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2010 year in review

2010 was a year of firsts in many ways. It has been my first full year as a married man (an amazing experience). It's been the year where I first flew in a hot air balloon (also an amazing experience). The first time I went skiing with a pregnant woman (my wife btw) and to top it all of the year I became a father. The birth of my daughter Milla has of cause been the pivotal moment of the year if not my life. It has been an amazing experience so far and I am sure it will continue that way. No self-respecting new father would end a section like this without a picture of his precious little girl.

The year started with Lotusphere in January which again was a great experience. After Lotusphere my wife and I once again went for 8-day spur around Florida to shop, go to a theme park or two and just relax. This year we also went to Key West for a few days and it was great fun. Unfortunately Super Bowl wasn't played until we got back home to Denmark but that has changed for 2011 so we're really looking forward to watching the game in a bar somewhere in Florida. It's just more fun when you're in the right timezone :-)

Work wise it has been quite busy year. Besides teaching our Notes 8.5 Application Development workshop 3 times I also became Lotus Connections 2.5 certified. My first certification ever. Before becoming certified I had a very unnuanced perspective on certification but throughout the process I have changed my view. I learned a lot during the process and I now clearly see a place for certifications and wholeheartedly support them. I will tip my hat to all those who are certified.

It was quite a busy Lotus Connections year. I joined the weekly design partner calls for what is now called Lotus Connections 3.0 and it was a nice experience. The product is definitely improving and becoming even better with each release. I also did 5 customer installs of Lotus Connections in 2011 ranging from a target audience of 20 to 70.000. You will be hearing more about the latter in 2011 as it goes live. For the latter I also got to develop based on some o the cool API's available in Websphere Application Server. It has been a fun project.

It was a quiet year speaking-wise. I only spoke at Lotusphere Comes to You here in Denmark and at the Dutch Lotus User Group (NLLUG) in September. 2011 will be far more busy starting off with two sessions at Lotusphere 2011.

In November we moved offices - the new offices are great and I look forward to a busy year in the new offices. I am sure we will find time for a house warming come the new year.

2010 was also the year where the company took the plunge into cloud computing. It is not that we haven't used cloud services before but we realized that it did not make sense for us to operate our own Lotus Connections or Lotus Sametime environments. Instead we took the plunge and shut down those servers and moved all employees to LotusLive. It was only 6 servers but still... :-)

With the best wishes of a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I hope to see you all in Orlando (and yes I'm bringing my daughter),


Lotusphere 2011: Mark your calendars

Just got word of the date and time for the two sessions I'm involved in for Lotusphere 2011 so I thought I would post them here.

JMP103 (Jumpstart Your "Jedi Plug-in Development Skills" with the Masters, track: JumpStarts and Master Class Sessions) with Ryan Baxter is on Sunday 30 Jan 2011 at 1:30pm in DL S. Hemisphere I.

AD201 (How the Jedis Do Plug-in Development, track: Technology for Collaboration Solutions: Application Development) with Bob Balfe is on Monday 31 Jan 2011 at 3:45pm in SW 7-10.

Lotus Traveler (Lotus Traveler for Android) available

As Ed writes this morning Lotus Traveler (that is the Lotus Traveler with Android support) is now available from Passport Advantage and IBM PartnerWorld. The part number is CZS86ML.

Downloading and installing it as I write this.

LotusScript.doc v2 DDE plugin article

Celebrating the return of the full printed edition of THE VIEW I was reading through the latest issue (Volume 16, Issue 6, Fall 2010) and was delighted to read the article by Karsten Lehmann and Tammo Riedlinger on integrating LotusScript.doc v2 into DDE using a plugin. Two of my favorite subjects in a single article - it doesn't get much better than that!

The article is a great read and well worth reading and presents a cool approach to integrating LotusScript.doc into the heart of DDE. It also highlights how to develop plugins for DDE. Very nice.

If you're looking for more from Karsten and Tammo they will be presenting at Lotusphere 2011 on plugin development using the Notes UI API's (BP203).

jWidgets to make it easier to develop Eclipse based components for composite applications

Perusing the the Composite Application Wiki I discovered a technology IBM calls jWidgets. Basically they are for Composite Application Java component development what iWidgets are to websites that is a widget framework for easily and more quickly doing stuff. Developing Java components for composite applications is a little hard as you have to manage wires etc. yourself. A framework would make that a lot easier and that's exactly what jWidgets are.

Having the technology available to Lotus Notes (and not just Lotus Expeditor) would be really cool. From an IBM'er I however learned that they haven't been formally tested in Notes, but the technical capability is there. They have only been tested formally in Lotus Expeditor 6.2.2.

jWidgets - Easy Creation of Java Composite Application Components

Why we shut down our Sametime servers

I have been getting shocked looks the last couple of weeks when I told customers that we shut down our Sametime servers as part of the move to our new offices. Why would we do such a thing? Well it's not like we didn't utilize Sametime heavily in our day to day work and it's not like we haven't touted the benefits of Sametime far and wide.

