Lotusphere 2008 – Day 1 (Monday, January 21st)

January 21, 2008 at 4:27 pm | Posted in IBM, Lotusphere2008, portals | 1 Comment

Here’s what I heard through the filter of what was interesting (or lovably quirky) to me:

General Session

They started out by seriously overestimating the degree of stimulation I am accustomed to at 7:45am. There was a full (about 35+ piece) orchestra plus 7 piece rock band blaring away at songs like Kashmir (Led Zeppelin). They were very good and high energy, but it was a bit too early for me to appreciate that.

Bob Costas

  • Used sports (steroids in baseball, Chinese Olympics) to make his point about finding knowledge in the data, getting past information overload by finding the pertinent information

Mike Rhodin

  • Mike spoke for the first minute in front of an enormous asterisked phrase stating legalize about “product plans are subject to change …”
  • Talked about the types of collaboration as document, people-centric, and community-centric. He then proceeded to play a winning game of buzzword bingo. In fact, the whole morning was buzzword compliant (innovation, composite application, web 2.0, knowledge management, attention management, etc.). I can’t complain though – I use those buzzwords too and he did a good job describing them and putting them in an IBM context (oh yeah, “context” – another favorite buzzword of the morning)
  • Mike got applause when talking about going beyond search to discovery. As Mike said, search tells you what you knew to ask for; discovery tells you what you didn’t know
  • Announced an IBM+RIM partnership

Dr. Vishal Sikka

  • Dr. Sikka is the CTO of SAP and he came out to announce SAP business suite integration with Notes (project Atlantic)
  • This replaces the templates that were available since 6.5. Cons: this costs $$$. Pros: supports newest versions of Notes and ERP and it’s supported

Alistair Rennie

  • Talked about Notes being ported to Ubuntu and Mac (the public beta begins “now”)
  • Domino 8.5 enhancements will include:
  • ID management in a server vault
  • Opening Domino directory layer
  • An attachment store that eliminates redundant files (as 3rd party vendors have been providing up until now)
  • Lotus protector for e-mail security (an appliance that does anti-spam)
  • Domino designer 8.5 based on Eclipse and Xpeditor
  • A class browser in Domino Designer (this got whoops and yahoo’s from the audience)

Kevin Cavenaugh

  • Described Lotus Symphony as important because it lets a company move from supporting commodity software to letting it spend on innovation
  • Beta 4 in February of Symphony will add programmability
  • Brazillian vendor Totvs, which works with Notes to provide ERP, includes Symphony so now their users don’t even need Windows

Bruce Morse

  • In 2008 they will add Sametime advanced (expertise location, which he called “skill tap”) and unified telephony (demoed calling to a single number that can be forwarded)
  • Sametime persistent chat and file sharing will be added, blurring the line with collaborative workspaces

Larry Bowden

  • Claims to have #1 portal marketshare (IDC and Gartner say so). I’ve found marketshare numbers for portal to be increasingly sketchy as it’s uncertain how to count free and bundled licenses (like Oracle Portal and Windows SharePoint Server). I don’t doubt it though – they’ve done very well with WebSphere Portal Server (WPS)
  • Talked about the seven accelerators they’ve added to WPS
  • Completed integration of Google gadgets
  • Today announcing integration with Cognos, Business Objects, and Hyperion
  • Next (2q this year) will be mashups and Total Forms
  • Demoed Ajax capabilities (instant open comment field, drag and drop) and dashboard framework with drilldowns

Jeff Schick

  • Jeff had the most guru-like speech, starting out by talking about the movement of collaboraiton from smoke signals to Usenet to Prodigy
  • IBM will deliver combined enterprise content management (ECM) + collaboration. Filenet P8 and IBM CM8
  • V2 will include attention management, which seemed to include creating a personalized homepage. Irene Grief is an IBM’er that I interviewed in the research for my attention management document. I found her very knowledgeable and she seems to have had a positive impact. It’s tough to address a concept so broad in a product suite, so I’ll be interested in getting more details
  • Did a demo that showed where to focus attention across a social network. Also showed Atlas, which analyzes your social network (like the now-dormant Microsoft Knowledge Network)
  • Talked about mashups as a way to easily create desktop apps, bring functionality the last mile, and implied end-user personalization with saying the “P” word
  • Announced Lotus Mashups, a browser based mashup tool
  • Demoed dragging organization feed onto an org map. Added salary data layer. Also showed connecting 2 wdigets by name so that clicking in one changes the data in the other.

