Archive for Lotus Symphony

My thoughts on the Lotusphere2012 announcements around Lotus Symphony and Apache

January 23 2012

At Lotusphere2012, IBM made a pretty big announcements around Lotus Symphony. Let's cover them in order of significance, starting with smallest first. IBM Lotus Symphony 3.0.1 ships Some great new features like the Speakers View and the one million row support make this a great point release. Not sure if there will be an overlay install for the Notes client but working on that. IBM LotusLive Symphony morphs into IBM Docs IBM showed off the newly renamed IBM Docs, now in beta on Greenhouse. If you have used web-based editors like Google Docs and Office 365, this will feel a bit familiar. The integration with IBM Smart Cloud Engage / Connections is impressive. But what really got notice was when they demoed a web editor for creating macros inside the web document editors. The demo was a spreadsheet with a button that inserted data and did formatting. The demo was impressive, but the fact the macro language was javascript was even more so. The timeline for release seems summer for

Lotuphere2012: JMP304 - Master Class: Integration in the world of Social Business

January 18 2012

Jmp304View more presentations from John Head. You can get the Getting Started Database Here

MWLUG 2011: The Never Ending Integration Story: How to Integrate Your Lotus Notes, Domino, and LotusLive applications with Microsoft Office, .NET, and Lotus Symphony

August 26 2011

The Integration Story started in 1994, with the first ways to combine Lotus Notes and Lotus Ami Pro to create custom applications. In 2011, the Integration story is still going strong. This session will start with the basics and ramp up in skill and capabilities. We will show how to integrate Lotus Notes, Lotus Domino, XPages, and LotusLive applications with the tools on your user's machines: Microsoft Office, Microsoft .NET custom applications, , LibreOffice, Lotus Symphony, and more. We will look how the ODF and OOXML standards are changing the integration story and how they will impact you. You will walk out of the session with lots of sample code and extending your own integration story! MWLUG 2011: The Never Ending Integration Story View more presentations from John Head

Interview with IBM’s Doug Heintzman and Konrad Lagarde : IBM Project Vulcan, IBM Social Business Toolkit, Mobile, and ODF/ Interview

February 22 2011

Due to scheduling issues at Lotusphere 2011, I was not able to do some of my press interviews. I was offered the chance of a make-up interview with Doug Heintzman, Director, Lotus Strategy. During the interview, he brought in Konrad lagarde, who is working on the IBM Project Vulcan team and has direct experience with the IBM Social Business Toolkit. Here is my transcription of the interview with some commentary at the end. Project Vulcan and the IBM Social Business Toolkit JH: IBM Project Vulcan as a project vs. a deliverable. Can you help map the progression of Project Vulcan from what was seen at Lotusphere 2010 vs Lotusphere 2011: DH: IBM is making a lot of progress and the vision is quite bold. IBM is devolving a bunch of packages and applications into a group of discrete services. Added to this will be an aggregation service, sharebox service(s), analytic services, etc. There will also be a set of toolkits, which the IBM Social Business Toolkit is one of them. The goal is to

Yellow Day Release: Updated Contacts Experience

August 11 2010

In honor of Yellow Day, I am going to post a new version of the Contacts Experience. Here is what is new: - Support for Microsoft Office 2010 - Updates to Microsoft Office Label and Envelope Functionality - Started work on adding Label functionality - The beginnings of custom field functionality: The goal is to have custom templates that the user can select, but first we need custom fields. The first release just defines the basic fields and a way to customize them. More to come. I have also been working on the first release to support Symphony 3.X when it is embedded in Notes 8.5.2. While not coming on August 24th when Notes 8.5.2 ships, Symphony 3 will have an update toolkit for Notes. This will give us a bunch more functionality, including presentations and labels and envelopes. Enjoy Yellow Day!

