Do you know Collaboration Today ?

If you are reading my blog, it means you are probably an IT professional working with, or interested in, HCL products. So I have a question for you: to keep up to date with what is happening in this space, what do you do ? Where do you get your news from ( I hope not Fox News…..☺) ?

Maybe you have created a list of sites/blogs that you follow with a feed reader, or maybe you go to the rightly famous website PlanetLotus that does this kind of work for you.

But do you know the website Collaboration Today ? Is managed by OpenNTF and present you a list of articles that are hopefully interesting for you.

At this point you may ask: what is the difference between do-it-yourself, PlanetLotus and Collaboration Today ?

Well, lists of feeds are hard to maintain, some blogs you were reading may not exist anymore, or maybe the author has changed focus and now you find posts about Teams or Sharepoint, which may not be relevant for you. Also there is the problem of finding new sites that may have arrived since when you started collecting the feeds. In short, keeping this way of doing is time consuming.

Planet Lotus, which is a excellent website, and the community will never thank enough Yancy Lent for creating and managing it, suffer from the same kind of problems if you want. There are lots of blogs listed there that have nothing to do with HCL products anymore. This is the problem of automatic listing, if the list of blogs is not maintained up to date, it becomes less useful. But since Yancy is doing this on his spare time ( we all have a job to do ) no one can ask him to spend his time scanning the list of blogs and discard the not useful ones.

Collaboration Today is different. Is does not list automatically blog posts, but it is curated. There is a group of people who voluntarily spend some of their time looking for interesting articles and publish them on the website. In this way you can be sure that the content is always relevant for you. You can see who they are here

If you do not already know Collaboration Today, I encourage you to have a look at it and let me know your thoughts.
I am both a curator for Collaboration Today and a member of the OpenNTF Board of Directors, so I am in the right position to do something to improve the website if you think there is something you want us to do. I can collect your thoughts and ideas, then present it at the Board.

My email is r (at) robertoboccadoro.com or roberto.boccadoro (at) eldeng.it


I have been elected in the OpenNTF Board of Directors

OpenNTF has elected the new boards of Directors, you can see the details here.

Why have I decided to put forward my candidature, which has been accepted somewhat to my surprise ?
OpenNTF has a strong focus, obviously, on the Development side of Domino and I thought that having a person who has always worked on the Admin side could give a different perspective. I believe that there are resources for Admins out there in the world and OpenNTF could collect them and make it easily available. A first step in this direction are the OpenNTF Guides but I believe that more can be done.

I need your help: if you have any ideas about how can OpenNTF help you Admins, get in touch with me and I will do my best to work with the Board to make things happen. My email is r (at) robertoboccadoro.com or roberto.boccadoro (at) eldeng.it

I am honored to be in the Board of Directors, is a privilege to be esteemed to be worth of this position and I will do my best to try to give a useful contribution.


Sametime Meeting 11.5 installation on Docker

My good friend and HCL Lifetime Ambassador Daniel Nashed already wrote a post about this topic, here.

Since in my test environment I do not have a proper domain name I had to tweak a bit some configuration settings in order to make the installation work; this can be useful if you want to setup a Meeting server inside your network using a domain like .local instead of your company real domain and hosts file instead of DNS.

The instructions in Daniel’s post are very clear, if you follow them the installation will go fine. The next step is to enable Sametime Community for Meetings
One critical thing to be aware of is this part:

Enable Windows Sametime Community server to support Meetings
Contact HCL Support for instructions to receive a required patch to allow JWT Configuration. Do not continue on Windows until this patch is in place.


Obviously I tried to configure ST Meetings without the patch, (what is a geek doing test installations expected to do ?) and it did not work. So open a case with Support and obtain that patch before setting up the Meeting server integration with Community server.

UPDATE: As per the comment from Tony Payne, the needed patch is now available on Flexnet when you download the product

What you need to do to make it work with hosts file instead of DNS is this:
Edit the file docker-compose.yml and in the sections ‘auth’ and ‘nginx’ add an “extra hosts” entry and put there the name of your community and meeting servers, like this

This is a yaml file, so be careful to use spaces and not tabs and align text correctly as in the images.
Then run the commands
docker-compose down
docker-compose up -d

to restart the server

Many thanks to the Sametime Wizard, Tony Payne from HCL ,for helping me with this.


Andrea Fontana 1964 – 2020

This is a post I would have never wanted to write.

As many of you know by now, our friend Andrea Fontana tragically passed away in an accident with his motorcycle last saturday, Aug 15.

I have been knowing him since the mid 90’s, when I was working in Lotus and he was working for a Business Partner. What started as a professional relationship soon turned out in a friendship and later in the 10’s when I left IBM we worked together quite a lot. He moved near Milano and we met often with the families.

In 25 years we made a lot of things together, so I could tell you lots of stories about him, but I simply can’t right now; I am still devastated by the loss of Andrea and can’t put my thoughts together. In any case I don’t think is necessary, anyone in our community that got to know him knows well the kind of person he was. He was appreciated and loved by anyone that had the opportunity of knowing him, not for his technical skills, which were excellent, but for his humanity.

