Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Up and running in 1 week with Lotus Connections

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A lot of people ask me how long do we need to get Lotus Connections deployed and up and running.  Here's the summary that was created by the customer for their business unit based on work that Chris Biega, Carla Gillespie and myself did while on-site for 5 days (isn't it great when the customer does the work for you???

Anyway,  can you get this much done with other products in 5 days???

Lotus Connections rocks!!

Success CriteriaFeature / Value Demonstrated
Successfully install core elements to support Connections Beta 2 in a timely manner.
  • Server 1 to include: WAS with appropriate fix packs, IIS, Tivoli Directory Integrator
  • Server 2 to include: MS SQL Server 2005 (already installed)
  • Server 3 to include: MS Active Directory 2003 (already installed)

Successfully install Lotus Connections Beta 2 on Server 1Complete
Integrate Lotus Connections with AD LDAP for basic authentication using Lotus Connections security.  All users will be required to authenticate and no one will be able to blog or contribute content anonymously.Complete
Perform a one time load of LDAP information into the Lotus Connections Profiles database.  Profiles will be configured so each user can update all sections of their profile.  However, these updates will not be propagated back to the LDAP (or other) source.Complete
Integrate with OCS to show presence awarenessComplete. Integration with OCS is via the IM profile field.  (recommended the integration of OCS also be made available via the person card for final release)
Integrate the Person card with Outlook and ConfluenceThe person card has been integrated into Confluence.  The person card could not be successfully integrated with Outlook (integrated via the Outlook plugin)
Integrate with Confluence Wiki (pending availability of Confluence plug-in for Connections v2 beta 2)A wiki cannot be created within the Connections interface due to a bug with the plugin.  A fix will be available in a week or two.
Configure Connections to point Telligent Blogs (or leave Connections Blogs as default)The integration within Telligent blogs to connections will be done via the person card.  Since the look/feel of Community Server 2008 has not been decided, we did not integrate the person card.  However, we do have the code that needs to be added to Community Server for the person card (~2 lines of code).  As for the integration of Community Server within Connections, we have opted to have the only integration be through the BLOG editable url in the profile.  Updating the blog url in one's profile will update the blog link in the person card.
Configure Homepage with iWidgets and RSS FeedsThere were no RSS Feeds on intranet site.  As for the iWidgets - google widgets were added to connections.  There is a bug with the iWidgets where they are not persistent when added to the homepage.  
Google Search integration. Requires Search Team to enable Google Search Appliance to either crawl the Connections web application or SQL database.WIP.  Google was able to successfully crawl the Activities db.  Testing of successful crawls of profiles, communities, blogs, and dogear still needs to be done.  The google team has high confidence in successful crawls.  However, due to prioritization of other projects was not able to fully test.
MOSS Integration with ConnectionsIntegration is via the person card.  There is a link in the person card to ‚'My Site'
SSO with ConnectionsWe achieved 95% of SSO with the Windows desktop. However, we decided to disable SSO with Connections since specific functionality within connections breaks when SSO is enabled.  These bugs should be resolved by final release.
Outlook/Connections integrationOutlook plugin can be successfully installed to integrate with connections.  The only feature of the plugin that does not work is the person card because of our Exchange configuration.  

This was a PoC install and as such it doesn't have clustering, backups, tuning, or any other thing you would do in a real production environment.
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