27 June 2017 Tuesday

What a workhorse.... (Update)

A customer calls...

this week we got a call from one of our customers using our web content management system SIT Portal DXP as the base for their web portal based on Domino. They were asking for a new sizing for their primary web server that was "... getting a little bit slow..." over the past months. To get some insight on what's happening at the server, we took a look at the web stats and I think they are quiet remarkable. The customer had consistently expanded the website to now 60 portals and a couple of thousand landing pages and it is still running on one Domino server !

Image:What a workhorse.... (Update)

Oh, and did I mention that this poor little server also is the web mail gateway for 500 internal users ?

Now, to be clear - that's not an environment that we recommend for a site of that size
but it clearly shows how capable a Domino web server is in a real world scenario. The server is a virtual linux box, 2 virtual processors, 16 4 GB RAM, managed by one part time admin who also does content management in the overall portal environment. The portal is bootstrap based fully responsive, etc... .

* Update - I stand corrected: the server had only 4 GB of RAM until Monday of last week. Then, my colleagues decided that it was about time to ease the pain a bit immediately.

Compare that to other web application servers - can you grow your infrastructure to that size using one machine ? I doubt it in a lot of cases and from an availability and load balancing aspect you would not do that. And of course we will be considering all of these aspects in the new sizing - the customer started small seven years ago and never had the desire to upgrade until this year and I guess by looking at the numbers here, that totally makes sense. We will also put a reverse / cache proxy up to reduce the load even more and taking the SSL burden away from Domino as well.

Can't wait to see this baby run with all the enhancements mentioned above :-).

impressed,

Heiko.
Heiko Voigt   |   27 June 2017 11:09:05   |    Domino  XPages  Web    |   Comments [6]

31 May 2017 Wednesday

DNUG-Konferenz Berlin: mein Vortrag

Guten Morgen,

hier sitze ich nun am Flughafen Stuggi und warte, bis die Klapperkiste von Air Berlin auftaucht, um mich zur DNUG nach Berlin zu bringen. Ich freue mich schon auf den Vortrag heute nachmittag - es geht um ein Best Practices Projekt mit SAP, Domino, XPages und IBM Analytics - wie kann ein mittelständisches Unternehmen ohne großen finanziellen Aufwand eine integrierte und dennoch individuelle Angebotsanalyse-Anwendung erstellen und intern pflegen ? Ich stelle dazu heute die Technik vor, aber auch die betriebswirtschaftliche Seite - welche Ziele wurden definiert und was wurde erreicht bei welchen Investitionen ?

Das ist der Vortragstitel:

How to build an integrated BI solution for mid market customers using XPages and IBM Cognos Express

Wann: 15:45 Uhr - 16:30 Uhr

Wo: https://44dnugkonferenz20172.sched.com/

Warum Englisch ? "Zweitverwertung". Mein Standbein in Kanada möchte den Inhalt auch verstehen. Aber ich spreche Deutsch :-).

Soweit mal dazu, oh, Flieger ist da :-) (freu) auf geht's !

Heiko.
Heiko Voigt   |   31 May 2017 08:56:17   |    DNUG  XPAGES  Domino    |   Comments [0]

Hey there,

to all of you guys out there who are building/running/maintaining Domino Applications - IBM wants to hear from you !

Please take part in the Domino Appdev Insights survey found here.

and have your say abaout REST-APIs, XPages and other important topics.

Cheer,

Heiko.
Heiko Voigt   |   18 May 2017 12:37:53   |    Domino  AppDev    |    [0]

Image:In between two user group meetings (C3UG and the upcoming DNUG event in Berlin)
Just a quick note after a successful presentation at the Cross Canadian User Group last week about integrating Amazon Alexa and IBM Verse, we are getting our gear together for DNUG in Berlin at the end of the month. We will be presenting an XPages solution in a 30 minute slot there and I am really looking forward to seeing all the old and new guys at the new DNUG.

I really enjoy the back and forth between the two continents - C3UG has been a great success so far and I am really hoping that this group will be growing bigger and bigger over time. The new DNUG on the other hand will hopefully gain back its former strength in the DACH region.

For all of you who did not take a look at the DNUG event on May 31st/ June 1st yet - here's the link to the agenda: DNUG Agenda

I think this is a great lineup of speakers and topics - at a very nice venue !

See you there ?

