Monday, 30 January 2012

Getting Started with IBM Connections

Luis Benitez mentioned this on the IBM Connections Community Chat on Skype earlier 

Get people up and running with IBM Connections in your environment. Users can select  features or see how others have used IBM Connections to accomplish their work, and then take the same steps they took to be successful. 

Fun, interactive learning featuring Learn More, Watch Video, or Do It.

Users take steps to join communities, set up their profile, learn concepts, all the while using your installed IBM Connections.

Uses the same Getting Started application available for Lotus Greenhouse users:

Download includes a README.TXT with instructions for adding your IBM Connections server name to the files. Download size: 1.5 MB.

Want to get a hold of this - check this link - IBM Getting Started sample for IBM Connections  - out on the Catalog.

Introducing the single sign-on diagnostic tool for IBM Lotus Connections

Saw this online today, and thought it was definitely worth sharing: -

Configuring SSO for Lotus Connections is time consuming, and it's easy to make mistakes because there are many manual configuration steps. 

The main idea of the SSO validation utility is that it sends many requests to Connections with SSO configured, and then checks the returned status code, response headers, and cookies to determine whether the requested resource is protected by form-based authentication, basic authentication, or is unprotected.

Once you install the Connections product and complete the configuration steps per the Product Documentation, you can run the SSO validation utility to verify your configurations quickly. 

The SSO validation utility is designed to provide verification for:

• Standalone Lotus Connections, in which there are only WAS and the IHS server involved in the deployment topology
• Lotus Connections integrated with TAM
• Lotus Connections integrated with SiteMinder
• LotusConnections-config.xml file for all three cases above

Want to know more ? Then go to the Wiki here, and have a look.

Webcast replay: WebSphere Application Server V7 - SPNEGO Basics

Thanks to Adam Lacey for sharing this: -

This WebSphere Support Technical Exchange is designed to discuss SPNEGO (Simple and Protected GSS-API Negotiation Mechanism) web authentication for WebSphere Application Server V7. It provides a high level overview and basic configuration of how SPNEGO is used for single sign-on in a WebSphere Environment.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

What versions of Lotus Notes support Citrix XenApp 6.5?

Following on from my recent post about IBM Lotus Notes and Citrix XenApp, I note that Ed has just blogged an announcement that: -

IBM will support Citrix XenApp 6.5 with Notes 8.5.3 Fix Pack 1 Basic and Standard clients, per the standard recommended Citrix XenApp installation guidelines provided, for the usual length of product life cycle/End of Service and/or terms of customer Support & Service agreement. Support will not request that customers reproduce issues in previous versions of XenApp (4.5, 5.0 or 6.0) that are supported with 8.5.3.

The Technote for this is here: -

and was released on Thursday.

Lotus Notes 8.5.3 on Mac OSX - Not playing ball

I'm an inveterate hacker, in the traditional sense of the word, and cannot resist fiddling with technology, often failing to obey the rule "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" :-)

At some point on Friday, I fell into that trap, whilst "playing" with Lotus Notes 8.5.3 on my Mac, running OSX 10.7.2 Lion.

Having "faffed" about with one particular configuration file: -


I got into a situation where Notes Standard ( as the "full fat" Eclipse-based client is called ) wouldn't start.

No matter how many times I tried to start the client, it would come up, get as far as the desktop e.g. showing my inbox, the sidebar etc. before dying.

No errors were being displayed, and this problem persisted past a reboot ( yes, even Macs need a reboot from time to time ).

I even went as far as to manually start Notes from a command line: -

$ /Applications/

but to no avail.

Whilst I could start Notes Basic ( the old pre-Hanover client that we know and love as nlnotes ): -

/Applications/ -basic

Standard didn't want to play ball.

I even tried starting Notes in "debug" mode: -

/Applications/ -debug

but, again, no dice - nothing obvious was being displayed.

Having plead for help on Twitter, @JimCasale quickly came to my aid, first suggesting that I check out the "workspace\logs" directory.

On the Mac, this is located here: -

/Users/david_hay/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data/Expeditor/Applications/logs

I cleared down the content of the ./logs folder: -

$ cd /Users/david_hay/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data/Expeditor/Applications/logs
$ rm -Rf *

and then re-tried to start Notes, but again the same symptom resulted, and there appeared to be nothing obvious in the logs.

Jim then suggested that I cleared down the "workspace" folder.

Again, on the Mac, this is located here: -

/Users/david_hay/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data/Expeditor

so I took Jim's advice: -

$ cd /Users/david_hay/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data/Expeditor
$ rm -Rf *

That appeared to do the trick - the next time I started Notes, it started and stayed running.

I did find that I had to go back through the process of setting up Notes, similar to that seen after a clean installation e.g. storing credentials for Sametime, Connections etc. but that's a minor inconvenience ( to be quite honest, prior to Jim's intervention, I was looking at a clean reinstallation anyway ).

PS I did note that my Sametime 8.5.2 client appears to have disappeared ( leaving me with 8.5.1 which doesn't give me Sametime Unified Telephony ), but that was also easily rectified.

