There is no doubt about it, Lotus Quickr is less prominent in the IBM Collaboration Solutions portfolio than it once was - remember in 2007 when Connections and Quickr were both announced at Lotusphere and if anything Quickr was the bigger deal?

However, it does still have a significant part to play - arguably Quickr still supports extranet and document collaboration better than any other product that IBM sells. Therefore it's good to see that there are some good sessions featuring Quickr lined up for Lotusphere 2012 this week:

Topic Time Location
CCS106 ZurickDavis Productivity improvements with Social Business - Measurable Returns and Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Tuesday  10:00 AM - 11:00 AM SW Toucan 1-2
INV204 Strategy in Action: Social Collaboration -- A view into the future of IBM Connections & IBM Lotus Quickr Tuesday  10:00 AM - 11:00 AM DL N. Hemisphere A -E
INV318 Synchronize your files for offline use on any mobile device like your Apple iPad - D-BUSINESS WebDAV (Business DIscussion) Tuesday  04:45 PM - 05:45 PM SW Pelican 1-2
SHOW302 IBM Lotus Quickr 8.5.1 - The Enterprise Solution Wednesday  08:00 AM - 09:45 AM SW Osprey 1-2
ID301 Inside IBM: Collaboration for the next 100 years Wednesday  10:00 AM - 11:00 AM DL S. Hemisphere III
ID224 What's Coming in IBM Lotus Quickr for IBM Lotus Domino 8.6 And Beyond Wednesday  01:30 PM - 02:30 PM DL N. Hemisphere D
ID230 A Document Library for IBM Connections - Documents Make the World go 'Round Wednesday  01:30 PM - 02:30 PM SW 7-8
BP203 IBM Lotus Quickr for Domino Development: Best Practices for Today and the Future Thursday  08:30 AM - 09:30 AM SW Pelican 1-2
ASK102 Ask the Product Managers Thursday  11:15 AM - 12:15 PM SW 5-10


It looks as though INV204 and ID224 are definitely ones to be at if you want to see what's next in Quickr's future...



By: Stuart McIntyre | 13 Comments | On: 13 January 2012 06:17:36 PM | Tags:  quickr  lotusphere  ls12 

I've been asked this by a few customers recently, but have not been able to track anything down.

Is there a formal published roadmap for Lotus Quickr for Domino available beyond version 8.5 (the current release)?  

I know there is certainly the option to get one outlined under NDA, but the request is for a public version, so I wanted to see what is out there.  Any help gratefully received.



By: Stuart McIntyre | 18 Comments | On: 29 September 2011 09:12:53 AM | Tags:  quickr  domino 

As others have spotted, and key IBMers have announced, the 64-bit Windows-compliant connectors for Lotus Quickr 8.5 have shipped:



It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Quickr Connectors now support Microsoft Windows 64bit and Office 2010. As promised at this year's Lotusphere, our development teams were hard at work on this one and I thank them for their great work and earlier than expected release.

The updated installers are available on Fix Central as Quickr Connectors 8.5.0.1_HF7.
In addition, we have also seen the latest Quickr Connector for IBM Connections ship:


