7.0.2 (not) coming tomorrow

by Volker Weber

Update: A ship-stopping bug was discovered and the release was postponed to next week.
Update: The ship-stopping bug turned out to be not-ship-stopping, which we now call a NSSSSB (not-ship-stopping ship-stop bug). Say this ten times in a row.

Here is some information from IBM regarding the 7.0.2 maintenance release of Notes and Domino.

Tomorrow <strike>Next week</strike> Tomorrow it will become available (in English only) as an "electronic software delivery", read: for download. Media and documentation will be available on November, 10th. And more surprisingly the multi-lingual (including the German) version does not become available before December 15th. That is more than 10 weeks after the English version. Why does it take so long?

As an update to the Mac client, the announcement says it will be released in December 2006 in English, and "early 2007" in multi-lingual.

While most of the document is factual, I question this part:

To help address customer concerns about cost of ownership, the highly popular Lotus Domino Smart Upgrade capability has improved.

Highly popular? I don't know a single customer who uses this feature. They all have software delivery at the operating system level. User desktops are locked down to not require administrative privileges. In this environment, the Smart Upgrade feature was not so smart, since it required administrator access. I understand this is being fixed:

By adding a feature known as "Run as Admin," administrators can prepare a Lotus Notes client installation kit that includes a prepackaged Microsoft Windows account with administrator privileges. This lets an administrator upgrade a desktop that is completely locked down.

We will see if more people raise their hands in the future when asked if they use Smart Upgrade. On the other hand, if the desktop is locked down, those people must have a mechanism to deliver updates to Office and other software packages. Why use another one?

I think this feature is going to be popular with power users:

The ability to import iCal based calendars directly to the Lotus Notes calendar — This feature provides you with the option of subscribing to iCal-standard published calendars and having key dates added directly to their Lotus Notes calendar

A question to beta testers: Does it copy the iCal into your Notes calendar? If it does, how do you unsubscribe, and how does it handle changing dates in the original subscription? I am asking because the other iCal capable calendar tools keep all iCals separate and only overlay them on the screen.


There's a nice typo too: "Now with version 7.0.2, users can insert a 256 KB memory stick loaded with their Notes environment into the USB drive on any computer...." - seems the client size has decreased dramatically ;-)

Max Nierbauer, 2006-09-28

That would easily hold an .lnk file with a Notes icon. :-)

Volker Weber, 2006-09-28

I asked the same question about smart upgrade at SNUG last month. The answer? Nobody uses it.

On the other hand though, we use it internally (ok, we're small), and I know other small companies that do use it. It certainly makes sub 100 user upgrades really quick and easy. That can't be a bad thing, can it?

I've not used the iCal feature in 7.0.2 yet either - in fact I don't even know of any feeds that I'd want to subscribe to!

Warren Elsmore, 2006-09-28

Warren, I am really anticipating iCal support. Finally I get my calendaring out of Notes and into Google Calendar and Apple iCal (which represent the gold standard in calendaring user interfaces, IMVHO).

Karsten W. Rohrbach, 2006-09-28

I am afraid, you are not. Notes 7.0.2 can import iCal but not publish it.

Volker Weber, 2006-09-28

Can it subscribe remote iCal URLs? Or just the plain old one-shot file import?

Karsten W. Rohrbach, 2006-09-28

Volker, you say "those people must have a mechanism to deliver updates to Office and other software packages". Must they really? I can think of a number of companies and even more users who simply get an update on any given client, when the client is in the admin's office for maintenance.

But on the other hand, of course you are right, there are mechanisms even these companies COULD use so why not allow them to do Notes updates that way as well. Maybe they'll start using them if enough apps can be managed that way.

BTW: Keep your fingers crossed that I will be in the Notes pilot user group in an organization that is currently an R5 client. Otherwise I'd really have to follow these discussions reading through a wall of tears ;-).

Ragnar Schierholz, 2006-09-28

Actually it will be delayed till next week due to a bug fix.

Smart Update within Lotus Notes is an oxymoron. The install isnt a patch anymore, therefore it is like an install over an existing Notes. The File is big.

Thorsten Ebers, 2006-09-28

In the 7.0.2 Beta 2 the iCal import worked by importing a file ( not a remote url ), it adds new documents to the calendar and add some addition fields to them you specify which iCal it came from. You can go to a special iCal view to 'delete' the ical master document which will remove all the imported documents.

I would like to see the ability to 'subscribe' to a remote iCal and as the import routines are all in script libraries I'm sure it would be possible to create a scheduled agent that will do job, however why it's not already in the release I'll never know.

There is an option to export your calendar as an iCal under the File Export menu and using the new RSS Generator database it is also possible to create a calendar feed.

Declan Lynch, 2006-09-28

So it is a deep copy. That's what I was afraid of.

Calendars are dynamic objects. You would want to subscribe to calendars, that your wife or kids would automatically publish to a password protected area on your web server. The feature that Lotus provides is only good for importing holidays or other static data.

