V12 Beta, VOLT MX, Sametime Premium, Nomad Web, and More!

Mat Newman  February 10 2021 00:17:07

Today I'm going to provide you with a quick update on a number of fantastic developments in the Digital Solutions portfolio that have occurred in recent weeks, and then over the next few weeks we'll take a closer look at each of these topics in more detail.

First I wanted to remind everyone that we are now only a couple of months away from the exciting new release of HCL Notes and Domino version 12, the second major update to our favourite platform that has emerged from the HCL Software stables. In order to enable our existing Customers and Partners to provide us with feedback on some awesome new capabilities that are going to be included in the next release, HCL have enabled access to the Notes and Domino beta for all existing customers and partners to download from your HCL Software Portal. We have not only enabled the download on your HCL Software Portal, we have also launched our beta feedback forum (the link is below in the description) where you can sign in and give us specific feedback on all of the new capabilities in your own environments.

Why aren't we running a public beta? The reason is pretty simple: The Beta programme is designed for customers and partners who are already familiar with the core capabilities of HCl Notes and Domino, to enable you to test some specific new features, and to give us real world feedback on your experiences from the field, on those new capabilities.

If you are not an existing customer, it's still possible for you to get access to the beta, by connecting with one of our Digital Solutions Product Specialists in your region, and we'll set you up  with a free trial, so you can experience this latest release for yourself. If you don't know who your local Digital Solutions Product Specialist is, feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin, and I'll put you in touch.

New functionality is included in the Domino Server - on Linux, Windows, System I, and of course as Docker images - as well as Domino Administrator and Designer, and of course the Notes Client itself.

 A couple of weeks ago our Domino Product Manager - Thomas Hampel - announced a summary of all the new capabilities (I've included a link to that blog entry below) and I am going to cover many of these new capabilities coming in Notes and Domino version 12 in a future episode, so we can discuss the benefits that all these new capabilities will bring to your organisation in more detail.

Again, the Beta is already available for you to download from the HCL Software Portal, the forums are also ready and available for you the give feedback, and links for the beta forum, are all included in the description below:

One of the big ticket items in the version 12 Beta that I want' to call out specifically in this update is the ability for your to also try out a brand new client experience for your existing Domino Applications - HCL Nomad Web.

What is HCl Nomad Web, I hear you ask?

Well, Some of you are already familiar with the fantastic HCL Nomad Mobile client that is currently available on both iOS and Android. The Nomad Mobile Client gives you the ability to run all of those existing Notes applications in your organisation; No matter How old they are; With absolutely ZERO code changes; on a mobile device. Yep, even if it's an application that contains Forms, Views, Formula Language or Lotusscript that may have been written decades ago - that App will run on a mobile device with HCL Nomad Mobile, again, with ZERO code changes.

Now, we've listed to our customer base, and some of you have asked for the same easy to deploy and manage Nomad experience on a Desktop.

Enter HCL Nomad Web.

HCL Nomad Web is designed to free you from the traditional problems associated with downloading, installing, configuring, and managing desktop software. HCL Nomad Web - as it's name suggests - is designed to run seamlessly in a web browser, with no plug-ins, or extensions required, to give you the same Nomad access to your existing applications, simply by pointing your web browser to an existing Domino server. Like HCL Nomad Mobile, you need to have configured Domino ID Vault, ID Vault provides the same level of secure access to your existing Domino applications, while using HCL Nomad Web.

Other than that, you enter a URL, or click a link, enter your Notes ID username and password, and that's it. You now have a full client experience, including things like traditional desktop shortcuts, available in a browser. And just like HCL Nomad Mobile, HCL Nomad Web enables your users to access ALL of your traditional Notes and Domino based applications, in a browser, with ZERO code changes.

Nomad Web is also now available in beta, and the links for you to try this out, and to give us feedback, are included below.

Next I want to talk about something that you are going to be hearing a LOT about in the coming weeks.


You have already heard about the new Low-Code capabilities that are included with HCL Domino Volt, these capabilities are designed for your users - your line of business process owners, to quickly create situational applications that address an urgent business requirement, quickly and easily through an entirely browser-based user experience. HCL Domino Volt has already proven to be a winner in our existing Domino customer base, to address an urgent business requirement for Low-Code/No-Code applications, without your users constantly hassling your IT or Business Analysts.

Now I'm going to grossly over-simply this next statement, so that this information is easy to consume:

HCL VOLT MX - The MX stands for Multi-Experience, that is - again, gross over-simplification - the ability to write code once, to be able to run anywhere, on any device, Desktop, Browser, Mobile, that breaks many of the constructs, paradigms, and restrictions of traditional application development.

As I've already mentioned, over the next few weeks you are going to be hearing a LOT from us on what HCL Volt MX can do for your business.
  • Your going to hear: how you can Build an app for any device with one source base,
  • we're going to show you how to Deploy beautiful, robust, native-mobile apps
  • we'll show you how to Deliver your app without an app store
  • and we're going to demonstrate how you can Leverage integrations ahead of the market curve
  • Finally, you will see how VOLT MX Has lower Total Cost of Ownership than our competitors — and how we will help you quickly get up to speed and deploy VOLT MX apps with free code

At the end of February, we are going to begin a series of Webinars that go into the detail of all of these elements. We're going to be conducting sessions targeted for decision makers, for IT, for Developers and Practitioners, so that each of you can understand the benefits of this platform, how it can help your business in it's Digital Transformation, and importantly, how your technical folks can leverage the technology to quickly build and deploy an entirely new generation of applications.

