Sunday, December 21, 2008

IOPES - new version

Remember I wrote a post about me using IBM Omnifind Personal Email Search (IOPES) ? Well, I'm still using it. Could not find another alternative, this is good enough for me searching about 8000 (and counting) locally stored mails, in one archive and one mail replica. On Lotus 8.5 beta2.

As I am writing this post, I've just installed (not upgrading, which is a feature request) the latest version which you can get it from http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/emailsearch

For the new version I hope they managed to reduce the memory footprint, so that I would not stop the engine each time I run other memory hog programs.

There's also an IOPES Outlook version, and from my past experience Outlook is worse than Lotus when searching more than 5000 locally stored mails. At least, without IOPES and relying on Lotus Full-Text Index, I know I can find what I am looking for by performing two searches. One in local mail replica, the second in archive.

With Outlook, I remember I just waited for the search to return something. Anything. Ok, the keywords were bad, I want to stop the search. How do I stop a search in Outlook ? Have no idea, I will check the Help. But now I want to find something with my keywords, Outlook not responding. And waiting .... and waiting ... and waiting ... and Ctrl-Alt-Del, and kill the process ... and rebooting. Damn ! Next time I'm afraid to search anything in Outlook, maybe I need to reboot :)

That's why, at that time, I switched to Thunderbird. q.e.d. :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

websphere diagnostics starters

for those of you starting to mock with the WebSphere performance issues, start by understanding the underlying IBM JVM which is by default used in all WebSphere products. There's a 'java diagnostics guide' for each version. The same is true for SUN's virtual machine, but here's the link to the IBM's diagnostics guides:

Diagnosis Documentation

when in doubt, check the source

sorry for the absence. I've been busy. Now that I somehow managed to get into the winter holidays, though some would have argued (I really didn't knew until yesterday that I will be able to take this vacation), I have a little story to share.

It's about the source of not some genius program. And not Domino. But WebSphere. Actually, the startup script of a WebSphere. startServer.sh

I learn all the time. And I lost a day, just to figure out the difference between AIX and Linux, or between WAS5 and WAS6 (does not matter) with regard to above mentioned script.

How do I start a WAS server, named server1:

AIX / WAS6:
> pwd
/
>/usr/ibm/websphere/appserver/startServer.sh server1
starting ......

So you see, I got used to call the startup script on AIX (or WAS6) from no matter what location in the file-system.

Guess what: on a Linux customer, or perhaps because they are still using WAS5, this didn't worked :) It just happened it didn't worked when I was following a federation operation. And failed. And questions came, because it threw errors about input/output/redirection files not being there, not accessible, not having permissions. Did I do something wrong with the federation, did I not set some parameters .... what happened ? Try again, scratch the head, then again, then the day was lost.

Next day:
Environment for WAS is loaded with setupCmdLine.sh script. Errors because the environment not loaded. OK. WHY ?

Answer:
because startServer.sh needs to run on Linux from the /bin folder of WAS, so it can find the setupCmdLine.sh script

So, above sequence of starting:
Linux / WAS5:
> pwd
/
>cd /bin
>./startServer.sh server1
starting ......

And I found this only after actually looking into the startServer.sh script, just to see that it does a 'dirname' command and expects to load the WAS environment, otherwise default OS JAVA is used, which gets errors not even close to the actual problem.

So, if such a thing happens to you, check the source :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

link: IBM takes a stand against bad standards

I am biased in this OOXML saga, I admit. But what happened with the adoption of OOXML as a standard, using the fast track process instead of the normal one, is not fair.

And I am saying this just by looking into what happened in Romania regarding the vote, which is summarized by more enthusiast fellow looking at the process.

Since it appears Romania is not the only country whose committee was influenced (political or not), and due to the fact the people like me can publicly expose their thoughts, I think these signals were received.

So, IBM is taking a stand on these standardization bad practices : http://www.linux.com/feature/148750

So it should do.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

piece of Portal 6.0.x I learned today

sometimes I have to dig/test/dig some more/test again/curse a little/ to get something done with this piece of Portal.
But when it's done, it's done. And little lessons can be added to this blog :)

So, what did I learned today ? That you actually need to perform a check-out/check-in ant tasks for WMM (WebSphere Member Manager) in order to have your changes effective.

I wanted to change the LDAP login attribute from 'cn' to 'uid' for a Portal Cluster install I'm working with right now. So I found this note:

Which is pretty explanatory, except for the fact that it didn't said you need to do these steps, in order:

> ./WPSconfig.sh check-out-wmm-cfg-files-from-dmgr

within /wmm/wmm.xml, change userSecurityNameAttribute from "cn" to "uid".

