As you contemplate the document-management-collaboration-teamspace-workflow-process world in the coming months and years, it’s likely that many of you will want to wring everything you can out of your investment over the past 14 years (that’s right, 1999) in Lotus Quickr and its previous married and maiden names.
I’ve heard from companies who are planning to migrate to Connections Content Manager 4.5 (coming soon to a server near…me), and some that plan to migrate in and out to everything from PDFs (we do that) to Sharepoint (uh, huh) to IBM ECMs and other collaborative platforms like Liferay.
But for many, sticking with Quickr Domino for the foreseeable future is a very valid choice. Your users know it well and don’t need training, or use the Quickr Connectors religiously, or you have a customization in place that conforms to paragraph 17 section 42 subsection d of the corporate style guide. Whatever the reason, if you intend to maintain a Quickr Domino server I have a few technical and business suggestions to bring and keep you up to date.
Internet Sites Documents
Starting with an earlier fixpack of Quickr 8.5.1 (currently 37), Quickr officially began to support Domino’s Internet Site Documents. Prior to this, we all used the Web Configuration document and standard MSSO / LtpaToken combination. And if you did, it’s not likely you switched because things are working. Switch. Two reasons — if you are still on Domino 8.5.1 (see below) you can add a custom header to provide better support for IE9 by putting it into compatibility mode. But more importantly, when using Internet Site documents, you have the option to have the server automatically compress (gzip) files from the file system as they are fed to the browser, cutting down traffic. And Quickr traffic, and these files, number in the hundreds. Multiply this by hundreds or thousands of users and this represents a significant savings and performance boost.
Domino – Upversion
Starting with Quickr 8.5.1 Fixpack 34, the team separated the Dojo installation to the point where Quickr no longer depended on the Domino Dojo version 1.3.2 being in a specific directory. Don’t get this wrong – Quickr still uses Dojo 1.3.2, but it installs its own copy. This has made the Quickr server more independent from the Domino version, meaning…it’s more likely we’ll see Quickr supported on Domino 9 when the time comes. (That is not an official or even informed statement, it’s just technically more feasible.) So, upgrade Domino to 8.5.3 (FP1, HF618 specifically) and when doing so, be sure you understand that there are two fixpack code streams now – and install the Quickr fixpack for Domino 8.5.3 going forward.
Fixpacks – Do Them
Quickr fixpacks are released every month. I suggest a maintenance release schedule of every two months, one month behind IBM, unless there is a specific fix for you or a showstopper bug (to you!) in a fixpack. Applying fixpacks is easy, despite the best efforts of the documentation to be confusing. Once you’ve done a few of them it becomes second nature and can take little to no downtime. Be sure to read the fix lists and consult the sample qpconfig xml document for new parameters and options, and once in a while even some features.
With each fixpack comes an updated release document, and while you may be tempted to skip it, there are often hidden gems, like the time that all the notification templates were updated, or XSRF security was added. Have a look through this document, then, as I suggested above, compare your existing qpconfig.xml configuration file to the newly deposited qpconfig_sample.xml file. You may in fact find undocumented new settings (I know of one for sure, because I put it there!).
Collaboration Space Lifecycle
Quickr places that are designed for project work are temporal in nature (I love throwing ST:TNG terms into my blog), but more often than not at the end of their usefulness they sit on the server taking up space, processor, indexing time, and resources. Just like the more granular corporate document management lifecycles and retention policies, the lifecycle of Quickr places and their documents, collaborations and bastions of tacit knowledge should be planned as well. We have tools to export to PDFs, which may or may not work for you, and there are other storage options out there…
Tools and Apps and Workflows, Oh My!
Once you’ve settled on an updated Quickr instance, it’s time to add in some moderate helper tools, optimizations and easily pluggable customizations to enhance the user experience. Sitemaps, widgets to do pretty much anything, custom notification templates (branding), themes, views and HTML forms are all part of the more mature, high-ROI Quickr environments I’ve worked with for 14 years. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to deduce that you get more out of software when a) people like using it and b) it helps get their job done faster and better. So consider some of the free and paid add-ons out there. A few are in my post below (well those are more full-blown apps). One was even done for a rocket scientist. Honest.