Kudos (™ Darren Duke) to Jim, much obliged for his kind support.

PS I did find this section of the IBM Lotus Domino and Notes Information Centre to be of use: -

On an Apple® Mac OS X® system, the default installation directories are as below:

• /Applications/ -- Notes product and binary files installation directory
• /Applications/ -- Notes Java™ code installation directory
• ~/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data/Expeditor -- Notes workspace directory
• /Applications/ -- Shared data directory
• ~/Library/Application Support/Lotus Notes Data -- Data files directory for each user

Friday, 27 January 2012

IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal - Now in eBook Format

I often visit the WebSphere Developer Technical Journal site, but rarely get around to reading the articles, before something pulls me away from my PC.

So imagine how pleased I am to see them available in PDF and Kindle versions ?

The IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal is popular for its mix of essential articles, product-centric columns, and diverse editorials. But if it's difficult for you to find time to spend with all this information online, you can now take advantage of one of the new Tech Journal to go! formats below and bring an entire issue with you for offline reading!

You no longer need to rely on a network connection to read the articles in the Tech Journal, and you no longer need to download multiple individual articles to take an entire issue of the Tech Journal offline. Simply download one of these specially formatted files for viewing either as a PDF or on a Kindle device and you've got a whole issue available when you want it!

Additional issues will be added regularly.

Now the question is which format - PDF on the iPhone and iPad or Kindle ? How about both …. clickety clickety click :-)

Use cases for the IBM WebSphere Portal Controller SPI

This came in from @ISSL_NA on Twitter earlier, thanks to my ISSL colleague, Damon Deaner, out there on the West Coast ( which I keep forgetting when I invite him to conference calls mid-way through the UK afternoon!! ).

This SPI isn't something I've yet had a chance to look at: -

This white paper describes the various use cases and sample code for the IBM WebSphere Portal versions 6.1.x and 7 Controller Service Provider Interface (SPI), including creating a page, adding containers to a page, the default layouts, and how to add portlets to a page, change the theme and metadata, change the skins, and create custom layouts.

That needs to change :-)

Here's the TOC

• Overview of the Controller
• Working with the models
• Overview of the sample file
• Conclusion
• Resources
• About the authors

Get it from IBM developerWorks here.

Packt Publishing - IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3: Upgrader's Guide

I heard about this from one of the authors, my ISSL colleague , Barry Rosen, on a recent @ThisWeekInLotus ( I think it was the first #TWIL of the year ! )

In addition, Ed blogged about it earlier today.


• Upgrade to the latest version of Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3
• Understand the new features of Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3 and put them to work in your business
• Covers details on the SOA characteristics of Lotus Notes, features and changes in Lotus Notes Client 8.5.3, and an overview of productivity tools: Lotus Symphony Documents, Lotus Symphony Presentations, and Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets amongst others.
• Packed with expert tips and useful screenshots

What you will learn

• Upgrade to, and understand, the latest version of Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3
• Get to grips with features including security, mail, calendar, and contacts
• Get solutions to issues that you may encounter during the upgrade process
• Quickly examine coexistence issues involved in running Notes/Domino in a mixed environment and solve them efficiently
• Integrate Lotus Domino 8.5.3 with IBM servers and tools
• Understand the integration of the new social software for Lotus Notes

The authors

Tim Speed is an IBM Systems (IBM Senior Certified) Architect with IBM Software Services for Lotus (ISSL). In that capacity, Tim is responsible for designing, and implementing technical solutions our customers. He has been an IBM/Lotus employee for 16 years. He has been working with Notes for over 19 years focusing on messaging, security, and infrastructure. Tim has published a total of 10 books on various topics including Internet Security and Lotus Notes and Domino.

Barry Rosen is an IBM IT Certified Managing Consultant with IBM Software Services for Lotus. During the last six years, he has worked on several global messaging and migration projects as well as performed Domino upgrades, messaging assessments, and client deployments. Currently, Barry has been heavily involved in LotusLive Notes cloud migrations and hybrid deployments. Prior to IBM Software Services for Lotus, he was a Software Engineer in Lotus Support for over five years. While in support, Barry was on several teams specializing in mail routing, Lotus Notes Client, calendaring and scheduling, and server core. He is an SME on clustering, Lotus Notes for the Macintosh, and rooms and resources. Barry is also a published author with several articles and books written on Lotus products.

Scott O'Keefe is an IBM Advisory Software Engineer and the project lead for the Domino Configuration Tuner. He joined IBM via Iris Associates in 1999 and has been a part of the Domino Administration team since 2001. In addition to DCT, Scott works on Domino monitoring, system administration template development and LotusLive Notes.

Want to know more or, in the words of Ellen, "Buy the book" ?

Then check it out here 

More on WebSphere Portal 6.1 and Internet Explorer 9

Back last year, I blogged about a customer ( let's call him James ) who had shared a solution to overcome an issue where IE9 was failing to render portal pages which contained iFrames.

