Sunday, 16 November 2014

Microsoft's "Secret" Mail Migration Tool:

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V&M Home Page 

When it comes to email migrations, one of the hidden gems is under Microsoft's Lotus Notes Migration Tools.

This software was posted in April of 2012 and I stumbled upon it in October 2012. I've never seen it referred to anywhere else. So, I thought that I would share.

MONTI does a great job at looking at the high level overview of the scope and size of a migration. MONTI will warn the administrators of potential problems. It does not deep dive into the mail files and report on things like the number of encrypted emails or the number of rules in a mail file. 

Microsoft Online NoTes Inspector (MONTI)
The tool is described here: 

You can download it here:

Every time that you start MONTI it opens to this screen.

Once you run Monti, you get a wealth of information. This is the people view, where we have a break down of the types of content in the mail files. 

Here we have the time line for each database's usage.

The Troubleshooting View is very helpful.

We have the same information about Mail-In Databases.

Not only can you view the information on the screen, you can receive a email report.
MONTI Reports < click here to see a sample.

With a few tweaks, it can look like this.
We only need the Getting Started information when we first open the Application. Let's open the application to the people view. Then if we want to see the Getting Started document we can select it in the left side navigation bar. 

The Legend was taking up too much space on the screen. After a while the user wouldn't need the constant reminder.

Click on the Legend choice

Click the Close button to close the display.

If you would like some more information about MonTi or the customisations. Send JV an email 

Author's Background
I am a Notes/Consultant with twenty five years of experience (almost exclusively with Lotus Notes / Domino). My experience with Notes began when I worked as a Senior Computer Consultant for Price Waterhouse. In 1993, I went to work for Lotus Development Corporation as a Senior Notes / Domino Instructor. I started teaching Application Development and System Administration with Version 3. Helped to develop the course materials for Version 4.x and Release 5.x When LotusScript, Javascript and Java were added to Notes/Domino I started teaching these programming languages.

In 1995, IBM acquired Lotus. For several years we were left alone and the culture did not change. It was a lot of fun to work for Lotus. In 1999 the handwriting was on the wall and I decided it was time for me to leave. So I established V&M to do Lotus Notes/Domino Application Development, System Administration and Training. I've been at it ever since. The life of the consultant is constantly changing. It has given me the chance to travel across Canada and the United States, Scotland, England, Bermuda, Jamaica, Barbados and Hawaii. No travel to the Far East yet. Anyone?

For the last six years I have been helping companies move their data from Lotus Notes to the Microsoft platform. 

Some thoughts on Notes to Exchange Migrations
Migrating from Lotus Notes to Microsoft - Very easy and very hard Pre- Migration Report that I use 
Different roles in an email migrations
What to do with Profile Docs during a Migration
One Approach to Mail Rules
Microsoft's "Secret" Mail Migration Tool
NME Migrations from a secondary Domino Directory 
How to remove encryption from a Notes database 
NME and Secondary Address Book
Multi File Selector for Binary Tree CMTe
Problem Mail Files for NME (Notes Migrator for Exchange)
Using a Staging Server for Notes to Exchange migrations
Remove Encryption Button
SmartCloud to Office 365
Notes2SharePoint Part 1

If you would like to see my resume 
Click Here

Email John

Saturday, 15 November 2014

You show me a customer staying on Notes and I will show you 50 moving away. It is very sad. Thanks IBM, NOT!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

As an exIBMer this makes my blood boil. However, in the next two weeks I will turn vulture and I too will be pecking out eyes as I migrate frustrated long term IBM customers to substandard but very usable mail systems. Frankly I can't wait to sit on the other side of the table and watch the IBM Critsit team squirm even though I love the individuals dearly. They were my trusted colleagues after all.    