Look out for all of these announcements, and again, the link to the Volt MX landing page is in the description.


Do the risk and compliance issues of your employees using public chat applications keep you awake at night? Do you want to be able to chat with any of your employees, on any device, or even across multiple devices and experiences, easily? Do you want a seamless presence awareness capability that integrates into virtually any desktop or mobile application to see when any of your employees are available? And do the spiralling costs of your current online meeting provider have you banging your head on your desk every time the bill comes in?

I want to closes today's session by reminding all of our existing customers about the amazing capabilities of HCL Sametime Premium.

HCL Sametime Premium includes Persistent 1-1, or Group Chat capabilities, on mutliple devices, either independently, or simultaneously, with the ability to switch to a call or video meeting, with a single click. And for our existing Domino customers, HCl Sametime can do all of this for as little as 1 US Dollar, per user, per month.

We all know what working from home means today. Get your costs under control, deploy securely on premises, or in the private cloud of your choice; Your Meeting. Your Data. Double the Value.

HCL Sametime Premium, again, the link is in the description, and myself, or any one of our local Digital Solutions Product Specialists would be happy to talk with you about HCL Sametime Premium, HCL VOLT MX, HCL Nomad Web, or the upcoming release of HCL Domino version 12, including the current beta.

I know that's a LOT of information to cover in this update, and again, I will be digging deeper into these topics over the coming weeks.

Links Mentioned in this episode:

HCL Notes and Domino, and the current Version 12 Beta:
HCL Notes and Domino Beta Forum:
HCL Nomad Web:
HCL Sametime Premium:

Happy Happy 31st Anniversay - HCL Notes and Domino

Mat Newman  November 27 2020 01:00:00


While 2020 is a year that most of us would like to forget, TODAY - the 27th of November - is ONE day that I like to recognise every year, because it represents a significant milestone in the software industry.

Today is the 31st anniversary of the Gold Release build of the software that is now known as HCL Notes and Domino, that was compiled in it's first iteration as Lotus Notes Release 1.

Yep, what you are looking at would be familiar to many veterans in the software industry, it's a Virtual machine loading MS-DOS, once the virtual machine loads, we need to change directory into the windows directory (CD windows), and type WIN to start windows, once Windows loads, we open the Lotus Programme Folder, Start Notes, and now lets check the About Notes option from the Help menu and verify the release date, yep there it is, November 27th, 1989.

Of course Lotus Notes Release 1 was brought to you from what was then Lotus Development Corporation. Lotus Development Corporation was co-founded by Mitch Kapor who is famous for not only the Lotus Software brands such as Notes and the groung breaking spreadsheet application Lotus 1-2-3, but also the browser that you may be viewing this video in if you are using Mozilla Firefox, where Mitch was the founding chair of the Mozilla Foundation.

in 1984, Mitch approved a proposal by an ingenious software developer - Ray Ozzie - for a new project that would become Lotus Notes. Ray is famous not only for his visionary work on Notes, he went on to become the Chief Technical Officer at Microsoft, and currently serves on the board of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.

In 1995, IBM purchased Lotus Development Corporation, and for the next 5 years Lotus was run independently as Lotus an IBM Company, before being merged into IBM as the Lotus Software Brand. The biggest influence IBM had on Lotus Notes as a product was introducing the Lotus Software portfolio to it's thousands of enterprise customers world-wide, many of whom continue to use Notes and Domino to power business critical and situational applications that literally run their business that do everything from ERP and CRM to - in the case of some customers - literally saving lives.

In 2019, the Lotus software portfolio was acquired by HCL Technologies, who created a brand new company called HCL Software, where HCL Notes and Domino comes under the HCL Digital Solutions division. HCL Notes and Domino version 12 are to be released early next year, and we are already working on the product roadmap for the release after that.

Why do I love Notes so much?

Think about this:
  • Notes was the first widely available NoSQL database application, it was NoSQL before NoSQL was even a thing,
  • Notes was the first client-server based software to include Public Key Cryptography for authentication and encryption of Data,
  • Notes introduced a unique individual field-level syncronisation of data across distributed networks from server to server, and client to server, that is known as Replication. Notes Replication is a powerful technology that ensures that ONLY the data that had changed in a database - again, all the way down to an individual field, in a record, in that database - is actually transmitted across a network. This still blows my mind that two servers on opposite sides of the planet, that host databases that are Hundreds of Gigabytes in Size, will only replicate a few Bytes or Kilobytes of information across a network if that is the only data that has changed since those servers last Replicated.
  • Low-Code/No-Code application development was the major reason that Notes took off in so many organisations as users - Not Professional Developers - could create simple forms for people to fill out, and then organise that information using views to help navigate, collate, and report on that data. Of course, HCL Software has continued in the enhancement of these capabilities by introducing HCL Domino Volt, which means that users no longer need a rich Notes client to build apps, they can now use any web-browser on any device to build simple, powerful applications, in just minutes; even by just importing a spreadsheet to build an application.
  • Many users are familiar with Notes Databases that have been enhanced specifically to provide Personal Information Management capabilities: Including Mail, Calendar and Scheduling, Contacts, To-Do's, and Notebook entries.
  • Mobility is something that HCL have innovated within the platform by introducing the amazing HCL Nomad app for iOS and Android, that means an application that was built 31 years ago today can be accessed on any Mobile device.
  • Notes and Domino is still unique in the software market in the way that it includes a Directory Server for Security, Database Server for information storage, Application Server for Business Logic, HTTP Server for Web Access, and Mail server for communication. and all of these capabilities run within a single platform, and it will run on all of the major operating systems, whether it's Windows, Linux, System I, AIX and even in Kubernetes Containers.

