How we didn’t install Lotus Alloy

Lotus Alloy logo That was a challenge – do the first installation of Lotus Alloy in Czech Republic including some customization. Wow, I was more that excited.

It sounds quite easy – download the installation files from PartnerWorld, go over all the presentations from Lotusphere and read every piece of documentation you can find (which, in fact, is quite easy, there isn’t a lot about it). We didn’t have to worry about the SAP part as we were responsible „just“ for the LN part.

Looks like it can be done – a few next – next – next, some configuration together with SAP and it should work straight away. Actually, it wasn’t the case.

The history

Lotus Alloy is the first (well I don’t think so, but it is IBM’s sentence) product done in cooperation of IBM and SAP. Both of them are responsible for sale, both of them are responsible for support and they share development teams. Sounds good, there should be support from both sides.

How do I get technical support for Alloy?
Contact the vendor you have purchased the product from (either IBM or SAP).  The company you bought Alloy from will provide initial support and work with additional IBM and SAP support resources, as required, to manage the issue. (via SAP pages)

After about a month in the project SAP changed his point of view – it is an IBM product, we are able to support it but we don’t want to do so. And we (as well as IBM) have no one in Czech Republic who knows anything about it.

Another half a year or more – IBM withdraw this product from normal licencing and it can be purchased just together with IBM services. No partners allowed to sell it (as far as I know).

LN part installation

That was easy. The next – next – next style we know and love, done in 30 minutes including restart of LN server and filling in the configuration document. The mail template is done quite nicely and it should be possible to change in the way customer wants. There are even some new processes on OpenNTF. Done.

At least I hope so as the documentation isn’t clear enough. There is no information what needs to be installed first, if LN part or SAP part. Somewhere you can find that SAP part have to be first, but then some configuration isn’t available and you have to finish configuration on LN part. But all other stuff are covered by wiki quite well.

SAP part

I have no idea how SAP works, I just know these people are quite expensive and you need plenty of them as each one have different specialization. Hundreds of different fix packs and notes to install, after 2 month they were almost done. It still didn’t work.

Time for the first teleconference with IBM – there are people who know about it, it is just matter of time to find them. Some recommendation what to try, such as installation of some other notes, skip some pages and return to them later (do pages 47 and 48 before page 45) or upgrade the SAP. In requirements there is SP17 but we found out that we need SP20 (on some background SAP or whatever).

No idea about SAML configuration. The LN part of documentation is short about it – ask your SAP admin. However, the SAP documentation states the same – ask your LN guy.

Some really nice articles about Alloy on SAP’s blogs pages, nothing (technical and practical) about it on IBM’s pages (except wikis). The drawback of SAP pages – there are no contact information 🙁

After a year

Yeah, it tooks us a year to get somewhere. After a few months of work for SAP guys, the customer decided it is time to quit this project. Just before we deleted everything the SAP guys tried something (still have no idea what). And it started to work (kind of).

The communication between SAP and LN was established and we tried to configure the preprepared applications. No problem at all, matter of half an hour.

Travel management – configured. Leave management – configured. Reports – failed.

 AMgr: Agent (‚AppRoleActionHandler | AppRoleActionHandler‘ in ‚NDERPws.nsf‘) error message: 31.3.2011 15:26:08 com.ibm.nderp.server.appmgr.ApplicationManager populateRoles SEVERE: Throwable occurred: AxisFault faultCode: {http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/}Client faultSubcode: faultString: Exception in method getUsers. faultActor: faultNode: faultDetail:        {http://sap-j2ee-engine/client-runtime-error}com.sap.engine.services.ejb.exceptions.BaseEJBException:Exc

Screen of the Lotus Alloy sidebarNo idea why on our as well as IBM side and we weren’t able to find anything in logs. We were unable to configure the access to the reports, the most interesting part (except the custom workflow which looked like a lot of work at the moment), which we also wanted to show as it was the only part which was configured on the SAP server (the customer doesn’t use the travel or leave management).

We had no strength to fight with it anymore. It was nice to see how the UI got alive and working, all the changes we made before and didn’t see was now alive.

The end of this project and maybe product in Czech Republic as well. There are just a few customers who are able to pay for it and also use it. Not sure how many of them would like to try it now, especially considering the price of this product.

1 komentář

  1. You cannot use Alloy without SAP and it even doesn’t make sence. It is more about what you need to solve in the area of leave manegement, there are preprepared application for it for sure. I would suggest the Attendance module from our DIGI_Office suite ({ Link } ) or search at OpenNTF.org (for example Absence Manager – { Link })

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