Hidden IBM Software Gems
When looking into the software universe you usually find 2 kinds of software: standard software (like OpenOffice, SAP, Lotus Notes) and custom (or bespoke) software (which is build by an ISV or an inhouse team). On a closer look there is a third category. In IBM we call that a software asset. Such an asset solves a business problem in a repeatable way but hasn't enough breadth or depth to justify the process that turns it into a standard software. Typically software assets are used together with consulting and implementation service. Inside Lotus, to no surprise, there are a lot of these assets under management by the IBM Software Services for Lotus ( ISSL). From time to time I'd like to introduce this solutions. Here are two:
- Automated Database Deployment for Lotus Notes(ADD4LN - IBM internally known as Database-o-matic): Allow business users to create new databases based on selected templates and manage them including the access control. Users won't need to learn the ACL dialogs or the Notes admin client.
Why is it interesting: One of Lotus Notes' biggest fans clearly stated, that databases are the key to Notes bliss. However allowing anybody create access to any server only ends in a maintenance nightmare. ADD4LN fills that gap by not only making creation easy, but also helping to keep track. ADD4N does this one thing very well, and is fast and easy to implement. If you are looking for a more versatile solution, you need to ask Bill.
- My Attachments Tool (MAT). MAT moves automatically or on trigger all attachments from your mail file into a separate attachment database and replaces the original attachment with a DocLink to the new location. It identifies duplicate files and only keeps one copy. MAT predates tools like DAOS and Quickr and is still a valid addition to your toolset. MAT works on Windows, Linux, Mac and OS/2. Normally you would use a local attachment database, so no server side storage is required. I have configured my MAT to archive any attachment that is older than 7 days.
Why is it interesting: While that 50 MB Powerpoint presentation is stored only once in DAOS for all 500 users, it still counts 500x against the quota. With MAT you can remove these attachments from your quota and still enjoy the fulltext search and intact context of the attachment (who send what file when is often as important as the content itself). MAT works offline by design and can be replicated if desired (the Quickr connectors are not there yet). MAT also helps to eliminate local duplicates. I use it every day (OK, the background agent works for me every day).