Posts Tagged: ‘Digital Solutions’

Announcing the Domino REST API Beta Program  

11. Juni 2021 Posted by Barry Rosen

Today, we’re announcing the start of the beta program for our new Domino REST API, formerly known as “Project Keep.” This is the latest addition to our ongoing Domino Early Access Program.

The Domino REST API will introduce hundreds of new APIs that aperture to information on Domino — further extending access to your Domino data. It’s a modern take on the REST API for opening Domino access to a world of standards — and API-first developers.

What is it? 

Domino REST API is a new feature that runs alongside the server and allows you to expose your Domino data in the form of standardized Open-APIbased methods securely and easily. Using a browser-based admin UI, application owners can define which data will be made available for view or update on a REST API. It extends the Domino principles of reader/author document access definitions into the world of Internet protocols. 

It also includes Swagger UI which allows the visualization and interaction with APIs without having any of the actual implementation logic in place. The APIs are automatically generated from an OpenAPI (formerly Swagger) specification with visual documentation, making it easier to later implement the back-end code. 

What is special about the new Domino REST APIs? 

  • Secureby default, with fine granular controls per form, field and user basis 
  • Implements latest open standards 
  • HTTP/2-ready, for server-to-server or client-to-server communication
  • API-first design with full interactive documentation 
  • Low barrier to entry as it runs on a Domino server and/or your Notes client 
  • Admin UI and Postman samplesincluded 
  • State-of-the-art JWT access token integrated with your existing IdP infrastructure

What can be accessed via the Domino REST APIs?

You can access content like views, documents, and fields, as well as database design, agents, and ACL settings. And, of course, featuring DQL queries to quickly access the data you are looking for. 

Built-in declarative security ensures the API will only allow access to fields the caller is authorized to see or update. This can effectively prevent computed fields to be overwritten and limits participants in a workflow to update their fields only.  

How to participate  

The Domino REST API is now available as a prepacked ready-to-use Docker container to all current Domino customers. The download can be found in the “Domino Early Access program” category on Flexnet. Please visit documentation here to learn more and to set up your test environment.  

You are invited to join our Domino Early Access program forum here, to provide your valuable feedback and suggestions on the Domino REST API beta program.

Please note, the Beta program will run from June 7 until the REST APIs are shipped with the next Domino release, post v12.

The Domino v12 launch

Missed the v12 live event? The launch is not over! We’re half-way through rolling out the Domino Dozen which includes 12 days of exciting Domino content consisting of panel discussions with customers, demos, new thought leadership and more. Register now to get access to announcements like these and watch the live event on replay!   

 

HCL SafeLinx 1.2 is Live with Nomad Web

7. Juni 2021 Posted by Ketan Godhaniya

We are pleased to announce the release of HCL SafeLinx 1.2 for general availability. Starting today, customers cantry out new features by downloading the package from Flexnet. In the past few months, we have been focusing on providing you a more user-friendly enterprise VPN platform with reverse proxy capabilities which aims to boost your middleware security at work. 

SafeLinx and Nomad web 

As part of the Domino v12 launch, this version comes with improved functionalities for Nomad Web Proxy: 

  • New resources container specifically for Nomad, inherited from the generic http access service but only providing attributes needed for NWP 
  • Modified initial configuration wizard to streamline NWP creation as part of initial setup 
  • Ability to serve the Nomad web application static files directly from SafeLinx (event driven), without the need for an additional http server 
  • Support for HCL Verse application integration when the Nomad app launches from a mail link 
  • SAML as an authentication option 
  • Configurable buffer size for NRPC flow 
  • Configurable attribute for querying the User CN to use in Nomad client configuration. 
  • Nomad-branded login screens 

Other new features of this release include support for Mac OS administrator, MS-SQL Linux, and My SQL (Linux and Windows), and a new splash screen. To see the full list, please refer to SafeLinx 1.2 release notes. 

Getting startedpricing and licensing

For Notes/Domino Complete Collaboration (CCB) customersSafeLinx is now available as a FREE entitlement and will be listed under supporting programsCCB customers can use SafeLinx’s server component without the need for an additional VPN client to securely access their Domino apps from mobile. With this release, we’d like to provide our customers the opportunity to evaluate SafeLinx VPN for broader usage. Please contact your HCL Software representative or HCL Business Partner for more information on how to get SafeLinx 1.2. 

SafeLinx is also available as a standalone to non-Notes-Domino Complete Collaboration customers. Contact us for more details.

Our team has put in many hours turning your ideas into reality and we’d love for our customers to continue submitting ideas and improvements in our Ideas Portal. (Make sure you select “SafeLinx” under the Workspace before submission.) 

Domino v12 Launch

Missed the v12 live event yesterday? The launch is not over! We’ve just started rolling out the Domino Dozen which includes 12 days of exciting Domino content consisting of panel discussions with customers, demos, new thought leadership and more. Register now to get access and watch the live event on replay! 

Making a Smooth Upgrade to HCL Notes v12

3. Juni 2021 Posted by Christoph Adler

The big day is coming soon! HCL Notes / Domino v12 will be launched  globally on June 7th (it’s already available for download on HCL FlexNet since May 27th). For those customers planning to upgrade, we have some great news. Whether you have been keeping pace with the rollouts of new HCL Notes client versions, or are WAY behind, there is a path for a seamless and smooth transition to v12. The MarvelClient Upgrade solution empowers organizations to optimize their HCL Notes client management and standardize all client versions with a consistent configuration during the automated upgrade process. 

Common Upgrade Challenges

What we have heard consistently from organizations around the world is that they want to reduce the complexity of their HCL Notes client installations and lessen the administration support tasks required. It is an ongoing challenge for IT support groups to keep pace with the upgrade cycles provided by their vendors. The following list is a showcase of some challenges that organizations face during an upgrade process: 

  • Creation of Notes Client Install Package (with standard configurations) 
  • Upgrade Package Deployment for Remote Users (with or without VPN) 
  • Installation / Upgrade Process Execution Trigger for Automation 
  • Migration of Notes Data Folder 
  • Automated Upgrades for Different Deployment Models (Laptops, Desktops, Citrix, VDI, different OS versions, etc.) 

 The MarvelClient Upgrade solution handles all those requirements and more. The centralized tracking and reporting environment allows administrators to monitor the client deployments for all employees. And if any modifications are made through user error, they will be rectified and reset to the standard, supported settings on the next restart of the HCL Notes client. These automated, self-healing functions enable any organization to ensure a consistent environment for their users and reduce the number of IT support calls from HCL Notes client installation issues. 

In addition, the MarvelClient Upgrade automates the entire process. This makes it easy to perform regular upgrades in the future as new software versions become available. If your organization is preparing to upgrade HCL Notes/Domino in the near future, please access this best practices list to avoid common project pitfalls. 

Review of HCL Notes / Domino v12

We recently hosted a co-webinar with an expert from HCL on April 22nd.  To see what treasures await in Notes / Domino v12 and learn how you can automate a smooth upgrade process, please use this link to view the recorded webinar. 

We are also hosting an HCL Notes v12 unboxing webinar on June 10th that reviews some of the new features and showcases real-world usage scenarios for organizations. Use this link to register for the webinar hosted by HCL Ambassadors Christoph Adler and Marc Thomas.  

Smooth Upgrade Promotion 

We are currently running a special offering to help customers with their HCL Notes Client upgrades to v12.  If you are interested in finding out more about our MarvelClient Upgrade solution and how it can help streamline your upgrade processes, please visit our promotion page online. 

Join the Global Launch  

Come join us at the global launch of Domino v12. There’s a ton of great content and announcements that await you.  