Notes and Domino have served organisations all over the globe faithfully, securely, and reliably now for 31 years. And with the commitment and investment that HCL has put into the product, we are sure to see many, many more.

Happy Birthday Notes and Domino!

Still using Lotus Notes? It’s time to show your users - and your environment - a little Love. Announcing: HCL Domino Project Eleven

Mat Newman  September 15 2020 16:40:35
Figure 1: It Goes to ELEVEN  

For over 30 years, Lotus Notes has been powering business critical applications and enterprise collaboration in organisations all over the globe. From the Fortune 500 to the smallest of Small Businesses, Lotus Notes and Domino is tried, true, secure, and fautlessly reliable.

Maybe a little too reliable.

And that's the biggest problem with - what is now - HCL Notes and Domino.

This Stuff Just Works!

Domino isn't that squeaky wheel in your IT infrastructure. It doesn't fall over at the drop of a hat. it requires very little attention from your system administrators (if you even HAVE an IT person dedicated to Domino!), and if it does require a patch or upgrade to be installed; it is as simple as shutting it down, running an installer, and restarting the server. Usually that process is completed in less than 10 minutes. Because Domino just sits quietly in the corner it often doesn't receive the attention or recognition that it deserves.

Frequently I come across customers who get in contact with us with a query about Notes and Domino, and I am never surprised to hear that they are running an older version of the software. You have seen me post here and on social media about customers who have reinstated their licenses to get onto the latest version, where they are currently running versions as old as Release 5!

Over the years I have worked with literally thousands of customers around the world doing what I do best: Solving Problems, and making Happy Customers. Often this has involved simple things like recommending a minor configuration change, implementing a new feature in the software, or building an application that solves a business issue. Consistently, the most recurring situation I encounter when dealing with customers is that they are running an older version of our software, they have an issue or requirement, and that situation can be remedied with the most simple of solutions.


Enter: HCL Domino Project Eleven

Project Eleven is based on a very simple premise: If you are running a supported Operating System, and you have active Software Subscription and Support, HCL Software is providing full support for an upgrade of ANY previous release of Domino DIRECTLY to Version 11.01.

It doesn't matter if you are running 8, 9, or something even older. Hassle free. Simple. Easy upgrade. Direct to Version 11.01. No longer is there a complicated requirement to step through multiple sequential versions to get to the latest release.

In order to assist you through this process, HCL Software has enabled the HCL Technical Advisor Team and our Business Partner network with the knowledge and skills to help guide you through this process. We have also created a mini-site where you can access Webinars, Workshops, and technical resources to help in this process.

To make this process as simple as possible we are only stipulating two requirements:

1. That your server is running a currently supported Operating System, and
2. That you are actively licensed with Subscription and Support.

If you do not currently have an active Software Subscription, feel free to reach out to me and I will put you in contact with one of our local HCL Digital Solutions Product Specialists or Business Partner to help you out. We would love to discuss how the recent upgrades to Domino have dramatically enhanced capabilities and functionality, and how those improvements can help you reduce your Total Cost of Ownership and increase your Return On Investment. Our Technical Advisors will help you understand and plan for the upgrade - obligation free - even before you make any decision to reinstate your licences.

Project Eleven is just another way that HCL Software are reinventing and reinvigorating our software portfolio, and changing the way we engage with our Customers and Partners.

Remember to visit the Project Eleven mini-site if you are looking for more details.


So much news from HCL Digital Solutions ... So little time - August 2020 edition

Mat Newman  August 24 2020 20:05:54
So Much News ... So little time  
Warning - This is a loooong post; because there is just SO much to share with you.

While most of the world remains in lockdown due to COVID-19, our development labs have remained busy over the past few months. HCL Software - Digital Solutions extensive teams of developers have been busy working on updates to our software portfolio, adding exciting new capabilities to our offerings that are designed to help you through this trying period. Here are just a few of the highlights:
  • HCL Nomad - A NEW way to access your existing Notes/Domino applications on any Mobile Phone or Tablet.
  • HCL Domino Volt - Solve business problems quickly without having to rely on your IT department. Unlimited applications, forever, with no additional charges per application.
  • HCL Sametime Meetings Trial - Cut costs, Own your data, Meet and Share with a simple click.
  • HCL Traveler for Microsoft Outlook - Another option for accessing your Domino Mail, Calendar, and Contacts.
  • HCL Safelinx - Secure access to your internal systems from anywhere, on any device.

Let's go into these in more detail.

HCL Nomad

Traditional Domino applications are critical to your business. But your users now need access to those applications and they don't have access to a computer running a Notes client. How do you get your users to access those applications?

The answer is right there in your hand.

Whether you are holding an iPhone or iPad, Android Phone or Tablet, HCL Nomad is literally a Notes client running on a mobile device!

Imagine all of those traditional Notes applications - Forms, Views, Formula Language, and even Lotusscript - running on a mobile device, with absolutely no changes to your databases. No additional development work is required to turn all of your existing Notes-based databases into mobile apps.

The biggest innovation that Nomad brings to your existing applications are features available on mobile devices like Geo-Location and built-in Cameras. Imagine being able to enhance your Safety Incident Reporting or Delivery Tracking databases - as an example - by adding a "Use Current Location" button, or a "Take Picture" field to an existing Form.

But what about security?

Like I mentioned earlier, Nomad is the mobile equivalent of a Notes client running on the desktop. Once you have installed the app from the Google Play or Apple App Store, you need a Notes ID to be able to configure Nomad and access your Domino servers and Databases.

