go crazy trying to figure it all out but the bottom line is you need to get back in before someone or something needs you to fix things.

These steps will help you fix this problem, usually.

1. Open your Server Document for the Quickr Server and set the Internet Protocols - Domino Web Engine. Change server authentication to disabled for the moment.
2. Now shutdown and restart the Quickr server
3. Login to Quickr with your admin credentials (the name and password you used when you set up Quickr)
4. Change the security settings above but this time make sure the correct administrators are given proper full access.
5. Log out of Quickr
6. Login with the correct administrator ID and password you fixed just now
7. Make sure you can see Site Administration, etc..
8. Logout of Quickr
9. Go back to Step 1 and enable Multi SSO or Single Server
10. Shutdown and restart your Quickr server

All should be good to go. Enjoy.

Quickr 8.5 for Domino Administration Book

Coming in January 2011 to a lotusphere and online purchasing location near you is a book I co wrote with 3 IBMers, David Byrd, Mark Harper, Olusola Omosaiye.

Did not make the updates for 851 into it but we may get a revised version out in 2011 if the interest is there.

I suspect some people will start getting review copies in January.

See you at Lotusphere. Speaking of Lotusphere, go to Ben's blogpost on his website and get the Lotusphere nsf which is the BEST way to get your calendar populated with sessions and more details.

Also Ben has included a section for Books and Courses on offer by people at or part of Lotusphere. So check out the Virtual bookstore.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Community Moderators

While we discuss collaboration and Social Business or media, some people still don't understand it.

Did you ever belong to a group as a kid or were part of a school event? Of course you were, so was I. But that was pre-IBM PC, let alone pre-Internet(commercial), although not necessarily pre-Arpanet.

You would either run around to your friends, or biked or called on the phone for information. Maybe papers went home with you and your parents dealt with it. Life was simpler, but took longer then. Times have changed and mostly for the good.

However, remember sometimes there was always someone who would hold everything up? Maybe not divulge information which was truly needed or worse provide information only to their friends? Well that person is alive and well sadly and usually acting as a moderator on some social site you may belong to be it Linkedin, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Delphi or numerous others.

Twitter has no moderators, but Facebook does, for groups created or other topics that are not an individual's personal site. Yahoo groups has moderators and most social media/networking applications, especially one's aimed at corporations have moderator options.

But what happens when the moderators are biased? What if they lean politically a different way? What if they just don't like you? What are your options to resolve the problem you may be experiencing? To borrow a phrase, "Who moderates the moderators"?

What problems you say?
  • They don't let you post what you want to sell
  • They invoke a limit on how much something can be offered.
  • They only let certain businesses post.
  • There is a limit to how many times you can post a day.
  • There is no cross posting.
  • Maybe nothing about politics.
  • Perhaps you can't reply to all and say thank you for helping out.

These still exist every day and in their own way are crushing, no killing, people from using the same systems which were touted to help spread news or ideas or just jokes.

If your community can not self police itself, in a nice way, then you have other issues. But if you find some Draconian moderators and fewer people involved maybe you need to look at why you created the group and what purpose it serves.

If not you may find:
  • Other products being brought in that are not so restrictive
  • New groups popping up outside of the range of the old ones but gaining popularity
  • Losing popularity/advertising revenue or market share
  • Discussions behind closed doors or portals as the case may be
  • Lack of interest in general
  • Blog posts from irate customers or even friends
Hopefully this is not what you find, but instead find a group that:
  • Raises awareness of itself by being inclusive and open
  • Provides various options to meet the ever expanding and multicultural/national aspects of your market share
  • Accepts some poor choice posts but respects that adults know what to do about it or ignore them
Collaboraton or Social Business happens because everyone feels inclusive and does not treat anyone else as excluded, aside from security/privacy reasons. It encourages people's passions as well as base level of opportunity where from the CEO to the person on the fringe of the society can share information.

Providing too many limitations to use a product, site or newsgroup is asking for trouble. So before you become or are asked to be a moderator please do not think about how you think it should be moderated but how others need it to be moderated, if it should be at all. If you worry about keeping your list clean so to speak, do not hesitate to provide a registration form if you need one to validate people are real and not spammers or bots.

