Thursday, 31 May 2012

Social Connections goes to Dublin. Will you be there ?

The third Social Connections event will take place on 22nd of June 2012 at IBM Dublin, Ireland.   

 For the third time since its creation in 2010 the Social Connections user group will be hosting an international IBM Connections User Group event. The next event will be hosted from the mothership of IBM Connections, the IBM Development labs: Dublin, Ireland. The event is aimed at anyone interested in, or working with IBM Connections, and aims to bring together the best of the best of Social Business. 

 Speakers from across the globe will travel to Dublin to present on topics that promise to engage people of all backgrounds interested in Social Business, collaboration and anything IBM Connections. Whether you're an Administrator, Developer, Manager, Educator, Student or just a Connections User, you'll find something that is sure to conjure new ideas, form new connections, and get you excited about current and future Social Business practice. So join us to connect, collaborate, exchange and learn! 

 Admission is free and includes access to all sessions by esteemed speakers, lunch and a reception at the Guinness Storehouse to follow the conference.

 Head to the Registration tab to register for the event (remember, it's free!) - we are over 85% full now so be quick!  If you're interested in being a sponsor, we have just a few slots left so get in touch ASAP!

 So don't delay, register today :-)

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

More on Mac keyboard shortcuts - navigating to the menu bar

Whilst helping a colleague work out how he could use his keyboard to change the colour of a piece of text in a Lotus Notes memo, I Googled across this rather useful blog post: -

Following his advice, I changed the keyboard shortcut for "Move focus to the menu bar" to [`][Alt][Cmd].

Now I can "simply" press: -


to select the colour blue.

Simple !!!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

SnappArchive for IBM Lotus Quickr (Domino)

Saw this on the Skype chat this AM, posted by the most excellent Rob Novak ( @LotusRockstar )

So to today's topic: what happens when you're finished with a Quickr place? Most will answer "nothing ." Some will say it gets archived, which is to say that it's copied (or they use qptool archive) as a Quickr place, only to be retrieved in the future if needed -- and if so, it must be reconstituted as a Quickr place (and potentially upgraded!). In either case, at the conclusion of a Quickr place's life on the Quickr server, all organizational knowledge and documents associated with that place go into a black hole! 

Today we're announcing a brand new solution to this problem, SnappArchiveTM for IBM Lotus Quickr (Domino). We have spent nearly a year of development to create three offerings - SaaS and two license types -- that perform a task that's simple in concept but so complex in execution that nobody's really done it at scale in Quickr's >13 year history. 

If you use Quickr Domino, you should definitely take a look at this, as it may well fill a gap .....

I'll be suggesting to one of my QD customers as soon as I finish writing this blog post ....

Friday, 25 May 2012

The Support Authority: Get to know the Visual Configuration Explorer

Looking forward to an upcoming enablement call on tthe VCE tool, which is something that could be immensely useful to my current project: -

Save time diagnosing complex configuration problems with the Visual Configuration Explorer, a new graphical troubleshooting tool available with the IBM® Support Assistant.

Introducing the Visual Configuration Explorer

When configuration problems occur in a complex software environment, you can spend a lot of time hunting for subtle changes that might have introduced errors. The new Visual Configuration Explorer tool, which runs as a plug-in to the IBM Support Assistant, simplifies configuration troubleshooting by letting you visualize, explore, and analyze the configurations of various software stacks offline.

For example, you could view the entire configuration of your cross-product environment, consisting of DB2®, WebSphere MQ, and WebSphere Application Server products, in a graphical format. Visual Configuration Explorer lets you:

• Compare different snapshots of the same runtime environment.
• Create diagrams that show configuration information in a graphical format, including key relationships between configuration elements.
• Access detailed configuration properties.
• Search across and within configurations for properties.
• Compare configurations.
• Correlate configuration information between different products.
• Save and restore your work.
• Collaborate with others during problem determination.
• Work in a standalone or client/server environment.

Figure 1. Typical Visual Configuration Explorer user interface window

Want to know more ? There's an old but useful developerWorks article here.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Changing WebSphere Portal's default verboseGC behavior for better problem determination results.


Starting with Portal 7.0, by default, the VerboseGC data is now no longer in the same file as the rest of the JVM's native messages. This can lead to a more complicated PD process.

Resolving the problem

Troubleshooting memory issues is a task that all Portal sysadmins need to face at some point in their careers. One of the most important tools to help you with this prospect is the verbose garbage collection (GC) capability built into the SDK that the Portal product runs on. VerboseGC data can tell you about allocation request failures, SDK memory consumption, and general JVM health. Starting with Portal version 7.0, this important tool is turned on by default out of the box. You now no longer need to enable it in order to start collecting this important information.

