Friday, September 17, 2010

Got Doc neighborhood errors for office 2010?

Domino Document Manager or as I call it Domino.doc or DomDoc is no longer keeping up to date, in fact it is end of life already.

For those of you with the ODMA connector installed and upgrading to Office 2007 or 2010 and get an error message when trying to save something, in this case it was Visio for me, the only MS Office product I use, you would get an error saying you can not use the doc neighborhood.

Since we still support DomDoc clients and I did not want to break what works on my laptop, there is an IBM Technote #1230216, called "Change ODMA integration using the Windows registry" that outlines how to selectively turn off ODMA in specific applications.

It worked very well and I want to make sure everyone who needs it can use it as a number of Doc customers come out of the woodwork and you may find yourself wondering what is wrong.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What I learned from the Hospitality Industry

The last 2 days I have been taking part in some meetings with various CVB's (Convention and Visitor Bureaus) and other similar entities, country representatives and large hotel chains and cruise lines.

iPads were the key item for many but regular laptops still showed up.

Most if not all people had an iPhone.

Their industry, like most, has sufferred greatly and the outlook for the future is not real good until Q1 oe Q2 2011.

The interesting thing is planners have shrunk down the lead time for an event from 6 months to a year out to 2 months or less. The reason is budgets. They get a yes/green light and they want to book everything yesterday for tomorrow.

Sound familiar?

I was speaking about training to many people and no one said they receive any training, from new laptops to phones to how to use their Notes client, I will be helping those people.

Training in every organization is key, technology is one thing, sales is another and product knowledge and awareness is important. So if it is so important, why doesn't anyone pay for it anymore?

Online training, web based, self study are only as good as the effort put in and few people really put in the effort. Plus the knowledge an instructor has to provide from real life experiences and answer questions or better yet, prompt for questions is what allows people to truly learn and remember information.

When we speak at events we try to be that audience, think about what they need or want to learn.

When you sit in front of an online tutorial it's just not the same thing.

Looking to follow up some of the discussions, but it brought a reality that people need training and want it and know they need it.

Management are you listening?

Sorry about that Calendar Invite

Those who received it were probably quite puzzled.

I know I was, especially since it went out from my personal email and not my corporate one.

While it set off all kinds of amusing emails in response, a number of things happened within a close proximity to each other and we are trying to work out what caused it. Especially since I was not logged into Notes or Gmail at the time of the incident.

No I don't have an iPad or iPhone or Android device but am using 852 traveler(Windows Mobile) and template.

What I did find was a iCal overlay of a Gmail account which I use for demos that seems to have sucked in a calendar appointment that should not have gone there.

We continue to investigate the situation because coincidentally I lost all 5,216 contacts from my phone. Not from Notes or iNotes just my phone. Had to reinstall Traveler to fix it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wowed by Lotus Notes Traveler 8.5.2

I don't get excited by much but Traveler just keeps amazing me.

8.5.2 brought some excellent changes, for those of us non-iPhone users especially.

Get the full low down from here from the Notes and Domino Wiki.

Yes my windows Mobile device finally gets Corporate lookups but so much more.

We now have a pet peeve of mine, version numbers on the website download page and on the device in multiple places!
LOOK, version number for lotus notes traveler

And this from Ulrich which basically, once you get to 8.5.2, allows for automatic updates to traveler if you set the option to do so! Perfect. Now if the same thing can be done for Quickr connectors, Sametime clients and Notes clients without any other effort from the admins. well one can dream.

One can also set various rates of synchronization, disable if roaming, reverse proxy is now easier as well.

So if you are still pondering about upgrading your server, this is key, not just for iPhones/iPads but Nokia, Windows Mobile, Android(in beta currently, can't say more publicly).

We also have 3 icons now for Traveler:

Traveler Lookup - For Corporate NAB/Directories...finally for non-iPhones
Lotus Installer - where much of what I pointed out above takes place or is configured
Lotus Traveler - same old icon with some slight tweaks to its settings.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Clients leave Lotus products because of us?

Met a new client Tuesday who wants to leave Notes, they have apps and are not moving them off of Domino, so we discussed mail.

I asked why they want to leave. Failures, support, errors, network, etc..

When pushed they said they had an IT manager(I think he was really a developer from the sounds of it) who in the end, after 4 years, could not get the job done and was let go.

So I asked why they would toss out a perfectly good R7 installation because of a bad IT Manager. No real answer aside from levels of frustration reserved for Chicago Cubs fans.

I asked, if we could right the ship and bring it around and assist everyone to use the system to better capabilities would they give it another chance?

OK, I also asked what was so great about Outlook and they couldn't name anything which helps us as well.

