Monday, 31 October 2011

IBM Connections iPad app is now available!

This from Mac Gudera's blog 

The iTunes App Store has just been updated with the 3.1.0 version of the iOS mobile application for IBM Connections. This now includes a beautiful iPad interface and some great file updates, like round trip editing of documents,  adding email attachments to Files and support for 'Open In'.

What's New in Version 3.1.0

• Universal app - new native iPad interface
• Ability to upload documents to the IBM Connections server from other apps that support the "Open In..." feature of iOS 
- Upload email attachments directly to the IBM Connections server 
- Enables round trip editing of documents. Allows you to download a document from the IBM Connections server, open it in another editor app, then upload the updated document back to the IBM Connections server
• iOS 5 Compatible
• Fixed an issue with getting "Cannot Verify Server Identity" prompt for servers certificates from a valid certificate authority

Friday, 28 October 2011

ScribeFire - Blogging from a browser ...

Having a quick play with ScribeFire, a blogging client (plugin) for Firefox.

So far, so good.

I'm told that it supports off-line mode ( I normally use Apple Mail for this! ), and that it'll post directly to IBM Connections. Will test the latter out after the weekend, once IBM's W3 service is upgraded to the latest 3.0.1.X release.

Some Connections-related ScribeFire tips are here and here.

Life is good :-)

Want to know more about using ScribeFire and IBM Connections ? Let me know ...

Use IBM Symphony ? Satisfied ? Not ? Let IBM know ...

Do you use IBM Lotus Symphony ? If so, please consider giving 5 minutes of your time to complete a satisfaction / quality survey.

I ran through it, and added my personal feedback re Symphony on OSX. Please go ahead and give your input here.

Aide Memoires - Maintenance Pages and Cookie Size in IBM HTTP Server / WebSphere Application Server

Saw these on Twitter thanks to IBM_AppServer and thought … hmm, interesting, I may need these two tips at some point down the line.

When IBM HTTP Server is used to front-end a WebSphere Application Server deployment, there might be a need to temporarily redirect users to a 'Site Down For Maintenance' page when one or more back-end Application Servers require off-line maintenance.


Request to IBM HTTP Server fails with Response code 400.


Response from the browser could be shown like this:

Bad Request 
Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand. 
Size of a request header field exceeds server limit. 

IBM HTTP Server Error.log shows the following message:

"request failed: error reading the headers"


This is normally caused by having a very large Cookie, so a request header field exceeded the limit set for Web Server.

Both have been useful and relevant to me recently, so have shared them here for you, you and you over there.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

CLFRQ0415E when accessing the Homepage feature of IBM Connections 3.0.1

One of my colleagues saw this exception: -

CLFRQ0415E: An error occurred while executing the action. See nested exception for more details.

earlier when trying to access the Homepage application in a newly minted IBM Connections 3.0.1 installation.

I asked him to check whether the databases had been correctly created and configured.

He checked with the DBA, who'd set the databases up manually, and found that the script initData.sql had not been executed.

Once this was run, the Homepage application burst into life.

The Wiki documents this manual database setup for each feature, as per this example ( for Homepage )

C:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -tvf connections.sql\homepage\db2\createDb.sql
C:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -tvf connections.sql\homepage\db2\appGrants.sql
C:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -tvf connections.sql\homepage\db2\initData.sql
C:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -tvf connections.sql\homepage\db2\reorg.sql
C:\IBM\SQLLIB\bin\db2cmd -c -w -i db2 -tvf connections.sql\homepage\db2\updateStats.sql  

Hope this helps.

Quick Tip - Keyboard Shortcuts for OSX Lion

I think I found this by accident :-)

Using the Macbook Pro, it's possible to access Mission Control and App Exposé from the trackpad, as explained in the gorgeous little videos that come with the System Preferences > Trackpad "widget" ( use [CMD][Space] to bring up Spotlight and then type "Trackpad" to access this ).

So, by default, if you swipe up with three fingers, you get to Mission Control - all the windows contract

and, if you swipe down with three fingers, you get to App Exposé  - the windows of the active application appear

So far, so good - a few days ago I "discovered" that I can achieve the same effect, but only using the keyboard: -

[Ctrl][Up Arrow] - invokes Mission Control
[Ctrl][Down Arrow] - invokes App Exposé

So, if you don't have a track pad, this MIGHT be useful ?

