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So your CxO is just dying for an iPhone but has to have his email, calendar, and contacts sync'd. There are a couple of ways to this, but I've worked with out for us using ESX Server.
You may consider this approach to be the 'hard way.' Mainly because it is. If you agree, go vote for this (I surely wish IBM had listened originally).  

Project Requirements

User must be able to have his/her email, calendar, and contacts sync wirelessly with his iPhone. The process must be 'server' based - i.e., can't use his notebook as part of the process. It must be resilient and allow for VM server reboots, etc without requiring care/feeding.

Solution Details

Item Purpose
VMWare ESX Server 3.5 Provides the platform to run one small VM for each user.
Microsoft Windows XP SP2 (workgroup mode) Base OS for each user VM.
IBM Lotus Notes 8.0.1 (basic) Is there another collaboration platform?
IBM Lotus Notes single signon Service Allows Notes to autostart.
Microsoft TweakUI powertoy Provides the ability to have each VM autologin so that Notes & CompanionLink can autostart when the VM is booted.
CompanionLink Professional Windows application to sync Notes data with the CompanionLink servers.
CompanionLink iClink "iClink is an iPhone application that works with CompanionLink Professional to keep the data on your PC and iPhone synchronized."





Setup Steps
miniPCs
  • Create a small VM (I use 512MB RAM, 6GB disk)

  • Install Windows XP in Workgroup mode

  • Create a local user account to run this all under. Rename/disable the Administrator account. Also create another Admin account, just in case..

  • Install Notes 8.0.1 basic with the Notes single signon service. Install a good antivirus package that updates and scans often. Set windows update to update often.

  • Set the Windows login account to use the user's Notes password.

  • Configure TweakUI to autologin with the user's Notes password. Set the Marquee screen saver to lock after 1 minute.

  • Configure Notes with the user's ID, addressbook (names.nsf), and journal (journal.nsf). Make sure these replicate with the server, and that the user's PC replicates these with the server. If you hate it being this hard, vote here or here, depending on your religious convictions.

  • Put the Notes icon in the Startup folder.

  • Purchase, install and configure CompanionLink Professional.

  • Purchase, install, and configure iClink.

  • UPDATE: Forgot to mention: set up IMAP access to Domino mail on the iPhone.

  • UPDATE 2: You might want to add the $EnableAlarms=0 parameter to the Notes.ini so calendar alarms don't pop up.


General Notes

I have each VM reboot weekly automatically, just to make sure...
One you've set up one VM, just clone it when you need to add a user.
Thank IBM and Apple for the need. (RANT) This was avoidable. IBM's been sleeping with RIM far too long. They should have a server-based API/Webservice mobile strategy for Domino that works like ActiveSync, something vendors can code to and not require IBM to add support per device (
like in Traveler). Barring that approach, it's still not like the iPhone 3G took us by surprise. If IBM offered Apple $1Billion, they would surely help fix it, so the issue is negotiable. Generous technical assistance, combined with somewhere between $0 and $1Billion dollars, delivered with the appropriate amount of reverence, adoration, worship, and hot babes (Apple is full of techies, some of whom are straight) will convince Apple to work with IBM on this.  This is fixable. Fix it. (/RANT)


XP Main Screen

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Craig Wiseman August 8th, 2008 07:58:55 AM

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