The easiest way to give your users access to their Notes ID is to leverage the Domino ID Vault feature on your existing servers, or to enable that feature if you haven't already done so.

HCL Nomad is available now and is a free entitlement for all of our existing customers on active Subscription and Support.

HCL Domino Volt 1.0.1

When we launched Domino Volt in April this year our aim was to go "Back to the Future", to go back to the original objective of Lotus Notes which was to put simple, easy to use application development tools into the hands of users to enable them to quickly create apps that solve business issues. Over the years - what is now HCL Notes and Domino - has morphed into a full-stack application development environment that enables enterprises across the globe to create mission critical applications that run core business systems. While we continue to enhance those full-stack capabilities - and indeed even extending access to those applications to mobile devices with HCL Nomad - we recognised that all businesses still have situations where users need a tool, they need it quickly, and they don't necessarily need to engage a Business Analyst, a Project Manager, and a team of professional Application Developers to help them.

Typically, users get around this situation by creating forms using a word-processor, or track lists of information using a spreadsheet, but problems quickly arise when that user needs to share that document with someone else either inside, or outside their organisation.
  • Once the form is completed, where does the data go, how is it collated, and where is it stored?
  • Spreadsheet lists are great for tracking and analysing data, but what happens when more than one person needs to update the information simultaneously?
  • In both cases, how is the information shared and secured to ensure that only the appropriate people have access to it?
  • And finally, what if a review or approval is required of the information stored in the form or list?

The last two requirements are where users usually have to turn to their IT departments for assistance.

Domino Volt is HCL's solution to solve all of these business problems. Domino Volt falls firmly within the No-Code/Low-Code application development category.

How easy is it to create and modify Volt apps?

My friend and HCL Software Business Partner Karl-Henry Martinsson recently blogged about how easy it was to import a spreadsheet to create a Volt App, and when his (non-technical) wife asked him to add some fields, he showed her, and she modified it to suit her requirements. Really, there is no technical background required to create apps with Volt, if you know how to use a word-processor or spreadsheet, you can be a Volt developer in moments.

Domino Volt leverages the power, flexibility, reliability, and security of the underlying platform that HCl Domino is renowned for, but it takes a completely new approach. While HCL Nomad enables users to access traditional Domino applications on a mobile device the same way that they would using a full Notes client on the desktop, HCL Domino Volt is a completely browser based tool that puts the ability to quickly create forms and lists into the hands of your users.

Users can create Volt applications from scratch, import data from a spreadsheet, or even begin from an existing template. Templates are included out-of-the-box to help you get started with Domino Volt, and more are available online through our Volt Sandbox. The Volt Sandbox is a great place for your users to get started with Volt, and we have included many tutorials and lessons so that your users can get up to speed quickly on how to leverage more advanced functionality available within the system.

Volt also includes powerful Workflow capabilities so that your forms can be configured with workflow stages (eg: Draft -> Submit -> Review -> Complete), Roles to determine who should be notified of a workflow stage, and the actions they can take (eg: Submitter -> Manager Approve/Decline -> Finance Approve/Decline).

Volt can be extended to integrate with virtually any existing system and has been designed with extensibility in mind. Services in Volt can be configured to interact with your existing systems to Create, Read, Update, and Delete any information. As an example, one of your application developers might create a Service called "Get SAP Contact Information". They write the code that Volt uses to look up contact details from SAP based on an input (eg: a Name), and then return variables (Fields) which the service then supplies as output. A user (with no understanding of how to write this code) clicks on the "Name" field on their form, clicks on the "On Change" event, and chooses the "Get SAP Contact Information" service. They then choose the Service output variable, and map those to the Fields on their Form. The user publishes the Form, clicks in the "Name" field, types a name (which does a look-up from the "Get SAP Contact Information" service), choose the name from a list, and that contact's information is auto-magically inserted into the mapped fields.

For our existing Domino customers, Volt is a simple add-on to an existing Domino server - running at least Domino version 11.0.1. HCL have created a simple pricing structure for purchasing Domino Volt and existing customers can access Volt for as little as 10% of your last Notes Subscription and Support renewal rate.

For customers who are not currently licensed for Notes/Domino, we have also come up with a cost-effective per user/per month subscription based licence to enable you to easily deploy and leverage this powerful new capability.

And the BEST thing about Domino Volt: Once you have purchased a Volt licence there are no additional costs involved. You can create an unlimited number of applications, unlike online Low-Code platforms, there are no additional charges when you create a new app, and you can even create online forms that can be filled out and submitted by an unlimited number of external users.

HCL Domino Volt solves business problems quickly without having to rely on your IT department. Unlimited applications, forever, with no additional charges per application.

HCL Sametime Meetings 11.5 Trial

Being stuck in lockdown myself now for over 5 months, I have not had the opportunity to visit any of our customers or partners in person. Instead I have been leveraging the pre-release version of our upcoming HCL Sametime 11.5 meetings capability.

Sametime Meetings is intended to enhance your exiting on-premises collaboration environment by extending Voice, Video, and Screen-Sharing to your existing Notes/Domino, Connections, and Sametime Chat infrastructure. Sametime Meetings can also be implemented as a stand-alone meetings implementation hosted either on-premises, or on a private cloud.

I am already using an online meeting service, why would I be interested in Sametime Meetings?

Yes, there are a lot of online meeting services available. The main concerns that most business have about these services is how quickly costs can run out of control as more of your users create host accounts, and the level of security and privacy that the service offers.

You corporate data should belong to you, it should not be monitored by the provider, and it should be secure.

Enter Sametime Meetings.

