HCL Master Class of 2020

Yesterday I received a mail from HCL, informing me that I had been selected as one of the HCL Masters for 2020.

As IBM Champion I automatically transferred to the HCL Master program earlier this year, but it means more to me this time, as HCL actually did the selection. I am very honored and proud to be in the company of all these brilliant women and men, many of which I count as close friends. Thank you HCL!


CollabSphere 2019 – Submission deadline is closing soon!


The deadline to submit an abstract for sessions at CollabSphere 2019 is tomorrow, Sunday August 18. If you want to speak at the conference, you don’t have much time to act.

So why would you like to speak at CollabSphere? Perhaps your reason is the same as mine was when I started speaking at conferences: I wanted to give back to the community from which I had learned so much over the years. I wanted to share my knowledge with other developers, and perhaps inspire them by showing what could be done with Notes and Domino.

What if you are afraid of public speaking? That is absolutely normal. With practice you get more used to it, and one place where you can practice it in a safe and encouraging environment is at Toastmasters, an international organization focused on public speaking and leadership. There are local Toastmasters clubs all over the world, and you can join at any time.

Even if you are not speaking, you can still register to attend the conference. This year it is held in Boston, close to the HCL office in Chelmsford, and we can expect a lot of exciting news about Notes and Domino 11 (which is due in the end of the year), and perhaps even about Domino 12. This is a can’t-miss conference!


Are you a Champion? Nominate yourself or someone else!

The yearly nomination of IBM Champions is once again open. Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the community or to IBM? Nominate that person!

Do you think you deserve to be an IBM Champion? Nominate yourself! I know it feels strange to nominate yourself, but you are the one that knows best what you have been contributing. There is no way for IBM to know what everyone out there have been doing during the last year, not even if they enlisted IBM Watson…

So how are the IBM Champions selected? Here is the list of criteria IBM published:

We want IBM Champions who:

  • Demonstrate both expertise in and extraordinary support and advocacy for IBM technology, communities, and solutions.
  • Share advocacy and influence within and outside their organizations or customer engagements.
  • Influence and mentor to help others make the most of investments in IBM software, solutions and services.

[Significant] contributions [over the last 12 months] must be above and beyond a nominee’s job duties, but may be internal or external. The list below is just a few examples:

  • Regularly blogging or creating other technical content
  • Speaking at multiple events
  • User Group Conference Committee member (involves the planning and execution of one or more conferences, events, or meetups)
  • President, Leader, or Board member of a worldwide or local user group
  • Providing customer references
  • Regularly being an advocate for IBM products inside your organization, making connections, and educating users

Now is your opportunity to recognize people for what they have been doing during the last 12 months. And don’t be shy, submit a self nomination as well, if you think you deserve it.

Nominations are open until October 22 at https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/ibmchampion/entry/2018ChampionNominations. Don’t miss the deadline!



8 hours left to Domino 10

It is now just 8 hours until IBM and HCL will unveil the brand new version of the collaboration platform Domino. On October 9, at 10:15 CEST, the audience at Think Germany in Frankfurt, Germany will be the first to see the new version of Domino and Notes 10. The next day, October 10,there will be launch events all around the world.

Personally I am very excited about this launch. It has been 5 years since the last major version was released. In 2017 IBM switched from numbered releases to feature releases, keeping the version number 9.0.1 even when new features were added. This of course confused customers, who got the impression that Notes and Domino were in maintenence mode, with plans to eventually disbanding the product.

After HCL took over the development of the platform last year, the (in my opinion) smart decision was made to change the version number, to make it clear to the market that it is a brand new version, and that development is continuing.

A number of the new features in Domino 10 have already been demonstrated and talked about, but I am sure IBM and HCL have been holding out on some exciting features, and I am looking forward to hear about it tomorrow and on Wednesday.

Join the live streams, if you can’t attend in person. You can find them at https://www.ibm.com/collaboration/ibm-domino.


Domino 10 – Almost here!

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In just a few days, on October 9, IBM and HCL will unveil the new version of IBM Notes and Domino at an event in Frankfurt, Germany. The next day, October 10 (or 10/10, if you so like), there will be events in cities around the world. You can attend in person or watch a live stream. Find out all the details at https://www.ibm.com/collaboration/ibm-domino.