This picture was taken at the Ice Bar in Stockholm, when we went to Social Connections 7; it was the first community event he spoke at and the beginning of his friendship with many members of our community.


I will be speaking at DNUG47ONLINE

My session is “Setting up Jitsi authentication and customization”. July 2 at 16.30.
You can find the agenda of all the sessions here


Use a SSL certificate for the Sametime Proxy – a very easy way

By default when you install Sametime Proxy 11 it will use self signed certificates. My peer HCL Ambassador Ales Lichtenberg has written a blog post, here, about how to use a CA issued certificate. In his article he uses the .pem format for the certificates; I found there is another way to do this using the pfx format for certificates.

Once you have the pfx file, and the relative password, is very easy to configure Tomcat to use it. Open the server.xml file in the sametimeproxy\conf directory, edit it and change the connector stanza from this:

<Connector
protocol=”org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11NioProtocol”
port=”8443″ maxThreads=”200″
scheme=”https” secure=”true” SSLEnabled=”true”
keystoreFile=”conf/stproxy.keystore” keystorePass=”samet1me”
clientAuth=”false” sslProtocol=”TLS”/>

to this

<Connector
protocol=”org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11NioProtocol”
port=”8443″ maxThreads=”200″
scheme=”https” secure=”true” SSLEnabled=”true”
keystoreFile=”YOURCERT.pfx” keystorePass=”YOURPASS” keystoretype=”PKCS12/”
clientAuth=”false” sslProtocol=”TLS”/>

Using certificate in pfx format makes the configuration much easier, as you see; there is no need to import anything, just modify the server.xml



Sametime 11 commonly faced issues

HCL had a webinar on Sametime 11 and they talked about some of the most commonly faced issues. If you have not attended the webinar, here is the presentation, the last slides are referring to the issues.


Sametime 11 integration with Jitsi – allow guest access

In my previous post here I described how to set up a Jitsi server using the Domino directory as LDAP. That setup required all the users to authenticate before joining a room.

A customer of mine wanted a different thing, he wants to do video meetings with people external to his organization, that obviously are not listed in the Domino directory. I did some research and in the Jitsi forums I saw some other people have done something on that topic, so in the end I came up with a solution.

The idea is this, an user need to log in to create a new room while a guest has only to click on the room link to access it without any authentication.

NOTE: to make this work you should do a apt update and apt upgrade to receive the latest version of the packages used. At first for me this was not working but after the upgrade it did.

1) Go in /etc/prosody/conf.avail, you will see a file with your hostname and the extension.lua. In my case the server is named meeting.eld.it
Edit it and at the end of the file add this

VirtualHost "guest.meeting.eld.it"
        authentication = "anonymous"
        allow_empty_token = true
        c2s_require_encryption = false

2) Then edit the file /etc/jitsi/meet/meeting.eld.it-config.js and add a domin for anonymous.

hosts: {
        // XMPP domain.
        domain: 'meeting.eld.it',
        anonymousdomain: 'guest.meeting.eld.it',

3) Add this line in the /etc/jitsi/jicofo/sip-communicator.properties file

org.jitsi.jicofo.auth.URL=XMPP:meeting.eld.it

Now when a user access the server and create a room he is asked for credentials


All the other users can then join without being asked for credentials once the room is created.

If you set up two Jitsi servers, you can easily use both the solutions I described if you want to have internal users to authenticate and at the same time allow guest access. Use a server for internal meetings and the other for external ones. The Sametime web client can be configured with more than one external service provider. Unfortunately the Sametime connect client can not, you can define only one provider.


Sametime 11 integration with Jitsi. An easy solution to use video-conferencing now

I have worked with my friend and fellow HCL Master Detlev Poettgen in setting up a solution to allow customers to use video-conferencing now, while we wait for Sametime Meetings to ship.

We have used Jitsi, the same technology used by Sametime meeting, and set up a raw integration. Is obviously not  a fully integrated solution, but it works pretty well.

This is something useful for those customers who don’t want to use cloud services like Zoom or Webex or others, but prefer to have a completely on-premise solution, and I have more than one of this kind of customers.

To use this integration, change the preferences in the Sametime client and define an external meeting provider, using a room on the Jitsi server


The same for the web client

Installation and configuration of Jitsi

The first thing to do is to install Jitsi on Ubuntu server 18.04. You can find the instructions here

By default Jitsi does not use authentication, when you set up a Jitsi server, everyone who can access it can create a room or join an existing room.

There is the option to use LDAP for authentication, and I successfully set it up using Domino 11 as LDAP server.

I used the LDAP authentication for jitsi-meet via cyrus/saslauthd

At first, you need to install the following packages:

apt install sasl2-bin libsasl2-modules-ldap lua-cyrussasl

Then go in /etc/prosody/conf.avail, you will see a file with your hostname and the extension.lua, in my example the server is named meeting.eld.it

Edit it and change the authentication to cyrus and add the auth_cyrus to modules_enabled.

