Sat, Jul
2 New Articles

Lotus Sametime 7.5 Ships

Collaboration & Messaging
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

Every now and then, we need to reflect on the world of our corporate users who work outside the IT environment. This is particularly important in the world of supply chains, where cooperation and collaboration among suppliers and distributors becomes increasingly important in the global economy.

But with the continued and renewed terrorist activities and new restrictions for airline travelers, the days when a business manager might willingly jet-hop from a customer's office to a manufacturing supplier's factory to a warehouse fulfillment center are fading into distant memory. The airline security gamut has grown too arduous, and the once-common face-to-face "relationship" meetings up and down the supply chain have become too expensive. Our executives know this, yet too often they've neglected to communicate it to IT.

Hey! For the traveling business exec, it's a hell of waiting, standing in line, suffering delays, and enduring rigorous hours away from home.

Instant Messaging Seeps into the IT Infrastructure

Meanwhile, the technologies of instant messaging (IM) on the public Internet have blossomed with increasingly sophisticated tools, including VoIP, Webcams, and Short Message Service (SMS) to supplement the basic IM chat capabilities. Instant messaging itself has wormed its way into the IT infrastructure with public applications from AOL, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Skype, and other providers. Our execs are embracing these technologies, often bringing the services into the organization behind the scenes, because it makes communication along the supply chain work smarter.

Security from Public Purveys Are Targets

Yet these messaging applications from these various public purveyors have become targets for IM worms and viruses that compromise the security of the entire organization. IT has no control over the providers, and if a bug or virus begins to spread, the most IT can do is restrict the service at the firewall, shutting down the communication flow.

Sametime 7.5

Now, last Wednesday, IBM began shipping the promised 7.5 release of Lotus Sametime. Where will IT stand with this service? Will it help our organizations or make it more difficult to manage the influx of IM and conferencing services?

IBM started marketing Sametime many years ago as a conferencing application that sat atop Lotus Domino and included IM. However, because there was no standard IM protocol for interfacing to the other IM providers, the task of providing a unified communications platform—in which differing IM clients can participate in a basic chat environment—has been a long time in coming.

Now it appears that the unified communication platform is finally a reality with Lotus Sametime 7.5, and on the surface it looks great!

Sametime 7.5 Provides Secure Cross-Platform Messaging

Lotus Sametime 7.5 provides IM, Web conferencing, voice conferencing, and video conferencing capabilities all built on open and secure standards-based protocols. In addition, IBM has joined forces with all the major IM purveyors to provide plug-ins that enable cross-program messaging communication in a secure and controlled manner.

Sametime 7.5 was built with Eclipse, which opens the door for business partners to construct future code that will extend the Sametime platform to future cross-program messaging enhancements. IBM says that close to 100 partners from around the world are working with IBM to deliver solutions for Lotus Sametime. This provides opportunities to integrate back-end data applications for message collaboration, as well as opportunities to develop standards-based messaging technologies and video and audio technologies. It pushes the door open much wider for real collaboration along the supply chain, without dictating a proprietary solution that may not be available to individual organizations within the chain.

In addition, because Sametime 7.5 is built to IBM enterprise-level security standards, IT can finally control the company's exposure to security intrusions: Instead of removing IM technologies from the workplace or being forced to rely upon multiple organizations for a fix to a problem, IT managers can take the controls and exclude or include functions and provide personnel with a decent set of security tools.

Finally, IBM is creating an online virtual showcase of plug-ins to allow customers to easily search for and learn about available third-party technology that integrates with Lotus Sametime.

So what does Sametime 7.5 do that other IM platforms fail to do?

How Does Sametime 7.5 Measure Up?

First of all, the virtual world for collaboration between your employees and others opens up so that personnel can be in constant contact to ask questions, resolve problems, or join into ad hoc conferences. The perpetual license for each client is only $55, which makes it a bargain at the user's end. If your organization already uses an IM function, you know how productive this can be.

Secondly, IBM has provided more than 100 new and enhanced features, including a new IM client, a completely redesigned Web conferencing user experience, federation with public IM networks, integration with leading telephony and desktop video providers, and integrated Voice over IP (VoIP).

Thirdly, Sametime permits application sharing so that IT or other personnel that are remotely stationed can work with users to resolve problems, without needing to hop a plane and meet face-to-face.

Fourthly, the standards-based open and fully extensible design also transforms Lotus Sametime software from a real-time collaboration program to a real-time collaboration platform, enabling developers to more easily deliver customized real-time business solutions that use the Sametime environment as a resource.

Finally, Sametime can now also serve as a foundation for advanced organizational collaboration and social networking, allowing the whole supply chain to work faster, be more responsive, and increase its productivity.

System i5 Availability

Best of all, Sametime 7.5 will work with the System i, which means you can incorporate Sametime into the normal flow of IT work, without turning it over to the PC server gurus.

System i Hardware Requirements

  • i5 Model 520 or larger with any processor feature
  • Model 730 or 740 with any processor feature
  • Model 800 with processor feature 2464 or greater
  • Model 810, 820, 825, 830, 840, 870, or 890 with any processor feature
  • 1 GB memory for each Sametime and Domino server
  • 500 MB free disk
  • 4 disk drives

i5/OS Software Requirements

  • IBM i5/OS V5R3 or V5R4
  • TCP/IP Connectivity Utilities for iSeries
  • IBM Developer Kit for Java
  • Domino for i5/OS Release 7.0x
  • I5/OS Portable Applications Solutions Environment
  • Cryptographic Access Provider 128-bit for iSeries

No Frequent Flyer Miles Offered

When one stops to think of the cost of fielding a business team along a supply chain versus the cost of adding the productivity of an environment like Sametime 7.5 to an existing System i5 Domino infrastructure, the importance of this new release becomes clear: It's an application platform that in most cases can pay for itself in less than a year. In addition, it adds value to the service that your business provides to the supply chain, while simultaneously increasing the potential for greater productivity.

