Friday, March 26, 2010

Queue Manager V4 - Measurements and Reporting

Based on customer feedbackwe  have completely redesigned the charting component for Queue Manager V4.

We now support 26 base charts which are dynamically presented.  5 of the charts support drill down displays.

Charts have been designed to present data on such items as queues, agents (experts), time periods, unresolved requests, and system load.  Our high level goal is to enable executives, and design makers, with useful information queue activity, load, trends, and that the information immediately add value to the day to day operations of IM help desk queues.

Here is a brief (90 second) overview of the measurements and reporting area of Queue Manager V4:

Load by agent for today:

Queue Manager 4 - On the Way

After a very long development road, we are getting very excited to announce our newest release of Queue Manager V4.  Queue Manager has a very loyal following and we have done a massive amount of work to include most of the enhancement requests in this latest version.

Here is a quick overview:
Charting and Reporting:
We have completely rewritten the entire charting and reporting system.  With 26 charts (out of the box) and 5 enabled for multi level drill down, we think the charting system should be a huge improvement

Monitored Queues:
Our broadcast queues are useful, but based on early customer feedback, the monitored queues will be extremely helpful in help desk environments and large organizations.  Monitored queues include a real time flex based dashboard showing all queue traffic.

Interviews enable a decision support tree to be provided to inbound customers before they interact with a queue.  These IM based trees are customizable, extensible, and very easy to create.  With our Groovy integration, customer can easily shift conversations from an interview to custom Groovy extensions.

Browser Based Configuration:
Our number one request.  Queues, interviews, and all administrative tasks are now available from our browser based interface. 

Supports Popular Enterprise IM Systems:
Built on Instant's enterprise IM abstraction layer, Queue Manager V4 supports Lotus Sametime, Microsoft OCS, and XMPP based systems. 

Here is a screen shot of the charting system:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Queue Manager 4 Overview

This FAQ will provide useful pointers to various entries on Instant Queue Manager 4.

The following are the high level areas:

  • Installation
  • Broadcast Queues
  • Monitored Queues
  • Charting and Reporting
  • Administration
  • Interviews
  • Bot Development

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Groovy Templates in our IM Framework

As part of our instant messaging abstraction layer, we are making extensive use of Groovy and some Groovy constructs.

While our 'connectors' to the various IM platforms (Lotus Sametime, Microsoft OCS, XMPP) are all built using Java, our business logic and higher level applications are generally constructed using Groovy. For example, our Interviews and Monitored Queues were all developed in Groovy using our Java based API to the various IM systems.

Since we are now completing the monitored queue area of our latest version of
Instant Queue Manager, we are adding some finishing touches to the text portion of the application.

Luckily, Groovy templates are making this very easy. Here is a background article from IBM on Groovy templates:

Our idea is that we will enable Groovy based template syntax in our our queue definitions and then simple route the text resource through the Groovy template engine in order to provide real time text substitutions.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Working on a 35,000 user vpuserinfo.nsf conversion

For the last several months, we have been using our Buddy List Administrator, and our vpuserinfo.nsf conversion routines, to migrate 35,000 users within a large Sametime environment.

This conversion has been a bit more complicated than some of our earlier conversions since:
We are remapping all 35,000 people from one network ID to another
We are dealing with multiple Sametime clients
The Sametime buddy lists are stored in both the field 0 (zero) and field 8193

As with most projects, there are some new paths to cross. For example, we have recently discovered some differences in the header for the 8193 field that created some issues in our earlier 'dry runs'. We have now resolved those issues (after an all morning byte by byte analysis session) and we are waiting for the actual cut over.

Our goal on these conversions is 99.9999% success rate. Ideally, when a person logs into their Sametime client on Monday (following a weekend conversion) they will see their exact buddy list - but with new user IDs and display names (both of which are changing on this conversion).

The most difficult part of this project has been the consolidation of the various mapping tables into one coherent lookup table. The customer is provided us with various (7) directories - all of which we are normalizing in order to provide a master lookup table.

Lotus Notes has been an excellent data repository and has provided a very quick, and easy, storage device for all of this data. Our import routines also leverage Lotus Notes and the ability (using some Lotus Notes agents) to read data from Microsoft Excel (XLS) files.

This has been a challenging project, but we continue to add more knowledge to our Sametime buddy list conversion process and our code base for these conversions continues to grow.

Seeing some problems with Sametime 8.5

We are running one of our development environments on Sametime 8.5. We use both Domino HTTP, a very nice Domino based web application, and Sametime. Unfortunately, we are seeing a rather large number of crashes on our Sametime 8.5 server. Are other customers or developers seeing this behavior?

We are thinking about backing down our Sametime 8.5 server to Sametime 8.02 in order to help with stability.