Lotusphere 2010 : Lotus Symphony Architecture - Current and Future

February 2 2010

At the Lotusphere 2010 session "AD207 IBM Lotus Symphony Technical Overview", Yue MA and Erik MA talked about the architecture of Lotus Symphony. I thought the following three slides were great for illustrating how Lotus Symphony is architected and sheds some light on what is coming with Lotus Symphony 3 aka Vienna. Here is the current architecture of Lotus Symphony 1.X: As you can see, Symphony 1.X is derived from 1.1 code. IBM uses the Louts Expeditor toolkit to provide functionality and then has custom code for The user interface and other services. The Symphony Toolkit API sits on top of both of these to provide Java, LotusScript, and Composite Application support. Here is the architecture for Lotus Symphony 3.X: Let;s look at the major changes: First, Lotus Symphony is based on the 3.X code base (insert applause here) Second, we get a VBA run-time added to the architecture stack There has also been a reworking of the Toolkit API's and how

Lotusphere 2010 : More Details about Lotus Symphony 3.0

February 1 2010

One of the more interesting announcements for me at Lotusphere 2010 was Lotus Symphony 3. While I have know about a few things here or there, the name was a bit of a shock. But I like it. So yes, Lotus Symphony is jumping a version number. This is being done to align the version numbers with the version of the code base it is based from. I think its a good idea. If you made it to the session "ID 612 IBM Lotus® Symphony™ Overview and Update" Session, they had some great slides on what is new in Symphony 3, otherwise know as "Vienna". I wanted to share those details with everyone who was not at the session. Here is the new features slide from that presentation: But let's break down the new features in each application with a bit more detail: Lotus Symphony Documents Master Document Support Richer Fields Nested Table Support New comments/notes Numbers & bullets enhancement Multi-page View Export to PDF enhancements Business card & Labels Templates and suppor

Lotusphere 2010 : Lotus Symphony 3 Announced

January 18 2010

Ed and Kevin made the formal announcement during their session today and there is lots of great news. Lotus Symphony 3 is built on top of the 3.X code base (it's the latest) and has been numbered to align with that code base. I was able to see a demo of the product before today and a few things I wanted to highlight: The User Interface has had a complete makeover. I like it - it is cleaner, the properties panels are much nicer, and there is far less screen flickering Documents gets in-place notes for collaborative editing - even when you send files around thru email Spreadsheets get the ability to play VBA Macros. No editing, but buttons and actions in a spreadsheet work just like they do in Excel. I have seen this in action and it's pretty slick Presentations got major work around templates. You can now apply a template to an existing presentation and it reformats everything like you expect it should. The template organizer now allows you to import templates from yo

Lotus Symphony at Lotusphere 2010

January 3 2010

I wanted to put together a list of all of the public activities going on at Lotusphere 2010 for Lotus Symphony: Sessions (in chronological order) JMP202 Beyond the Buzz: IBM Lotus Symphony QuickStart (web link) Speaker: Leah Backus SW Mockingbird - Sunday 1:30pm - 3:30pm JMP106 “Kum Bah Yah” Meets “Let's Kick Butt”: The Integration of IBM Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino with Microsoft Office, .NET, and IBM Lotus Symphony (web link) Speakers: John Head, Alex Kassabov SW 7-10 - Sunday 4:00pm - 6:00pm ID612 IBM Lotus Symphony Overview and Update (web link) Speakers: Eric Otchet, Cindy Kou DL S. Hemisphere II - Monday 3:45pm - 4:45pm AD207 IBM Lotus Symphony Technical Overview (web link) Speakers: Yue Ma, Erik Ma DL S. Hemisphere I - Monday 5:00pm - 6:00pm AD208 IBM Lotus Symphony Toolkit and Programmability (web link) Speakers: Jin Hua Chen, Xi Pan Xiao DL S. Hemisphere II - Tuesday 8:30am - 9:30am ID613 One Smart Move: Making the Transition to IBM Lotus Symphony (web lin

Lotus Symphopny Courses Offered at Lotusphere 2010

January 3 2010

I got this email and wanted to pass along the contents about three Lotus Symphony courses being offered on-site at Lotusphere 2010. Register now as there is limited room. During Lotusphere 2010, the Lotus Symphony Lab will be offering three (3) courses on how to extend the Lotus Symphony Editor experience. Registration isrequired. These courses are available to Lotusphere 2010 attendees only and are open to customers and Business Partners. Lotus Symphony Toolkit - Bridging Lotus Notes and Symphony Learn how to integrate IBM Lotus Notes and IBM Lotus Symphony with the Lotus Symphony LotusScript API. Learn how to take advantage of the Lotus Symphony toolkit to automatically control and process Lotus Symphony documents through LotusScript or Java programming. Lotus Notes developers can quickly leverage their existing skills to develop integration between Lotus Notes and Lotus Symphony. Participants will learn how to easily access Lotus Symphony using LotusScript to manipulate and organ

Listen to Bruce, Julian, and myself chat about Lotus Symphony on the first Taking Notes Podcast of 2010

