This section introduces this guide, explains the characteristics of a good integrated web experience, and how the products in the integrated environment can be used in a day-in-a-life of a user example.
Characteristics of a good integrated web experience
This guide discusses how to take a specific set of products (IBM Lotus Domino, IBM WebSphere Portal, IBM Lotus Quickr Domino, IBM Connections and IBM Sametime) and use them to create an integrated web environment. Before discussing how this is done, it is useful to consider what makes a good integrated web experience and what is the value that the integrated web environment brings to the user community.
A good integrated web experience
is more than just a set of browser-based applications that are accessible to a user. It should have the following characteristics:
- Provide a single sign-on facility - Once users are logged into the integrated web environment, they should not be prompted to log in again.
- Be activity-centric - Allow users to focus on the business task that needs completing rather than the specific tools that are needed to complete it. For example, providing the ability to start, execute and complete a task from a single interface.
- Offer contextual collaboration - People and information related to the current task should be easily accessible. For example, having instant messaging capability and user profile information associated with all the places that user names occur.
- Use consistent navigation and menus - Make it easy for users to move seamlessly within and between applications. For example, all applications having the same set of menu options at the top of the screen.
- Have a common look and feel - Make the experience aesthetically pleasing. The user interface should appear as a solution rather than a set of products. For example, each product including a company logo and using a common color theme.
The value of a good integrated web experience
- Ease of use - Less clicks to get a job done.
- Efficient completion of tasks - People and information required to complete the tasks are easily available or contactable from within the tasks.
- Reduction in learning curve - Less training required on using the tools due to their similar look, feel and operation.
Purpose and scope of this guide
This section describes the purpose and scope of the guide, detailing what is and is not included in the documentation.
The purpose of this guide is to describe all of the steps required to create a specific example of an integrated web environment based on Domino, Sametime, Portal, Connections and Quickr Domino. While doing this, an explanation of the steps, the choices made and some possible alternatives will be discussed. The end result is intended to give guidance to companies on how they can create a similar environment using their own deployments which may not have exactly the same configuration, or contain all of the five collaboration products used in this example.
The following items are in scope and are discussed in detail in the guide:
- Creation of a simple integrated example environment with single-server deployments of Domino, Connections, Portal and Quickr Domino and a two-server deployment of Sametime (one server for instant messaging services and one server for meetings).
- Structured step-by-step instructions to take stand-alone deployments of Domino/iNotes, Connections, Quickr Domino and Sametime and configure all the supported integration points available within the set of products.
- Instructions on how to customize the look and feel of the products to match the example environment.
- A video to demonstrate the use of the integrated environment in a day-in-the-life scenario.
Out of scope
The following items are out of scope and are not discussed in detail in the guide. However, where appropriate, links are given to where information can be found on these topics:
- Detailed installation of the stand-alone products. The guide includes high-level detail on the installation steps involved in creating the example environment and focuses only on where non-default choices were made during the installations. Links are provided to where the detailed instructions for installing the products can be found.
- Installation and configuration instructions for products outside of those detailed above. The example environment created and discussed in this guide could also be integrated with other IBM and non-IBM products (e.g.IBM Filenet P8 and Microsoft Outlook/Exchange) but these are not discussed in the guide.
- Installation and configuration of production-level environments involving clustering, failover, scalability, security etc). The guide provides guidelines or links to information on these where they relate to configuring integration functionality.
End product and day-in-the-life of a user
A short description of a day-in-the life of a user helps to demonstrate the integration of the products and frequently used features. A video is also provided that goes along with the script
Day-in-the-life of Philippe
: All the names of people used here are fictional and do not represent real people or companies.
Philippe Babineaux works in a geographically distributed team, He finds this integrated environment to be very useful. It enables him to work efficiently and closely with all team members and other corporate staff using the IBM Lotus and WebSphere servers and applications.
Here is an example of how he uses the software in the integrated environment to do his work.
Philippe opens his home page in WebSphere Portal and accesses his iNotes mail application. He opens an email from his manager who invites him to work on a project which will be a part of his company's community involvement project.
The email to Philippe (Phil) reads:
The last week of March 2012 the General Area Children's Hospital, near our Pennsylvania headquarters, will host a Medieval/Renaissance weekend event. All entry fees and proceeds go to the fund raiser for a new hospital wing. I "volunteered" some of my fun loving staff to enter the competition as part of our community involvement program.
Your assignment, should you "accept" it, will be to design, build, and enter a scale model of an ancient siege engine called a hinged counter-weight trebuchet which can hurl a 30 lb. pumpkin 100 yards through a set of upright goal posts.
Let me know your plans, who you can put on a team, and what I can do to help make this happen.
Using the integrated web environment, Phil performed the following tasks:
- Phil opens the Applications tab of the Portal to access Connections to search for people located in the geographic area of the project, and for skills of different employees across geography so that the corporation on a wider basis can be involved. He looks for those whose hobbies include history, mechanical engineering, building or carpentry, and anyone involved locally with the children's hospital.
- Phil finds the people and sends invitations for an impromptu Sametime meeting so they can discuss the project, including a link to his meeting room so the invitees can easily join the meeting..
- The Sametime meeting attendees share their ideas and documents to help with the project direction.
- Phil adds these documents to a Quickr Domino place he creates for the project.
- Working through the Portal and Connections applications, Phil creates a community, adds members and begins an activity which describes and outlines the project. He then adds members, adds and assigns To Do's to each member.
- Some members comment and add documents to their To Do items showing their progress for the project.
- One member adds an attachment to a Quickr place and sends links to other members which pictures some ideas found for the trebuchet .
- Phil emails his manager, Sunil, with an update on the project and confirms the cost center code for the materials and the many pumpkins they need for testing.
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