Friday, January 11, 2008

USE_ST_IM and Policies

Summary: If you are unable to see the IBM Lotus Sametime server field in the Notes 8 local Location document, check the desktop settings Instant Messaging provider field. It must be set to IBM Lotus Sametime and NOT empty.

I had an interesting thing happen on our road to Sametime deployment. I was looking for the IBM Lotus Sametime server field in the local Location document of my Notes 8 personal address book and it wasn't there. I thought that maybe it had been removed in Notes 8. I was on the Pre-Lotusphere call with Chris and Carl yesterday and asked if it was supposed to be there to which they said it was. This started the investigation.

I noticed the field is there when viewed through the designer client and is hidden based on the USE_ST_IM environment variable and other things. Looking at my NOTES.INI file showed $USE_ST_IM=0 and $Use_WCT_IM=1. This would explain why the field wasn't showing. Then I set off on looking into how this variable was being set.

I exited Notes, set $USE_ST_IM=1 and $USE_WCT_IM=0 and restarted Notes. The IBM Lotus Sametime field was still missing. Looking at the NOTES.INI showed those variables had reverted back. This lead me to believe a policy was in force.

We have a Desktop Settings document applied in a policy and on the Basic tab is a field for Instant messaging provider. In our settings doc this field was blank. I would expect this to not have any affect on the desktop setting. I created a new desktop settings doc with the Instant messaging provider set to IBM Lotus Sametime, applied it to an explicit policy and then applied it to my person doc. When my Notes client applied the new explicit policy the USE_ST_IM variable changed to 1 and I could now see the IBM Lotus Sametime server field in the Location document.

The original desktop settings doc has been in place for a while and I remember being able to see the IBM Lotus Sametime field in my Notes 7.0.1 client. I believe the Notes 8 client is treating the Instant Messaging provider field in the desktop settings doc differently. If it is blank it will set USE_ST_IM to 0. Notes 7 ignores it. I tested this by removing the explicit policy which would apply the blank Instant Messaging provider field and restarted both my Notes 8 and Notes 7 clients. The Notes 8 client set USE_ST_IM back to 0 and the Notes 7 client left USE_ST_IM set to 1.

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