How to Fix IBM:

How to Fix IBM

Early in his tenure as CEO, Sam Palmisano made changes that created IBM’s problems today.  IBM customers are buying fewer products and services.  Revenue has dropped each quarter for the past ten.  Sam’s changes alienated IBM customers, many of whom are ending what has been in many cases a multi-decade relationship. No amount of earnings promises, no amount of financial engineering, will fix this problem.
IBM forgot the most important part of running a business.  While shareholder value is important, it is customers that make business possible.
Under Sam’s leadership IBM began to cut quality, cut corners, and under-deliver on its commitments.  IBM squeezed every penny out of every deal without regard to the impact it would have on customers.  And those customers have paid dearly.  The reputation IBM earned over a century was ruined in a few short years.
What Ginni Rometty and IBM need to do now is simple: Stop doing the things that are damaging IBM.  Go back to customers being a corporate priority.  They are after all the folks who generate IBM’s revenue.
The Services Problem — IBM needs to fix Global Services, the company’s largest division touching the most customers and a catalyst for IBM’s sales.  For IBM to succeed they need a strong and effective services organization.  IBM’s Cloud strategy, for example, cannot be financially successful without Services.  If Services fail, IBM will fail.  It is that simple.
IBM’s Global Services have seen the worst cost cuts and the most layoffs.  These cuts have hurt many of IBM’s customers.  Many contracts have been cancelled and sales lost.  IBM is no longer considered to be a trusted supplier by many of its customers.
To fix IBM it needs to invest in Global Services and in its people.  Yes, there are already quality improvement programs and automation projects, but these efforts are new, few, and small.  Its focus is at the account level, not the organization.  Most of the problems are at the leadership level, where profit has been the only priority.  Global Services is in crisis and IBM needs to get serious about fixing this organization.
IBM is hemorrhaging talent on a global scale across all divisions.  It cannot retain good people.   IBMers, as they call themselves, are underpaid, neglected, and have been abused for years. Most of IBM’s 400,000+ employees are no longer working for the company.  Their jobs have become nightmares.  They are prevented from doing good work.  They know IBM is neglecting its customers, but they are powerless to do anything.  The best they can do is to try to survive until reason returns to IBM’s leadership, if ever.
Every IBM staff cut now has a direct impact on revenue.  After the 1Q 2014 earning miss IBM hit its sales support teams hard with layoffs, making it immediately much harder for IBM to sell products and services.  Customers became frustrated and shopped elsewhere.  In 3Q 2014 revenue took a big fall as a direct result of this bonehead move.  Formerly growing lines of business in IBM are now declining.  After 10 years of continuous layoffs, any subsequent reduction has a direct and immediate impact on business.  IBM can no longer afford to cut staff.
IBM needs to stop all staff cuts and start doing the things needed to retain its good workers, including paying them better.

