Posting by Karl Sand, Program Manger on the Notes Compete Team (field SWOT resource).
Hey, it’s Karl. I just posted my personal Bio blog a little while ago so I thought I’d let you know what I’ve been up to as a field resource for this group. The other folks who have been posting blogs are back in Redmond working on the tools and guidance to help with these Notes Compete efforts while I’m one of the resources out in the field working directly with the customers. So here’s some “Scoop from the Field”, so to speak…
For the past five months I’ve been flying around , literally, to work with large and medium sized customers to assist them with understanding the transition and coexistence scenarios involved in migrating away from Notes. From an earlier blog you were introduced to the “Application Analysis Process” (AAP) by Scott Andersen. And as you can imagine, some of the most interesting complexity involved in a migration effort is dealing with the custom applications that are being used within a customer’s Notes environment.
The first phase of AAP is to find the applications that are unused or based on standard Domino templates, and categorize the rest into groups that have business processes/workflow and those that don’t. That phase has been well received by customers who are in need of a thorough analysis of their Notes infrastructure and want help getting a handle on what applications are out there. This process is very straightforward and the new “Application Analyzer 2006 for Lotus Domino”, which just went into production release, is a great help in getting the big picture outlined for a Notes customer. This blog is about the next phase of work though. Because that’s where it gets interesting for me.
Phase 2 of AAP is the time to do the “In Depth Analysis” on the custom applications in a Notes environment. And most customers give me one of those glazed-over looks when I ask them for the documentation and design architecture for each of these custom apps. For the large majority of their applications they don’t have it, and cringe about how long it will take to get it done. That’s where we implement the “Custom Application Taxonomy” which is crucial in phase 2 to provide a comprehensive understanding of these applications and catalog them for a customer. This model is a prescribed methodology to chunk a custom Notes application into four tiers. And through automated auditing, scripted research, and direct interviews we’re able to provide an excellent analysis document for the Notes admin team and their boss. The deliverable that comes out of phase 2 in AAP is usually the first time that a customer’s Service Delivery Manager for Notes has seen a cataloged and documented list of their entire application infrastructure. And that makes for a really cool lunch meeting J
I’ve only got a few minutes before I rush to the airport and catch my flight home so I’ll just give you a quick overview of the four tiers that are used to investigate a custom Notes application. At a high level, the 4 tiers are Tier 1: Data/Content, Tier 2: Usage, Tier 3: Processes, and Tier 4: Presentation. We’ll be going into each of these in more detail over the next week.
More to come soon, gotta run …
I would agree that Phase 2 is the interesting part, but I would urge you to go back to Phase 1 for one particular data point. While other parts of Phase 1 may work well, it appears there is something seriously broken with the analysis of the last use, and since that would be fairly critical to the evaluation of what needs to be done in Phase 2, it better be right. It seems like even a look at the Notes catalog could give a better indication of usage, but I don't know whether it gives "false positives" or not. In any case, somebody needs to fix the bug in the last used report or the tool will be seen as inherently unreliable. Is there a bug reporting mechanism I have missed?
Hey Ben, we appreciate your feedback and agree that the usage information is vital. We're trying to reproduce what Paul (and you?) are seeing, but haven't been able to yet, but we are looking at this closely.
Regarding bugs, the official way is to go through support, but anything posted on here goes directly to the product team, so please feel free to post here.