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IBM Connect 2013 Day 3

2013-02-02 16:17:37    |    Blog

Ok, the days over here have been very busy, and after the conference was over I started feeling a bit under the weather. Hence my summing up of the last two days of IBM Connect is a bit delayed.

I started day 3 with a 10 km run and it was so incredibly warm (22 degrees Celsius) and humid at six in the morning that I could literally wring the sweat from my t-shirt. And I literally mean literally! On to the sessions:

ID107: Deploying IBM Lotus Domino 9.0 in Your Production Environment
Ok, this one was mostly for the administrators. The presenter was good though, and I did learn some things about both the existing Domino server and the upcoming Domino 9.0.

ID111: All You Wanted to Know About IBM Notes Browser Plug-in & More
Browser pluginAlmost no other sessions I went to gathered more response and participation from the audience than this one. IBM is preaching social business and Connections to us at every opportunity, but it's still Lotu…sorry… IBM Notes and Domino that counts for people coming here.

The session was a demonstration of the Notes browser plugin. In short, what this plugin does is that makes it possible to run Lotus Notes applications inside your web browser. And this without having to do any changes to your Notes databases! Sounds too good to be true?

Well, the demo the presenters gave us showed that it really was true. Even the workspace runs smoothly, and if you open your mailbase, it will open the Inotes version!

In fact, if this plugin works as well as it seems, I foresee that the Notes client will be out of our company in the coming two years as all the functionality will be in the plugin. But I will need to test all our business applications first.

There was almost a standing ovation after the session was over. This was incredibly impressive. But IBM seems more eager to push Connections than really give stuff like this too much room at IBM Connect.

ID114: Get the Most from IBM Notes - with Widgets!
Widgets and plugins is something that makes the Notes client stand apart from most other collaboration clients, and since widgets also works with Inotes, this is really something most Notes/Domino companies should start using more.

Personally I've been pushing widgets to my users for quite some time, and I've now created a widget catalogue that I will publish to my users when I return.

I didn't really learn anything new in this session as I've worked with widgets in Notes for four years now, but it did give some hints for deploying the widget catalogue effectively.

BP101: User Blast 2013!
People who know me know that I'm an expert user of the Notes client. They also know that I like the Notes client. I've been giving classes and courses in the use of the Notes client for almost five years.

However, after seeing Mat Newman give his lecture about the possibilities of the Notes client last year, I re-evaluated my teaching strategy completely.

Lotusphere 2012: BP102 'UserBlast' from Mat Newman

With the help of his presentation from last year (where I learned secrets about the Notes client even I didn't know about) I decided from then on to start my courses by telling my users how the Notes client is built up, about the work space, about short cuts and bookmarks and widgets and plugins before I went into the specifics of applications. And now I hide email and calendar to the end of the class, and I focus more on the Getting Things Done principles than on the technical side of email.

In addition I've taken inspiration from Mat Newman's weekly Notes tips on Twitter and began posting a weekly Notes tips on our intranet.

The result has been a very enthusiastic response from my users. To quote one of my users: "I used to hate Notes. You have completely changed the way I look at the client." And to quote another: "This is an amazing tool! Your enthusiasm is contagious and it makes learning this client fun."

So when I heard that Newman was going to give a similar presentation this year, I decided to show up. And guess what: Since Mat talks both when breathing in and out (does anyone dare serve that guy coffee?) I learned even more about the existing client and I got to see all the great stuff that is coming up in the Notes 9. Can't wait to install the beta when I get back home!

I now had a few hours off before the next session. I spent those in the showroom and got into talking with a company that offers teaching tools inside IBM Connections. We have decided to follow up our talks later in February. In addition I looked at Ytra's client for managing Notes databases and ACLs. Another tool I've downloaded a trial of for testing. Stay tuned.

BP108: Worst Practices: Back From the Depths of Despair
Bill and PalOk, now it was time for Bill Buchan and Paul Mooney's brilliant lecture about the worst practices they've seen in the world of Domino administration for the past three years. I saw this session in 2007 and just like back then they had their audience in stitches.

These two are worth their own TV show (each) and even while laughing our asses off, we really learned something from the cases they presented.

While some of these administrators and developers who had caused these incidents might appear moronic, I wouldn't be too surprised if some people in the audience were going "this could have been our company if what I did at that time had misfired…"

And then it was time for this year's amusement park trip. IBM had rented one of the islands at Universal and we got to try out the Rocket ride, Shrek 4D, The Mummy and Minions (Banana!).

When the park closed IBM Norway took me and my gang to Hard Rock Café. Say what you will of IBM, at least the Norwegian department knows how to treat you to several nights on the town.

As the night wore on I threw in the towel and took a taxi back to the hotel and crashed into bed, with no plans for a workout in the morning.
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