Webinar Tomorrow: Learn how the Ephox editor works in IBM Connections


If you are working with IBM Connections and you want to know more about the new (and FREE) entitlement of the EPHOX editor EditLive! for IBM Connections V4.5 then you should tune in to this webinar tomorrow ….

In January, IBM announced terrific news for IBM Connections customers — it’s making the Ephox editor, EditLive!, available to all IBM Connections v4.5 clients. Now IBM Connections’ users have access to the industry’s most advanced WYSIWYG editor.In this short, but impactful webinar, we will shareways in which your IBM Connections users can derive the most value out of EditLive!’s advanced editing capabilities.

Join Ephox tomorrow to learn how to get access to EditLive! if you’re using IBM Connections v4.5.

Tim Thatcher and Michael Fromin of Ephox will present the following:

  • The capabilities of Ephox’s editor, EditLive!
  • How Ephox’s editor can deliver value to users of IBM Connections
  • Ways other IBM customers are reaping benefits using EditLive! for IBM Connections while increasing user adoption and engagement

Date: Thursday, March 27
Time: 10 a.m. PDT, noon CDT, 1 p.m. EDT, 5 p.m. GMT

Who should attend:

  • IBM Sales Team Members and Leaders
  • IBM Client Technical Professionals
  • IBM Business Partners
  • IBM Connections Customers (IT, end users, content contributor, social media contributors)

Presenters:

Tim Thatcher, chief operating officer, Ephox
Michael Fromin, director of client services, Ephox

Register for the Ephox webinar today.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Dave Dabbah
Vice President, Marketing
dave.dabbah

Connect with Ephox at:
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2014 – What is waiting at the starting line for this year?


Since I finally got back to my bog and wrote a short / brief “2013-in-a-nutshell” post, I thought it might be time to also look ahead. There is allot hat I am working on, here the short list:

 

Connect2014

Yes, I mentioned I am going and what my (not very short) list of must-see presentations are. The other reason I like to go is that is a great time to talk to vendors and colleagues to see where the market and technology is going and what clients are (likely/maybe/hopefully) looking for for the future. It is not just fun and golf – even if my wife thinks otherwise.

Connections Training

I speak frequently at LUGS and seminars on IBM Connections administration, that goes hand-in-hand with the Connections training that I offer as part of my business. This last year has seen allot of one-on-one / one-on-many training where I make the whole Connections install a training seminar for the client where they learn not only how to install but how to document, what decisions they need to think of ahead of time and then how to think ahead to production / operations. I also do class-room hands-on training where I bring in a VM environment and the participants get hands-on and get to break it and repair it. When necessary I actually created “broken” snapshots that I have them fix. Hands-on is the only way to go really

For 2014 I am thinking slightly larger …. I am partnering with a good friend of mine to munch off his good reputation and experience … ;) there will be some more detailed announcements on this later in the 1st quarter. for right now it is still  “Pssssst .. it’s a secret

Technology Trends

Over the last few years I have seen a big uptick in my IBM Connections business and a decline in Domino work. Not because I think Domino itself is declining but because the base knowledge in the market place out there is good and clients see less need in bringing in outside talent – upgrades and migrations yes – or integration work with other systems but not really for basic Domino operations.

Recently I also see a large uptick in Sametime inquiries – ST9 is making allot of clients thinking of upgrades and they want help. Also, they want ST to integrate with more – video, telephony, awareness in every other system they can get it to work in … ST9 looks good for me and I like the changes and (some of) the simplifications in the product – and I think that the licensing changes that IBM put into place will drive allot more adoption.

International Work

I also see an uptick in my “international” work. Whereas my focus used to be 99% North America I do get more inquiries for Europe and Asia … I speak several languages which helps but that is not the real reason, I just guess this internet thing really makes the world smaller and brings us closer in many different ways. Now, if I could just somehow get an app that does something about time zones and jet lag …..

 

 

I am curious to talk to my colleagues out there and see what the technology barometer is showing them – that is one of the reasons I always try to attend Connect (LotusPhere) – but for now all I can say is that 2014 looks good!

MWLUG 2013 Open General Session Speaker – News!


This just came in email – a very interesting addition to the OGS with a new (additional) speaker.  The OGS alone is worth coming, I hope to see a few of you guys there .Peruse the agenda, there are some really good sessions being offered.

 

From the Email:

 

MWLUG 2013 Banner

 

Announcing the MWLUG 2013 Open General Session Speaker

We are very please to announce the MWLUG 2013 Opening General Speaker will be former US Marine, Author, and Indianapolis Colts Community Spokeperson, Josh Bleill. Josh the author of One Step at a Time: A Young Marine’s Story of Courage, Hope, and a New Life in the NFL present about building a Community.

Along with Scott Souder our MWLUG 2013 IBM OGS speaker, Josh will deliver our Opening General Session.

Josh BleillJosh Bleill, Indianapolis Colts Community Spokesperson

Marine Corporal Josh Bleill [Bly-ul; rhymes with “Kyle” or “smile”] is a native of Greenfield, Indiana. After graduating high school, Josh attended Purdue University. Upon completion of his education, Josh decided to serve his country by joining the United States Marine Corps in 2004, and was activated for a tour of duty in Iraq in 2006.