Sametime Meetings can be installed either on-premises or on private cloud infrastructure. Sametime Meetings is cloud-native, which means it is easily deployed either on your own on-premises or private cloud Kubernetes infrastructure. It is designed to be robust, scalable, secure, and easy to install and maintain. HCL supplies Docker Container templates, which are deployed to your Kubernetes implementation, and configuration scripts enable you to quickly configure the system to connect to your existing Sametime Community server for chat, presence, and authentication purposes.

When combined with our existing HCL Sametime 11 persistent, multi-device, 1-1 and Group Chat, Sametime Meetings enables users to seamlessly transition from a chat conversation to a Voice/Video meeting with a single click.

Sametime Meetings will provide unlimited external guest access - if enabled - allowing you to extend your meetings to anyone outside of your organisation.

What is the Sametime Meetings 11.5 Trial?

Before we release the General Availability (GA) of Sametime 11.5 in November, 2020, HCL are offering Sametime Meetings on a trial basis for selected customers to deploy and use free-of-charge.

It is important to note that the Sametime Meetings Trial does not contain all of the functionality that will be available with the full GA release, however it is fully tested, certified, and supported by HCL Software.

You can leverage Sametime Meetings to quickly, easily, and securely connect to anyone inside (and even outside) of your organisation, and when the GA version is available in December you can continue to utilise Sametime Meetings after upgrading to the GA version using our special offer for existing customers.

Sametime Meetings 11.5 trial is now available from the HCL Software download portal, just get in touch with one of our friendly HCL Software Business Partners or HCL Product Specialists.

HCL Traveler for Microsoft Outlook

Every organisation has one of those people. Despite the fact that you've shown them how good Notes or Verse is, or that you've enabled all of the good stuff, or that they are integrated seamlessly into all of your corporate systems, that person just wants the basic functionality that Outlook provides. How do you give Outlook to them without throwing away your safe, reliable, scalable, easy to manage, and secure Domino environment?

Simple: HCL Traveler for Microsoft Outlook.

HCL Traveler - as part of our open client strategy - now provides seamless access to Domino Mail, Calendar, Contacts, To-Do's, Directory Lookup, and Free-Time scheduling; directly within the Microsoft Outlook client.

Now you do not have to 'throw away the baby with the bath-water', and get rid of Domino, just because someone in your organisation want's an alternative mail client.

It's simple to install and configure, and seamless to the rest of the users in your organisation. They won't even know that the sender of that message, or the person inviting them to a meeting, is using an alternative client to Notes or Verse.

HCL Traveler for Microsoft Outlook is a free entitlement for your existing Notes licences, and is available now on the HCL Software download portal.

HCL Safelinx

You now have a better understanding of some of the fantastic updates and new capabilities from HCL Digital Solutions, but you may be thinking:

Great, now how do I simply and securely provide my users with access to all of these applications?

HCL SafeLinx (formerly IBM Mobile Connect) provides remote users with secure web-based and client-based access to enterprise applications. Safelinx supports an extensive list of standard Internet Protocol (IP) and non-IP wireless bearer networks, server hardware and operating systems, and mobile security protocols. HCL SafeLinx enables remote users the flexibility to connect to the internal network from a range of devices, such as desktop, notebook, and mobile devices as well as operating systems.

With a Safelinx client installed on any mobile device or desktop operating system, users can directly access any application on your internal network utilising your choice of multiple robust authentication options (Radius, Secure ID, LDAP, Active Directory, Certificate) and Encryption (DES, Triple DES, RCS, AES, and FIPS 140-2certified).

Safelinx also includes powerful reverse-proxy and client-less VPN access through a browser on any device to browser based applications running behind your own firewall. Again, multiple authentication options are available to ensure security of access, including Two Factor Authentication (2FA), or Multi Factor Authentication (MFA). In addition, Safelinx allows Role or Group based access to enable you to configure which user can access individual internal applications.

As you can see from all of the above updates, we have certainly been very busy here at HCL Software.

Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like more information or a demonstration on any of the applications mentioned in this update.

The Alternate Reality, Episode 8: 10 year Anniversary of running Linux on my Desktop

Mat Newman  July 24 2020 18:25:09
Figure 1: Ubuntu Linux  

10 years ago today I made the switch to Linux as my primary OS, and I've never looked back.

Through 4 machines, I have imaged and restored the HDD to the new laptop (AND Edited/Resized partitions while doing so). I have never lost any data, seamlessly transferred between machines, and upgraded through 4 LTS releases without any hassles.

One of the things I love most about this platform (besides how stable it is, oh, and how flexible/customisable it is, oh, and how performant it is ... yeah there's lots to love 😉), is that I can choose when updates occur. And when those updates do happen it doesn't usually require a reboot - or excessive downtime - unless a major Kernel update occurs, which is not that frequently.

Have just rebooted my machine for the first time in 2 months, due to a kernel update. It took less than 20 seconds to restart. That's it. 20 seconds was my total down-time for a major system update, in addition to over a dozen installed apps having updates applied as well.

I am currently running Notes, Sametime, Safelinx, Domino Administrator (under WINE), WPS Office, 3 browsers (all with multiple Tabs/Windows), Terminal, Monitor, Wireshark, Remmina RDP, and a Domino server running in VMWare Workstation. My CPU is hovering around 10%, and I have 4.2 GB memory being utilised.

Compare that to the OS running on my corporate Thinkpad P53 beside me. It was down for 2 hours this morning while it downloaded and installed updates.

