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Announcing the 2016 IBM Champions

We are over the moon to announce that Sharon has been selected to be an IBM Champion again for the year 2015/2016.

After several weeks of reviewing applications and evaluating contributions a team of IBMers have selected  the 2016 IBM Champions! We have a total of 103 Champions, with 39 new Champions, and 64 returning Champions.

The full list can be found here

Thanks once again to everyone who nominated and to IBM for picking an amazing bunch of people.

Latest PTFs appear to cause issues with TDI on iSeries

Bit of a weird gotcha we have discovered this week. TDI for Connections on iSeries was not happy with the latest PTF fixes applied to the machine.

TDI was working without issue prior to the PTF’s being applied. An IPL was performed to allow everything to apply correctly – that is when we noticed issues with TDI.

When attempting to populate the profiles DB or even run a collect_dns we were seeing an error. Nothing had changed in any of the config files but we were seeing an error relating to the LDAP URL.

PTF_error
On the off chance that something specific had been overwritten we decided to reinstall TDI. The only thing that had changed was the PTFs, so it was likely something in one of the many applied to the system had overwritten something that TDI was looking for.
The steps ran were as follows:

  • Uninstalled TDI
  • Removed the directories that had been created under the /QIBM/ProdData and /QIBM/UserData folders
  • Run – export QIBM_CCSID=819 as required
  • Install TDI and patch
  • Reconfigure the TDISOL directory – take the one from the /QIBM/ProdData/IBM/Connections/TDISOL as it is more up to date than the wizard version
  • Test

Theoretically nothing should have affected TDI – but something appears to have .. It was a fairly quick fix (about 2 hours in total)

So if you are running Connections on i and have applied the latest PTFs .. check the TDI sync still works

Issues with CCM, Cognos and looking up Domino LDAP users using complex filters

Thanks to Martin Leyrer for pointing this technote out

There appears to be an issue with CCM and Cognos integration if you are using domino LDAP and are using complex ldap search filters

The CCM symptoms are:

When LDAP users try to access a community library they have the following error:

“The library may have been deleted or modified, or your access may have changed. Try reloading. If that fails, contact the library owner.”

OR:

When user clicks into the Library, there is no “Upload Files” or “New Folder” buttons present, even though they are a Community Member or Owner

This does not happen for non-LDAP local users like ‘wasadmin’.

The Cognos symptoms are:

it’s not possible to add LDAP users to the IbmConnectionsMetricsAdmin role, but it is possible to add non-LDAP local users like ‘wasadmin’

 

Good news there is a fix

You must contact Domino Support to obtain a Hotfix for SPR CAHT959LQG for your specific Domino version

The Full description of the problem can be found in the technote here

Fun and games with Community Widgets

Last night we managed to close a PMR that had been open for a few weeks on a strange issue with Community Widgets.

Rewind 3 or 4 weeks – One our amazing customers made some security changes which in turn required some reconfiguration of Connections. We switched to a secure LDAP connection, reconfigured WebSphere global security and changed the LDAP realm to fix and LTPA issue we had seen and also just for good measure switched the WebSphere Admin user to be an LDAP user – a few changes to implement at once, but not rocket science.

 

The only bit of reconfiguration that needs a bit of work is the changing of the connections admin user – previously we had just used the standard wasadmin user,  Connections application security was switched (using the community scripts – thank you Christoph), changing references to administrative credentials was completed and the lovely task of updating the messaging bus was completed.

 

Everything worked exactly as expected except for 2 tiny issues – Adding the blogs and surveys widgets inside a community thew a nasty error.

communityError

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The errors in the logs were not actually helping much – just saying the new admin user did not have the authority, which didn’t really make much sense as all the other widgets were adding to communities without issue and the blogs app worked perfectly outside of Communities – also any exiting blog widgets were also working as expected.

After some very intensive investigation from IBM Support, especially Justin Cornell who ploughed through much logs, traces, fiddler records and a live debugging session where he saw the problem live – we were still no closer to getting to the bottom of the issue. Justin then brought up the issue in a team meeting and another college mentioned that he had seen something similar.

Waltz and Sonata were recognizing the new admin user but something else was still not quite right – the suggestion was to remove and remap the admin user for the applications – forcing the remapping of the security and flushing any old info relating to the old admin user. We also re-synced the new admin user against all the connections applications just to be sure using the Application.MemberService.syncMemberExtIdByEmail(“emailhere“) command. After this was done we still had the same problem. By now this was becoming extremely frustrating – it made no sense, it should just work!

It was a public holiday in the UK on Monday so I didn’t notice the mail Justin had sent me straight away – he suggested that before this goes up yet another level of the support chain that we remap the widget admins again, just to make sure that it had actually added the new admin user correctly. After quickly jumping on to the Deployment manager machine and remapping the widget admin user for the blogs application and restarting the blogs app we attempted to add the widget to a community again – AND IT WORKED !! Re-mapping the admin user for the Forms Experience Builder (surveys) app and restarted that application also resolved the issue with that widget too.

It appears that re-mapping these individually and saving and restarting flushed out any cached or old admin information, when it was done as part of a script or mass change it didn’t seem to clear out the old info.

This is one of the most frustrating and strangest issues we have seen with Connections – as theoretically nothing has changed. The new admin user was mapped correctly previously – but re-mapping it fixed it.

Thanks IBM Support and the very tenacious Justin who was just as frustrated and determined to get to the bottom of the issue.

 

 

 

 

Help IBM shape connections search

If you are interested in helping IBM shape the search application inside Connections there is a survey that you can participate in.

This is a short survey to better understand attitudes and behaviors around search and how users – well – use it 🙂

You can find the search survey here

Fill it in and you will make a Connections product manager very happy 🙂

Cube Soft are now an IBM BP

Cube Soft is now an IBM Business Partner.

bp_member

Working closely with IBM has always been something Sharon has been very passionate about. We try to be a part of as many beta and design programs as possible to help feed back to IBM how we are using the products *in the real world* and to assist with improvements to the documentation.

We are hoping that this will continue now with Cube Soft in the future.