Domino V10 – The Countdown Is On!

The release date for Notes and Domino V10 has been announced. On October 9, at 10:00 CET, there will be a live unveiling of the brand new version during IBM Think in Frankfurt, Germany.

There will be a number of other release events around the world in the days following. For a deep-dive inte the new features I would highly recommend attending ICON UK. This year this conference is taking place in Birmingham, UK on September 13 and 14.

Learn more at https://www.ibm.com/collaboration/ibm-domino.


Six Days Left…

I have finished the slides for my presentation at CollabSphere in Ann Arbor next week. I just have a little more code to add to demo database, and perhaps throw in a bonus or two…

My session will be next Wednesday (July 24) at 9am in Grande III.  There are still a few seats available for CollabSphere 2018. The cost is only $100 for 3 days of presentations, workshops, and networking, This is great value for the money!
Don’t miss the latest from IBM and HCL on Notes and Domino 10, Nomad and probably a surprise or two.



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I’ve Seen Things You People Wouldn’t Believe…

This last week about 50 other specially invited people visited HCL America in Chelmsford, MA for a tour of their Collaboration Workflow Platforms (CWP) office. I was one of the lucky ones, and for two days we got to meet many of the engineers at HCL and see what they were working on around Notes and Domino. There are some parts that are under NDA, but I will talk about what I am allowed to mention.

We got to play with the latest build of Notes 10, compiled that same morning. It included some of the new Lotusscript classes we have heard about before, like the NotesHTTPRequest class and NoteJSONParser class. That functionality had just been added in right before our visit (it is not available in the private beta that was released a few weeks ago), but when I tested it (yes, we got to play with the code right there!) it worked perfectly.

This is a testament to the skills of the HCL developers. Most of them came over from IBM, and you probably know many by name. But there were also new-hires, and HCL is looking to fill many more positions in the US. The investments HCL is doing in this is impressive, and the whole atmosphere was extremely positive and filled with excitement.

We were split up into smaller groups and were treated to a number of very interactive presentations of the directions taken in different areas. The biggest focus was on application development, and with the addition of support for node.s to the platform and the new classes in Lotusscript, the engineers were visibly excited to be able to show off what they have accomplished.

The HCL developers have the right to be excited and proud. We were treated to two major announcements. The first one is a new extremely fast query language called DGQF (Domino General Query Facility). It is not an add-on, but part of the core code. It will be available in Notes/Domino 10, and can be called from everywhere, using Lotusscript, Java, Formula, and Javascript. Initially the searches can be made only in one database at a time, but in the future there will be support for multi-database searches.
At CollabSphere 2018 in just over a week, there will be presentations on DGQF. If you have’t registered yet, do it now. You don’t want to miss this!

The second announcement is under NDA for now, but I would expect for something exciting to be announced at CollabSphere, as well as at later conferences like ICON UK in September.

So stay updated by attending user group conferences during the fall, leading up to the release of Domino 10 at some day in some month, who may or may not contain a 10. I am very excited about the future of Notes and Domino!



My session at CollabSphere 2018

My session Elementary! – Consume Watson Services using Node-RED and Domino 10 has been accepted at CollabSphere 2018. It has been scheduled for first thing in the morning on Wednesday, July 25 at 9.00 am.

During my presentation, I will show how you can integrate IBM Watson into both Notes applications and web applications. You will see how you can use the new Lotusscript classes for HTTP and JSON in Notes/Domino 10. These classes will be used to connect to IBM Cloud, where a Node-RED instance will be used to consume Watson services. By using just a few lines of Javascript, we will translate text between different languages, as well as converting text to speech.

CollabSphere will be a great learning opportunity, especially if you are interested in node.js and how it will be integrated into the upcoming Domino 10. There are a number of sessions focusing on Node.js and Node-RED, and I highly encourage every Notes developer to attend them. Here are just some of the sessions:

This three-day conference will immerse you in an intensive exchange of knowledge and fun with other members of the ICS community. If you have not registered yet, it is about time.  Note that the guaranteed room rate will only be available for one more week.

I hope to see you in Ann Arbor, MI in a few weeks.


