Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book Review: Instant IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.3: How-to by Barry Max Rosen

Instant IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.3 How-to
Master IBM Lotus Notes with tips, hints, and instructions that will help you increase your productivity
by Barry Max Rosen
Published by PACKT Publishing

Instant IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.3 How-to is a short book by computer standards.  It's 68 pages and includes a lot of illustrations. This meant that I could literally read it during a one-way trip to work on the bus.

For the most part however its short length is good because it manages to introduce many concepts not found in books several times its size and deals with them quickly in a non talky way. It's straight down to business.

The book doesn't identify a single audience but rather targets simple, intermediate and advanced users.  This allows you to get a lot of long-term use out of the book but it also means that for "simple users", reading through the book cover-to-cover isn't really an option.  For example, the book jumps straight from a chapter on mail customization into replication and then modifying INI file settings.

Simple users are much better off picking the chapters that are marked "simple" and sticking with them. This is easy though because the chapter headings include tags which indicate the level at which they are pitched;

  • Customizing your IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.3 experience (Simple)
  • Mastering your Lotus Notes mail (Intermediate)
  • Creating local and managed replicas (Advanced)
  • Mastering calendar and to-dos (Intermediate)
  • Managing contacts (Intermediate)
  • Adding feeds (Advanced)
  • Social integration with widgets (Advanced)
  • Working with Lotus Domino applications (Intermediate)
  • Using Sametime in Lotus Notes 8.5.3 (Advanced)
  • Moving from Microsoft Outlook to Lotus Notes 8.5.3 (Simple)

Arguably, the best chapter is the last one where Barry talks about how to settle Outlook users into Notes. Having been on Notes for so many years myself, I've forgotten how alien it can sometimes seem to newbies but I'm always reminded as soon as a new ex-outlook employee starts.  That last chapter will hopefully change all that and get those new users up and running in no time.

The book doesn't shy away from many of the more complex user-topics, like managed replication and widgets and it covers some very useful material in other areas too, like managing multiple signatures on your mail.

This is a great little book which every IT and HR department should have.  It's a great "up and running" guide to Lotus Notes 8.5.3 and because of the advanced content, it has long term benefits too.

IBM Lotus Notes 8.5.3 - How To by Barry Max Rosen is available from PACKT Publishing in various eBook formats including ePub and PDF and in print form from Amazon.

Honesty clause: I was provided with an eBook version of this publication free of charge for review purposes.

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