Updates from January, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ian Leu 1:09 pm on January 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Working on enhancing an existing notes application for one of our customers.

    Part of this involves adding some fields to a data warehouse that we set up to sync notes with SQL server(using talend). This allows them to generate reports using SQL statements rather than setting up custom reports in the notes application. Setting up a data warehouse for notes data is a great way to simplify reporting.

     
  • Kurt Higley 10:54 am on January 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Coming Soon… 

    …to a Lotus Domino server near you.

    Agent Log Information Consolidation Enhancement

    Agent Log Information Consolidation Enhancement

     
  • Kurt Higley 10:54 am on January 31, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    A new tool in the arsenal 

    We have a new tool in our bag of tricks. This tool will push and pull data from Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4 Online. We already have assets that will do this for the On-Premise version, but we were missing this piece of puzzle. We call it: DynamicPump.

    Currently it will process Account and Contact entities. It will take a XML file and update or create records. It will pull down records into an XML. Since it processes a given XML schema, how you create or read the XML input/output is open. This makes it very portable from solution to solution. Just change the XML file to suit your requirements.

     
  • Lisa 3:55 pm on January 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    So as you all know, I was trying to share our customer contacts within Google Apps. I have come to a standing point. Google will let you share contacts, but it can only be contacts within your domain. So contacts with yahoo, hotmail, or xx@customerdomain.com you can not share. Google doesn’t explain that very well either; I did not run across any information stating that you can only share contacts that are in your domain. I had to submit a ticket in order to receive that information. They also told me that I could go to the Google Marketplace and find some software that would allow the sharing of any contact. Which you have to pay for the software. So you have to pay $50/mth for Google Apps and the software I found was $99/year. $99/year doesn’t sound like a lot, but that is besides the point. Also, in order to view the contacts on your IPad, you have to switch to the desktop view.

     
  • Joe Wichowski 12:38 pm on January 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Analyze the crash – InformationWeek: Top 10 CIO Priorities for 2011 

    In Bob Evans InformationWeek article on top CIO priorities for 2011, I couldn’t help but notice #1:

    1. Seeing and Shaping The Future: The Power Of Analytics
    http://www.informationweek.com/news/global-cio/interviews/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=229000361

    BI is not just about tools, its about mining data to make educated guesses on the future.  So, to that, how many companies have now gone back, some 2+ years later, and analyzed the data not just leading up to the crash, but the recovery after?  Were there any key indicators in your market segments early in 2007/08?  Have you looked at your CRM interactions and notes looking for things that “pop out” during this time frame?   What tools were missing in your sales and service force at that time, that did not allow you to react faster to the crash, or even before it?  How were you positioned after the crash and throughout the recovery?

    All of these questions can quickly be answered, and a new data model created to trap for this anomoly in the future.  These models should become a piece of your BI analytics of today.  Although the recession has (mostly) passed us, that doesn’t mean it will never happen again.  And when it does, will your company be able to see it coming, and more importantly, have the tool set and information necessary to counteract it?

     
  • Joe Wichowski 9:52 am on January 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply
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    Google Apps = Dissapointment… 

    Unfortunately, after several months of trying to get Google Apps to work for our company as a “winning” cloud solution, I am a bit sad to say that Google Apps still isn’t yet “there” as a business solution (or more notably, a direct replacement for our Lotus Notes system).

    For example:

    1) The migration toolset that we purchased (PCVita) migrated everything fairly well. However, the time-per-mailbox was somewhat unacceptable. My mailbox (which only has data from 2009 till now) took well over 6 hours to migrate. There is also a limited number of threads that can be run at any given moment. So, this means telling our customers (who usually have >50 customers). that migration will have to happen or a week or more’s time. (Note: The migration tools that Google provides do not migrate over your calendar.  Thus the need for the PCVita tool)

    2) We can add a standard company-wide Address Book. Currently we have one for customers, one for Vendors, and one for “test” users. The only thing you can do in Google Apps is “share” your contacts. But this is very labor intensive to do it this way (every contact added must be manually shared – you cannot share a contact automatically).

