when IBM Connections Sync stops synching..

..I’m in trouble because I heavily rely on this feature of IBM Connections where the content of «My Drive» is synced to my devices.

  • All content in this view can be synced to any of your computers or mobile devices by downloading and installing the IBM Connections Plug-ins

I’ve been using IBM Connections Sync for ages with little to no issues, connecting to our own IBM Connections environment but also customers or IBM Cloud servers.

A few weeks back I started to have problems with a few files which I resolved by removing and adding the files back to «My Drive».
Then suddenly the plug-in complained about not being able to sync files because they were missing.. what?
The files were on local and on the server.. I did the remove/add trick but that didn’t help. I deleted the file and wanted to add it again but it wouldn’t let me because “the file already exists”.. what?
Under normal circumstances, the plug-in can offer different resolution options, one of them being to «forget the local copy» and discard it. That was also not working anymore so I decided to remove the account from the plug-in and create a new one.

IBM Connections Sync Account
IBM Connections Sync Account

The downside to that is, that the whole «My Drive» folder has to be downloaded again but it did the trick, so all good.

When adding the next file to the local folder I noticed that the sync was not working reliably and at one point stopped again. When adding files to «My Drive» in Connections it would sync but not from local to Connections.

Since I had not updated the plug-in for quite some time I thought to get the newest version. I installed the upgrade and surprise

Sync detail

The «last synced» date went back to the 70ies and I was not able to get anything to sync. I removed the plug-in, deleted every reference, preference file, library file and what else, installed an older version of the plug-in, installed the newest version.. nothing. I added other accounts because I thought it had to do with my credentials, but no luck. I added Cloud and customer accounts, and they all worked. hmmm.. maybe it’s not a local thing after all. I’ve asked our Connections master Urs Meli to help me out and look for errors in the logs and yes, he found a few things.

com.ibm.db2.jcc.am.SqlSyntaxErrorException: The statement failed because the authorization ID does not have the required authorization or privilege to perform the operation. Authorization ID: “LCUSER”. Operation: “SELECT”. Object: “FILES.SYNC_EVENT_EXTENDED”.. SQLCODE=-551, SQLSTATE=42501, DRIVER=4.21.29

Basically, lcuser was missing the correct authorization to certain tables. To solve it Urs ran the APPGrant.sql in DB Wizard to reset the rights.

He also noticed errors regarding the Push Notification App. Restarting the app cleared those as well. We do not know if this was related to the other issue though.

After these changes, my sync started working again and I had no issues since then.

We think the problem is related to one of the latest IBM Connections upgrades but we can’t pinpoint it to a specific item.

Since many others are reporting problems with IBM Connections Sync (on Mac, but the problem affects all plug-ins) I suggest to check for errors on the server as well besides using the latest plug-in, which you can download from the IBM Collaboration Solutions Catalog located here.

What a line-up for ICON CH

September is ICON Switzerland time and this year we are coming up with a special setup for our 8th event which will take place on September 13 at the University of Zurich.

For those not familiar with the event, it was launched as a customer forum where IBM ICS customers could share their experience with ICS solutions. In the last years, we have teamed up with the University of Zurich, transforming the event into a public and private event, where we offered a platform to share experience and network with peers.

Every year we had a keynote from a renowned IBM representant before launching the customer panel but this year we are changing the format. We are very happy to have Jason Gary in Switzerland exclusively for our event. He will be joined by Uffe Sorensen and Jonathan Muniz for a further look into the future of ICS solutions.

Jason Gary is Director of Software Development and an IBM Distinguished Engineer.  He and his team represent the new IBM way of delivering enterprise software and is behind the «new» IBM Connections code-named Pink, where open-source platforms and services like MongoDB, React.js and Docker will be playing a central role. He will talk about this new approach in development for IBM and what it means for IBM Connections.

Uffe Sorensen  (Messaging & Collaboration Director) and Jonathan Muniz (Offering Manager IBM Collaboration Solutions) will bring an update to the application modernisation roadmap, what has been delivered with the new IBM Verse on Premises version and what is yet to come.