Come see me at CollabSphere 2018!

I will be presenting my session Elementary – Consume Watson Services using Node-RED and Domino 10 at CollabSphere 2018, taking place in Ann Arbor, MI inn just a little over a month (July 23-23). If you haven’t registered yet, hurry up! This amazing conference that Richard Moy have been arranging for 10 years now will be full of news and sessions about Domino 10. If you are a developer, you should be very excited. There are a large number of session focusing on everything from classic Lotusscript and the new improvements coming in Domino 10 to sessions about Node.js and how it is supported in Domino 10. There are even introductions to Node.js and Node-RED, and how you can use them in your Domino environment as well as making yourself more marketable.

In addition to all the technical sessons you also have networking and social events. Don’t miss out on this great and inexpensive ($75) conference!


You can now sign up for Beta 1 of Domino 10!

June 25 is the date when the first beta version of IBM Notes and Domino version 10 will be released to a selected group of testers. If you are interested in testing this beta version, you can apply to be a part of the closed beta program here.

This first beta version will be Windows only, and will not contain the DominoDB NPN package for node.js. The second beta, due in the second half of July, will include clients for MacOS, server for Linux, Verse-on-Premises and DominoDB for node.js.

The support for node.js in Domino 10 is something I am looking forward to. This is huge, not only can you integrate Domino with other solutions and components available through NPM, but any developers can now take advantage of Domino and it’s secure data storage. Products like Mongo DB does not have the built-in security we are used to from IBM Domino, but now developers can build secure applications using DominoDB, and not have to worry about building their own security solutions.

I will be checking my mail on June 25!


CollabSphere 2018 – Still time to submit abstracts

The deadline for submissions of session abstracts for CollabSphere 2018 has been extended to Sunday, June 3. This is your opportunity to share your knowledge with the community. Register on the brand new CollabSphere website. The link is http://collabsphere.org/ug/collabsphere2018.nsf/sessionabstract.xsp.

This year we can expect a number of session on technologies more or less new to the Domino community, for example Node.js and React.js, as well as what’s new in the upcoming Notes and Domino 10. So if you haven’t registered for Collabsphere yet, take this opportunity to register and experience the learning atmosphere, networking and a lot of fun.

Hope to see you in Ann Arbor in July for the 10th MWLUG/CollabSphere conference!




CollabSphere 2018 – Registration is Open

The conference formally known as MWLUG (Mid-West Lotus User Group) is now renamed CollabSphere. This year the conference will be held in Ann Arbor, MI on July 23-25.

Visit the brand new website at www.collabsphere.org to learn more, to register for this very cost-efficient conference, or why not submit an abstract for a session?

I have been attending MWLUG for several years myself, and it is an excellent conference. High quality speakers presenting over 50 sessions and workshops, networking with representatives from IBM as well as with presenters and other attendees and an exhibit floor where sponsors and vendors are showing their products and services.

With IBM expanding its portfolio of products and services, and with the new innovations in the rejuvenated  Notes and Domino product line, this will be the conference to attend this summer. Expect some exciting news to be presented at CollabSphere, and to see more of the latest version of Domino, due to be released in the second half of 2018.

I hope to see you at CollabSphere, and perhaps even see you present!


Discount codes for IBM Think 2018 still available!

If you haven’t registered for IBM Think next month yet, it is about time you do it. And I have discount codes to give out, all you have to do it to mail me, either at texasswede@gmail.com or karl-henry@demandbettersolutions.com. Then go to https://www.ibm.com/events/think/register/ and register.

I am very excited about IBM Think, but I am also worried. How will I be able to go to all the sessions I want to attend? That is a good problem to have, though.

See you in Las Vegas in a month!



Will I see you at IBM Think?

It is just over a month until IBM kicks off Think 2018 in Las Vegas. This conference takes place March 19-21 and merges several conferences, including IBM Connect (formerly known as Lotusphere).

After attending 19 Lotusphere/Connect conferences in Orlando (as well as one in Nice and one in San Francisco), I am ready for something new and exciting. IBM Think brings in many different parts of the IBM portfolio into one big conference, where we can learn about new and exciting technologies that we may not been exposed to before. I am looking forward to learning more about AI, security, blockchain, IoT and much more.