Global Services is horribly inefficient.  There is very little automation.  The business information systems are poor.   IBM has too many people managing accounts and too few servicing them.  Global Services is in serious need of a business process redesign and better information systems. For the last 10 years all IBM has done is to replace skilled American labor with cheap offshore labor.   IBM’s workforce of 400,000 workers looks impressive.  Ask IBM how many of them have minimal education and have worked for IBM for less than 3 years?  That huge workforce is now a hollow shell of a once great company.
If IBM can invest $1.2 billion in the Cloud, why can’t it invest $200 million in Global Services?   A wise investment could cut in half the number of people needed to manage IBM’s accounts.  It could allow IBM support teams to operate proactively instead of reactively.  The client experience would be greatly improved – fewer problems, things running better.  If IBM’s Services customers were happy, business retention would be better, more products and services could be sold.  This division could again be the business catalyst of the corporation.  It is time to manage it better and make modest investments in it.
To look at this another way, if IBM continues to neglect Global Services and does not invest in it, then those billions of dollars in investments in Cloud and Analytics will be wasted.   If IBM is to grow again, Services must again become IBM’s most important business.  As goes Services, so goes the whole corporation.
The Cloud Problem  — Cloud computing is one of IBM’s gambles for future prosperity. Cloud means different things to different people but what is important for IBM is to understand the business reasons behind the Cloud.  It is part of an evolutionary process to reduce the cost of computing.  This means less expensive computing for customers and lower profit margins for IBM.  It means reduced hardware sales.  It implies there will be reduced support costs from Services, too.  This is the opposite of what IBM is now telling itself about the Cloud.
For IBM to be profitable in Cloud computing it needs to provide value-added services with its Cloud platform.  Most Cloud offerings are a Platform as a Service (PaaS).  There isn’t enough profit in PaaS  for IBM to get a good return on its multi-billion dollar investment.  IBM needs to provide additional things with its Cloud service — Services and Software as a Service (SaaS).  To provide Cloud SaaS IBM needs to have software applications that the market needs.  They don’t.  The biggest market for Cloud Saas is not with IBM’s huge legacy customers, it is the other 80 percent of the market consisting of not-so-big companies that IBM has served poorly (if at all) in recent years.  They will want something this is cost effective and “just works.”  IBM does not have in its product portfolio the business applications these customers need.  In this area IBM is dangerously behind and faces stiff competition from firms like Amazon, Microsoft, Google – even Oracle.  IBM urgently needs to invest in the software its next generation of customers will want to use.
The Software Problem – IBM’s software business was one of its brighter stars in 2013.  It enjoyed sales growth and good profit margins.  The problem is IBM’s software business is far from where it needs to be.  To understand IBM’s situation in software, look at Oracle.  For years Oracle was a database company.  Today Oracle is much more than a database company. It has developed and acquired a portfolio of business software applications.  If you want an HR system or an accounting system you can find it at Oracle.  When it comes to software IBM is still very much in the 1970s.  They sell the tools their customers need to write their own business applications.  If you have a business and want to purchase finished software you can use to run your business, IBM will probably not be your first choice.  While IBM’s software division has growing nicely, its long-term potential is limited.  It is not aligned to the needs of the market.
IBM’s current management approach has crushed the life from most of the software companies it has purchased.  Software is not a business you can carve into pieces and scatter all over the world.  Software works best when there is a short and tight communications link between the customer and a dedicated product development.   Product development needs to understand the needs and directions of the customers, it needs to be empowered to design new products and versions that will increase its value to the market, and it needs to be enabled to produce those products and versions quickly and efficiently.
IBM’s announcement this week of running SAP on HANA is a step in the right direction.  Though I think SAP will be making more money on the deal than IBM.
Here’s the key: every company in existence needs an accounting program, order processing, inventory management, distribution and other types of “run your business” applications.  All of IBM’s big customers already have the applications they need.  They’ve had them for 25 years.  It is all the smaller companies that could use better and cheaper application.  These organizations make up 90 percent of the IT market and are not served well  — if at all — by IBM.  This is where the big money in Cloud is.
IBM used to have a lot of “run your business” software.  Since the demise of the old General Systems division in a political bloodbath a lot of this software has faded out of existence. This is a huge problem for IBM.

