Release Hell

I was involved in the release if an updated Domino / Sametime application today and it wasn't any fun. Basically I had updated an existing application to be more AJAX-y , it has hooks into Sametime which required us to roll out Sametime 7.5 to all of the application's users. This didn't go well. Sametime 7.5 is great if you install it as a local administrator of a Windows machine, but if you require an administrator to come around and do the install for you (which we had to do to 30 desks from 7am this morning) there is little help. We left a drop sheet at each desk saying what the user's "community" setting should be but you can't expect users to type fully qualifies domain names, so lots of problems there. But as far we could ascertain there is no way to do a pre-configured silent install. I hope this is not the case for the Notes 8 client when it rolls out.

The rest of the problems today were down to a lack of planning on our part. We have two machines which are used in the reception of the building by people who walk in to book appointments, they both run IE in kiosk mode in conjunction with touchscreens and Sametime Links. A person books an appointment and an instant message is sent to the person involved that they have someone waiting for them, a text message is sent to the person waiting when their meeting starts. All very cool. The lesson learned is that you need to have the Sun JVM installed to use the ST Links JS file, otherwise the web pages will simply not work.

In the end we got everything working but what should have taken an hour ended up taking 4 hours, which included us taking quite a lot of jip from the people coming in and trying to book appointments. Oh well, a couple of pints after work sorted that, but I have a new-found respect for people who do desktop support. It's really not something I want to get involved in again any time soon.