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Showing posts from 2008

GRANITE Lotus User Group - December 2008 Meeting

We have a great meeting coming up for our August 2008 GRANITE meeting, December 8, 2008. It is our holiday meeting and we will be having a special luncheon during our meeting at the IBM Center. But before we stuff ourselves with good food, we will be covering four topics at the IBM Center covering: Using Social Networking Software in Your Business IBM Lotus Protector GRANITE Board of Director Elections Improving the GRANITE Web Site If you are in the area and would like to attend both the meeting and the buffet lunch please let us know by December 4 since we need to get a head count. Here is the link to the web site about the meeting. GRANITE December 2008 Meeting

Wow, Didn't See this Coming

Over the past couple of days I have been trying to trace a bug in my code without any resolution, until today. Wasted days of precious time. I trace down the issue and discovered it was the result of another odd behavior of Lotus Notes. I do not know if this applies to other versions of Lotus Notes, but I can guess it does. In the Lotuscript database class, NotesDatabase, the property Notesdatabase.Server is used often. It should return the server name in the following format: CN=Acme01/O=Acme This is fine, but if you get the same property in a dialog box, you WILL NOT get the same format. Instead the format is: Acme01/Acme So when I was parsing the server name I would get different results causing a chain of errors that resulted in hours of time tracing the error in code that has been working for years. What a pain. As we push Notes and Domino more and more into a new level, we are finding more and more things to watch out for.

New GRANITE Lotus User Group Web Site

Finally, after talking about it for months, GRANITE Lotus User Group has a new Web site. The previous site was based on Quickplace and when the host migrated to Quickr 8, it broke a number of functions and pages. The new version is based on Domino and will allow us to customize the site more to what we need. The site displays well on a Blackberry, but couple of the links needs to be redesigned so that it does not need javascript to run. So take a look and give us your comments.

Persistent Problem with Notes 8.02

I originally though this was a problem with my installation of Notes 8.02, but after talking to another developer who had the same problem with forms, I believe there is a bug in Notes 8.02 that drives us developers crazy. The ran into this problem with views, but today I wasted 2 hours of my time modifying framesets. When developing using the Notes 8.02 Designer, every so often changes that you make to views, forms, and framesets will not appear when you run the application after you made your changes. Unfortunately, I have not been able to repeat the problem. It seems to come and go. The only solution that I have found to work is to shutdown not only Designer but the Notes client. I did not have the problem with Notes 8.01. I would like to know if others have encountered or know of this problem

GRANITE Lotus User Group - August 2008 Meeting

We have a great meeting coming up for our August 2008 GRANITE meeting, August 11. It is our annual Summer Outing and we will be having a buffet lunch at The Metropolitan Club in the 67th Floor of the Sears Tower here in Chicago. I would like to thank our sponsor this year, Research in Motion for helping us pay for the outing. But before we trek out all afternoon for lunch and a wonderful view, we will have three great technical sessions at the IBM Center covering: Best Practices of Blackberry Administration Using SOA methodology for designing Lotus Notes applications A Strategic Update on RIM's Products If you are in the area and would like to attend both the meeting and the buffet lunch please let us know by tomorrow since we need to get a head count for the private room. Here is the link to the web site about the meeting. GRANITE August 2008 Meeting

Two new end-user training courses for Lotus Notes 8

ReCor has just released two new training courses for Lotus Notes 8 in additional to our LearningDocs for Lotus Notes 8.01 - Standard / Migration course, we now have available for download: LearningDocs for Lotus Notes 8.01 - Advanced Course LearningDocs for Lotus Notes 8.01 - Basic Client The advanced course covers topics like Quickr integration with Lotus Notes and advanced rich text editing and remote users. The new Basic client course provides detailed training on the Classic or Basic client. This course took us longer because thought it seem that there was not much differences, there were many changes to the Basic client compared to Notes 6.5 or 7. From the interest that our customers has expressed, there is a lot of companies that will be rolling out the Basic client since their hardware and operating system will not support the Standard client. As I mentioned before that is a lot of new features in the Notes 8 Basic client that developer can utilizes. At the April GRANITE me

Designing Software Blind

Chris Blatnick talks in his blog about how important interface design is in making software a success. Recently I became aware of a major development project that broke many of the guidelines that we use to design interfaces. A major retailer started implementing a new POS software for their stores that was suppose to revolutionize their operation. You would think that they would work with store employees who will be using the POS systems to design the best solution, run test pilots to make sure that the software met the needs of the store employees, and have a detailed implementation and training plan. Answer NO NO NO. Software that are created by developers who live in a box and never get the customer (users) involved with most likely fail. Here are a few example of why getting users involved in the interface design is so important: Since the screen sizes of POS system usually are small you would think that they would be very concerned about font sizes, no. The designers decided