Oracle bought PeopleSoft and got a very good accounting system and a very good HR system.  They’ve bought other companies who sell “run your business” software.  Computer Associates (CA) has bought many of these types of businesses too.  If you want to buy an accounting package, I don’t think IBM would have anything to sell you.  It probably don’t have anything they could put on the Cloud.  But Intuit (Quickbooks) has an accounting package and figured out they can make more money be selling it as a service.  So did  These companies are years ahead of IBM.
For Cloud to become a big money maker for IBM, IBM needs to buy applications — big time.  Maybe it should buy Intuit, Salesforce, etc.  Could it afford to buy CA? Can it afford not to buy CA?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is critical for IBM’s Cloud to be financially successful.  Unfortunately today IBM does not have software that customers want to use or need for their business.  IBM needs to be a lot smarter about its software investments and completely change how they manage this business.
The Mobile Problem  – IBM invented the first smart phone (the Simon) in 1993.   Today IBM is completely non-existent in the mobile market.  Apple and Google are the leaders; Microsoft has been working very hard and making enormous investments to get a foothold in this market. That said, Microsoft is light-years ahead of IBM.   IBM has completely missed the biggest change in Information Technology in a decade.  This should speak volumes about the leadership at IBM and why they need a large scale change in management.
IBM cannot buy its way into the mobile market.  If it isn’t working for Microsoft, it won’t work for IBM.  Then again IBM does not have to make big acquisitions to become a big player.  IBM needs to think differently.  IBM should start by looking at the App Stores of Apple and Google.  There IBM will find there tens of thousands of applications – most of them written by individuals and small companies.  This can be an archetype for a whole new IBM behavior — creativity.  IBM needs its vast workforce to come up with ideas, act on them, and produce mobile applications.  IBM should have its own App Store.  This will give a way to learn how to use the new mobile platforms.  It will provide a way for the application developers to interact with IBM’s customers.  Over time IBM will learn and develop mobile technology that is useful to IBM’s customers.  This is a market where seeing and using a live application is much better than some marketing copy in a sales presentation.
IBM should be partnering with Apple, Google, and yes – Microsoft.  There should be no favorites.  IBM already has a mobile deal of sorts with Apple but it is key to understand that it has so far resulted in a total head count increase in Cupertino of two workers, which shows what Apple thinks of IBM. Apple is not enough.
IBM should purchase enterprise licenses for the development tools for every mobile platform.  These tools should be made available to any employee with an interest in developing a mobile application.  IBM should make it easy for employees to get mobile devices, especially tablets.  IBM should provide internal infrastructure – servers, applications, etc. with which to develop and demonstrate mobile computing.  The better IBM understands mobile technology, the sooner and better IBM can support its customers.  There is a place in the mobile market for IBM.  It must make up for lost time and become everyone’s trusted partner.
The Quality Problem  — The best definition of quality is “delighting the customer.”  Quality means being able to do the same thing tomorrow, better, faster, and cheaper.  Quality is continuous improvement.  It is possible to improve quality and at the same time reduce labor and costs.  The companies that have mastered this skill went on to dominate their markets.   Quality is a culture, an obsession.  It must start from the top and involve everyone – IBM’s executives, all levels of management, employees, suppliers, even customers.
Sometime soon one of IBM’s competitors will implement a serious Continuous Quality Improvement program.  When that happens, IBM will be toast.  History has shown that when a company trashes its quality, neglects its customers, and makes earnings its only priority – bad things happen.  Over the last 50 years, the USA has lost many industries this way.  If IBM does not get serious about quality its survival will be at risk.
The Respect Problem – Today in IBM “Respect for the individual” is dead.  So is “Superlative customer service.”  Every decision made by IBM for the last 10 years has been to find ways to spend nothing, do as little as possible, and get to $20 EPS.  IBM’s workforce is operating in survival mode.  They have no voice, no means to make IBM better, and they are certainly not going to stick their necks out.  IBM is squandering its greatest resource and most of its best minds.  Most of IBM’s businesses are declining.  As business declines IBM cuts staff.  Quality and services get worse and business declines even more.  Execution gets worse.  Every day customers trust and respect IBM less.  They buy less.  IBM needs to break this cycle of insanity.  They need to start treating their employees better and mobilize them to save the company.