> ./WPSconfig.sh check-in-wmm-cfg-files-to-dmgr

Of course that's not all the story, but the part dealing with WMM should at least be listed as above. Which reminds me how poor these Infocenters are designed. All the information is there, but in pieces scattered within hundred of pages.

hmmm ...

Monday, September 22, 2008

change in reaching me

I've changed the About section of this blog, since the spammers found my gmail address and I currently have about two hundred spam messaged daily. Fortunate, gmail spam handling is pretty good so only a couple of these get by.

Related to this, guess what's in the attached picture ...



u're right, this is a Lotus widget displaying my Gmail account.
Just a good illustration of Lotus Widgets actually working, not that I'll be using it, since the Firefox plugin Better Gmail is a lot better :)

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

wish list

- I wish to be able to quit smoking. Starting now and marking this point to the blog as to remember it. Quitting is all about my brain and my will.

- I wish IBM will implement the IBM Installation Manager into the WebSphere Application Server, so updating and applying a fixpack for either WAS and/or Portal to be a breeze, not a torture as it is right now.

- I also wish for a Canon xSi D450, which is an entry-level DSLR photo camera. I discovered this summer trip to Greece that I have a new hobby. The Sony DSC-H9 is no longer taking good photos, for me. So I think, I have a lot to learn.

- Related to above entry, I wish for Romanian merchants to be less thieves. The Canon 450D worth almost double in Romanian shops than in similar eBay, US, UK and AT shops. OK OK, taxes and transportation, but it is still too much ripping-off. As they say, I need to call a friend or wait for the next trip abroad.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

picassing and random thoughts

Two things:
1. I uninstalled Chrome. Because I saw some privacy concerns on some blogs, because I didn't liked it and because FF is too much great of a browser. As somebody said somewhere, if FF plugins will work with Chrome, its speed might be an argument. But Google has a long way to make it an useful browser. And I no longer have the time to test things just for fun. I'm sure it will be a good browser in a year time-frame from now on.

2. Instead, I've installed Picasa 3 beta. And I'm gonna keep it. If not for Picasa itself, it will be for the Picasa Viewer. Yes, now there's a viewer of most common picture files. And it's the best one I've seen so far, because it's fast. Real fast. Two smart things I've noticed: a) large pictures (2MB) are previewed instantly. b) rotation of a picture is not saved in the picture itself, but in picasa.ini of the picture's folder. This is causing your picture to stay unaltered, but preview them with the wanted rotation. And I think EXIF rotation makes it preview the picture with the correct rotation, just as IrfanView is doing. But I still have to confirm this.

And one last thought: Google, IBM and MS are giants in the software business (generally speaking, though domains are different). We should fight the giants and their monopolies. But how come I do have the impression that nobody's fighting Google and IBM, but only MS ?

And here's a possible answer: because both Google and IBM do clever stuff, from time to time. MS have clever people, but their clever results are hidden. Or maybe I am biased.

But Picasa 3 is good. It's a clever stuff. So it's Notes 8.5, AIX, Websphere, Portal, Connections, Lotus Forms and I could go on like this with IBM's stuff. With MS ... let's see: Active Directory. And ... come on, another cleverness for MS ... oh yes, the OS I'm writing this post on, aka Windows XP. But that's pretty much it. Or maybe I'm biased.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Notes Search not working as I expected

Now with the summer vacation gone, it's time to plan the winter vacation :)
But this is another story, I'd better focus on this topic's subject ....

So, I am using the 8.5_M2 version of Notes client as the business mail client. Overall it's better, however I am still frustrated. I don't get it, I expect the "Search All Mail" to perform the Full-Text search on my Local mail replica as well as in all Local mail archives.

What I do and what I see in the client:
1. I am enabling the Search Toolbar:





2. Now I see this field, with Search Scope, on my toolbar:



So, the flow I expect, which is not happening, is:
- enter the search keyword(s)
- Notes would check current Location, see that I've got a Local replica of mail.
- Go into the local mail replica and check/see that I also have one, two of more Local mail archives.
- Perform the freakin' search into all these mail dbs and return the results page in the Notes 8 style.

There maybe some programmatic limitations to this scenario, I no longer do Notes/Domino development to think if it's possible to aggregate document links into one page/folder/whatever. But I still don't get it. If it's not supposed to work as I've described above, why the Search Toolbar ? At this moment it's absolutely useless (ok so we have the google/yahoo/connections search in the embedded browser...).