Well, that customer - again, we'll call him James - is back, with a similar solution to a related, but different problem.

In essence, when a portal page is displayed in full-screen in IE9, a vertical scroll-bar is shown on the right-hand side of the page, despite the page not needing to scroll e.g. the content fits into the horizontal dimensions of the screen.

What's worse is that this scroll bar serves no purpose - it's not even "scrollable"

Using a similar solution to before, James was able to remove the scrollbar by updating the portal theme as follows: -

Having done that, no more annoying vertical scrollbar :-)

Nice one, James, thanks for sharing.

PS For the record, Microsoft have a neat little document about document compatibility here.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Running IBM HTTP Server as non-root on UNIX

This has come up a few times in conversation, so I thought I'd share it again here.


Is it possible to run IBM HTTP Server as a non-root process on UNIX systems?


Applications running as users other than root are normally prevented from binding to (listening on) low-numbered ports on Unix and Linux systems. Low-numbered ports are those ports below 1024. The standard ports for most popular Internet protocols, including HTTP and HTTPS, are low-numbered ports.

It is possible to run IBM HTTP Server as a non-root process on a UNIX system, but when doing so, use only nonstandard ports above 1024. The following are some snippets from the httpd.conf file showing the directives necessary to do this. After making these changes, stop and restart the server for the changes to take effect.

This Technote - Running IBM HTTP Server as non-root on UNIX - covers in more detail.

Enjoy :-)

WebSphere Application Server for Domino Administrators

I was talking with an IBM colleague about IBM Cognos Business Intelligence, with specific regard to the integration with IBM Connections Activities.

During our discussions, I was using the white board to draw up an overview of a typical WebSphere Application Server architecture, including the core and key concepts of cells / nodes / servers, profiles and the web server -> Plugin -> WAS relationship.

Now I remembered seeing a reference to this [PDF] most excellent ( and relatively short ) presentation from my ISSL colleague, Jason T Moore.

I'll be recommending this to my Cognos colleague, I recommend that you also take a look ….

PS You may remember Jason from the book - IBM Lotus Connections 2.5: Planning and Implementing Social Software for Your Enterprise - that he co-authored with Stephen Hardison, David Byrd, Gary Wood, Tim Speed, Michael Martin, Suzanne Livingston and Morten Kristiansen.

Avoiding the seven deadly sins of IBM Connections and how to plot the route to Social salvation!

Saw this on LinkedIn this morning, and it resonated with a conversation in which I'd been involved yesterday.

It's from Mr Stuart McIntyre Esq and is definitely worth a read

The presentation is here on SlideShare.

Go check it out ….

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Lotus Notes 8.5.3 on Apple Mac OSX - Where do your temp files go to, my lovely ?

Now I've done this a few times before, and it's cost me time ( and time costs money, darn it ).

So, here's the situation - one of my colleagues sends me an email, with an attached document ( a Microsoft Word .DOC file, if it matters ! ). Now I know what you're going to say …. why oh why oh why did he send me an attachment ? :-p

Anyway, I double-click on the attachment, and automatically open it up in Lotus Symphony 8.01 which is nice.

I edit the document, and then save it ( to a new filename, of course ), without really focusing on the WHERE e.g. into which folder I'm saving it.

So now I need to send my revised document back to my colleague - via LotusLive, as I just simply refuse to send email attachments :-)

Ah, right, now where did I put the file ?

When you open a file from within a Notes message, it stores it in a temporary location of, apparently, it's own making.

Ordinarily, on the Mac, I'd simply use Spotlight ( [CMD] [Space] ) to find the file by name. Sadly, at least on my system, Spotlight doesn't index absolutely everywhere :-(

After some trial-and-error ( including creating a draft email to myself, which included a similar document attachment, and then opening it in Symphony ), I worked out that the temporary folder is ….. here: -


Now I *know* that the folder location will change from time to time e.g. perhaps with a newly opened instance of Notes, on a different machine etc. but … it'd do.

So, if I remember to read this blog post IN THE FUTURE, I'll be able to find my attachments :-)

Alternatively, perhaps I can tell Spotlight to index /private or tell Notes to store temporary files in, say, /tmp :-)

IBM HTTP Server - SSL Certification Expiration Situation

We saw this in /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/logs/error.log yesterday: -

[Mon Jan 23 14:23:25 2012] [notice] Using config file /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/conf/httpd.conf 
[Mon Jan 23 14:23:25 2012] [debug] mod_mpmstats.c(189): mpmstats daemon started (pid 4775) 
[Mon Jan 23 14:23:25 2012] [notice] IBM_HTTP_Server/ (Unix) configured -- resuming normal operations 
[Mon Jan 23 14:23:25 2012] [info] Server built: Mar  7 2011 15:49:28
[Mon Jan 23 14:23:25 2012] [debug] worker.c(1859): AcceptMutex: sysvsem (default: sysvsem) 
[Mon Jan 23 14:23:25 2012] [notice] Core file limit is 0; core dumps will be not be written for server crashes 
[Mon Jan 23 14:23:28 2012] [error] server is within MinSpareThreads of MaxClients, consider raising the MaxClients setting
[Mon Jan 23 14:23:55 2012] [error] [client] [9778180] [5576] SSL0221E: SSL Handshake Failed, Either the certificate has expired or the system clock is incorrect. [ ->] [14:23:55.000312000]
[Mon Jan 23 14:23:55 2012] [error] [client] [9778230] [5394] SSL0221E: SSL Handshake Failed, Either the certificate has expired or the system clock is incorrect. [ ->] [14:23:55.000472317]

This took me a while to crack, but I eventually realised (!) that the self-signed certificates that we use in our IHS servers ( this is a NON-production environment ) had expired.