January 1 2010

Taking Notes Episode 104: 2010.01.01 - Lotus Symphony with John Head 1.1.2010 For our inaugural episode of 2010 we talk with John Head, Director Enterprise Collaboration at The PSC Group about Lotus Symphony. We cover: * Some background on the version history of Symphony * What kind of API's are available for developers to create integration points for Symphony * Lotusphere 2010 sessions covering Symphony * Document format support * and much more... The show is 35mb and runs 38:07 minutes Click here to listen

Introduction to the Lotus Symphony LotusScript API

October 14 2009

As you might have heard, Notes 8.5.1 includes a new API for Lotus Symphony - in native LotusScript. It works with all three of the Symphony applications, but the Lotus Symphony Presentations API is very bare in this release. I will cover more about each Symphony application in individual blog entries to follow, but I wanted to give an overview of the LotusScript API first. To begin working with the Lotus Symphony LotusScript API, you need to download the file lotus_symphony851_win_CZ5SZEN.exe. You can get this from both PartnerWorld or Passport Advantage. There is also a version of the file for Linux. Once you have downloaded and unzipped the Toolkit, you will see the following: Here is a description of each folder: docs - contains two pdf's: "IBM Lotus Symphony Developer's Guide.pdf" which is all about working with the Symphony API for modifying the menu, sidebar, and menu bar and is targeted at Expeditor developers and "Symphony Developer's Guide for Notes.pdf" which is for No

Notes 8.5.1 bring us a true Lotus Symphony API!

October 14 2009

One of the features of Notes 8.5.1 that is getting buried under the local XPages and other killer features is the new API that allows Notes developers to write LotusScript and Java to automate Lotus Symphony. No longer does one need to learn the UNO hacks we have been using for the past couple years with and the past 18 months with Lotus Symphony. I am queuing up a bunch of articles on the new Lotus Symphony API for this week and next. Here is a quick rundown on them: 1. Introduction to the Lotus Symphony LotusScript API 2. Lotus Symphony Documents "Hello World" in LotusScript 3. Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets "Hello World" in LotusScript 4. Lotus Symphony Presentations "Hello World" in LotusScript (and why it doesn't work) 5. Lotus Symphony Documents and Mail Merge via LotusScript 6. Using the Symphony LotusScript API in a Document Action 7. Using the Symphony LotusScript API in a View Action 8. Building Cha

Symphony Thursday: New Widgets Released

September 10 2009

IBM has sent out a press release announcing new widgets for Lotus Symphony: Contact: Mike Azzi IBM Communciations 914-766-1561 IBM Now Offering Microsoft Customers Lotus Symphony Software with Popular Widgets ARMONK, NY, September 10, 2009 --- IBM is now offering Microsoft customers free of charge Lotus Symphony software that is compatible with Microsoft Office formats and supports a wide range of widgets which extend the functionality of the software. IBM and a variety of third parties -- including independent software vendors, individual developers, customers and IBM business partners -- are writing a variety of widgets to take advantage of this new feature. Popularized by consumer Web sites and third parties, widgets allow Symphony users to tap into everything from Web-based Google Gadgets, Lotus Sametime, Lotus Quickr, Lotus Connections and popular wikis, to Microsoft SharePoint and MSN, all from within Symphony. Users can easily drag-and-drop widgets

IamLUG 2009 - Integration and Coexistence: Leveraging Lotus and Microsoft products to build better solutions : Slides and Demo database

August 4 2009

In the real world, you use both Lotus and Microsoft technologies in your environment. You do not want to be in the middle of a product selection war, you want to solve your business problems. This session will show you how to integrate Lotus and Microsoft technologies, including: Lotus Notes Lotus Domino Lotus Symphony Microsoft Office Microsoft .NET Microsoft SharePoint You will go home with real world samples and lots of tips and techniques. Iam Lug 2009 Integration And Coexistence SessionView more documents from John Head. Download the demo database here.

John Speaks 2009 - Speaking at UKLUG 2009

June 22 2009

I am super excited that I am going to be speaking at the United Kingdom Lotus Users Group (UKLUG) in Edinburgh on October 8th and 9th. I am presenting the following session: Lotus Symphony and You - How to stop giving Microsoft your money! For years, you have given Microsoft money for Office Licenses. Would you be interested if we could show you how you could save the money and still produce great documents, spreadsheets and presentations? This session is for you. The first half of the session will be a real-world comparison of Lotus Symphony to Microsoft Office and We will help you decide what type of workers and situations should use which product. We will transition the session to cover the Application Development story. What can you do to integrate Lotus Symphony with your applications? We will cover Composite Applications, Plug-ins, and Automation - UNO, LotusScript, and Java. Last we will preview Lotus Symphony 2.0. Come to this session with an open mind! Th

Symphony Thursday - Lotus Symphony 1.3 Released!