Mike Rhodin

  • To the strains of the symphony playing “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Copeland, Mike announced the Lotus Foundations for SMB. Interesting choice of music – not sure if SMB’s see themselves as the common man versus Rocky or rising stars. The Net Integration Technologies acquisition fits in here.
  • He also referred to Steve Jobs’ reveal of the new Mac when pulling out an appliance-like server for Domino
  • He ended by announcing an extranet SaaS product called Bluehouse for smaller businesses with less than 500 employees

Websphere Portal Technical Overview

Stefan Liesche

  • WebSphere Portal 6.1 beta has been out since Sept. 29th and in December was refreshed to beta 2. A few more betas to go before release
  • Gave great description of what a portal is. I still hear so many batty definitions that it’s nice to hear it described properly
  • Listed Mashups among the things that portals consume. Interesting – I see them as more complementary composite application creation mechanisms rather than something to be consumed by a portal
  • He used the “e” word: ecosystem. This is a term many vendors are using now to talk about the set of things around the product itself that enable its success (in the market or for the implementer) such as 3rd party vendors, community, systems integrators, etc.
  • Enhanced openness: Access to web, mobile devices, expeditor, and REST (as a service such as one that could describe navigation in a portal, or to a feed reader)
  • Briefly talked about the accelerators for WebSphere Portal: self-service, industry, collaboration, content, dashboard, learning, enterprise suite, process
  • Lotus connections portlets, Quickr (blogs, wikis, forums), development through composite apps and drag&drop, standards support (AJAX, REST, ATOM, DOJO), semantic tags for dynamic menus
  • Client side aggregation is about breaking apart the single page at a time model. Using web 2.0 technologies WPS can enable pages that go beyond single page delivery so you don’t, for example, have to wait for all portlets to render before seeing the page
  • WPS now has support for microformats (understanding the nature of certain types of information such as currency or stock symbols and knowing how to provide more detail)
  • He talked about integration that can be implemented via Javascript to integrate an external web app into the portal service, but inherit navigation and styles
  • I (this is Craig, not Stefan talking) have found it interesting to watch how the concept of mashup gets described and leveraged by vendors. Stefan basically divided into strategic (portal) versus tactical/opportunistic (mashup). That’s pretty reasonable, but the problem with the division between low end and high end tools is that the path to go from low to high end has always been rocky and so many projects that seem quick at first wind up needing enterprise features and scale later
  • His definition: “a mashup is a lightweight web app that combined data from more than one source into an integrated and new, useful experience.”
  • You can assign a URL fragment to a page to allow for simpler URLs
  • Virtual portals can now be identified by the hostname or a path segment
  • They now support multiple language versions of the same page and portal server automatically picks the right version based on profile. It uses markup in the HTML to do this
  • Talked about business process integration for portal using Business Process Integration.
  • The WCM now supports something they are calling paging where it can split documents into pages
  • Search has been extended so you can federate other search products in WebSphere Portal Search Center page. While his example integrated with “Dingdong Search” I think he really meant Google 😉
  • A quick JSR 286 update: Reference implementation will be provided at Apache Pluto 2.0 with the final version available at the end of 2007
  • There were long lists of management, development, and content management features and and APIs that are too big to list here. The slides will be posted up to the Lotusphere site for all the nitty gritty details
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1 Comment »

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  1. Nice work! Thanks for taking the time to share with all of us who couldn’t be there.


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