Lotus Foundations Start Training

Yesterday I attended an all day session on Lotus Foundations for both IBM Business Partner and Lotus Foundation Partners. Being both an IBM Business Partner and Lotus Foundation Partner, it was interesting to here the perspectives of Lotus Foundation Partners (formerly Nitix Partners) versus IBM Business Partners. From the perspective of an IBM Business Partner, Lotus Foundation is has limitations. As states it is not a Domino server, but a server powered by Domino. This will likely change in the future. The Web interface is been improved. There is still a lot of work ahead to competite against Microsoft. Lotus Foundation is a good starting point for IBM. There is a number of things that I would like to see added or changed. But that is me. For Business Partners that are interested, there is discussions about forming a Lotus Foundation User Group. If you are interested, please contact me and I can get you in touch with the person who is heading it up.

Going to me the Giants

It July and it is time to take some time off. This year we are going to a little known area called Giant City State Park located at the Southern tip of Illinois near Makanda, Illinois. Unlike most of Illinois, the southern part of Illinois is very different with rolling hills, cliffs, and very rough terrain. It is very beautiful in Southern Illinois. Last time I was there was in 2001 at the Shawnee National Forest. Giant City State Park is next to it and features giant sandstone pillars of over 100 feet that create natural streets similar what to see towards the end of the third Indiana Jones movie. Some streets are very narrow. A pastor of my colleague got stuck between the giant pillars and had to be pushed out. It should be fun climbing the sandstones and hiking the trails. Giant City Lodge is inside the park and features individual one and two bedroom cabins. It was build during the depression. However, it has been a frustrating week with both the van and SUV in the shop o

Pivotal Point in History

A few days from now, we will mark the 145th anniversary for one of the most pivotal points in the history of our country, the Battle of Gettysburg. Thought the battle technically occurred from July 1 through July 3, 1863, the actions that occurred for the past few days 145 years ago set things in motion that resulted in one of the bloodiest battle in the history of the United States. Each year we celebrate July 4 as our day of independence. However, most people do not know how critical the actions and sacrifices that 160,000 men made 145 years ago shaped who we are as a country. I encourage everyone to study our history. It serves as a guide in business and life. If you do not want to read the hundreds of books written about the Battle of Gettysburg and would like to get a pretty accurate account of the Battle of Gettysburg, I suggest you get the Gettysburg Movie on DVD. Warning it is a very long movie. The Extended LaserDisc Edition is even longer and it is great. Even better

New IBM Lotus Notes Web Site - Almost there

The new refresh of the IBM Lotus Notes/Domino Web site I believe is better and cleaner then before. I glad that IBM is providing a clearer message. They still need to integrate it better with the main IBM web site. The question is when you go to the small business link from the main site where is Lotus Quickr? Shouldn't Quickr be there? Also shouldn't there be a link to this page from the small business site? Also an added notes where is Lotus Foundations?

Domino an Application Server with Mail or a Mail Server that you can Runs Applications

Unfortunately, I was not able to present my presentation, "SOA, Not Just for the Web" at the June GRANITE Lotus Notes Users Group meeting. Because of all the flooding and weather related problems the attendance was less than normal. And with additional emergencies that came up during the other presentations, it was decided that my presentation will be postponed to the next meeting in August. However after lunch, we had an interesting conversation about how IBM is marketing their products especially to the SMB. Things that came up included improving awareness through better education materials and giving away licenses of Notes and Domino similarity to how Microsoft uses giveaways to get people hooked on their products. I have talked about IBM's marketing to SMB in the past and its lack of coherently. With the Lotus Foundation Start product now shipping with Domino, one needs to ask how small businesses is viewing Domino and Lotus Foundations. Is Domino an application

Presenting at June 2008 GRANITE Lotus User Group Meeting

The June 2008 GRANITE Lotus User Group Meeting is coming up on Monday, June 9, 2008. If you are in the area come join us at the IBM Center in Chicago. I will be presenting a short presentation on titled "SOA, Not Just for the Web." It will be a short version of a longer presentation that I have been creating. The presentation will show how you can use SOA-like techniques to create Notes applications that are easier to develop and maintain and works with the Notes Classic client. Our Integrated Business Framework v3 system uses an advanced version of this technique. If I have time this weekend, I will create a demo and combine it with the composite application technique that I demo a while back and show it working using the Notes Classic client.

