Saturday, 30 May 2009

IBM Lotus Quickr 8.2 Services for Lotus Domino Windows English (CZ2M2EN) - Released today - 30 May 2009

Am downloading as I type ....

Web Application Integrator and Virtual Portals

Having "played" with WAI in the past, I was aware that it could be used within a Virtual Portal, but had never had a reason to try it ... until this week, when I was working with a colleague to set it up.

The documentation is, in my opinion, a bit sparse in this area, but it's actually quite simple.

Firstly, you deploy the application ( as per the documentation ); this involves

a) Download the ZIP file from the Catalog - as webappintegrator.zip
b) Expand the file into /tmp
c) Drill into the expanded contents, and find webappintegrator_for_Portal_6_1.ZIP
d) Expand this file into /tmp
e) Locate the file /tmp/wai_install/deployWebAppIntegrator.xml and copy it into /opt/IBM/WebSphere/ApplicationServer/profiles/wp_profile/ConfigEngine/config/includes
f) Open a command prompt
g) Change to /opt/IBM/WebSphere/ApplicationServer/profiles/wp_profile/ConfigEngine
h) Run the following script to deploy the portlet: -

./ConfigEngine.sh  deploy-webAppIntegrator -DWasPassword=<was pwd> -DPortalAdminPwd=<wps pwd> -DWebAppIntegratorLocation=/tmp/wai_install

This enables the WAI element on each portlet page, within the Manage Pages area within the Administration portlet.

However, any Virtual Portals won't have this element deployed.

Therefore, the trick is to manually import the following XML file: -

/tmp/wai_install/addWAItoManagePages.xml

into each Virtual Portal, using the Administration portlet within the Virtual Portal itself.

Having done this, the WAI element appears in Manage Pages on the Virtual Portal, and you're good to go.




Friday, 29 May 2009

IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5 Upgrade Workshop - IBM Staines - 18 June and 2 July

Following on from the most excellent set of Lotus TechJam events earlier in the year, those clever yellow Lotus technical people are running another pair of similar events at IBM Staines in June and July.

I've posted the agenda here and would encourage you to ensure that your Domino developers, administrations and practitioners to attend, as it's sure to be awesome.

Please contact Nick Davis on 01256 344689 for further details, registration etc.

As a final sweetener, I know that they are planning to cover Domino on System i ( aka iSeries or AS/400 ) as well, which brings a lump to my throat, given that AS/400 was one of the first IBM platforms that I worked on ( apart from the humble IBM PC, XT, AT and PS/2, of course ).

Saturday, 23 May 2009

IBM Lotus Wiki: Managing WebSphere Portal 6.1 Environments

This IBM Technote links to a wiki that discusses best practices for building and managing the WebSphere Portal v. 6.1 Environment. The wiki provides high level information about how to set up a WebSphere Portal v. 6.1 Environment, including a development, staging, and production environment. Within the context of each of these environments, we cover topics related to how to move changes through the system and successfully manage releases of a WebSphere Portal 6.1 site.

The following topics are covered in the wiki:
  1. Overview of how to set up a WebSphere Portal environment system
  2. Different kinds of WebSphere Portal content: Pages, portlets, and documents
  3. Connecting testing and staging systems and recommendations on handling concurrent developmen
  4. XMLaccess, Release Builder, and Site Management: When and how to use these tools
  5. Syndication
  6. A fast path for quick fixes
  7. Backup and restore procedures

Friday, 22 May 2009

WebSphere Portlet Factory - View from the Field

An interesting take on the WebSphere Portlet Factory vs. The Rest of the World debate from Dave Jacob at Davalen: -

"...
Recently, I received a call from a potential client looking for WebSphere Portal development advice. He was particularly interested in my thoughts on WebSphere Portlet Factory (WPF). This client had been told by his staff of Java developers that Portlet Factory was just a toy and that it would have performance issues in production. Their test Portlet Factory application actually crashed the server every time it was deployed. Unfortunately, this was not the first time I have heard such skepticism. The good news is that the solution to the problem is usually not related to the software but to the development techniques used.

The reason I generally prefer WebSphere Portlet Factory to traditional RAD portlet development is because skilled WPF developers can create WebSphere Portal applications three to six times faster than similarly skilled RAD developers. Both methods create standard SOA compliant portlets. This saves time and resources for the client, so all things being equal, I'll recommend Portlet Factory as the development tool everytime. But are all things equal? How hard is it to become a skilled WPF developer versus becoming skilled at developing portlets in RAD? How do the resulting WebSphere Portal applications perform in production?
..."