June 11 2009

Lotus Symphony 1.3 is now available - for Windows, Linux, and Mac!. Here are links to the press release, installation guide, and release notes. Specifically, here are the new features in Lotus Symphony 1.3: Functional enhancements: Enabled Microsoft® Office 2007 files import support. Significant enhancements in DataPilot in spreadsheets, including show/hide field items panel, drill down to details, DataPilot cache support, and default styles. Numbering enhancement in documents to improve interoperability with Microsoft Word. Enabled Microsoft Office and IBM Lotus SmartSuite® password protection support for spreadsheets. Enabled network URI access and hyperlink support that allows you to create network connection hyperlinks for URI protocols including FTP, MailTo, and SMB. Enabled envelope support which allows you to create an envelope, set envelope properties, and set printing options. Enabled Widgets Catalog server support. Improved print performance. Enabled Sumproduct's ForceA

Symphony Thursday - I am speaking about Lotus Symphony at UKLUG!

May 28 2009

I got the official word that my presentation on Lotus Symphony has been approved for UKLUG. Lotus Symphony and You - How to stop giving Microsoft your money! For years, you have given Microsoft money for Office Licenses. Would you be interested if we could show you how you could save the money and still produce great documents, spreadsheets and presentations? This session is for you. The first half of the session will be a real-world comparison of Lotus Symphony to Microsoft Office and We will help you decide what type of workers and situations should use which product. We will transition the session to cover the Application Development story. What can you do to integrate Lotus Symphony with your applications? We will cover Composite Applications, Plug-ins, and Automation - UNO, LotusScript, and Java. Last we will preview Lotus Symphony 2.0. Come to this session with an open mind! Not just a session on development - we actually cover some strategy and positioning up-

Symphony Thursday - What’s New in Lotus Symphony 1.3 (and what will wait until Notes 8.5.1)

May 28 2009

Ed Brill and Stuart McIntyre both covered this video earlier this week, which reveals the following new features in Lotus Symphony 1.3: Support for reading Office 2007 file formats Support for widgets and Live Text Support for network connection hyperlinks for URI protocols New clip art Enhanced animation effects in Symphony Presentations Improved DataPilot functionality in Symphony Spreadsheets The ability to create and print envelopes, and enhancements to outline-level numbering styles in Symphony Documents One of the things that will not be included with Lotus Symphony 1.3 is the new LSX Toolkit which will bring LotusScript and Java abstraction to the UNO API that Lotus Symphony (and of course use. This will allow Notes developers to automate Symphony without having to go thru COM or OLE abstraction. The toolkit will be delivered with Notes 8.5.1 later this year, which will also include Symphony 1.3. Just a bit longer to wait for that feature. I have had a c

Symphony Thursday - The Story of Lotus Symphony Video

May 28 2009

A great video that covers the story behind Lotus Symphony from familiar faces of Michael Karasick, Helen Dai, Helen Yue, and Bob Picciano (from Bruce Elgort and Erica Topolski

Symphony Thursday: Developer 201 - Saving & Generating PDF’s

May 7 2009

Symphony Thursday: Developer 101 1. Introduction to UNO Development and Documents/Writer "Hello World" 2. Spreadsheets"Hello World" 3. Presentations "Hello World" Last time, I covered the basics of UNO Development and walked you thru a "Hello World" application for Writer and Lotus Symphony Presentations. This blog entry will cover how any file type - documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, can be saved as a PDF. How Lotus Symphony Saves Lotus Symphony and have a built in command that save the current file. If we take the Lotus Symphony Presentations document we generated in the Presentations: "Hello World", we would do the following to save the file Call Presentation.storeToURL("file:///C:/symphonythursdaypresentation.odp", args) The storeToURL method has two parameters. The first is the complete path of where you want to save the presentation. Just as when we were creating the presentation, we have to use a URL format for t