But if Notes allows you to export your calendar, you can do that once and then use a better tool. :-)

Volker Weber, 2006-09-28

Thorsten, I sure hope it's not delayed. Lovely!

Volker: "I don't know a single customer who uses this feature."
Chris: Raises hand

Yes, I use Smart Upgrade. Or, as Thorsten stated, it's more of a smart re-install. We have 500 Notes Clients and they're all at 7.0.1. We do have Admin rights on all desktops. Not my call, but Smart Upgrade does work. And I can control how fast or slow I roll it out to make sure there are no problems. It seems like EVERYTHING Notes related gets put on me anyway, so I might as well just use the Domino offering that works for us.

Regarding NOMAD and the 256 KB memory stick - There are two typos with that!! First, it should be 512 and secondly it should be MB. When 702 is released I am posting a review of NOMAD. When I first installed it, it used 370 MB! I'll talk about how to trim that down some, but after getting bookmarks, cache, and desktop6 files on there you'll be really hopeful to be under 300 MB after removing some things. I just don't see 256 happening unless you have no bookmarks. My bookmark file is 22 MB. I'm looking at 280 MB for a pretty trimmed down install. There will be more detail in my post - which I'll link from here when it's online.

Chris Whisonant, 2006-09-28

I was also hoping to be able to publish my Notes calendar - that way I could use iCal (the Mac application) to at least read my calendar on the Mac.

Declan -> the way I understand it is that I can export my calendar and the publish it via RSS. This could (hopefully) be automated allowing the exact thing that I was hoping for! Now lets just hope that my Mac understands the RSS ;o)

PS: we use Smart update, we are a 40 PC shop though ;o)

Ursus Schneider, 2006-09-28

Chris and Ursus, strictly speaking you are not my customers. But it is nice to know that there are people who use Smart Upgrade. Question: How do you update the rest of the client software?

Ursus, exporting the calendar and publishing RSS are unrelated. You should be able to create an RSS feed from your mail file. Maybe Declan can give us a hint on how to exactly configure it.

It is also possible to create RSS feeds from iCal calendars with the excellent PHP iCalendar script. If you have WebDAV access to your website, you can automatically push your calendars there from iCal.

Volker Weber, 2006-09-28

Ummm, the caption is NOT related to iTunes? :-)

Martin Kautz, 2006-09-28

LOL. No, it is not.

Volker Weber, 2006-09-28

Volker, our PC guys are just finishing up a Windows XP and Office 2003 rollout to upgrade Win2k and Office 97/2000. They've used Active Directory and Group Policies to do this. I believe they use Group Policies to do other software rollouts. We don't have SMS for software updates here - I'm pretty sure it's just AD with Group Policies that they use.

Chris Whisonant, 2006-09-28

I know lots of customers using Smart Upgrade .. just because you or yours do not use it Volker does not mean it is not a feature used. I thought you didnt use Notes and Domino any more?

As for the iCal stuff, you can import a url in the latest version, and when I did an update it merged them. Yes, its not subscription, but they need to make bigger changes for that then a X.X.2 release for that.

As for the RSS feed database, you can create a calendar feed and subscribe to it in Google calendar. Doing it now.

John Head, 2006-09-28

John, I sometimes attend conferences. And sometimes speakers ask for their audience to raise hands if a particular feature is being used. Sometimes those speakers are from IBM. Sometimes they ask about Smart Upgrade. And I have never seen more than a handful raise their hands when asked about Smart Upgrade. A handful of more than a hundred people in the audience.

I still use Notes and Domino. Just not to run my own business.

Volker Weber, 2006-09-28

@Volker: the rest of the OS is not updated by me (I am a consultant) - from what I've seen they do not get updated!

@John: cool - I'll be giving the RSS feed DB a try with my calendar then - this should be exactly what I want! Thanks for the pointer

Ursus Schneider, 2006-09-28

Ursus: "from what I've seen they do not get updated!" That's what I was talking about! I am frequently working with someone on a Windows XP which hasn't seen any patch or any controlled update in about two years! Individual installations of trial-and-error software, yes, the user has admin rights. Updates, patches, anything managed? No.

Ragnar Schierholz, 2006-09-28

Ragnar, these environment do exist. And they are not amongst my customers. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2006-09-28

@Thorsten --
"Actually it will be delayed till next week due to a bug fix."

Where did you hear this? As of last night, no decision had been made as to whether the ship-stop would impact availability. Feel free to e-mail me offline if that would be easier.

@all re SmartUpgrade... the whole point is, true, not many customers are using it, but the need for administrative rights is exactly why most have not used it. So by shiping the RunAsAdmin capability, the expectation is many more customers will be in a position to use it. It will certainly be helpful in the upgrade to "Hannover" next year.

True that many organizations already have other ways to deploy software. That doesn't negate the need for Notes to have its own way. In many organizations, the Notes deployment is managed by a different group than other desktop software, and if they had better contained ways of managing those deployments, Notes rollouts could happen faster.