This was how I cracked it: -

cd /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/bin

# List the certificates in use

./gsk7cmd -cert -list -db /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/ssl/key.kdb -pw passw0rd

Certificates in database /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/ssl/key.kdb:
   Thawte Personal Basic CA
   Thawte Personal Freemail CA
   Thawte Personal Premium CA
   Thawte Premium Server CA
   Thawte Server CA
   Verisign Class 1 Public Primary Certification Authority
   Verisign Class 1 Public Primary Certification Authority - G2
   Verisign Class 2 Public Primary Certification Authority
   Verisign Class 2 Public Primary Certification Authority - G2
   Verisign Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority
   Verisign Class 3 Public Primary Certification Authority - G2

# Display the contents of the SelfSignedCert

./gsk7cmd -cert -details  -db /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/ssl/key.kdb -pw passw0rd -label SelfSignedCert

Label: SelfSignedCert
Key Size: 1024
Version: X509 V3
Serial Number: 4D 39 7C B4
Issued by:, O=FOOBAR, C=COM
Subject:, O=FOOBAR, C=COM
Valid: From: Thursday, 20 January 2011 12:31:48 o'clock GMT To: Saturday, 21 January 2012 12:31:48 o'clock GMT
Fingerprint: F9:D3:44:F1:81:26:37:90:51:A0:A5:14:79:9D:B8:14:AA:6B:3F:16
Signature Algorithm: MD5withRSA (1.2.840.113549.1.1.4)
Trust Status: enabled

# Delete the old, expired certificate

./gsk7capicmd -cert -delete -db /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/ssl/key.kdb -pw passw0rd -label SelfSignedCert

# Create a new SelfSignedCert

./gsk7capicmd -cert -create -db /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/ssl/key.kdb -pw passw0rd -label SelfSignedCert -size 1024 -expire 365 -dn ",O=FOOBAR,C=COM" -x509version 3

# Set the new certificate to be the server's default

./gsk7capicmd -cert -setdefault -db /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/ssl/key.kdb -pw passw0rd -label SelfSignedCert

Friday, 20 January 2012

Support Content Highlights for IBM WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager (January 2012)

This is on my regular reading list, along with the IBM Connections Support Highlights, about which I blogged earlier this week

This document contains frequently requested support content as well as those documents identified by IBM Support as valuable in helping answer your questions related to WebSphere Portal and Web Content Manager. The list will be updated periodically to reflect new trends and issues.

if you do owt with Portal and WCM, then I definitely recommend that this be in your bookmarks …..

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Optimizing Portal 7 Page Builder Theme for performance

Saw this in my in-box this morning: -

How does the theme influence the performance of the Portal site?

The theme influences both the server side and client side performance. Whenever a Portal page is rendered the theme is included on the server. The theme defines the layout and structure of the site – including various static files like javascript, pictures, css, and others. It also triggers the rendering of portlets, widgets or other content. Depending if the theme is a client side or server side theme the requests that are sent after the initial rendering of the Portal in the browser also differ – a server side theme will trigger full server side rendering requests including the theme again with each request while the client side theme would trigger a larger number of small dynamic requests that will update the layout to the newly selected page and its portlet content.

When trying to optimize the performance of the theme one needs to think about both about the time spent on the server as well as the time on the client side. On the server side it is all about execution of code on the server that can take up processing power and memory. This can be analyzed with profiling tools like the Java Health Center or Jprof or … Also the number of requests influences the server side response - if an excessive amount of requests is sent it will slow down the server.

On the client side the performance of the site is determined by the rendering of the returned markup. The markup links to static resources. The static resources can contain javascript, pictures, css, and others. Time is not only spent for the download of those resources but also in the interpretation of the loaded javascript and css. The more complex the css and javascript is the more time is spent in the browser for parsing and execution.

Tools like Firebug or Development Console from other browsers typically allow to determine how much time is spent on the download as well as the rendering of the resources.

My recommendation is to check the time spent for the loading of the page and then optimize the slowest parts. If the main Portal request (typically to .../wps/myportal/... unless you changed the context root) is taking too long you would need to check what is slow on the server side. Most of the other resources being rendering are referenced by the theme or the portlets on the page.