But I am of course also excited to learn about the upcoming Notes and Domino 10. IBM and HCL has promised too show actual working code at Think, and will present a timeline not only for what features we will see in the end of the year in Domino 10, but also in upcoming versions.

I have a feeling we will finally see functions and features people have been requesting for many years. A large part of the IBM:ers who worked on Notes and Domino moved over to HCL late last year, and I suspect they have been very busy. Here is an excerpt of a session description:

For those of you who want to integrate Domino applications into modern web applications and cloud platforms like Salesforce, etc., we will show you how. Domino is embracing JavaScript, Node.js and open source to become a full-stack web development platform anyone you hire off the street today can be productive in.

If anyone is interested in attending IBM Think I have a special promo code that will give you a $100 discount. Contact me at texasswede@gmail.com (use the subject “IBM Think Promo Code”) and I will mail you a code. You can also contact any other IBM Champion for a code.

See you in Las Vegas in a month!



My thoughts on 2018

We are now a few weeks into 2018. Back in the 1970’s and 1980’s when I grew up, if anyone talked about 2018 it was in a science fiction book or movie. Even the movie Back to The Future II took place in what’s now the past. But now we are here, so let’s talk about what I think we can expect for this year.

I see virtualization and containerization become even more wide spread. Not only will IBM develop the next generation of its Connections product using containers and microservices, but IBM Domino will support Docker containers as of the next feature pack.

The idea of packaging services in easy-to-deploy containers is an evaluation of traditional virtualization, and I think we will see this much more in the next year. A number of companies already use Docker as one of the components in their cloud offerings. Amazon, IBM, Oracle and Microsoft are just some of those companies, and I think we will see even more of Docker in 2018.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to grow and develop, together with voice control of devices. The other day I visited the home improvement store Lowe’s and when I passed the thermostat section I noticed that several of them now integrates directly with Alexa. At home we have a number of IoT devices connected through a home automation hub. This morning when I woke up I just had to say “Alexa, turn on good morning”, and several different lights in different rooms throughout the house came on, at a preset strengths. I got into the shower, pressed a preset button on the control panel and the shower turned on my preferred showerhead at the temperature I have preprogrammed. The shower controller is a few years old, and it happens that I get irritated over the fact I can’t control it through Alexsa. That is how spoiled I have been from that convenience.

There are way for developers to create their own solutions for Alexa, as well as for other IoT devices. My SmartThings home automation hub uses Grovy as the language for apps running directly on the hub. I have also been experimenting some with the IoT functionality through IBM Cloud (formerly Bluemix). But you still need to be a developer to create applications for these solutions.

Amazon has however a low-code/no-code option in Alexa Skills Kit, and recently my wife built a custom Alexa skill. In the coming year I see low-code/no-code become more of a focus. Microsoft PowerApps, SalesForce App Cloud and Quickbase are just some. IBM is developing their LiveGrid, which looks very promising. If we look back a little over 20 years, we have Lotus Notes 3.0 and 4.0 as early examples of this concept. The term citizen developer is often used today for non-programmers developing business solutions outside the IT department.

For many years the IT department have been trying to prevent this, but I think we will see a return of users who quickly develop solutions for their own or their departments use, without involving IT. With services available in the cloud, the IT department don’t have to worry about the maintenance of servers, install and licensing of servers, etc. Instead they can focus on teaching the citizen developers best practices and how to secure their applications. IT will go from running the backend to supporting the users in their development. In addition they can develop more advanced solutions, beyond the skills of the end-users. I don’t see the IT departments going away, just shifting their focus somewhat.




10th Anniversary of My Blog!

Yesterday marked the 10 year anniversary of this blog, even though it had two different homes over that time.

I had tried blogging a couple of times earlier. In 1995 I went scuba diving in Egypt for a week, and I documented that on the personal web site I had created. This was done in a diary/blog format using an IBM Thinkpad 701 and pictures taken with a Kodak DC-40 digital camera. All HTML was coded by hand. Some years later I installed the blog templates for Lotus Domino to try it out, but I was never motivated to start blogging for real.

