My reflections of IBMConnectED

Yes, or ofcourse, I attended the IBMConnectED 2015 event in Orlando. First start with a summary of sessions I attended:

XPages Performance and Scalability
IBM Domino Applications on Cloud
IBM’s Mobile Collaboration Strategy and Portfolio
IBM ConnectED – A New Way to Engage
IBM Domino – 2015 and Beyond
IBM Domino Applications in Bluemix
The Future of Web Development – Write Once, Run Everywhere with AngularJS and Domino
Mastering Your Logs
IBM Domino App Dev Futures
There’s an API for That! Why and How To Build on the IBM Connections Platform
Yes! You CAN Use Those Cool New Frameworks in Your Mobile Domino Apps!
Considerations for the Cloud
Be Open – Use WebServices And REST In XPages Applications
IBM Domino Application Development – CHALK201
App Throwdown Winner’s Circle
GURUpalooza!
Responsive Application Development for XPages
Build Your Own Apps in Minutes Leveraging IBM Bluemix and IBM Connections
ConnectED Closing Session

That sounds like a lot but have we actually learned or heard something new out there?

IBM killed the master-classes

A class given by an expert to highly talented students

A class may be seen as a course of instruction. In previous editions a master-class tend to be a deep-dive into a subject, where you were taught from a beginner’s level to an expert level. A typical master-class extended the hour, due to the complexity or diversity of the subject.

Often this setup was already worth to attend the conference. However at the 2015 edition subjects where squeezed into a 45 minute time-frame and sometimes presented by an IBM-er so it became a sales pitch in disguise (IBM Domino Applications on Cloud).

When talking with other attendees I heard similar disappointments about the masterclass setup.

Oh my God they (almost) killed the Notes client

Lot’s of Verse at the conference, but the Notes client was mentioned very little. You might wonder if there is a roadmap for Notes?

If you look at the following picture you would think a new edition of the Notes client would appear in 2015:

ibm-connect-2013-messaging-and-collaboration-roadmap-43-638

 

So IBM Verse = Notes Next? I wonder why IBM is not able to tell about their plans for Verse on premise and if it is going to be the future Notes client and how native Notes applications will be delivered in this Verse client. I assume via the Notes browser plugin but the fact that IBM simply ignores these kind of important questions is a slap in the face of current customers to my opinion.

Application development on Bluemix

One of the scarce announcements on the event was the future delivery of XPages and Connections development on the cloud aka Bluemix. This is great and exciting news to my opinion! I understand IBM Notes team can not keep up with bringing new internet related services into their platform but by bringing the platform into an environment that is based on open standards like Bluemix those services will become available for us developers.

Exciting news! I was expecting to have Notes as a data-source in Bluemix but with XPages as a runtime environment this will bring the platform much closer to us.

Meet the developers

The opportunity to meet the developers behind the different products in the Connections portfolio is excellent so I stepped in with some questions of my own.

  • No we are not thinking about a development client for Connections, either make development in Connections easier than it is today:-/
  • No we are not thinking about an admin client for Connections, either try Domain Patrol Social by Infoware or the Connections Administration Toolkit by TimeToAct.
  • No clear roadmap for the social business toolkit. IBM is waiting for requests.

Nevertheless I got help/guidance with other development questions and it was nice to meet the IBM developers who normally help you on StackOverflow.

Application development future

There were some sessions about app dev futures but mainly they were summaries of the recent activities. OK you had Bluemix ofcourse and about responsive design via the Extension Library but nothing about a roadmap or exciting ideas for the Domino Designer client during this event.

Encryption in XPages

This was promised and demonstrated during the App Dev future session. Great & finally!

I would have rather heard about activities on features we do not have today:

  • secured local storage & synchronization (Darwino/Unplugged)
  • more mobile controls (the next billion web users are gonna be mobile http://time.com/3589909/internet-next-billion-mobile/)
  • technologies/modules behind Verse
  • Verse theme for app dev

Just to name a few.

Best session

A bit of a sensitive topic since people were throwing on stage what session they thought to be best. So I rather prefer to highlight the session I enjoy most.

Most enjoyable session

As criteria for my nomination I choose:

  • Presentation skills/confidence of the speaker
  • Topic skills of the speaker
  • Personal reflections of the speaker on the topic
  • Real world examples on the topic
  • Funny quotes / remarks on the topic

And the winner is….

Considerations For The Cloud – BP207
Best Practices
Chris Miller (Connectria)

Although I am not an admin guy (anymore) Chris managed to teach me a lot on moving to the cloud in a fast tempo with a lot of funny references.