But we'd better have the full mail search before other searches. Right now I am still using IOPES for full mail search (this is the Omnifind Personal Mail Search), which btw it is working in 8.5_M2 as expected. But it's adding a local web server and around 1GB RAM of processes when running. Just to perform a task which should be performed by the Notes client itself.

Does anybody know if we'll finally get to search in all mail dbs ?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

holiday impressions: today, Athens

update: just got back home to Romania from Greece, via Bulgaria. Let me give you upfront a piece of advice: don't fly to Greece. Take your car (or rent one) and see Greece by car. It is definitely an impressive country and it's worth the effort. Avoid Athens though, except for Acropolis it's a piece of crap. I thought I would be in danger in the center of Athens, on Voulgari street (sometimes this globalization is not good). And you don't get a place to safely leave your car. But Thessaloniki and Ioannina (where I stopped) are fabulous cities, representing Greece by all means. Greek people well deserve their fame and glory, they grew their country with lots of work, effort and sacrifice. I am impressed and will return to Greece every summer (hopefully).

Our tour was in short the following: Bucharest - Thessaloniki (stop one night) - Termopile - Delphi - Corfu (stop 8 nights) - Meteora - Thessaloniki (stop one night) - Veliko Tarnovo (BG, stop one night) - Bucharest

From Corfu island we had two trips, one to Paxos-Antipaxos islands and another one to Albania, at Sarinda and Butrint. Both these trips are recommended, though the boat to Paxos was way to crowded for my taste.

And another impression, from Albania: this is a country which has been sleeping for many decades under a fierce communist regime (just like Romania), but in Sarinda I saw some impressive constructions going on. I think they will be the next point of attraction for tourists. We'll see about it after 10 years from now on, as their infrastructure is absent at this moment (no roads, ruthless poverty all over the place). But I think they will rise just as the greeks did. Only romanians don't do anything about it: we only complain, talk politics and make good jokes. Uff....

So, back to our technical stuff, back to projects, customers, ideas and new things.
The original article follows.
end of update

I never thought I would have the need to share thoughts from my holidays. But now I do.

This is my first and last visit to Athens, by car. The thing that shocked me is that I had to trust the guy at the parking, with the key to my car. I am never doing this back in Bucharest, Romania. Never. But there seems to be this custom here, to which I had to follow.

I had no idea about this, which led me to perform three trips to the parking, when we arrived in Athens, at 9pm: first when we discovered we need to trust the parking people (which we didn't, so we suffered the consequence), second, after leaving the car on the street where I think we would have found them on pieces, the parking guys told us: park full. He was upset we didn't trusted him in the first place :) And finally, the third trip, after a phone from the hotel receptionist, we trusted them and our parking fellow took the cars.

Funny thing is that after all this I forgot my camera in the car, which I recovered the next day, so the cars are safe :)

Other than that, the town is not so impressive, except for the ancient monuments which is showing the Greeks are a great people.

And the next thing which shocked me: these people are actually building roads ... we saw heavy working on their highways. Tens of Kilometers of new highways, not yet marked but smooth and clean, with speed limitations. They link parts of highways with the old roads. But they do it. We went hundred of kilometers and even the national roads have an emergency line which allows cars to pass by one another.

hey, you Romanian leaders !!! the Greeks are building highways !!!! Where are the Romanian highways ?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Release 8.5_M1

This is the name for the Notes 8.5 beta 1 for windows, which was released .... I have no idea, does not matter.

However, since I will be gone for holidays for the next two weeks, what better way to start the vacation but to upgrade my business e-mail client to Notes 8.5 ?

So, the install was ... a little emotional, since I haven't backed up my /data folder as I usually do, and the first run didn't start the Eclipse framework at all. But the basic nlnotes.exe was starting so I relaxed and performed an uninstall, followed by an reinstall of Notes 8.5, which put things in order (if you didn't knew, since Notes 5, perhaps earlier, an uninstall of Notes did not deleted the data folder, so you're safe here).

While I don't really see a startup time improvement (actually I do think it's starting a bit slower than 8.0.1), Notes 8.5 seems to be a little responsive, it's based on Eclipse 3.4, and overall is better than the previous one.

update: well, after starting the Notes 8.5 client a few times since I wrote this, I can say it is faster than Notes 8.0.1, my previous version. As mentioned elsewhere, the starting sequence has changed, it got me while to get used to it. But it's faster, I was wrong :)

I also discovered a bug with Lotus Symphony, which I am too lazy to search where to report: if I open a new document, right-click on the tab to open it in new window, it will open a new spreadsheet instead of my document. Actually, if I save it and reopen, 'open in new window' does not work at all. Well ... its beta, you know :)

If some of you already know where to report this, please do so on my behalf, if not I will do it upon my return from vacation.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

I told you so ....

