Category Archives: IdeaJam

You asked. IBM responds: Interim Fix for Domino to support SHA-2 and TLS fix for POODLE attack.


All the information you need is in these two technotes:
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21418982
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21687167
Watch for the fix to be posted on Fix Central soon.  Then this can be marked Completed in Greenhouse and IdeaJam.net
Note that one of these will only be supported on Domino 9.0.1.  The 8.5 code can’t support SHA-2 encryption.

What does this mean? This addresses the issue that web browsers will soon no longer support connecting to websites that use the older encryption due to its weaker algorithms that can be broken with today’s faster computers.  So Domino servers using https will need this update to allow web browsers to be able to connect after they drop support for the old security.

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How to download and install the IBM Connections plugin for IBM Lotus Notes


(New versions of these plugins are now available.  Read here.)

Summer vacation is over.  I was deliberately taking a break from my blog to enjoy the fantastic summer and give focus on the business.  While I was quiet on the surface, I’ve been very busy in the background.  More on that later, but for now, some useful content…

IBM Connections with Sametime is amazing.  It’s like a useful combination of features you will find on Linkedin, facebook, WebEx or GotoMeeting, Skype, dropbox, wordpress and IdeaJam  and it’s ideal for any business larger than 1 person.  And it is no more dependent on your email client than any of those apps are.  But if you use IBM Lotus Notes, as many Connections customers do, you will get even more value with your Notes client by using the IBM Connections Plug-ins for IBM Lotus Notes.  There is a version for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  So where do you find this cool plug-in?  How do you install it?  Here are step-by-step instructions.  And while you’re in the application catalog, be sure to look around at the other useful plug-ins, like the IBM Connections Desktop Plug-in for Microsoft Windows, or the IBM Connections Widget interface to LinkedIn.  Have an iPad?  Cool.  Be sure to go to the App store and search for the IBM Connections app.  In some ways I find it even better than the website.  Here is a screen shot of the app.  It will give you an idea of the features in IBM Connections:

IBM Connections app for iPad

IBM Connections app for iPad

Now here are the instructions for getting the IBM Connections plug-in for IBM Lotus Notes:

1.  Click on this link:  http://greenhouse.lotus.com .  The following website will appear:
Greenhouse website

(Addendum: If you don’t already have a Greenhouse account, go ahead and click the Sign Up link now and get the process started.  You will need an account before you can complete the download.  Among other things it will prompt for an IBM contact.  If you don’t have one, mention me and this article.  They use this to validate accounts as real people.)

2.  Click on the link for the IBM Collaboration Solutions Catalog. Info about the catalog will appear:
Greenhouse app catalog

3.  Click on the Launch button.  The Catalog will appear.  At this point you can click on the Most Popular tab and you will probably find the plug-in at the top. (it’s very popular)
Connections Plugin

3a. If you don’t find it at the top of the Most Popular list, you can select IBM Connections in the product list.
Connections Plugin

4.  Click IBM Connections Plug-ins for IBM Notes.  The description page will appear.
Connections Plugin download

5.  Click on Start Download in the top right corner of the page.  The License Agreement will pop up.
EULA

6.  Click I Agree. The download button will now appear in the top right corner.
Connections Plugin download

7.  Click the icon to download.  It will prompt for where to save the file in the usual way depending on your browser. (These screen shots happen to be in Firefox.)  The file is about 80 MB.
save download

8.  Once the .zip file has downloaded, unzip it.  You will find it contains 3 zip files, one for each supported operating system.
Zipped files

9.  Unzip the one you need and run the installer as per your OS.  For Windows it is setup.exe.  When the installer runs, it may prompt to be trusted.  Click Yes.  Then the language option appears.
language selection

10. Choose the language and click OK.  The installer will run.
Installer 1

11. Click Next.  The license agreement will appear.
installer 2

12.  After printing and reading the agreement and getting written approval from your legal department, select to accept the license agreement and click Next.  It will remind you that Notes must be closed before continuing.
installer 3

13.  Close Notes if it is open and then click Next and then click Install.  The installer will take surprisingly long considering how small it is.  Be patient.
installer

14.  Launch Notes.  Pull down File – Preferences.  Click on the Connections section.
ConnectionsPlugin14

15.  Fill in the info for your Connections server.  If you want to test it out on Greenhouse to see everything it can do, enter the server URL of https://greenhouse.lotus.com and use your username and password for your Greenhouse account.  (You should have had to create one before you could download the plug-in. Don’t have one?  Go back to that browser window where you downloaded the plug-in and click Sign Up in the top right corner.)