While serving in Iraq, Corporal Bleill was severely injured, resulting in the loss of both of his legs. After extensive rehabilitation, Bleill returned to Indiana in August of 2008, where he attacked his new life head-on. This new life included employment as the Indianapolis Colts Community Spokesperson.

Indianapolis Colts Owner, Jim Irsay, has described Bleill as “very talented, bright-eyed, and skilled,” and Josh now travels the country to spread his message of hope, “one step at a time.”

I’m doing it again: I’ll be Speaking at MWLug – Indianapolis Aug. 21-23, 2013


.Yes, Here i\I go again. I will be speaking on Connections again at MWLug. This year it will be in lovely Indianapolis, IN and My session is titled “IBM Connections essential Skills – Data Manipulation and it’s Limits”. Ooohhh, sounds like it might even be more fun than pulling teeth or watching paint dry!

IamLUG 2013 – Blackmail and Malarky!


I just have to come out into the open and share my plight: I am being blackmailed by the IamLUG’ers ….. coerced, forced into bonded labor without the possibility of parole … my freedom of laziness is under attack … Oh, the humanity!

As I have written earlier, I was foolish enough to sign up for IamLUG 2013 (May 6 – 7, St. Louis, MO) and also hand in an abstract for my REALLY excellent content that I mean to share – mainly on the finer points of Swiss cheese fondue interspersed with some vaguely useful tidbits on IBM Connections administration.

Now imagine my reaction when I get a mail from the organizers telling me that they expect me to actually WORK. I mean – they want an early abstract or else! They want us to hand in our valuable and priceless and totally awesome content by April 15 – AND we need to blog and tweet and all that social stuff – or else!

Now, I normally don’t have an issue doing the Twitter, I would even add the horrid hashtag #IamLUG to my tweeties, but this is to much:

Start tweeting and blogging if you want a couple extra days on your slide deadline

Wha??? … the gall, the impertinence! How about this zinger:

Slide deadline will be moved to April 15 but if you blog and tweet we will make yours April 22

Followed by this one – a real shocker (it really hurt me to the core):

If you don’t tweet, we will force you to eat Victor’s horrid cheese fondue with the stray dogs of St. Louis as company

I will admit it – it made me cry …. the psychological hurt was … hurtful. So, under all this duress, stress and psychological pressure I relent – even a man as strong as I am can only take that much:

  • IamLUG is the best – and it is free as in FREE BEER – thank the damn sponsors for that, they are trying to ruin your liver
  • IamLUG is taking place in the coolest place in the world – the city that has half of a McDonald’s sign (they never had the money to finish it – they call it and ARC, no .. ARCH …)
  • IamLUG will have some REALLY AWESOME content about cheese fondue and a few other mildly interesting technical presentations
  • IamLUG has this thing called TICK IT ON – oops! Freudian mishap – I meant TACKITON where you can learn some stuff – how to make cheese fondue quality content it ain’t – but maybe, just maybe if you want to know something about XPages and that development jazz – it might be worth the paltry money they ask for it … just maybe. (I will still offer  my services as a fondue connoisseur to liven up the bland XPages content if needed . . . )
  • IamLUG has the greatest presenter in the western hemisphere present, and a few other decent enough folks who can ramble on a bit
  • IamLUG is full of fun …. join us in this years challenge to see who can single handily bring down the wireless network with Pinterest postings of kitten pictures
  • IamLUG is just so great .. and it is free as in FREEDOM of speech. And who does not like to spew forth a whole litany or malarky AND get a standing ovation for it?

I think I have now done my damn part … my totally awesome presentation will be in their damn in-box on APRIL 22 (take that, IamLUG’ers!)

Social Connections V – StarWars all over again?


If you are reading this you are social and somehow are involved with the whole IBM software stack relationship social thingamajig or another …. So, unless you live under a rock you have heard of the – very successful – SOCIAL CONNECTIONS shindig that happens on a regular basis and is instigated (among several other, very hardworking individuals) Stuart McIntyre.

In spite of being the model of British reserve and gentleman-ship, Stuart is well know and renowned for his strength in the “the Social Stuff”, or as we like to say – the FORCE is strong in him . . .

Social Connections V is coming up this June and somehow I managed to weasel my way into it and am speaking this year. Thank God Stuart chose the neutral country of Switzerland to host it, that way my antics are unlikely to break up the European Union (it is not a member), set off a minor border conflict (nobody messes with the Swiss) or cause a rise in sea levels (no ocean, but they do have part of the Alps).

Here is a link that the very kindhearted and capable Femke Goedhart tweeted earlier today with a sneak peek of what is in store. Personally, I think most people will come of the Swiss chocolate, the alphorn blues band that will be playing in the lobby and lederhosen that Stuart is planning to wear in celebration of his newly discovered Swiss ancestor who is distantly related to Wilhelm Tell. It is a fascinating story that he is sure to recant to you if you just prod his modesty enough – he is quite shy about his fame as we all know. I also surmise that Tim Clark might have an interesting tidbit or two to share and with Gab “No Problem” Davis around there will be enough interesting content to cover for the fact that my session will be dealing with the finer points of Swiss Cheese Fondue . . .