Thursday, 21 May 2009

The WebSphere Portal Blog - Meet the IBM team

The team behind WebSphere Portal ( Bill Swatling, Lauren Wendel, Stefan Liesche etc. ) have revealed all (!) on the blog here: -


Definitely worth a read and, if you feel the need, comment ...

From the field - performance challenges with Lotus Notes 6.5.4 when indexing databases with large views

Following his earlier postings on Lotus 123 import/export into/out of Lotus Symphony, James is back with another useful snippet of information: -


In essence, James' poor laptop spends so long trying to index a rather large DB ( which has a view index greater than 600 MB !! ), that the NTASKLDR task kicks in, and eats CPU faster than a rather fast hare called Swifty running rather swiftly away from a fast fox in a Ferrari.

The solution - buy a Cray, invest in a bigger laptop, or leave the heavy duty indexing task to a server that has the memory/disk/CPU to handle the workload.

I hesitate to say "Use a Mac or Ubuntu" as (a) that'd be cruel and (b) Notes 6.5 might be a challenge on those two platforms ( WINE or VMware anyone ) :-)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Lotus Technical Information and Education community kickoff

Saw this and thought of ..... well, everyone ....

"....You are cordially invited to the Lotus Technical Information and Education community kickoff!  

Our community consists of IBMers, business partners and customers who contribute to or use technical
information for Lotus & WebSphere Portal products, as well as those who have worked with the Lotus 
Information Development Center to provide feedback to help improve our offerings.

In this kickoff meeting, you'll hear about our community building strategy, meet some of our advocates
who've agreed to help drive contributions, and learn how you can participate in our community to help
keep technical information accurate, comprehensive, easy-to-find, and relevant.

If you have product expertise to share or have opinions on how Lotus technical content can be improved, 
join us for this important meeting! No registration is required, and you are welcome to forward this
invitation to others (internal or external to IBM) who you think might be interested...."

Please visit here for further information.


Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Integrating SAP ERP with WebSphere Portal

My learning curve continues, having (ahem) semi-mastered Tivoli Access Manager and WebSphere Portal together, I'm now looking to achieve my main objective of delivering a secure portal front-end to SAP.

To this end, I've download a trial version of SAP NetWeaver from the SAP site here, which is a VMware image that's integrated into another downloadable VMware image of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES).

I had a few challenges getting the server up and running, so followed a most excellent tutorial from Gregor Wolf here.

My journey onwards and upwards continues .....

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Tivoli Access Manager for e-business - Problems with WebSEAL Reverse Proxy

Notes from the front-line ...

If WebSEAL Windows service fails to start ( Windows error 7034 ), open
a command prompt and run: -

webseald -foreground

If this returns an error

2009-05-11-20:07:16.272+01:00I----- 0x38AD541C webseald ERROR wiv
socket s:\amwe
b610\src\pdweb\webseald\http\server\WsListener.cpp 248 0x00000d58
DPWIV1052E Could not bind socket to port 80, interface 10.0.0.200
(errno 10049
)

or similar, edit: -

C:\Program Files\Tivoli\PDWeb\etc\webseald-default.conf

and change the IP address to one that is resolvable ( I used a
loopback adapter ).

Lotus Notes 8.5 - File -> Import / Export to Lotus 123 formats

Thanks to James for sharing this with me.

Apparently, Lotus Notes 8.5 no longer has the ability to import or Export data to/from Lotus 123 .WKS etc. files.

However, it's possible to re-enable this functionality by amending NOTES.INI. James has summarized the problem and solution nicely here.

According to this post, this was a deliberate change, which is now being reconsidered - which is nice.


Sunday, 3 May 2009

The Hunt for Gollum

Just watched a very very short film online at http://www.dailymotion.com/us/video/x93zji_the-hunt-for-gollum-hd-version_shortfilms or http://www.thehuntforgollum.com ( the latter link was Slashdotted when I tried earlier today ).

The makers have neatly filled in a gap between The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring, on an extremely tight budget of £3,000 ( somewhat less than the coffee budget for a normal Hollywood production ).

If you're into LoTR, then take a moment ( or 40 minutes, to be precise ) to check this out. It's definitely worth a watch, both as a tribute to JRR Tolkien and to the most excellent job that Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema did with the trilogy of movies a few years back.

Out of 10, I'd go up to 11 ....