Licensing Update: Domino V12 and Key CCX Enhancement

2. Juni 2021 Posted by Uffe Sorensen

Over the past yearHCL Digital Solutions has been on a journey to consolidate our customers’ HCL Domino licensing around our modern, per user, licensing model – HCL Domino Complete Collaboration Business Edition (a.k.a. “CCB”) including unlimited Guest Users, and the additional external user capability under the HCL Domino Complete Collaboration eXternal User (a.k.a. “CCX”) entitlement. 

The majority of our customers are now licensed under this model. With the upcoming HCL Domino V12 release, we are further enhancing the CCB/CCX entitlements as described below.  

Additionally, with the release of HCL Domino V12 we are aligning all Domino products on consistent license termswhich will be available imminently and include the compliance rules outlined in “HCL Domino Support Update” from February 3, 2021. 

CCB Recap: Simplifying HCL Domino Licensing

CCB is the key step in our journey to provide one license model for HCL Domino, eliminating the uncertainty of server capacity and sub-capacity (PVU) licensing and ambiguous entitlement rules. 

  • A simple “Per User everything model” – use any client and any protocol for any server capacity to run all applications – including enterprise e-mail. 
  • Transparent license compliance management by simple user counting. 
  • Adding additional capabilities to the core Domino environment under CCB entitlements from V12 – for example HCL Nomad for Web Browsers and HCL SafeLinx. 

CCB entitlements are needed for all employees and contractors of your enterprise needing access to your Domino CCB servers – covering all B2E (Business-to-Employees) scenarios. All CCB entitlements include unlimited external web user access as needed for most B2C (Business-to-Consumer/Citizen) scenarios: 

  • Guest: unlimited anonymous browser users can freely access your Domino based websites. 
  • Known Guest: unlimited registered users with credentials to log-in and access applications limited to being a “Reader” with permission to “write public documents” (controlled by Domino application access [ACL] – see Known Guest Use Cases later in this blog post).

For B2B (Business-to-Business) or advanced B2C scenarios, where the external users need to fully engage in applications beyond the access permitted for Known Guests, we introduced the CCX entitlement as an add-on for CCB licensing. (See Introducing CCX, External User Entitlements“ from September 23, 2020.

Extending CCX entitlement to address additional use cases

CCX users have full functionally to use Domino or Domino Volt [see below] applications and workflows but cannot create applications themselves. CCX users do not have a personal mailbox but can use task/functional mail for workflow routing or applications generating mail.  

The CCX Authorized User entitlement is unique, however, can be reassigned after 30 days of inactivity.  Consequently, some former Domino Utility Server B2C use cases can now be easily changed from trying to manage/throttle server PVU consumption, to simply ensuring adequate CCX entitlements for actual/expected external users in any 30 day periodwith little or no change to existing apps.  See later in CCX Use Cases. 

CCB Recap: Add-on features for CCB licenses

HCL will continue the “add-on” scheme for CCB licensing, which now includes: 

  • HCL Domino Volt can be licensed to all CCB users.  Licensing HCL Domino Volt as an add-on, includes all CCB and CCX users, as well as enabling use of HCL Enterprise Integrator, HCL SAP Connector and HCL Link on all HCL Domino servers under CCB entitlements. 
  • HCL Sametime Premium: special add-on price for CCB users to upgrade from HCL Sametime Premium Limited Chat to full capabilities.  

CCB Recap: Access to Domino Servers Licensed under CCB

HCL Domino Servers deployed under CCB Authorized User entitlements can only be accessed by the Licensee’s Enterprise entitled CCB Authorized Users, Guest Users, and CCX Authorized Users. No other user access or Domino Client Access Licensing are permitted access to CCB licensed servers.  In addition, the Servers may participate in mail routing (SMTP), directory lookup and authentication (LDAP) for non-HCL Domino programs and permit access to free/busy time information. 

Known Guest Use Cases (general B2C)

Known Guest, as seen from an application, is an authenticated (must be identified) external user listed in the application access control list (ACL) with Reader permission and permitted to write public documents.  This access is either granted on a named user basis or by the user being a member of a group or generic association in the ACL. 

Content tailored to individual users, subscribing to information

Any Known Guest in an application can read all non-restricted documents in the database and download any attachments from these.  Access to specific documents in the database can be controlled by adding users/groups in the ”Reader Name Field” for the document(s). As a result, only the appropriate Known Guests can read/download content. If you have a special Interest Profile or similar for the users, this can be used to filter the information available to relevant individuals. 

Submitting a form, starting a workflow, creating content

If a Known Guest is flagged as permitted to “Write Public Documents” this user will be able to see all Forms/actions in the application which are enabled as “Available to Public Access Users”.  
For example, using a Form called “Create Interest Profile”, which the user would complete and save to create a special Interest Profile or tailor a mailing list.   

Hints for the Admins/Developers: The Save Process can turn off the “$PublicAccess=1” flag to prevent the Interest Profile from being visible to all users of the appbut still available for the app and the originator to access appropriate content. 

 If/when the Known Guest wants to “Update Interest Profile” later, another Form will be used presenting the update options, maybe pre-populated with some of the existing information, and then processed as above. 

Hints for the Admins/DevelopersThe Known Guest cannot update the initial document directly (being “Reader”), but the app could include a background Agent to manage updating/merging the content. 

When B2C requires higher level of access than the Known Guest

The above simple rules should permit implementation of most B2C use cases, however, HCL have found a number of existing B2C apps hosted on Domino Utility Server which do not adhere to the above rules. HCL has decided to enable the reuse of these apps rather than mandating a rewrite (which you can of course always do). This is accomplished by relaxing the usage requirements for the CCX entitlement and permitting an entitlement to be reassigned after 30 days of inactivity See examples below. 

CCX Use Cases

CCX Authorized User as seen from an application is an authenticated (must be identified) external user listed in the application access control list (ACL) with a maximum permission of Author. 
This access is either granted on a named user basis or by the user being a member of a group or generic association in the ACL. Any of these authenticated users can contribute documents to a Domino app/database, and edit own or other designated content. 

Some CCX B2B users will have a permanent, continuous, use of applications under the CCX entitlement.  
In B2C scenarios, with full use of app capabilities, user access is more sporadic. HCL have found that many customers with Domino Utility Server licensing, largely ignored the volume of users that were created as the user count was not a factor in licensing. These same customers struggled with server sub-capacity PVU management under fluctuating capacity needs and often had to throttle use to stay within licensed capacity (PVU) limits for their B2C apps, resulting in reduced customer satisfaction. 

Most applications written to work on a Domino Utility Server (using Author access) are now viable to deploy under CCX licensing, unchanged, by licensing the maximum volume of expected/planned users for any 30 day period. HCL still recommends that you optimize your B2C apps for the Known Guest model, which is included, with no limits, with even a single CCB entitlement. 

 Two examples of how to use short term/occasional external user engagement apps under the CCX model

Example 1: Job Postings

New Applicants register for web credentials and submit an initial Job Application Package.  They then: 

  • Update Packages during interview cycles and eventually progress into on-boarding workflows 
  • If not on-boarded, Job Application docs still exist and can be resumed/updated later by Applicants 
  • When there is no activity with a particular Applicant for 30 days, the CCX entitlement can be reassigned to another Applicant/External user – effectively, you need entitlements for any active/expected users within any 30 days period. 
Example 2: Citizen/Government Interactions 

Many countries are creating authentication facilities for citizens based on government issued individual credentials.  Any user based licensing counting all permitted users, would be totally prohibitive for using these public IDs.  However, many apps exist or are being written to submit public forms, to obtain information from Government/Municipalities, etc under the Government ID: 

  • The revised CCX is perfectly designed for many existing apps coded for user permission as Author. 
  • The app must use the Government provided means of authentication, and then have appropriate ACL set-up to allow these external users access up through Author for the app.  Data can be kept around as app scenarios dictate, and user affiliation with the app likewise.   
  • If there is no activity with a particular CCX Citizen for 30 days, the entitlement can be reassigned to another Citizen/External user – effectively, you need entitlements for any active/expected users within any 30 day period. 

