Modifying the Mail File Owner Field

Back in the day, which would be the Lotus Notes/Domino R5 days, if you needed to change the mail file owner field in a database, be it mail-in or person, it was a simple process. Open the mail file, click on Preferences – Mail – Basics, select a name from the Domino Directory, and save the Preference.

Apparently, to “prevent issues caused by the name in the Mail File Owner field not existing as a valid hierarchical name in the Domino Directory,” this behavior was changed in Release 6. The field was protected and usually required a change to the design of the mail file to allow this field to be edited.

That is a tiresome change.

If you have a mail file, or mail-in database, where you want to change the Owner field, it is as simple as creating a button and mailing it to the affected user (bad idea). I prefer using the same technique, but instead of waiting for the user to do something (click a button, in this case), open the mail file, create a button, and click it for the user.

Open the mail file.

Create a new messsage

In a blank line of the new message, click Create – Hotspot – Button. Give the button a name, in this case “ClickMe.”


Now, add some code to the button:

@SetProfileField(“CalendarProfile”;”Owner”;”<hierarchical name of user>”)

Example: @SetProfileField(“CalendarProfile”;”Owner”;”CN=Gregg Eldred/O=Acme”)


Click the green check mark, to save the code.

The button is now on a blank memo, created in the mail file of the person who has an issue with the Owner field. And, as you created the button, the field value is perfect.

Click the button.

To confirm that your code worked, open Preferences – Mail – Basics. You should see something like this:


There, problem solved and the user didn’t have to do a thing (that’s called a “win” in my book).



What Companies Tell Me When They’re Leaving the IBM Stack

This is very much a YMMV post. I recognize that not everyone sees or hears the same story I am being told; there are regions of the world where the IBM stack is winning. There are companies that cannot imagine a life without the IBM stack. However, with the cloud making all of the news, getting all of the attention, there are companies that use the “disruption” as a means to take a hard look at their current environment. In my little corner of the world, that disruption usually means that the IBM stack (Notes, Domino, Sametime, Quickr, Traveler) loses.

First, it’s no secret that the economy took its pound of flesh from the Northeastern Ohio area. During those wonderful years, several of my customers no longer exist. And as they went down, they may have moved to Google, then they disappeared. Or, they simply closed their doors. Others were bought by other, larger companies, and as they lost their individuality, they also lost the messaging platform “war.”

No surprises there. It happens all of the time.

But what about those companies that made it through the depression recession? Those companies emerged to face a new player, the cloud, and all of the hype and promise that came with it. While they may not have moved to trusting another organization with their precious data, because there was a new player, it allowed them to look at how they currently run their businesses.

So, from those that emerged from the recession, those that are considering or have moved away, what do I hear?

By far, the number one answer is the “Lotus Tax.” I hear this from every single customer that has moved, or is in the process of moving. I hear it from customers that have no intention of moving. I hear it All. The. Time. What is this? Basically, the IBM stack is at a decided, competitive disadvantage when it comes to third party support. You want to invest in a new technology of some sort. You get down to decision time and discover that if you want to integrate this new “thing” into your IBM-centric environment, it’s either going to cost you more for integration or it just flat out won’t work. This certainly limits the things that you can do to sell more widgets or provide better/newer services to your organization.

The “Lotus Tax” can also be extended to another area: accessibility and availability of development and support resources. At one time, there were quite a few places where one could go to augment staff with external resources, using local assets. That is not the case currently, nor do I think it will ever be the case again. If you require someone for assistance in any area of the IBM stack, you have to go to great lengths to find and bring them in. The people that were once available have either moved in-house or moved on.  In many cases, if you need resources, you have to go outside of the region, which increases costs. It really looks like support is diminishing rapidly, and with it, quite possibly, the quality of that support. On the other hand, if you move to, say Microsoft, there is a plethora of resources from which to choose.

I believe, from what I have been seeing, the “Lotus Tax” tells organizations that market share in the IBM stack is dwindling. If third-party vendors aren’t supporting it, if it is difficult to find development and support resources, if it appears that investments aren’t being made to enhance the products or the ecosystem, the market is speaking with their money and the organizations that use the technology are taking notice. If you made a choice, and it is now limiting what you can do, the options that you have available, organizations will move away.  A Business Partner, an employee, may tell a different story, however the market is saying something contradictory.

Interesting, isn’t it, that in this discussion there is no mention of a UI, application development, security, replication, activities or social? Why Companies are replacing Lotus Notes

One of the beautiful, annoying aspects of the internet is that it never forgets. There are many, many examples of this trueism coming back to bite companies and individuals. So, let’s look at

Back in 2009, at Lotusphere, Salesforce was there, in force as I recall, to demonstrate how their offering integrated with LotusLive. Oh, it was a joyful time.