I sometimes have moments of intuition which have never (or rarely) proven wrong. One of these moments was the one when I anticipated that Notes 8 will be a kick-a** application. Is has, it is and it will be. Despite the fact that I also have some criticism to address (its performance), it turned out the IBM's strategy was right.

I am also linking to the article demonstrating Lotus's momentum

Not that I am now employed at IBM, but I can trust those examples and figures. Because I have seen IBM's business controls in action. You cannot lie within the company and you cannot report figures that aren't true. It's an internal system of ensuring business is accurate. It's part of IBM's image. It's not marketing. It's the truth around the subject: Notes 8 is better than any other previous Notes x.x and is also better than any other so called competitors.

I am saying 'so called' because I haven's seen ONE product (client/server) to achieve the Notes/Domino capabilities.

Monday, July 28, 2008

come back to the future

In 1975, I was one year old.

At that time, this was part of some IBM slides:
http://www.squareamerica.com/ib.htm

This got me thinking ...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

LTPA between WebSeal and WebSphere Portal

As usually, I find things on my own, the hard way. If you are trying to set-up LTPA SSO between the WebSeal reverse proxy controlled by TAM and WebSphere Portal, check this technote: http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21198736

What are they trying to say in above article, is that if you use 'WPSConfig enable-security-wmmur-ldap', you'd better be aware that LTPA keys exported from Portal's WAS in order to be imported in other places (Domino, WebSeal, whatever) needs a modification:

from com.ibm.websphere.ltpa.Realm=null to com.ibm.websphere.ltpa.Realm=WMMRealm

If you want to change this permanently, then follow the article to set that property to WMMRealm for good, so that other exports of LTPA keys from WAS would keep it in the file.

If we're on the subject, be aware as well that accessing WebSphere Portal through WebSeal is done via:
http://{webseal_host}/{junction}/wps/myportal

instead of the default Portal url:

http://{portal_host}:port/wps/portal

Once you get through WebSeal, you need to access the private place of the Portal, which is /myportal, by default. If you are accessing /portal, you're prompted for login, even though you're already authenticated.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

define "composite applications". define "mashups"

I admit. I am shamelessly quoting from this article because now you have a good definition of 'composite applications' versus 'mashups':

Composite Applications

Composite applications involve a “service-oriented” wiring between applications and are deployed to enterprise platforms. This event-based wiring of data between applications can create a dynamic desktop where, as the workflow inside one application is completed, all other applications that rely on this application can reflect the change. The completed application is then placed in the background and the user focuses on the next task. This enables not only component reuse within an organization, but also provides a framework for application reuse across the business. In this way, both line of business (LOB) and Information Technology (IT) applications can be integrated together on the desktop.

Mashups


A ″mashup″ combines data from multiple applications into an extremely lightweight application rendered in a browser. Mashups can extend enterprise data with services from the public internet such as Google Maps for location services, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) Feeds to publish content or Widgets (web plug-ins) that provide specific functions such as blog, wiki or social networking capabilities. Mashups are not intended to be strategic, systematically built, industrial-strength enterprise applications; rather, they are created quickly or opportunistically to meet a focused tactical need. Mashups are generally personalized to fulfill personal productivity needs rather than the requirements of a long-standing corporate role. 1 Mashups leverage content and logic from other Web sites and Web applications, they’ are lightweight in implementation and are built with a minimal amount of code (which can be client-side JavaScript™ or server-side scripting languages, such as PHP or Python). These are not fixed requirements, but reflect the original implementation of the mashup concept in Web 2.0 startup companies, which typically do not use enterprise oriented platforms, such as Java or .NET.

Monday, June 09, 2008

fixing was and portal (continued)

following my previous post on this topic, the following story is something we found by trial and error actions at a customer site. Actually, the story is about what to do in order to make sure that fixes are applied successfully on WebSphere Portal 6.0.x

We'll see if this process has been improved in WebSphere Portal 6.1, when it will be out and I will get the opportunity to play with it.

So, turns out that you'd be better applying e-fixes by hand, manually, one by one, from the command line. Forget the Java Wizard of UpdateInstaller for Portal, and forget the fix-packs, for instance the installing script for fix-pack 6.0.1.3 which is supposed to apply about 100 patches does not get the job done, properly. This is because fix-pack is trying to start/stop/start/stop the Portal itself several times and probably it gets something wrong on the way.