The Leadership Problem – IBM has no vision, none, nada, zip. CEO Ginni Rometty and her cadre have no clue how to fix what’s wrong with IBM. And even if they did, they are too tainted by the current state of the company – a state they created. IBM executives are for the most part in a state of paralysis.  They don’t know what to do.  They know their business has serious problems.  Even if they knew what to do they’re afraid to act.  Ginni and the $20 EPS target had most of the senior executives frozen from doing anything.  This type of management style can be fatal for a business.  The CEO should be helping each division become more successful.  Because $20 EPS has been the only goal, IBM’s senior leaders have become unable to manage their businesses.
Here’s why current management can’t do the job. If the current VP-level managers at IBM (the only level, by the way, that’s allowed to even see the budget) take action to spend some of the profit to fix the business, they’ll be in hot water with Ginni Rometty and IBM’s culture of blame simply for trying to do something. Just watch, her plan to save the company will involve further cuts. You can’t cut your way to prosperity.  If they take action and the fix doesn’t work, then they’ll.  So the only obvious option current management seems to have is stand by and watch Ginni and the finance department kill their divisions.
IBM has been here before, back in 1993 under CEO John Akers the company cratered, booking an $8 billion loss on $40 billion in sales. That’s when, for the first time in its history, IBM turned to an outsider to be CEO. They should do this again – find another Gerstner, ideally a better Gerstner, because he had a share in creating the current crisis, too.
Ginni Rometty has to go and with her much of IBM’s board.
The Bottom Line – IBM has never been the low cost provider of anything, yet a company of IBM’s size and talent should be able to be the undisputed lowest cost, highest volume supplier in the industry.  IBM’s leaders are mostly from the sales organizations.  Those with expert operational and leadership skills don’t go far in IBM.  A new way of thinking is needed in every corner of IBM.  Every line of business should be asking itself “how can we become the best, cheapest, and biggest supplier?”  Every line of business should have well reasoned plans, funding to act on those plans, and a green light to proceed.
Thankfully IBM gave up on its 2015 goal of $20 EPS.  Unfortunately IBM still plans to continue cutting staff to prosperity, which is insane.  By now it should be painfully obvious this is destructive to the company.  IBM needs to step back and be honest with itself and its shareholders.  It needs to set reasonable budgets and financial expectations.  It needs to spend more on its people and on improvements.  IBM needs to regroup and repair the company.  For the next three to five years IBM should plan on turning in lower, but still good profits.  If they do this by 2020 they could be again a business juggernaut.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Lialis Lotus Notes Versus Sharepoint | A Functional Comparison |:

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Lotus Notes Versus SharePoint

IBM Lotus Notes / Domino versus Microsoft SharePoint

To gain a full understanding of this crucial product comparison it is first of all important to know the perspective of the person writing this kind of Lotus Notes versus SharePoint comparison. Is he working for or partial to a certain vendor?
This is my background. I started as a Domino consultant back in 1996 and know from direct first hand experience exactly what Domino can do. However, because the Domino market is declining rapidly I recently started working with SharePoint too.
Early in 2014 I was hired to migrate a large company from Notes apps to SharePoint apps and am responsible for the SharePoint development. After 10 months hard work I think I am starting to understand what Microsoft is intending to do with SharePoint. The bottom line is based on real world work experience I feel highly qualified to write a useful comparison of these two products. I would not claim one is significantly better than the other, that really depends on each particular client and their specific requirements. After reading this post you will have a good understanding of the differences between Notes/Domino and SharePoint. I am not going to address comparison information details about the products related to pricing and organizational aspects, preferring the focus on the technical capabilities and unique features and benefits of each platform.
Lets start with a bold statement: With Domino you get nothing but can code anything whereas with SharePoint you get everything but can code nothing. You might disagree, so let me explain.


The way Office applications like Microsoft Word integrate with SharePoint is simply stunning, far better than you will ever get in Domino web or Notes client apps.
For example, in SharePoint you have a list with Word files in an enhanced rich text field. The user has this item on the screen in read mode. They click on one of the Word files and Word opens; after pressing the enable edit button the user can make changes to the Word document, then simply close Word and the updated file is stored in the SharePoint item.
When version control is enabled you will see immediately the new version and the previous version is stored as well. This all works out of the box, simple by enabling version control in the list. In a Notes app this office integration is not there (except for right click and edit, which regularly fails for many users). You might choose to purchase additional solutions to get this integration working to a degree, but it will never work as seamlessly as with SharePoint.
Integration means more than just Office integration. Many third party vendors now support integration of their solutions with SharePoint but not for Domino. Dell, for example, sells quick apps for SharePoint allowing users to add apps to pages that can do various things (graphs, views). It is hard for me to imagine that this can be done in Notes or Domino apps purely because IBM does not deliver an environment that users can use to add and configure apps simply by clicking their way to success.