That machine is currently running Notes, Firefox, Powerpoint, and Safelinx. It too is hovering at around 10% CPU, BUT it's chewed up 8.7GB of Memory. #WTH? 8.7GB to run four apps?

Anyway ... back to the point of this post. 10 years ago today, a catastrophic BSOD completely borked my HDD. Windows Install couldn't recover the drive, and GParted couldn't recover the partition tables.

After a few moments contemplating a re-install, I thought to myself: "Bugger that, I'm done with Windows, why not try Linux?"

Having used Linux on servers at that point for a couple of years, and knowing how much faster and more reliable they were than Windows, I made the decision to install a Linux Desktop on my own machine.

My choice at the time was Ubuntu. It was simple to install straight off a bootable USB, and I had been playing with it anyway in a VM while testing some Notes apps to ensure compatibility with Linux.

So, a quick installation later, and another couple of hours restoring files from a backup I had taken the night before, I was up and running in my new system.

As I started poking under the hood of my new environment, I quickly came to appreciate just how flexible this system was. I want a Mac-style dock, "sudo apt-get install cairo-dock". Done. I want Windows to behave like this. Discovered Compiz. WOW! Rotating Screens, Multiple Desktops, special effects. The options seemed limitless. Wish I had a keyboard short-cut to ... Easy!

And the best thing - Performance!

The same machine only a day before had struggled at the thought of Notes, Office, and the 4 simultaneous VM's running to make a demo Domino/Connections/Sametime environment work. Linux hardly raised a sweat. THAT was what really impressed me.

Have I had any issues in the past 10 years? Sure ... there's been a couple of 'interesting' experiences. I'm sure a few of my friends here remember the Userblast presentation in 2012 that started late because I was still restoring my machine back to it's previous state when the session was supposed to start. 🤣😂  Scott Vrusho can testify to helping me diagnose and fix my Notes client after that session so that it worked with the system update. Turned out that the update removed a couple of libraries that were included in the Notes Depends file. After we removed them, everything worked fine.

A couple of minor hassles with device drivers, a couple of flaky app installs that caused issues with other apps, but nothing insurmountable. And once I discovered how to run apps in full debug mode, I quickly learned how to fix almost any issue myself, or at least to understand what was actually happening. That really is the beauty of Open Source.

Overall, I can say with confidence that my work-life has been greatly enhanced by the reliability, flexibility, and performance provided by working within a Linux Desktop.

Thanks Linux for 10 years of service.

I am looking forward to many more. 🤗💛

Happy 1st Birthday HCL Software

Mat Newman  July 1 2020 19:52:14
Happy Birthday HCL Software  

Happy 1st Birthday HCL Software

I cannot believe it was a year ago today - on the First of July, 2019 - that I walked into HCL’s office in Singapore with my friend and renowned guru Stephan Wissel (notessensei), as we became HCL Software’s first new employees in Asia Pacific.

I had been included in the transition from IBM to HCL Software as part of Project Sagan. Months earlier, I had been advised that I was “in-scope” and was part of the acquisition. Stephan had been hired by Jason Gary to run a new Development Lab in Manila, and he has since hired hundreds of new developers who work on HCL’s software applications.

For me, the first few weeks were incredibly daunting as I was almost single-handedly running the business in Asia Pacific while the reset of the team slowly came on board. We hired experts in the collaboration business, many of them my former colleagues from IBM. Like me, they all have years of experience in our brand, strong customer relationships, and were excited to continue their journey with our products.


That’s one word for it 😀

Everyone - customers, partners, IBMers - had seen what HCL could do in the year prior with the incredible engagement that began with our world-wide Jams, and how those ideas literally went from Post-Its to Product in only a few months with the release of Domino 10.

With the acquisition by HCL, we all knew the products we know and love would receive the full attention they deserve, a breath of fresh air, and a commitment to innovation.

And WOW - has that happened.

Some of you joined us at our first HCL Software Factory Tour at our headquarters in Chelmsford, MA, USA. You heard from our leaders the commitment to the platform HCL was making. I will NEVER forget what Richard Jefts said during his introduction: "The shackles are off, it's all ours now, and we can do what we want!"

Just think about what has been achieved by our first Birthday. All new HCL branded versions of all of our software applications: Notes/Domino, Nomad, Verse, Sametime, Connections, Docs, Workflow, LEAP, SAP Connector, and Digital Experience. And all-new 1.0 launches of Domino Volt, and Safelinx (the product previously known as Lotus Mobile Connect). And that's just in the Digital Solutions portfolio. Our colleagues in Appscan, Bigfix, Commerce, and Unica have all experienced the same thing.

The response from our customers and partners has been nothing short of amazing. They can see our commitment to the platforms they know and love. The roadmap for our entire product portfolio has never been stronger. And it’s not just the products that have improved, the way we deal with our customers through our Customer Success Managers, and through Programmes such as Lab Advocacy, have completely changed the way we communicate and collaborate with our customers and partners.

And what has excited me even more are the customers that we didn’t even know we had who are re-investing in the platform. On Monday this week I received an enquiry from a customer who wanted to upgrade to the latest version of Notes/Domino, because they had seen all of the new features and functionality and wanted to take advantage of that. Their last licence purchase was in September 2004! (Now THAT is ROI!)

There is hardly a week that goes by that we have a situation like that, and when I talk to those customers the story is always the same. "We never paid any attention to it, because it sits in the corner and just runs. We never have any problems with it."

Yep. This stuff just works.

