Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Future of Domino from the POV of an ISV

Many in the ICS community have made the statement that Notes and Domino are dead.

Many in the ICS community have been questioning the future of Domino and they have ever right to do so considering the lack of and inconsistent communication from IBM and lack of improvements to the platform for the past 4 years.  Yes we have had improvements regarding SSL security fixes but that was driven by the discovery of serious vulnerabilities in SSL.

Like many customers and IBM partners, we built many many Notes applications internally and for clients. Some of these applications are still running on many of our clients and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. They do not have the coolest interfaces since those capabilities weren't around even from other vendors at the time they were developed. They are clunky looking, but they are secure which is very important since the beginning of Notes and more so these days. 

IBM announced yesterday that they are extending support for Domino at least until 2021 and will be providing incremental enhancements to Domino through fix and feature packs which I am glad to hear. Personally, I dislike the naming convention for future releases which will be provided as feature packs. I thought it was confusing and did not project the feeling that Notes and Domino were vibrant products. IBM should start with a different naming convention given that they are switching to incremental enhancements through feature packs.

Over 5 years ago, we started making the transition from a consulting firm to an ISV. As an ISV that provide business solutions either through mobile or web client, the naming convention is irrelevant for us. Customers never sees the version number nor they even know that it is Domino at the core.

There are three types of ISVs for Domino. Looking at our wonderful MWLUG sponsors, you have application ISVs like Riva CRM Integration who develop applications that works on Domino, you have IBM ICS product ISVs like BCC, Crossware, HADSL, panagenda, RPR Wyatt, Teamstudio and Ytria that enhances and augments the ICS product portfolio, and then you have us, Phora Group. Why do we separate ourselves from other ISVs?  

We wanted a scalable multi-tenant application architecture with data security being the up-most of importance. For Phora Group, Domino is a JSON-based NoSQL database infrastructure comparable to MongoDB, CouchDB and Couchbase but data security built into it core architecture. It is an application/database server.  When we started the process of developing iPhora, we looked at developing it using these other technologies.  However, the advantage of Domino is that authentication, data distribution, web services, integration, data security, application logic and many others things are built into its architecture all packaged into a small but scalable footprint. There are stuff in Domino that just isn't that easy to duplicate using other platforms.  

When we designed iPhora, we wanted its architecture to be database infrastructure agnostic and if needed, we could transition it to other database technologies.  So we developed the iPhora architecture as abstraction layers with application logic driven through RESTful services that are surfaced with a JavaScript-based MVC. The architecture is based on what many call "modern" or "cooler" approaches. We redesigned many of the functionalities in Domino including security and data management all of which can be transitioned to different platforms. The core components found in Domino are what is important to us and is what makes Domino unique.

So from our unique POV as an ISV as long as Domino is alive and kicking it is good news for us. Based on what we are hearing from IBM, the core Domino technology will continue to be an integral part of our iPhora solutions. It provides us a unique platform unlike any other, even after 26 years.  My wish list is not more features, but separate Domino into core blocks and allow us ISVs to build Domino like Lego blocks to match our needs. Less is more.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Welcome Message to Austin from our IBM Community Manager

It is two weeks away from the start of MWLUG 2016.  So get registered for this last ICS conference event in the United States for this year.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

2016 Top Ten Reasons Why You Should be Coming to MWLUG

Here is the 2016 Top Ten Reasons why you should be coming to MWLUG:
#10: 52 technical and business sessions with great speakers
#9: Why the ICS community is one of the best technology communities on this planet!!!
#8 Bats, lots and lots of bats
#7 What color suit coat will Bill Malchisky wear to the conference
#6 Simplicity BEER!!!
#4 Why Kim Greene is the true Drinking Champion of them all
#3 Watch Richard Moy mess up his words at the OGS because he never scripts or practice his speeches
#2 Whether Justin Hill loses his bet again

. . . And the #1 reason to come to MWLUG 2016, learn whether Darren Duke will take off his shirt at the Thursday Evening Event again?

So get registered and we will see you in three weeks

Monday, July 25, 2016

MWLUG 2016 Session Schedule is Now Available

The session schedule for MWLUG 2016 is no available online at:

There is still time to register for MWLUG 2016 at:

Friday, July 22, 2016

Coming to MWLUG 2016, Learn What Collaboration is all About, Thursday Social Event

We are please to announce the MWLUG 2016 - Thursday Social Event will be held at Zilker Brewing Company, rated as one of the best breweries in Austin, TX. This private event is open to all registered MWLUG 2016 attendees. Attendees that are interested in a tour of the brewery are welcome to join us during the event. We will be providing a bus from the Four Seasons Hotel to Zilker Brewing Company and back. MAKE SURE you have your MWLUG 2016 badge when we board the bus and at the event at Zilker Brewing Company. We will be providing food from a local establishment yet to be announced.
So come join us and register for MWLUG 2016.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Announcing the MWLUG 2016 OGS IBM Speaker

We are please to announce the MWLUG 2016 Opening General Session speaker is Katrina Troughton, General Manager, Social and Smarter Workforce Client Success. Katrina brings a unique perspective our ICS community.