Out Of The Box

With SharePoint you get a lot of features right out of the box. You will find many options you can enable or disable to do many different things. For example workflows, field validation, several types of views (boxed for example), export to xls, alerts on a list, library to store files, the ribbon is there no need to program save and close buttons, recycle bin, design apps with browser and more). Enabling version control is just a simple click in the browser, whereas with Notes or Domino apps version control must either be developed or you have to buy something off the shelf to do versioning for you, but the Notes or Domino versioning will never work as seamlessly as with SharePoint.
What is offered by a Domino server out of the box? Well, not so much; you get a Notes client with an unmanaged hidden bookmarks page everybody unhides and a few useless Notes database templates. But it is not all sorrow for IBM Notes. With IBM you do get out of the box mail which SharePoint does not offer. Of course a Domino server and the Notes client offers many features and functions, but these are not Out of the Box, you will need administrators and developers to get these things going for you.

User Clients

With SharePoint there is only one client – the internet browser; it is used by the users to do their work. The app owner/developers use the browser to develop and adjust the apps and the admins use the browser to configure SharePoint. Rolling out a browser to their users PCs is much easier for companies compared with rolling out Notes clients.
The SharePoint browser interface is great; users will see immediately which apps they have access to and all apps will automatically look the same because SharePoint will make sure of this.
The Notes client is a very rich client compared with the browser; it has many keyboard shortcuts, it allows user to copy paste anything to everywhere and it’s very fast compared with the browser. With the Notes client users can make local replicas of the Notes databases (a bit techie though and not used much these days) and have access to Notes mail.
Maintaining the Notes client in large enterprises will cost more than maintaining a browser. Clients might choose to purchase additional solutions to maintain the Notes clients. Upgrading a Notes client is not very straight forward and you will face significant challenges. Notes users must be trained in using the Notes client.
For SharePoint browser users this might not be needed to such an extent compared to Notes client users. Let’s not forget to mention that with the Domino server you can develop browsers apps as well, so you could set up a browser only Domino environment with Domino browser apps for the majority of your users. However, in this scenario you will have to do a lot of Domino development in order to reach the level out of the box features SharePoint offers.

Custom Coding Designer Tools

With Domino you get nothing and you can code anything. When you have a Domino server you can develop and run Notes client applications almost without limits from a functions point of view.
The Domino server is a Java server as well, meaning you can develop anything. Domino is a great web server and with XPages the best web applications can be built. I have seen and built Notes, Java and web applications that are absolutely stunning. Almost all this Domino development is done with a truly great and mature Domino designer client (except for the pure Java programs). The Domino server runs these apps without complaining, with perfect scalability and without upgrading issues.
Of course you can also develop anything with SharePoint but, because SharePoint has so much out of the box stuff, the out of the box approach will actually slow down and limit the custom develop you want to do.
If you choose to do custom coding in these out of the box apps you will go into dangerous terrain. For example, in a Notes app you can control a lot of what happens on a Notes form simply because the Notes form is designed for this. You have many controls like post open events where you are free to program what you like.
The same is not possible in SharePoint because there is no out of the box feature available. If the app you want to create has too many functions not available out of the box you will have to custom code it from scratch in c# which is a awful lot of work because there is not much there to start with compared to Domino.
You will notice that the SharePoint designer tools are not mature compared with the Domino designer. Part of the out of the box development is done in the browser; for other work you will need to use SharePoint designer; when developing forms you will need third party apps because Infopath is killed by SharePoint.
So looking at the designer clients I feel Microsoft has to do a lot of work compared with IBM. Writing this I realise that SharePoint is not meant to do much custom coding simply because Microsoft does not supply the tools for this work compared with IBM.
I will not say Domino is more secure then SharePoint or the other way around. I do think Domino offers better security features compared with SharePoint. In Notes and Domino developers use reader fields to restrict who can see particular Notes documents in the Notes database. Yes, the same can be done in SharePoint with special permissions. But in Domino you can program anything to manage the reader fields and who is member of this field. In SharePoint you will not be able to manage out of the box the special permissions if the list is longer than 50 documents and in SharePoint you can not develop code to manage the special permissions making the special permissions hard to use. I should not forget to mention the Domino author fields, the controlled access section, the Notes client ID file which is more secure then username password in SharePoint.
Other Stuff
There are many more areas where these two products differ. Each app on Domino is stored in one NSF file; this is so handy with backup, restore, upgrade, copy paste docs and design elements, and so on, but performance problems arise with NSF is when file become large in size (GB’s).
SharePoint stores everything in one SQL database (not sure if you can use multiple SQL dbs though). You will have sizing issues there as well. Upgrading SharePoint to the next release is a nightmare compared with a Domino upgrade which is simple, basically Next, Next, Next and done.
Both systems offer all the standards you might need in today’s environments like clustering, fail over, scalability and so on, but these are all very technical items which will not be considered when the CEO chooses between SharePoint or Domino.