IBM Lotus got it right with this release, and they deserve kudos for making it natively available to the System i5. The only potential drawback for your execs considering Sametime 7.5 is that IBM Lotus is not offering airline frequent flyer miles with each license purchased, and that will certainly cause some execs to balk. But then who actually wants to fly anymore anyway?

Thomas M. Stockwell is Editor in Chief of MC Press Online, LP.

Thomas Stockwell

Thomas M. Stockwell is an independent IT analyst and writer. He is the former Editor in Chief of MC Press Online and Midrange Computing magazine and has over 20 years of experience as a programmer, systems engineer, IT director, industry analyst, author, speaker, consultant, and editor.  


Tom works from his home in the Napa Valley in California. He can be reached at ITincendiary.com.





Support MC Press Online


Book Reviews

Resource Center

  • SB Profound WC 5536 Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. You can find Part 1 here. In Part 2 of our free Node.js Webinar Series, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Brian will briefly discuss the different tools available, and demonstrate his preferred setup for Node development on IBM i or any platform. Attend this webinar to learn:

  • SB Profound WP 5539More than ever, there is a demand for IT to deliver innovation. Your IBM i has been an essential part of your business operations for years. However, your organization may struggle to maintain the current system and implement new projects. The thousands of customers we've worked with and surveyed state that expectations regarding the digital footprint and vision of the company are not aligned with the current IT environment.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT Generic IBM announced the E1080 servers using the latest Power10 processor in September 2021. The most powerful processor from IBM to date, Power10 is designed to handle the demands of doing business in today’s high-tech atmosphere, including running cloud applications, supporting big data, and managing AI workloads. But what does Power10 mean for your data center? In this recorded webinar, IBMers Dan Sundt and Dylan Boday join IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington for a discussion on why Power10 technology is the right strategic investment if you run IBM i, AIX, or Linux. In this action-packed hour, Tom will share trends from the IBM i and AIX user communities while Dan and Dylan dive into the tech specs for key hardware, including:

  • Magic MarkTRY the one package that solves all your document design and printing challenges on all your platforms. Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product. Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Request your trial now!  Request Now.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericForms of ransomware has been around for over 30 years, and with more and more organizations suffering attacks each year, it continues to endure. What has made ransomware such a durable threat and what is the best way to combat it? In order to prevent ransomware, organizations must first understand how it works.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericIT security is a top priority for businesses around the world, but most IBM i pros don’t know where to begin—and most cybersecurity experts don’t know IBM i. In this session, Robin Tatam explores the business impact of lax IBM i security, the top vulnerabilities putting IBM i at risk, and the steps you can take to protect your organization. If you’re looking to avoid unexpected downtime or corrupted data, you don’t want to miss this session.

  • SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericCan you trust all of your users all of the time? A typical end user receives 16 malicious emails each month, but only 17 percent of these phishing campaigns are reported to IT. Once an attack is underway, most organizations won’t discover the breach until six months later. A staggering amount of damage can occur in that time. Despite these risks, 93 percent of organizations are leaving their IBM i systems vulnerable to cybercrime. In this on-demand webinar, IBM i security experts Robin Tatam and Sandi Moore will reveal:

  • FORTRA Disaster protection is vital to every business. Yet, it often consists of patched together procedures that are prone to error. From automatic backups to data encryption to media management, Robot automates the routine (yet often complex) tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAManaging messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. Messages need a response and resources must be monitored—often over multiple systems and across platforms. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events? Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAThe thought of printing, distributing, and storing iSeries reports manually may reduce you to tears. Paper and labor costs associated with report generation can spiral out of control. Mountains of paper threaten to swamp your files. Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing. Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

  • FORTRAFor over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i. With batch job creation and scheduling at its core, the Robot Job Scheduling Solution reduces the opportunity for human error and helps you maintain service levels, automating even the biggest, most complex runbooks. Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:

  • LANSA Business users want new applications now. Market and regulatory pressures require faster application updates and delivery into production. Your IBM i developers may be approaching retirement, and you see no sure way to fill their positions with experienced developers. In addition, you may be caught between maintaining your existing applications and the uncertainty of moving to something new.

  • LANSAWhen it comes to creating your business applications, there are hundreds of coding platforms and programming languages to choose from. These options range from very complex traditional programming languages to Low-Code platforms where sometimes no traditional coding experience is needed. Download our whitepaper, The Power of Writing Code in a Low-Code Solution, and:

  • LANSASupply Chain is becoming increasingly complex and unpredictable. From raw materials for manufacturing to food supply chains, the journey from source to production to delivery to consumers is marred with inefficiencies, manual processes, shortages, recalls, counterfeits, and scandals. In this webinar, we discuss how:

  • The MC Resource Centers bring you the widest selection of white papers, trial software, and on-demand webcasts for you to choose from. >> Review the list of White Papers, Trial Software or On-Demand Webcast at the MC Press Resource Center. >> Add the items to yru Cart and complet he checkout process and submit

  • Profound Logic Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

  • SB Profound WC 5536Join us for this hour-long webcast that will explore:

  • Fortra IT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators with intimate knowledge of the operating system and the applications that run on it is small. This begs the question: How will you manage the platform that supports such a big part of your business? This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn: