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.
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.
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.
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)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
The narrow red line will show you the current time of the day
and of course you can change the view and choose the day, week or month overview.
Now eagerly awaiting the on premises release of this new Calendar, which I think could give IBM Verse a new push.