They said they would reconsider the idea after seeing R8.5.2.

Their apps were written by the now fired IT Manager. Look to be well written so my thinking was he was a developer 1st, admin 2nd. And that rarely works out for a company for long.

He also had them hosting their Domino, which would be fine, but the latency causes at least a minute every click or refresh, that isn't cool either. Which explains why they all use local copies.

While the idea to help them onto LousLive is a good one, and will save them money from their host, we have a lot to clean up in security, ACLs, ID files(they don't have all certs and passwords for them) and move them to 852 for Traveler and performance reasons for their app server, mail and Sametime will likely go to Lotuslive.

And the application should be web written and for mobile devices and they like this idea, especially given they are dispersed across the US working from home most of them.

So why do I say clients will leave because of us? Because there are those out there that can not admit what they do not know to clients or customers and that in turn hurts all of us. Know your limitations and tell your clients, they will love you all the more, although may bring in someone else to handle something. But that is ok, because if it is out of your comfort zones, you should not go there to begin with. To lie to your customer and tell them you can handle something you can't sets you and your business up to fail usually. Plus if you end up calling someone like us to help you, the cost is much higher than if you brought us in to start when bidding the contract. Much higher.

My first questions to new customers is always about their existing or previous administrators because that sets the tone for our discussions and brings out any issues that may lie hidden normally, like wanting to move off the Lotus platform.

So if you have clients leaving Lotus, then what did you do or not do to assist it?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rosh Hashana vs Business and Technology

Healthy, Prosperous and Enjoyable New Year wishes to everyone
As my family and I, among others around the world, prepare for Rosh Hashana, the head of the (new) year, it presents many challenges for business, for myself and numerous others.

No matter what religion you are, when your holiest days come, you take these very seriously. The more religious Jewish people observe the various laws, some of which date back to the giving of the Torah to Moses at Mount Sinai in the desert. The extensions of which preclude one the right to actively utilize electric/electronic items during the holiday. Passive usage, like leaving lights on or an oven are allowed, but you can not turn it on or off. Or in the case of a computer, one can leave it on(although it is not int he spirit of the holiday), but all one can do is read the screen, can't use the keyboard or mouse and basically would be like reading a newspaper.

Why tell you all of this? Because it's not just the next 2 days it is also the same during the holiday of Sukkot which also will start on Wednesday night in 2 weeks and continues the following week. So in 3 out of 4 weeks, I and others are stopped from working or interacting in many ways that defy the norm in society today, well the more plugged in society at least. 3 out of 4 weeks we lose 2 days + the night before and when you consider we also have the same limitations for Saturday, our Sabbath, well that means a lot of time no getting any work done.

Someone out there will get angry, perhaps.
Someone out there will be frustrated they can't reach me, or whoever does their tech support.
Someone out there will be trying to have meetings with Israeli companies and will find it hard to get a date set.
Someone out there will email or Tweet me and not get an answer for about 72 hours.

No cell phone, no IM, no Twitter, no nothing.

And the last thing on my mind during these days is our clients because I have faith in those we have partnered with or hired to handle whatever comes their way professionally and with appropriate timeliness.

Naturally we have prepared for this and provided clients our usual contacts but let them know I will not be available. For some of them, that is a problem. They do not always know all the members of our team and trust can be an issue. But given the number of days this month I am off, they will learn that others are just as helpful.

Even if there is an outright catastrophe, no hurricanes this year like a few years ago, I will still not be accessible. There are some things more important than work and technology.

It's funny to be so entrenched in a technical world yet remain outside of it nearly 1/6th of the time. Some will argue you can't really be in IT if you are not plugged in 24x7x365 but for the better part of 20 years since being in the work force it has worked for me fairly well. Sometimes it means missing something I would like to be a part of, like NLLUG or Collaboration Universities this year or The View conferences in past years. But there is always next year.

The prayers of Rosh Hashana, like any others, follow a pattern of design that always ensures the message gets across to the individual on their level.

No matter your age or generation there is a piece that will work for you. Email like directives can be sent from you to God verbally (don't ask for a return receipt) and to others.

Sometimes a Twitter like briefness is all that is required or defined.

Sometimes in a more blog like elongated format is shown for specific and key concepts that a one liner may not really explain so well.

Other times there are loops just like in your database programs that remind you, again and again, to do the right thing or ask for forgiveness or just beg the question. Whatever question the person praying is seeking.

And sometimes there are just items on the page there for you, the person praying, to stop and think about objectives that maybe you hadn't realized needed to be discussed.

In truth one can learn much about business from other sources and so while I am refreshing my mental screens take a minute or 2 of your day to do the same.

