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QuickPlace/Sametime Newsletter #5
Sametime/QuickPlace Newsletter #5 from Rob Novak (with BIG news this time)
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August 11, 2006
Sametime/QuickPlace Tips Newsletter:
Time for some BIG news!
Tips and News from the QuickPlace, Sametime, and Workplace Experts

Rob Novak

Dear Rob,

Summer is a slow time, right? Ha! As you probably know, the vastly improved Sametime 7.5 is about to ship. Collaboration University is around the corner. And the really exciting news in my world today is this -- development plans and in-progress details for QuickPlace 8 have finally been leaked, and we have the story, straight from the source. As the IBM Design Partner for QuickPlace, I've had the opportunity to work with IBM on the plans for several months now, so it is a pleasure to finally discuss those plans without fear of having big men in blue suits show up at my door! :-)

With so much to talk about, I'm tempted to just dive into the various stories. But as with last issue, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce a guest and one of the major speakers for Collaboration University in both Kansas City and London next month, Satwik Seshasai. Satwik is the Team Leader for Development of IBM Lotus QuickPlace at IBM.

One final note before we get into this issue -- early registration for Collaboration University has an important money-saving deadline: a $200 discount ends on Friday, August 18! But even without the discount, this conference is a great value for anyone looking for in-depth Sametime and QuickPlace training. You'll want to register as soon as possible because space is limited in both venues!

That's my obligatory commercial. I really do hope to meet some of my readers in Kansas City or London!

Rob Novak, President

Rob Novak, President, SNAPPS

Taking Notes Podcast
QuickPlace 8 with Satwik Seshasai and Rob Novak
Podcasting Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in what was the first public disclosure of plans for QuickPlace 8 in Taking Notes podcast #27 as a guest along with Satwik Seshasai of IBM. The Taking Notes series is produced and moderated by Bruce Elgort and Julian Robichaux of OpenNTF fame. Big thanks to Bruce and Julian for arranging the podcast on short notice once we knew it was OK to go forward with information on the new version!

In case you haven't listened to a podcast before, it's really simple. The link below will take you to the Taking Notes Podcast site. At the bottom you'll see a Podcast logo. The podcast is an mp3 file, you can either click on it and listen to it online, or right-click and download the file to listen at your leisure. If you happen to have an iPod, you can subscribe to the Taking Notes series through iTunes and make sure to have all the Taking Notes podcasts as soon as they're released. Enjoy!

Collaboration University™
Sept 13-15 in Kansas City, Sept 27-29 in London
Collaboration University

Last month I announced Collaboration University™, and IBM and the partners involved in this event are really pleased at the response so far! This unique event, to be held in the US (Kansas City) and Europe (London) this September, is 100% focused on technical information on Sametime and QuickPlace. With Sametime 7.5 shipping almost simultaneously with the event and the news about QuickPlace 8, the timing couldn't be better.

Why did we decide to have an event like this? It's simple, really. There is a lot happening in the collaboration market, and a lot of that is happening at IBM. The sheer numbers of new products that need coverage at industry conferences has the effect of keeping sessions on products like Sametime and QuickPlace a bit sparse. But with millions of users of each, we figured it was a good time for the industry experts on these products to come together and fill the need for in-depth technical education. Hence, Collaboration University!

We now have the sessions all planned and the agenda is set, so visit the site and feel free to ask any questions you have about the event.

Registration is available online, or by calling toll-free +1-800-889-7350, or international +1-978-253- 0100. Early registration ends August 18 (save $200!). Seats are limited, so register today.

Straight from the Source
News about QuickPlace 8
Satwik Seshasai Hi, I'm Satwik Seshasai, and I'm the Team Lead for IBM Lotus QuickPlace here at IBM. If you've been following Rob's blog and newsletters, you probably know that we've been hinting at some big news about QuickPlace, and well, the time has come.

For several months, we've been finalizing the development plan for QuickPlace 8, which is scheduled to ship concurrent with Notes "Hannover" next year. The product plans have shaped up with years of feedback from our customers, our Design Partner SNAPPS, and other Business Partners. I'm pretty excited about what we have in store for QuickPlace -- some of it has already been developed and will be unveiled over the coming months to our Global Customer Partnership Council, at Collaboration University, and of course at Lotusphere 2007 to name a few.