In Conclusion

Let’s go back to my opening statement. “With Domino you get nothing and you can code anything – with SharePoint you get everything and can code nothing”. Of course you get more than nothing in Domino, but this stuff is not so very important. And of course you can code more than nothing in SharePoint, but this is also not so important because it is very difficult to do. I feel that these two items cancel each other out and result in zero, so this lead me to the conclusion – the above statement is a fact and everybody will understand what it means., 10-2014

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Lialis Notes to SharePoint migration - part 3:

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Notes to SharePoint: Migrating Applications Away From Notes – Part 3

IBM Lotus Notes Domino app to Microsoft SharePoint Migration

Part 3: SharePoint Forms Designer Tool, Its Advantages & How Lialis Has Automated the Conversion of Notes Forms to SharePoint Form Designer Forms

In my last blog Notes to SharePoint: Migrating Applications Away From Notes – Part 2 I mentioned the SharePoint Forms designer tool. In this blog post you can read more details about this tool, its advantages and how Lialis has automated the conversion of Notes forms to SharePoint Form Designer forms. Please visit this site ( and their blog site for more details about what Forms Designer is all about.
In Lotus Notes/Domino forms you can create the following items very easily.
  • tabbed tables
  • hide/unhide fields and text based on formulas
  • embedded views
  • controlled access section
With the SharePoint Forms Designer tool you can recreate these four Notes items on SharePoint forms! For me this was the main reason to purchase this tool for the 8,000 user migration project I am working on. In addition, I find that Forms Designer speeds up the SP form development process.  I am not wasting my time in creating pixel perfect forms in SharePoint (SP) because Forms Designer does this for me. So I am very happy with this tool, which is not very expensive by the way.
Let’s focus on the Lialis Notes form conversion to SP forms with the help of Forms Designer.
This process starts with Quest NMSP. Quest jobs are created for the Notes forms we would like to migrate to SP. It is important you understand that in the Quest jobs I create, the SP columns are based on the Notes field names. So if a Notes field on form A was called ‘jobnr_project’, the column in SP will have the same name. With Quest this is easy to do in a few minutes for many fields. When Quest has finished its job, for all the fields on the Notes form it has created columns in SP with the same name.
Lialis has created a tool to convert Notes forms to the XFDS format of SP Forms Designer, it looks like this (it is a Notes app) and it’s very straightforward.
You can select the Notes database you are converting to SP and it will display the forms in this database; you can select the forms you want to convert and press 2 buttons to do the conversion of the Notes form (via XML) to XFDS, which can be imported in Forms Designer. This conversion will convert Notes form text, (tabbed) tables and put the fields on the right spot in the table in SP. Please don’t expect a full Notes form conversion, but we will convert as much as possible, so the work you have to do in SP is much less than designing the SP form from scratch.
Next step is going to the list you created in SP with Quest. When you hve installed Forms Designer on SP you will see this button in the SP List ribbon.
Press it and the Forms Designer tool will show in the browser.
On the left you will see all the Notes field names converted to SP columns by Quest NMSP.
The middle part of the screen is grey, this is where you would normally design the SP form.
SP Forms Designer allows you to import XFDS files. We created this XFDS file for this particular Notes form, so let’s import it.
Choose the XFDS file created by Lialis and the Notes form will show up with the fields added to the table in this example in SP Forms Designer.
You can see that the form needs more work, but this will go much quicker because many fields are already in the right spot.
Because the Notes fields and the SP list columns have the same name it is very easy to map them and put the right fields in the right spot in the SP Form Designer form.
At this time (August 2014) we are improving the Lialis form converter tool by using it for many applications and forms in projects. Feel free to email me if you want to use this tool for your project –