This article does not cover basic tuning tips like ensuring that compression is enabled on the web or proxy server and that the correct cache headers are being set for static resources to prevent subsequent downloads of static resources. Both tunings have a large impact on the theme performance and should be enabled. Please see the Portal tuning guide for more information on those topics:

IBM WebSphere Portal V 7.0 Performance Tuning Guide

and thought …. hmmm, that's VERY relevant to a project on which I'm currently engaged, so will (a) bookmark this for future reference and (b) make sure that my Application Architect colleague sees it.

The article is in the WebSphere Portal Wiki here.

This also ties up with the point that Mark Polly had made a few weeks back about Fixpack doing some nice things for Portal theme performance …...

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

IBM Lotus Symphony 3.0.1 is released ….. NOW

As per Ed's session at Lotusphere 2012 #LS12, IBM has announced and released version 3.0.1 of Symphony.

Am downloading it from here as I type.

*UPDATE* And after a very short space of time, it's downloaded and installed ...

On a related note, Ed has also blogged about Lotus Notes/Domino 8.5.3.

IBM Connections - Reporting and Metrics

The Reporting Tool for Lotus Connections (RTLC) enhances and extends Lotus Connection's built-in reporting tools: -
  • Snapshot and trend reports showing adoption, usage and system metrics across all the Lotus Connection features.
  • Simple web-based visualization with bar charts, line charts and tables.
  • Easily view adoption rates for key Lotus Connections features based on days, months and years.
  • Export metrics to Brio, Excel, Crystal Reports and others.

This is in addition to the built-in metrics for the services: -

All good information - now I bet YOU didn't know we did that :-)

W00t, WebSphere User Group coming to IBM South Bank on Wednesday 21 March 2012

Got the heads-up via email from the delightful Alan Chambers, but have noticed that the WUG website lists the next UK meeting as being at IBM South Bank 

We are pleased to confirm that the next meeting of the WebSphere User Group (UK) will take place on 21st March 2012 at IBM South Bank, London. There will be no charge for this meeting and we have an excellent agenda lined up.

You can find out more, and register, here.

See you there.

Open Mic Webcast: Recent Contacts and the New Type-Ahead feature in Lotus Notes 8.5.x Standard - 24 January 2012

This popped into my Lotus Notes 8.5.X inbox this morning, and I know that I, and others, have had problems with Recent Contacts in the past.

Therefore, I'm going to add this to my calendar for next week - Tuesday 24 January: -

IBM will host an Open Mic webcast with Lotus Development and Support Engineers on 24 January 2012. The topic will be "Recent Contacts and the New Type-Ahead feature in Lotus Notes 8.5.x Standard."

There's also an option to ask questions ahead of the conference here.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Support Content Highlights for IBM Connections 3.0.1 - December 2011

Have been using this today: -

This is the Support Content Highlights mailing for IBM® Connections®. This document contains links to technical content that has been identified by IBM Support as valuable, as well as links to other important information and tips.

Want to read it ? Then go here ...

I also used this query against IBM Fix Central to get the most recent set of iFixes etc. for Connections 3.0.1, and I keep this RSS feed in my Firefox bookmark bar for an up-to-date list of what's hot and what's not :-)

Project Concord takes off … as IBM Docs

Saw this post from Ed on Twitter earlier, thanks to @ChoosePortal

Today at Lotusphere 2012, IBM unveiled the beta release of IBM Docs, formerly known as LotusLive Symphony. The beta release is available now on Greenhouse, . IBM Docs is a completely cloud-based set of social document editors -- word processor, spreadsheet, presentation tool -- that are focused on the needs of teams to share and improve productivity, both inside and outside the firewall. IBM Docs authors will be able to store documents in IBM SmartCloud Engage (formerly LotusLive Engage) co-edit documents in real time or assign users sections of the document so they can work privately easing the management of  multiple revisions from multiple authors in team-based documents.

I'd previously blogged about IBM Docs aka LotusLive Symphony aka Project Concord last year, so it's nice to see that it's made it's way in the world :-)

WebSphere Application Server and Kerberos - Stuff I did not know ....

Number #1223

It is *NOT* necessary to use BOTH the setspn and ktpass commands when hooking the Service Principal Name (SPN) and the service account together, in order to generate the Kerberos keytab: -

You may notice in the WebSphere documentation the usage of the setspn command before ktpass is issued. When you use ktpass with the –mapUser flag, the SPN is set automatically, so you don't actually need to issue the setspn command beforehand in this case. The examples in the later sections of this document show how setspn is used, but you don't need to worry about it right now. You may also note the documentation referring to the –mapOp flag as well. Again, you don't need to worry about that in this example and it will be discussed later on.
In other words, here's an SPN I created earlier: -

and here's the service account: -


and here's the password: -


so here's a SINGLE command to create the SPN and generate the keytab: -

ktpass -princ  HTTP/ -out c:\temp\keytab.txt -mapuser ibm.connections -mapOp set -pass passw0rd -ptype KRB5_NT_PRINCIPAL

and here's the command to list the SPNs for the ibm.connections service account: -

setspn -l ibm.connections

If I wanted to delete the SPNs, I'd do this: -

setspn -l ibm.connections

If I then wanted to add a second SPN: -

to the same service account, I'd do this: -

ktpass -princ  HTTP/ -out c:\temp\keytab.txt -mapuser ibm.connections -mapOp add -pass passw0rd -ptype KRB5_NT_PRINCIPAL

In other words, I'd use -mapOp add rather than -mapOp set as this is a second SPN.


