Just 'chat,' or the next IT revolution

In the Q&A portion of his live April 27 webcast, Mathew Newman answered many questions posed by attendees, but there were more that he didn't have time to answer in the webcast. Here are these questions and Mathew's expert answers. Don't forget to check out part 2 of his webcast series on Sametime.

Can I set up a meeting between users who have a Notes client inside a company and people outside the company with no Notes client?
Yes, online meetings can be shared with people who do not have a Notes client.

Meetings are browser-based, so as long as your meeting server is accessible via the Internet, then your meetings can include participants outside your organization.

Once you have created your meeting, the meeting summary document available from the Sametime center scheduling screens includes the browser link to the actual meeting. E-mail this link to your external party. Choosing the link at the meeting's scheduled time will launch the online meeting place. When I set up an online meeting via Lotus Notes using the xcalendar item, I don't have a list of Sametime servers. How do I get that lost box for "Place" to populate? I just noticed this when I tried to do what you had on one of your presentation slides.
Online places need to be configured in the Domino Directory and in the Resource Reservation system to enable you to schedule an online meeting through your Notes client.

Your administrator will need to configure this for you, a detailed step-by-step explanation of this process can be found in this tech-note.

Once an "online place" has been configured, you will be able to schedule online meetings through Notes. Do you recommend that the presenter in a meeting change their Sametime status to "Do Not Disturb" to avoid interruptions?
Personally, I use this feature when conducting online meetings to help my co-workers identify that I am busy. Since you are also able to change the status message, you could modify your online status to "currently presenting online" to identify why you should not be disturbed.

Mathew Newman
A note on this, though: Just because you have identified that you should not be disturbed, doesn't necessarily mean that people won't still initiate a chat session with you. Must we buy Sametime CALS when we have already Lotus Notes 6.5 and Notes CALS?
Sametime CALS are required to utilize the online meeting component of Sametime. Users with existing Lotus Notes CALS are entitled to the instant messaging features available within the Notes client, including presence awareness and chat (instant messaging). For more detailed information, refer to the entitlement FAQs located on IBM's Web site. What browsers and version levels have the best support for Sametime?
Current supported browsers for Sametime include the following.

Windows

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer, Version 5.5 with Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (JVM), Version 1.1 or Sun JVM, Version 1.4.1 or Version 1.4.2
  • Internet Explorer, Version 6.0 with Microsoft JVM, Version 1.1 or Sun JVM, Version 1.4.2
  • Mozilla 1.4.1
Unix
  • IBM AIX -- Mozilla, Version 1.4.1 with IBM JVM, Version 1.4.1
  • Sun Solaris - Mozilla, Version 1.4.1 with Sun JVM, Version 1.4.1 and Version 1.4.2
  • Red Hat Linux - Mozilla, Version 1.4.1 with Sun JVM, Version 1.4.1 and Version 1.4.2
As to browsers with the "best support," I can indicate that we have been very successful with IE6 and Sun JVM 1.4.1, but since I have not had the opportunity to test all supported browsers running on all platforms, I am unable to indicate whether this is the "best" browser for Sametime. Does the Sametime presence awareness support the use of Lotus Notes address groups as opposed to individuals?
Presence awareness through Sametime is user-based, so support for an "online group" of people is not available, although a user can, of course, be a member of a group that can be added to a connect or buddy list.

However, it is possible to create "place-based" awareness, allowing people who are looking at the same Web site, Web page or document to be aware of the other users who are currently online and in the same "place." Does Lotus Notes 6.5 and the included instant messaging features require a separate Sametime server?
Sametime may be installed on an existing server or on a new server with no additional server licenses required to support the instant messaging capabilities through Notes.

This, of course, depends on the capacity of your existing Domino servers. Existing Notes customers may install Sametime on a new server should existing Domino server capacity not be sufficient to support running Sametime for instant messaging concurrently on the same hardware. Refer to these FAQs on IBM's Web site for more detailed information. Correction to an answer you gave: Sametime and Quickplace (Team Workplace) cannot be installed on the same server and be supported by Lotus. This will change in Version 7.0.
Correction noted, while the extended versions (6.5.1) in the same environment are supported, a Domino server limitation prevents installing multiple extended products on the same (Domino) server and is not supported by Lotus/IBM. We will be installing Notes 6.5.3 using SMS. When the client runs it for the first time, they are presented with the option of enabling or disabling Sametime. How would we prevent this window from appearing? Is this even possible?
There are two possible solutions to your issue. One would be to individually edit the Notes.ini files on the workstation to enable the IM_No_setup parameter. The second would be to utilize a scriptable installation on the Notes client.

If you are dealing with existing Notes clients, you could "push" this ini variable to your users prior to the 6.5.3 upgrade using an agent. Should the client installation be a new install, where the client has not previously been configured, your solution to this issue is to create a script-based setup and configuration of the client.

A comprehensive technote on creating the script file, entitled How to set up a Notes client without user intervention using a scriptable setup. In addition, the technote entitled Is it possible to disable Notes instant messaging via scriptable (silent) install?. How do you initially deploy Sametime to existing Notes users for the first time?
There are a number of methods you could utilize to implement Sametime to your existing Notes users. One of the easiest is to implement a three-stage rollout, principally using policies.

  1. Implement a security policy to ensure that your users' Lotus Notes (user ID) and Internet passwords (Person document) are synchronized. It is recommended that you perform this step to ensure that the users' Lotus Notes and Internet passwords are at least up to date (assuming your users have an Internet password) before having them log in to Sametime, since Sametime uses the Internet password stored in the Person document.

  2. Implement the required Sametime fields in the users' Location documents using Desktop Policies and to implement the Sametime field in the individual user's Person documents. Add the Sametime server's name to the IBM Lotus Instant Messaging Server field in the Desktop Policy, and the write an agent to set the Sametime servers field in the Person documents (Field SametimeServer:="yourSametimeserver/yourorg").

  3. Have the users log in to Sametime for the first time and populate their "buddy" lists. This can be done once the Sametime server field in the users' current Location document is set (stage 1) and the user has a "home" server (stage 2) and through the File menu or from the "Instant Messaging" status bar option.

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