More from Lotusphere Comes to You - Toronto

The attendees today at Lotusphere Comes to You - Toronto has been very good. From the last count there was over 200 attendees today. Attendees at our booth is better than last year which is good. I hope the drive and flight home will not be too bad, but you never know these days.

Lotusphere Comes to You - Toronto

I am off to Toronto for Lotusphere Comes to You to exhibit. This is the last Lotusphere Comes to You that we are exhibiting. It is usually a well attended show. It has been a very long time since I had a chance to blog. I have been spending all my spare time and then some installing hardwood flooring at my home for the past couple of months. What I thought would be a couple of weekend tasks became a two month project just like some programming projects. Hopefully, I will now have time to started blogging again.

New Lotus Notes 8.01 training is now available

After a mad rush we have released our LearningDocs for Lotus Notes 8.01 end-user training. Thought it was suppose to be a point release, IBM Lotus made a large number of small changes to the user interface that required us to do massive amount of changes to the our training course and Notes simulator. There still seems to be a number of interface bugs in 8.01 that pop up intermittently and it drove us crazy. But finally we have released it. If you want to try it out, go to the ReCor website . I have not been blogging at all for the past many weeks because I was down with a very bad sinus infection that I got while I was visting a potential client in Minnesota. Now that I have recovered, I can finally provide everyone a number of new interface tricks that would improve the look and functionality of dialog boxes.

Is the Lotus Community Nicer?

At Lotusphere there was a couple of interesting comments that a technology reporter covering Lotusphere for the first time mentioned to us when he visited our booth and also by an attendee who was at Lotusphere for the first time. Both commented about how friendly and helpful people from the Lotus community were at the show compared to other non-Lotus events. Both liked the experience that had at Lotusphere. Since it has been a very long time since I attended a Microsoft conference and I have never attended an IBM conference that is not Lotus related are they correct that we are just a bunch of nice guys and gals?

Happy Chinese New Years - The Year of Lotus

Happy Chinese New Years, It is the year of the rat according to the Chinese Zodiac sign starting February 7, 2008. It is the year 4706. But from what I have seen from Lotusphere and from our customers, it is going to also be the Year Of Lotus. With all the new products and services that IBM Lotus is rolling out combined finally with a coherent focus on Lotus and Domino and SMB market, I see that 2008 is going to be a very good year. We currently are talking to customers not only about Lotus Notes, but also on integrating Quickr, Sametime, and Symphomy as part of their business solution. So everyone part of the Lotus community have a properous Chinese New Year. PS. Since I am a rat, this must be a good year.

GRANITE Lotus User Group - February 2008 Meeting

The first GRANITE Lotus User Group meeting of 2008 will occur on February 11. As usual it will be at the IBM Center in the Hyatt Center in Chicago. We will be covering all the Lotusphere 2008 highlights, Lotus Notes with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop, hopefully integration of Quickr Connector with Lotus Notes, and a technical workshop on improving the functionality of Lotus Notes dialog boxes. Hope you can join us if you are in the Chicago area. To learn more go to the GRANITE Web site .

Business Partner Development Day Presentation Slides?

In previous Lotuspheres, Business Partners who signed up for Business Development Day were able to download the BDD presentation slides. During many BDD sessions at Lotusphere 2008, we were told that the slides would be available. However, if you go to Lotusphere Online there is a message in the Help section that tells you that the slides are not available. Does anyone know what happened?

XPages for Lotus Notes Client

At Lotusphere 2008, there was discussions about XPages and how it would change how Notes applications are created. Since I was so busy with booth duty and other events I did not attend any of the sessions that involved XPages. However, Rob Burton from my group did attend a session that talked about XPages. Yesterday, he asked if I attended any of the sessions that talked about XPages and I said no. I did briefly hear someone talk about it, but did not pay attention. Surprising he said from what he has learned XPages does a similar thing we having been do for over a year in our Integrated Business Framework system by removing the data from the form. Similar to the concept of XPages, in the Integrated Business Framework design when you open a document you are really opening up a form that can collects data from many databases. The form is automatically populated based on a set of XML configuration data. During the save process the data is stored not as a single document, but the

Recovering from Lotusphere 2008

I am finally recovered from Lotusphere 2008. Standing at the booth for 8 to 12 hours a day for three days plus waking up at 5:30 AM to get to the BOFs and breakfast at 7:00 AM and ending at 11:00 PM is very tiring. However, it was worth it. As an exhibitor I believe this was one of our best shows ever. I am very happy with the number and quality leads that we got. Of course, I would not mind even more leads. Our crew did a great job. Our two newbies held together well. The blogger dinner at ESPN was great. I finally had a chance to meet others that I blog with. I hope we get even more to attend next year.