After the lectures, all three speakers will be available for an open Q&A section where you can ask your questions about the topics mentioned.

For the agenda and more information about the event: http://iconswitzerland.ch

The announcement from Roberto Mazzoni of the University of Zurich: UZH Blog


paloalto Traps doesn’t know about MC Upgrade (yet)

If you are not familiar with Traps, it’s an endpoint protection solution from paloalto:

Traps replaces legacy antivirus and secures endpoints with a multi-method prevention approach that blocks malware and exploits, both known and unknown, before they compromise endpoints such as laptops, desktops and servers.

We are running Traps on different endpoints (Win/Mac) and found a few glitches in the early stage but they were solved rather quickly and so far it’s been running well, without interfering day-to-day processes or performance. That was until we started to roll-out a new FP to the IBM Notes clients on Windows.

To manage and upgrade our Notes clients we use panagenda’s MarvelClient and have been running it successfully for different upgrades. But at one point we received more and more error logs, from the same users, where the upgrade was failing. After some digging, we found the problem. Traps, which is monitoring activity on your endpoint, found the activity caused by MCUpgrade.exe to be suspicious and therefore blocked access to it.

We notified paloalto about this “issue”, which actually is correct behavior since they didn’t know about MCUpgrade, and have whitelisted MCUpgrade in our configuration, including a very explicit path where the exe has to be located. This solved our problem and the IBM Notes client upgrades with MCUpgrade are working again.

IBM Verse On Premises 1.0.2 is available with some goodies

Following the announcements and roadmaps, the team around Scott Souder delivered the update for the on prem version as promised in August. Besides the features IBM already describes in their announcements, I will highlight some of my favorites features.
From the official announcement:

Among the many user interface enhancements and performance gains in Verse On-Premises V1.0.2, new capabilities include:

  • Calendar Inbox. Make better decisions when responding to calendar notices by viewing your calendar at the same time. The new Calendar Inbox organizes all your calendar notices in one convenient place.
  • Preview attachments. You can instantly view Microsoft™ Office, OpenOffice documents, and PDFs in Verse On-Premises. View documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in Microsoft Office binary formats such as .ppt and .doc; OpenOffice formats such as .odt and .ods; and Microsoft Office XML-based formats such as .docx or .xlsx.
  • Password synchronization for encrypted messages. When reading an encrypted message, Verse On-Premises will prompt you to enter the Notes password, if the password entered does not match the HTTP password.
  • Support for IBM Connections V6.0. Entitlement to IBM Connections V6.0 Files and Profiles are extended to IBM® Notes and Domino users through IBM Domino V9.0.1 Feature Pack 9.
  • Extensibility and Application Registry. You can create, register, and deploy additional features in Verse On-Premises that are suited to your needs. Using Verse On-Premises extension points, you can integrate Verse On-Premises with your applications. Extend Verse On-Premises by designing new actions that users can take when reading or composing an email.

We have been eagerly awaiting the Calendar Inbox, I wrote about it earlier this year, see IBM Verse Calendar Inbox, as the features are a real time-saver and finally the look and feel is adapted to fit the «regular» Inbox.

That’s why as soon as the update was available for download, I got it and we upgraded Verse immediately (thanks to Urs Meli for the support). If you have installed/upgraded Verse before, you know that it is a piece of cake. If not, just check the documentation and follow the steps (or get in touch with us if you need help). BTW the documentation for 1.0.2 is available as well now, that was missing yesterday, links will follow at the end.
The only «danger» with the upgrade is to not read the system requirements, as this time the requirements clearly state, that the recently published Domino 9.0.1 FP9 is mandatory for VoP 1.0.2 to run. And believe me, without FP9 it won’t work 😉

Once that was cleared, it was all about discovering the new stuff. You might see from the Calendar Inbox example, that the coloring scheme has been slightly adapted but the functionality is what I wrote about in January, using IBM Verse cloud.

So let’s focus on the email Inbox.