Katrina Troughton is General Manager, Social and Smarter Workforce Client Success. Katrina leads IBMs worldwide sales force for collaboration, social, exceptional digital experience, and smarter workforce solutions.
Katrina has more than 23 years' experience in the IT industry, with more than 20 years spent in senior management roles at IBM. Prior to leading this sales team, Katrina led the Business Analytics team for IBM's Growth Markets Unit, IBM's WebSphere business for IBM's Growth Markets Unit, both, after spending four and a half years as Managing Director for IBM New Zealand. Other key roles include Software General Manager for IBM Australia/New Zealand, and sales executive for Information Management for IBM Asia Pacific.
Katrina has served on a number of external boards including New Zealand Advisory Board for Global Women, and Uniservices (the commercialisation arm of Auckland University); additionally, she chaired the NZ Government Digital Strategy Advisory Board (2006 2008).
Troughton holds a BSC / BCom, with majors in Pharmacology, Physiology and Economics, from Auckland University.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

MWLUG 2016 IBM Design Tour Registration is Now Open, Wednesday August 17, 2016

As with our 2016 theme "Defining the Art of Collaboration," the MWLUG 2016 conference brings everyone together to share knowledge and expand awareness of innovations in IBM collaboration community, thus building and growing our community.

For MWLUG 2016, we have arranged a special private tour for all conference attendees of the IBM Design Center in Austin, TX for Wednesday, August 17, 2016.  This tour is limited to the 120 attendees only.  We will be providing a bus to bring attendees to the IBM Design Center.  The first bus will leave the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin at 8:00 AM and will continue to drop off and pick up attendees to the IBM Design. The last bus will leave the Four Seasons at about 10:45 to 11:00 AM. The last returning bus that will arrive back to the Four Seasons at approximately 1:00 PM.

You must be a registered attendee by the time you board the bus and have your MWLUG 2016 conference badge to participate in this event.  Attendees who sign up for this event, will be given their MWLUG 2016 conference badge before boarding the bus. The bus has a capacity of 40.  Each tour has the capacity of handling a maximum of 20 attendees at one time and last 20 minutes.  There is no cost for this event.  The cost of the bus is paid by the generous MWLUG 2016 sponsors.  So thank them when you see them.

To register:

mwlug 2016 sponsors

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

IBM Champion Gabriella Davis Talks About Coming to MWLUG 2016

IBM Champion, Gabriella Davis, talks about why she is excited to be speaking and attending MWLUG 2016.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Announcing Sessions for MWLUG 2016

We are please to announce for MWLUG 2016 we have 54 sessions including some of the most diverse and innovative technical and business sessions in the ICS community. Speakers range from many first time speakers with innovative ideas to over a dozen experienced IBM Champion speakers. So get your notepad ready and learn as you attend these incredible sessions.

PS: There are still a few sessions missing in the list and we will be publishing them soon.

MWLUG 2016 is coming in less than two months, so get registered.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Announcing MWLUG 2016 Opening General Session Guest Speaker

We are pleased to announce that the MWLUG 2016 Opening General Session Guest Speaker is singer, song-writer, and founder of Swan Songs, Christine Albert. Christine will share her unique perspectives on collaboration and how the music industry has embraced collaboration technology. Special thanks for Amanda Bauman of IBM for helping us get Christine.

Christine Albert
Christine Albert is an Austin, Texas based singer-songwriter, studio owner and Founder & CEO of Swan Songs, a non-profit that fulfills musical last wishes. Christine is also the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy (known for the GRAMMY ® Awards) - the first independent artist and only the second woman to hold this esteemed position.

She has released 12 independent CDs as a solo artist and as part of the Folk/Americana duo “Albert and Gage” with her husband, Chris Gage. 3rd Coast Music noted that Christine has “one of the best and purest female voices in Austin”. She is well known in Texas for a series of beloved and critically acclaimed albums of Franco-Lone Star fusion entitled “Texafrance.”

Ms. Albert has appeared on “Austin City Limits,” was awarded “Female Vocalist of the Year” by the Kerrville Folk Festival Music Awards and is co-founder of the Austin Songwriters Group. She is host of “Mystery Monday” a gathering of Austin’s musical luminaries that has evolved into one of the most popular weekly residencies in Austin.

