Wednesday Jun 19, 2013

In the Zone: Comparison of Solaris 11 and Solaris 10

Came across this good summary of Solaris 11 and Solaris 10 zones that folks might find interesting.

Sunday May 19, 2013

Oracle Communications: Cheat Sheet Documentation

Please welcome another of my Infodev blogging comrades, Brenda, to the Oracle blogosphere. Check out her typewriter-girl-turned-into-technical-support post.

Thursday May 09, 2013

Oracle Communications Customers: What Kind of Documentation Do You Need?

Oracle Communications Customer Advisory Board (CAB) Provides Some Answers

In reading Scott Miller's Road Trip! InfoDev Goes to CAB post, I was struck by one of the answers he got to the age-old question from techwriterdom, "Just what exactly does a customer want in documentation?" Answer: More info on "operations."

In my mind, when customers talk about "operations," they mostly mean this in the context of the operations end of the business: having a document that contains common administrative tasks for their operators on the corporate help desk, who need to quickly triage and resolve "operations" issues that come up. Indeed, the idea of creating a Communications Suite "operations" guide has long been in the back of my mind.

So, let me put Scott's question out to Unified Communications Suite customers: "Just what exactly do you want in documentation?" If your answer concurs with what Scott found out at CAB, that you do want something more along the lines of "operations," perhaps we should start a dialog.

Saturday Mar 02, 2013

What Scott Says

Welcome to another one of my Infodev blogging comrades, Scott Miller. Here.

Friday Mar 01, 2013

UCS Documentation: Not Letting a Good Idea Go to Waste

Does Documentation Need to Zip It?

Owen over at the Ops Center blog had a nice idea. He put together and uploaded a zip file of all the documentation for Ops Center, so that if you are operating at a dark site, or without Internet access, you can have a portable version of the docs.

I don't have enough personal experience with the UCS audience to say if you'd like this as well, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to pose the question.

Is this something the Unified Communications Suite community would be interested in having for the UCS documentation? If so, leave a comment and let us know. It's certainly a good idea that I don't want to go to waste if it would prove valuable for UCS.

3/22/13 Update: Based on feedback that I received, you can download a zip file of all the UCS 7.3 documentation (PDF format) here.

Wednesday Feb 27, 2013

Unified Communications Suite: Creating Custom Applications Using ENS

Choosing the Correct Event Notification Service Documentation

Recently we received an inquiry through the software forums about creating custom applications for Messaging Server dealing with message notifications. This started a conversation about the ENS documentation that I would like to clarify.

Sidebar: Event Notification Services, ENS, is the underlying publish-and-subscribe service available in Messaging Server. ENS provides a server and APIs for publishers and subscribers. A publisher makes an event available to the notification service. A subscriber tells the notification service that it wants to receive notifications of a specific event.

Going forward with Messaging Server 7 Update 4, you should be using the ENS C API as the simplest and most stable way to interact with events provided by Messaging Server. The ENS C API is documented in the Current Event Notification Service C API Reference page.

And so we come to a source of confusion. The documentation for the older style API is still available on the Communications Suite wiki, and so if you search for say, "ENS API," you are likely to find it. I would link to it, but I really don't want to send anyone there. Indeed, that page will be removed shortly so as to not cause confusion anymore. Just to reiterate, use the ENS C API as documented in Current Event Notification Service C API Reference.

I hope this helps move beyond the "clear as mud" situation that we sometimes find ourselves in.

Wednesday Feb 06, 2013

You Can't Beat Free Stuff

My Oracle Communications blogging comrade Leif Lourie is giving away free knowledge. Check it out.

Thursday Jan 31, 2013

New Blog: Oracle Communications Documentation and Curriculum

My manager and other members of the team have started a new blog--the Oracle Communications Documentation and Curriculum blog-- to talk about content creation and getting some real-world feedback to help improve that content. Check it out when you get the chance.

Friday Jan 25, 2013

Unified Communications Suite: Wiki Documentation Changes

As longtime UCS-ers know, we have been providing wiki docs for many years now. One of the benefits of wiki docs is that writers can and do update content more frequently than with a static documentation environment. While this means that documentation issues get addressed more readily, it could also present a small problem in knowing when a doc (aka wiki page) has been updated. In addition, you might want to know not only that the page changed but how can you easily spot that change? Was the change cosmetic or substantive? And so on.

In the interest of making this knowledge a bit easier to come by, and to highlight the continuing work that the UCS InfoDev team is putting into our documentation, here are a few ways in which you can determine when a doc has been updated:

    • Look at the page history.
      On any page, from the Tools menu, select Page History. You then see a list of versions, dates, who made the change, and (hopefully) a comment on what was changed. For example, here is the page history for the Calendar Server 7 Administration Guide.
    • Once you are on the Page History page, you can compare versions. Click the check boxes beside the versions you want to compare then click the Compare selected versions button.
    • A quick and easy way to see what pages have changed recently is to choose Pages from the Browse menu, then select Recently Updated. You see a list of recently changed pages for the entire wiki space. This list is convenient in that you also get a view change link that takes you to a Page Comparison page, showing the changes.
    • If you have a standard Oracle ID, you can "watch" a page and be automatically notified by email when a change occurs.
      To watch a page:
      1. Log in to wikis.oracle.com.
      2. Go to the page that you want to watch.
      3. Click the Tools drop down menu and select Watch.
        When we make a change to the page, wikis.oracle.com sends you an email.
    So there you have it. You now have all the info you need to stay up-to-date on our CommSuite wiki changes.