I am energised every day during meetings with our customers and partners as we discuss their business related issues, and how HCL Software can help them. I speak with our product managers, support, and developers all the time when faced with customer issues and I am never surprised when they respond: "Sure, we can do that." Nothing exemplifies that "can do" attitude more than last week, when a customer posted a question in a Facebook group, and within hours not only did that customer have the solution, it was fully documented on our web-site as a technote.

You have heard me say this many times over the past year: "I started with Lotus Notes Release 2, in 1992, and I have NEVER been as excited about our products as I am NOW!"

Happy 1st Birthday HCL Software.

And Thank You. (HUG) 🤗

How to Present in an online meeting like a CHAMPION

Mat Newman  May 14 2020 13:31:29
Have you ever attended an online meeting and heard the question from the presenter: "Can everyone see my screen?"

Today's very simple #TipOfTheDay: How to Present in an online meeting like a CHAMPION!


30 Years of Notes-Domino

Mat Newman  November 27 2019 22:00:00
Figure 1: Notes Release 1  

30 Years ago today, a milestone in the Software industry was reached. Lotus Notes Release 1 Gold Build was compiled on the 27th of November, 1989. While the launch itself wasn't until a few days later on the 7th of December, it's still one of the dates I always consider Notes' Birthday.

Many people ask: What has made this venerable piece of software last 30 years?

Consider this:
  • Notes was a NoSQL database, before NoSQL raised to popularity,
  • Notes security model is virtually unsurpassed, and trusted by organisations all over the world that heavily rely on that fact,
  • Notes had PKI before PKI gained popularity as the security model utilised by the WWW,
  • Notes has kept up with emerging standards, and is able to integrate with virtually any system,
  • Notes Replication technology has provided organisations with distributed environments the ability to synchronise information, regardless of the number of locations, or the availability of high-bandwidth network connections,
  • The Notes Server - renamed Domino in 1996 - has proven itself to be highly reliable, resilient, and extremely scalable,
  • The architecture of Notes, with the separation of the Software and Data layer, means an upgrade of the software has virtually no impact on that underlying data the software accesses and manages, ie: No Data Migrations - EVER! (yes, looking at you, Exchange and Sharepoint Admins ... ),
  • Domino's ability - due to it's incredible architecture - to be Partitioned, Clustered, and even Containerised, has provided high fault tolerance and virtually Zero (0) downtime in most implementations,
  • An application built in Notes Release 1, will work with the latest upcoming release of Notes and Domino Version 11 (more  on that later!), providing amazing Return On Investment (ROI)!
  • Notes was Rapid Application Development (RAD), before RAD was even a thing.

And of course, one of my favourite things about Notes; many organisations purchased Notes for it's Applications capability, and got enterprise grade Mail, Calendaring, and Scheduling - Free Of Charge!

In honour of Notes' 30th Birthday, today I decided to show how amazing that ROI provided by the platform is, by creating an application in Notes Release 1, Accessing that same application in the upcoming Notes Version 11 release, and then modernising that app with just a couple of clicks. Of course, it wouldn't do to finish there - we'll then access that 30 year old Database on an iPad - WITH NO FURTHER DESIGN CHANGES NECESSARY - to demonstrate how even a 30 year old App can now be accessed on a Mobile device.

Here we go!

File -> New, choose a template, give it a file name, and OK
Figure 2; New Database  

As usual, the first thing one sees is the Database About document, describing what functionality and features the selected template provides. In this case I have used a Discussion Template, think any online forum ever created.
Figure 3; About Document  

Accessing the design to make modification to the application was simple, Design -> Forms/Views/etc
Figure 4; Design  

In this case, I am going to modify the default Main Topic form, to change it's colour and add a new field
Figure 5; Select Element  

The Main Topic form, before modifications
Figure 6; New Form  

Accessing the Form Properties
Figure 7; Form Properties  

Creating a new field, and setting it's type, and values
Figure 8; New Field  

Modifying Formulas, in this instance to dynamically compute the Title of the Form
Figure 9; Fields and Formulas  

Close the designer, so we can use the modified Form to create a new entry
Figure 10; No Data  

Compose -> Main Topic (Ahhhh ... NOW you know why that formula is @Command([Compose';"":"";"Main Topic"))
Figure 11; Compose  

Our Modified form, with the new Security field and some data entered.
Figure 12; Document  

Ok, so that was pretty simple, we created a database, modified a Form to add a new field, and then created a new Note (document!). So let's do the time warp, and demonstrate how that application we developed 30 years ago today (courtesy of our Way-Back machine) is still providing ROI 30 years later in the latest release of Notes, the upcoming Notes Version 11.

Let's Just check, shall we ... HCL Notes 11 - Check!
Figure 13; Notes 11  

Database About Document, since we've opened it for the first time on this client.
Figure 14; About  

Content Complete, No Changes required ... Hmmmm, does look a little dated though, doesn't it?
Figure 15; About  

How about we put a Version 11 fresh face on this 30 year old app, Workspace -> Application -> Replace Design
Figure 16; About  

Choose the brand new Version 11 Discussion Template
Figure 17; About  

Yes, of course we want to Update it!
Figure 18; About  

Voila! A brand new look and feel for our database, No Data Migration Required, and a 30 Year old Notes application ready for the modern world!
Figure 19; About  

And Now - How about we take that 30 year old database and access it on a Mobile device (in this case an iPad)

Of course - open in Nomad for iPad for the first time, and we get the about document
Figure 20; About  

Standard Notes Database layout translates directly to the iPad
Figure 21; Database  

And seamless Document rendering
Figure 21; Database  

(Hat Tip to Erik Schwalb for the Nomad Screen-Shots)

How cool is it that I was an iPad developer, decades before an iPad was even invented!

