|STDI Consulting Inc.|
Mississauga Ontario, Canada
|First published on March 06, 2012 |
|PlayBook, Social Feeds and Lotus Traveler|
March 2012: The contact linking I love so much on the Android (Android Contacts - Link and Unlink) is now also on the PlayBook V2. It is implemented as part of the Accounts and kept completely separate from the BlackBerry Bridge data. That is a good solid concept for security reasons. I still would like to get the Calendar and some Contacts from my Lotus Notes merged with other social media feeds. Before I go any further and explain how this is done, a short introduction about the hardware, toys and applications. No change from the configuration that is discussed in BlackBerry Bold and PlayBook, the short version is here.
|IBM Lotus Domino is our messaging and collaboration system. The BlackBerry Bold is connected to the Domino server through the BES Express (BlackBerry Enterprise Server).|
Other smartphones (Android and iPhone) connect to the Lotus Traveler interface to the same Domino server.
The PlayBook connects to the BlackBerry Bold (Bluetooth) and uses the BlackBerry Bridge to access the company Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and MemoPad. The same PlayBook also connects to Lotus Traveler to synchronize mail, calendar and contact. They can be the same as the ones setup with BES or different ones.
Accounts in PlayBook
The PlayBook version 2 introduced Accounts. Now we can connect to other system using POP, IMAP or ActiveSync.
Keep in mind that messages from Facebook are the notifications, not the information posted on the wall. You still may have to setup the native Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and LinkedIn application in your PlayBook.
|This includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Gmail, Hotmail and many more. The value of setting up Accounts comes from linking contacts, merging calendars and messages. |
I don't plan to mix my business email with the Twitter or Facebook messages, nor do I intend to jeopardize the security of the business data. For this reason, the business email will stay on my BlackBerry. The BlackBerry Bridge gets me access to the data from the PlayBook.
It is another story with my Calendar and some of my personal contacts. I keep my contacts in Domino, both business and private. Most contacts also exist in Facebook and LinkedIn. That's where the linking of contacts comes into play. As I mentioned at the very beginning, I like the option to link contacts and get a complete picture of the person.
I also mentioned that I would like to link only "some" of my contacts from Lotus Notes. I already use a subset of contacts that synchronize to my BlackBerry device and I'm planning to reduce the set even more for the ones I synchronize with the PlayBook. For me, it's absolutely essential to have 100% control over my contact list. The privacy flag option is implemented in the CRM and gives me all the control I need.
PlayBook and Lotus Traveler
To connect Lotus Notes to the PlayBook, we need to setup an Account and configure it as an Active Sync connection to Lotus Traveler.
|Select Accounts from the Setup Menu|
Tap Add New Account
Tap Email, Calendar and Contacts
Tap Advanced Setup
Tap Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync
Enter a Description for the account, e.g. Lotus Notes
Leave the domain field blank
Enter your Lotus Notes user name (Firstname Lastname)
Enter your Email Address
Enter in your HTTP Password for Lotus Notes
Enter the full server address, ie www.stdi.com/servlet/traveler (append the /servlet/traveler)
Set the SSL according to your company policy
Tap Continue and then the restrict the data you want to sync. (Email, Contacts, Calendar).
|All my email is synchronized with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and stays on my BlackBerry Bold. So the Email option in the Account configuration is off, but synchronize Calendar and Contacts is on. Lotus Traveler synchronizes the Contacts from the Mail file. Read on to understand the difference.|
CRM and Lotus Notes Contacts
Synchronization between the Mail File and the Contacts is taken care of by Lotus Notes in the Replication and Sync bookmark. Synchronization between the STDI CRM and Contacts used by BES is taken care of by a process in the CRM system. Please note, the STDI CRM system is a custom application. Exporting or synchronizing contact information in Domino can be done by most 3rd party CRM system.
|The Contacts in Lotus Notes can be in the Mail file or in the Contacts or in both. Any user that is setup with Web Mail (iNotes) does not have to be concerned about this difference. Users that use the Lotus Notes Client should verify that the Contacts are synchronized. Open the Replication and Sync bookmark and make sure the Synchronize Contacts is checked.|
BES has a configuration option to use any Contacts. This flexibility prevents any interference that may occur. It may add some complexity, though it works in our favour.
The STDI CRM system selectively synchronizes contacts to the CRM Business Contact database (green arrow). This Shared Contact database is configured in BES. Only CRM contacts that have the Business-Flag set are picked up by the process. The same logic works for the synchronization between the CRM and the personal Contacts (red arrow). Only the contacts that have the Personal-Flag set are picked up by the process. Lotus Traveler then picks up the contacts in the Mail File. This closes the loop and all devices have up-to-date contacts.
Messages, Contacts and Calendar
These are the ones configured by Accounts. There is a difference between the Accounts and BlackBerry Bridge. Data configured with Accounts are stored on the PlayBook, Data accessed via BlackBerry Bridge are stored "exclusively" on the BlackBerry Bold or any other BlackBerry phone. If you need more control over Work and Personal, consider setting up BlackBerry Balance. This allows the BES Administrator to control what application are approved by your organization and which ones are for personal use. BlackBerry Balance runs on the BES. At this time, we will not dive any further into BlackBerry Balance. Read more about it at www.blackberry.com/balance. No matter if Balance is setup or not, work and personal data is never mixed on the PlayBook.
Messages can be filtered by source. Outgoing messages are sent from the Account as per your Preferences settings. My reason to setup Accounts for messages is the comfort of having one mail box for all non-work messages.
If you plan to schedule meetings and invite attendees, you have to setup an SMTP host. Only then can the invitations get sent out.
Without a doubt, the merged Calendars makes it a winner. Calendar entries are color coded depending on the source. You can choose the calendar when you add a new entry.
Linking and Unlinking Contacts
The other feature in the PlayBook are the merged Contacts. We already explained how to bring Lotus Notes Contacts into the PlayBook.
The system may not always combine, or link, the correct profiles. It may be wise to check the contacts and correct the problems. The errors I found so far are caused by joint profiles in Facebook (family account) or a contact from the video chat (PIN number) that was listed by first name only.
|Looking at a contact shows the merged information from all sources. Edit a contact by tapping on the edit icon. Tap on the name after LinkedIn or Facebook to open the profiles in the source application.|
|In the right bottom corner is a chain symbol with a number. This number indicates how many contact profiles were linked. Tap on the chain icon and you can add (link) or remove (unlink) a profile.|
I hope you find this document helpful and appreciate your feedback here.
One last tip. The images here were taken with the screen capture feature built into the PlayBook. Press the + and - volume at the same time to save the capture file in the Picture folder. This function is disabled for the BlackBerry Bridge for security reasons.