 Both of these scenarios could, generally, be written/updated to work within the Known Guest model.

Aligning all Domino V12 Licenses

HCL Domino V12 products will be provided to customers on active Support consolidated under the four categories and License Information documents below.  Note, that all current entitlements, support subscriptions and part numbers remain unchanged. 

Program Name:  HCL Domino Complete Collaboration Business Edition 12.0 includes: 

  • HCL Domino Complete Collaboration Business Edition 12.0 
  • HCL Domino Complete Collaboration External User 12.0 
  • HCL Nomad for Web Browsers (eliminating desktop upgrades for the future) is a supporting program uniquely provided with the CCB entitlement from V12. Any customer needing this feature must migrate to the CCB/CCX license model. 

 Program Name:  HCL Domino Enterprise 12.0 consolidating the following 3 models: 

  • HCL Domino Enterprise 12.0 Client Access 
  • HCL Domino Enterprise 12.0 Processor Value Unit  
  • HCL Domino Collaboration Express 12.0 

 Program Name:  HCL Domino Messaging 12.0 consolidating the following 3 models: 

  • HCL Domino Messaging 12.0 Client Access 
  • HCL Domino Messaging 12.0 Processor Value Unit  
  • HCL Domino Messaging Express 12.0 

 Program Name:  HCL Domino Utility 12.0 consolidating the following 2 models: 

  • HCL Domino Utility 12.0 Processor Value Unit  
  • HCL Domino Utility Express 12.0 Processor Value Unit 

Acquiring Entitlements and Support for above products is fully supported for CCB/CCX and for all other products as described in “HCL Domino Support Update” from February 3, 2021, under the following rules: 

  • No partial renewals permitted for any licensing. 
  • For HCL Domino Enterprise Client/Server:  If the current configuration is compliant for both client and server side, Support can be renewed as-is, or you can migrate to CCB, cost neutral.  In all other circumstances, to renew or adjust volumes, HCL require that you negotiate a migration to the CCB/CCX license model.  
  • For HCL Domino Collaboration Express:  A compliant configuration can be renewed as-is, or you can migrate to CCB on attractive terms.  HCL also recommends migrating to CCB to increase footprints, or to take advantage of HCL Domino Volt, however, you are permitted to acquire additional perpetual entitlements for a compliant configuration. 
  • All compliant standalone Utility Server entitlements can be renewed as-is (use of Domino Designer requires appropriate Domino Enterprise Client Access licences). To increase footprints, HCL require that you migrate to the CCB/CCX license model, which now supports all Utility Server use cases. 
  • For HCL Domino Messaging product models: A compliant configuration can be renewed as-is.  Also, you can increase the footprint for a compliant configuration by acquiring appropriate new entitlement parts. 

 HCL has updated all formal HCL Domino V12 License Information Documents now available here

Managing the upgrade/coexistence scenario from Domino Utility Server to CCB/CCX

An existing Domino Utility Server PVU or Utility Express PVU configuration with appropriate Domino Enterprise Client Access licenses for app maintenance can be renewed as-is.  However, many customers want to grow their application volume (hence, deployed server capacity) or want to take advantage of moving to CCB/CCX and the CCB add-on capabilities.

If you replace your Utility Server Support Subscription with appropriate CCB/CCX Authorized User volume to cover the current users, you can leave the installation as-is and just use your new CCB licensing.

If you need to maintain coexistence between Utility Server and CCB environments, you need to observe the following guidelines: 

  • Any entitlements included with CCB are only available to the CCB environment, e.g. Safelinx/Nomad Web. If HCL Domino Volt was added to CCB, the HCL Enterprise Integrator, HCL SAP Connector, and HCL Link are only available for the CCB environment.  
  • Any existing HEI/SAP Connector in the Utility Server environment must be continued/renewed as-is and cannot be replaced by the CCB entitled programs.  
  • Users defined on Utility Servers must be on the Denied Access List for all CCB servers to separate them from CCB licensing counts, whereas any CCB user is permitted access to the Utility Servers. 
  • The V12 Entitlement Reporting Tool provides a report for all of your Domino Domains, however, you can drill down on specific servers or groups of servers to understand user volumes by server. 

This announcement further enforces CCB/CCX as the licensing platform for Domino customers, allowing all customers to upgrade to CCB and with CCB as the only model for all new customers.

If you have any questions about this blog post and announcements or have any licensing questions, please contact your HCL product specialist or Business Partner. 

 Useful Links:  

 Related Blog Posts:

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated since September 23,  2020, “Introducing CCX, External User Entitlements 

Q: How are CCB/CCX users counted?

A: The Domino V12 Entitlement Tracker Tool produces an internal report to assist you with license compliance. (This report is not collected by HCL) 

  • You simply count the entries across all Domino Directories and Authentication Sources permitting users to log-in.  The count of credentials permitting log-in equals the number of Authorized Users. 
  • Keep separate track of “external” users and exclude from the CCB count.  A user on all Denied Access Lists are excluded from the counts. 
  • CCB includes an unlimited entitlement for Guest users. If logged-in Known Guest user credentials are included in the Domino Directories identified/separated out as “guests”, simply exclude from CCB/CCX counts. 
  • Needed CCX entitlements are established from the maximum number of log-in’s used or to be used in any 30 day period.  
  • CCB and CCX can reside on same server or as administrator decides – counting is always across all Domino Directories in Licensee’s enterprise.   
  • No employee or contractor in Licensee’s Enterprise can be a CCX or Guest user.   
     

Q: am using an earlier Domino license model. How do I switch to CCB/CCX?  

A: CCB licensing is a superset of prior Domino licensing. When CCB licensing is established replacing active Domino licensing, CCB can provide the entitlements that were in place for the Domino Servers and various clients. To support the user constituents, you may need both CCB/Guest and CCX entitlements to match your current use cases, but you can continue to use deployed software. In most cases, if you have a compliant installation, the move to CCB is cost neutral. 

Q: I just need Domino apps, no need for mail or other features. 

A: Mail routing is intrinsic to Domino and to many apps that run on the platform. For simplicity, the full mail application is included with CCB and functional/workflow mail is included with CCX – both HCL Verse, the traditional Notes user interface, and mobile access. The mail function is always part of your entitlement, whether you use it or not. 

Q: Can I still just license mail? 

A: The mail-only licensing of Domino Messaging CAL/PVU, Messaging Express is still available. However, you can fully replace your mail entitlements with CCB and include Domino Volt to gain significant additional value for your users. (See also Aligning all Domino V12 Licenses in this blog.) 

Q: What is included with CCB and what are add-ons? 

A: The CCB license includes entitlements to  

  • HCL Nomad for Web Browsers for all CCB/CCX users 
  • HCL SafeLinx  for all CCB servers and CCB/CCX users  
  • HCL Sametime Premium Limited Chat 
  • You must have a CCB license to enable any code install/download & product support for the above functions. 

