Lotus Traveler – I like it

Lotus Traveler – a tool, which is provided free of charge with (I hope) Lotus Notes licence, which allows you to connect to Lotus Domino server with your PDA and synchronize your PIM applications (email, calendar, to-do, contacts and journal) over the air. It went out with Domino 8.0.1 which is necessary to run on but is able to communicate with Domino from version 7.0.2 as well. I was really curious how does it work and about month after it is opening I finally were able to get it from one IBMer for testing. And it is not bad at all.

Lotus Traveler

The installation file has 67MB and installation is really easy. No WebSphere or something which sounds similar, just normal Next-Next-Finish. My 8.0.1 Domino server was ready and running and I just run the installation even without stopping Domino server first. It went out without any problems, at the end it automatically configured the HTTP task and restarted it. That was it. Ed reported on his pages that someone did it in 3 hours and I can confirm that it is possible.

Bigger problem was how to connect to server with my PDA as I didn’t assing any DNS name and tried to connect to it with IP address. Well, the Internet Site wasn’t configured to use IP address so I had to change it and restart HTTP task again. My fault.

After that I just connect with my PDA to Domino server’s IP address and Traveler homepage welcomed me. I chose the correct version of Traveler for my PDA, downloaded it and installed with few clicks. Started it, entered my name, password and Traveler server’s address, chose what I want to synchronize (shame that you are able to combine your contacts from PDA and computer but you are not able to do the same with your calendar – it needs to delete all calendar entries on PDA) and wait few minutes for initial synchronization. Notesboy provided some screenshots from his installation so you can see what to expect.

I tried to send a few emails, received some meeting invitations and also played with To-Do items. It just works. Well, there is just small problem with emails which has characters with diacritics (and we have a lot of them in Czech) – when you have some of them in Subject all spaces are replaced with underscore. Never mind. Also when you receive To-Do item from someone, I’m used to get email about it (which is To-Do item as well). At PDA you have just the To-Do in your calendar and you don’t get any email about it so you have to check your calendar periodically for new To-Do. It should be limitation of Windows CE as well, don’t know.

Mail and folders – another trick. Of course that the list of folders is replicated in your PDA but documents which you put in folders on your computer are not replicated. But you are able for every folder choose that you want to synchronize it and then, voila, all the emails in folder are replicated so it works quite like IMAP for defined folders. That is nice.

Lets move, how can I manage it? Well, installation on running server wasn’t the best idea, I had to refresh the design of my Domino Directory manually a then I got the Traveler Policy Settings as well. I also restarted the server at this moment. There is two places where you setup it – Server document, where is some global settings how often should it communicate, logging and which ports using. Then you have Policy Settings where you are able to setup what are users allowed to synchronize, maximum size of attachment which is possible to transfer to PDA (the bigger one users won’t be able to get on PDA) and if the synchronization will be over TCPIP or SMS. I have no idea what does it mean and the InfoCenter didn’t help me as well – it is quite nice but with the same information you already have, it isn’t some kind of additional help or knowledge base. Pity.

With attachment I also wanted to try how does it work when you receive an email with huge attachment and you want to forward it. On MS Exchange you can download just the abstract of this email, forward it and server automatically attach the rest of the email. Nice and easy and also quick. We have to download the attachment and then forward it. That is unwise I think.

On the web is also information that you are able to use Lotus Notes addressing in addtion to internet addressing. I expected a bit more, that I should be able to choose from Domino Directory (or even from more of them if I have a Directory Assistance) but it just doesn’t work. The emails just comming from LN addresses and you respond to them without problem, problem is (at least for me) when you want to send email to a new LN address. My idea was, that I should enter the address in format Martin Humpolec/HTNS and it’d work but it isn’t. Domino’d try to deliver it to Humpolec/HTNS and skip the first name. Second try was to send it to which was a big problem as my PDA doesn’t have < or > on keybord. Never mind, I was able to copy it from other addresses. But it didn’t work as well. Last try and entered address as Martin Humpolec and it was working. I think it isn’t usable too much.

Then I tried to move the user to other server. The Traveler got it really quickly, even quicker that Router. When you send email from your PDA it goes to your home server which will deliver it. Make sense. I had some problem that after this move as Traveler reported new location as the location it is monitoring but in reality it was still monitoring the old one. I was lazzy to waiting a long time so I restarted it and everything was fine after that. My second server was running on some beta version of Domino 8 and it just run without problems. I also tried to connect it across different Domino Domains and it worked as well, Domino infrastructure works in this case as designed and expected. So, you can setup just one Traveler server and connect all your customers, who don’t want to migrate to version 8 but want to use this feature, to it. Nice business idea.

All in all, I like it. It is just basic version, you aren’t able to synchronize your own application or use your Domino Directory for addressing, but it is for free and „included“ (yes, you have to download it separately at this moment and fill in some questionaire, but it is worth it). I wasn’t able to test how much of data does it transfer but it is just additional question and when you have some unlimited data program nobody care (till you go abroad :-)).

1 komentář

  1. Myslím, že tohle se možná tuší v laborkách, ale nikde jinde ne. vowe.net ({ Link } ) o tom trochu spekuloval a k ničemu nedošel, ale já myslím, že IBM si to někde zkusí a pak podporované platformy rozšíří. Dost možná to chtěli umožnit už s verzí 8, což se nepovedlo, tak narychlo ořízli seznam podporovaných platforem a dali to do 8.0.1 (což by trochu smysl dávalo). Ale nechal bych se překvapit.

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