Friday, October 31, 2008

Fudbuster Friday #12 - Lotus is Going J2EE

Sorry for a lack of postings this week, was traveling but watch out next week!

Yep, you saw it and heard it everywhere. Maybe even from various vendors.

But is it true? Yes
Is Domino itself going J2EE? Not likely.

We know the products coming out soon or announced either run with Websphere as an option or solely run on it or with it.
Lotus Quickr, Connections, Sametime all have it in one form or another.

But is it that different from everything running from a browser? Or a universal inbox which is NOT part of your email system?
Or is it like running your car with petrol, ethanol or electric? It still does the same work, just presumably more efficiently, with some changes to your engine and auto parts.

Where does this leave your admins? As an Admin, the last thing I want is to have yet another platform to manage on top of the others. But you either embrace change or distance yourself from it.

It's a great time for other vendors to attack.
What do you want do? What is your company prepared for? Does IBM have enough Websphere professionals in existence to help people?
And at what expense?

Does Websphere scare you because you think it is how it was 10 years ago? Or do you see it as a much needed piece of architecture to raise your entire offering beyond your competitors.

Let me know your thoughts because some out there are on both sides of the fence and we need to push them off it and take a stand.

And on that note I will close and remind all Americans to vote on Tuesday.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fud Buster Friday #11 - Your Vote Counts

Yes, the original from 2000 Chad hanging Voting Booth, I got one for $10 in 2002

I should save this for 2 weeks from now.

In Florida....
Do not vote in advance, they will misplace the ballots.
Do not do absentee ballots they may never arrive or be delivered.
Do not mail in your votes.

DO vote in person on Election day.

I gave my 4, soon to be 5, year olds class a voting machine as seen above.
One of the infamous 2000 election hanging chad ones.

So they can see what it is like. Why? Because I have one, and this is why I have it.
Because to drag my kids to wait in line for 2+ hours to vote and all they would get is a stupid "I voted" or "My Vote Counts"(these were given out in 2004 I think in Florida only, for obvious reasons) sticker and no ride at Disneyland will not make them very happy.

Nor will all of you who are staunch defenders of your 1st Amendment rights to say whatever, whenever and wherever you like and feel. Please remember kids do listen to adults and you should pay more attention to how you act on Election day in front of them or better yet, volunteer at their school to help discuss the election, if you have a valid interest or role for it.

Teach your children about voting, elections, taxes, war or whatever you want but leave the choice to them to understand and make their own choices. Don't repeat the lies and biased opinions you feel deserve to be known, from either side.

Sorry, if you wanted something more from this week's post, especially the non-US readers, leave me an idea in the comments, I will write about it next week. I promise.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Q-SnTT - Domain name doesn't compute

Q stands for Quickr.
I don't do many SnTT but seeing as this one bugged me, I will let you all know about it.

So Abbott & Costello(not client's real name) have a Domino network which will now be using Lotus Quickr. Their domain is of course called Abbott & Costello because someone a decade ago set them up that way.
I Love my job.

What's so unusual? SPACES
Usually Domino Domains are listed in concatenated ways, like abbott&costello.

Now those admins out there probably now this technote VERY Well, if not, now you do.

The highlight is:
Domino domain names should be a single word or string (maximum of 31 characters). Do not use periods (.) in the Domino domain name as they are reserved characters.


Domino server names can consist of one or more words (a maximum of 79 characters) and can consist of any characters except: parentheses, at (@), slash and backslash (/ and \), equal (=), and plus (+). Using spaces or periods is not recommended.

If you use spaces, you must enter that server name in quotes ("") when entering a command at the server console. As the Domino server name is also used within the given protocols name to address resolve process the use of underscores and periods can create lookup failures within different protocols. As such they are strongly not recommended.

Great! I tried that in my QPCONFIG.XML but no luck. You see XML works in a different way.

Your QPCONFIG.XML file may require the Domain name of Abbott & Costello but if you put it in this way you will see an error which looks like this:

10/10/2008 10:16:26 HTTP JVM: [Fatal Error] :43:41: The entity name must immediately follow the '&' in the entity reference.

I tried the quotation marks no luck, and IBM support came back and told me to try swapping the & sign for & amp ; (as one word) and that worked.