Threaded emails

A really nice feature, I think it’s “on” by default, is the grouping of emails in a thread. A feature certainly known from other clients as well, it will group emails from a conversation, show you how many emails are in the conversation, if there are unread messages and from whom and you can apply actions to all the emails (delete, mark as read, file, etc)

IBM Verse on Premises Inbox Threaded
IBM Verse on Premises Inbox Threaded
IBM Verse on Premises Inbox Threaded close-up
IBM Verse on Premises Inbox Threaded close-up

there are many filter options to apply to your Inbox, I’ll go through them quickly:

1) click on the bubble/avatar to set a filter on that contact
2) type any name, expression etc you want to look for. If you choose option 1) the name gets added automatically
3) Folders
4) Time filter, refine based on «age», see example further down.
5) only emails with attachment
6) unread only

In this example, I use the bubble to filter my Inbox, that’s why the «unread» option is not available.

IBM Verse on Premises Inbox Filters
IBM Verse on Premises Inbox Filters
IBM Verse on Premises Inbox Time Filter
IBM Verse on Premises Inbox Time Filter
Last reaction

There is a small arrow (or not), showing which way the communication is going. In these highlighted examples my email was the last one in the conversation.

IBM Verse on Premises Inbox example
IBM Verse on Premises Inbox example

As mentioned, we got our production updated yesterday and we will need more time to discover other features or issues.

Are there any drawbacks? Well, yes, contacts and To Do’s are still using the iNotes design but I rarely use or manage them on this platform.  Contacts are either in our CRM or I manage them over mobile devices whereas the To Do’s I handle with Kudos Boards in IBM Connections.
What is more «concerning» to me is the offline functionality which has still a max of 14 days available. I know the team is working on it and I’m waiting to see how this will proceed.

Some links:
Official release statement from IBM
IBM Verse on Premises 1.0.2 System Requirements
IBM Verse on Premises 1.0.2 Documentation

updated Mobile app for IBM Connections

We are busy with different customers projects around IBM Connections and I was happy to see that IBM released an update to the Mobile apps for IBM Connections.

There are quite a few changes and additions
(taken from the Android version)

new features Connections app
new features Connections app

and I really like the new design, well done IBM!

old vs new

further examples

Head over to the app store of your choice to get the update.


IBM Verse – Calendar Inbox

Last week the IBM Verse Calendar (Cloud only for now..) got a major redesign. It had been announced some time ago, finally it has been released and I must say, well done IBM. It has a nice design and the enhanced functionality helps organizing your “calendar day”.

When logging in the first time after an upgrade/update you get the tour of “what’s new” and this is where most screenshots are from.

Five reasons to love the new Calendar Inbox

Of course the Inbox, where you will find invitations, meeting notices and so on.

IBM Verse Calendar Inbox 1

The footer, where you see notification(s) of your next meeting(s), no matter if the same day or in the future. It will change to a minute count-down when the meeting is closer or notify you of further entries, i.e. «first appointment tomorrow». If there is a conflict, two or more meetings starting at the same time, you can see what is scheduled with one click. -> I really like this one

IBM Verse Calendar Inbox 2

Block out time for yourself by simply clicking on a free time slot. It will create a calendar entry, neither appointment nor meeting, rather a reminder for yourself.

IBM Verse Calendar Inbox 3

The narrow red line will show you the current time of the day

IBM Verse Calendar Inbox 4

and of course you can change the view and choose the day, week or month overview.

IBM Verse Calendar Inbox 5

Detailed views:

IBM Verse Calendar Inbox Example 3
Calendar Inbox with Day view and footer notification
IBM Verse Calendar Inbox Example 1
Scheduling an appointment – Calendar view on the right and notification at the bottom
IBM Verse Calendar Inbox Example 2
Scheduling a meeting – Calendar view on the right and conflict notification at the bottom
Calendar Inbox Example Conflict Detail
Conflict notification details


Now eagerly awaiting the on premises release of this new Calendar, which I think could give IBM Verse a new push.