The Opening General Session will start with performances by local artists and musicians, including Kevin Chin and Melissa Ndettemi. So join us for this unique MWLUG OGS and learn how we are Defining the Art of Collaboration.

Monday, May 30, 2016

The True Meaning of Memorial Day

As you celebrate Memorial Day with your barbecues, cookouts, sporting events, picnics and etc please take a moment of silence to remember and honor all the service men and women who gave their Last Full Measure of Devotion to our country.
Each year I read Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address on this day and I am so moved by it. It holds true over 150 years ago and still holds true to this day.
"Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Friday, May 27, 2016

MWLUG 2016 Abstract Submission Extended to June 1, 2016

Abstract Submission for MWLUG 2016 has been extended to June 1, 2016, 5:00 PM CST. We forgot that this weekend is Memorial Day weekend and many are out of town. So there is a few more days that you can submit your abstract.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Creating Bootstrap Widget with Dojo - ATLUG May 19, 2016 - Presentation and Code

Last week I presented at the 2nd quarter ATLUG meeting.  It was nice to be in Atlanta in 80 F weather considering Chicago was near freeze and always below 40 F for so many days. I would like to thanks Lisa and Darren Duke for having me as their guest speaker.  The presentation and code for my talk are available using the following link.

MWLUG 2016, Defining the Art Collaboration - Abstract Submission is Closing

Abstract submission for MWLUG 2016 is closing soon.  Abstract submission will close on May 27, 2016, 5:00 PM CST

Are you new to speaking? Well here is your chance to speak at a conference on a topic that you know well. Every year we reserve a number of speaking slots for new speakers. So take this unique opportunity to speak at a MWLUG conference and submit an abstract.

To submit your abstract go to:

We look forward to getting everyone's abstract.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Creating Bootstrap Widgets Using Dojo at ATLUG

Thanks to Lisa and Darren Duke, I will be presenting at ATLUG on May 19, 2016 on combining my two favorite open source frameworks, Twitter Bootstrap and Dojo, to create widgets that your can use in your web-based application. This presentation is not XPages specific. The presentation will be held at the IBM Technical Exploration Center in Atlanta. So if you are a web developer using or thinking about using Dojo and Bootstrap come join me or to just listen to me rant and rave.

IBM Corp (Building A)
6303 Barfield Rd., NE
AtlantaGA 30328
Technical Exploration Center

Creating Bootstrap Widgets Using Dojo
Twitter Bootstrap is one of the most popular responsive CSS frameworks available. Dojo is one of the most comprehensive and powerful JavaScript framework available. However, Bootstrap only comes with jQuery-based widgets by default. But if you can only combine Bootstrap and Dojo together, you as designers and developers will have an extremely powerful and flexible framework to build your applications.
Join Richard Moy from Phora Group for this fast pace learning experience on how to create your own custom Bootstrap widgets using Dojo to extend your set of tools. This session will guide you through the process of creating individual widgets, the pitfalls to watch out for, and how to add them in any Web-based application.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Registration for MWLUG 2016 is now open.

We please to announce that registration for MWLUG 2016, Austin Texas is now opened.  The eighth MWLUG conference will be held at the Four Seasons in downtown Austin, Texas from August 17 to 19, 2016. We expect this to be our biggest MWLUG conference with many exciting events and learning. 

We are planning two pre-conference events for which registration will be open soon, including a tour of the IBM Design Center in Austin plus a trip to the Alamo and the San Antonio Riverwalk.

Special thanks to Mike McGarel for creating our brand new redesigned web site.

Abstract submission for MWLUG 2016 is currently opened for potential speakers. Abstract submission will close on May 27, 2016.

We are now open for sponsorship. Diamond and Platinum Sponsorship are closed, but we still have Gold, Silver, and Bronze sponsorship available. If you are interested, send me a note.

Monday, April 18, 2016

MWLUG 2016, Defining the Art Collaboration - Abstract Submission is Open

Abstract submission for MWLUG 2016 is now open.  Mike McGarel and his team worked hard on our new redesigned conference web site.  Abstract submission will close on May 27, 2016.

Are you new to speaking? Well here is your chance to speak at a conference on a topic that you know well. Every year we reserve a number of speaking slots for new speakers. So take this unique opportunity to speak at a MWLUG conference and submit an abstract.