Cookiegate, Project Chrome & more

I did not understand the twitter stream about people not having a Pretzel cookie in their lunch-box since I had one in mine. Or was I not to pick up a lunchbox with the label IBM-ers only on it?

Project Chrome held the twitter stream for a while. I am not aware of the outcome. Either that journalist is not to be taken serious any more or an amount of IBM-ers will face the beginning 2015 with a new perspective. Hopefully IBM is wise enough to send out the right type of people and within the Connections portfolio we do not suffer the consequences of it.

It was announced that you could pick up or register for a free certification voucher during IBMConnectED because there wouldn’t be a certification lab at the conference. I would like to thank Daniel Brix for chasing IBM ICS support together and to manage to register myself for such a voucher.

Counting the Notes client phrase

Out of curiosity I counted Tuesday the phrase “Notes client” in presentations. This was rare.

notes client counter

The session from Chris Miller came out as the winner in this ‘challenge’.

Final thoughts

I enjoyed my conference and be able to meet a lot of people with similar interests. From a developer perspective I think the conference was nevertheless a bit poor. I thought IBM would focus in this ConnectED version more on technology and less on softer sections like adaption. The app dev sections were too scarce to my opinion.

The move to more sessions in Swan with smaller rooms caused that some rooms were full and people could not attend it. It happened for me once for the session on internet security. You happen to pay an considerable amount of money for an event in, what IBM calls an intimate setting, and you cannot attend a session. How poor for return for your investment!

Should Notes client customers be uncomfortable about IBM Verse? From what I understood IBM Verse is just a different rendering machine for your inbox adding to features from Connections and Analytics. So it should not be a replacement for the Notes client. But the fact that IBM could not tell anything on the Notes client should worry you. IBM spilled another year on the Notes client roadmap it seems.

Jeff Schick may call he “loves the Notes client”. Is he willing to tell this hooked on a lie detector?

3 thoughts on “My reflections of IBMConnectED

  1. Daniel Brix (@d_brix) 2015-February-1 / 3:46 pm

    Good read. Concerning Notes I would like to append that Domino is an important part of the Verse product as an IBM Developer told me. So I guess Domino becomes more important to IBM again. Mainly the http stack of Domino. This is good news for all the Notes and Domino customers out there. Hopefully IBM recognizes this, too😉

    By the way it was an honor to meet you in Orlando and thank you for mentioning me!

  2. Keith Strickland 2015-February-1 / 5:27 pm

    Patrick,

    I think the Notes client has no future, IBM is abandoning it and letting it die on the vine. I think the future of Notes development will be using the nsf as a data silo and Domino serving data to a “Pick your client side framework” (i.e. angularJs, backbone, ember, etc., etc.). 100% of our customers are looking to get rid of the Notes Client, but they’re fine with the Domino Server.

    As for Domino Designer, it’s a terrible IDE. Can’t do Javascript very well, it’s slow, crashy, poor type ahead, the list goes on and on. It will never leave Eclipse 3.4 as DDE also is being abandoned and left to die on the vine.

    The only innovation coming into these products seems to be from the OpenSource Community (ExtLib, Bootstrap4XPages, etc). While IBM is consuming this innovation, they seem content to do so because it helps relieve some of their technical burden in making their products better and appear to their customers that they’re doing something.

    Am I happy in saying any of this? Of course not, I’ve built my career on the Notes/Domino stack. But I see the writing on the wall. There is also quite a bit of irony that since I’ve been an IBM Champion, built my career around the Notes platform and been preaching the goodness of Notes/Domino via my blog for the past 12 years and now I’m helping kill the notes client with my co-founding of Red Pill Development.

    Will getting rid of the notes client be easy? No, it’s extremely difficult and expensive. But I don’t think IBM is leaving corporations very much of a choice. They’ve saddled these corporations with legacy programming languages and techniques with no inclination to upgrade them and corporations are angry with IBM because of it.

    So, what do I think the future holds for the Notes Client? I don’t know. Only time will tell but I don’t think that future will be favorable for Notes.

    • Patrick Kwinten 2015-February-4 / 2:42 pm

      Hi Keith, thanks for sharing your opinion and I guess I am in the same mood as you are about Notes.

      “They’ve saddled these corporations with legacy programming languages and techniques with no inclination to upgrade them and corporations are angry with IBM because of it.”

      Partly I disagree with this, since you are able to continue the xpages path and upgrade with java and or ssjs.

      However this option came in late.

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