Great Lotusphere 2008 Closing Session

The closing session for Lotusphere 2008 was great. That had the chef from one of the Food Network present and he was a blast. Since I do not have cable or satellite, I do not know who he was, but he was very funny. Does anyone know the final attendance for Lotusphere? I thought they would announce it at the closing session, but there was not any mention of it. From what I observed it was very good. I was so busy at our booth that I missed a number of sessions that I wanted to go to. Today was the first day I had a chance to go to the sessions that I wanted.

Sad Lotusphere Day

Each year at Lotusphere, we look forward to the afternoon coffee break on Tuesdays because there will be either Dove bars Haagen-Daz bars. Rob, my partner was crushed to find out that there was no Dove or Haagen-Daz ice cream bar. Instead, we had healthy italian ice. What is the world coming to?

Lotusphere 2008 Day 1

Our team got to Lotusphere in one piece yesterday. The plane ride was the second worst that I have ever had. I do not think I will need to ride the roller coasters at Universal Studios on Wednesday. The turbulence on the plane ride through the thunderstorm was more exciting than any roller coaster. I believe the attendance is much higher this year considering that auxiliary parking is now back at Blizzard Beach. It is cooler than yesterday, but it sure beat the -10 F back in Chicago.

Creating Composite Applications for Classic Lotus Notes Clients – Part 2

This is part 2 of my creating composite application for classic Lotus Notes clients. In part 2, I will cover how a new event in Lotus Notes 8 can used to simplify the process of creating a composite application. You can download the demo code from the sidebar or download it from here. This new event is "onSelect" and is found in Notes View. This event works not only for regular views but also for embedded views and even embedded views within a dialog box. This event is triggered whenever a document is selected in a view. It hold true even when the view is display for the first time. As a Notes developer, I feel this one single event is more than enough reason to upgrade to at least the Lotus Notes 8 Basic client. It makes a number of UI issues simply go away. Just like in the previous Lotus Notes clients we need to create a launch document in our composite application that will be used to trigger the population of the frames in the composite application. However, rather than

Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!

Today, I finally have enough energy to get back to the computer. I was going to spend time this weekend to complete part 2 of creating composite applications for classic Lotus Notes clients, but starting Friday I came down with food poisoning. It was the worst food poisoning I have every had. I was pretty much in bed or laying on the couch for three days. I dranked a couple of gallons of Gatorade in order to keep my fluids in balance. This is the last time I buy sushi from a grocery store! Of course, my wife said, "I told you so." Now that I have more energy, I will complete the composite application discussion in the next couple of days and provide everyone the source code.

Creating Composite Applications for Classic Lotus Notes Clients – Part 1

A new thing in Lotus Notes 8 is the ability to create composite applications using the Eclipse Lotus Notes 8 client. It is a powerful feature to aggregate visually information from different sources. It leads to a simpler looking interface with powerful results. Since I am an advocate of smaller lightweight clients, I wondered if composite applications could be created for the classic Lotus Notes clients including Notes 5, 6, 7, and the Notes 8 Basic client. The classic clients are much smaller that the Eclipse-based client and loads up much faster than its Eclipse counterpart. After experimenting for a few hours, I discovered that the answer is yes, “you can teach an old dog to do new tricks.” Though, it is possible with the Notes 5 client, it is buggy and I would not recommend it. I have divided the presentation here into two parts, part 1 for Lotus Notes 7 and older clients and part 2 for the Lotus Notes 8 Basic client. The information that I am presenting here is an expansion of a

Happy New Years Everyone

I predict that 2008 is going to be a great year for us in the Lotus Notes and Domino world. Many customers that we have talked to are planning to reinvest in Notes and Domino 8. Lotusphere 2008 looks to be bigger than last year and we are very excited to be back exhibiting at Lotusphere. Later today, I will present part 1 of my two part discussion on creating composite applications for the classic Lotus Notes client. It only took me one day to create the applications and demo, but it has been a struggle to write it up because of other obligations. So far it has taken me a week.