For more substitutes for XML characters you may have in your domain name, check this page.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Microsoft CALS cost how much?

What you thought I would forget about this? No way!

I found a nice site which is happy to provide some pricing for CALs.

Stop guessing, just work it out, use your spreaedsheet or calculator of choice and price it out. Post it to your blog or your boss or comment here with your findings.

Granted it may not be discounted or even be correct, but as they list pricing for SQL 2008 and CALs I must presume it is fairly up to date.

To understand the CAL's you will need, check this out for some background:
Directions on Microsoft
MSDN Blog Site

Will try to work out some numbers and report on it, but if you want to go ahead and have fun you can't say you don't have the numbers anymore.

IBM Pricing is usually found on the home page of the product in question.
Sorry the site referenced above only has pricing for Smartsuite.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Sharepoint Costs HOW MUCH!

Sharepoint Price Guide

Not even going to question it's pricing ideas, but if it was true, YIKES!

Thanks to Phigment for Retweeting it.

Look up a 100 users and 1 server.

Still think Sharepoint is Free?

After Scott's comments I revisited and wanted to post the Official Microsoft pricing calculator.
Well at least it is on their website.

Update #2:
To be fair I tracked down Quickr's pricing per IBM's website.
In my mind, and maybe I don't entirely understand Microsoft's pricing theory, all else being roughly equal(they are) until Microsoft adds on CALS on top of the basic license for Sharepoint.

IBM Quickr Pricing

And you may need this for PVU definition

Fud Buster Friday #10 - I Love Microsoft

Really? You do? Like I love Jelly Belly's and their Candy Corn?
mmmm, Candy Corn, Lotus Colors too!
Well maybe you don't. After all many readers are Lotus lovers, but the gang from Redmond who read this, do YOU love Mirosoft?

When I was with Lotus we all Loved Lotus. Sure we may not have liked individual people or management some times but we loved Lotus.

I don't see this from the client base. When I ask people about how much they love Microsoft, I never get that feeling. I get, "I/we hate Lotus." I prefer Microsoft", I use it(Outlooki) at home" but never do I get a real love going.

YET, many BPs and Sales people claim their client(soon to be ex-client) LOVE Microsoft.

I love Visio, really, I do. Now do I love Microsoft for buying them out and adding it to the Office suite? Actually, in some ways I do.

Now on a Lotus side, I do like most of the product line, Love Notes & Domino and Sametime and in general do have a fondness for Lotus that is beyond explanation. It's just software.

And so it is with Microsoft, yet somehow instead of creating a ground swell of Love for their product they instead have an audience which feels captured at times.

If customers don't like Microsoft, why do they keep buying from them?
When I dislike a restaurant or car dealer or online shop or credit card company I won't use them again.

Perhaps some of these customers were in this same place 5 or 7 years ago and Lotus had sent them these same customers need to go packing from Microsoft but to where?

They can not go back to Lotus, even though it might be the right choice, after all they still have Domino applications running their business or operations, because they feel it would be a poor decision because it would lose them face or faith from their employees.

It takes brains and brass to say "We made a mistake", or even to say we are going to move forward with Lotus Notes because it truly does provide the best benefits to our company.

Or will these customers go to Google, The Cloud or some other direction.

Time will tell, but just don't tell your manager the Client Loves Microsoft because they know it's not true and you need to stop hiding behind your own FUD.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fud Buster Friday #9 - Religion

This post is for anyone in one of the following religions:
Democrat vs. Republican
Job vs. Outsourced
Imported vs. Domestic (Beers! What did you think I meant?)
Coke vs. Pepsi
Oracle vs. Anyone
Google vs. Microsoft
Blackberry vs. iPhone
Microsoft vs. Everyone
Lotus Notes vs. Exchange

Say what you will but there is a lot of religion going on in your life and mine these days.
Just finished Yom Kippur, a solemn day of thinking about past sins and trying hard to change one self for the better.

So I can relate to the problem of religion in the IT world.

Religions for centuries would impress on others to join their own, sometimes at the threat(and it wasn't just a threat) of various tortures and death, sometimes with bribes and others with a shrug.

Luckilky, in modern times we don't still do this...within IT, other countries is another issue entirely.

The put downs, FUD and other ideas put forth often times come back to bite the speaker.
You as the speaker look bad, I don't care if you are Steve Ballmer or Steve Jobs or Steve Cohen. Someday, and that day may never come, the payback is going to hurt.