So, if you think you are interested …. and have the time to watch all the amazed/shocked Swiss who will be gather around the hotel to stare at us in wonder – you should attend … even if it is only to hear hear Gab say “Not a Problem!” in that droll accent of her’s ….

PS: if you are wondering why I mentioned StarWars in the title – no reason other than the big Roman Numeral “V” in the title and that I turn green and shriveled like Yoda when I drink green beer on St. Paddy’s day . . . Switzerland will never be the same after this. I pity the Swiss, really . .

Technote: Connections iFix / CR installation problems


Just a quick one:

IBM Failed to perform extraction error when applying CR or iFixes to IBM Connections 4.0 – United States.

 

This technote just came through and I thought it was rather timely since I was battling this very scenario with one off the test/DEV environments at my current client a short while ago.

If you read the document you will see that it mentions “if the shared files space has changed” but there is another scenario under which this can happen (though related) and deinstal and subsequent re-install of features or the whole application – especially if you switch between a root and non-root install in AIX/Linux.

The details on what files to review/update are in the technote above and I suggest to anybody who has ever had an iFix or CR not go quite as they wanted to review the settings and file this nifty technote away in their little “I know this” storage space for future reference.

 

IBM Connections: Metrics / Cognos and the HTTP timeout . . . .


Let me preface this post with a statement:

I really, really don’t like Cognos. Metrics is a pain as well.
And .. in case it lacked sufficient emphasis … I really, R E A L L Y don’t like  Cognos.

 

This is an interesting one that I have been battling with for quite some time at my current client. We had been running into errors with Cognos reports not finishing and the only errors we saw were in the syemOut.log files for HTTP sessions suddenly being reset:

 [3/5/13 11:51:05:341 EST] 000000b8 CognosBIReque 3 com.ibm.connections.metrics.reportgeneration.cognos.CognosBIRequestProcessor processCognosBIRequest post jobTemplateSearchPath=/content/folder[@name='IBMConnectionsMetrics']/package[@name='Metrics']/folder[@name='static']/jobDefinition[@name='jobtemplate5']

[3/5/13 11:56:05:532 EST] 000000b8 SystemErr R java.net.SocketException: Connection reset

Metrics sends Cognos 5 HTTP requests for each report time range – these correspond to the Jobtemplate1 – Jobtemplate5 reports in Cognos that are called and executed. These HTTP requests are synch calls so they have to stay connected and wait until the Jobtemplate call is finished so metrics can update the process. for all successful calls yo will see HTTP status 200 results and that is exactly what you want. We were seeing the above resets for calls to the Jobtemplate4 and Jobtemplate5 calls – it was KILLING ME.

Metrics was not at fault – it has it’s timeout settings in the metrics-config.xml file (secsPerRequest) and that was set to 3600 so it was off the list of culprits.

We reset the HTTP servers plug-in.xml setting for timeouts (ServerIOTimeout) first to 400 seconds and then to 600 and we saw no change.

We then did a test – we changed the interService href in the LotusConenctions-config.xml file as follows – btw that only works because we have a single Cognos server, not a clustered pair:

sloc:serviceReference bootstrapHost=”” bootstrapPort=”” clusterName=”admin_replace” enabled=”true” serviceName=”cognos” ssl_enabled=”true”> 
<sloc:href>
 
<sloc:hrefPathPrefix>/cognos</sloc:hrefPathPrefix>
 
<sloc:static href=”
http://connect.domain.com” ssl_href=”https://connect.domain.com“/> 
      <sloc:interService href=”https://cognosserverFQHN.domain.com:9443“/> 

Drum-roll ….. Here we go, it fixed the issue, but now the progress display (“xxx% complete”) on the metrics page to be permanently stuck at 0%. What this did do was point ut to the problem …. the F5 load balancer that we in front of the dual HTTP servers. It had a permanent 5 minute http thread timeout set and was killing ANY thread that was going over 5 minutes.

 

The Takeaway:

Metrics/Cognos spawns exactly 110 jobs for each Community metrics update request, many of these requests will go over 5 minutes and you should check that any device/server in your network has a higher HTTP timeout seting.

 

Sametime Video Chat Widget for Connections – Supposedly it still works in V4


My current client had this implemented in their V 3.x environment and we asked IBM if it will still work in V4 …. supposedly it does.

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/downloads/sametime_videochat_plugin.html

I am implementing it now but there are some inconsistencies with the ST server so I will have to dig through the ST logs and God only knows what else to make it work. Not sure if IBM is working on a version that is “more compatible” (it ain’t English but I have no better way of saying this) to Connections  V4.x, but I hope they are. This one is not very pretty to look at when it is added to a community at it’s current build.

 

I will keep y’all updated on the progress.