To submit your abstract go to:

We look forward to getting everyone's abstract.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Announcing MWLUG 2016: Defining the Art of Collaboration

We are please to officially announce that MWLUG 2016 will be held on August 17-19, 2016 at the Four Seasons in Austin Texas. We have secured a special rate for this event. With all the new innovations that IBM and IBM Business Partners are creating with our favorite technologies, we are "Defining the Art of Collaboration" which is our theme for MWLUG 2016.

We are expecting an even greater turnout this year at MWLUG 2016.  We are planning many activities and new formats to make this a special event.  For attendees that are interesting in coming earlier, we are also working on a special event on Tuesday, August 16, 2016.  We will need to determine if there is enough interest before we book this event.  More information will be coming soon.

Sponsorship for MWLUG 2016, will be starting very soon with presentation abstract submission in April.  We look forward to seeing everyone in Austin.

And yes, we are cooking up a few surprises.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Final Thoughts on IBM Connect 2016

Today I was able to spend an hour writing up my thoughts about IBM Connect 2016.  I have had no time in the past few months to blog and continue my current series, but made a special effort to write this article. Like many, I had low expectations this year for IBM Connect given the venue from last year.  For me the greatest asset of IBM Connect for many years has been networking with the ICS community whether they are IBMers, IBM Business Partners, or IBM Customers. Most sessions in the past became just IBM marketing sessions. This year, I was glad to see less of that and more sessions that I can learn and benefit from.

Moving IBM Connect to the Hilton was a big plus not just in the layout, but also for us who always stayed outside the main hotel. It was much easier to get to.  The Dolphin and Swan was getting very old and arrangement for attendees who stayed outside was a pain.  I hope they do it again at the Hilton Orlando.

I know some did not like the newspaper style agenda, but I liked it very much. I like to browse through and get a big picture of the agenda layout. I did not use the Connect app since I have a Blackberry Passport and did not want to spend the time to side load it. My suggestion for the Connect 2017 web site is to have a view just like what was available on the newspaper.  I don't like searching using filters, one needs to get a big picture for each day, before I decide which sessions that I will be attending.

Thanks to Amanda Bauman and her team and Tim Clark for organizing the World Alliance User Group booth and the support that they are providing to user group conferences like MWLUG.

If you did not attend any of the Design Thinking sessions at IBM Connect, whether you are management, admin, or developer, you missed out.  I thought this year, the sessions were done much better.  But if you missed these sessions at IBM Connect, there will be opportunities at MWLUG 2016. More information and announcements will be coming on this.

As an IBM Business Partner, the Business Partner Appreciation beer event was most welcomed. Special thanks to Penny Hill and her team for this event.  However, it was also depressing for me, since I was on meds and could not enjoy the wonderful beers that were available.  Of course I was off the meds a few days afterwards.  Damn planets were not aligned for me. I need to make it up in Austin.

Having the lightning sessions at the Expo has a very bad idea.  I understood the concept, but the sound quality was not good and sometimes defocused the presentations.

I thought the IBM Business Partner OGS speaker was very good.  The OGS presentation about how East African entrepreneurs were using IBM Domino/XWork to create a fair trade environment alone justified me attending IBM Connect.  I disliked the OGS Guest Speaker from the Brain Games.  He seem to be shouting the entire time and showing video of himself as part of the presentation which was very strange.  The closing session with Erik Wahl was very good and a great transition and inspiring message to the direction that IBM is heading.

As many of your know, our company's main focus has been our Domino-based iPhora technology which after IBM Connect and seeing the future direction of ICS will continue to remain our focus and growth. Continue improvement to the Domino platform is extremely important to us as an ISV. After attending a few of the Watson and Bluemix sessions, I see opportunity to extend our iPhora solutions with Watson and BlueMix. More to come about this in the future.

My overall experience with IBM Connect 2016 was very positive and IBM Collaboration Solutions is back and more focused. Just execute the plan in a timely matter. I was extremely happy with the name change back to IBM Collaboration Solutions. I have high hopes for the new General Manager, Inhi Cho Suh. Hope to see you next year at IBM Connect 2017. Remember to continue the ICS conversation both online and by attending the many up and coming user group conferences to learn more, network and share. Hope to see everyone at MWLUG 2016, Austin TX.

  • DNUG 2016
  • Engage 2016
  • Inform 2016
  • ICS User Group Conference 2016
  • ICON UK 2016
  • MWLUG 2016
  • SnoUG 2016
  • Social Connections 2016
  • SUTOL 2016

I apologize if I missed one.

CollabSphere 2022 Presentation: COL103 Advanced Automation and Cloud Service Integration for your Notes/Nomad Applications

Our presentation for CollabSphere 2022. Learn how to quickly add workflow automation into Notes/Nomad applications using No-code tools that ...