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IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User's Guide Paperback – September 22, 2010
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About the Author
Marie Scott is the Director of E-mail Services at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. Marie has a Bachelor's degree in biology from James Madison University and a certificate in information systems from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has had dual advanced certification in Notes/Domino administration and development since version 4.0. Marie began working with Lotus Notes in 1996, and has worked in networking, systems integration, and e-mail systems since 1987. Her primary interest is in Domino administration in complex environments. She has managed large e-mail migration projects and recently completed a project to transition university students to cloud computing. Marie has been a speaker at conferences including Lotusphere featuring IBM/Lotus technologies. Marie can be contacted at http://crashtestchix.com Thomas "Duffbert" Duff is a software developer focusing on Lotus collaboration technologies in Portland Oregon. He started working with Lotus Notes in 1996 in version R3 and has written and maintained hundreds of applications in large enterprises through the years. He also holds Lotus principal development certifications starting at version 4 and going up to version 8, as well as Microsoft and Java certifications. Tom is a prolific writer, both in various industry publications and at his website, Duffbert's Random Musings, at http://www.duffbert.com. He also is a frequent speaker at conferences and events focusing on Lotus technologies.
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Chapter 1: At the Starting Line: Know Your Sametime Client
Chapter 2: Getting Connected: Configuring and Using Sametime for Lotus Notes
Chapter 3: Getting Connected: Configuring and Using Sametime Connect
Chapter 4: Managing Your Connections: Making the Most of Your Sametime Contacts
Chapter 5: Power Chatting: Making the Most of Sametime Instant Messaging
Chapter 6: Spread the Word: Connecting to other Messaging Communities
Chapter 7: iNotes and Sametime-Chatting from the Web
Chapter 8: Going Mobile-Installing and Using the Sametime Mobile Client
Chapter 9: Meeting Basics-Using Sametime to Create Virtual Meeting Spaces
Chapter 10: Meeting Beyond the Conference Room-Using Additional Sametime Meeting Features
Chapter 11: Take Your Instant Messaging to the Next Level-Sametime Advanced
Chapter 12: Speak Up-Taking Advantage of Sametime Unified Telephony
Appendix A: Sametime 8.5 and 8.5.1 New Features
Appendix B: Using Sametime in Chat-Enabled Applications
Appendix C: Additional Sametime Resources
Marie Scott and Thomas Duff begin with the basics and effectively build to the advanced features of Lotus Sametime, some of which you may not experience in your environment., By "basics," I mean that they actually explain why someone would want to use instant messaging, providing some very good use cases. Once done, they move into the two Sametime clients; the embedded client and Sametime Connect, a "free standing" instant messaging client (think AOL IM, for example). While it arrives early in the book, the most useful chapter, in my opinion, is Chapter 4: Managing Your Connections. This is the chapter that I feel most people will read and review long after the reading the remaining chapters. In this chapter, the reader will learn how to add and remove Sametime contacts, how to sort their contact lists, create and manage groups, and much more. It is basically the normal day-to-day activities that every user will experience when working with Sametime. The other chapter that will see a lot of use is Chapter 5, Power Chatting. This could be seen as a "fun" chapter, the one where you learn how to use emoticons and to create your own, making use of spell checking, and sharing portions of your screen. Once you have mastered the basics of Sametime, Chapter 5 shows you how to use many of the little known features of the software. With a solid foundation, Scott and Duff proceed to teach you more advanced features of the software. Quite a few of them are difficult concepts for most people, however the easy, conversational style of writing that Duff and Scott employ make even these chapters easily consumed. Again, it helps that they make liberal use of screen shots to allow the reader to see and understand their points.
IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User Guide is a book that should be on every bookshelf of the Sametime Administrator, Sametime trainer, or Sametime user. For the Administrator, it will assist when explaining usage in a manner that will help you to assist your users with many tasks. The trainer will find a wealth of information for their classes and it would make a good give-away for the exceptional students in your classes. For the user, this could be viewed as your "Using Sametime" bible. Some chapters may not be applicable, however you will receive an excellent education into the use and possibilities of Lotus Sametime. Those possibilities could be used to create thoughtful and reasoned arguments to have your organization leverage their investment in IBM Lotus Sametime to add voice, video, to Sametime, to connect Sametime to other messaging communities, and to explore unified telephony. Should your organization elect to extend Sametime, you will be viewed as a "power user" as you will be well prepared for those features.
If there are any criticisms to this book, they rest solely with IBM, not the authors. While reading this book, I was struck by the sheer number of possible preferences available to the user and Administrator. While I use Lotus Sametime, I rarely think about, or use, the preferences; IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User Guide examines nearly all of them, and it is quite a list. Without this book, navigating the preferences would be a daunting task for all but the most patient person. With this book, and the exceptional Index, the preferences are not quite as extreme. Multiple authors focusing on one topic in one book may suffer from different writing styles and voices. I don't know if Scott and Duff were of one mind when writing or if they have an exceptional editor, however the book appears to be have written by one person; it flows very well. If you use Lotus Sametime, IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User Guide is a worthy addition to your bookshelf.
Obtained from: Amazon
The book, IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User's Guide is written for users, just as the title suggests. While some edges of administraiton are hit for purely reference points, they do a great job of telling users to call their Sametime administrators for questions and items beyond the scope of the book. The book is hefty for a user at 284 pages. But if you want "soup to nuts" information on the Sametime client in your users hands, this is it. Even as an administrator you learn quite a few tips and tricks on the UI side you did not know existed.
The screenshots and attention to detail makes it almost a show and tell type scenario for implementing anything the authors discuss and suggest. Sametime is a large product between chat, communities, external contacts, Advanced, meetings and even integration with the Notes client. Tom and Marie conquer it all breaking each part into it's own chapter. They build upon previous chapters well and slowly move the user experience into productivity and not just bells and whistles.
Explaining what a community is, who authentication and login works and variations in usernames is beneficial to an end user that will read this. Something most end users books do not take into account. I also appreciate how they taught buddy list name lookup and management to get users chatting right away once they are connected.
I honestly wished they had included two things. One, I hoped that they would have chosen the native Sametime Connect for Blackberry instead of Enterprise Messenger, but that is a personal preference. Two, that they had touched on the plain text integrated chat that shows in the basic client as numerous enterprises still use this as their chat client due to licensing or running Notes (even 8.x and higher) in Basic mode.
This is the only book on this topic and no other will come close. They have set the bar high for any end user guide in the Lotus software community. When they wake up, I hope they prepare for another round of writing.