Add-ons include:   

  • Full HCL Sametime Premium at a special, reduced, price 
  • HCL Domino Volt for all CCB users at a simple uplift (which is also extended to all CCX users for no additional charge).  The HCL Domino Volt add-on includes HCL Enterprise Integrator, HCL SAP Connector and HCL Link which are entitled for all CCB entitled servers with Domino Volt 
  • CCX on a per External User basis as described elsewhere in this blog. 

Q: What is a CCB user permitted to do? 

A: CCB users are entitled to all aspects of Domino applications and enterprise e-mail and purchased add-ons per above, without license restrictions on what users are permitted to do. CCB users can create and participate in apps and workflows to any level set by their Domino Administrators. 

Q: How do you restrict CCX and Guest users’ access to an application? 

A: Based on your settings in the Domino “Access Control List” (ACL) – all Domino databases/applications have an ACL which maps access levels to users. The access level is a classification limiting which tasks a user can perform in the database  – Manager, Editor, Author, Reader, Depositor, No Access – these classes are just labels, not verbatim. To fully understand permitted use cases, refer to the product documentation on ACLs found here  
Learn about Domino Access Control Lists (ACL)

Hints for the Admins/DevelopersExisting apps and standard templates may need customisation to support Known Guest users (free with CCB), whereas CCX users should have appropriate support with no changes to apps. 

Q: Why is a CCX user permitted ACL level up to Author? 

A: CCX users can fully participate in, and use (not create) Domino apps and workflows (including Domino Volt if added to CCB.)  The maximum ACL level allowed is “Author” access, which is typically assigned to users who need to contribute documents to a Domino database – and authenticated users can edit their own and other designated content.  
CCX is for authenticated, external users only and not permitted for any employee or contractor in the Licensee’s Enterprise. 

Q: Why is an anonymous Guest permitted ACL level up to Author? 

A: Anonymous Guests are web users, who beyond browsing a web site are permitted actions like submitting a contact form, participating in a web survey, posting anonymous blog content, etc. “Author” access is typically assigned to users who need to contribute documents to a Domino database just like CCX users, however, being anonymous they cannot edit any content, nor access individualised content and no details are retained as to who contributed to the database. 

Q: Why is a logged-in Guest only permitted ACL level up to Reader? 

A: Under ACL control, “Reader” access allows controlled creation of documents by using public access forms. Logged-in Guests authenticating with HTTP/LDAP are typically a dynamic, ever increasing volume of users visiting your web site, registering to gain access to community content, special interest forums, initiating workflows, etc.  “Reader” access is typically assigned to users who are only permitted to read documents in a database and/or using public forms to create documents. This case is for authenticated, external, limited use only, and not permitted for any Employee or contractor in the Licensee’s Enterprise.  
For external users needing any higher level of access, you must purchase CCX entitlements. 

Disclaimer – HCL’s statements regarding its plans, directions, and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice at HCL’s sole discretion. Information regarding potential future products is intended to outline our general product direction and it should not be relied on in making a purchasing decision. The information mentioned regarding potential future products is not a commitment, promise, or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. Information about potential future products may not be incorporated into any contract. The development, release, and timing of any future features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion. Performance is based on measurements and projections using standard HCL benchmarks in a controlled environment. The actual throughput or performance that any user will experience will vary depending upon many factors, including considerations such as the amount of multi programming in the user’s job stream, the I/O configuration, the storage configuration, and the workload processed. Therefore, no assurance can be given that an individual user will achieve results similar to those stated here.  

Customer Success Case Study for Nolte Küchen, GmbH

27. Mai 2021 Posted by Karl Sand

A new customer success story was recently released by panagenda and was subsequently published by the HCL marketing team. The story outlines the dramatic improvements of the HCL Notes client management and improved upgrade processes for a German manufacturing company, Nolte Küchen. Below is a quote from their team lead who manages the Notes and Domino environment for the company. 

“Without MarvelClient, a Notes upgrade would be almost impossible for us. It would take more than 12 months for all clients, or we might not even be able to complete it at all.” 

Dr. Dirk Kirchhoff, Nolte Küchen

The company has been a long-time Domino shop, first deploying the collaboration and communication platform in 1997. However, by 2010, they had a sprawling set of inconsistent client deployments across the organization. This was causing issues with IT support troubleshooting and making subsequent client upgrades a nightmare. After deploying the MarvelClient solution the IT group was able to successfully identify the non-standard HCL Notes client configurations on all computers and quickly implement a fixup campaign to push out a common install. 

Helpdesk calls were reduced, and client performance improved for all users. As stated by their team ead, MarvelClient suddenly provided us with full visibility into the current Notes client environment and highlighted the potential problems cause by a mixed bag of inconsistent installs.” 

To download a copy of the customer case study from panagendaclick here

The case study has also been published on the HCL website  for your reference. 

Enabling a Smooth and Speedy HCL Notes Client Upgrade 

For those customers who have not upgraded their HCL Notes clients in years, and are subsequently out of practice with the processes and procedures to ensure a smooth experience for their end users, we can help. The MarvelClient Upgrade solution empowers organizations to optimize their HCL Notes client management and standardize all user installs with a consistent configuration. If any client settings or modifications are made through user error, they will be rectified and reset to the standard, supported configurations on the next restart of the HCL Notes client. These automated restore functions enable any organization to ensure a consistent environment for their users and reduce the number of IT support calls from HCL Notes client installation issues.  

Find Out More

The panagenda company is currently running a promotion to help customers with their Notes Client upgrades in preparation for the release of HCL Notes and Domino v12.  If you are interested in finding out more about the MarvelClient Upgrade solution and how it can help streamline your client upgrade processes, please visit the panagenda promotion page online 

 

The Three Keys to Success for HCL Software Support

24. Mai 2021 Posted by Piet Gaarthuis

While HCL Software as a division within HCL Technologies has grown tremendously over the last 4 years, many of you have asked what HCL Software Support is all about. How do we work? How can we ensure that you get help when in need? How can you depend on us?

Of course, we do have our Objectives defined in our legal framework, the Support Guide, to meet Legal obligations. Practically, however, that does not always give you the perspective of how we work.

To help you get up and running as fast as we possibly can, we strive to be a Support Team that is responsive, communicative, technically sound as well as professional in troubleshooting.

That may sound straight-forward and easy. But as often in software engineering, we find that the engineers who are deeply specialized might not exhibit the best general communication skills, while communicative and empathic employees might not always be the best ‘techies’. We intend to bridge that and build a team that is your trusted partner in deeply technical and complex environments.

Similarly, a doctor needs to be an expert in his medical field but also needs to have a sense of empathy, an ability to talk to different patients at different levels, and, through questioning, make an analysis of what might be going on.

I often use the medical industry as a metaphor. You want to trust your medical professionals to do the right thing. We in HCL Software Support aim to be the medical professionals of the Software Industry. Organisationally, we therefore have an emergency ward to assist you 24 by 7. There are general practitioners to have good conversations with you to assess the urgency and identify possible avenues of further analysis or recovery. We have specialists to help in specific fields that require deep skills. Sometimes we engage a surgeon to build a fix, while at other times we request pharmacists to provide medication (workarounds) to mitigate symptoms.

There are three capabilities that we believe are core within that level of professionalism.