But please, please, don't treat the members of your groups like spammers or bots.

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Domino "White Box" Continued

My previous post was written in haste and so I want to elaborate further.

Ed's post on ASL
or Application Specific Licensing hits on a topic many of us have asked for and great to see it is available.

I was interested in seeing if the Notes client and Domino for that matter, could be overlayed with our company names.

LotusLive will have this so Business Partners can White Box a solution and we look forward to it. While I have been told it is either available or coming, I have not received any more details yet. So if I am wrong, or missed an email, someone please let me know.

Why would I want to white box Domino? Just to make life easier on customers.

White Boxing Lotus Notes could be interesting, imagine if Openntf could White Box it with all the apps and openmail template added inside? It is an interesting idea to propose an open system.

Naturally this is not an easy sell to large customers but if they knew IBM was behind it at some level it may have legs. Imagine going into an Exchange shop and showing them 8.5 and under a new moniker?

Life could be interesting.

If you don't think so, you never showed a customer using outlook or Notes R5,6,7 still what the 8.5 or iNotes client are like. They love it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

IBM, could you let us "WhiteBox" Domino

Duffbert's post is still drawing a lot of comments and other posts.

Tucked away in the comments was this from Ed Brill.
There is also the ability to OEM Domino and I am sure my channel sales team would be happy to explore that with ISVs.

Now this is something which is interesting. It has been discussed before by the community and Business Partners.

What if one could resale Domino, under a new name, to anyone, anywhere?
What if the Notes client really was only a web based client?
OEM or rebrand/rename it sounds good.

I am sure some BPs out there have sold it this way in the past.

Do we want to host Domino for people and call it justmail? Sure, but at $40,000(or whatever the licensing costs are) or more for the licensing that is not so practical.

White Box the server so IBM, Lotus and Domino can be replaced with Justmail, Justserver and Justcool.

Rebrand Domino is also an option but no idea how close or far IBM is from doing such a thing.

Could it work? Maybe, no one knows.

Maybe IBM should do what Microsoft did and run some blind tests on web side iNotes and rename it and a website for the new product from a mythical company and see how this can work.

An Email that reads like a Dilbert Cartoon

We received this email from someone that we were referred to by a client of mine.
Think I am from a different business world, sending out missives that read like a bad form letter in a Dilbert cartoon can't possibly make someone a client...can it?


I was refereed by your client to get in contact with you regarding your business communication services. I’m currently working with Mr. X in your other office to streamline their communications and have a positive effect to their bottom line. Please contact me at 555-123-4567. I would like to sit down with you on Tuesday at 1PM. Please let me know if that is a good time for you.

Warmest Regards,

If you or your company are sending emails or letters like this out to potential partners, customers or clients, please stop it.

Obfuscating your solutions will rarely impress someone.

Executives fear what they don't know. While some may have an interest to check on this, most will either ignore it because they have no idea what you are talking about or worse tell people never to use your company because you talk like a Dilbert cartoon come to life.

This reminds me of the old Dilbert Palm application that you put in your name of the business and services and out came a mission statement for you to use. Or maybe they used one of these instead.

If you can't speak as normal people speak what makes you think anyone would want to talk to you?

To be fair to him, I let him know we had made some decisions and he could call me out of respect for my clients reference. You never know he may have something, but if this was not a referral it would have been deleted faster than Ricochet Rabbit.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Lotus RFQ that reads like 1990...but from 2010

While reviewing an RFQ for a Lotus development project a number of things struck me and I posted to Twitter some of the details.

Suffice it to say it is for a government agency that is in a state which has huge cutbacks from lack of taxes collected and budgetary issues.

They state quite well:
The organization has several distinct existing IBM Lotus Notes client‐based applications/databases that are used

So we know they use it and understand how they are using it.

The RFQ opens with this statement:
Each of these additional functions requires the use of databases that are currently maintained and modified by internal information technology staff on an IBM Lotus Notes platform. Due to competing priorities, these databases have not been modified to the extent that would provide the most efficient and
effective performance.