16.  Click on Status Updates, Files or Activities to expand the section and see content from Connections.  Note that when it is first expanded it may take a bit longer to load the content.  So be patient.
Sidebar widgets and plugins

That’s it.  Be sure to search for me in Greenhouse and connect with me there and I can share some communities and activities I have already made to demonstrate how they work within connections.  And don’t forget to go back and browse all the other cool apps at Greenhouse as well as the iTunes app store for iPhone/iPad apps on Connections, Sametime, and more!

Let me know if this was helpful.  I am considering doing these as a video.  Would you prefer that format over an article?

ADDENDUM: If you get the following error:

AuthenticationError

Then recheck the User Preferences.  Click on the Advanced button and make sure it is using the Java Form with the authentication URL of:
https://greenhouse.lotus.com/activities/j_security_check

ConnectionsAdvancedPreferences

If that doesn’t fix it, there are several knowledgebase articles on the topic.  Search for that error message to find them.

An amazing thing is about to happen at IdeaJam.net! (Where Lotus software ideas are promoted by you)


IdeaJam.net is a great forum for the Lotus community to share their ideas on improving the Lotus software and voting on your favorites.  It gives IBM great feedback for what we really want.  And as smart as the few dozen developers at IBM are, most of the best ideas are bound to come from the thousands of us who use the software in ways they never considered.

So what’s about to happen there that is so amazing?  First, it just surpassed 4,000 ideas submitted!  Over 10,000 comments have been made on those ideas.  With a mindshare like that, IBM has an incredible resource that no other software or software company has — FREE.  It’s combining the innovation of open source with the financial strength of private industry.  Wow!

Next amazing point:  IdeaJam is approaching 100,000 votes by all of us!  It is currently at 98,907 votes. Check out the stats here: http://ideajam.net/IdeaJam/P/ij.nsf/welcome?readform

Now here’s the bad part:  It looks like people aren’t contributing as much lately as they have in the past.  Why aren’t you voting?  Are you disillusioned because you don’t think ideas posted there are making it into the product or having any influence?  Well, yeah.  Me too.  And I think it’s because IBM is not participating in those discussions.  IBM, we need to know you’re listening.  Just being lurkers that read but don’t respond leaves us guessing if you care or if you are paying attention at all.  IBM, if you value this rare input from your customers, then show it.

If you have been to the last two Lotuspheres and attended the “Ask the Developers” or the new session titled “Ask the Product Managers”, then you’ve heard me present ideas that got good applause from the audience.  Those ideas came from IdeaJam.  They were already proven to be very popular.  Several of those ideas have been added to the product.  One in particular is the feature to block replication if a replica has not replicated within the purge interval.  This is coming in 8.5.3.

Check out the ideas of the top innovators and take the time to vote.  IBM, you need to step up to the plate too and start being more responsive to your community or people will abandon it and you can kiss this great asset goodbye.

MTBF 8.5.x – Mean Time Between Failures Sandbox app updated for Domino 8.x – Credit to John Paganetti


What is MTBF?  It stands for Mean Time Between Failures.  That’s a statistical term for describing how often your servers go down and for how long.  In this case, it is also the name of a tool that captures vital information about every time a server is shut down or crashes anywhere in your environment.  It tracks when it went down and for how long.  It does this automatically whether you remember to post a change in change control or not.  It even has a place to post comments about the event.  It also provides % up-time measurements and other statistics.  When you say your servers had an availability of 99.999%, over the past 5 years, now you can prove it.  This is all stored in a database where you can let management see just how robust and solid your Domino environment really is.  No longer do you have to take a beating for network outages that made it look like Domino was down.  You’ve got the proof!  And the nice thing is how easy it is to implement.  A small .EXE is run every time the server is started and it is run once a day to collect stats.