There are many things I love about Notes, and have done for the 27 years that I have been working with the application. As we approach a new era, and the fourth re-branding of the product:
  • 1989 - Lotus Notes Release 1
  • 2003 - IBM Lotus Notes Version 6
  • 2013 - IBM Notes Version 9
  • 2019 - HCL Notes Version 11

I can honestly say that I have never been as excited about the future of HCL Notes and Domino than I am right now.

Happy Birthday Notes, here's to another 30 years!

So what's your favourite Notes and Domino feature or memory over the past 30 years?

Would love to hear from you in the comments!

iPad Air 2 and iPadOS 13.1.2 - Cautionary Note

Mat Newman  October 14 2019 02:07:51
Figure 1: The New Notes 10.0.1    
Image courtesy of arsTechnica

I don't often write about Apple stuff, but an extremely unpleasant situation arose for me over the weekend that caused a significant amount of angst and an unnecessary amount of time trying to resolve.

It all began on Sunday morning when I woke to a nice little notice on my Apple iPad Air 2 that a new update had been automatically downloaded and installed and that I was now running iPadOS 13.1.2.

"Nice" - mused I, with a thoughtful smile - Now, what is iPadOS 13.1.2, and what new features does it hold for me?

Well, I couldn't find those details, because my iPad wouldn't connect to my WiFi.

Several prompts for my WiFi password had me bemused, as I have had the same complex password on my Hot-Spot for years.

And then I started receiving several prompts from Apps on my iPad that had background updates enabled, which also had passwords associated with them (the most obvious being my corporate and private email Apps).

Several attempts - at again - entering the correct password left me wondering what on earth was going on.

And then I discovered that every app on my device that required a password would instantly crash when I attempted to open them. Unfortunately, this also included the installed Safari and Chrome browsers.

Uh ... OH!

Very quickly searching for symptoms on the internet, I came across this article on the Apple forum, describing exactly the symptoms that I was suffering.

Some more research, and I suspected that the root cause of this issue had something to do with the iOS password manager.

The article I referenced above mentioned connecting to an open WiFi network, and then installing the iPadOS 13.2 beta could possibly resolve my issue.

So I configured my Phone as an open WiFi, and managed to successfully connect to that without a password.

All good so far.

Now, attempt to open either of the Browser Apps installed on my device to proceed to step 2, access the Apple Beta Site, and configure my iPad for the beta.


Neither of my installed Browsers would start (instantly crashing!), and I could not access the App Store to download and install an alternative.

If you're wondering about that weird Social Media post I made yesterday, with a link to the Apple beta site - well, now you know. I managed to open a couple of Apps that have their own embedded browser, but unfortunately; I was able to access the Apple Beta sites, but when I got to the step that required me to download the Apple Settings configuration profile, it failed with a "File Not Recognised" error. Apparently Apps with embedded browsers don't recognise iOS configuration profile links. :-(

All of the above had taken several hours at this point, and I was feeling rather frustrated ... when a little bit of MAGIC occurred!

I received an update in my "Notification Centre" telling me that iPadOS 13.1.2 had been installed, and I should tap it to see what was new.

Feeling rather unhappy at this point, I did exactly that, and swiped through the few pages describing the new features. The MAGIC happened on the last of these screens, which included a button to "Find out More", which I dutifully tapped, and it opened Safari - much to my surprise - and took me to the Apple iOS 13.1.2 page (remember, attempting to access Safari to this point had resulted in an immediate crash!).

I IMMEDIATELY navigated to the Apple iPadOS beta page, registered, successfully downloaded the Settings Profile, and after a few minutes, was able to access the software updates and download the 13.2 Beta.

A little while later, my iPad restarted, and after entering a few passwords again, I was successfully up and running.

So, if you have an iPad Air 2, and have installed iPadOS 13.1.2 with the same problems that I encountered, I hope this little guide helps get you back up and running without a complete wipe and re-install of your device.

HCL Software Portal Launched for Customers and Partners

Mat Newman  July 2 2019 15:46:02
Figure 1: HCL Software Portal Features

Earlier today, HCL Software (the newly announced division of HCL Technologies) was launched in a press release formally announcing that HCL had completed the purchase of the IBM software announced late last year.

As part of this new entity, today HCL Software launched their new portal (Built on PORTAL and DOMINO!), which provides Customers and Partners a one-stop site where they can receive product information, learn about purchasing software, gain support, connect with partners, and get contact information relevant to their requirements.

One of the things I love about the Portal is the introduction video by Raj Iyer, VP of Product Management for HCL Software, where he outlines the guiding principles and values that HCL are utilising:


Customer-driven roadmaps, transparent development, joint innovation


Rest APIs, 3rd party integration, partner-led product extensions


Practical innovation powered by technologies like machine learning and analytics


Market currency for platforms, languages and methodologies


User experience, Hybrid on-premises/cloud offerings


Containerised deployment, lower TCO, simplify offerings

I especially like Raj's closing quote: "We at HCL truly believe the the best days of these products lie ahead of us, and with your support and commitment, we can translate that belief into reality."

We are absolutely ready to engage with you to help you better understand, utilise and help us plan the future of our portfolio.

Whether you are a Customer, or Partner, please sign up on our new Welcome Portal Page:  

Figure 2: HCL Software Portal Features

Mat Newman

THE Notes (formerly IBM/Lotus Notes) Guy. Productivity Guru. Evangelist. IBM Champion for IBM Collaboration Solutions, 2011/2012/2013. Former IBMer. HCLite. Views are my own.

#GetProductive #GetHCLNotes

Mat Newman

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