Matt Newman turns IBM Connections into a Widget in the IBM Notes client

I saw this in the blog roll of my own blog 

Yesterday's #TipOfTheDay was how to access IBM Connections in 'miniature' form by accessing your IBM Connections site with the addition of /mobile at the end of your address, like: 

A little while ago I wrote how many sites designed for mobile/smart-phone/tablet access actually make  GREAT Lotus Notes side-bar widgets.

Well, combine this concept, and the brilliant mobile version of IBM Connections and what do you have - Lotus Notes fully Connected, right there in your side-bar :-)

Great job, Matt, I followed this and now have our internal W3 site accessible in the sidebar - looks very shiny

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

IBM Connections 3 and IBM Tivoli Directory Integrator - Making Sweet Music

Chatting with a colleague in the Dublin labs on Sametime, he kindly shared this white paper with me: -

He also mentioned Jackie Ferguson's videos on YouTube here: -

which then led me to this: -

Nick Poore's detailed demo of how to use the IBM Connections 3.0 Profiles API's. Nick shows first hand how to add user profiles into Connections using the API's in the product. He walks through everything needed, including a nice short tour of the product documentation located at

Mike - thanks as ever, I owe you another ton of beers now

Australia Lotus User Group - Better Known as AusLug

Saw this on the IBM Connections Community Chat on Skype earlier ( want to know more ? Ping me @ david_hay )

Some of the AusLug presentations are up on Slideshare here: -

Thanks to Andrew for sharing the URLs ...

Thanks to IDoNotes for updating :-)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Q & A: Frequently asked questions about WebSphere Application Server security

We're looking at WAS, Kerberos, SPNEGO, Active Directory etc. and this document, along with Mr Botzum himself has been immensely useful.

A subject area as critical as application server security prompts a noteworthy volume of equally critical questions. To help you better understand IBM® WebSphere® Application Server security in general, and how it is (or should be) applied in your environment, here are some of the most frequently asked questions, as they apply to WebSphere Application Server V6.1 and later (unless otherwise noted).

If you don't have it bookmarked, get it in there NOW :-)

Understanding IBM HTTP Server plug-in Load Balancing in a clustered environment

This is relevant to a WebSphere Portal <-> IBM Connections project on which I am currently engaged.


After setting up the HTTP plug-in for load balancing in a clustered IBM WebSphere environment, the request load is not evenly distributed among back-end WebSphere Application Servers.


In most cases, the preceding behavior is observed because of a misunderstanding of how HTTP plug-in load balancing algorithms work or might be due to an improper configuration. Also, the type of Web server (multi-threaded versus single threaded) being used can effect this behavior.

Resolving the problem

The following document is designed to assist you in understanding how HTTP plug-in load balancing works along with providing you some helpful tuning parameters and suggestions to better maximize the ability of the HTTP plug-in to distribute load evenly.

The Technote can be found here and is definitely worth a read.

IBM developerWorks - Define application architectures with Rational Software Architect

Saw this on Twitter earlier today
This series presents techniques for creating models to specify and communicate the architecture of software-intensive systems. It illustrates the elaboration of the Online Catering architecture for a fictional company, Yummy Inc. Using an iterative approach, it describes the key architectural activities that are necessary to specify a software-intensive system with IBM Rational Software Architect (RSA). In part 1 of the series, we focus on typical tasks to outline the architecture and to align the technical vision to development needs. Part 2 will describe how the architecture is iteratively refined using RSA. Both articles assume that readers are familiar with methodologies based on iterative development.
Am starting to think about using RSA more for my job-role, so this is definitely going to be required reading for next week ….. just wish it ran on Mac OSX :-)

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Repost - How do you Configure the TDI Assembly Line for Profiles to Populate DB2 using a Secure JDBC Connection?

I subscribe to an RSS feed for IBM Connections here, which included this useful little Technote 


Can you populate Profiles in DB2 with TDI over an SSL JDBC connection?


