30 October 2020 Friday
almost a year ago, we added a new collaborative tool to our internal and external communication portfolio. We started our own persistent Chat server using Mattermost as an open source soultion of choice for us.
Since day one, this tool has nothing but grown in acceptance internally and externally, as we use it together with our customers to keep track of project based communications and to avoid email overload.
Today, all Employees of SIT and Harbour Light are using it, as well as five large customers are permanently using this channel oriented communication tool to get work done. Mattermost integrates nicely with our Jitsi Meeting Server and soon with HCL Samteime Meetings.
In the past couple of months, a variety of our customers adopted the tool to their own portfolio. And last month, we implemented the first integration with HCL Notes and Mattermost using the new HTTP Classes from LotusScript. But we did not stop there - we also built an integration both ways by adding a recognizer to Mattermost to simplify the back and forth of data integration. So what did we build ?
First, we built a REST-Service on HCL Domino based on an XAgent, that renders a Notes or HTTPS-Link to a specific Document and opens that document in a browser or the Notes Cleint, depending on the parameter it receives. As a key, we transfer the internal document number of the Documents in the customers project documentation application. These are unique keys that follow a specific alpha-numeric pattern. Using this REST-Service, we created a recognizer in Mattermost using REGEX and a mapping to our REST-Service, so whenever the users of the customers type a document identifier following their patterns, this automatically turns into a link that links back to the documentation app. Target group are engineers working together on building pressure molding machines,
The other way around works as well - as soon as a new project starts, the responsible Team Member for Documentation can create the relevant artifacts in the documenation app. Now, she can automatically create a corresponding Mattermost channel and auto-invite her Team to the channel to continue communication there by clicking an action button in HCL Notes. We are calling the Mattermost REST API straight from HCL Notes using the new LotusScript HTTP Classes.
To finish things off, we implemented a Slash command on Mattermost called "/persist" in a Channel - this will transfer the communication of the Mattermost Channel to the linked Notes Artifact in the Documentation Database as RichText including date/time Stamp of when the transfer happened and by whom it got initiated. Also, we integrated an action to the mail file that allows the transfer of mail content to a mattermost channel. With these two features we are able to have live communication in Mattermost but are able to take the communication tarnsparently back to the product development documentation. The engeneering teams enjoy the easy way to stay up to date and to still be able to persist these more informal decision making processes if needed.
The whole integration was done in less than a week. Pretty awesome, eh ?! Of course, we can integrate this in XPages and IMPRISIS DAP as well. Oh yes and in MS solutions as well if needed.
Food for thoughts,
P.S.: Link to Mattermost: https://mattermost.com/