Friday, 13 January 2012

CentOS Linux and IBM Software - The Story Continues ….

There's a great post here from Collaboration Ben about the joys of deploying IBM Tivoli Directory Integrator onto CentOS Linux.

He was seeing: -

"Bundled JRE is not binary compatible with the host OS/Arch or it is corrupt. Testing bundled JRE failed."

which is nice.

Want to know more ? Then check his post out ….

I'll be trying this myself in a few days, so it's very timely …..

PS My experiences thus far with CentOS are here.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

IBM Connections / Sametime Technical 'Quick Start' Sessions - February 2012 - Manchester/Edinburgh/London

This arrived in my in-box this morning from Polymorph

IBM Connections / Sametime Technical 'Quick Start' Sessions

In conjunction with Polymorph, IBM (UK) are pleased to present three 1 day complimentary Technical 'Quick Start' hands-on sessions. In the morning session, we will provide you with all the information you need regarding IBM Connections and the opportunity to ask a Connections expert any questions you may have. During the afternoon we will provide you with a how-to session on IBM Sametime IM and web conferencing, along with the opportunity to participate in a variety of hands-on demonstrations and labs.

When & Where

2nd February 2012 - Manchester
7th February 2012 - Edinburgh
9th February 2012 - London

Who should attend? 

These sessions have been designed specifically to give Lotus Notes / Domino Developers and Administrators an understanding of the capabilities & features of IBM Connections / Sametime, together with high-level technical hands-on expertise of 'how-to' for deploying the solutions.


AM: Connections 9.30am - 12.30pm

• Connections Overview
• Notes R8.5.3 and Connections 
• How to deploy Connections 3.01 best practices
• How to extend and deploy Connections - the art of the possible
• Open questions and 'hands-on' labs

Lunch: 12.30pm - 1.30pm

PM: Sametime 1.30pm - 4.30pm

• Sametime Overview
• How to deploy Sametime IM
• How to extend IM web conferencing
• Open questions and 'hands-on' labs

Further information is available here.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

IBM Connections - Files and Firefox - Playing Nicely Together

It's been a bone of contention for me that my favourite browser, Mozilla Firefox, fails to correctly render the Files application in IBM Connections, mainly since we upgraded Connections to 3.0.1 and/or since Mozilla have moved to more frequent releases of the browser, I've gone from v5 to v9 in less than a year.

So can you imagine how pleased I was to read this on the Connections Blog ?

Let's start with the good news!  There have been some issues with Connections Files and versions of Mozilla Firefox since version 4.  Files would simply not load.  This has been a known issue for a while, and has been causing some consternation as whilst Firefox 3.6 is the latest supported release, so many users have upgraded beyond that version.  So, I am really really pleased that IBM has released an iFix for this issue which means that Files works in all current releases of Firefox once more. is what you need.  This is not yet on FixCentral, so contact our good friends in IBM support to obtain the fix package (and thanks to David McCarthy in IBM Dublin for making me aware of this news!).

So, to summarise, IBM has released an iFix for Connections 3.0.1 Files - yet to be listed in Fix Central -

Thanks to Stuart McIntyre for sharing this via the most excellent blog ….

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Free to evaluate - IBM InfoSphere BigInsights Basic Edition

Was reading about Big Data earlier today, and then saw this plop into my in-box 

IBM InfoSphere BigInsights Basic Edition is an integrated, tested and pre-configured, no charge download for anyone who wants to experiment with Hadoop.

InfoSphere BigInsights Basic Edition, our entry-level offering, is available at no charge for download, installation, and use. Solutions developed using InfoSphere BigInsights Basic Edition can be deployed using BigInsights Enterprise Edition. It includes the following:

• Fully integrated, completely compatible – Integrated install of Apache Hadoop and associated open source components from the Apache Hadoop ecosystem.
• Web-based management console for a real-time view of your BigInsights environment.
• Easy integration with IBM InfoSphere Warehouse, IBM Smart Analytics System, and DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows.
• Jaql, a query language that facilitates analysis of both structured (through a SQL-like interface) and non-traditional data types.
• Optional IBM Elite Support for 24x7 phone and web support.

One of my New Year resolutions for 2012 is to learn more about stuff that I don't normal come into contact with in my role as a Collaboration Solutions Architect, so BigData sounds like a challenge ….

Want to know more ?

I do, so I'll go and download BigInsights from here.

IBM WebSphere Portal Theme Optimization

Saw this on Mark Polly's blog - Mark is one of the Portal/WCM gurus at Perficient, and the blog is definitely worth reading.

Along with this article, there's also an article by Michael Porter entitled "When to use a Portal" which is again worth a look.