Heiko.
Heiko Voigt   |   7 May 2017 16:30:12   |    C3UG  DNUG  Hololens  Alexa  Domino  Verse    |    [0]

DNUG Stammtisch Süd-West - zum Thema IBM Connect 2017 Recap: wir treffen uns in lockerer Runde am 23.03.2017 im VfB Clubrestaurant 1893 ab 18:00 Uhr. Anmeldungen über XING Events !

https://www.xing.com/events/dnug-stammtisch-sudwest-01-2017-1774775?sc_o=ev9658_share_fb

Anfahrt:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/1893+Das+Clubrestaurant/@48.789723,9.2347158,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x4799c4fee2b19199:0x57ba610346203909!8m2!3d48.789723!4d9.2347158
Heiko Voigt   |   7 March 2017 14:48:44   |    DNUG  IBM Connect    |    [0]

23 February 2017 Thursday

Prototyp-Demo: SIT Communication Hub.

Hallo,

nachdem es hier lange Zeit sehr still war, wollte ich doch mal ein paar Einblicke geben, mit was wir uns beschäftigen.

Das folgende Video zeigt den aktuellen Entwicklungsstand des Integrationsprojekts zwischen Amazon Alexa und Mail-Diensten wie IBM Verse(Cloud) oder On Premises. Es soll einen kurzen funktionalen Abriss geben, was man mit sicheren Messaging Diensten und einem Alexa Skill tun kann. Der SIT Communication Hub dient dabei als zentrale Multi-Account-Schnittstelle für Voice-Zugang zu E-Mail/Messaging Konten.
Wir haben uns schamlos bei der BlackBerry Hub Idee bedient, der multiple Messaging Accounts auf dem Mobilgerät in einem Interface zusammenfasst. Etwas ähnliches wollen wir hier realisieren - einen Skill, sowie Dienste, die meine Informationskanäle bündeln und sie mir über ein Voice-Interface zugänglich machen. Wie üblich starten wir mit der IBM Welt, Office 365 wird der nächste Endpunkt sein, der angebunden wird. Genau wie bei allen unseren Integrationskomponenten wird auch hier ein solides Security Konzept zugrunde gelegt. Mehr in Kürze :-) ....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kw0CHudONok&t=25s

Heiko Voigt   |   23 February 2017 12:50:35   |    IBM Verse  Domino  Alexa  Amazon    |   Comments [1]

18 December 2016 Sunday

2016 - my year in review

It's that season again ...

Christmas is coming, IBM Connect early bird offerings are showing up, projects are getting finalized and the year is coming to an end.

Time to look back what happened in our little corner of the world and what the topics for the coming year might be.

The year started out with turbulences - we got nominated as finalist for a beacon award in Orlando and we had our first speaker slot in Orlando at Connect 2016. After that successful event the further development of our product group to integrate IBM software solutions with WEB CMS systems gained traction and eventually fell into turmoil as we had to switch the development and sales organization around. The trouble around that changes will follow us into the new year but I'm confident that we will be able to overcome these challenges.
It has also been the year of XPages, JavaScript and Web Development - 90% of our Domino related business is coming from these areas and we still see growth here in 2017. Besides that, we also have been able to be the first application to integrate into the digital document management system of our county Baden-Württemberg - FOKUS, our integrated solution for local labour courts is the first system that went live this year. We will continue this next year in Schleswig-Holstein and really looking forward to next implementations here.

The mail battle is mostly lost for Domino - a lot of customers migrated to Office 365 but continue to invest in the app space. Our portfolio in that area has been broadened with Vaadin and Darwino as open and flexible options in broadening our development skills. Also the Adobe AEM space gained some traction independently from the integration scenarios we targeted before - we see big potential for the future here as well. IBM Verse and Vers On Premises seem to be coming too late to the party to really make a great impact but we still hope for the best.

We also grew our team a little in 2016, focusing on the web cms integration part mostly. Our customers will still be working with us next year which I think is a good sign. This helps in planning and sustainability.

By the end of the year, we finally have been able to win our first customer for Verse in the Cloud and Verse on premises as soon as possible - a white space customer that will be migrating from Outlook to the IBM Cloud platform. We are proud of that win !

I mentioned IBM Connect right in the first sentence - we decided not to go this year. Instead, we will try to focus on IBM Interconnect as a lot of our products, projects and solutions are integration projects. Next year we will also do integration works with Microsoft Hololens - a cool piece of technology. Stay tuned for more in the near future !

Let's switch gears a little bit. 2016 has been successful businesswise for me and personally as well as mid november my two little babies were born. This change is so fundamental and beautiful that I am really thankful for these beautiful experiences that process did put me through. We received so many happy notes and positive vibes from our friends, it is breathtaking and I want to thank everyone for that.