Lialis consultants, Microsoft SharePoint & Lotus Notes/Domino developers are available to assist you with these complex migrations and we bring a shipload of experience with us that will save your enterprise time and money, ultimately making challenging projects like this a success for your business.
To learn more about how Lialis can take the pain out of the Lotus Notes Domino app migration process, please use the Lialis Migration service contact form and we will get back to you quickly.

Monday, 29 September 2014

GEGeek Tech Toolkit Fixes Windows Computers and Updates Itself:

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GEGeek Tech Toolkit Fixes Windows Computers and Updates Itself

GEGeek Tech Toolkit Fixes Windows Computers and Updates Itself
If you're the person friends, family and coworkers count on to fix their computers, you already know a portable USB toolkit is essential for repairs. GEGeek TechToolkit downloads hundreds of programs and updates itself. 
We've covered portable app suites before, but GEGeek designed Tech Toolkit for computer repair technicians. It includes apps for finding malware and diagnosing computer problems. It also has portable versions off popular apps like Firefox and Reader, but mostly focuses on system diagnostic, malware removal and windows repair apps. The downloaded kit has over 250 apps.
Best of all: the suite always stays up to date. It uses Ketarin to find the latest updates for the included programs. Check it out at the link below.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014 :: Creating nginx configurations for Domino SSL:

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Wow, read the write up by Andrew. People think Domino L3 and development suck. They are wrong of course. L3 and Development no longer exists!
IBM ruffles feathers in push to re-educate veteran employees for cloud, data, mobile — Tech News and Analysis:

The next big "Resource Action" is around the corner. Why do people still buy IBM services?


Some IBM Global Technology Services employees have been told they keep their jobs (and 90 percent of their pay) as long as they retrain on hot new technologies.
It’s a glass-half-full type of thing: some IBM Global Technology Services people have been told they have to retrain for the new era of cloud, big data and mobile.
A Gigaom reader posted the IBM email detailing the plan in the comments to this story and an IBM spokeswoman verified the authenticity of the email. The spokeswoman said a small percentage of total U.S. IBM GTS employees were affected; she would not provide hard numbers.
Those affected will be paid 90 percent of their salaries to go through the retraining. The optimists among them might say: “I still have my job and I’m learning new things.” The pessimists likely see this as a 10 percent pay cut, plain and simple.
Per the IBM memo:
A recent assessment revealed that some GTS US [Strategic Outsourcing] executives, managers and employees have not kept pace with acquiring the skills and expertise needed to address changing client needs, technology and market requirements.
The retraining process will take place between October 16, 2014 and March 31, 2015, during which time the employee must spend a day a week — up to 23 days overall —  on learning and development. Employee benefits will remain in place but 401k contributions and Employee Stock Option Plan deductions will be based on the new, adjusted salary.
In a climate where legacy tech providers are in near continual downsizing and rightsizing mode, at least these were not outright layoffs. One reason could be that IBM needs people with these skills sets. Another could be that IBM has taken a lot of heat forcutting its way to achieve $20 earnings per share goal set nearly 5 years ago. Or both.
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty
IBM, HP, Dell and other older hardware-oriented tech providers are all negotiating a tricky path to cloud and mobile. They’re all dragging a lot of legacy systems with them while competing with lower cost and more nimble (and younger) competitors. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty has promised the company will focus on the potentially huge opportunities in cloud computing, big data and associated analytics and mobile.
Gigaom’s anonymous commenter, who wrote that he (or she) is a 25-year veteran with the company, said the wording of the email “implies I can fill these so-called skill gaps (which don’t exist) or else. My guess is it’s a conjured up way of getting people to leave the business.”