With the IBM Connections Connector for Lotus Quickr, you can create associated Lotus Quickr team places for IBM Connections communities. A Lotus Quickr team place provides a central location from which a team can organize, share files, and collaborate on documents. Every IBM Connections community owner can optionally choose to create an associated Lotus Quickr team place. Updates made in the Lotus Quickr team place are aggregated in the community overview page, making it easier to stay current with projects and work collaboratively. Access control and membership of the Lotus Quickr place is determined by the often fluctuating IBM Connections community membership; it does not need to be managed separately. This version of the connector supports integration of Communities in IBM Connections 3.0.1 with Lotus Quickr 8.5 for WebSphere Portal, or Lotus Quickr 8.5 for Lotus Domino 8.5.
My comments:
  • Undoubtedly the 64-bit connector is overdue, however I completely understand that the model for building this kind of Explorer-level plugin had changed in 64-bit WIndows and so it would take some time to build a new version.  
  • I thank Mac Guidera and his team for getting this out of the door - there are a lot of customers waiting (not so) patiently for this code.
  • The fact that so many have clamoured for the 64-bit connector just shows how important they are to the Quickr product.  At the time Quickr shipped back in 2007, they were unique in the marketplace and really added to the power of what had been a web-based tool until that point.  There are more tools that do this now (Dropbox etc.), but users still rely on the connectors to get their work done.
  • Now that the 64-bit connectors have shipped, the attention will undoubtedly shift to the long-awaited Mac connectors.
  • It's great that we have the new Quickr connector for Connections, I look forward to giving it a try.  However, it still feels to me as though this code should be part of the standard Connections product.  Given it just calls Quickr APIs, there is nothing to add there, so just put the code into Connections and make it work with just a few configuration switches.
  • The Connections connector works well for a particular use case, having a Quickr place embedded within a specific Connections community with a 1:1 mapping between the two.  However a lot of customers would like to be able to do more to integrate the two products into one solution - adding two or more existing places into a community for instance, or pulling a feed of updates from all a user's places into the Homepage activity stream.  As IBM decides what to do with the Quickr J2EE product, I hope for more of the Quickr functionality to be brought into Connections to allow this to happen.
  • Credit where credit's due, it's great to see these connectors ship. Thank you.



By: Stuart McIntyre | 9 Comments | On: 10 June 2011 06:48:00 AM | Tags:  quickr  onnectors 

Lotus Quickr

IBM's Lotus Quickr/FileNet and Lotus Quickr/Content Manager bundles have now been upgraded to use the latest version of Quickr, 8.5.  The newest releases of FileNet (5.0) and Content Manager (8.4.2) are also included:

IBM FileNet Content Manager Collaboration Edition and IBM Content Manager Collaboration Edition offer you the integration between IBM's Lotus Quickr team collaboration and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) family of offerings.

IBM FileNet Content Manager Collaboration Edition V8.5 and IBM Content Manager Collaboration Edition V8.5 deliver updated versions of IBM Lotus Quickr 8.5, IBM FileNet Content Manager V5.0, and IBM Content Manager 8.4.2 to provide integrated end-to-end collaboration and ECM solution that allow users to:
  • Easily move content to and from Lotus Quickr and IBM ECM repositories
  • Benefit from enhanced integration between Lotus Quickr, IBM FileNet Content Manager, and IBM Content Manager, including new "direct connect" web-based component so users can natively display and interact with ECM content from within a Lotus Quickr place
  • Search FileNet Content Manager and IBM Content Manager content from Lotus Quickr Web 2.0 user interface
  • Use the Lotus Quickr connectors to interact with content in both Lotus Quickr, FileNet Content Manager, and IBM Content Manager software, providing access to these repositories as a natural extension of popular applications such as Microsoft Office, Windows Explorer, Outlook, Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime, and Lotus Symphony

IBM FileNet Content Manager Collaboration Edition and IBM Content Manager Collaboration Edition both extend ECM services and function to a broader audience, while introducing collaborative tools to the content management environment helping organizations connect the right people with the right information at the right time.

IBM FileNet Content Manager Collaboration Edition and IBM Content Manager Collaboration Edition leverage new Web service components to provide integration between best-of-breed collaboration tools of IBM Lotus Quickr and IBM's ECM repositories.
The new release is available today.

More >

My comments:
  1. These bundles have been well-received by customers looking for integrated collaboration and document-management solutions.  
  2. Typically, larger enterprises already have document-management infrastructure, whereas these bundles are intended for those that do not have the back-end in place.  They typically score well in the mid-range organisations.
  3. Both FileNet and Content Manager are considered best-of-breed by analysts, and tend to do well in competitive situations.  They have their own strengths and weaknesses, which sometimes leads to confusion in terms of which is the right solution for a given situation.
  4. FileNet Content Manager P8 5.0 is a big step forward, with CMIS support, Content Federation Services (enables federated content to be moved from source repositories into P8 native storage) and more.
  5. Lotus Quickr 8.5 is probably the most significant upgrade in the history of the Quickr/Quickplace product line.  It has received great feedback in every upgrade we've completed for customers.



