Thursday Mar 20, 2008

Comms 5 Documentation: New PDF Zip File Posted

Just to bring the Communications Suite 5 documentation story up-to-date, we've recently updated the Deployment Planning Guide, and Messaging Server Administration Guide and Reference. Accordingly, I've updated the docs PDF zip file on the Comms BigAdmin hub, where you can download all the Comms 5 docs at once. Here's the link:

Wednesday Dec 12, 2007

ZFS and Communications Suite Products

A Comms deployment gives a big thumbs up to ZFS. And if you missed the ZFS announcement for Messaging Server 6.3, here it is again.

Monday Oct 15, 2007

Communications Suite Documentation What If? Part Three

Continuing some thoughts on my previous threads (here and here) regarding the state of Communications Suite documentation, what if the Communications Suite docs were made available in wiki form, and you the community could lend your expertise to contribute to those docs, making them even better? Sound like a pipe dream? Well, as it turns out, there is at least one group at Sun doing just that right now. Have a look at how OpenDS is managing its documentation in wiki form. I think you'll be very surprised and pleased.

If such a move to wiki-based information were made for a product, my initial questions would be:

  • Could you live without having information in PDF books?
  • Could you accept some information that was labeled "work-in-progress?"
  • Could you manage to deal with legacy information in multiple sources/sites, for example, new information delivered via wiki, and legacy information on

As usual, feel free to comment or drop me a line.

Friday Oct 12, 2007

Migrating to Sun Java Communications Suite

We probably haven't done as good a job on communicating this to the world as we should have, but right now, you can migrate from other email vendors and groupware services (Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes, Novell, and Critical Path come to mind) to Sun Java Communications Suite and Messaging Server.

Some news on this front as well: GSS just announced that they can help customers switch from Lotus Notes and Domino to Comms Suite when they are using Microsoft Outlook as a client. And GGS is a Principal ISV Partner. Read the entire announcement from GSS.

Old news, but still good: Sun provides the Sun Groupware Migration Toolkit for such migrations as well. Indeed, I believe Telstra recently successfully used it in their migration. Read more about SGMT.

Sun partners can also learn more about SGMT from our ShareSpace site.

Monday Oct 08, 2007

Communications Suite What If? Doc Question

Artwork from Avatar Press

Hypothetical question to the Comms world. What if we were working on a new product and you had a chance to influence the kinds of information you needed to successfully plan for, install, configure, administer, and use said product. Would you be willing to share your thoughts, contribute ideas, and give us feedback on our plans? Again, this is strictly hypothetical.

There are of course, many ways to look at this. For example, you might suggest or rank traditional publication manuals, aka:

  • Deployment Planning Guide
  • Installation Guide
  • Release Notes
  • Administration Guide
  • Configuration Guide
  • Customization Guide
  • Online Help
  • etc.

Then again, since we are seriously thinking (hypothetically, 'natch) of potentially doing something very different in the doc space, rather than lock you in to the above traditional mentallity (which is just fine on its own), it would be nice to have thoughts and feedback on the other types of information and delivery sites that we currently provide, such as

as well as comments about Star Trek-like ideas, such as dynamically-generated documentation.

If your interest is piqued, feel free to drop a line or use the Comments section below to brainstorm.

Update 1:

One of my co-workers suggested, and rightly so, that a question such as, "If there's one thing you'd really like to see in the docs, that would really help you do your job better, what would it be?" would also be helpful. Conversely, you might also have the question, "What's been the most frustrating part of the docs?" If you find either of these questions pertinent to this endeavor, feel free to use them.

Friday Sep 28, 2007

Comms Suite 5 Patches: Stop Prospecting

In case you're wondering, here's the place to start looking for Communications Suite 5 patches:

I'll be attempting to keep this page as up-to-date as possible. In fact, I made a few updates this week.

Friday Sep 21, 2007

Searching Comms Suite Docs: An Oldie But a Goodie

I realize our own beloved DSC search engine has been updated recently, but I'm still liking this Sun Doc search that one of our writers put together back in May, based on Google coop. Give it a drive.

Monday Sep 17, 2007

Delivering Technical Information: In the Beginning Was the Typewriter...