      Friday Jan 18, 2013

      Communications Suite Documentation: Wiki Structure

      From time to time, I get questions on how to find a particular piece of documentation on the Unified Communications Suite documentation wiki. So I thought it would be useful to give an explanation of our wiki structure and how to approach, at least on one basic level, looking for a particular document.

      In a nutshell, we have structured the Communications Suite documentation into two information buckets: "release-specific" content (Release Notes, New Features (formerly What's New), Installation Guides, and Upgrade Guides); and "non-release specific" content (Administration Guides, Developer Guides, Customization Guides, Tuning Guides, and the like). Release-specific content is always located on its own wiki space (in effect, its own web site), whereas the non-release specific content is always on the same "home" wiki space. In terms of URLs, what you have is this:

      Non-release Specific Content
      Release Specific Content
      https://wikis.oracle.com/display/CommSuite

      https://wikis.oracle.com/display/CommSuite7U2
      https://wikis.oracle.com/display/CommSuite7U1
      https://wikis.oracle.com/display/CommSuite7
      and so on...

      Thus, for each new Communications Suite release, such as Communications Suite 7 Update 2, we publish the aforementioned release-specific content on its own wiki space. The thought here is that customers appreciate having everything they need to install or upgrade a particular release in one location, and don't have to click around to get what they need. Nor do they want to be encumbered by other extraneous content that only gets in the way of the installation or upgrade process.

      Notice that the release specific content URLs follow the naming convention CommSuite<v>U<n>, where <v> is the major version and <n> is the update. So knowing that, if, for example, you wanted the release specific documentation for Communications Suite 6 Update 2, you now understand that you would use the following URL: https://wikis.oracle.com/display/CommSuite6U2. Simple, eh?

      On the other hand, when dealing with say, administration information, we made the decision to not publish a release-specific Administration Guide for each new Communications Suite version. This is different from other typical publishing environments, where you would expect a new Administration Guide to be published for each new release, even if little to nothing changed. Instead, in the Communications Suite world, you always go to the same guide (you don't have to look around for version x update y of the guide), whose URL remains the same. For example, the Calendar Server Administration Guide is located at https://wikis.oracle.com/display/CommSuite/Calendar+Server+7+Administration+Guide.

      So, how do you know if a change was made to a product feature and in what release, you ask? We use a versioning panel to indicate the introduction of a new feature, or a change to an existing feature. Here is an example from the Calendar Server Administration Guide:

      So, to summarize:

      • If you want release notes, and installation and upgrade information, go to the release-specific wiki for the release that you need.
      • For all other content, including administration, customization, developer, and tuning information, go to the "home" (non-release specific) wiki.
      One more note: The home Comms wiki space always has links to the current release specific documentation in the right-hand "Guides" panel. So that's another place to start looking for release notes, installation, and upgrade information.

      Tuesday Mar 16, 2010

      Searching the Communications Suite Information, or You Can't Always Get What You Want

      I still hear all too often that while the Communications Suite wiki is chock full of information, it is sometimes hard to find things.

      My initial reaction is, have you read Finding What You Are Looking For? You just might get what you need.

      Wednesday Dec 16, 2009

      Communications Suite Documentation: You Can Still Have Your Books and Read Them Too

      Recently, as I've been converting the Messaging Server Administration Guide from the docs.sun.com version to the wikis.sun.com version, I found that it was easy to put together a "traditional" book view of the information, with a minimum of extra work. Basically, wikis.sun.com  enables you to link to "pages" of information in any number of ways. So creating--or in this case, recreating--the view of the information by "chapter" just entailed creating a new wiki page and links to the converted information.

      So, for those of you who are used to the way we ordered the information in the Messaging Server 6.3 Administration Guide, you'll probably find this view of the information on wikis.sun.com  very helpful.

       Note: I am still converting a few remaining chapters, which is why you'll see the small warning image next to a few chapter names.

      Reminder: Going forward, we are updating just the wikis version, so it's a good idea to start referencing it more and more often.


      Wednesday Dec 02, 2009

      Communications Suite: Just the Faqs, Ma'am

      Reminder: If all you want are the Technical FAQs for Communications Suite, we've collected them here. And are continuously adding to them, so you might want to check back from time to time for new content.

      Indeed, since these FAQs are on our documentation wiki, you can add to this collection yourself, to help out the community. Many of you already have.

      Monday Nov 09, 2009

      Shocking Results

      Doc Exchange reports on the proof. Men, you need to listen to the Chairman more:

      Tuesday Nov 03, 2009

      docs.sun.com Does Recommendations

      This is cool:

      New on docs.sun.com: Recommended Offers

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      Reporting about Unified Communications Suite Documentation, including news, Comms 101, documentation updates, and tips and tricks.

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