Yesterday I had a presentation at Common conference in Brno about Lotus Notes. I had an awesome idea at the beginning – show them how they can use Lotus Notes for everything, how it is integrated to other Lotus products and use it together and, the most important part, show it live. It’ll be fantastic.
Well, I created a (virtual) machine with 512MB RAM and tried to use it. It was possible, but it wasn’t really running. So I added some more RAM (up to 1GB) and then it was fine.
I installed the full client (with Lotus Symphony) and tried what is possible to do with it. And it was really surprise, the Symphony itself just sucks, it’s really hard to use and I didn’t find a lot of things I needed. Update the default template of presentation was almost impossible and I spent about 2 hours with it. There is also no connection with Lotus Notes itself (except Send to Mail, but you aren’t able to save into Lotus
Another surprise – when you start one of those Symphony products (Presentations in my case), it’d start the Eclipse client, it doesn’t need your password, BUT – and this is the surprise – you can’t use your email. When you try to start Lotus Notes client it’ll failed with some Eclipse error and you have to close Symphony editor and start Lotus Notes (which will load your email) and then start Symphony again. Wow, really surprise for me.
When you start those fantastic Symphony tools, your keybord shortcuts are changed – Ctrl+M doesn’t stand for New Memo, you can’t open application with Ctrl+O and so on. It was another surprise for me.
Never mind, there is a lot of new stuff to show, such as Widgets (you aren’t able to changed their order easily), Livetext (I wasn’t able to find any Widget which would support this feature and which show IBM everywhere on their demos, there is probably no one in Widget Catalog), conversations in email view (fantastic, but why is the newest one at bottom all the time, doesn’t matter how my view is sorted?).
I had huge problem with Quickr Connector, which didn’t allow me to upload documents from Symphony or, when I uploaded Symphony presentation via web, open it with Symphony Presentations (it just told me that it doesn’t know how to open Lotus Presentations file).
I also started to like Lotus Connections, especially their Activities connector inside Lotus Notes and got a bit confused when to use Quickr and when Connections. I think that Lotus Quickr itself doesn’t bring a lot of functionality, it’s nice that there are Quickr Templates from SNAPPS (some of which I really like). I was really surprised that it put all those „portlets“ (or how to call it) in one column without any ability to collapse them and you have to scroll up and down all the time (at least at Greehouse).
With Sametime Advanced I just got a bit confused about the difference between Persistent Chat and Broadcast communities – for me (I used it over the web only) it looks as the same, maybe the difference is that you aren’t disturbed by Persistent Chat while Broadcast will bring its windows to your eyes? I really liked the automatic switch of my status in Sametime when my presentation started (regarding my calendar).
And yes, it was fun to do presentation again, after about 2 years, doesn’t matter I had just about 8 people there.