  1. Responsiveness: what is going on? When you reach out to us, we will try to call you to review your perspective of the concern you raised, gauge the impact, grasp the technical context, and evaluate follow-up options. To set expectations we need to understand the concern. Do we need a quick remote session? Do we miss version information? Is the observed behaviour repeatable? Do we need to call in experts with specific expertise? Or can we address the concern on the fly? These are all aspects that might or might not apply to the situation at hand. The thousands of Enterprise clients HCL Software works with all have unique implementations of our software. This approach would be comparable to what a general practitioner would do in their conversations with patients. What is aching? Does it ache all the time? What have you tried so far? Do we need to move you to the ICU? Being responsive while asking the right questions is critical to how we believe Software Support is delivered.
  2. Product and Domain expertise. A Support Engineer working for customers using a Marketing Application like Unica will need to understand the application back to front. Not only the product Unica, also the multitude of different implementations of Unica, including the connecting technologies it works with, like operating systems, extensions, databases or cloud environments. Think of a neurologist who is an expert in neurons as well as in all the connecting tissues and organs, or an ophthalmologist who might understand the physics of the eye in detail but is nowhere if not also understanding how it is connected to the brain. The same is valid for our Support Engineers working for the Domino suite of products or our DevOps portfolio, or any of the other Product Families that HCL Software offers. We are therefore organised by Product Family but also have cross domain skills to provide the right expertise for your query.
  3. Troubleshooting. We, at HCL Software, partner with the Kepner-Tregoe Company to teach our engineers the Kepner-Tregoe troubleshooting methodology (www.kepner-tregoe.com) over the next few years. This helps our engineers to become professional troubleshooters. It puts a logical framework around a natural tendency that we all have when ‘things go wrong’. This helps Software Support Engineers to communicate clearly, prioritise, define problems factually, and think through options. With this approach, we bring One Language to our Engineers in the communication within our teams and with you, our customer. There is this famous test of the Invisible Gorilla (http://www.theinvisiblegorilla.com/videos.html). While the spectators were focused on the ball being thrown from player to player on a basketball court, a Gorilla moved around this court. Most of the spectators missed even spotting the gorilla. That research was reproduced with radiologists searching for nodules in lungs of patients. They asked radiologists to perform a familiar lung nodule detection task. A gorilla, almost 50 times larger than the average nodule, was inserted in the last case. 83% of radiologists did not notice the gorilla (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3964612/).

With our partnership with the Kepner-Tregoe company we aim to reduce the percentage of misses in our Software Troubleshooting.

So far, we have done remarkably well. When referring to the industry standard of Net Promoter Score on surveys, we consistently score 60 or higher, amongst the top performers in the Software World (see for example: https://delighted.com/blog/what-is-a-good-nps-score).

But, of course, we are still young and not perfect. We continue to learn, strive to be better to exceed your expectations and HCL’s wish to Deliver Beyond the Contract.

For more information, visit: https://support.hcltechsw.com/csm

How HCL Connections Opens Up Opportunities by Breaking Down Silos

17. Mai 2021 Posted by Adam Gartenberg

From its inception, the HCL Connections collaboration suite was built around the central premise of openness and discoverability.  This was specifically done to ensure that content and expertise needed to collaborate effectively with other team members is easily discoverable. Information silos, on the other hand, disrupt and slow down collaboration. Eighty percent of companies in a recent survey reported a moderate to high degree of information silos within the organizations. Silos impede employee efficiency and can negatively impact both the top line and the bottom line of a company’s financials. 

Information silos separate employees and information 

What causes information silos?  Overlapping and disparate applications that don’t talk to each other or are only used in specific parts of an organization. Disconnected and dispersed content leads to document duplication, version control difficulty, and productivity loss as employees needlessly search for crucial information across multiple content repositories. These unintentional boundaries can have a profound impact on employee productivity, engagement and the ability to solve problems.

Breaking down information silos 

Our most recent software release bridges the silo gap by bringing the benefits of Connections to the Microsoft Ecosystem, adding information-sharing capabilities to both Connections and Microsoft. Inside Connections, you can now start a conversation via Microsoft Teams Chat with any of your Connections contacts from their business card, profile page, or the Important to Me bar.  You can also immediately share and start a conversation around any page in Connections by clicking the Teams icon that you’ll find on that page.

You can bring your SharePoint libraries into your Connections Communities, and users can round-trip edit their files in Office with changes automatically saved right back into Connections files – no need to upload an updated file each time.

Inside the Microsoft applications, you have one-click access to your Connections community applications — files, wikis, forums, activity feed, etc. — right inside your Teams chats and channels.  You can also insert files or any recent content from Connections into your conversations simply by clicking on the Connections icon in the chat bar.

And lastly, we’ve introduced a brand-new Outlook add-in that lets you seamlessly shift content back and forth between Outlook and Connections, such as moving file attachments into or out of Connections or looking up details on meeting recipients from their profiles.  These enhancements work on all Outlook clients — Windows, Mac, web, and mobile.

Tear down walls

Removing internal boundaries and information silos should be a priority given the tangible impact on improving employee productivity. Making work more seamless with built-in integration will not only improve productivity, but it will also amplify team communication and decision velocity. Productivity gains include reduced toggling between Connections and Microsoft applications by up to 50%. You can also share content with team members five times faster while at the same time reducing unnecessary searches. Add to this the 1-click collaboration with cross-functional team members capability, and it’s easy to understand the real benefits of integration. Integrating the value of your Connections people-powered communities and content into your Microsoft tools will leverage the best of Connections and Microsoft.

To see our integration capabilities in action, check out the video replay of our recent webinar.

Frequently asked questions about our integrations 

Q: Are the integrations you have shown today directly available after upgrading to v7? Or are they still under development? 

A: All of the integrations shown today between Connections and Teams, SharePoint, Outlook and Office are available today. 

Q: Is there any integration between Activities and Outlook? 

A: Yes, you can save an email or an attachment to an activity (e.g. as a To-Do) 

Q: What about integration to other HCL products? Connection to Domino, Connections to Sametime, etc.? 

A: Enhanced integration with the latest version of HCL Sametime is coming soon, and we will continue to update integrations with Domino and other parts of our portfolio.

Q: How are employees authenticated between Connections and Teams? Via Microsoft Active Directory? Or Domino LDAP or both? 

A: Single sign-on is accomplished by setting up a trust relationship between the Connections server and Microsoft Azure using the WebSphere OpenID Connect Relying Party Trust Association Interceptor (OIDC Relying Party TAI).   Check out additional details here.

Q: Do you have any best practice documents for where there is overlap in functionality between Connections and Microsoft 365 (e.g., managing files)? 

A: Our recommendation would be to consolidate files in one place to make them all searchable and discoverable.  Storing them all in Connections Files ensures they are accessible and discoverable all in one place. Integrating from there into Teams means you still have a single file store while making them accessible when collaborating in Teams.

Q: Teams Channel and Connections Communities seemed to be similar and can also lead to duplicate content? Any reason we should use one over the other? 

A: There are a lot of capabilities and benefits that a Connections Community offers that Teams doesn’t provide.  Communities enable structure and organization to a team or project, allowing you to use the right tool for the right job (e.g., wiki vs. forum vs. file share, etc.), and is open and discoverable across the organization.

Q: What type of the Teams tab do you use to integrate with Connections? Is it just a Web tab or some custom application? 

A: Once the integration is deployed, you’ll find Connections as an option along with all the other Teams apps when you go to the Add Apps component in Teams.  From there, it will walk you through selecting the community and the specific app within that community.

Q: Do you have a documentation how to deploy the Connections integration into a Teams? 

A: Further details on deploying this integration are here

HCL Domino Volt: April Release with New Integration Possibilities

27. April 2021 Posted by Martin Lechleider

It’s been exactly a year since the official launch of HCL Domino Volt, and it’s been a fun ride! In the last year, we’ve gained more than 400 new customers and have seen consistently high attendance on all our webinars and workshops. In fact, the launch webinar in April 2020 took the top spot with the largest number of registrations across the Digital Solutions portfolio in the entire year! We’re thankful for our customers, partners, and everyone who has contributed to the success of this product.