Symphony Thursday: Briefings for Lotus Symphony

April 23 2009

Ed brings us news about the Lotus ExpertBriefing on Lotus Symphony from IBM Software Services. There is a podcast and a transcript pdf you can download that covers topics such as: What is Lotus Symphony and how does it fit into a set of tools? Open source movement - Is it safe to be moving in this direction for an organization? How does Lotus Symphony compare to Microsoft products? Who should use Lotus Symphony? What additional functionality or benefits does Lotus Symphony have beyond Microsoft's suite? What is our roadmap, long-term viability of Lotus Symphony? What do I do about technical support, what’s the best method for coexistence, what do I do about security and stability? If you are looking for a more in depth briefing for your company about Lotus Symphony, PSC has a Lotus Symphony JumpStart offering. Over two days, we do a briefing around executive, user, administration, development, and migration topics. At the end of the two days, your company will have an idea of the le

Symphony Thursday: In-depth product comparison white paper from IBM

April 23 2009

Mikkel Heisterberg brings us news of an IBM White Paper that provides (from the IBM position) a comparison of Lotus Symphony, Microsoft Office, and You can get it here (once signing in to the IBM website). Thanks for the heads up Mikkel!

Symphony Thursday: Team Blog on Document Interoperability

April 23 2009

Most readers here know that I am very big on the document independence nad interoperability movement going thru the industry right now. The age of application automation and file format lock-in is giving way to document generation and open standard, document formats. The Lotus Symphony Team Blog has an new entry written by Wei Guo SHI, Development Manager for the product: In current Office market, there are a number of document formats, includes not only traditional binary formats, e.g. Microsoft Office binary format, Lotus SmartSuite format, but also XML based open standard document formats, e.g. ODF(ISO26300), UOF(China national Office standard format), and OOXML(ISO29500), as well as other popular formats, e.g. HTML, PDF etc. For each document format, there are multiple implementations, a large number of end users, and a huge amount of existing documents. With the requirements of exchanging document and sharing information across different formats, interoperability for documents

Symphony Thursday: New Clip Art and Clip Art Collections on the Lotus Symphony Gallery

April 23 2009

This post is from the Notes Design Blog, by Mary Beth Raven: You can browse and download brand new Symphony clip art from the Gallery section of the Lotus Symphony website. From the Gallery, there are two ways you can download clip art, as shown in the figure below.: 1. "All In One" download: This is the most efficient way. You select your favorite category and then download the whole set of images. For example, if you want to download all of the "Bullet" icons, just click the "Bullets All In One", then from the details page, click "Download now" to get a .zip file (you need to unzip the file later). 2. "One By One" download: You can also browse individual clip art images and select your favorite ones to download one at a time. After you download them, just follow these steps to add them into the clip art gallery. 1. Open the clip art gallery dialog (main menu entry: Tools Gallery). 2. Click the "New Themes..." button, and you will see a pop up dialog. 3. Click coming soon - web based ODF verifacation

February 5 2009

One of the things I asked for at the ODF round table at Microsoft last year was for a web based tool that would verify a file, both ODF and OOXML, and list what the rendering issues would be for various applications. It looks like someone else had the same idea. is going to do this for ODF files: will help you make a better choice by letting you compare the output and other behaviour of a wide variety of applications. Does your corporate style - the technical basis for many documents - actually look consistent across the board of applications - from 3.0, Adobe Buzzword and Symphony 1.2 to Microsoft Office 2000 with the ODF addin from Microsoft - or the one from Sun Microsystems? And how does it look on Mac OS X in iWork? When you are in an acquisition phase, will help you do a reality check if that fancy new open source suite or that productivity package you can get a bargain deal at - actually does what it says. On the

The Lotus Symphony team ...

January 21 2009

I made a comment to Michael Karasick, head of the IBM China lab and to others on the Symphony team that I wanted to share with the greater Lotus community. The Lotus Symphony team has to be the most amazing software team out there, not just inside IBM, but across any software brand I know of. They have done far more than any other group in the past 12 months. 4 releases of Lotus Symphony, a major investment in the new LotusScript API and an accompanying Java API that hides the UNO interface from the developer. Add on top of that what I saw on Dandelion: a web based document generation toolkit that uses the Lotus Symphony ODF to HTML/MIME converter which is some really cool technology. They did all of this and produced it at a quality level that far exceeded my expectations. Congratulations to the Lotus Symphony team. 2008 was an amazing year for you. I can not wait to see what you do in 2009!