As such, load yourself with patience, plan for 2 man/day effort and proceed as following:
1. Get all your fixes from Fix Central site. Usually, if using IBM's DownloadDirector, you'll have several zip files downloaded on your folder.
2. Get the Portal UpdateInstaller, unzip it and place it under . On my install, I have this under d:\ibm\WebSphere\PortalServer\UpdateInstaller
3. Create your fix folder as in d:\ibm\WebSphere\PortalServer\fix
4. Then, do the following: read each of the fixpack readme :) Yes, really, do that :) Because some have other fixes as required for successful installation, then you might need to run for certain fixes commands like 'WPSconfig.bat apply-pk35496'
5. So, if you decide to apply a fix, copy its jar file into the d:\ibm\WebSphere\PortalServer\fix folder.
6. Decide how many fixes you want to apply, copy their jar files into the fix folder, making sure required other fixes are already applied or installed in the same run of UpdateInstaller.bat
7. The command line to apply a set of fixes is, from the UpdateInstaller folder, as seen below:

D:\ibm\WebSphere\PortalServer\UpdateInstaller>updatePortal.bat -install -installDir "d:\ibm\WebSphere\PortalServer" -fix -fixDir "d:\ibm\WebSphere\PortalServer\fix" -fixes PK35276 PK37018 PK32211 PK32501 PK32562 PK32570 PK32573 PK32626 PK33082 PK33379 PK33783 PK34220 PK34611 PK34624 PK34828 PK35170 PK35496

Happy patching :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

evernote

Evernote is one of these amazingly simple, yet useful programs. If you want to take notes and remember things either on web pages or by notepad type of editor, then this is for you. I need to remember technical stuff and I don't want to memorize because I know that I will forget :) So I need a program which does just what Evernote is doing. I think it is worth a try.

If you don't believe me, check the video on the front page. It has sync with your online account, clipping screen on your workstation and for the most fancy people, mobile versions which keeps your notes in sync.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

for notes and outlook searches - IOPES

not sure how to start a recommendation for Outlook users .... oh yeah, switch to Notes :)

joking aside, I can highly recommend you try a program for searching all your mails. If you use and receive a lots of mails, I know your frustration when searching for something in old mails. Neither Outlook or Notes handle this job properly. Been there, done that. For some time I used to try Google Desktop Search which did a good job not only finding mails (it has a Notes plugin), except it took a whole lot of memory to do run. Since I am a rather organized person, I usually have no problem finding a file. But I need to find emails, since I also run at least one archive.

Since Notes 8 cannot search in archives (as I clarified this in another post), I needed a program to search only mails. Cannot say for Outlook since when I did used it I had another free indexer which was brilliant, called Lookout

IBM OmniFind Personal E-mail Search does this job and so far I have no complains. Well, the version I have uses a lot of memory too, but as I write this I am downloading the new version, I'll see if it handles memory better. Since I need from time to time to search for mails, I have no other choice. Do I ?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

little story about wmm_cfg.xml:512

Guess how did I spend the last three days ? I tried to get passed the WebSphere Portal Installation Wizard on Windows, on subsequent attempts to install it on my machine.

After the first successful install, I upgraded to 6.0.1.3, but I had the impression that Portal is hanging on the Internationalization service. This was not the case as it turned out, I still have to figure why Portal is spending almost 15 minutes to this point, when starting. But this is another story, I'm working on it :)

So I said, I upgraded without thinking, my Portal is not starting. OK ! Let's approach the Microsoft way of doing things ! uninstall, then reinstall !

Uninstall from Add/Remove ... waiting another hour or so .... then delete everything under d:\ibm\ (didn't deleted the ibm folder and this is the trick which perhaps is the explanation why I failed) .... reboot the machine, start over, wait another 2 hours or so for the Wizard .... and bang ! the error message that script wmm_cfg.xml:512 line didn't executed.

hmmm .... start searching on net .... some other folks complained about the same error, but could not found an explanation.

good. ok, this happens from time to time. I found that Portal actually was installed but at that moment it was trying to enable global security on WAS. I tried manually with WPSConfig, I managed to do it but I had no idea what password it had set on cloudscape, so I lost all access to WAS and Portal :)

So, instead of mocking around with it (I think I'm getting older for this), I started again, with the wizard, but this time I made sure I deleted ALL the installation path. That is, including the ibm folder.

And, to my surprise, this time it got through. The installation wizard for the Portal showed the 'successful message'.

