Why Infocenters aren’t enough…

OK, so we keep having this ongoing discussion about Redbooks (and indeed RedWikis) and how, whatever format is used, there is a desperate need for more Red”Things” that cover Lotus technology…

Well take a look at this section of the Lotus Connections 1.0.2 Infocenter:

Create profiles and server processes on WebSphere Application Server to support the Lotus Connections features you plan to install.

You must prepare the WebSphere Application Server to host Lotus Connections before you begin the Lotus Connections installation.

To prepare WebSphere Application Server to host your Lotus Connections deployment, complete the following steps:

1. To create a profile on WebSphere Application Server, see Creating a WebSphere Application Server profile.
2. If you choose to install multiple features into a single profile, create a separate server process for each feature. See Creating WebSphere Application Server processes.

 * Creating a WebSphere Application Server profile
   Use the Profiles Management tool provided with WebSphere Application Server to create a profile to contain one or more Lotus Connections features.

 * Creating WebSphere Application Server processes

   If you want to install multiple features on a single profile in WebSphere Application Server, you can do so using a JACL script.

So, what would you do?  Install multiple profiles with one feature per profile, or one profile with multiple features?

Obvious isn’t it?  No? Me neither… And this is just one of many places during the install where an admin that isn’t necessarily a DB2 or WAS expert is being asked to make decisions or perform operations that could be done automatically or through a menu system.

I understand that the Infocenter has to be able to cover every type of server install from my 20 user server to the likes of HSBC or GSK with 300,000+ users.  I also understand that it needs to cover each different option for LDAP, database etc.

However, this is supposed to be a straightforward install of a single Lotus product using the packages it ships with – DB2, WAS and TDS. Therefore, if IBM really wants Connections to be “SMB-ready” or to be installable by the average MCSE that is employed at a non Lotus-shop, then either the Infocenter has to cover this install scenarios in straightforward simplistic terms, else we must have Red”Things” that tell us how this is supposed to be done in the average customer scenario.

So, Mr Lotus, when is the Connections 2.0 Red”Thing” residency going to be announced?

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!