Time for a new Notes/ Domino support model

I’m pretty happy with FP10: great that with we now have up-to-date Eclipse/ Java/ OSGi version. Despite some obvious glitches it works reasonably well for me. But if you read the blogs and follow Twitter: a lot of people are having issues. The current ‘gold’ version would have been a great beta (2) and with a couple of fixes a great release.

I can confirm that I also have most of the issues described in this blog post (and more). I also can/ really want to elaborate on them by providing more info/ screenshots just to make FP10 better.

​But… although I appreciate IBM (ArnazR) asking for more info in one of the more recent comments I don’t think that is the place. I also support software and absolutely hate it when people introduces new issues in a comments section.

​Creating PMR’s is way too much overhead. It is mentioned that a PMR exists for most issues. Can I simply add more info with just a line of text? Add a screenshot in under a minute? I don’t think so. Since I’m a consultant/ business partner and not a customer, I can’t even create PMR’s (seriously?). Don’t want to bother one of my customers for it neither.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a simple way to log the issue we’re having with FP10? Just have a look at the Github issues section for inspiration. ​The delivery model for Notes/ Domino has changed in light of what the rest of the world is doing. I think it’s time the support model follows.

PS. For ArnazR: have a look at the screenshot. I would also say that this help screen looks ‘curious’).

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    9 thoughts on “Time for a new Notes/ Domino support model

    1. I totally agree. The openness of MS is very refreshing in this regard and I believe that IBM / HCL need to work in the same way if they are to (re)gain the trust of developers.

      Have a browse here – https://github.com/dotnet/core/issues

      When there is transparency and good intent ( which HCL seems to have ) then trust will follow.

    2. I mentioned exactly that point to Richard Jefts when he was in Zürich for Domino2025. Customer feedback is the single most important information for any business, and the PMR System has not only ludicrous barrier entries (i.e. need to be a customer), but also it’s not easy to just drop a printscreen of the issue you’re having.

      My secret wish is that Richard/HCL just buy a standard industry product, make it available, and let us just quickly drop in bugs/feature requirements. Yesterday I had to explain to a customer that he can’t use parenthesis () to search something. Actually, I was mumbling and looking at my shoes as I said that.

    3. not true, as a Business Partner you can open up PMRs, it’s just done in a different way. You create a request and the PMR will be opened for you. I’ll share the details later on.

      1. just checked, a PartnerWorld Value Package is required but then you can request a PartnerWorld PMR. Handling afterwards will be the same as with customer’s PMRs.

    4. Regardless of whether BPs can create PMRs or not, let’s be clear:
      **
      The PMR process is not conducive for IBM/HCL getting good, timely feedback on critical and non-critical issues.
      **

    5. As a customer, I think that opening a PMR is not that hard. And I used the thread at
      https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/community/blogs/LotusSupport/entry/Listening_to_your_feedback_on_Notes_Domino_9_0_1_FP10?lang=en
      to provide proof that more people were having the same issue as reported by me in a PMR.

      So I am very grateful that the article was published on developerworks and that people took the time and effort to comment.

      On easily adding stuff to a PMR:

      If you have opened a PMR, you get a confirmation mail with a link wich directy opens the PMR ready for adding comments or screenshots.

      The link is in the form of https://www.ibm.com/support/servicerequest/readPMR.action?pmrNum=&branch=&retainCountryCode=

      The PMRnum, branchNum and countryCode are in each email about the PMR.

      BTW: a reply to this email is immediately added to the PMR. So adding a line of text or screenshot is just a reply away…

      I agree that the process of having to create a PMR which then is vetted by support staff and eventually escalated to development may seem overly complex. On the other hand this system is in place to deal with interfacing between end-users and development teams. And some vetting to get a reproducable bugreport to a development team will give the development team much more time to actually develop fixes and new code instead of dealing with end-users to produce said reproducible bugreport.

      I submit that the Github issues concept is a power user/developer tool, in a very different mindset than a lot of end-users. I agree that it shouldn’t be hard for Business Partners to enter PMRs, and having an overview of open issues would be very nice to have. A caveat is that now, putting any data in the PMR is between you and IBM. So simply opening that up to others would involve thorny privacy issues.
      Also, becoming a customer is as simple as buying a Collaboration Express license (i.e. cheap)
      If you are to big for that licensing model, then a PartnerWorld Value Package should be well within reach.

      I have seen both worlds, as I have previously worked at an IBM Partner in the PartnerWorld program. As a customer I miss the PartnerWorld fora, where a lot of knowledge people hang out. A combination of both worlds would be great.

    6. It was a heck of a lot easier reporting bugs when we had a Business Partner Forum. The process may not have been perfect, but it allowed for dialogue, follow up questions and easily added screenshots, etc. It may well be that somebody at IBM then had to put all that stuff in the correct PMR way, but it worked and was easy for business partners to engage with.

        1. @Ben:

          Sorry for the incomplete reply, I am completely flabbergasted. I loved those fora, learnt so much from them!

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