And here comes the thing: appears that this wizard wants to create the install path by itself (as d:\ibm existed when it failed). I don't have another explanation.

ISA 4.0

my favorite tool for digging into IBM repositories, IBM Support Assistant, has reached its new version, which is 4.0

since it's free, do yourself a favor and download it, if you frequently search IBM Support site to solve different product's mysteries :)

Also seems that this version is made on Expeditor; I'm saying this by its look&feel.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

fixing was and portal

since I declared that IBM outpaced MS at efixes and fixes for WebSphere and Portal, let's see how do we apply these fixes. Until an equiv "Tools\Windows Update" will be made available for WAS/Portal, applying fixes has to be done manually.

Fortunately, for V6.x version there are two UpdateInstaller programs which should do most of the stuff:
- one UpdateInstaller is for WAS and is usually located into WAS install_path. If it's not, you need to download and install it.
- the second UpdateInstaller is for Portal itself, and make note this is different from the WAS's one, even if we do have the same name.

You most likely need an X server of Unix machines, though I think there are possible solutions to apply fixes from the command line. Still, the UpdateInstaller is a Java app, so you'd be better with an X server on your Unix (use export DISPLAY=your_ip:0.0 if your X is not running on the box).

I will not go into further details, as you need to carefully evaluate your current version of Java, WAS and Portal. I am saying that using WAS UpdateInstaller you can update both Java and WAS on your server, while Portal UpdateInstaller updates your Portal install.

A very useful link is now the Fix Central site, which requires your IBM id.

Instructions for each of fix applied need to be carefully evaluated. For instance, you cannot just upgrade to Portal 6.0.1.3 :) You need to upgrade your Java, then WAS to a certain version, if you want to be successful.

What did I said about similarity between this and the good old days of MS, when one patch depended on another ? :) Here's an area needing improvement on our side ...

useful firefox extension - scrapbook

In the spirit of FOSS, here's another discovery of mine, gratitude of one of my Rational colleagues who pointed it to me (thanks, Razvan): scrapbook

It's usefulness is shown with the fact that you can add your own notes, beside to the page-capturing features. Since probably 40% of my working time is spent within Firefox (search, learn, read, open portals and web apps), I find it very useful to make it my own place of storing personal knowledge.
Files can be stored wherever you want on your disk, so backup is available for what you save.

Give it a try or let me know if you already use it and I'm late to this party :)

first lesson of portal architecture

the first thing that struck me: Edge Components Caching Proxy (CP) is so ignored into our customers solutions, here in .ro

Even when looking and searching for resources world-wide I seem to have a hard time finding any good resources of people trying stuff and sharing with community ...

I am not into the sales/licensing stuff, but I think that any license of WebSphere Portal comes with entitlement to install/use the Caching Proxy.

So, why do I see so ignorance for this product which actually enhance the Portal performance ? How did I see this ? On my own experience, and here's how I saw it:
On my laptop (with 3GB RAM, well..) I installed two Linux virtual machines:
- one has Portal 6.1.0.3
- the other one has IBM HTTP Server with WAS plugin, plus the Edge Caching Proxy. IHS responds on 8080, CP responds on 80 and forward all traffic to IHS.

After I finished the setup (it took me a long time due to other stuff I am dealing with), I noticed a boost in Portal performance when accessed through the Caching Proxy. I mean, the performance is crystal clear visible when accessing: http://my_host_name:8080/wps/portal (without CP), versus http://my_host_name:80/wps/portal (with CP)

And, by no means I am an expert into Caching Proxy stuff, not just yet.
Sure, Portal has several layers of caching, out of which DynaCache is/can/should be used programatically by developers, but usually developers don't bother with it. Or, our developers here in .ro don't bother ...

So, when architectural decisions are in my hand, I am not going without a CP, set-up and used as a reverse proxy for the Portal. I think it should be installed whenever you get the chance, it finally looks good for the Portal solution itself.

more details to come, as I will learn more :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

websphere virtual portal and websphere content manager (WCM)

As I said before, administration of the portal is a pain :)

scenario: you create a virtual portal and want to use WCM.
symptom: no WCM authoring portlets on your new virtual portal. What to do ?
solution: using xmlaccess.sh (for *nix), do this:
>cd PortalInstall/bin
>./xmlaccess.sh -url http://PortalHost:10038/wps/config/VirtualPortalContextURL -in ../wcm/deploy/DeployWcmAuthoringPortletAndPage.xml

where:
PortalInstall for Linux is usually /opt/IBM/WebSphere/PortalServer/
PortalHost could be localhost ar your Portal hostname
10038 is the SOAP port for accessing the configuration of the Portal. Could be different in your environment
VirtualPortalContextURL is the URL context of your virtual portal.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

last things I've been dealing with

it's been almost a month since the last post. In case you are wondering, my activity involves the following keywords:

middleware: WebSphere, Deployment Manager, cluster, Portal, WCM, Edge
tools: jazz.net, Rational - TeamConcert, RSA, RAD, RSD, RMC, Component Designer, Portlet Factory.