You also have to add the config options

    cyrus_application_name = “xmpp”

    allow_unencrypted_plain_auth = true`

as well.

The file should now be looking like this:

VirtualHost "meeting.eld.it"

        -- enabled = false -- Remove this line to enable this host

        authentication = "cyrus" 

        -- Properties below are modified by jitsi-meet-tokens package config

        -- and authentication above is switched to "token"

        --app_id="example_app_id"

        --app_secret="example_app_secret"

        -- Assign this host a certificate for TLS, otherwise it would use the one

        -- set in the global section (if any).

        -- Note that old-style SSL on port 5223 only supports one certificate, and will always

        -- use the global one.

        ssl = {

                key = "/etc/prosody/certs/meeting.eld.it.key";

                certificate = "/etc/prosody/certs/meeting.eld.it.crt";

        }

        cyrus_application_name = "xmpp"

        allow_unencrypted_plain_auth = true 

        speakerstats_component = "speakerstats.meeting.eld.it"

        conference_duration_component = "conferenceduration.meeting.eld.it"

        -- we need bosh

        modules_enabled = {

           "bosh";

            "pubsub";

     "ping"; -- Enable mod_ping

     "auth_cyrus";

     "speakerstats";

     "turncredentials";

     "conference_duration";

        }

        c2s_require_encryption = false

Configure saslauthd

Create the file /etc/sasl/xmpp.conf. If the folder sasl do not yet exist, create it.

Paste the follwoing inside the xmpp.conf:

pwcheck_method: saslauthd

mech_list: PLAIN

Now create /etc/saslauthd.conf and add the following. Replace the IP with yours, as well as the search base and the Bind user/password!

ldap_servers: ldap://192.168.1.24:389 ldaps://192.168.1.24:636 

ldap_search_base: o=eld

ldap_bind_dn: cn=Roberto Boccadoro,o=eld

ldap_bind_pw: password

ldap_filter: (mail=%u*)

ldap_version: 3

ldap_auth_method: bind

Important note on ldap filter:

At the first try I used ldap_filter: (mail=%u) but it didn’t work

Use ldap_filter: (mail=%u*)  note the * direct after the %u, and tell your users to enter the portion before the @ sign of their mail address.

Now edit the /etc/default/saslauthd file:

  • Change START to yes
  • Change MECHANISMS to ldap
  • Change MECH_OPTIONS to /etc/saslauthd.conf

and restart the service with service saslauthd restart. You also have to restart prosody now with service prosody restart.

Add prosody to the sasl group by executing the command usermod -aG sasl prosody.

Once you do this configuration, the users accessing your jitsi server will be asked for authentication before joining or creating a room.


Sametime 11 FP1 upgrade. A couple of things I found

Sametime 11 FP1 has shipped, so me and my fellow Master and friend Matteo Bisi started upgrading our test servers immediately.
We found a couple of thing you may want to be aware of in order to upgrade successfully.

Upgrading the Community server on Linux
Matteo did a upgrade of ST to FP1, but for whatever reson it failed. He had 23 file starting with st* in the data direcory instead of 40. So he did a uninstall of Domino and installed it again.
When trying the upgrade of Sametime he got this error


The problem is due to the fact that in the directory /var, there is a hidden file named .com.zerog.registry.xml. I looked into that file and found that it contained the information about Sametime 11 FP1

registry install_date="2020-03-10 11:26:39" version="1.1" last_modified="2020-04-09 09:41:28">

<product name="HCL Domino" id="0e1cb10d-1f39-11b2-8202-e8e16a17fbf8" upgrade_id="0e1cb10e-1f39-11b2-8202-e8e16a17fbf8" version="11.0.0.0" copyright="2018" info_url="www.hcl.com" support_url="www.hcl.com" location="/opt/hcl/domino/notes/11000000/linux" last_modified="2020-04-09 09:41:28"

.
.
.
</product>
<product name="HCL Sametime Server 11.0 FP1" id="17cc219c-1f40-11b2-8e97-ef3209dd0f10" upgrade_id="a63c37b2-1f3f-11b2-af58-ef3209dd0f10" version="11.0.0.1" copyright="2019" info_url="" support_url="" location="" last_modified="2020-04-08 23:05:50">
.
.
.

I told Matteo to remove all the lines relative to Sametime in the file so that it looked like this
After that, the installation of FP1 was successful

Upgrading Sametime Proxy on Windows
When you unzip the Sametime_11.0_FP1_ProxyServer_Win64.zip file you will see that it contains a directory “sametimeproxy”.
Do not extract it where you already have your SametimeProxy overwriting the content. Extract it in another temporary directory.
From that directory launch install.bat; accept the license and in the following screen you will see this

The installer will recognize there is already a ST Proxy installed and ask you if you want to upgrade. If you select to do it, you will be asked where is it installed

Specify the directory where is your existing ST Proxy
This will upgrade your proxy server keeping the existing configuration.