The fun continues this year with our current April release. Domino Volt is on a quarterly release cycle and this marks our fourth release so far. Starting today, customers can access v1.0.3 on the HCL License Portal and we’ve provided updated documentation here.  Before I dive into the details of this release, I’d like to share two important events:

  • New release webinar: Tomorrow, I’ll be hosting a webinar about this release at 10 AM ET. You can read more about the release below but wouldn’t it be cooler to see it in action? Join my webinar and come with questions! I’m anticipating a lively Q&A session.
  • Global launch of Domino v12: Domino Volt will be available for Domino customers on v11 and v12. Join us for this exclusive event to learn about this major release. There will be a dedicated session on Domino Volt during the live event on June 7. Following the live event, we will be unrolling 12 days of exciting Domino content. I won’t reveal much here but there will be an exciting announcement you don’t want to miss!  

 What’s New with Domino Volt 

New integration with HCL Link: I’m excited to announce that HCL Link is now included as part of Domino Volt. This addition will greatly expand and simplify your integration options.  Administrators can set up connections to relational database, SaaS services like Salesforce and ServiceNow, REST services, Excel spreadsheets and more. Domino Volt designers can then use these connections and easily integrate them into their apps.

More ways to use your Domino investment: Create, update, and delete data in Domino databases (in addition to reading, which was released in 1.0.1), and trigger Domino Agents to run from events in your app.

Build more than forms: Add app pages (pages that are not forms) to your app on front-end menus, dashboards, and display of information. You can also add navigation elements to your app that let users move from any page in your app to other pages with ease — without having to write any code.

Not an HCL Domino Volt customer yet? Try it out in our free sandbox, which includes all the latest features in this release. Find out more about HCL Domino Volt here

The Countdown to the Newest HCL Domino and Sametime Begins! Join Us for Our Global Launch

15. April 2021 Posted by Richard Jefts

I am thrilled to announce that registration is now live for what will surely be a true, blockbuster event on June 7. This exclusive virtual event celebrates our latest versions of HCL Domino v12 and HCL Sametime. The first 1200 registrants got a free gift (we blew past that number in a couple of days!).

I personally love the amazing video that helps capture the excitement as we could down the days to these “breakaway” releases. (An agenda will be released soon. Follow us on Twitter to get the latest.) 

The launch event will include thought-leading sessions, demos, customer speakers, and more. And, it kicks off an exciting collection of Domino content delivered in a series we are calling the “Domino Dozen” (once you’ve registered for the launch, you will have access to this program). Each day, for 12 days following the launch, we will drop a new, essential Domino-related treasure. These pieces will include webinars, panel discussions, and technical deep dives, early access to special programs, thought leadership pieces, and more.  

Also, join us for the closing keynote and happy hour on June 23 — we are calling “Nerdi Gras,” as a hat tip to the days of Lotus past. We will be releasing a party kit soon, with downloadable favors, so you can join in the fun.

For those of us who’ve been on this Domino journey with us for so many years — and for those of you we will be welcoming as new customers — we can’t wait to celebrate.

Join us.

Verse 2.1.0 Is Now Available!

15. April 2021 Posted by Agnes Ng

We are pleased to announce the release of HCL Verse 2.1.0 for general availability. In the past few months, we have been focusing on providing you a more user-friendly email platform which aims to boost your productivity at work.  
 
Some of the new features of this release are: 
 
Contact Photo from Domino NAB:  
 
Now you can upload your contact photo (profile picture) to the Domino Directory through Verse. There are a few ways to do this: 
 
(1) Upload a photo from a local drive  
(2) Enter a URL to photo 
(3) Take a picture using the photo booth in Verse and upload it! 
 
If you already have a photo configured in the Domino directory, Verse can access the directory and display your contact photo.  
 
New Extension Point – Modify on Send 
 
Extensibility is one of the focuses of our product. In this release, we deliver a new extension point which allows customers to modify the email body and subject before mail is sent. One of the major use cases is inserting a classified marking to mail subject and body. This feature helps users to flag and classify emails based on sensitivity of information.  This is particularly useful to public authority, government departments and large enterprises. 
 
Verse-Sametime Integration with new Sametime web client 
 
This improvement is not limited to Verse 2.1.0. With Sametime 11.5 FP1  (released in Feb 2021) you can now initiate chat and meetings with your co-workers using the new Sametime web client. We understand that it may take time for customers to upgrade to Verse 2.1.0, so this new experience is compatible with previous versions of Verse as well.  To enjoy this new feature, just install the latest FP of Sametime! 

These are just some of the features of this release.  To see the full list, please refer to our Release Note.  To try out these new features for yourself, simply download the package from Flexnet. 
 
For more Verse information visit: 

HCL Verse Developer site can be found here
HCL Verse Ideas Portal on Aha

Domino Product Team

Digital Tools to Transform the Employee Experience

15. April 2021 Posted by Dan Allen

Every successful company invests in customer experiences, but far fewer are making the kind of investments in employee experiences that truly matter. As companies add more and more applications to support their business and customers, employee experiences can be neglected — even though now the need has never been greater. Digital platforms and tools are an essential component of an effective business to employee (B2E) strategy.

An employee experience is the sum of interactions and exchanges an employee has within their company — both personally and organizationally. How an employee perceives his or her journey through all the touchpoints within the organization matters. A lot. Why? Because employees are the true drivers of your business and the better the employee experience, ultimately, the better the customer experience. A Gallup study found “that companies with highly engaged employees outperform their competitors by 147% in earnings per share,” and that highly engaged employees are energized through an exceptional digital workplace.

Businesses are also seeing a cultural shift with new norms and expectations from employees. Add to that the recent pandemic, which has accelerated the use of digital tools and driven the need for companies to invest in digital platforms like never before. As employee demands and outside pressures continually grow, companies can’t afford to ignore these expectations if they want to attract and retain talented employees and teams.

Employee portals are key to improving the overall employee experience. Whether it’s an employee searching for IT support documentation or taking an eLearning class online, these B2E portals offer the opportunity for businesses to radically improve the employee experience.

You first need to understand why your employees would be using intranet portals. Are portals used to collaborate with other employees, search for answers to common questions or just necessary for getting work done? Gaining insight from employee interactions creates a currency, based on the data collected, to improve outcomes for the employee and the business. Employee experiences should be treated with as much care and analysis as customer experiences, since your employee is just as important.

Then, you should decide what will deliver the most value for your employees and business. As an example, eLearning might be a high priority if you are introducing a new product line. Or, you may have an urgent need to introduce employee self-service portals to optimize resources, reduce wait times and increase productivity. Sometimes with existing systems applications and data, needed by many employees, can only be accessed by certain departments, hampering access and causing frustration. Regardless of the need, companies should focus on solving business problems while at the same time driving increased employee efficiencies and collaboration.

Remember, that improving the employee experience should also include personalization, when it adds specific value. You could enable a customizable employee homepage to surface crucial information that can be tailored to make it easier for employees to get their job done. You could also customize content by role, or position within the company, to ensure information is only accessible and relevant to that role’s daily tasks. Personalized training for employees can be added based on their specific role and set up to track their personal development journey. In a Forbes research study, 86% of employees said they would change jobs if it resulted in more opportunities for personal development. Investing in a more personalized approach increases employee satisfaction and could potentially improve employee retention for your top talent. Today, thanks to advanced DXP tools, personalization can easily be applied to all your employees for an enriched experience.