Lotus User Group Virtual User Group Meeting - Real World Integration - Slides and Demo dbs

January 14 2009

Here are the slides and the demo files for the Virtual User Group meeting that took place today on the Real World Integration topic. We had over 150 people attend and had some great questions. Slides Virtual User Group Meeting - The Real World IntegrationView SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: integra4notes) Download the demo database There will be a replay available sometime tomorrow. Alex and I will answer the questions we could not get to in the moderated forum. Thanks for attending!

PSC is the featured Lotus Symphony Business Partner

November 3 2008

Today, the Lotus Symphony website launched the Lotus Symphony Business Partners Page and a Business Partner Spotlight feature on the home page. PSC is the first partner in that spotlight: Very cool!

Are you interested in Lotus Symphony? PSC can help!

October 7 2008

Is your company looking at Lotus Symphony as a replacement for other office productivity software? PSC has at Lotus Symphony Executive Jumpstart, now listed in the IBM Lotus Business Solutions Catalog. A 2 day briefing that covers the executive, end-user, and developer related topics. We will help you prepare for the move to Symphony and make sure you have all the current information to make an educated decision. Lotus Symphony can save your company quite a bit of money ... and PSC can help you start the savings!

Lotus Symphony for Dummies is available

August 21 2008

Today I went to get my (snail) mail and had a package waiting for me. This is what was in inside ... and the blurry picture from inside the book What a cool experience. Not sure I ever want to write a book myself, but I would do the editor role again.

Does Lotus Symphony really need LotusScript support? Redux

July 23 2008

(Sorry for the title only post before, was me setting blogs in the future for writing, and then didn't get to it ... all comments deleted) So this should be a fun topic. I would like to throw out this topic: Does Lotus Symphony really need LotusScript support? And by support I mean native classes. My answer right now is No. Here is why. First, Lotus Symphony already supports the UNO API. For example, you can use the following LotusScript to put text into Lotus Symphony Documents: Set SM=CreateObject("") Set Desktop=SM.createInstance("") Set WriterApplication=Desktop.loadComponentFromURL("private:factory/swriter","_blank",0,args) Set WriterText=WriterApplication.getText() Set Cursor=WriterText.createTextCursor() Call WriterText.insertString(Cursor,"Hello World!",False) Those who have been to my integration presentations at a conference will notice that this is the same code to automate The UNO API support is a car

Prediction: I see the end of Application Automation

July 9 2008

How many times in your life can you say you have seen the demise of your best skill set and had a chance to react ... before that happened. I believe that situation is upon me, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts. For the past 15 years or so, I have focused my technical skills on using one piece of software to automate another. Starting with Ami Pro macros that wrote data to an Excel spreadsheet, this has evolved. SmartSuite and Notes. Microsoft Office. Lotus Symphony. Microsoft Project and Visio. And many more applications. I focused on direct automation (where one application controls another, like Notes using COM and OLE to generate a Word document) and indirect automation (where Word would call a web service to display and generate information, and that web service was from a Domino server). I saw this as a niche I could become the expert on. I believe I have done that and still find new and interesting things I can do for customers and pass along to folks at

SlideShare features my ILUG Presentation on Lotus Symphony

June 9 2008

I got the email this morning ... quote about Lotus Symphony

June 9 2008

I was quoted today by Colin Steele over at SearchITChannel. We talked about Lotus Symphony last week. Microsoft Office got a new competitor today: IBM Lotus Symphony, a free desktop applications suite based on the Open Document Format (ODF). IBM Lotus Symphony was previously tied to the Lotus Notes/Domino platform but is now available as standalone desktop applications software. Company executives and Lotus partners hope to attract business customers who don't see the need to pay the license and renewal fees for Microsoft Office. "The biggest thing it comes down to is cost," said John Head, frameworks manager for PSC Group, a Lotus partner in Schaumburg, Ill. "Office is expensive. Most users don't need all of Word and all of PowerPoint and all of Excel." The second half of 2008 should be very interesting for Lotus Symphony. PSC is participating with a dedicated Lotus Symphony page on our website. Also, If your company is interested in taking a good look at Lotus Symphony, PSC has

ILUG2008 - Lotus Symphony and You

June 6 2008

Here are my slides from the ILUG2008 presentation I did on Lotus Symphony. I cover Lotus Symphony from the Executive, User, and Developer perspectives. | View | Upload your own

Lotus Symphony turns 1.0!

