As some of you may be aware, we're planning to set up a server with IBM Workplace so we can give Notes users an opportunity to explore the features of Workplace firsthand. With that in mind we're going to run a series of blog entries on our Workplace experience, starting with this one.

To test this, I set it up at home with Workplace 2.6 and found that installation was a lot smoother than 2.5, although there were a few "gotchas" that tripped me up. For example, when setting up the IBM HTTP Server you have to point to the Websphere App server directory plugins-cfg.xml in order to run Workplace from port 80. It took me several hours to figure out that there are TWO versions of this file - of course I was pointing to the wrong one (totally my fault - the deployment guide had specified the correct file to point to). Once I had that corrected, the rest went smoothly. You should read the deployment guide before and while doing the install - without that you're going to be lost if you haven't done a Workplace install before. The guide is very detailed, although it makes you jump from one page to another..almost like playing the game "Connect the dots".

After getting the server installed and running, I provisioned the Workplace Managed Client (WMC) from the server - all 150 MB of it. After running through the WMC install and holding my breath praying that it didn't fail, it installed without any problems. I have the Notes 7.01 client, and when I opened WMC was very impressed to see how the Notes client works within the WMC. I'm creating this blog entry from the Notes client within the WMC. I haven't done any heavy Notes activities yet, but so far it looks very impressive. The screenshot below shows how it looks like.


At the risk of stirring up the Workspace vs Bookmarks debate, here's a screenshot of the workspace within WMC.


Replication, switching user ids, creating new replicas, running agents all seems to work without any problem in the WMC. One thing I did realize is that Smarticons are noticeable by their absense, and I haven't seen any option to turn them on. This does make it a bit tedious if you're used to using smarticons. Maybe they're there and I just haven't found them yet. If you're familiar with the Notes menus, the WMC menu might be a bit confusing because when you're using Notes apps within the WMC the menu has a combination of WMC options and Notes options. Of course, if all we could do was run Notes 7 within the WMC we wouldn't need the WMC, apart from the fact that the UI is a lot nicer. In addition to this the WMC includes the Activity Explorer, which includes the activity based UI that the next version of Notes codenamed Hannover will have. It also has other things, which I'll explore and report on in following blog entries.

All very cool - hopefully this will encourage others to try it as well. If you have any questions about the install or WMC, let me know and I'll experiment on my install!

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