Ultimately the employee experience, good or bad, will continue to impact your customers and your business success. Harnessing the power of your DXP may be your single-most important tool to drive the improvements needed in today’s business environment. This added intelligence can help you construct a truly integrated platform that transforms the employee experience. The employee intranet and associated portals are the best way to drive more engagement, innovation and productivity.

Find out more about how HCL Digital Experience should be your intranet portal of choice.

HCL Domino v12 Beta 3 Has Arrived

2. April 2021 Posted by Thomas Hampel

What a blast! In our webinar hosted this week, we announced Beta 3 is now available for download on Flexnet for all Domino customers. Watch the replay here.  This will be the last beta drop before the v12 release so don’t miss your chance to participate and help us shape the future of Domino! In this third iteration, we are unleashing another set of great features. See the full list here or read highlights below.

We’ve also included a Q&A received during our webinar and a special shoutout to all our customers and partners who covered our beta in blogs and tweets below!

Notes Client Highlights

New 64bit Notes Basic Client
For the first time ever, we are releasing a 64-bit Notes Basic client for beta testing. Many of our customers have been voting for this and we’re pleased to deliver. (See this idea from Cormac.)

Our main intent for this release is to engage customers, business partners, and third-party vendors to try out 64-bit Windows Basic version and test existing extension integrations. Our plan is to provide several iterations of this 64-bit client in beta and once we feel that we have addressed most of the known and reported issues, we will release the Standard 64-bit client.

More Improvements for the Workspace
In Beta 2, we introduced a new Notes client user interface for the workspace. Thanks to all your feedback, we have addressed several improvement requests such as reducing excessive spacing between icons and adding the ability to change the font color of workspace database icon (which is also policy controlled). Now you can also partially or completely collapse the workspace navigator and easily identify multiple replicas with the added a visual indicator. Read more here: 

Apple M1 Support
Good news for customers planning to use Apple’s new M1 hardware with HCL Notes. Beta 3 now also supports those type of CPUs.

Domino Server

Password Synchronization
A new secure method to synchronize password changes from Active Directory to Domino allows customers to reduce the number of passwords that users have to remember. Password changes from Active Directory are instantly being applied to the Domino IDVault.

Domino Backup
An integrated backup solution that allows you to manage backup and restore processes from within a Domino application. It provides a simple backup client for Domino. (See this idea from Sean.)

Entitlement Tracker
This new entitlement tracker will help to take an inventory of your environment to identify the entitlements needed under the new CCB/CCX license model. 
For more details about the license model please refer to the following articles on CCB Licensing and CCX Licensing or review documentation here

Other Enhancements 

Questions and Answers 

We received more than 300 questions in our Q&A earlier this week. We’ve answered some of your key questions below. However, if you have an unanswered question about the beta, please submit them in the beta forum

Q: How do I join the beta program?
A: If you are a current customer, then you already have access to the beta. More details here.   

Q: Does the new Domino Backup allow for backing up NSF and NTF files? 
A: Yes.

Q: Does it need a new volume to be mounted in Docker? 
A: You need a volume because you want your backup to be preserved, you can use the same volume as for your data directory or a different one.

Q: Do unread marks get lost when restoring? 
A: No, for a full restore the unread marks will be recovered. When merging individual documents back into the original database, merged documents will have a new UNID and so unread marks will be different.

Q: Is the backup system compatible with IBM Spectrum Protect? 
A: It is possible to integrate with a variety of backup vendors, however for Spectrum Protect there is no need to change as there is an existing backup agent for Domino.

Q: Will Verse support updating photos in the Domino Directory instead of Connections? 
A: Yes, Verse will release a new version in April, so in just a few days, which will support this.

Q: Will Nomad Web be available with v12 beta or do we need to get access to another beta program? 
A: Nomad Web runs its own beta program. If you want to participate, register here.

Q: Is it possible to sync passwords back to AD? 
A: No, a Domino server does not have a copy of the Notes UserID password.

Q: Is there a chance we’ll see Sametime Community, or Traveler also on Docker? 
A: Yes, Traveler on Docker is part of this beta. Sametime to be provided later.

Q: Can I have page 25 of the handouts? I am a guitarist and server names are EPIC.  
A: You can find the slides here – Domino v12 Beta 3. Rock On!

Q: Can I use any TOTP application? 
A: Yes, any TOTP application of your choice will work.

Q: Who can I talk to for some sparring of upgrading a customer from R7.03 to 11.0.1FP2 or version 12? 
A: Please reach out to Luis Guirigay, luis.guirigay@hcl.com. 

Q: Where can I provide feedback on a feature or report a problem? 
A: Please use our Domino v12 beta forum.

Q: When is Domino v12 be released? 
A: v12 is scheduled to be released prior to launch but mark your calendars for the live announcement event on June 7th 2021.

Customer Feedback So Far 

We’re so excited to hear your experiences with the beta so far! Please keep them coming and don’t forget to tag us on Twitter, @HCLDigital, for a retweet.

Special thanks go to Haruyuki Nakano for deploying Beta 3 and testing the new Domino Backup solution just a few minutes after the webcast.

Ales Lichtenberg also tested the new Backup solution backup in his test environment to and he seems to like it!

Marc-Oliver Schaake saying (translated): Thomas Hampel is showing features we have been waiting for since 1989.

Please read and share Rainer Brandl’s blog about Beta3 containing “a great surprise”. 

Milan Matejic nicely summarizing what he likes the most in this iteration of the Beta.

Oliver Busse being has been actively blogging about v12 testing the Domino 12 backup feature and highlighting UI changes here and here.

Great note from our Nordic Collaboration User group about our Connections Plugin

Past Beta Blogs

Exciting New HCL Sametime Features Released Today

1. April 2021 Posted by HCL Sametime Team

Today marks a major milestone in our commitment to helping create the digital office our teams need to get work done, be more efficient, and collaborate effectively with colleagues. We are thrilled to announce 6 new features for your favorite meetings and chat solution:

  • New filters in video settings: Animations will make it appear as if you are focusing intently, even if you are checking your phone or surfing the web 
  • Awards show mode: Music will automatically fade in when the meeting goes past the scheduled end time — or attendees can activate it manually to drown out someone who is being dominating and annoying 
  • Picture-in-picture pet mode: A new setting allows for you to have your camera display one window for you, and one window for your pet (who only seems to wander around or bark when you have meetings with management) 
  • Social media security settings: A custom notification will display if you are sharing your screen and distractedly attempt to go over to the browser tab that has Facebook open 
  • New AI integrations: When you suddenly are asked a question in a meeting when you weren’t paying attention, you can summon Siri or Alexa to answer it for you — run through a special Sametime voice-matching filter set up to sound like you 
  • New audio settings: Less embarrassing, pre-set sounds, such as water running or a carn horn honking, will be auto played to drown out toilets flushing or family members yelling in the background.  

 Happy April Fool’s Day. Of course, this was a joke!

But you know what’s no joke? The upcoming global premiere of the newest version of HCL Sametime on June 7. Register here. And, the fact that Sametime beats the competition — hands-down. Let us show you how.  

Why Connections Communities Are Critical for Project Teams Success

30. März 2021 Posted by Adam Gartenberg

Project teams are a critical component of getting work done, and their productivity is key for success. Since collaboration and communication are so important, how do you know if your current toolset tools support your needs?

Eliminate roadblocks

One of the biggest roadblocks to close collaboration is the lack of a fundamental framework that makes collaboration easier. In other words, collaboration is not just a personal skill, it’s a result of structure and tools that support content sharing, ideation, and interaction between team members. If you add virtual project teams into the mix, the challenges of effective collaboration are even more pronounced. 