By: Stuart McIntyre | 6 Comments | On: 8 March 2011 07:31:00 AM | Tags:  quickr  collaboration  announcement 

Many customers have both Lotus Quickr and Lotus Connections deployed, and a regular request is to integrate and theme the two products so that users see them as one solution.  The first part of that request is relatively quick to do but can be a little tricky to get 100% right.

This new Wiki article by IBMer Mi BJ Zhou will make a big difference:

IBM Lotus Quickr supports several features in Lotus Connections and is correspondingly supported by them.

The following features are available:
  • Lotus Connections Profile business card display for Lotus Quickr users
  • From a Lotus Connections activity a user can publish content to a Lotus Quickr library
  • From a Lotus Connections community a user can create a Lotus Quickr place, wiki, or blog

The following steps provide an overview of the process of integrating Lotus Connections and IBM Lotus Quickr...
More >



By: Stuart McIntyre | 8 Comments | On: 18 January 2011 09:28:30 AM | Tags:  quickr  connections  lotus  integration 

Opus Neo are one of the foremost developers of software for the Lotus Quickr platform, having released a number of solutions over the years, including the essential Neo.Tracking tool which enables granular logging and auditing of Quickr/Domino environments, allowing administrators to follow activities and life cycle of the Users and Places throughout their Quickr environments.

Opus Neo have just announced a new version of their Neo.Dashboard social portal solution for Quickr:

Opus Neo ready to reveal the new Neo.Dashboard for Quickr and Domino

It’s a great feeling to come to this point where you finally can share all the exciting new stuff we at Opus Neo have been working on whilst having one of the busiest year in regards to project work.



But that is not all :-)


Imagine opening your Dashboard on the mobile and read information from Quickr, RSS feeds, web apps, ECM or even information from Connections – “Wow” we say – what do you say?

So what does this mean for Current and new Quickr Users?

With Neo.Dashboard you are combining all your Places into one consolidated homepage for your Quickr Places so that you can remain updated regarding your Quickr places and stay connected to your professional and social networks.



For a full feaure list, a web demo or getting access to a trial Dashboard, please visit http://www.opusneo.com/neodashboard

Background for Neo.Dashboard

The open architecture (through widgets) makes it possible to leverage social media technologies e.g. Blogs RSS Feeds, Google Gadgets, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook as well as IBM Lotus Quickr, Sametime, Notes Mail, Calendar & ToDo, Applications and Lotus Connections all integrated into one page in Neo.Dashboard while maintaining security.
I've had first-hand experience of using Neo.Dashboard and can recommend it for situations where a collaborative portal is required that gives all the benefits of application integration, single-sign-on, user personalisation, presence awareness etc., but without the complexity of managing a J2EE Portal environment.  Based on Lotus Quickr for Domino, it takes less than 30minutes to install, pulls in features from Quickr, Sametime, Connections and Domino out-of-the-box, and then allows extensions to include content from public-facing social sites such as Twitter and Facebook.  

It really is a tour-de-force.  In many ways, I see it as the killer app for Lotus Quickr, the solution that takes Quickr from being an useful element of the collaboration kit-bag to an essential centre-piece of an organisation's social strategy.

Even better, Neo.Dashboard can even now run on plain Domino servers that do not have Quickr installed, making it relevant to any Lotus customer.


Opus Neo will be at Lotusphere 2011, and are exhibiting in the Showcase at booth 516.  If you're a organisation that wants to improve Social Collaboration (or to fully replace an out-dated Intranet environment), I'd recommend you take a look at this new release of Neo.Dashboard...

Disclosure: OpusNeo sponsor this blog.  However,
Collaboration Matters personally use and recommend Neo.Dashboard to our customers, and will continue to do so should this sponsorship end at any stage!





By: Stuart McIntyre | 18 Comments | On: 17 January 2011 10:33:00 AM | Tags:  quickr  opusneo  dashboard 

As Darren Duke (and others) spotted yesterday, the first fixpack for Lotus Quickr 8.5 Services for Domino (8.5.0.1) has begun to appear on the Interwebs.  