Want to know more ? Check out the Technote here.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

IBM WebSphere Portal Mobile Experience V8.0

Mobile is exploding and no longer considered an add-on. It is quickly becoming a primary channel for customers and employees to be productive.  The Portal Mobile Experience provides you code to quickly extend WebSphere Portal sites to mobile devices that support Webkit (Apple, Android, Blackberry phones).  This new theme shows how to control the look and feel, page navigation and content navigation on a smartphone and provides examples of rich mobile web interaction patterns such as swipe, carousel, accordion, and swap using CSS3 and HTML5.

The Mobile Experience for V8.0 has been updated to leverage the Theme Optimization framework making it easy to setup a custom profile and add capabilities such as Dojo.  The new Mobile Experience can also be deployed using the out-of-box Solution Installer as well as it has been updated with a new look and feel that can be turned on using the module framework.  This provides an example pattern for implementing different styles.

Two reviews thus far: -

Great to see this released so quickly after WP8 GA'ed! Downloaded to try right now.

Fantastic delivery, install was a breeze with the Solution Installer already pre-installed with Portal 8 GA.

Get it here, get it here right now

Friday, 18 May 2012

XPages Extension Library: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Next Generation of XPages Components

Saw this on Twitter today, from @PaulSWithers, whom I recently met at DanNotes 2012

The XPages Extension Library's next-generation XPages controls make application development far more efficient, effective, scalable, and rewarding. With IBM® Lotus® Notes®/Domino® 8.5.3 and Upgrade Pack 1, IBM has incorporated powerful new capabilities and support. These components and technologies are now fully ready for even the toughest production challenges.

XPages Extension Library is the first and only complete guide to Domino development with this library; it's the best manifestation yet of the underlying XPages Extensibility Framework. Complementing the popular Mastering XPages, it gives XPages developers complete information for taking full advantage of the new components from IBM.

Combining reference material and practical use cases, the authors offer step-by- step guidance for installing and configuring the XPages Extension Library and using its state-of-the-art applications infrastructure to quickly create rich web applications with outstanding user experiences. Next, the authors provide detailed step-by-step guidance for leveraging the library's powerful new support for REST services, mobile and social development, and relational data. The book concludes by showing how to include Java™ code in Domino XPages applications—a great way to make them even more powerful.

Coverage includes
• Automating deployment of XPages Extension Library throughout your IBM Lotus Notes/Domino or IBM XWork environment
• Integrating modern design patterns and best practices into Lotus Domino applications with drag-and-drop ease
• Incorporating AJAX capabilities with Switch, In Place Form, and other dynamic content controls
• Extending applications with Dojo widgets, popups, Tooltips, Dialogs, and Pickers
• Implementing state-of-the-art navigation and outlines
• Using Layout and Dynamic Views controls to painlessly modernize most Domino applications to XPages
• Quickly building mobile interfaces for existing applications
• Using social enablers to connect with social platforms and incorporate social features
• Integrating SQL datasources into XPages data-driven applications

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Basic Steps to Install Lotus Notes 8.5.1 (or later) Multi-User on Citrix XenApp

This rather useful Technote appeared in my "River of News" on Twitter today

What are the steps to install Lotus Notes 8.5.1 or later releases Multi-user installation, with a customized data directory, on a Citrix XenApp Server for new or existing Lotus Notes installs?

One of my clients uses Notes and Citrix together, so I'll make sure that he's aware of this - I'm sure he is but it never hurts to mention :-)

I've blogged about Citrix before, so this is another one for the pile .....

Saturday, 12 May 2012

IBM Connections Portlets Released into the Catalog, which is nice

The IBM Connections Portlets for WebSphere Portal delivers the IBM Connections rich set of social software services for use within a WebSphere Portal environment. WebSphere Portal users can integrate the Activities, Blogs, Bookmarks, Communities, Forums, Profiles, and Wiki applications of Connections along with a Tag Cloud portlet for quick filtering in composite applications.

IBM Connections Portlets Developer Pack 

IBM Connections Portlets Developer Pack includes source code consisting of models, builders, Java source and other Web Experience Factory-based resources for the IBM Connections Portlets. The Developer Pack enables developers to customize and add additional features to the existing portlets.

Friday, 11 May 2012

More Linux geekiness ...

Following on from my earlier post, I had a requirement to delete a bunch of lines from a file using everyone's favourite editor - vi - today.

Now I've known for a long while that DD gets rid of a single line, but I had about fifty to remove, and my fingers were getting tired ....

Thanks to my colleague, Richard, I know now that I can simply type: -


to delete ten lines, or: -


to delete twenty lines.