But in 2008 it was the right time. The IBM business partner Lotus911 (later GBS) had registered the domain BleedYellow.com and offered free blog hosting, using IBM Connections. I also felt more confident and wanted to share some code and knowledge as a way to pay back for all the help I had been getting.

I registered an account and started blogging right before Lotusphere 2008. I kept blogging at BleedYellow.com for a number of years, but in October 2012 I moved my blog to WordPress and my own domain. I was able to import all my existing blog entries to WordPress, so you can still view them even though GBS did shut down their US operations in 2015.

I started by blogging mostly about Notes and Domino, with some more personal articles. Eventually I expanded my blogging to cover other technologies, like web development using Javascript and jQuery, but still with an eye towards Domino developers.

Lately I have also started to share code related to NetSuite, a platform I have now been working with for a little over a year. I have been wanting to blog more about NetSuite, but been lacking the time. But don’t expect the content about Notes and Domino to go away. Version 10 is coming later this year, and I expect there will be plenty of new features to write about!

At times I have not been blogging as much as I wanted, due to work as well as some health issues I had in 2016. I apologize about that. I hope to be able to blog more frequently in the future. I have several subjects lined up, I just need the time to write.

Thank you for reading my blog and commenting on my articles. To know that I was able to help someone makes it worth to keep blogging.


2018 IBM Champion for ICS

Together with a number of other people, I today received a mail from IBM telling me that I had been selected as one of the IBM Champion for ICS. This is the fifth year I have received this honor, and every year I am grateful to everyone who nominated me.

I also want to thank Libby Ingrassia, World Wide Manager of the Champion Program, and Alan Hamilton, Manager of the ICS Champion program. They are doing a great job supporting us Champions!

For those not familiar with the IBM Champion program, this is a program where IBM recognizes people who are NOT IBM employees for demonstrating both expertise in and extraordinary support and advocacy for IBM technology, communities, and solutions.

IBM Champions are enthusiasts and advocates: IT professionals, business leaders, developers, executives, educators, and influencers who support and mentor others to help them get the most out of IBM software, solutions, and services.

The IBM Champion program recognizes these innovative thought leaders in the technical community and rewards these contributions by amplifying their voice and increasing their sphere of influence.

Being an IBM Champion is a huge honor for me. I have been working with Notes and Domino since 1995, and when I was first selected as a Champion in 2014, it spurred me to contribute even more to the community. I have been presenting at several conferences over the last few years, and I think the confidence I gained from being selected made me submit presentations to those conferences.

So thank you IBM, not only for honoring me as a Champion but also for giving me the confidence to do new things in the community!


Convert US state abbreviations in Javascript

I was working on a NetSuite project today, and I ran into a problem. I used DataTables to display sales orders. The data is retrieved through an Ajax call to a RESTlet on the server.

One of the columns to display is the state of the shipping address. The table had a number of columns, so I was happy that the state coming over during the early testing were the abbreviated state. But today I noticed that after real data had been entered into the system, the state was the full name. And I had no space left in the table for that.

So I did a quick search and found a snippet of code that converted between abbreviation and full name and vice versa. I made some minor modifications to the code, mainly to clean it up and also make the code easier to read. I introduced two constants to indicate which kind of conversion to use, and replaced the traditional loop through the array with a for…of iteration.

You can find the code here: https://github.com/TexasSwede/stateAbbreviations

And this is how you use it:

var stateName = convertRegion("TX",TO_NAME);                       // Returns 'Texas"
var stateAbbreviation = convertRegion("Florida",TO_ABBREVIATED):   // Returns "FL"

This code is of course not specific to NetSuite, it is plain Javascript. You can use it in a Domino web application or even in a Notes form. And naturally you can use it in pretty much any web application where you can use Javascript.



Domino 10 and Beyond – my thoughts

It has now been a little over a month since IBM announced the new direction of IBM Notes, Domino, Verse and Sametime. I have been thinking through what I think this means for the product and the ecosystem of third-party tools and business partners. Some people view the move of development from IBM to HCL Technologies as an abandonment of the product family. But that is not how I see it.

IBM has, despite their size, limited resources to dedicate to development of the Domino family of products. They have new products and services they are trying to bring to market, and by having HCL take over the development and add more resources, this is a win both for IBM and for Notes/Domino.