However, the announcement letter for the first point release (8.5.1) was published today:

IBM Lotus Quickr 8.5.1 for Domino adds significant enhancements for users with important business content who need to collaborate with colleagues, clients, and partners

IBM Lotus Quickr is team collaboration software that helps you access and interact with the people and information in your organization to complete projects effectively. IBM Lotus Quickr 8.5.1 for Domino provides additional features to the newly released Lotus Quickr 8.5 for Domino including:
  • Support for Domino Off-Line Services, which enables users to create a copy of a Quickr Place on their local machine, make changes to the local copy without a network connection, and then synchronize changes on the server when reconnected to the network (Microsoft Windows users only).
  • Availability of Hebrew and Arabic national language versions so now all national languages are supported.
  • Import and export support for Microsoft Excel 2007 formatted files into the new "List" feature for structured content. Lists were first introduced in Lotus Quickr 8.5 for Domino.
  • Easy, direct upgrade process from Lotus Quickr for Domino 8.1, 8.2, and 8.5.
  • Support for Lotus Connections 3.
  • Support for Lotus Sametime 8.5.1.
So, there's the big news - off-line support, additional languages, support for Excel 2007 import to lists (but not Excel 2010 which is interesting), a more straightforward upgrade process from earlier versions and probably most importantly, support for the latest releases of Connections and Sametime.

So (as Darren spotted) we now have the Windows and AIX releases of 8.5.0.1 available for download, whilst the announcement letter itself suggest availability of 8.5.1 will come a little later:
Planned Availability Date

December 16, 2010: Electronic availability
January 14, 2011: Media availability
So, if you're one of the organisations that has been holding off upgrading to Quickr 8.5 until 'the fix first pack is available' (I've heard that one a few times!), then now is the time to crack on and plan your upgrade (whether you go with 8.5.0.1 or 8.5.1)!



By: Stuart McIntyre | 18 Comments | On: 7 December 2010 07:40:01 AM | Tags:  quickr  lotus  domino  8.5.1 

For a long time now, power users have been asking for the ability to comment on (and even edit) the Infocenter documentation that IBM produces.  

Up until this point, the Infocenters only received significant updates when new releases were shipped, and hence it took a long time to correct any errors or omissions.  IBM's release process seemed to prohibit small changes after publication, and either way, access to the Infocenter update process was tightly regulated.  In many ways, this was the reason for the launch of the Lotus Product Wikis - so that IBMers, partners and customers could create and update their own documentation, free of the controls of the Infocenter process.  However, this left us with two different sources for product documentation - this static and reliable Infocenter, and the dynamic and flexible (though effectively unmanaged) Product Wiki.

With Lotus Quickr 8.5 (and with Lotus Connections 3.0 coming soon), this situation has changed.

The Infocenter has been deprecated, and all product documentation is now embedded within the Quickr Product Wiki:



This gives documentation users the ability to comment on, rate and even edit the documentation directly.  The documentation areas with the 'edit' icon are now in the Wiki format:



The Lotus Quickr wiki therefore now contains the official product documentation for Quickr 8.5 for Domino, Quickr 8.5 for Portal and the Quickr 8.5 Connectors. Here's the Quickr 8.5 for Domino documentation:



As you can see, the menus on the left hand side look very familiar to Infocenter users, and so it's easy to navigate through the documentation.  For each article, it is possible to see whether it has been updated, by whom, and when.  In addition, a reader can see any comments that others have made, and rate the documentation too:



Whilst not many edits have been made so far, I do expect this to become better used with time as users realise the power they now have!

One of the concerns that I raised during the development process for this new product documentation process was that it would be difficult to trust the documentation 100% once it was being edited on a regular basis.  However, this has been covered by having an 'official' version of the documentation that does not get changed and is available in multiple languages:



This option is available for every page in the product documentation



So, have you tried the new documentation style?  Do you like it?  Have you commented on or edited one of the articles?



By: Stuart McIntyre | 10 Comments | On: 29 October 2010 05:42:32 AM | Tags:  quickr  wiki  infocenter  documentation  8.5 

Lotus Quickr 8.5 for Domino - What's New and Improved

Date: Wednesday, September 29
Time: 10:00 AM Eastern US time (2:00 PM GMT), for 90 minutes
Webcast access: https://apps.lotuslive.com/meetings/join?id=4419191
Audio by phone:
Toll free US: 866-803-2143
Toll call US: 210-795-1098
International Numbers: Click here:http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21446912
Confirmation Code: QUICKR
Please dial in 5-10 minutes early to allow time for registration of all participants before the presentation starts.