Errors in the ProfileConnector.log:

CTGDIS810E handleException - cannot handle exception , initialize


at java.lang.J9VMInternals.initialize

Caused by: [jcc][t4][2030][11211][3.50.152] A communication error occurred during operations on the connection's underlying socket, socket input stream,

or socket output stream. Error location: Reply.fill(). Message: Insufficient data. ERRORCODE=-4499, SQLSTATE=08001

Want to know more ? Check this out ...

Friday, 21 October 2011

IBM Web Experience Factory - Something New ...

Some useful information, reposted from one of my IBM colleagues; definitely worth a look ...

This video illustrates the way to install the optional Web Page Editor from eclipse. This editor is a WYSIWYG HTML editor that includes a palette of HTML 4 tags. It improves your HTML editing experience from the default editor with it's source and design view plus it's review capabilities.  

Creating Your Application's User Interface in WEF 7.0.1

This article and related articles describe a number of techniques for constructing your applications user interface and page layout based on two basic approaches to controlling page layout:

A data-driven automated approach, where all the data fields are initially generated from a schema and can then be customized using Design view and builders 
A custom layout approach, where page layouts are created in an HTML authoring tool or editor. 

Understand how to create custom HTML to more easily integrate with page automation builders so that the design process will be more streamlined. A quick overview of page automation is followed by  specifics on pages, navigation, and field integration techniques.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Headshift - Breakfast Briefing - Microsoft SharePoint and Social Intranets - IBM Connections anybody ?

An interesting briefing being run by Headshift in London in a few weeks time - might look to get along, current project notwithstanding.

This from Lee Bryant: -

…. something we have not covered before is the possibility of using IBM Connections as a complete social business layer on top of Sharepoint. This has some clear advantages such as the simplicity of managing two distinct platforms, rather than over-customising SharePoint, and taking advantage of the far more advanced social features of a dedicated social business platform.

To explore this option further, we are jointly hosting a breakfast briefing with IBM on November 15th for top tier UK law firms, where we can learn more about their experiences of or opinions on SharePoint and social intranets, and discuss the possible benefits of SharePoint + Connections.

Want to know more ? Then check this out.

It's also worth having a read of Lee's presentation on Social Intranets here.

Thanks to Mr Strachan for pointing this out ….

Monday, 17 October 2011

In the Catalog - IBM WebSphere Portal portlet load monitoring plug-in

Thanks to my mate, David, for pointing this out: -
Portlet Load monitoring is a portlet filter that allows portal administrators to protect their portal by defining a maximum number of concurrent requests and an average response time allowed for a JSR 168 or JSR 286 portlet. If the portlet exceeds either the defined maximum number of concurrent requests, or the average response time, then Portlet Load Monitoring will no longer allow further requests to the portlet. Instead, portal renders the portlet as unavailable and the portlet code is no longer called for further requests. This way, your portal installation is protected from non responsive portlets to consume more and more threads.
This requires WebSphere Portal or 6.15 or higher, as well as APAR 05689, which is included in cumulative fix 3 (CFPM09968) or available on top of CF2. It is already included in WepSphere Portal 7.0.
Version (published on Oct 26, 2010): APAR PM21203: Fixed problem that Portlet Load Monitoring does not reduce the request counter if a portlet throws an exception
Version (published on Aug 9, 2010): Fixed problem that Portlet Load Monitoring does not evaluate portlet preferences set in portlet.xm
Definitely going to give that a try …. the download URL is here.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Tips from the field - creating a button in Lotus Notes to query the Windows registry ( useful for Citrix )

This from James Stuart, a Lotus evangelist here in the UK

While chasing a Citrix/Lotus Notes issue today, I needed to read values from the Windows Registry that user Citrix sessions see (which are prohibited from running RegEdit), so wrote the following button - Hope it is useful for you in the future.

Create a Form, Memo etc. and add a new button, then paste in the code below. The button will allow you to read a value from the Windows Registry by specifying the Registry Key, Sub-Key and Value to retrieve (these are defaulted to show where the Internet Explorer 'Favorites' folder is set to).

e.g. if you want to read the registry that a Citrix session sees, run Lotus Notes under Citrix and then access/click the button from say a draft memo in your mail file.

