Publicis Employees to Lotus Notes: Drop Dead

The much-maligned email and calendar software, formerly and more disdainfully known as Lotus Notes, has been cited by a range of departing executives recently as one of the things they disliked most about working for the holding company. It crashes all the time, it’s  not intuitive, and it’s generally “old and clunky,” they say. Don’t even mention the near-useless webmail access. For a holding company that loves to brag about how digital it is, it sure does give employees archaic technology for the most basic of modern communication.

“Emails would take hours, and sometimes days, to be delivered through the Notes servers,” said former Digitas CEO and current Weather CEO David Kenny. “It became common practice to text people to have them watch for and confirm sent emails. The redundancy drove me crazy.”

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It’s really easy to fly off the handle on this article, but I think that it served a purpose. What that purpose was, I’m not totally certain, as the whole story isn’t told, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions. Leave it to the commenters on the article to ask some intelligent questions, which will never be answered. In the past, I have written to the authors of these sorts of articles, asking for more details, only to have those messages go unanswered. Color me surprised.

The other Publicis news. I wonder what messaging system Omnicom runs?

Open Mic Webcast: IBM Notes Domino 9 Social Edition New Features – 3 April 2013

Wow, just a few weeks after the release of Notes/Domino 9. That is progress.

This event will be held Wednesday, 3 April 2013 at 11:00 AM EDT (15:00 UTC, or GMT -4), for 60 minutes. After a presentation, you will have the opportunity to ask questions directly of IBM Developers and Support Engineers. See more details below.  (Note: To view this information online, go to http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27038015

When    Date:  3 April 2013
Time: 11:00 AM EDT (15:00 UTC, or GMT -4), for 60 minutes

Bookmark Webcast Technote
# 7038015    Title: Open Mic Webcast: IBM Notes Domino 9 Social Edition New Features – 3 April 2013
Doc #: 7038015
URL:  http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg27038015

Before the call, the technote will include:
An iCal attachment to add this event to your calendar
Details on how to join the call and web conference
The slides that will be presented during the session

A couple of weeks after the call, the technote will be updated to include:
A recording of the session
A written Q&A transcript

To be notified when the Webcast technote is updated, subscribe to IBM My Notifications and select “Webcasts” as a document type of interest.
Web Conference URL    Conference 9526-3802
https://apps.na.collabserv.com/meetings/join?id=9526-3802

We left IBM because there was no webmail

Q: Why did you want to move to cloud-based services for messaging and collaboration?

Fox: Our workforce requires easy access to corporate information, emails, and colleagues to work productively. Our on-premise IBM Lotus Notes email solution did not provide web mail. There was no instant messaging, no presence, and no web conferencing, so it was challenging to communicate and collaborate on the road, at home, or at customer sites. We needed more cost-effective, flexible technologies to help us get away from this whole idea of a workplace being a ‘place.’ Moving to the cloud seemed like a natural evolution.

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Way too many snarky comments running through my head, so it’s best if I just let the CIO’s words tell you why the Microsoft cloud is superior to an existing, on-premises solution.

VentureBeat: Once king of enterprise software, Lotus Notes is dragging IBM down

After the Wall Street Journal wrote an article about IBM Notes, it seems that there are some other news organizations have picked up on it and have spinned it into another direction. The “not too favorable” direction. For example, VentureBeat writer Dylan Tweney has another view:

IBM has more modern social-media software, too, but only makes about $55 million per year from that segment of its business. So the challenge for IBM is to continue milking as much revenue as it can from Lotus, while gradually shifting the branding and the revenue to newer, sexier lines of business. One example: Renaming its annual Lotus conference, Lotusphere, as “Connect2013.” Yeah, that’ll help.

We’ll be watching to see if the earnings report sheds any more light on IBM’s efforts to turn Notes around. But as for me, I’m not holding my breath.

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IBM Notes Mail Rules – Working With Limits

A Help Desk case comes into the queue. A user, when attempting to create a new mail rule, is receiving an error. IBM Notes cannot create a new rule because it exceeds the 32K limit. This user isn’t dumb, he knows that there is no way a simple mail rule will exceed a 32K limit. And he’s right.

What he doesn’t know is that the Mail Rules view, however, can exceed that limit.

Especially if that view has over 100 mail rules. Yes, this particular person had more than 100 rules.

This was an easy fix, one that is told to “Mail Rules Power Users” time and time again – combine your rules. For example, if you have several rules that move mail into a particular folder, combine them into one rule using the “OR” statement. Or the “AND” statement. Like this:

mailrule

Instead of having three separate Rules, I’ve combined three Rules into one. Best of all, I’ve reduced the size of the Mail Rules view accordingly. The unspoken, added benefit is that I can now have more than 100 Rules, as I have Rules that perform several functions at once.

TechNote: Is there a limit to the number of mail rules each user can create?

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

 

Firefox and iNotes

Damn, Firefox causes problems for me and iNotes. You visit a customer to do a simple Domino upgrade and what do you end up spending most of your time resolving? Firefox and iNotes issues.

Now, usually, Firefox doesn’t cause a lot of trouble, especially when you stick with one release and refuse to upgrade. But, of course, there are those among us that cannot abide by being a point release behind. Those are the people that immediately download the latest and greatest. In the case of Firefox, that is a weekly download.

Well, at least it seems like there is a weekly (daily?) update to Firefox.

In this instance, I was able to convince the on-site technical support people to discourage too many people from upgrading to Firefox 15, but for those that did upgrade, they were experiencing some issues:

  • When e-mails came in and there were URLs in the text, they weren’t hotlinks.
  • If they attempted to send mail or calendar invites and there were URLs in them, the message/invites couldn’t be sent.
  • They couldn’t attach files to any mail messages.

Wow, that’s fun.

Thankfully, a well constructed search of the technotes resulted in a solid hit.

iNotes not working as expected with Firefox 15 and later

Added the notes.ini setting to the servers, restarted the HTTP task and all their problems went away. That is, probably until someone upgreades to  Firefox 21, or whatever version is the most current right now.

The lesson is that while it is easy to upgrade your Domino servers, be sure to check the TechNotes/wiki/InfoCenter/forums for issues with Firefox. You can save yourself some time and effort by implementing the requested changes before you restart the servers and tell everyone “I’m done.”