Dogfood? Nah. Not really.

by Volker Weber

Remember how IBM was so proud to bring you the IBM Sametime Client for iPad? A little birdie tells me that IBM has exactly 100 slots for demo and sales purposes. For the time being, IBM isn't rolling out to its own people.


I think you can have 100 slots per version ... just make a new one without any changes and release to a different group. When you have some kind of analytics system which tracks the version this lets you even track each groups usage ;-)

Or ... they really don't let their own people use the app.

Sebastian Herp, 2011-11-25

Can't users just download it from the AppStore? It is free.

Adam Brown, 2011-11-25

Yes, you can download the new mobile client from the App Store, but there is also a new release that needs to be loaded on the Sametime server for the mobile client to connect to.

I'm guessing from what Volker says that this new release has only been loaded on a small number of servers at IBM and it is access to this that the 100 slots relate to. Of course I have no way to validate this.

I think IBM is between a rock and a hard place... Yes, it should be rolling out new versions of its own software ASAP. Large customers take their lead from IBM's own internal deployment methodologies and any delay is often replicated elsewhere

At the same time, it has 400,000+ users internally that depend on Sametime being available to get their job done. If this new release was to be rolled out immediately to support the new iPhone/iPad/Android client, and there was a significant outage, then we'd all be criticising making such a major change without proper planning.

I've been willing to criticise IBM for its progress on Sametime before, particularly with the external-facing ExtST server being behind on levels. However in this case, if what you say is true Volker, I can understand the rationale.

Stuart McIntyre, 2011-11-25

Stuart, how many servers would you need for 100 users? Is the new iPad client a big risk for a Sametime infrastructure? And if that is the case, why doesn't IBM dogfooding it to their own people first? You and I know that it is perfectly possible to do an enterprise deployment before making it public on the app store. It's not even difficult.

Adam, you can download the client for free and play with it on

Volker Weber, 2011-11-25

The 100 slots refers to Apple's provisioning certificates and is not tied to versions or apps. It's devices, in a rolling year. Meaning if I add Volker's device to help test an app (which he then installs using the certificate and an executable file via iTunes), it will take up a slot for an entire year regardless of whether I leave him in my list or remove him tomorrow or the device is retired. So really, it amounts to fewer than 100 devices over time. This is an Apple thing, not an IBM thing.

Enterprise deployment (internal) is another thing completely of course. If IBM has that level membership (I can't imagine they don't) then they can do as you said and deploy in-house before going public. No limits there.

Rob Novak, 2011-11-25

When I heard "slots" I also thought about provisioned devices (200/2yr) per $99 Apple developer account. The little birdie is more of an IBMer who wants to use the publicly available from the app store. And still can't.

As for internal testing, I would assume that IBM could spring for a $299 enterprise developer account and provision as many devices as they want.

The keyword is 'want'.

Volker Weber, 2011-11-25

No need for greenhouse thanks. Have upgraded our environment.

I don't know if they are one of a hundred but I know a few IBMers is Australia already using the iOS Sametime App so I can only assume the servers they connect to are upgraded already.

Adam Brown, 2011-11-26

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