Friday, 29 July 2011

Teaching a new dog old tricks

We came across a new problem on my project last night.  It seems that the "Preview in Web Browser" menu option is not available to users without the Designer client with version 8.5.2.  We have a department who are using a Lotus Notes application for their Content Management System, which must allow the user to review their draft documents in a web browser.

I do not recall this menu item missing with previous releases, however, after a little research I have discovered that this menu option is not available in 8.5.2 if you do not have the Designer client installed.

I created a new text file in notepad and saved it with the name of "Designer.exe" and started Lotus Notes.  Hey presto! ... we have the menu option.

This little trick was used in the days of version 7, when you wanted to install Notes, you can teach a new dog old tricks...

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

An update on what I have been doing

I have finally left a company that I had the pleasure of work at for more than three years.  As a contractor, that is a long time.  It turned out to be 43 months in all, which I really enjoyed. 

I left at the end of May and moved straight into to a new contract for a large supermarket chain in England.   The work is not what I expected.  I am tasked with leading a small team to upgrade machines from Lotus Notes v7 to v8.5.1.  This was sold to me as a development team leader role, but is in fact a desktop migration project and not a coding project.

…. hence the lack of technical blog posts recently.

I am making the most of this opportunity to improve my Team Leading and PM skills,  I have even picked up my MS Access skills since being here.  I do not have access to the developer client for Lotus Notes (first time since 1998) and therefore I had to improvise.  The previous team leader had set up a large spreadsheet which was being maintained by many people and was struggling from size and usage, so I suggested we simply import this into a multi-user access database.

It is strange to lead a team and a project in an area where my skill set only touches part of the project.  I do not have in-depth details of how to install software on machines using SMS/SCCM and how firewalls setting must be configured, login scripts written in vb and many other intricate details… but I do know Notes and how it works and is configured. 

I can contribute to the technical discussions when discussing details around roaming and Single Sign-on, location documents and ID Vault.  Thankfully, I have a Technical Lead in the team and another guy that seems to have a wealth of knowledge of notes, machines, vb and a is a general all-rounder.  It is strange, but enjoyable, to be hands off and trust these guys to make the technical decisions, as I am the one that used to be in that position for development projects.

I have decided that I am liking the Team Leader / PM type of role and have committed myself to self-learning of Prince2.  I am planning to have passed my foundation by the end of this month and plan to take the Practioner (if I can) before my holiday in August.  More of that in a future post, I am sure.