You get the picture .....

Still, I do miss the IBM mainframe-style editors, that give one an action column on the left-hand side, from where one can type I10 to insert 10 lines, D20 to delete 20 lines etc.

Ce'st la vie.

Whilst I'm on the subject, did you know that you can simply enter the command time in front of any command to get an idea of how long it takes to complete ?

I didn't but I do now.

Here's an example: -

$ time ls ~/Desktop/Docs/SWG/Lotus/Lotus\ Notes/
How Tos
Lotus Notes vs Microsoft Outlook.pdf
Notes Connectivity on Mac OSX.odp
Notes Connectivity on Mac OSX.pdf
Notes852V1 Mail Template
USB Key.txt
enh r8.5.2 v1

real 0m0.003s
user 0m0.001s
sys 0m0.002s

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Aide Memoire - Commands for Linux, WebSphere Application Server and IBM HTTP Server

I could print this stuff out, but then I'd have to carry paper - perhaps I should create an ePub with this stuff in ......

All of these came from this rather excellent blog: -

or, more specifically, this post.

Find the process that uses most CPU

ps -eo pcpu,pid,user,args | sort -k 1 -r | head -2

Find the last 10 process that use the most CPU

ps -eo pcpu,pid,user,args | sort -k 1 -r | head -10

Find cpu usage

mpstat -P ALL

Display the size of the current directory, plus all subdirectories

du -ch | grep total

Domain Information Groper (DIG) - look at DNS etc.

dig <hostname or IP address>

Get details of a network adapter

 /usr/sbin/ethtool eth0

Find occurrences of strings in files AND report file names

find . -name '*.xml' -print | xargs grep 'hostName' /dev/null

Find files over a certain size e.g. 10K

find / -xdev -size +1024 -exec ls -al {} \; | sort -r -k 5

Find and tar files on the fly

find /opt/IBM/WebSphere/PortalServer/log -name 'System*.log'| xargs tar -rvf System_logs.tar

Output wsadmin to console AND file

/opt/IBM/WebSphere/wp_profile/bin/ -lang jython | tee wsadmin.log

Find files touched in, say, the past 20 minutes

find * -mmin -20

Run a command on a loop

watch -d=10 -n 1 "netstat -a"

Show expiry of WAS SSL key and trust stores ( assuming that password is still WebAS )

find /opt/IBM/WebSphere/wp_profile -name *.jks | xargs -i bash -c '/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/java/bin/java -classpath /opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/java/jre/lib/ext/ibmjceprovider.jar:/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/java/jre/lib/ext/ibmjcefw.jar:/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/java/jre/lib/ext/US_export_policy.jar:/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer//java/jre/lib/ext/local_policy.jar:/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/java/jre/lib/ext/ibmpkcs.jar:/opt/IBM/WebSphere/AppServer/java/jre/lib/ext -cert -list all -expiry -db {} -type jks -pw WebAS'

Show expiry of IHS SSL key and trust stores ( assuming that password is still WebAS )

find /opt/IBM/HTTPServer -name *.kdb | xargs -i bash -c '/opt/IBM/HTTPServer/Plugins/java/jre/bin/java -classpath /opt/IBM/HTTPServer/Plugins/java/jre/lib/ext/ibmjceprovider.jar:/opt/IBM/HTTPServer/java/jre/lib/ext/ibmjcefw.jar:/opt/IBM/HTTPServer/Plugins/java/jre/lib/ext/US_export_policy.jar:/opt/IBM/HTTPServer/Plugins//java/jre/lib/ext/local_policy.jar:/opt/IBM/HTTPServer/Plugins/java/jre/lib/ext/ibmpkcs.jar:/opt/IBM/HTTPServer/Plugins/java/jre/lib/ext -cert -list all -expiry -db {} -type cms -pw WebAS '

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

IBM Social Business Roadshow - May 2012 - Dublin / Edinburgh / London

The world now spends 22% of its time – more than 110 billion minutes – on social networks and blog sites per month. Are you ready to turn that time into growth, innovation, and productivity?
  • Social Business is more than a Facebook page or a Twitter account. It's about leveraging the talent and intelligence of your existing social circles to help your employees be more effective... improve the quality and speed of operations... engage customers more deeply.
  • Just starting or well down the road? Get the tools, tips and tricks needed to improve business opportunities and outcomes – from setting a strategic direction to taking full advantage of IBM's industry-leading social, mobile and cloud solutions.
  • Business Gets Social 2012 is designed for forward-thinking business leaders. Share real-world solutions, see real-world results, and get access to peers, strategists, and product experts.
See you there ?