We have seen this line of thought before from many customers. The economy, the Cloud, the iPhones, whatever the reason eventually every company sits down and says we must update our applications.

Good for them, they are ready to move forward.

Reading further down you find the requirements for the roles and expectations of knowledge, etc. when you suddenly find yourself at the submission section which states:

Respondent must provide the following information in a hardback 3 ring binder with tabs as shown below that demonstrates the respondent’s ability to provide the services requested. Six (6) copies are required to be

What?! 3 ring binders and 6 copies? None of them digital even?

I have no idea what apps this government office uses but honestly they have the ability to use a simple mail-in database which could house all the submissions and using a mail rule or an agent copy it to who and wherever it needs to reach.

But no. What would take maybe an hour of time for someone, anyone, to setup and test and then leverage for oh I don't know the 100's if not 1,000's of RFI/RFP/RFQ a year seems just way too much advanced knowledge?

Is it any wonder anything gets done in this country sometimes?

Imagine we file all of these submissions, send it up via USPS mail or Fedex and the docs get soaked, or burnt in an accident.

Is this really how governments still work? Imagine the space required to store all of these binders, bookcases, archives, rent on warehouses probably. And the government could care less evidently because it's not something important like say education, healthcare or welfare.

If governments would use the tools they already own to their advantage they could easily save 10 if not 100 times the amount of money it is costing them now to do nothing and keep wasting money.

All this talk about e-gov and it's all fluff?

Also it dictates that "Prices submitted shall be at or below caps". Even with the reference to a previous contract it is a dizzying array of values.

All that said I await the updates on this RFQ as any questions will be replied to in one large document before deciding if we will submit for it. Usually we stay out of these things but sometimes the want to help our government and be patriotic as well wins out.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reverse DNS, a Domino/Traveler Box and Comcast

This post is dedicated to Comcast who never tells Business class customers what is changing in their infrastructure or admits anything changed.

Come in on Monday and started receiving unable to send emails like 554 error.

Knowing we didn't change anything on our end or the client's end yet comcast was an error on a message, so I called them.

They said the problem is on our side. I said but nothing has changed on our side.
Sorry we can't help you was the reply.

So for the sake of argument, a bunch of companies, who we have no relationship to aside from an email one about information, miraculously all changed their spam appliances or security methods at the same time.

Not too likely.

So I tested our domains, this was affecting Traveler and regular Domino email, for reverse dns entries.

All our sites were now showing comcast as the reverse entry, no longer the appropriate sites.

Logged in to the registrar of the domains and decided to add a new A record for mail to the domain. Maila I called it.

Saved, rechecked and now the domain was found correctly.

What is going on? Still no idea, Comcast isn't saying but we changed every single domain that works with Comcast, just in case, to ensure phones were not getting filled with undeliverable mail notices.

So if you use Comcast, check your reverse dns records.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cloud vs. Licenses

Been debating this for quite some time but it comes up quite often.
On one hand, some IBMers get paid on selling licenses, others get paid on Cloud initiatives.
On the other hand, as an example, Lotus Connections IBMers would prefer if clients bought licenses instead of LL Engage.
This short lived cannibalization of sales and internal posturing is not unique to IBM. Microsoft has similar issues, especially when confronted with losing major money from their #1 money maker, Office.
So what is a Business Partner to do? Naturally offer clients the best of what is available and make the proper choice. Not just select the one that pays more commission. And on that note, Cloud options pay much less, as if there was any doubt.

So what can the mothership do to resolve this dilemma?

One thing to do is compensate everyone, internally and externally, equally for the products. Really, what benefit does it serve to have it any other way?

Another option is to provide equality to all products and let the PC side be equal to the Cloud side. If someone owns one license, they should get one Cloud account for free. I understand this may reduce revenue, but this also provides an excellent way to work in the interim while companies try to decide their future directions, or more importantly when they will make the leap, if ever. Charging twice is just not a nice option.

Lastly, applications are needed. No offense to the great marketers out there, but just going to the cloud, without a real application, I do not consider social media or Office related tools as applications, doesn't have enough excitement by itself.

What would be exciting? Let your imagination run wild.