. . . At IBM’s Lotusphere event, will showcase how customers can bring together Salesforce CRM with LotusLive and Lotus Notes, to harness the power and innovation of cloud computing within their enterprises and across their customers. has also entered into an agreement with IBM to work together to further enable technology interoperability and joint customer success for businesses that use solutions from both companies.
“The cloud computing model offers customers a low-cost, low-risk way to manage their IT infrastructure,” said Polly Sumner, President, Platform, Alliances and Services, “Bringing together Salesforce CRM and LotusLive can help customers further leverage cloud computing to streamline their communication and collaboration processes.”

Wow, kittens AND unicorns. It was beautiful.

Here we are, at the end of 2012. How’s that relationship between IBM and Salesforce working out?

Well, the reality is that Notes penetrated companies pretty darn well back in the 90’s (like a Nirvana song permeated the radio waves), and the departmental applications sprouted and filled all the holes that IT often couldn’t get to. Love it or hate it, Notes became a mainstay platform of the enterprise. In a recent survey we did of our Dreamforce 2012 attendees, we found that 73% did indeed still use Lotus Notes. And that 70.3% were considering replacing Lotus Notes, the majority within the year.

No hard numbers, as in “number of respondants,” but that doesn’t really matter. Of Salesforce’s customers at Dreamforce, 73% of their customers use Lotus IBM Notes and Domino. Of those respondants, as I read it, 70.3% of the 73% are looking to replace it.

[Blog intermission] I am rather shocked that there were that many IBM Notes and Domino customers attending. Consider that IBM probably has less than 50% of the total messaging market, and that of that number, 73% were at Dreamforce. I would venture to say that only other place on Earth, where more than 73% of the audience is IBM Notes and Domino customers is at Connect. Or one of the many User Group conferences held around the world.

What the heck happened from 2009 until now that soured the once exceptional relationship between IBM and Salesforce? Remember, it was all kittens, sunshine, and unicorns back in 2009.

If you read the comments to the Salesforce post, and I highly recommend that you do, Ed Brill chimes in. But then, so does Steve Wood, VP of Platform for Salesforce:

Let me start by making a bold statement: we like Lotus Notes! We also have a huge respect for Lotus Notes developers. It has been a transformational platform for many businesses. It illustrated how empowering the business to “do more” with software can result in amazing things. However, it’s old. And I think I could probably get you to agree that IBM has under-invested. It’s client/server (more on xpages later), users find the product to be pretty clunky from a UI perspective, workflow has to be coded, and it doesn’t REALLY have reporting (it has views). It’s just kind of… well… old and tired. All of this stuff means that Lotus Notes users and developers are looking for a new player – we hear that from surveying just those people. They like Lotus and what it does, but they feel trapped in an aging and underinvested platform – that’s where we see our opportunity (and we’re investing heavily).

I wonder if Salesforce will be at Connect?

Link: Demonstrates Cloud Computing Solutions at IBM Lotusphere 2009

Link: Here’s Why Companies are Replacing Lotus Notes (And You Should Too)

Eat, Breathe, and Misinform on Social Media

Chaos and tragedy shine harsh lights on our 24-hour, always connected, social media world. NPR, which isn’t immune to reporting false or misleading information in the early moments of chaos and tragedy, had a pretty good report this morning on the latest example, the Sandy Hook Shootings.

It was journalistic bedlam.

Some news outlets signaled their mistakes and that stories were shifting; others glossed over them with updated information, as though they had held the facts all along. But it led to a dizzying sense of impermanence to any description of what had actually transpired.

“A guy was misidentified as a mass murderer,” said Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, which straddles the worlds of traditional news outlets and social media platforms. “That’s horrendous.”

More >

The best part of the piece was when they talked to David Cullen, author of the book Columbine, which is viewed by many as the definitive account of that tragedy. It took Cullen 10 years to research and write that book, which discredited many of the beliefs held by the media and the public. In fact, as Cullen said on NPR, ” . . . the media had established to its own satisfaction exactly why the teens turned into killers within just a few days.” It’s always a good policy to allow the media to shape your opinions.

I understand the need to be first, to rush into chaos, and to report on it. However, you need to remember that in the early hours, or even days, of a tragedy, a lot of what you read, hear, or retweet is just plain wrong. If it is found on social media outlets, how is that information corrected? Oh, wait, it is just part of the mind numbing stream and it’s sure to be missed.

Link: NPR: Coverage Rapid, And Often Wrong, In Tragedy’s Early Hours


Cringely: More stupid IBM tricks put customer data at risk

Keeping an eye on Cringely, as he continues to watch IBM. This time around, IBM failed its internal security audit which means that those of you that rely on IBM Global Services to manage your data centers might want to take notice and demand some things from your sales rep or account manager.