May 29 2008

Lotus Symphony has turned the 1.0! You can get the gold release of first version of the product at Information about support packages for companies and the plans for Symphony for the rest of 2008 should be available soon (hint ... I have them in my ILUG presentation). Congrats to the entire Symphony team, especially Mike, Yue Ma, Eric, and Helen. Go celebrate!

New Whitepaper: Off-the-Shelf or Custom Development

May 27 2008

I am releasing a new white paper I wrote that covers the reasons on why I have been endorsing the move from being an advocate of pure custom development to supporting the use of a framework and/or a product. This white paper discusses my journey to find Integra for Notes and my personal experiences with the world of integrating IBM Lotus Notes and Domino with Microsoft Office,, and Lotus Symphony. You can download the PDF of the white paper here: Off-the-Shelf or Custom Development: How Frameworks Can Save the Day I look forward to feedback and thoughts! Printed copies will be available at ILUG 2008 next week.

Lotus Symphony for Dummies gets a Technical Editor

April 25 2008

Something cool I can announce here ... I am going to be the technical editor on the upcoming Lotus Symphony for Dummies book. It will be the first book for Lotus Symphony and will be out later this year. More info when I can share it!

The Lotus Symphony team was in Business Week!

March 17 2008

This weekend I had a chance to catch up on my reading disconnected from the computer. I had a stack of Business Week magazines since Lotusphere and needed to get thru them. I like reading Business Week because it gives you a good overview of business, financial, and other stories without getting too political or into the details I will never understand. So I got to the January 28th, 2008 edition. I came across an article called International Isn't Just IBM's First Name and realized it was something about IBM. The article goes on to talk about how IBM is dealing with global customers and research and development teams across the globe. It was a great article. And then I came upon this: To understand how IBM choreographs this dance, consider Lotus Symphony, a package of PC software applications. Work on a new version of Symphony started last July. Teams in Beijing; Austin, Tex.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Boeblingen, Germany, are all contributing. Remarkably, it's the first time ever that the

Integra thought for the Week: No impact to your applications

March 17 2008

One of the features of Integra for Notes that seems to really impress people (including one of the major bloggers in the Lotus community last week) is the fact that Integra has no impact on your applications. What does this mean? First, Integra is a single Notes application/database that gets installed on your server. You create that application/database from the supplied template. You setup the ACL and you are good to go. One the desktop, if desired, you can push out an icon that gets added to the toolbar. This is not a necessary feature, but many use it. No client install, but a process that sends a link to the users that they click. Next time the start Notes, the Integra Icon is added to their toolbar. Administrator function within Integra for Notes to send an email to users to install the Toolbar icon What the user sees when they click the URL link ... Integra Icon added to Notes 8.0.X toolbar The other aspect of this is the entire Integra report, called a Profile, is se

Why Integra?

March 10 2008

Since Lotusphere and the announcements between Integra and PSC came out, I have gotten quite a few questions that boil down to "John, why do you like Integra for Notes?" So I figured this was perfect blog fodder. It gives me something to write about on a regular basis and its a topic (integration of Notes with Office and Symphony/ that I can really provide value. So the goal going forward will be to have a new post every Monday. Let's see how well I can do on this. So to kick this off, one of the man reasons I like Integra for Notes, and why you should be using it as your integration framework, is that it provides reporting and integration almost everywhere. Not only does it integrate with Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel (or Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets for the Integra for Notes Symphony Edition), it also provides Export and Import support for CSV and text files, as well as Export for XML. These Export and Import report profiles run on the Notes client, scheduled

I want this feature NOW - Presenter Screen

March 5 2008

Thanks to Alan Bell for pointing this out. I so want this feature now in Lotus Symphony .. and Microsoft should steal this and put it into PowerPoint NOW! This is from the wiki and is a feature that should be in the 3.0 release. Introduction The presenter screen for Impress is a feature (currently in development) that aids a presenter during a slide show. It provides information on a second screen, that typically is not visible to the audience. This includes a view to the currently displayed slide (for when the presenter faces the audience and can not see the primary screen) a preview of the next slide or next effect the notes of the current slide the current time and/or the elapsed time navigation buttons for going to the previous/next slide Here is how it looks at the moment (left the full screen presentation, right the Presenter Screen): The presenter screen is planned to be an extension. However, some core libraries will have to be modifi

ILUG2008 - Lotus Symphony and You ... How to stop giving Microsoft your money!