    3) We use many mail-in accounts and distribution lists to auto-process things. For example: Our support system automatically emails requests into a central queue, the notifies my team to take action. With Google Apps, you need to purchase a separate email account for this. Ok, fine. However, each email account can only have up to 5 aliases. So, if I want 1 support queue (or mail-in action queue), I can only assign it up to 3 different email addresses. Since we use mail-in queues pretty heavily, we have over 20 that we use for our customers and ourselves. So under the current restriction, I have to purchase around 5 email accounts just to handle our support needs.

    4) Distribution lists are pretty much useless. In Google Apps, they provide you with Groups. However, the Groups must be manually shared (since everything is stored as Personal inside your address book), and they cannot contains external people. So you cannot include a vendor or customer within your distribution list – only internal staff.

    5) GMail lacks an “All Documents” view.  I usually “look back” at my email – last week, last month, etc.  My All Documents view shows me both incoming and outgoing in chronological order.  This isn’t possible in GMail.

    6)  It’s not possible to add both Attachments and Text in a Google Doc.  Its one or the other.  In Lotus Notes, we can combine these.  So for Google Docs, we need to make a new “folder” for each corresponding document in Lotus Notes.  It makes our documentation process much more complicated.

    7)  You can make Forms, but you cannot add attachments to forms.

    8)  There are no basic “approvals” or “FYI” type of notifications built into Google Docs – everything is a manual process.  There isn’t even an easy way to build quick Macros to do this.

    9)  Many have spoken of it before, but Google Contacts is very difficult to work with.  Not just in sharing, but in utilizing it in general. 

    10)  Tasks and Calendar items don’t let you store attachments within the record.

    Our next step is to evaluate Microsoft BPOS.  Although I first selected Google Apps due to its iPad interface, I have been using LogMeIn more and more on my iPad.  As long as the BPOS and LogMeIn combo work well together, then I will be able to accept this as a work-around.

    We’ll keep you posted…

     
    • Mic 4:54 pm on January 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Joe

      Did you migrate only the email/calendaring/contacts of Lotus Notes or also the Lotus Domino applications ?

    • Joe Wichowski 6:52 pm on January 24, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google Apps by itself doesn’t allow you to build applications. You need the “Google App Engine” for that. However, it is based on key-pairs for its data store (very mich like Lotus Notes) and as such, we have not used it as a Lotus Notes replacement. We usually use Iron Speed Designer for that, since it is based on SQL Server, and most of our customers are familiar with that product (DBMs always hated that Notes didn’t have a true SQL-like database).

      Google Apps was just going to be our Groupware solution. For applications, our plan was (and still is) to convert our remaining Lotus Notes apps to ASP.NET apps and Sharepoint apps (using Iron Speed). So now, we will probably just end up with Outlook like everyone else…

    • Joe Wichowski 7:45 am on May 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, we have built a set of connectors for Talend Open Studio which access Lotus Notes data using the standard Notes Java API. I’ll circle back with you, but essentially they are:

      • tNotesInput – Based on a Notes selection formula (@Formula), or a Lotus Notes View, grab and transform the data.
      • tNotesOutput – Create Lotus Notes documents, using Field Mapping and standard @Functions.
      • tNotesRunAgent – Run a specified Agent and wait for it to complete before moving on

      Both tNotesInput and tNotesOutput allow you to run Macros (@Function scripts) and Agents before or after the control starts. tNotesOutput also lets you execute a Macro (@Function script) on every insert and update action (to setup standard fields like FORM, CreatedBy, CreatedOn, etc).

      Please note that these connectors are built for Lotus Notes developers. They require some knowledge of Lotus Notes (mainly on the @Function front). But if you are familiar with it, then I think you will really be able to take advantage of them.

      • erwan 11:17 am on September 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Hello,

        I’m also interested in your TOS components, how is it possible to get it ?

        Regards.

        Erwan

    • Joe Wichowski 1:35 pm on September 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Erwan,

      Yes, of course. I will email you the details shortly.

      /joe

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