Ed Brill, 2006-09-28

Yes, having this capability is useful. We have learned there are organisations which

A) have a working software deployment or
B) do not ever upgrade their software.

I would think that type A would not allow their user administrative access, and would not need a second deployment mechanism. I am pretty sure they would avoid it at all cost. There is one group that "owns" the desktop and they will not allow a second group to mess with it.

Type B customers however benefit. On the other hand, those probably also allow their users to do what they want. :-)

The only thing I took offense with was the "highly popular Lotus Domino Smart Upgrade". I think it was beyond the normal level of marketing lies.

Volker Weber, 2006-09-28

Thanks for posting Ed. So, if there is indeed a "ship-stop" it's interesting that it won't stop the shipping... ;)

I agree with you about Smart Upgrade and the fact that Notes is probably not handled by the desktop support group. That's why I have used Smart Upgrade since the 6.0.2ish time frame. And it's how I had 96% of my desktops up to 7.0.1 within 3 months of EGA. It could have been faster, but I didn't try forcing the issue.

I'm hoping to download 7.0.2 and have our IT staff Smart Upgraded before I leave the office tomorrow... :)

Chris Whisonant, 2006-09-28

Chris, we have found a new acronym: NSSSSB. :-)

Volker Weber, 2006-09-28

Uh, couldn't it mean the bug would be addressed without impacting the release date (like the other fixes in 7.0.2). Kinda doubt it wouldn't stop shipping. Whether it's a delay...

- Rod

Rod Stauffer, 2006-09-28

For iCAL on Domino: I'm 90% there. We have written a webDAV implementation that can read/write Notes data and iCAL uses webDAV. So a little XSLT and JavaCode and we are good to go. I could need a hand to finish and publish it on OpenNTF.
:-) stw

Stephan H. Wissel, 2006-09-28

re: Smart Upgrade: When we created the Smart Upgrade feature, we knew that some customers would have no use for it while others would find it extremely useful. We talked to many customers and found that they already have software deployment solutions for rolling out all of their software, not just Notes. But we also heard from many who wanted help rolling out Notes updates, and we worked closely with them to design the feature set of Smart Upgrade.

Over the several releases since Smart Upgrade was released, we've continually improved it, based almost exclusively on customer feedback. Features like Smart Upgrade tracking, SURUNAS, detaching kits in the background, and falling back to attached kits if the network share is not available come to mind.

We've also had great turnout at the various Lotusphere talks and field plenty of questions about it. So keep those cards and letters coming, and we'll keep improving it. :-)

Art Thomas, 2006-09-28

Bummer re no release today...was actually excited about getting hold of the blog template , indeed I booked some "me" time this evening to play (wanting to kick off my stalled migration to Domino Blog).

Re Smart Upgrade, at the recent Notes 7 Upgrade event IBM did here in New Zealand, very few hands went up regarding its use. The most hands went up for "walk around with a CD" (mine went up here too). So yeah, we're pretty much a type B customer - but we certainly don't allow our users to do what they want.

As much as I might like the use Smart Upgrade, our steam powered WAN just won't allow that to happen. SMS, fast WANs, servers at each site are simply beyond our means which is hellishly frustrating.

Hannovers "server based provisioning" of the client sounds interesting but I wonder what sized client that thing with spit out with each maintenance release?

Colin Williams, 2006-09-28


Tomorrow I am doing an interview with Steve Castledine where we are going to discuss the new blog template. Anything you want to know about it that I should ask Steve?

Bruce Elgort, 2006-09-29

Oh, only why can't I get hold of it yet! ;)

My understanding is that there is nothing really new feature wise, its more about the blue wash and maybe taking out some features that weren't core to blogging. I'm hoping however that someone has made a couple of nice out of the box templates available.

I look forward to hearing the podcast!

Colin Williams, 2006-09-29

Looks like it's dribbling out . . . I'm downloading the Linux on zSeries full install now from Passport Advantage; Linux on Intel and i5 are also available, as well as the Client. No Windows, Solaris or AIX, and no full Client/Designer/Admin yet.

Also, no incremental installer.

Greg Walrath, 2006-09-29

I just downloaded and installed 702 All clients for windows.
where is the blog template and where is the information about the promised DXL inprovements.


Thomas Adrian, 2006-09-29

Blog template is probably only shipped with the server code.

Just did my first two 7.0.2 smart upgrades. They worked well too! ;)

Chris Whisonant, 2006-09-29


Yes, the blog template is part of the server install.

Roy Holder, 2006-09-30

We have many custoemrs using SmartUpgrade for the Notes side, even with other packages. With the version control in Notes, it is easier to perform it there than worrying who has what. The notification changes make it easier to see who completed too. But then we have some that do SneakerNet. Some poor helpdesk person running around desk to desk.

The provisioning difference will be huge wrapping that aorund site updates for Eclipse. Playing with that now for Sametime plug-in updates with site.xml instances

I will write some things on NOMAD later, been running it for a long time and seen the evolution.

Chris Miller, 2006-10-01

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