March 5 2008

The word is out and yes I will speaking at ILUG2008 (let's hope for real this year). The info: SESSION 9 Speaker 1: John Head Type: Dev Title: Lotus Symphony and You ... How to stop giving Microsoft your money! For years, you have given Microsoft money for Office Licenses. Would you be interested if we could show you how you could save the money and still produce great documents, spreadsheets and presentations? This session is for you. The first half of the session will be a real-world comparison of Lotus Symphony to Microsoft Office and We will help you decide what type of workers and situations should use which product. We will transition the session to cover the Application Development story. What can you do to integrate Lotus Symphony with your applications? We will cover Composite Applications, Expeditor and Plug-ins, and LotusScript support. Come to this session with an open mind! Yes, the session is not your typical conference session. It is

CNet loves Lotus Symphony? Have pigs started flying?

February 28 2008

From Ed ... can this really be true? Love it!

Listen to me on Taking Notes

February 16 2008

Listen to myself, along with John de Gorgio talk with Bruce and Julian on the Taking Notes podcast: Taking Notes Episode 76: 2008.02.16 - Reporting and Notes integration with MS Office and Lotus Symphony with Integra and PSC February 16th, 2008 Bruce and Julian talk with John Head from The PSC Group and John de Gorgio from Integra4Notes where we talked about: * Using Integra4Notes to generaated pixel perfect reports from Notes * Integra4Notes Personal Edition - FREE * Lotus Symphony * Some predictions about Lotus Symphony * and much more This podcast was sponsored by Instant Technologies. It is 20.7mb and runs 45:08 minutes at 64kps. Thanks for chatting with us guys. Podcast sounds really great!

ForumFriday: Lotus Symphony: Does it need a Document Library template?

February 15 2008

I had answered James Regenold's post earlier this week: Subject Symphony / MS Doc Library Is there a Symphony Equivalent to the MS Document Library Template. My clients use that extensively, but now want to get of MS Office and use Symphony. They want to be able to save their Symphony files directly into a Lotus Notes DB. Subject there is not some of what the Doc Library requires from an API stance is not in Lotus Symphony. I am also not sure they have it on their to-do list since most people want things like Quickr integration vs a Doc Library. Would be a good request to put in thru your official channel. So I wonder, do we need a Document Library for Symphony? Do people really use them? I ask this because the Document Library template uses some really nasty OLE techniques to provide the functionality it does. Without quite a bit of work, the documents generated in there are locked into that database. Is Quickr not the right place for this? Without OLE support inside Sym

BP215 Integration of IBM Lotus Notes 8 with IBM Lotus Symphony and

January 22 2008

BP215 Integration of IBM Lotus Notes 8 with IBM Lotus Symphony and Speaker: John Head SW Osprey - Tuesday 1:30pm - 2:30pm The inclusion of Lotus Symphony (productivity editors) with IBM Lotus Notes 8 and the release of the IBM Lotus Symphony product bring new and exciting integration options for Lotus Notes users and developers. This session will cover the integration options available today, including client provisioning of the Lotus Symphony editors. Inclusion of the editors in Composite Applications will demonstrate the programmatic options. This session will also cover integration of with Lotus Notes 8 and the development options available. Applications such as export, charting, and mail merge will be explored. This session will wrap up with a preview of integration options with Lotus Notes 8 and the editors as well as Lotus Symphony coming in future versions of Lotus Notes! Expect lots of code and take-home applications. | View | Upload your own

JMP201 - Introduction to IBM Lotus Notes and IBM Lotus Domino Integration with Desktop Applications

January 20 2008

JMP201 Introduction to IBM Lotus Notes and IBM Lotus Domino Integration with Desktop Applications Speakers: John Head, Alex Kassabov SW 5-6 - Sunday 1:30pm - 3:30pm Repeats: SW 7-10 - Sunday 4:00pm - 6:00pm Welcome to the real world, where Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino are just part of your corporate toolset. This session will introduce you to integration of Lotus Notes and Domino 8 with Microsoft Office,, and Lotus Symphony. We'll start with the basics and gradually build up to advanced integration. Mail Merge, exporting to a spreadsheet, charting, presentation building, and integration on the Web will all be covered. Advanced topics such as Visual Studio Tools for Office, use of BIRT for reporting and integration with Lotus Domino Web Services will round out the session. You'll walk away with sample applications and code you can use immediately! (Participation in the "Kum Bah Yah" sing-along is optional) | View | Upload your own Download Updated Slides here Do