Friday, April 26, 2013

How to Figure out When an Extranet User last logged into your Domino Server

So, you want to do a bit of spring cleaning in your domino address book and apart from people whose email addresses you use all the time, you want to get rid of people who haven't accessed the server in ages. How do you find out when their last access was?

I notice there's a lot of paid solutions on the web but it's functionality that is built into domino already.

Here's how to use this feature;

  1. Start Domino Administrator
  2. Open the server that people log into
  3. Click on the tab marked People and Groups
  4. Near the bottom of the left hand navigator, you'll see Domino User Licence Tracking, expand this.
  5. Expand All Users
  6. Click on All.
  7. You'll now see a list of your users and when they last accessed the system.
  8. Note that the list will only track back a certain distance (in our case 2 years). 

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.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Getting into IBM Notes 9

I installed the release version of IBM Notes 9 yesterday and I'm happy to  say that it works a bit smoother than the beta did.  In fact, it's generally quite a nice experience.  I've had no crashes so far (unlike my Notes 8 experience where I discovered three different ways to kill the client in less than 3 keystrokes on the first day).

The new blue icon is nice and the black panel on the mail looks slick too.  As usual, all of our applications work (notes compatibility is generally pretty good).  

We have had a few niggles around Notes interpretation of CDate but those started with 8.5.3 Fix Pack 3, so they don't count.

Single sign-on is working well too and the embedded sametime experience is somehow better. I can't say much about the social experience though. So far the only hint of "Social" that I've seen is the word on the logo.

Taking Away Features
My biggest gripe at this point is the removal of Symphony.  Hey IBM.  I was using that!!!

I know that I could just install OpenOffice or the Symphony 3.1 build from IBM.  I've got Office 2010 and Google Docs (sorry; Drive) anyway. So why was I using Symphony? Mainly because it can read old office documents which the current office can't (not without some registry tweaks anyway).

John Head has an article on this here but I'm yet to see any "free download" in the Solutions Catalog.  In any case, IBM shouldn't provide something that works with the Symphony 3.1 Fork. It should work with OpenOffice (and possibly Microsoft Office too).

This is a nice new release from IBM but I can't help but be concerned.  There's too much backtracking going on here.  Too much "giving then taking away" of features.  I'm not sure that IBM have a clear idea of where the Notes client is going - and that worries me.

  • Workplace?
  • DB2 Databases?
  • Symphony?