It is one thing to not confess everything, it's another to lie or just make up stories which aren't valid pr blame someone/something for no good reason.

Admittedly I may post thoughts to Twitter which at times can unsettle my Microsoft followers, but they are truthful in their wording, albeit at times harsh criticisms.

I do try to stay on the open and honest path and please correct me when I haven't! As happenned once with a post I made that was deleted because I didn't check all the facts.

So the moral of the story is if you must go and have converstions along any of the topics in the front of this post, just remember to play above board and try to be respectful of the other side.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Defining Lotus Notes & Domino for the Next Gen

In a truly perfect world, The Beatles would never have broken up, Jimi Hendrix would still be alive and MACs would rule the Earth. And Tech shows would get attendees when they are int he right place at the right time.

I went to a tech show today, ITEC, hoping to meet and listen to Chris Brogan. Sadly, as he informed me on twitter, he had to skip us in Ft. Lauderdale.

I ended up meeting a possible new SPAM solution provider for my clients and learned a great deal about using Facebook for Business from Chris's replacement, a really nice guy from Boston, Brett Wohl(He's on Facebook, go say hi!). Thanks Brett!

What I was not prepared for was defining Lotus to him. Sure, I do it all the time, but this was the first time I had really sat and explained it to someone more in tune with Facebook than Redbooks.
I appealed to digital rights and the ability to secure them in the app or db and allowing for selective exposure, plus replication capabilities for working on applications when traveling. We discussed it's messaging side, it's open source side, variable Operating System platforms, and even more important to their customers, scalable clustering within a heterogeneous environment. Even hit on document management and serializing data via RSS and other means.

In a way I feel like I failed to get across what I wanted, but he got what made sense to him and I leveraged what I knew would make sense to him so we were both happy in the end.

We discussed Sharepoint being used as a file sharing program, not in true collaborative style. And that Domino did sharing and does still, long before Sharepoint existed, but then I start to sound like I am 50 or 60!

Another really interesting conversation was with a Microsoft BP, who works in the SMB area. When I asked about his dealings with Lotus customers he said he doesn't see many naturally. He informed me that many customers are still running Windows and Exchange 2000. His hope was for the new Small Business Server, which has Exchange inside, would help migrate these people.

Naturally, Lotus Foundations came to mind and why IBM is pushing that as a solution. I wished him well and continued on.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fud Buster Friday #8 - The Ex-Lotii Knows

Ex-Lotus people who end up at Microsoft always have great insights about what's wrong with Lotus? Or IBM killed Notes! Or Websphere will replace Domino!

I could accept their premises, if not for the fact when these rats abandoned ship R7 wasn't even out yet.

Now some would argue what about me, I left Lotus in 2001 and what do I know or why do I care. I care because clients should know what they are getting into. True sharing and collaboration can exist, no matter what solution the client wants, IF the client wants to make it happen.

Back to the questions above.

Nothing is wrong with Lotus and as far as I know, IBM sales people do not go around saying Microsoft has problems because they lost their head and the body is flailing in the wind grasping at dead branches. Yes, IBM has reduced head count for Lotus at times and detoured down a Workplace path but the last 6 months to a year has seen a renewed interest in everything Lotus, not just from the company but from the Press, advertisements and general sentiment. So unless you have been under a rock for the last year Lotus is anything but dead.

IBM killed Lotus Notes. No, Workplace did hurt the company but as discussed previously the recent 3 years growth is unprecedented in a flat market. If anything IBM encourages Lotus to move forward by not only working with Apple, RIM and Nokia but providing advances in development and technology into the core products. And IBM spent the money to have the R8 UI improved to a point where Outlook users prefer it.

Websphere will replace Domino? This one is possibly true(again what would I know as an outsider), but more than likely is they will coexist in a way which will only make the 2 products even stronger. IBM gets closer to this reality with every release and the robustness of the 2 together will make a very formidable opponent to Microsoft.

So the next time you hear a Microsoft sales rep or ex-Lotus person lay down some silly ideas about Lotus, remind them that even great baseball hitters only hit the ball 1/3 of the time. But if you don't take a chance with some pitches out of your comfort zone you may miss an easy home run too.