Mark says ….

Themes in WebSphere Portal continue to undergo significant changes.  In the past few releases we have seen the following enhancements to themes introduced:

• Splitting theme from the wps.ear into separate applications that can be managed independently of the Portal code
• Introduction of Client Side Aggregation (CSA) which builds a page using Javascript on the browser instead of completely building it on the server first.
• PageBuilder and PageBuilder2 themes that provide better interfaces for managing pages directly without going through the Portal Administration interface.

Now IBM has slipped Theme Optimization into the latest fixpack for WebSphere Portal (see IBM's fixpack documentation).  It appears that theme optimization was targeted for Portal 8, so maybe it is making an early appearance here.  Fixpack 2 was released in mid December 2011.

Want to know more ? Then read the blog ….

IBM Connections - A set of database indexes to improve the performance for the HOMEPAGE database which hosts Homepage, Search and News and Email Digest data.

Saw this via an email from one of our IBM Business Partners

The HOMEPAGE database is used to serve data to different applications likes Homepage, Search and News plus Email Digest data. For performance reasons we recommend to run the attached sql scripts to improve the existing databases indexes. In some cases the script will drop and re-create better indexes, in other cases the script will add new indexes. The technote is shipped with three SQL files depending on the database vendor being used.

The Technote includes SQL scripts for DB2 UDB, Oracle and SQL Server, and is available here: -

Events at the British Computer Society - January 2012

These popped into my in-box today; I fancy one or more of them ….

Date: Tuesday 10 January
Time: 6.00 for 6.30
Title: WebGL - In-browser 3D rendering
Presenter: Dr Nick Whitelegg, of Southampton Solent University
Venue: Southampton Solent University, Herbert Collins building,HC 021,on the ground floor,
This will be jointly with the BCS Hampshire Branch and Southampton Solent University.
Currently, web applications are becoming more and more like desktop applications thanks to HTML5 and related technologies. One particularly exciting technology is WebGL, which allows developers to create in-browser 3D applications usign OpenGL from within JavaScript. This talk will give an overview of the WebGL technology and approaches to development. Ideally you should have a little experience with OpenGL or at least be aware of the basic principles of 3D applications, and have some experience of web development.

Dr Nick Whitelegg is a senior lecturer in Computing (Web Development) at Southampton Solent University and teaches on a range of undergraduate software development courses including Java and web development. He has contributed software and data to the OpenStreetMap mapping project and has developed an open source mapping site and associated tools for walkers.

Date: Tuesday 17 January
Time: 6.00 for 6.30
Title:  Green Fields for ICT?
Presenter: Bob Crooks, Lead for Sustainable greenIT for Defra, and Chair of the GreenIT SG
Venue: Southampton Solent University, Herbert Collins building,HC 021,on the ground floor,
This will be jointly with the BCS GreenIT SG, Hampshire Branch and Southampton Solent University.
Bob Crooks will be giving us a talk on where to get started on the Green IT agenda. This now ranges across the whole ICT life cycle and beyond, with ICT being seen increasingly as part of the solution as well as part of the problem around us living more sustainable lives at home and at work. He will draw on his extensive work in this area as chair of the BCS Green IT Specialist Group as well as being the Green ICT lead for Defra and a key player on the Cabinet Office's Green IT delivery Unit that has recently published the UK's Greening Government ICT strategy – see

Date: Tuesday 24 January
Time: 6.00 for 6.30
Title: Obtaining Chartered Status,
Presenter: Keith Taylor
Venue: Southampton Solent University, Herbert Collins building,HC 021,on the ground floor,
This will be jointly with the BCS Hampshire Branch and Southampton Solent University.
This will be of particular benefit to those thinking of applying for MBCS or Chartered Status (CITP, CEng or CSci) either shortly or as a more long term aim. You could bring a cv with you, so, if time permits, you could have a personal discussion.
Keith Taylor worked for most of his life at IBM Hursley, but separately has for many years been interviewing BCS members wishing to obtain Chartered Status.

All are being hosted at Southampton University.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Adding IBM Connections Search to Your Browser

Another tip from Andrew Frayling ( @sphericaln ) 

I've been playing around with IBM Connections search recently and discovered that you can add the ability to search for content stored in IBM Connections directly from your browser by using the URL that IBM Connections uses for Advanced Search:

That was just a teaser - go and check out Andrew's blog post here.

Apple Macintosh OSX Keyboard Shortcuts

The lovely Andrew Frayling ( @SphericalN ) Tweeted this link earlier today.

I've blogged about OSX keyboard shortcuts previously, but the link ( from Dan Rodney ) does a great job of encapsulating all the shortcuts one could ever want. Here's a sample: -

Nice one, Andrew. Nice one, Dan

IBM WCM Offers New Content Authoring Homepage

I saw this on Michael Porter's ( @Perficient ) blog earlier today

By far one of the biggest complaints I hear from clients is how hard it is to author and manage content.  There's so much you can do to improve the authoring experience but it all starts with what the vendor provides.  Last month, IBM release a new content authoring homepage to the Solutions Catalog.  For anyone using IBM WCM v 7.x, it's worth downloading.  You can also watch a video of the homepage in action.  Here's my favorite aspects:

• Thew new authoring homepage actually looks nice
• It takes out a lot of 'busy" UI that's not needed for pure authoring
• Through some configuration, it allows you to define which content templates should be available to which authors.  That makes the authoring UI even more useful

The full post is here - nice one, Michael.