While the details are a bit long for a newsletter format (keep your eye on those blogs and conferences), I thought I would outline the major areas we're working on at IBM:

For Administrators
  • Increased reporting for more intuitive information about servers, places and users
  • A "dashboard" interface which gives place managers more control over their places!
  • A Place Superuser role - while not specifically for administrators, this new role allows a Place manager to perform tasks that require calling the administrator today
For End Users (wow!):
  • A complete overhaul of the user interface using Web 2.0 technologies and AJAX -- a productivity boost as well as bringing QuickPlace in line with the advanced capabilities of new browser applications
    • Contextual menus to perform actions on documents directly from the folder view
    • Mouse-over popups for member "business cards"
    • Drag and drop documents into folders
  • Open Document Format support
  • A new visual theme to leverage the enhanced UI capabilities
  • RSS and Atom feeds for subscription and notification of QuickPlace content and events
  • Deeper integration with Microsoft Office - open, save and modify directly from the menu and toolbar
  • Integration with e-mail -- drag and drop threads and attachments from e-mail into QuickPlace folders shown directly in your inbox!
  • Integration with the new Eclipse- based "Hannover" client - a new sidebar panel to see your places
  • Integration with Activities, with the ability to add QuickPlace data to an Activity and see your activities in your place
  • Integration with Sametime 7.5 via plug-ins that surface QuickPlace membership information, contextual "our places" links during chats, and more
For Developers & Partners:
  • Exposure and extension of the QuickPlace AJAX methods by inclusing them on the file system instead of embedded in a template
  • Resources for development of additional plug-in and integration solutions and products for ISVs
  • Similar to above, exposure of QuickPlace data via RSS and Atom feeds will allow developers to create solutions we haven't even thought of yet
  • Web Services integration
That's a quick overview of what's going on in the labs at IBM for QuickPlace. We're really excited to be announcing our work-in-progress -- I know it's been kept under the covers for too long! As we have just seen with Sametime 7.5, we like to think of QuickPlace 8 as a "rebirth" of the product, and are happy to be sharing some of the positive news and energy with you at this stage.

I'll be with Rob and a dozen other speakers next month at Collaboration University where I'll give a "Sneak Peek" session to unveil the work we've done to date. As always, we want as much feedback as possible so if you are going to be in Kansas City or London, be sure to stop me and give me your thoughts on QuickPlace 8!

Of course, there's also Codename WILIKI. But that's sooner.

Sametime Bot in 7 Minutes
When something important happens, you know. Fast.
CU Grads Close your eyes and imagine this...OK open them back up. Someone comes and, let's say, registers for the conference on the Collaboration University website. Let's also say there are no other registrants with a "New" status at the time. Within one minute, a Sametime bot that is running on my machine (could be anywhere) has a look at the registration database and because a setup document tells it to be checking for "New" status registrations, the bot can do a search and find some data. Because it has some data, it decides to log into my Sametime server as "CU Registration". "CU Registration" is defined as a user on another server in LDAP. Because "CU Registration" is in my buddy list, boom - goes green.

Now I have a subtle, visual indication that we have a new registrant that needs processing!

It gets better.

If I click to initiate a chat with my buddy "CU", he responds immediately with the name and country of the registrant. If there's more than one, it's a numbered list and I can choose from it to see more information. Like what country the registrant is from, or what they hope to gain from attending the conference.

And for the finishing touch...since in addition to Sametime 7.5 beta 4 and Notes 7 integration, I am using the Trillian Sametime plugin, I set up a notification sound that plays when my buddy comes online.

Sounds pretty hard, huh? If you started from scratch, yes. But I developed all of this in real life yesterday in 7 minutes flat, starting with an example "Content Awareness" Sametime bot I gave away at Lotusphere 2006, with a few tweaks to field names and forms. This method of using bots isn't completely new, but it certainly adds value once you start to play with it. And the best part, it's still free under the GNU General Public License. Go ahead - read about how I did it on my blog, then grab the example and try it yourself!

Codename: WILIKI
I always wanted to give something a codename!
Wiliki I'll give you one clue what this is. If you think you know the answer, send me an email. If you're wrong, I won't answer. If you're right, I still won't answer. But I will point out the first correct guess on September 14, 2006 at Collaboration University when Satwik, Viktor and I unveil that which has been given the "Codename: WILIKI"...and give you a nod in the newsletter and on my blog.

Here's your clue: It is not part of QuickPlace 8 (yet); it will be available for QuickPlace 7. But if you add it up, it'll really be 9. Times 2.

phone: +1-913-381-4165

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