Now that I've got your attention with the headline, what does IBM do with the Domino Web Access Portlet? (And Notes View, and Sametime Contact List, and Web Conferencing, etc)
The DWA Portlet has been released with every version of Portal since 5.0 with relatively little change. The portlet's basic function is to render the user's Lotus Notes mail file within WebSphere Portal. It does this by mainly using Domino LDAP searches to create a URL to your mail file (the same you normally use over the web to iNotes) and embeds this URL within an IFRAME. Unfortunately, I'm biased against the IFRAME. The technology is functional ... but dated. The benefit of the IFRAME is purported to be native look and feel within Portal. Users access the same UI in Portal that they otherwise would see when accessing iNotes directly. If that's the case, why not visit iNotes directly? I've entertained numerous questions and resolved equally numerous issues that lead me to believe that the portlet is - well - functional ... but dated.
Back to the original question, what would you like to see done with the Domino Web Access portlet? (And Notes View, and Sametime Contact List, and Web Conferencing, etc) The development team and support team are investigating how the DWA and Notes View portlets "fit" into the Portal 7 release. Is the present function sufficient, is it time to retire, should a replacement be created?
So leave a comment with experience and suggestions, and maybe you will amaze friends when Portal 7 ships with the statement, "you know, that was my idea."
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Coding IBM Collaboration Solutions
From archive: December 2009 X
Not too long ago, people were touting IBM product Wikis as an alternative approach to knowledge mangement. Wikis are an easy to author, rich content format in contrast to existing process driven content delivery methods such as IBM technotes. I myself authored several documents on the Lotus Quickr Wiki: sample. But in retrospect, promoting Wiki publishing is like planting Kudzu in your rose garden.
Let me make one clarification. Wikis likely work very well for administrators or technical users of a product to share and correct information. Wikis are not a suitable medium for IBM knowledge management, development, or support to create product documentation. Alterntives such as Wikis only help to poach knowledge from conventional sources such as IBM Info Centers or IBM technotes.
Here are my concerns:
So what's the answer? I believe IBM stays the course with Information Centers (IC) and Technotes. ICs provide pre-GA compiled documentation on how to install, configure, and use products. Post-GA needs to accomodate changes to ICs where appropriate: content is inadequate, confusing, or missing altoghther. Technotes serve the purpose of sending critical updates in the form of flashes. Technotes should also document specific instances of product customization or configuration.
I want to also propose a "new" mechanism for problem determination. Most engineers would create a technote documenting a particular error message and corresponding resolution. For such specific cases where log file entries directly correspond to IBM recommendations, we need to seek autonomic solutions. Case in point is Log and Trace Anaylzer for WebSphere. Rather than an administrator encountering an error in a log file, searching IBM resources, and applying suggested resolution, the autonomic solution should identify and suggest (or even apply) the recommended solution without admimistrator involvement. And this is what I'm working on as the project du jour: converting Lotus Quickr for Portal's APARs, PMRs, and technotes into a database of symptoms and recommedations. The desire is an automated method of problem determination and solution. This is good for not only the IBM support goose, but the client gander.