To fellow members of the tribe, L'shanah Tova Tikatevu V'techatemu. And for everyone if I have offended you in any way, from my blog, Twitter or any other personal or electronic means, I ask your forgiveness.

0x1B1 RVTSCAN Error still in 852

Edited 12/15/2010:
There is an IBM Technote # 1424193 ​on the preloader which is what is causing this to appear.
Unfortunately it does not say how to resolve it. I have added the files it says to exclude to my virus protection and if it solves it will report back. It did it. See new post from 12/16.

fun since 8.x it appears
Haven't seen it for a while, but since moving one laptop to 852 I get it all the time.

Anyone figure out which file this is about?

Forum message here.

This technote was no help as the files it seeks are not in the system32 directory.

Friday, September 3, 2010

When will Clients listen to you?

No matter how prepared one is, no matter how much one knows, no matter how may ways you can address an issue, the customer just never gets it sometimes.

Every migration project has the same formula, although we try hard not to have it happen, it still happens every time. But, at least if you plan ahead for it, you can control the damage and prove your worth to your client.

How many times have you heard the customer say "No one uses that function", "they don't need their old email converted or migrated", "our existing backup solution will work fine", or my new favorite, "don't worry about a Domino BES, everyone is getting iPhones and Android so we will use Lotus Notes Traveler" and one could go on forever with these great lines.

Yet every time all of these and more come back to the table as scope creep or "extra budget line items". But that's not how it has to be.

Always keep in mind that here are many people involved and no matter if the CEO or CIO is approving this and making decisions, your job is to prepare them for any and all potential risks. They may waive you off, but at least you did your job and they will remember the warnings...even when they call at the last minute on Friday before going live that they need a backup solution.

Documentation for your project, from you to your client is the word of God. So make sure in your contracts you stipulate all the options and provide multiple levels of pricing to accommodate it all. In this way you guarantee to cover your side of the story and should the customer rethink their plans, they also have a price in hand to work with(some will argue a new contract could be used, just depends on your wording, I am not lawyer so go ask one if you are worried).

It also helps to have the executive sponsor in the room at the same time as the technical manager or executive and a business line representative to cover at least 3 sides of what is truly a multifaceted issue.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

SnTT - Mapping a Drive in Windows to an NSF

Show n Tell Thursday

Admittedly this is to remind everyone you can do it. It's been a long time since I needed to, but since a client asked me about it yesterday I figured it was worth reminding everyone.

We all know one can add files to a database easily enough via a browser but what if you wanted it to be shared and let everyone find it, a la poor man's Lotus Quickr/Connections or LotusLive Engage File Sharing?

Jake once again saves the world. I am sure others have posted about it as well so if there are more references by all means leave me a link to them.

To repeat it all would not do justice, so I will discuss business cases. You can follow the link and thank Jake as well.

1) Customer asked to have a mapped drive. Oddly enough they will be using LL Engage but they wanted something local and not in the cloud. I recommended Quickr or a general notes db(journal/notebook maybe something from designed purely for holding attachments. One could then provide a link to the file, internally or a URL for external people. Keep in mind if it is in a NSF you can secure it and lock it down as much as possible, more granular than Quickr too, just not as pretty, unless you made a nice UI for the database.

2) Customer wants to share the file among others in an easily accessible way without emailing it, they get it, unlike this author from eweek's article.

If you don't make it possible for your employees to send large files to each other when their work demands it, then you're effectively giving them no option but to go outside of the enterprise, and incidentally outside of the security and audit trail that goes with it.

The easy solution is raise your e-mail attachment limit to something that will at least allow a PowerPoint presentation to be sent from one office to another. You should also probably provide some means of sending larger files with programs such as YouSendIt or Accellion managed file transfer products. "Organizations should be thinking about how they should outfit their employees with file transfer," said Accellion Chief Marketing Officer Paula Skokowski. "Employees would not be looking at work-arounds if the company provided them."

I hate hearing about this, especially in a company that uses Domino, Quickr, Connections or yes, even Sharepoint, yet so many companies still engage a whole other service just to handle a basic, free, built-in function and FREE capability.

3) Security/privacy. You can put so much in the cloud but the bottom line is there are some things people just do not want in the open...ever. So this is also understandable. Even with Domino security some people just say no. Accept it and work with them.

4) MAC users can't use Lotus Quickr Connectors so a drive mapping would work for them. BUT the great team at SNAPPS, thanks to Rob Novak for letting it be free, does have a solution, in their words:
Because we've built PandaBear on the Adobe Air framework, the same installation runs on Windows, Mac, or Linux.

So I suggested they try it out and get back to me.

Always help the customer get to where they want to go using the tools they already own and you will have a customer for life.