Want to know more ? Then check out the post …

Nice one, James

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Just Published - IBM WebSphere Application Server 8.0 Administration Guide

I was lucky enough to be asked to act as a technical reviewer on this book, so am proud that it's now been published ( as of last Monday ).

Here's the synopsis: -

Administrators require a secure, scalable, and resilient application infrastructure to support the development of JEE applications and SOA services. IBM's WebSphere Application Server is optimized for this task, and this book will ensure that you can utilize all that this tool has to offer with the exciting new features of IBM WebSphere Application Server 8.0.

IBM WebSphere Application Server 8.0 Administration Guide is fully revised with details of the new functionality of WebSphere Application Server 8.0, including the new installation GUI, managed deployment, and HPEL. With this book in hand, you will be equipped to provide an innovative, performance-based foundation to build, run, and manage JEE applications and SOA services.

IBM WebSphere Application Server 8.0 has been tuned for higher performance out of the box, and numerous enhancements have been made to give you as an administrator more options for increasing runtime performance. This book will allow you to utilize all of these features, including HPEL logging and disabling WebSphere MQ Messaging. You will be taken through how to configure and prepare WebSphere resources for your application deployments, and by the end of IBM WebSphere Application Server 8.0 Administration Guide, you will be able to successfully manage and tune your WebSphere 8.0 implementation.

What you will learn from this book :
  • Get to grips with all of the new administrative features that WebSphere Application Server 8.0 has to offer, including the new installation process using IBM Installation Manager
  • Take advantage of managed deployment to facilitate drag and drop deployments
  • Save yourself hours of manual administrative effort with  automated configuration
  • Assign different levels of administrative access to secure the WebSphere Application Server administrative console
  • Fully understand and implement Java messaging and enabling messaging persistence using databases
  • Understand how to use the new derby JDBC drivers
  • Learn how to manage additional application servers from a single administrative console
  • Increase server performance by enabling the new HPEL binary logging, and disabling WebSphere MQ when Messaging services are not required
  • Understand how to configure SSL  for IBM HTTP Server and the Websphere Plug-in


IBM WebSphere Application Server 8.0 Administration Guide is a highly practical, example-driven tutorial. You will be introduced to WebSphere Application Server 8.0, and guided through configuration, deployment, and tuning for optimum performance.

Who this book is written for

If you are an administrator who wants to get up and running with IBM WebSphere Application Server 8.0, then this book is not to be missed. Experience with WebSphere and Java would be an advantage, but is not essential.

It might be worth a read if you're (getting) into WAS 8 ….

Also, fancy acting as a reviewer, or even writing a technical book of your own ? If so, give Packt a call.

WebSphere Application Server 8.5 on #WasDev

Thanks to my colleague, Andy Piper, via Twitter, I found the WasDev site on IBM developerWorks.

8.5 Reasons why the WAS Liberty Profile is awesome

1) Lightning fast! The server startup time is amazingly fast. If you're still reading this, your server has already finished starting.
2) Tailored for developers. Designed by developers, for developers! The server has been built from day one to make development easier and more productive.
3) Lightweight. So small you won't even know it's there! The liberty profile has a tiny memory footprint..  
4) Simple Management. One file config that uses convention over configuration. This provides a cleaner more effective way to manage and share server configurations.
5) Modular design. Architected in a modular way, the server only enables and starts the features required by the applications and configuration. If you're not using a feature, it won't start in your server runtime  
6) Dynamic runtime. Features can be added to the server dynamically, while the server is running, with zero downtime and server restarts. Similarly server and application config can be updated without the need to restart.
7) Eclipse based tools. The eclipse tools for the Liberty Profile are small and very well integrated with the Liberty Profile environment  
8) WAS fidelity. The Liberty profile uses the reliable and trusted containers and quality of services that have existed in WAS for many years. This provides easy migration from development to production environments.
8.5) WASdev! The development community you're currently in provides you with a great opportunity  to collaborate with the Liberty Profile developers, and become part of the development team!