With more developers dedicated to the product, I expect to see more frequent updates and new features added quicker than we have been used to the last 5-6 years. The product management and future direction of the platform is still managed by IBM, but with more non-IBM resources at their hands I hope the product managers will be able to push harder for the addition of new technology and updates, bringing Domino back to a first class development platform.

Domino was an outstanding product, but for the last 6-8 years the innovation mostly stopped. New technologies were not added at the pace they were adapted by the rest of the world, and the support for new protocols like TLS 1.2 was lagging. IBM also but on Dojo as the framework for XPages, while the rest of the world mostly went to jQuery.

But if IBM allows HCL to update some aging parts and add new functions, requested by the community, I can see this being a great platform. And IBM says they will listen to the community and the users. Starting this month, IBM is bringing the Domino 2025 Jam to four cities in North America: Toronto on 12/8, Dublin (Ohio) on 12/13, Chicago on 12/14 and Dallas on 12/15. here will also be several events in Europe as well as a virtual Jam sometime in the future.

At the Domino 2025 Jam developers and users will be able to suggest what features they find important, what needs to be fixed, and where they want to see the product go in the future. I don’t think the Jam will have a huge impact on the upcoming Domino 10 release next year, but it may help IBM prioritize where to put their effort. Where I see the Domino 2025 Jam being helpful is in the longer timeframe, especially if it is repeated every 12 to 18 months to verify that the product direction is still what the market is looking for.

I also would like to see IBM addressing at least the most requested changes on IdeaJam.

Let me describe some of the functions and features I want to see in an upcoming version of IBM Domino.

Javascript Everywhere

For the last 20+ years we have mainly been using Lotusscript, both in the client and for agents on the server. It is a powerful language, but if you have been working with other more modern languages (Lotusscript is based on Visual Basic) there are many limitations and functions you are missing.

I would like to see Javascript made into a fully supported language everywhere. Both in the client and on the server. Add support for jQuery, to make it easy to address elements, and create a Javascript API to complement the Lotusscript functions.

In addition to making it easier to create and parse JSON (used in and by most web applications today), it would open up the product to new developers who may come from a more traditional web development background.

I would love to see Lotusscript get a modernization, but I doubt that will happen. In order to improve Lotusscript, a quite lot of changes are needed. Instead I think the future improvements should be on the Javascript API side.

External API

Any modern product needs a public API so other tools and applications can integrate with it. I would like to see support in Domino for LoopBack, like IBM is doing in LiveGrid. When you create a view, there would be a matching API created to create, read, update and delete documents, as well as list all records, perform searches, etc.

But there should also be additional more specialized API:s available, perhaps the most common functions should be exposed as API calls out of the box.

Integration with External Services

Notes and Domino also needs integration with external services, e.g IBM Watson, Mongo DB or Node-RED. Why not support for IFFTT? Expose the calendar as a Google Calendar feed. But also make it easy to connect external services to Notes and Domino. Make it easy to use Oauth 2.0 to login to a Domino-hosted service and vice versa.

New Domino Designer

Unlink Domino Designer from the Notes client. Create a Eclipse plug-in (and make sure it stays updated to work with new versions of Eclipse). This will help new developers to start working with Domino, using tools they are already familiar with. The goal should be that someone familiar with Javascript should be able to open Eclipse and start writing code for Domino, and the only thing they need to learn is the Domino Object Model.

Add ready-to-use web components/plugins, so the developer can easily add for example a name-lookup into Domino Directory or a date/time selector. Support CSS frameworks like Bootstrap, and make it easy to modify the look of the applications.

Notes Client

The Notes client makes it easy to quickly build applications. You get a lot of the core functionality of the applications “for free”, like views, forms, etc. But you are also limited in how the application looks. You can change the look of views somewhat by selecting background colors, fonts and a few other attributes. On forms you can select between two different looks for some of the fields, while other fields can not be modified at all. What I would like to see is a way to easily restyle everything by using CSS. Then you can make the forms and views look much more modern. Let the developer create “themes”, a set of CSS rules and perhaps images that can be applied to new applications in seconds. These themes could be published online, for other developers to use.

These are just some of the ideas I have for improvements to Domino. What are you ideas?


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