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Communicating with IBMers and Lotus professionals using Sametime

QuickImage You can communicate with IBMers and Lotus professionals using Lotus Sametime. Chris Pepin had published the instructions how to do that long ago. However there is more than this one option.
Update: Thanks for all the comments. I've reformatted and updated the blog post accordingly.
  • IBM External Sametime Server: You need to have an IBM id, to get one register online. Once you have it, create a (new) community in your Sametime client (see below). Thereafter lookup your IBMer to add him/her to your buddy list.
    • Server/Port: extst.ibm.com / 80
    • Advantage: You can reach any IBMer using Sametime, surprise them.
    • Disadvantage: Availability is not production level
  • BleedYellow: It won't connect you to all IBMers, but to the Lotus community at large. You can register at BleedYellow, a Lotus connections site courtesy of Group Business Software (part of them formerly known as Lotus 911). Once you have your id you not only have Sametime connectivity but also access to a full Lotus connections experience. After authenticating you want to add 2 public groups to your client: "IBMers" and "YellowBleeders". The first gives you access to all IBMers who have registered on BleedYellow, the later to the whole community.
    • Server/Port: im.bleedyellow.com / 1533 or 80
    • Mobile/Web clients: stweb.bleedyellow.com / 80
    • Advantage: More than Sametime, choice of ports, larger Lotus community
    • Disadvantage: Not all IBMers are there
  • Lotus Greenhouse: is the test drive site for Lotus products. It allows to testdrive a lot of Lotus' latest software including iNotes, Traveler and Portal. You need to register.
    • Server/Port: sametime.lotus.com / 1533
    • Advantage: As Mark said: lots of IBMers there. One registration to try Lotus stuff
    • Disadvantage: Not a production level environment
  • Lotus Live: IBM's cloud offering for collaboration, Lotus Live features eMail, Activities, Files, Contacts, Meetings and IM. You need to be invited, have a trial account or be a subscriber (yes I know: the "buy now" button is missing).
    • Server/Port: im.lotuslive.com / 1533
    • Advantage: Production level environment, great for external communication (I love activities and files)
    • Disadvantage: Ultimately you need a paid account. Not too many IBMer there yet.
You might not want to use (or be able) a Sametime client to connect (your admin might have disabled the capability to add a second community). In this case you can use Pidgin IM which is an OpenSource, cross platform and multi-protocol chat client. Pidgin uses libmeanwhile an implementation of the Sametime protocol not developed by IBM. To add a Sametime account follow this steps:
Open "Manage Accounts" (Ctrl+A) and select Add...
Pidgin Multi Protocol
In in the new account dialog pick Sametime from the long list. It's quite impressive how many variations of messaging protocols are out there. Some of them are very local, e.g. QQ is mainly used in China. Pidgin account settings
The user name you use is your eMail address and the password from the Bleedyellow registration. On the server tab you specify im.bleedyellow.com as server. Then you are all set
BleedYellow server settings
As usual YMMV.

Update: Against better advice internet links rot and Chris' original blog entry is gone. So here are the steps (screenshots from the embedded Sametime 9.0, depending on your version they might look different):
  1. In your Sametime preferences, go and add a (new) server community. The preferences can be accesses using File - Preferences or using the little gear icon next to the Sametime search box
  2. Add your username/password to the screen and name (for you only) the community
  3. Enter the server name and the correct port from above in the server tab
  4. You can leave the Connection and Icon tab usually as they are. You might need to check Connection if your internal Sametime uses anything other than the default. Set it to Direct Connection
  5. In Options you specify that the community can be used for presence lookups
  6. Your new community is ready and shows up in your Sametime (sidebar) client
Waiting for your pings!

Comments

Gravatar Image1 - Can extst.ibm.com be accessed via Pidgin?

Gravatar Image2 - Does stext.ibm.com work reliably yet? IBM hasn't managed to make it work reliably in over 4 years.

Gravatar Image3 - lieber stephan,
wie ich sehe lebst du noch in singapur...wann bist du mal wieder im schwarzen riesen?
viele gruesse,
viktoria

Gravatar Image4 - Actually, the Bleedyellow.com environment is now operated by GROUP Business Software (www.gbs.com) not Lotus 911.

@2 - Yes, they are.

Gravatar Image5 - re; extst.ibm.com

I support comments 1 and 3. As an IBM partner with daily interaction with large numbers of IBMers it's frustrating this service is not reliable after all these years.

Adam

Gravatar Image6 - Actually EXTST has been fixed. Their is a bug in sametime causing problems with embedded sametime. Read my blog post about the issue.

{ Link }

Gravatar Image7 - { Link }

Hello Stephan,

it is not "stext.ibm.com" but " "extst.ibm.com".

As Carl said, extst never worked reliable and does not work with the Sametime 8.5. After my massive complaints to IBM upper management an update was planned to extst - 5 month ago. Nothing happened so far.

Who said elephants can dance?Emoticon Emoticon

Gravatar Image8 - how about lotus greenhouse

username: email
password: greenhouse password

server: sametime.lotus.com

Lots of IBM people on thereEmoticon

Gravatar Image9 - BleedYellow Sametime is available on port 80 as well (has been for a couple of years now...) :)

To reiterate what @4 said: { Link }

Gravatar Image10 - Notes 9 could not login to sametime server (extst.ibm.com). is it due to the following?
{ Link }

Gravatar Image11 - I'm on Notes 9 social edition now and my IBM External Sametime Server no longer works. It hasn't worked since I upgraded

Error = " User ____ failed to log into extst.ibm.com Reason: You cannot log in to the Sametime server extst.ibm.com because the Sametime client you are using is not authorized. Contact your system administrator."

Any ideas?

Gravatar Image12 - I'm on Notes 9 social edition now and my IBM External Sametime Server no longer works. It hasn't worked since I upgraded <br /><br />Error = " User ____ failed to log into extst.ibm.com Reason: You cannot log in to the Sametime server extst.ibm.com because the Sametime client you are using is not authorized. Contact your system administrator."<br /><br />Any ideas?Emoticon

Gravatar Image13 - extst is not a love child and ND9 authorization is pending in a work queue behind higher priority tasks. Patience is required. I'm not happy either

Gravatar Image14 - Hi Stephan
Found your BLOG entry useful, as a starting point. However, I believe it could be even better
If you added the following Connection details for the IBM SameTime connection details (they have been tested today with one of our Danish IBM reps.):
IBM External Sametime Server: You need to have an IBM id, to get one register online. Once you have it, create a (new) community in your Sametime client (see below). Thereafter lookup your IBMer to add him/her to your buddy list.
Server/Port: extst.ibm.com / 80
Connection Type: Disable Default, and choose 'Direct Connection'
Advantage: You can reach any IBMer using Sametime, surprise them.
Disadvantage: Availability is not production level.

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