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Allow Sametime business cards to pull all Lotus Connections information from Profiles natively without custom code 
Use this IdeaSpace to post ideas about IBM Sametime.

: 13
: 14
: 1
: Sametime / Administration
: sametime, connections, businesscard, integrate
: Tim Brown962 24 Jan 2009
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: / Email
Make it possible natively to consume the Sametime business card data with information from the Lotus Connections profile database out of the box without having to do a custom blackbox or code customization? I was hoping for a easy way to do this via a wizard or something along those longs.  I believe that bleedyellow.com does this but they use custom blackbox code to do so.
 
I'm just not sure if this is something that needs to happen on the Sametime side of things or the Connections side of things.  I think more on the Sametime side, but this needs to be possible either way, especially as more and more customers adopt Lotus Connections in their environments.  This type of integration needs to be there to leverage existing data that already exists in only one place.
 
-Tim E. Brown
 
**UPDATE**
I'm fully aware of the ST plug-in you speak of. We tested it when we got it from support last year. Here are some of its down falls and things I'd like to see with it or this functionality in general:

- Does not work in our environment with our implementation of Lotus Connections with SSL and SSO. Works fine with no SSO and SSL in a test environment scenario. I think Lotus support is aware of this.

- Pushing out a client side plug-in is fine but it's not always the best method. I think you would get a much higher success rate if this was done on the backend, and most administrators would prefer to do this all on the backend anyway instead of a client side plug-in. It's easier to support also from the backend perspective. Client side support for the client side plug-in can't get nasty, especially in large enterprises.

- Also, with this plug-in you can't mix and match data sources. For example, what if I wanted to pull photos from profiles, but I wanted to pull some custom field I wanted to display from another source? This plug-in can't do that.

- What if you want to still use the default Sametime business card look and feel, but still just pull the profiles data only (like bleedyellow.com does), this plug-in replaces the entire look and feel of the business card with the Connections business card look. Again, no flexibility with the plug-in on the way it looks or pulls data. The data all comes from Profiles and no where else is an option.

I do feel the plug-in is a good first step, but administrators need more flexibility as mentioned above, hence the reason for posting this to IdeaJam.

I also wanted to add that the plug-in option does not help if you want to display the data from Profiles in Connections in the Blackberry Sametime business cards also, nor will it if we have a web application that uses business cards.



1) Luis Benitez851 (25 Jan 2009)
There's already a plug-in that can be installed on Sametime so that the ST business card gets information from Lotus Connections profiles. Sametime administrators have the power to push this plugin down to users so that users don't have to manually install it. Therefore, this should be pretty transparent to end-users.
2) Tim Brown962 (25 Jan 2009)
Luis,

Thanks for responding! I was hoping you or someone else from IBM would respond to this :)

I'm fully aware of the ST plug-in you speak of. We tested it when we got it from support last year. Here are some of its down falls and things I'd like to see with it or this functionality in general:

- Does not work in our environment with our implementation of Lotus Connections with SSL and SSO. Works fine with no SSO and SSL in a test environment scenario. I think Lotus support is aware of this.

- Pushing out a client side plug-in is fine but it's not always the best method. I think you would get a much higher success rate if this was done on the backend, and most administrators would prefer to do this all on the backend anyway instead of a client side plug-in. It's easier to support also from the backend perspective. Client side support for the client side plug-in can't get nasty, especially in large enterprises.

- Also, with this plug-in you can't mix and match data sources. For example, what if I wanted to pull photos from profiles, but I wanted to pull some custom field I wanted to display from another source? This plug-in can't do that.

- What if you want to still use the default Sametime business card look and feel, but still just pull the profiles data only (like bleedyellow.com does), this plug-in replaces the entire look and feel of the business card with the Connections business card look. Again, no flexibility with the plug-in on the way it looks or pulls data. The data all comes from Profiles and no where else is an option.

I do feel the plug-in is a good first step, but administrators need more flexibility as mentioned above, hence the reason for posting this to IdeaJam.

Thanks,
Tim E. Brown
3) Tim Brown962 (26 Jan 2009)
Update:

I also wanted to add that the plug-in option does not help if you want to display the data from Profiles in Connections in the Blackberry Sametime business cards also, nor will it if we have a web application that uses business cards.

-Tim E. Brown
4) Rupert Clayton213 (30 Mar 2009)
While the Connections 2.0 plug-in for Sametime works fine in limited deployments, it places too many restrictions on many companies. The SSL and SSO limitations have been mentioned, as has the need to deploy an additional plug-in to all ST users.

One further problem we have encountered is that thrid-party apps may take the ST Business Card and use portions within their own UI. This is the approach used within Cisco's Phone Control and Presence (PCAP) plug-in for Sametime. With the Connections plug-in for Sametime deployed, this results in PCAP displaying a confusing portion of the Connections-enabled Sametime Business Card, including just the top half of the photo.

A proper server-side extension of Sametime to permit the Business Card to pull Connections data natively would address these issues.

Rupert Clayton
Chicago










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