On the political side it has been a desasterous year from my perspective looking at the right wing regains all over europe and in the US. But what scares me more is the increasing neglect I see in our society - after the "Willkommenskultur" in 2015 a lot of people turn to the total opposite. They don't care about the future of our area, the environment, about europe or the values of our society. Money and narcism seem to become the new religion of the next years. What really made me furious and almost mad happened right on our door step:

http://www.gaeubote.de/index.php?&kat=10&artikel=111240654&red=24

The food bank in Herrenberg is running out of food before christmas and is almost collapsing due to the high volume of people in need of the support of the food bank. It is a shame that in our wealthy town we really need a food bank at all but it's a bigger shame for me to send children home hungry from the food bank. How can this be in one of the richest countries in the world ? And before you ask - yes, we did something to help out here. Shame on us all to look away from the troubles of our neighbours, this really brings tears to my eyes. In 2017, I want to change this in a sustainable way. There's enough money around in Herrenberg so we should be able to help the German Red Cross who runs the food bank sustainably.

So the next year will be filled with challenges - my two little girls and my big girl will demand and deserve a big share of my time and in business, there are challenging, demanding and rewarding opportunities ahead. Sounds like fun - I'm looking forward to 2017 !

To all my readers - happy holidays, merry christmas and a happy new year !

Cheers, Heiko.
Heiko Voigt   |   18 December 2016 17:49:26   |    VOP  Domino  Adobe AEM  REST  Hololens    |   Comments [0]

So,

after posting a short rant on facebook and the reactions thereabout regarding the debate about the future of Domino, I feel that I have to express myself in a bit more details than the one-line-rant on facebook.

The market as I see it currently with my customers

Customers are moving away from IBM Notes as an email platform. This has been happening for a while now but started to increase some more over the last year. Where are they heading ? Microsoft mostly. Most of them on-prem, some cloud but rare occasions.
My experience ? This decision is driven top-down by management, mostly goes along with iPhones as the mobile platform of choice. "We buy standard products" is what I hear most of the time. The migration tools for that are somewhat straight forward and are working well. IT is hoping to get some quiet time now after everyone is on Outlook and iPhones then but hey - guess what, not going to happen. Now, different people complain so you still have your share of negativity about personal productivity tools but now with a different spin. "If we would have gone to O365 and let Microsoft handle our IT it would be perfect, our IT guys are just so not cuttting it !". So again, the CIO is not a happy bunny. Now, is IBM Verse (on-prem) helping IBM and the CIO here ? I doubt it. For me, it's too little, too late. That's water under bridges now.

On the application front, things are a lot more difficult. Only a couple of customers made the move the "webify" their apps and digested XPages as the vehicle. Some made the strategic decision for XPages and are pretty happy with it, others, and this is the biggest part, are just running their Notes Apps as is as long as Domino is around. Some applications simply die off and that's a good thing - some customers run Notes Apps for 15-20 years unchanged, guess how these look like. It's the good, the bad and the ugly about this platform - invest once and run it for years without changes. It's a blessing and a curse. Will those customers use XPages ? Probably not. Will they use migration tools to move the data ? Probably not. And for a lot of customers the Notes Client is just good enough, believe it or not. Are all these applications worth enhancing or migrating ? No. A lot of them are "groupware", sort of an Excel Sheet on steroids. They live for a certain time and then they are kept some more time for reference and eventually they die off. Like a Community in IBM Connections. That's not a bad thing, that's what they are supposed to. But there are other applications that are a totally different breed - strategic business applications. And there are a lot on N/D out there still.

Some of these strategic applications might get migrated / tried to be migrated to SAP, Salesforce, etc., but these are cumbersome and daring attempts, especially if you have complex applications that span business processes and complex workflows and business logic. BTW., I don't buy the notion "the value is in the data". The value is in the data AND the process. A companies process is part of the asset and part of the unique way of doing business. There is no asset other than data in an address database of a CRM. But in a multi-tenant, multi-language, multi-national proposal workflow there is. And rebuilding this process in a standard tool from Salesforce, SAP or Microsoft is a complex, sometimes not doable effort, at least costwise. That's why these projects are taking longer and are getting more and more expensive. It's not because of the data and the data structures but because you as a business division have to decide whether and to what extend your own way of doing business (that differenciates you from your competition) has to obey to the standard platform your CIO and senior management try to force down your throats. In the end, this mostly isn't a migration issue but a "target-platform-not-working-for-us" problem, meaning more cost and more customizing than initially expected. And trust me, I have seen this pattern a lot.

Is there business in the Notes Client based area ? Yes, but it's declining. Is there business in XPages and Web Application Development with the Domino platform ? Absolutely, and for us, this is a growing segment for new customers as well, especially in SMB and larger mid market customers who like to have individualized and tailored business processes and integrated IT systems without spending a fortune. Is that on prem or cloud ? Both and hybrid as well. Do we solely rely on Domino as our app platform of choice ? No, of course not. We, like many other consulting companies like to pick the right tool for the right problem to tackle.

