Integrating Lotus QuickPlace/Quickr with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1

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The Lotus brand within the IBM Software group represents the “people facing” side of the overall IBM product family. This does not necessarily mean the end user uses no other IBM products, but the Lotus brand is the front end of the IBM SOA  Interaction Services component.

The following diagram shows the interaction between these components. Each can be deployed as a separate infrastructure piece and provide value. However, when  they are leveraged as an integrated solution, the possibilities are nearly endless.

Integrating Lotus QuickPlace/Quickr with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1

This article does not cover all the products available under the Lotus brand. For additional information on these, visit http://www.lotus.com

Lotus QuickPlace/Quickr

The Lotus QuickPlace product has been available for several years. QuickPlace has become recognized as a leader in web-based team collaboration, and it is used in many large corporations throughout the world.

In early 2007, IBM announced two important changes to the QuickPlace product family:

  • The new version of Lotus QuickPlace will be renamed Lotus Quickr
  • A new J2EE-based version of QuickPlace will be introduced, also called Lotus Quickr

These two versions of Quickr (one based on Domino and one based on WebSphere Portal) form a single product. They do, however, have very different deployment architectures. From an end user’s standpoint, they should be viewed as collaboration appliances. They will be presented with a consolidated list of places where they  are involved so that the end users can easily navigate. This will be the case regardless of the backend deployment architecture.

The goal of these changes to QuickPlace/Quickr is simplification. IBM wants the product to be so simple that an end user can, with a few clicks, generate productive services. There is also a focus on server deployment simplification.

One of the key components of Quickr is the connector technology that it introduces. These connectors will allow for direct and programmatic interaction with the data stored in the Quickr places. Connectors that will be shipping with Quickr 8.0 are the following:

  • Notes
  • Sametime
  • File System/Windows Explorer
  • RSS/ATOM

In this section, we will cover each edition and discuss how it integrates with Domino. We will not be covering how to install the product itself; this is covered in detail within the product documentation.

Quickr with services for Domino

The Domino-based edition of Quickr should be thought of as a signifcant upgrade to the existing QuickPlace product line. This product has been maturing over many years, and this new release provides many new capabilities. These include native support for wikis and blogs “out of the box”.

Integrating Lotus QuickPlace/Quickr with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1

Installing Lotus Quickr

The basic installation process for Quickr with service for Domino is very simple. It involves installing a base Domino server v7.0.2 FP1. The Quickr product components are then installed on top of this server.

Directory integration

After installation, there is some additional configuration required, depending on the intended usage. They are:

  • User/group directory configuration is used to control the authorization and authentication of the environment
  • Sametime integration is used to enable presence awareness within the places
  • QPServlet confguration is used for WebSphere Portal integration

The user/group directory configuration allows you to select one of three directory types:

  • Internal place level directory allows for registration of users at a place level. The users are independent of any corporate directory that may be in place. Generally this is used to support external user access.
  • Lotus Domino Directory allows users and groups to be stored in the names.nsf database (public address book) and corresponding directories surfaced via directory assistance.
  • LDAP directory allows for users in a supported native LDAP directory (for example, Domino, IBM Tivoli Directory Server, Microsoft Active Directory, Novelle Directory, or Sun One Directory). This configuration allows for the refinement of the settings used to interact with the LDAP source.

The directory can be configured by first logging as an administrative user. In the following screenshot, we have logged in as user in Admin from the Domino Directory.

Integrating Lotus QuickPlace/Quickr with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1

Next, select the User Directory option from Site Administration. The following screen shows the default value of No Directory selected. This is the base setup where the contacts.nsf database for each place will be used as a user directory.

Integrating Lotus QuickPlace/Quickr with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1

It is possible to change the user directory by clicking the Change Directory button. This lets you choose between No Directory, LDAP Server, and Domino Server.

Integrating Lotus QuickPlace/Quickr with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1

If LDAP Server is selected, then options for connecting to the directory server will be displayed, as shown in the following screenshot:

Integrating Lotus QuickPlace/Quickr with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5.1

This screen contains the following felds:

  • Name provides the host name of the LDAP Directory Server.
  • Port number is the LDAP TCP/IP port used to communicate with the server.
  • Check for SSL connection with LDAP User Directory enables SSL  encryption of the LDAP traffic. Note that this is an “all or nothing” selection. It is not possible to only encrypt parts of the conversation with the  LDAP server.
  • Search base controls determines where in the LDAP tree to search for users and groups. For a Domino LDAP directory this value is generally left blank. This is because groups in Domino, as seen through LDAP, have no organizational component (for example, cn=Sales Users).
  • Narrow searches to the place name further restricts the LDAP search to users that contain the Quickr place name (for instance, Sales).
  • Check to use credentials specified below when searching the directory controls whether or not anonymous access is used for the LDAP directory. It is very common to have read-only binding credentials to search the directory.
  • Username provides the user’s distinguished Name for the LDAP server (for example, cn=quickrbind, ou=Admin, o=Acme).
  • Password is the password for the username above.
  • Authentication Timeout controls the time in seconds for the login operation to timeout. The default is 120 seconds.
  • Search Timeout controls the time in seconds for LDAP searches to timeout. The default is 120 seconds.

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