HCL Connections solves this dilemma by enabling organizational teams and project teams to create “Communities” to support a collaborative work experience. So, what is a Connections Community? It’s a flexible, digital workspace where people come together to communicate, collaborate, share information and expertise, and solve problems. Communities enable information flow and sharing across the entire collaborative ecosystem.

Make success repeatable

Connections Communities make collaboration an integral part of the work experience by organizing your productivity tools, apps, content and tasks all in one place. Virtually everything you need, focused on a particular project or important activity, is at your fingertips. Whether you need to view the status of assigned tasks or edit a shared document, your Connections Community provides the tools to get the job done efficiently.

Connections also includes a setup wizard to simplify the creation of new Communities. Use our built-in, professionally designed templates or reuse proven and engaging templates built upon your own best practices. Creating a new community and getting a new project team up-and-running has never been faster or easier.

Be more productive

One of the biggest productivity losses for project teams is searching for information. Information is typically disconnected from projects and tasks, and therefore hard to find. Studies consistently demonstrate that employees spend needless hours each week searching for crucial data and information. Communities address this inefficiency by providing a content repository for all project documents. No need to search across multiple applications to find missing information — everything is together in one place. Knowledge is presented and shared within an organized approach so everyone on the team can access it more readily.

Locating specific expertise or another team member, with a specific skill or knowledge to help solve a problem, is another benefit of a Community. Team members, with specific expertise, can be easily identified, speeding up problem-solving.

Increase transparency

Solving complex business problems takes efficient and organized teamwork and communication. Communities create a natural collaboration channel for team members to increase transparency and visibility of project timelines, dependencies and roadblocks, typically resulting in accelerated problem-solving. Communities also help facilitate communication across time zones and multiple geographies to make it easier to connect with remote team members. Problems are more difficult to solve if they are not visible — and Connections provides the framework to keep everyone informed, focused and on the same page.

Strengthen the power of your teams

Today’s workforce is more digital and automation-savvy than ever. At the same time, business expectations, needs and demands are evolving at lightning speeds. Connections Communities meet these challenges head-on by providing the needed framework to support the modern digital workspace. Communities are one of the most important basic components to help increase productivity, accountability and drive team results.

Why Providing a Consumer-Grade App Experience is So Important

19. März 2021 Posted by HCL Volt MX Team

Would you pay for content from a streaming service that required you to read a detailed manual in order to find and then watch any shows you picked?  Would you use Instagram if it meant grinding through a series of hour-long tutorials on how to post a photo?  Could you comprehend ponying up the cash for a smartphone if you knew it would take months, maybe even years to figure out how to use it properly?

You no doubt answered “no” to these questions because you value your time, and you have a clear expectation of what certain products offer and will require in return.

For many years the gap between the enterprise app-experience and a regular consumer app experience was cavernous — enterprise software was not expected to be user-friendly, it was expected to be complex and robust enough to carry out functions on a large-scale.  But a shift has occurred, and a new paradigm has emerged.

A consumer-grade experience is now integral to building enterprise app software, what users expect, and is mission-critical for companies interested in maintaining a position of strategic leadership in their respective industry.

What is a consumergrade experience?

Simply put, if you can intuitively operate a product with little or no training required, you are having a consumer grade experience.  You can open a box or download an app, press a button and bam. In a few minutes you’re on your way to using a product you have never used before.

Typically, a consumer-grade product or experience will offer the following features: 

  • Simplicity: processes are streamlined allowing users to take action with limited steps
  • Aestheticallypleasing: users not only enjoy the experience more but are comfortable and confident when the visual presentation is appealing and engaging
  • Intuitive: users become adept more quickly with a product or service if the user-experience patterns are familiar and the learning curve builds on a previous knowledge base
  • Accessible: can integrate on multiple platforms without any loss of usability or engagement, can be connected to regardless of location or setting, and is usable by anyone

Conversely, a professionalgrade experience — which enterprise software historically has been — is one in which the technical requirements demand training, onboarding and immersion before the product can be operated and adopted to its full potential.  It’s not opened and mastered instantly.

And that’s for a very good reason:  Enterprise software is incredibly complex!  Perhaps one day navigating an enterprise system responsible for operating a supply chain — to pick one example — will be as direct as ordering a pizza from your phone, but until then there’s a level of sophistication impossible to ignore.

Enterprise software has to handle enormous loads of data and integrate information across a sprawling network of systems, applications, people and channels. The complex nature of what’s required in an enterprise operation could only — until relatively recently — be properly addressed with complicated, professional-grade developers tools.

In short, enterprise applications were previously used begrudgingly, out of necessity to perform tasks no consumer grade software could handle.  That has changed.

The shift toward user choice of software within enterprise companies 

The evolution of enterprise software reflects how powerfully digital transformation has impacted the way these applications are bought, integrated and updated.  The early days of enterprise software was marked by a top-down approach:  software was purchased by the C-suites and pushed onto employees to learn and use, regardless of whether they liked or benefitted from the user experience at all.

As enterprise software has evolved and expanded over the past decade, so has the decision-making process for choosing software.  The top-down approach has been upended as companies have realized a powerful truth: if users, customers, and teams don’t like an app ‘s user experience or software, if it’s not intuitive, responsive and accessible, they will not fully embrace it. That can result in an avalanche of squandered time, stunted collaboration and diminished productivity.

Adoption is key to productivity and organizational success and reduces the risk of people going to “shadow IT” (unsanctioned and possibly risky technology) to get work done. The users, once an afterthought in choosing enterprise software, are now the ones driving adoption and looking for systems that include the dynamic user capabilities of a consumer-grade experience.

Take enterprise messaging tools, for example. Often, they were not pushed upon individuals by higher-ups.  They were selected and requested — demanded even — by teams who had either tried it for themselves or heard about it through word-of-mouth and were convinced it could improve workflow communication for their company.

Why consumergrade UX is essential for mission critical apps 

Enterprise companies are aiming not just for peak performance but to establish and enhance their reputation for strategic leadership.  And rightfully so.  Gaining an edge in hyper-competitive industries is about productivity, sure, but it also hinges on continual innovation and internal cohesion that only an engaged and connected workforce can achieve.

Nurturing those qualities includes giving developers app platforms and software that they can master quickly and build seamlessly with.

Finding a comprehensive platform that can create digital experiences across all channels with a consumer grade user interface can improve critical areas of need: 

  • productivity boost from development tools such as low code that speed up app delivery for professional developer and empower less experienced developers or business users to problem solve on their own 
  • Simplified integration of data that connects systems and processes easily — and can foster collaboration
  • A bottom-up innovation pipeline which empowers designers by giving them software they like rather than software they merely tolerate
  • A fully realized modern approach to app design that fuses the capabilities of enterprise software with the engagement power of consumer grade experience
  • Embedded security that protects against system compromises and attacks

Give your workforce a platform that lets their design talent flourish without sacrificing any of the integration, scaling or security demands of an enterprise system.  Give them a consumer grade experience on a professional level.

In order to bring a product or service to light and do this for hundreds — or even millions — of users, you need to empower your developers to provide beautiful, meaningful, and innovative experiences and engage and interact with your users in new ways. The last great experience a consumer has is the one they expect next.

You need serious tools with serious capabilities. HCL Volt MX is an industry-leading low-code app-dev platform that empowers professional developers, enterprise architects and digital designers to rapidly deliver consumer-grade apps. HCL Volt MX lets you build, deploy and deliver beautiful, powerful, consumer-grade experiences and applications the way you want.