Though I write specifically about Communications Suite products, it's clear that there's a general trend across Sun and the computing industry itself: Technical information gets served in a variety of ways nowadays. Not just limited to the traditional fare of product manuals, you can also have your info served up by email aliases, forums, technical articles, blogs, and wikis, to name a few. And where once the documentation chef was primarily the 'technical writer,' we're finding many cooks with all kinds of backgrounds stirring the info broth, forcing the technical writer to become more of an information manager than just the producer of books.

We in Communications Suite recognize that this new information landscape brings with it a certain confusion and Wild West atmosphere to what used to be a fairly calm endeavor (just go to the product docs repository (aka to find (if you can) the info that you are looking for.

My take is that publishing more information rather than less--especially when we recognize there are gaps in the product docs--is a good thing. Is this a problem? In general, I don't think so. I believe that the Comms community realizes that publishing venues such as blogs and wikis might not carry the same kind of sanctified stamp that a manual or an article carries, but the information is welcome nonetheless. An additional boon for customers: with these tools such as wikis and blogs, we no longer operate under the excuse of, well, it's too hard to push out new information to DSC between software releases. We can operate more in a continuous info release mode.

I also think that by putting information out in these less-official channels gives customers the chance to work on and solve problems as they arise, and to give the folks at Sun a chance to receive more feedback on where we can improve our information delivery efforts. And, where appropriate, we can fold in information from a wiki or a blog into the product docs, to give that information an official home and hopefully make it easier to retrieve in the future.

One valid complaint: how do I keep track of all this information from release to release? To help solve this issue, at least with tech articles and notes, you should refer to the Comms Hub Technical Articles tab, which now provides a complete historical listing of all our tech notes and articles. Part of my duties is to keep this index current and up to date.

Are we in the midst of a documentation/information revolution? From where I sit, in Tech Pubs, I'd say yeah, but it's a revolution that's still forming without any one clear leading movement. My hope is that customers will tell us more and more what works and what doesn't work--that is, we'll let the community drive adoption of the tools that are best at solving customer information needs.

Wednesday Sep 05, 2007

How Messaging Server Works

What jhawk says.

Wednesday Aug 29, 2007

Messaging Server Wiki: Most Popular Pages

Not sure what these stats mean exactly (reading tea leaves, anyone?), but here are the recent top hits on the MsgServerDoc wiki (excluding the main page, which was number one):

  1. Sending Mail Newly Created Internet Domains‎ [146]
  2. Spam best practices‎ [104]
  3. LDAP Failover [102]
  4. Messaging Server Versus Gmail‎ [98]
  5. Push Email Support‎ [94]
  6. What Browsers‎ [93]
  7. Customize Subject Mailing List‎ [89]
  8. Sender Rewriting Scheme (SRS)‎ [81]
  9. SPARC T1 Technology and Messaging Server Architecture [79]

Tuesday Aug 28, 2007

It's Not Just Spam Clogging Your Email Anymore

It's bacn.

BTW, if you're looking for a great Messaging Server list of anti-spam techniques, get it here. And another article of interest on preventing Denial of Service attacks in Messaging Server.

Monday Aug 20, 2007

Google News Alert for: sun java messaging server

Good thing that I subscribe to GNA or I wouldn't find out about these things:

Sun Microsystems Selects Synchronica to Add Mobile Synchronization to . Product Suites

Product Suites 20/08/2007 06:00:00 Business Wire US12328X1072 Synchronica plc (AIM: SYNC.LN), the international provider of industry standard mobile synchronization and device management solutions, today announced that Sun Microsystems, Inc.(NASDAQ: SUNW) has agreed to license Synchronica s synchronization and client provisioning technology for Sun s communication products. As part of the agreement, Sun plans to incorporate key components of Synchronica s Mobile Gateway for industry-standard wireless synchronization of contacts, calendars, tasks, and other enterprise data to Sun Java(TM) System Communications Suite and Sun Java(TM) System Application Platform Suite. The Sun Java System Communications Suite is currently used by 240 million e-mailboxes within leading service providers and large organizations for messaging and collaboration services, such as email, IM and calendaring.

Update: Better link.

Monday Aug 13, 2007

Communications Suite News Blotter

Nothing too hair-raising, just a few bits of Comms-related information to start the week.


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


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