Just published: Customizing IBM Connections 3.0.1

Saw this on the Connections Blog @CollaborationMatters this morning

IBM Lotus and IBM Redbooks publications have partnered to create wiki content that explains how to customize, develop, and extend IBM Connections 3.0.1. You can customize IBM Connections to fit your corporate branding and social media needs. This Lotus Redbooks wiki provides examples of how to customize the overall user interface, as well as blogs, communities, and profiles. This wiki also includes information about populating the IBM Connections Profiles database using Tivoli Directory Integrator, and using the IBM Connections API to accomplish goals, such as retrieving a person's profile. The intended audience for this wiki includes IBM Connections administrators, web developers, and others who are interested in the specific details of customizing and developing IBM Connections 3.0.1.

n this wiki, we discuss the following topics:
• General customization process
• Customizing the Home page
• Customizing strings
• Customizing blogs
• Tivoli Directory Integrator
• Customizing the Profiles and Communities business cards
• Customizing communities
• Using the API
• IBM Web Experience Factory
• IBM Mashup Center
• Microsoft Outlook Connector

The Redbook is here.

Kudos to ISW - Kudos Badges for IBM Connections

Saw this on Adam Brown's blog this morning

Announcing Kudos Badges for IBM Connections!

Kudos Badges for IBM Connections is a flexible gamification engine for IBM Connections. By providing achievements and rewards (Kudos Badges), rank and leaderboards (Kudos Rank), and missions (Kudos Missions), organisations can dramatically improve their user engagement and adoption of IBM Connections.

In addition Kudos Badges is an extensible platform that can leverage game theory to provide performance management mechanics and reward systems for applications outside of IBM Connections such as HR, Sales Force Management, Help Desks, and many more.

I reckon that @DarrenDuke had a subconscious hand in the naming of the solution, as he's the King of Kudos ( at least on @ThisWeekInLouts )

Monday, 2 January 2012

Mobile web - Fortified with XPages and Dojo

I saw this on Twitter, thanks to fellow IBMer, Vincent Perrin

 Social application developers are continually challenged to deliver applications that provide exceptional work experiences, yet do it in a timely and cost effective manner. Not only does the application experience need to be exceptional, but it needs to be available from a mobile device, web browser or desktop client. Developers need an application development platform that allow them to meet those objectives. With today's release of Lotus Notes and Domino Upgrade Pack 1, meeting those objectives became even easier.

Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.3 Upgrade Pack 1 provides a rich set of assets for building desktop and mobile web applications as well as including two social application templates. Upgrade Pack 1 contains the following:

• Domino XPages Extension Library
• Includes new set of mobile specific XPages controls and other assets
• Updated templates built with controls in Extension Library
• TeamRoom: XPages UI including mobile access
• Discussion: new mobile access
• Domino Access Services: New set of JSON based REST services for accessing Domino data

Here's Pete Janzen's article in full on developerWorks - Mobile web - Fortified with XPages and Dojo

I've also blogged about XPages previously: -

Chat with IBMers from an external Sametime Client

Saw this on Twitter from ex-IBMer ( as of today !! ) Robert Farstad 

 When switching jobs from beeing an IBM'er to becoming a business partner, I knew about the possibility to use an external sametime client to chat with internal IBM'ers. So I googled a bit and came up with this page:

Chris Pepin has written about this in the past here and here, as has Adam Gartenberg, but Robert's post brings things nicely up-to-date.

Nice one, Robert (-:

IBM WebSphere Application Server - Support for 32-bit and 64-bit application servers

This goes into the "I did not know that" category ….

IBM WebSphere Application Server supports both 32-bit and 64-bit application servers in the same cluster that are managed by either a 32-bit or 64-bit deployment manager. This scenario applies to both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of WebSphere Application Server on 64-bit operating system kernels and to 32-bit versions of WebSphere Application Server on 32-bit operating system kernels.

It is recommended that you confirm that you are using the latest service levels of the operating system and WebSphere Application Server when you are using both 32-bit and 64-bit application servers in your environment.

as indicated by this Technote - Support for 32-bit and 64-bit application servers

WebSphere Application Server - 64-bits and no buts

( with apologies to IBM for re-using the excellent AS/400 CISC -> RISC marketing slogan from 1994 )

I saw this via Twitter and thought it worthy of sharing here as well

As more organizations move to 64-bit IBM WebSphere Application Server, a few common questions always come up in the discussion.
The purpose of this article is to quickly address these common questions in an FAQ style format that is easy to consume

The FAQ is available as a PDF here.

These two webcasts may also be of interest / relevance: -