The IBM partner ecosystem from my point of view

In a declining market segment, companies are looking for alternatives. We at SIT do that, every other IBM partner does that. Everybody has to find their niche to make a living. It's part of the business system we live in - stuff comes and goes. IBM Domino has always been a great product for me and our customers due to the fact that it adepted to upcoming IT trends and helped existing customers and applications to inherit new technologies and transition onwards without breaking to much valuable investment. I still see this today in the portfolio.

On Facebook, I spoke about Partners that are heavily promoting their migration tools/frameworks/products/services by scaring customers off about the near doomsday of the platform. While I totally agree that we need to pester IBM to continue their investment in Domino as an application development platform, I don't like the way certain partners that have received more than enough benefits from IBM over the past decades are now trying to make some short time business gains in scaring of customers off of a platform due their own products or their own problems in finding business. Don't get me wrong - not all partners that are taking part in this discussion are part of this. Only a small amount of IBM Champions are part of this - it's a loud minority.

The ecosystem is in transition - but for me, it has been that way for two decades now. I have seen IBM doing a lot of things that did not work out. Some worked out quick others worked out over time. You always had to pick and choose but what I learned early in that process was to not put all your eggs in one basket. This aims true FOR ME to this day even in a small area of N/D development. There are still some BPs around that never got their feet wet in Web Development other than Pass-Thru-HTML and WebQuery Somewhat Agents. If this works for you - well done. It did not work for me. Change is immanent in this business and for some, the IBM Domino bubble clearly forced too little change over time.

IBM and the platform - quo vadis, my point of view

First of all - I don't know what IBM is eventually up to with Domino and Notes in the very long haul. I can talk about what I hear (without an NDA in place) and I totally do not see any end-of-life plans for development or support for the next years ahead. I heard no relevant IBMer talk about that, not even in priavte. If I look into the investment IBM is doing in the EMail sector (not only with Verse On Prem) then I doubt that there is a near end-of-life for Domino. Do I think that's the right way for IBM to go ? No so much, but that's my point of view. If it helps to get some goodies along the way, I'm all in.

Do we need N/D 9.0.2 ? I don't know, as long as support gets extended and service/feature packs are coming I (for myself) am good.

Do we need more investment in the AppDev part ? Hell yeah !

What's on my wishlist ? Java 8, a Designer plugin to go with an updated Eclipse platform or become a more independed toolset for eclipse, a new servlet engine and an upgraded OSGi-Runtime for the Domino Server (talking Apache Felix here).

Do we need the Notes Client still ? Unfortunately, a lot of customers do and will probably for a lot more years to come. Do I prefer it over Web/XPages stuff ? No, but reality is grey.

What do I expect from IBM ? I would like to see an official road map statement for the product portfolio going forward that is not supposed to change for the next 12 months. Stop the speculation and uncertanty and add some facts to the matter. We may or may not like it, but get it over with and let us know your plans and stick to them so your partners and your customers can make the right and well educated choices.

That's it, let me know your thoughts.

Heiko.
Heiko Voigt   |   25 August 2016 15:46:16   |    Domino  IBM    |   Comments [9]

Baden-Württemberg startet Pilotprojekt zur elektronischen Gerichtsakte


Gratulation an das Team beim Arbeitsgericht Stuttgart und auch an unser Team bei SIT GmbH: die von uns betreute Fachanwendung FOKUS ist die erste Pilotanwendung die mit der neuen E-Akte in Baden-Württemberg arbeitet !

Unser Team hat im letzten halben Jahr die Einführung des E-Akten-Systems begleitet, die service-basierten Anbindungen von der Fachanwendung an die E-Akte entwickelt, getestet und nun seit dieser Woche in Produktion im Pilotbetrieb. Ein spannendes, vielschichtiges und stark unter Beobachtung stehendes Projekt konnte erfolgeich einen wichtigen Meilenstein erreichen.

Anbei die Pressemeldung des Justizministeriums Baden-Württemberg und ein Link zu unserer Fachanwendung FOKUS, basierend auf IBM Notes/Domino.

Heiko Voigt.

Image:Baden-Württemberg startet Pilotprojekt zur elektronischen Gerichtsakte
Heiko Voigt   |   3 May 2016 11:28:09   |    IBM  Domino  eAkte    |   Comments [0]

Image:Look what arrived by snail mail today !
Heiko Voigt   |   24 March 2016 11:19:41   |    IBM  Beacon Award    |   Comments [0]