This is total plagiarism, but I give full credit where it is due.  John Paganetti of Iris Associates Inc. (IBM) is the developer responsible for this application.  The original version (which worked on R5 to ND7)  was posted in the Sandbox at LDD.  But as you all know, The Sandbox was taken down, so there was nowhere for this updated version to be posted.  A while back, I made a post on IdeaJam requesting that MTBF be updated to work on 8.x and John graciously fixed it and sent me the code.  Now I am sharing it with you.  It’s in the sidebar on the right, in the flash widget box.

Recently I posted on IdeaJam requesting this tool be added to the standard software.  Please go there and vote for it.  The complete instructions on implementing it on your servers can be found in the Help Using document of the database.  Below is an excerpt of the first steps involved.  Also check the Help About document and if you get the chance, drop John a note of thanks for a cool tool.

Mean Time Between Failure Installation Instructions

First Server Installation:

Place the MTBF executable in the Notes Program Directory on your Domino Server.
Place the MTBF.NTF template in the Notes Data Directory on your Domino Server.

From an Administrative Client: Create a New Database MTBF.NSF using the MTBF.NTF Template

At the Notes Server Console: > load mtbf -a

The -a is only necessary if this server has not yet been “added” to the list of servers to be monitored.

Wait until the task runs to completion. From the Notes Server Console check it’s status by doing performing > show task until MTBF task no longer appears.

Verify your first server has been added appropriately by opening MTBF.NSF and view  1) Server Information.

Now is a good time to update the MTBF.NSF ACL.  It is recommended that the Server Group LocalDomainServers has Manager Access.  The rest is up to your discretion.

Add MTBF to the ServerTasks = line in your NOTES.INI on your Domino Server.
(Crash and Shutdown information will be updated each time the server is restarted when MTBF runs the first time)
Add MTBF -F to the ServerTasksAt5 = line in your NOTES.INI on your Domino Server or create a Program Record for this server to run MTBF -F once a day or every other day or once a week … based on your desires.
(This will perfom the once a day exhaustive log searching and compute intensive mean time calculations and statistic generation)

Create a Program record for this server in the Name & Address book to periodically run MTBF
(Very fast and Inexpensive operation to update Server Elapsed Time in 1) Server Information view.)
(Recommend hourly update but you may choose less often, but do not recommend more often.)

Quiet, but not Idle. Latest news from The Notes Guy in Seattle.


I’ve been quiet lately on my website, but I haven’t been idle. I just wrapped up another semester of higher education. I’m doing a bit better this time around. I didn’t fully appreciate how tuff the University of Florida was until now. I’m sure the the keg parties had something to do with it too.  Also working on a special assignment to redesign a website.  I think you’ll like what I’m putting together.

I am working with a new client here in the Seattle area. It’s nice working with a non-profit organization that makes a real difference in the world.
I gave two presentations on social media and it’s impact on recent world events.  Several more possible engagements in the next few months too.
I joined FourSquare. If you’re there, be sure to friend me. You can also follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/davehabz

If you follow IdeaJam, you might have noticed my numerous posts there as well. Be sure to go check them out and vote for them. This month’s posts include:

1. Lotus Forgot Series: Make MTBF an integral part of the server software (was in the Sandbox)

2. Lotus Forgot Series: Bring back the Diff tool (from R4) that compared two documents selected in a view

3. During server configuration, let me name the group added to template ACLs instead of assuming it is LocalDomainAdmins

4. Add a button for Access Control to the database properties dialog

5. Give the option to pull system templates from another server when configuring a new server in the domain.

6. Lotus Forgot Series: Add basic development functionality back into the Notes client.

7. Do not require being logged into Sametime to use screen capture tool

For a complete list of ideas, visit IdeaJam

 

IdeaJam Post: Pull system templates from another server when configuring a new server in the domain.


As Lotus professionals, we have a unique venue to give IBM our ideas to improve the products and to participate in discussions and even vote on others’ ideas that we would like to see. Visit http://www.IdeaJam.net I just posted an idea there about providing the option to pull system templates from another server when configuring a new server in the domain. This would work similar to how it pulls the Domino Directory from another server. The advantage is that you probably already have your templates setup the way you want them, including ACLs and maybe even with new replica IDs. Yes, you can manually copy those templates over via the OS after you install the software and before you start the server the first time. But that could be automated to make our lives easier. Check out my post at IdeaJam, vote for it if you like it and leave comments there where IBM and everyone else can join the discussion.

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