For more information, including the agenda, please go here.

*UPDATE* Alan Head kindly directed me to the full agendas for the three sessions: -


Thursday, 3 May 2012

More on Lotus Notes and temporary directories

Had an interesting discussion regarding an earlier blog post: -

Lotus Notes 8.5.3 on Apple Mac OSX - Where do your temp files go to, my lovely ? 

It *IS* possible to change the location of temporary files, via this NOTES.INI setting: -


I set this on my own machine ( I'm using Notes Standard 8.5.4 CD3 ), and had previously created a directory: -

$ mkdir /tmp/Notes

Therefore, I set the parameter: -


in: -

/Users/david_hay/Library/Preferences/Notes Preferences

( which is the Mac equivalent of NOTES.INI ).

Previously, Notes was storing temporary files here: -


but, since the restart, I can see that no new files have been added to that location, with everything now being written to the new temporary directory.

$ ls -altrc /tmp/Notes/notes/

total 360
drwxr-xr-x   3 david_hay  wheel    102  3 May 14:05 ..
-rw-r--r--@  1 david_hay  wheel    520  3 May 14:05 ~notetp2.reg
-rw-r--r--@  1 david_hay  wheel    369  3 May 14:05 WCTA5-16.gif
-rw-r--r--@  1 david_hay  wheel  32768  3 May 14:06 IDB13217.DTF
-rw-r--r--@  1 david_hay  wheel  24576  3 May 14:07 IDB58516.DTF
-rw-r--r--@  1 david_hay  wheel  94208  3 May 14:17 Portal NFTE Design and Build.doc
-rw-r--r--   1 david_hay  wheel    129  3 May 14:17 .~lock.Portal NFTE Design and Build.doc#
-rw-------   1 david_hay  wheel   6340  3 May 14:19 ~web3010.htm
-rw-r--r--@  1 david_hay  wheel    105  3 May 14:19 ~b744491.TMP
-rw-r--r--@  1 david_hay  wheel   3979  3 May 14:19 lh761256.gif
-rw-r--r--@  1 david_hay  wheel   1542  3 May 14:19 ~notetmp.reg
drwxr-xr-x   7 david_hay  wheel    238  3 May 14:19 ac872696.TMP
drwxr-x---  13 david_hay  wheel    442  3 May 14:19 .

Note that: -

(a) Lotus Notes creates an additional notes subdirectory - /tmp/Notes/notes
(b) that I've got an attached document - Portal NFTE Design and Build.doc - open at present.

Hope this helps.

WebSphere Application Server and DNS Caching

Earlier today, I was having a discussion about DNS caching in WebSphere Application Server, during my presentation - Desktop Single Sign-On in an Active Directory World - to the DanNotes conference here in Denmark.

I'd stated, in error, that WAS caches IP addresses that it retrieves from DNS. Whilst this WAS the case in the past, things have changed with Java 1.4.1 as per this Technote: -

Starting with Java™ 1.4.1, the IP address is not cached by default. This can cause delays and performance degradation if the application relies on this caching mechanism, since a lookup is now performed each time.

The WebSphere Application Server runtime code calls the InetAddress.getLocalHost() method in several places which then causes the DNS lookup requests. Applications making outbound calls would also trigger DNS lookup requests

There is, of course, a solution to this IF it becomes a problem.

There is a JVM setting - - that can be set, and the Technote shows how to set it for Deployment Manager, Node Agent, server instances etc.

Of course, one would always do this via a script :-)

This Technote - High DNS traffic or slow performance on WebSphere Application Server for z/OS v5.1 and higher - even provides a Python script here to set the parameter for you :-)

PS There's a related setting to "force" WAS to prefer IP v4 rather than v6 - - we've made use of that on my current project.

Managed Pages – First Look at a New WebSphere Portal 8 Feature

A good summary of a rather nice new feature in WebSphere Portal 8 ( which ships tomorrow ! ) from David Wilkerson of Davalan

The task of managing portal pages and web content is evolving and in the next release of WebSphere Portal the integration between web content management and portal page management will grow even tighter.  Recently I installed WebSphere Portal 8 Beta 3 and dove into my first examination. In the following paragraphs I talk about what I saw and learned during my sortie into this new realm.

After logging into the portal I landed on the Getting Started page. I decided to take a quick look at the properties and layout of the page using a conventional approach. I navigated to the Administration pages and loaded the Manage Pages portlet. At the top of the page is a new feature. This pane, which I have dubbed the project pane, represents the state of the page as a member of a project. Projects are not new to Web Content Management but they are, so far as I know, new to page management. According to the product Wiki, "When working in a project, any changes you make to a page affect only your view of the page.