So why did we do this? Well it was a simple calculation of hours spent on maintaining our own environment vs. the benefits of having our own environment.

After installing Sametime 8.5.1 internally and getting it to run we realized that it didn't make any sense for us, a 25 person company, to operate our own Sametime environment. A community server maybe but then what about meetings? (and yes we know about "Sametime classic") It made sense from a training and test perspective but that's about it and as we don't mess with the production system for testing purposes we needed multiple systems. So it was actually an easy decision. So as of 3 weeks aro we drew a line in the sand and shut down all the Sametime related servers (all 5 of them).

Instead of running our own Sametime environment we're now mixing it up by combining on-premise and in-cloud services by signing up for LotusLive Engage. We've registered all employees with our company account and we're now using Sametime as part of LotusLive. As an added benefit we also get access to communities, activities and meetings as part of LotusLive and it's great. We're loving it.

Making the switch from on-premise to in-cloud hasn't been without issues and questions that needed to be addressed. Some of what we've been discussing internally has been

  • what do we do now when there are no central groups for departments within the company?
  • what password do I use?
  • what does it mean to be part of a bigger infrastructure such as LotusLive?
  • what does it mean to be a network contact?
  • who can I contact on Sametime in LotusLive?
  • how do I control my visibility within the greater LotusLive network?
While some of these questions have easy answers some of them also highlight key weaknesses. For instance when moving from on-premise Sametime to in-cloud Sametime you loose public groups - there's no way of adding all from Sales to my buddy list. You loose privacy controls in Sametime (who can see me online when). You loose the ability to see Sametime awareness in Lotus Notes applications as you're known by your e-mail address in LotusLive and not your Notes qualified name.

Some of these points can be worked around and some can be addressed by training but some are more serious and needs to be addressed. The lack of awareness in Notes applications is severely limiting and frustrating - I hope something will be done about this. As to the groups thing I'm working with IBM and a Dutch business partner on addressing this using plugin technology.

Overall however we're happy with the move and although there has been bumps along the way our server room is a lot quieter and we're drawing fewer watts. As of now we're one happy on-premise/in-cloud customer and we're still chatting away in Sametime.

See it wasn't as bad as one could have thought... :-)

Lotusphere 2011: Session ids now posted

Courtesy of the Lotusphere Blog we now know the session IDs of many of the Lotusphere 2011 sessions. The ones staring yours truly (and Ryan and Bob of course) are JMP103 and AD201.

Looking down the list of sessions it's shaping up to be a great conference as always.

New version of the Java UI API Exerciser available from OpenNTF

A new release of the Notes Java UI Exerciser project has been released on OpenNTF (OpenNTF Release: Notes Java UI APIs in 8.5.2) by our friends on the Java UI team at IBM one of whom I'm lucky enough to co-present with at Lotusphere. Check it out!

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Lotusphere 2011: Hoping for shuttle launch

The nasa.gov website reports that the November Shuttle launch has been postponed to 3 Feb 2011 1:34 AM at the earliest. Wow cool would be be if a shuttle will get launched during Lotusphere? I'll so be at, or near, Cape Canaveral, if it happens.

Lotusphere 2011: Two sessions accepted

If you're following Lotusphere and if you sent in abstracts you know that Friday was abstract-reply-day. I too got my replies and keeping with tradition I would like to tell how it went. I sent in three abstracts and had two of them accepted. I'm honored to be co-presenting both sessions with IBM'ers - one session with Bob Balfe and one with Ryan Baxter. Both sessions are on plugin development as you might imagine.

Below are the abstracts and if you have comments or input to what you would like to see in the sessions let me know by commenting, by e-mail or on Twitter.

Jumpstart Your "Jedi Plug-in Development Skills" with the Masters

Two hour jumpstart session on Sunday with Ryan Baxter.

Come to this session to get up and running on plugin development for Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime and Lotus Symphony and learn the ropes to get started. We will take you from getting the Eclipse IDE and Lotus Expeditor Toolkit installed to configuring, testing and verifying your setup. Next you will learn the basics of plugin development and based on real life examples you will see just how easy plugin development can be and how to reap the rewards. As there's no good in having great plugins if they never reach user workstations we will finish of the session with end-to-end information on plugin signing and widget deployment. This is a must see session it you want to get started with plugin development but never knew how.

How the Jedis do plugin development

One hour regular session with Bob Balfe.

So you did your first sidebar plugin for Lotus Notes and deployed it to users but now you're stuck... If you want to do more with your Lotus Notes or Lotus Sametime client, you want to learn cool extension points, learn best practices and see real life examples then this session is for you. Learn about object contributions, fly the magic carpet and do OAuth authentication from plugins. This is how the Jedis do it - may the Force be with you!