I heard from dozens of readers this morning about a message IBM sent to its current employees concerning their 401K plan — changing it from a contribution in every paycheck to a single contribution at the end of the year. Of course if you are laid off that means no annual contribution, less retirement savings, but a real bonus to the company. This, in itself, isn’t worth a column. It’s just Scrooge IBM being more Scrooge-like in search of that 2015 earnings target. What is worth a column is putting this news in the context of IBM having failed its recent internal security audit, which should concern IBM customers.

What, they didn’t tell you?

More >

“Last Chance” for Something I’ve Already Booked

I never seem to really understand the need for a “last chance” e-mail, one that should never have been sent. For example:


The reservations system knows that I am registered for this event. It also knows that I have exercised an option to have a discount applied to the registration. The reservations system knows all of this and more about me. Yet, some other system feels it’s important to remind me of an action that I have already performed.

I really don’t understand.

Oh, I’m certain someone will point out to me that there are two/three/hundred’s of systems that handle a conference and it’s reservations systems. That, perhaps, none of those systems talk to one another. If that is the case, it strikes me as very odd, considering how “silos” are bad. It’s funny that not one of those systems could spit out a “confirmed reservations” list and another system compare that output to a “who has attended in the past but not yet registered” list. The result could be a better mailing. That same process could feed the next day’s telemarketing campaign, so that registered attendees are not bothered by some nut trying to sell something that has already been purchased.

Which brings me to my final issue:


What the heck is this? Still a work-in-progress?

I understand that this is not a site that is run or maintained by the conference organizer, however it is a representation of your organization. Further, the running of the site and all of its content must have your approval, after all, it is using your name, your conference name, and your logo.

Regardless of the number of pestering e-mails and calls and the “still in progress” landing page, I will be attending Lotusphere Connect 2013. I hope to see you there.

Verso Prologue Case Cover for Kindle Fire, Red

I’ve had three separate covers for my Kindle Fire. Two were black nylon cases that worked well, kept the Kindle safe and secure. One was a hardcore cover, best suited for the military deployments. Not only did that cover keep the device safe, I think it would stop a .50 caliber round. Perfect for the post apocalyptic, zombie infested world. All of them were good, served their function well, but seemed to be missing something. I would have to characterize that “something” as personality.

My most recent case, the Verso Prologue Case Cover (Red), delivers personality in an exceptional package. The cover itself feels like leather. It looks rich, made to look like an antique book. Every time I bring it out, I smile, it’s that nice. The straps, used to keep the Kindle snug and secure in the cover, are possibly the best, most secure straps I’ve seen. The Kindle won’t be going anywhere. Once the Kindle is in place, it is firmly in place. This is not a cover for the person that likes to transfer the Kindle from one case to another. The straps keep the device very secure.

As with all Kindle cases, this one has a “slim pocket” for . . . what I’m not sure. Travel documents? Receipts? Whatever you attempt to store in that pocket had better be thin. And paper based. Anything of a significant thickness will not fit in the pocket. However, that is what you should expect from most, if not all, pockets in a Kindle cover.

The Verso Prologue Case Cover is an exceptional cover that will not only protect and secure your Kindle, but it will also bring a richness and style to your Kindle that is lacking in other covers.

Obtained from: Amazon Vine
Payment: Free

How is winmail.dat my problem?

Misconfigured Outlook clients used to be the bane of my existance. And, occasionally can still be, in 2012. Which is pretty astounding, when you think about it.

The background is pretty simple, really. Outlook clients send e-mail using a Microsoft proprietary format, which certainly isn’t MIME. That is pretty amazing that someone thought that everyone, everywhere, would use Outlook to send mail to other Outlook users.

Try explaining to a customer that those files aren’t a Notes/Domino problem Sure, they understand,  but they want them to go away. So, it becomes my problem.

Thankfully, there are two notes.ini settings that you can apply to your SMTP server. Or server’s. Whatever the case may be.

Open the Domino Administrator. Go to the Servers tab, click on Server Console.

Enter “set config TNEFEnableConversion=1” then click either Send or hit enter.

Enter “set config TNEFKeepAttachments=1” then click either Send or hit enter.

To enable the setting to take effect immediately, enter “tell router update config” then click either Send or hit enter.

There, now someone else’s problem has been resolved on your servers. You’re welcome.

Here is a handy TechNote that explains the cause and resolution in a little more detail.

This behavior is due to messages being sent from Exchange without MIME encoding turned on. Winmail.dat is attached to the message in uuencoded format. Information on how to prevent winmail data being sent to Internet users from MS Exchange is documented and publicly available from the Microsoft Support Web page, in the Microsoft Knowledge Base, article number Q138053