There's also a rather useful piece by Ian Robinson about the new "Liberty" Profile: -

At its heart, the Liberty profile is a dynamic profile of WAS that enables the WAS server to provision only the features required by the application (or set of applications) deployed to the server. If an application requires just a servlet engine, then all that starts is the WAS kernel, the HTTP transport and the web container. Which is lightening fast to bring up (a few seconds) and has an incredibly small footprint. Need a JPA provider to access relational data? No need to go hunting around to find one, just add in the JPA feature and persistence configuration and we'll switch that on. Dynamically. Even though the server only takes you a few seconds to restart, you don't have to. Which is important in a development environment, as you build up the capabilities of an application, modify classes, add resources and fix problems. Developers need code and configuration changes to be easy to make and reflected immediately in the test environment. This is as easy as it gets with the combination of the WAS Liberty Profile and the new WAS Developer Tools.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Open Mic Webcast: The WAIT Tool - Portal Performance Diagnosis and Beyond (10 November 2011)


IBM will host an Open Mic webcast with Lotus Development and Support Engineers on 10 November 2011. The topic will be "The WAIT Tool - Portal Performance Diagnosis and Beyond."

We will share with you a presentation discussing the WAIT tool. We will save time at the end of the hour for you to ask our panel questions. It should be an information-packed hour. As always, these events are free of charge.

Please join our web conference using your web browser (link provided below) to view the presentation and participate in the web chat. Join the phone call using the dial-in numbers (also provided below) to hear our voices and ask questions.


The WAIT tool

IBM Whole-system Analysis of Idle Time (WAIT) is a lightweight tool that can be used in almost any Portal or other Java environment. Output is viewed in a browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, and data can be collected from running systems without changes and without agents. High-level rules provide diagnoses specific to IBM Websphere Portal and other common middleware and frameworks. This event will describe WAIT's capabilities and how to access WAIT.

Sneak previews here:
External Site

To ask questions in advance, post a response to this forum entry

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Two rather useful tools for IBM WebSphere Portal and IBM Web Content Manager

Both are available in the Greenhouse; definitely worth a download ….

The IBM Portal Log Analyzer is a tool designed to help users of IBM's WebSphere Portal product troubleshoot issues with ConfigEngine and JVM startup failures.

Loading a ConfigTrace.log into the Log Analyzer tool allows you to:

• View an interactive list of ConfigEngine scripts that have been executed in your environment
• Quickly identify failed ConfigEngine scripts
• Find the right errors to troubleshoot
• View the properties used at the time of a specific ConfigEngine script

The IBM Support Tools portlet for Lotus WCM provides an assortment of tools that are useful in troubleshooting content related issues.

This portlet includes tools to view the JCR repository for WCM content, run an xpath query and view results, and directly execute various support jsps. These tools are commonly provided by support on a case to case basis to gather information specific to customer environment and content. With this portlet installed on the WCM system, it will help expedite the troubleshooting process.

The portlet is available for v6.0.1.X , v6.1.X and v7.0 of WebSphere Portal and can only be used on Portals that have WCM installed on the them.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

COMMAND.COM ... and it's a WebSphere Portal site

Not sure why this went through my mind this morning, but, whilst out cycling, my mind started wondering whether anyone had registered the domain COMMAND.COM :-)
As a old-school MS-DOS user ( as well as IBM PC-DOS, of course ), I'm old friends with COMMAND.COM, but still no real idea why I thought of it at 0600 today ....
However, I checked and ... lo and behold ... there IS a website using this domain AND .... it's running WebSphere Portal.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Command(TM) - Damage-Free Hanging Solutions ... a website from 3M
Now is that an Exceptional Web Experience ?
Just off to see whether anyone has registered CMD.EXE ... oh, hang on ....

IBM WebSphere Portal Mobile Experience V7.0 - Your Portal Needs a Mobile Theme NOW

Kudos to Jon Lidaka for getting this published: -

Mobile is exploding and no longer considered an add-on. It is quickly becoming a primary channel for customers and employees to be productive.  The Portal Mobile Experience provides you code to quickly extend WebSphere Portal sites to mobile devices that support Webkit (Apple, Android, Blackberry phones).  This new theme shows how to control the look and feel, page navigation and content navigation on a smartphone and provides examples of rich mobile web interaction patterns such as swipe, carousel, accordion, and swap using CSS3 and HTML5.

Available here on Greenhouse. Get downloading NOW