What does this mean, beside a bunch of acronyms: it means I'm trying to get the picture and get my hands a little dirty into this new world. New for me, as I've been a Domino addicted for so long.

Now, I am trying to get the beast (WebSphere, Portal) to its knee, the same way I did with Domino. This means I am trying to cover it all, to understand it, to learn how it's working. And its not easy. Because all these means in fact J2EE, Java tools, Java development. From the administrative side, it means: AIX, Linux, lots of scripts that aren't running, lots of patches and fixes (IBM really outpaced MS here)

It's a long way and it's more difficult than Domino world, where you have everything right there, in Lotus Client, Domino Designer and a bit of Eclipse, if you really wanted to get fancy. If I said this before, I am saying it again :)

Next posts will cover a little bit of my lessons learned with above acronyms.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

nanotechnology

this clip showed in my inbox: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpJQNMBNtOo

it got me thinking: how long from now on we'll be using nano-tech based computers ?
I say: 10 years from now on I'll get myself such device. Not phone, but computer.

This is due to how things are moving, in terms of technology becoming accessible.
We already have Mac Airbook and Lenovo x300. hmm ...

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

my top reason to upgrade to Notes 8 ...

So far, at least. Here's what I just discovered, might be old news already, but I thought I should mention it here, anyways ...

First of all, I'll tell you the reason I have NOT already discovered this :) it's because past year I have become a rather Domino ignorant, due to my job responsability of architecting solutions. And I mean it, it just so happens I realized how much I need to learn in areas like WAS, Portal, RUP, UMF, Rational (ClearCase, ClearQuest, Method Composer) and I could continue... So, Domino is no longer my focus but I am a devoted Domino blog reader and early adopter Domino "new stuff" within IBM.

Back to my just discovered top reason for adopting Notes 8. Or Domino 8.0.1, or, Domino 8.x

The keywords are "unified search". This is enabled in Notes 8 client, as in View\Toolbar\Search. And magically you'll be presented on the right hand with a search field which will search in all of your mail, INCLUDING any archives you have linked from within your current mail database.

How cool is that ?! you can actually now search within ALL your mail, not having to go through each archive at a time using the beautiful Full Index of Notes, however limited on a database only, or calling for help from Google Desktop Search with the Lotus Plugin.

update
: seems this is not accurate, afterall. At least on my business computer this does not work anymore. If anyone has more details about this, please let me know. I'm sure though this used to work as I described, however it appears it does no longer work on my Notes 8.0.1 install.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

more exchange "fun"

This post shoots two rabbits:
1. Story about how Exchange looses mails, on Rocky's blog
2. Story on the new (old) backwards compatibility issue for the new Exchange server (2008 or somethin'), on Ed's blog

some of those reading my blog might know that I've started into the Exchange 5.x business, before my definitive conversion to IBM, more specifically Domino (well back joining IBM as employee).

Add these two stories to my personal hearing of stories of lost emails to Romanian Exchange shops, backup/restore Exchange failures, plus change all your hardware to get the new version, and you've got yourself a pretty good nightmare and a pretty bad ROI.

So, who wants that ? :)

You're still saying Lotus interface sucks ? Get up to date information and do yourself a favor by searching for the Lotus 8.0.1 interface, then say more.
We, the Domino fellows, are waiting for more pro-Exchange arguments in this context. Good luck :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

running on Notes 8.0.1

yep...I've waited for this. And a funny thing happened. I downloaded from the IBM's catalog the part numbers:

C19U0EN, which is said to be Lotus Designer, and
C19U1EN, which is said to be Lotus Client.

First I thought: why do they say only "Lotus Designer" ? Is it something already changed, do we have the new Designer ? ... hmmmm

So, to cut the story, on my machine, I was running 8.0 All Clients (plus Designer, plus Admin). I wanted to upgrade this installation with C19U1EN. No Luck ! An error saying upgrade was not possible. Cool :)

Last evening, it occured to me: what is listed as "Lotus Designer" client is actually the full fledge of Lotus Client. So, I managed to finally upgrade to 8.0.1 using the part number C19U0EN.