To read more, please check out David's blog post here.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

DanNotes 2012 - My Presentations are Here

Desktop Single Sign-On in an Active Directory World

- This is an update to previous versions of this deck, and contains even more good stuff lessons learned.

WebSphere Administration for Domino Administrators

These have been kindly posted by Per Henrik Lausten on his blog here with, more importantly, the rest of the #DanNotes presentations.

WebSphere Application Server - Administration via wsadmin

Working on my pitch for #DanNotes I was looking at the WAS Integrated Solutions Console (ISC) and noticed a link I'd not paid much attention to before: -

which gives me this ( I'd just stopped the Default Application ): -

So now I have no excuse NOT to know how to do things by the script ….

Counting down to the IBM Exceptional Web Experience Conference in Berlin - 13-15 June 2012 #IBMExperience

Only six weeks to go. Have you registered yet ? If not, go here and do so NOW !

Getting the right web experience anywhere, on any device, with the right content, delivered the way the users want it, is how organizations are transforming their essential web sites into exceptional web experiences. Learn at the IBM Exceptional Web Experience Conference how other businesses are employing today's web experience technology and delivering award-winning web experiences for spectacular business results.

The Customer Case Studies and Industry Solutions track in the Business Impact program reveals compelling cross-industry case studies where customers share their experiences and insights for building and delivering Exceptional Web Experiences. Two additional tracks offer business value content. The Technical Program provides three more in-depth tracks focused on technical product strategy, design and development guidance, the latest platform technologies and best practices to optimize platform deployments.

Choose from more than 80 sessions described in the Event Session Directory [PDF]  led by distinguished business experts, IBM product architects and services professionals.

Business Program For business leaders, business analysts & executives.

Track 1: Customer Case Studies
                and Industry Solutions

Track 2: Accelerating Solution Time 
                to  Value and ROI

Track 3: Optimize Web Experiences 
                for  Business Results

Technology Program For technical IT professionals: system architects, administrators, developers & integrators.

Track 4: Web Experience Platforms 
                and Solutions

Track 5: Developing Exceptional Web 

Track 6: Best Practices and Implementation

IBM WebSphere Portal 8 is Released

Well, technically it's announced, with electronic general availability (EGA) on Friday 4 May.

WebSphere Portal V8.0 new powerful Intelligent Pages bring together essential web experience capabilities that can help you:

• Deliver targeted content that is relevant and compelling to each user
• Go where your users are by providing rich experiences for content, applications, and processes from any device
• Deliver critical social services where they make the biggest impact, in the context of your web experiences
• Quickly and easily create and manage portal pages and content, allowing you to respond to rapidly changing business needs
• Gather real-time insight into web page and channel delivery, giving you the information you need to make informed business decisions

IBM Web Experience Factory V8.0, included with WebSphere Portal V8.0 and available separately, provides an exceptional development environment that helps you:

• Optimize mobile experiences, reducing reliance on bandwidth and improving responsiveness of mobile applications with new client side architecture
• Improve user experience on smartphones and tablets with new Dojo Mobile tooling for building engaging mobile experiences
• Improve developer productivity with new builders and development environment enhancements

IBM Web Content Manager V8.0 helps organizations to build engaging, personalized web experiences faster, by further empowering business users with the right tools needed to drive better business outcomes.

New features

• Content Template Catalog: Expanded set of prebuilt, high-value content types enables users to create new microsites and web pages in minutes.
• Managed Pages: A new, contextually aware toolbar and enhanced project management feature makes it easier to create, approve, version, publish, and syndicate web content.
• Analytics overlays: In-context analytic overlays provide users with the real-time insight needed to improve conversion rates.
• Home page: New authoring start page provides a customizable and user-friendly view of frequent activities and tasks.
• Content Management Interoperability Services (CMIS) integration: New support for CMIS standard allows content authors to leverage documents and files from CMIS repositories directly from the authoring experience.

I know what I'll be downloading on Friday then ….

Tips for Investigating Concurrency Issues in WebSphere Applications

I saw this in my inbox earlier today, from the WebSphere User Group via their most excellent The Sphere Journal Online publication: -

With the increasing core counts on modern machines, it becomes increasingly important to eliminate contention between threads within your applications whenever possible.  There are a number of tools and technologies that can help you identify contention in your WebSphereTM applications many of which are freely available. These include:

• Javacore analysis
• Health Center 
• Multicore SDK Unified Lock Profiler
• JavaTM Virtual Machine (JVM) Tool Interface (JVMTI)

In this article we introduce these technologies and provide some insight on how to use them in order to identify contention within your application.

You want to read more - so go here.