Open Mic calls are Question & Answer sessions with a panel of subject matter experts covering your questions without going thru a slide presentation.
Webcasts are presentations (slides, demos) by a single presenter followed by Questions & Answers related to the material covered, as time permits.

You can submit your question in advance via our forum, "Lotus Quickr forum". Questions should be of general interest. Troubleshooting of specific problems should still be handled by Technical Support, not by Webcast calls. We will collect questions, which have been posted to the forum topic announcing the call, and address as many of them as possible on the call. We will also take questions not submitted in advance.

You will need to provide your name and company affiliation when dialing in. You will need a touch tone phone to be able to ask questions. The presentation will be recorded and (in potentially edited form) made available via the web page containing dial-in numbers above.

You can find an up-to-date schedule of upcoming Open Mic calls and Webcast calls, as well as links to slides and recordings from past calls, here:
http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=899&uid=swg27011126
Make sure this one is in your diary.  Even with all the podcasts covering the Quickr 8.5 announcement, I'm sure there's still more to find out!



By: Stuart McIntyre | 4 Comments | On: 22 September 2010 07:12:59 PM | Tags:  quickr  8.5  domino  webcast 

I've been asked about this topic a number of times recently, including at NLLUG last week.  

How does one go about theming Lotus Quickr so that all pages appear using the custom theme, including places and the 'general pages' such as My Places?


The answer is to use CSS as you would expect, but then to call that CSS from a couple of JS files.

So here's the steps required:

Create a directory for your theme under \qphtml\skins, e.g.   \qphtml\skins\collabmatters
Copy any additional images required into that directory (company logos etc.)

Setup Skin:
       

\qphtml\skins\setup contains the theme detail for the Quickr general screens, e.g. MyPlaces etc.

In \qphtml\skins\setup\scripts:        
Create a 'setup_ext.js' file, containing:

var head = document.getElementsByTagName("head");
if (head && head[0]) {
var lang = (QuickrLocaleUtil.getStyleLocaleList())[0];
var skinCss = document.createElement("link");
skinCss.rel = ("stylesheet");
skinCss.type = ("text/css");
skinCss.href = ("/qphtml/skins/setup/nls/"+lang+"/setup81collabmatters.css");
head[0].appendChild(skinCss);
}
In \qphtml\skins\setup\nls\en:
Add your custom CSS code in a new file, e.g. setup81collabmatters.css                

Quickr Skin:


\qphtml\skins\quickr81 contains the theme detail for Quickr places

In \qphtml\skins\quickr81\scripts:        
Create a 'Quickr81_ext.js' file, containing:
var head = document.getElementsByTagName("head");
if (head && head[0]) {
var lang = (QuickrLocaleUtil.getStyleLocaleList())[0];
var skinCss = document.createElement("link");
skinCss.rel = ("stylesheet");
skinCss.type = ("text/css");
skinCss.href = ("/qphtml/skins/setup/nls/"+lang+"/setup81collabmatters.css");
head[0].appendChild(skinCss);
}
In \qphtml\skins\quickr81\nls\en:
Add your custom CSS code in a new file, e.g. quickr81collabmatters.css (the file is typically the same as setup81collabmatters.css above).

Whilst it is obviously still possible to theme Quickr on a place-by-place basis using Placetypes, this solution makes it easier to apply a theme across the whole of a Quickr infrastructure.  In addition, this makes it possible to theme both Connections and Quickr to look very similar, for example:
Connections
Quickr
Profiles Home Quickr theme




(images copyright Collaboration Matters)

This show'n'tell presentation from Lotusphere 2010 (by  Bob Barber & Brian O'Gorman) covers the topic in fine detail, and goes on to discuss more in-depth customisation too.

Lastly, I have had some issues with copying these .js files from one Windows machine to another (i.e. from pre-prod to live environments) with strange characters creeping in, meaning that the CSS doesn't get applied correctly - so watch out for that.



By: Stuart McIntyre | 5 Comments | On: 13 September 2010 03:06:04 PM | Tags:  quickr  8.2  customisation  css