Now, the first impression: client performance improvement of about 10% (not more, unfortunatelly). As for the rest, did not had the time to play with. Not just yet.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Best Practices for Building Web Applications for Domino 8

For those learning from redbooks it's an old news that IBM's strategy for creating them has changed. Now it's going to be wiki based. Here's one of them: Best Best Practices for Building Web Applications for Domino 8, LO-8001-R01.

I am curious to see the outcome of this strategy, the future will tell.

IBM products InfoCenters

During past 8 or 9 years of profession, I created to myself this principle of 'being able to search for info when I need it'. This means that whenever I need to dig into some issue, I really need to know where to look for. Fast and easy.

In this category of information digging I could put the Info Centers for all IBM products I'm interested in. The methods I use:
- bookmark the Info Centers links in my Firefox install (I use Google Toolbar/Bookmarks for this). More recently seems that Lotus 8 and 7 have their own links. You can grab them here (thanks Ellen for the links): http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/nflsblog.nsf/dx/ND8_InfoCenter
- use IBM Support Assistant (great tool, I wrote a piece about it). At this point I might add that this tool contains other useful tools for log and core dumps analysis.
- There's another option if you work offline and need the Infocenters for documentation: grab those which interest you locally and put them to use through 'IBM Help 301'. This is working much like a local web server, allowing for Infocenters to be browsed. If you need several Infocenters there's some tweaking to be performed but all in all it's working.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

domino food for thought

so so, you know this week is the Lotusphere, right ?
Though I missed this year trip (which possibly I won't miss next year, who knows), this post is going to be a collection articles I found interesting (gathered through my RSS) from Lotusphere 2008. As the post title is saying, some domino food for thought ...

1. throw in NSD your custom app stack
2. wikis, wikis, wikis. It's not really coming from Lotusphere (meaning I knew it before hand but had no time to mention it on this blog) but it's for sure worth mentioning it. And do bookmark it: lotus related developerworks wikis
3. some new things coming into 8.5 from the web app developing side. When I started this blog I was doing just that, three years ago. Now it's fun to follow, for instance seemns that we'll be having Dojo built right into the Domino server. Pretty neat stuff, thanks for sharing, Dec !
http://www.qtzar.com/blogs/qtzar.nsf/d6plinks/HOBS-7B4M5Y


more to come.

migrating from Notes with Microsoft-Transporter .... better not :)

My first post this year is going to be an advice (I think it's the second one on this blog, I'm too lazy to look into my own posts): if you're considering migration from Notes, think again: it's not worth it. It's worth investing and migrating to newer releases (should you still run Notes 4 ... doh, or Notes 5, or Notes 6).

And if your user's workstations start with 1GB RAM, it's more adviceable to migrate to Notes 8 (though Notes 8.0.1 might reduce the decent reqs. for workstations to 512 MB RAM, so I've heard).

This advice came to mind reading again, then looking at Microsoft-Transporter announcement, starting 3rd times in a row when Lotusphere conference kicks off, in a pathetic attempt to persuade customers that Exchange + AD + SharePoint + .... (probably a bunch of other products) would perform and deliver better than Notes/Domino.

I think the M$ marketing strategists for the "forget Notes and pay us to migrate to Exchange" should review their practices as they are starting to look stupid with their "easy tool to migrate from Notes to Exchange". And frankly, this is damaging the Microsoft image, otherwise having some clever folks on their boat.

There's nothing easy to a migration, there are no bulletproof tools for migration. You'd be better advertising the idea of "coexistance, integration between Exchange and Notes". If mail migration is one thing, APPLICATIONS are NOT !!!!

You executives out there, take this piece of advice from a former MS fan boy converted to IBMer with more than 10 years of tech. experience.

On the other hand, perhaps IBM's strategy for small shops will pay off this time, the former attempts were rather unsuccessful. Looking and the Notes 8 client, you might deliver the Notes clients for free and the Domino server for 500 bucks for companies less than 100 employees. Put this on linux and you'd have the competitive advantage on messaging in SMB :) Then, Micro'fost' would sell only desktop Windoze to SMB, the only thing they're good at :)

Disclaimer: The information in this weblog is provided "AS IS" with no warranties whatsoever, and confers no rights to any institution/person/organization. These are my personal thoughts and ideas. When I am inspired by others I give credit, I do not assume other's work and efforts. This site is NOT supported, approved, blessed etc. by Lotus Software and/or IBM Corporation.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.