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Sametime Connect is the stand-alone Sametime client that you can use to connect with Sametime networks without using Lotus Notes for e-mail. The Sametime Connect client is as functional as the embedded client and is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
In this article, by Marie L. Scott & Thomas Duff, authors of IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials, you'll learn how to:
- Install the Sametime Connect client on a Windows, Mac, or Linux desktop
- Set up the connection to the Sametime server
- Log into and out of the Sametime Connect client
- Set up user preferences
- Install Sametime Connect add-ons for additional Sametime functionality
- Upgrade your Sametime Connect client
(For more resources on IBM, see here.)
Installing Sametime Connect on Windows
Installing Sametime Connect on a Windows desktop is similar to installing any other Windows software. In order to run Sametime your workstation will need to meet the minimum hardware and operating system requirements. If you're unsure about your hardware or operating system, be sure to check with your system administrator.
You'll need a copy of the installation software, which is typically a file that ends in .EXE. Locate the file via Windows Explorer, and begin the installation by double-clicking on the setup.exe file. After a language option screen, you will see the Sametime Connect client installation welcome screen to start your install process.
Click on Next to proceed. After a License screen (in which you select the I Accept option and click on Next), you will have the choice of where your install of Sametime Connect should be placed:
You will see one final screen to confirm you are ready to start your install:
If everything seems correct, click on the Install button to start the process. The Windows installer will run for a few minutes, and will successfully install the software in the location you have specified. Once it has installed, you will see a message telling you the installation was successful, and also offering to launch the Sametime Connect software for you:
Assuming you leave the Launch option selected, Sametime Connect will start and take you to the Sametime sign on screen.
Installing Sametime Connect on a Macintosh
Mac users can also install Sametime Connect. That's one really nice feature of the Sametime Connect client—you have options as to which operating system you can use. So if you use Windows at work, but have a Mac at home, you can still stay connected to your Sametime buddies. And as with the Windows environment, your Macintosh will need to meet the minimum hardware and operating system requirements in order to run Sametime. We've listed them here.
The following versions of the Macintosh operating system can run the Sametime Connect client: OSX 10.4.x and OSX 10.5. To install the Mac Sametime Connect client, you will need the sametime-connect.pkg file or the file specific to the version of Sametime supported in your environment. You begin by clicking on the .pkg file which will launch the Sametime installer.
Click on Continue to proceed through the license and language agreements until you reach the screen to choose the install directory. You can choose to install Sametime in a directory other than the default, but the default is usually a good choice.
Once you've decided on the install location, click on Install to proceed. If your install is successful, you'll see the following screen. You'll also see a Sametime icon in your applications folder on the Mac.
Installing Sametime Connect on Linux
Installing Sametime Connect on a Linux desktop is just as easy as installing Sametime Connect on any other desktop. We've included the minimum hardware and operating system requirements as follows:
You'll need a copy of the installation software, typically a file that ends with an .RPM suffix. Here is an example of what it looks like on a SuSE Linux desktop:
Double-click on the sametime-connect-8.0.2-1.i586.rpm file to start the installation. A dialog box appears listing the name of the software that will be installed, along with a checkmark next to it to specify that it's the correct item. When you're ready, click on the Install button to start the process:
The installer will run for a few minutes and come back with a message saying the installation was successful.
Once that is done, all that's left to do is to launch Sametime Connect from your desktop application menu:
When Sametime launches for the very first time, you'll see the Sametime splash screen and you'll be required to respond to the licensing agreement dialog box. Type 1 to accept the agreement or press Enter to read the license agreement. Once you have agreed to the licensing agreement, the sign-on screen for the Sametime Connect client will be displayed. At that point, you will have the sign-on screen for the Connect client, and it will work just like any other version of Sametime Connect.
Setting up the connection to the Sametime server
Now that you have Sametime installed, you'll need to log into it. You will have the Sametime icon on your desktop or in your start menu, depending on the operating system you are using. Launching Sametime will open up the logon dialog box:
A few essential pieces of information are needed to complete this dialog box, which they should be provided to you by your technical department, namely Host server, User name, and Password. The Host server field is the Sametime server name. As your contacts connect to this server, you can see when they are available for chatting by the status icons that appear by their names. Your username is normally the same name or user id you use to sign on to your Lotus Notes client, but you may have a separate user id for Sametime depending on the type of authentication Sametime is using. Your password is most likely the same as your Notes client id password, but your technical department should provide you with this information.
If you want to automatically logon when you start up Sametime, select the Remember Password and Automatically log in checkboxes. This combination ensures that you will automatically sign into Sametime whenever you start up the application. And while this says "automatically", it's important to remember to keep your password up-to-date. The password in the dialog box will require an update for your login to Sametime to be successful.
Once you have completed the dialog box, click on Log In, and if your login information is correct, your Sametime client will show you connected to the server:
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(For more resources on IBM, see here.)
Setting up user preferences
Sametime offers many features that allow you to create a collaborative chat environment that is easy-to-use and manage. Because instant messaging can be used in so many different ways, Sametime includes options for you to modify individual user settings so that Sametime works best for you.
- Susan works with different Sametime communities, including her work community and remote communities. She can set her preferences for how those connections are displayed in the Sametime toolbar.
- Chen is currently working on a project and only wants his status to display to certain individuals who are working on the project with him. Privacy settings allow him to choose who can see when he's online.
- Because he has additional emoticons or smilies that he likes to include in his chats, Sean can add them via the Emoticons settings in his Sametime preferences.
- Mariska travels frequently for her job. When she's in a different time zone or region, she'd like to be able to indicate that on her Sametime status. She can update her Geographic Location setting, so her contacts can see from her chat status that her location has changed.
You can customize Sametime to meet these requirements and more! To display the Preference menu, select File | Preferences (File | Preferences for Linux, Sametime | Preferences for Mac) from the menu options at the top of the Sametime Connect client. This will bring up the following Sametime Preferences dialog box. Many of these options don't require any changes, but you can make selections to customize Sametime to work the way you want at any time. The Preferences window is shown in the following screenshot:
The options are as follows:
- Accessibility - contains settings to make Sametime easier to use with screen readers for visually impaired users.
- Accounts - stores the login information for any Sametime add-on components that require that additional information.
- Auto-Status Changes - controls the conditions under which Sametime will automatically change your status (Available, Away, In A Meeting, and Do Not Disturb) or log you off during periods of inactivity.
- Chat History - controls how Sametime will save your chat transcripts for you.
- Chat Window - controls how the Sametime chat window will appear, as well as font settings, time stamps, and how certain keystrokes are interpreted.
- Contact List - controls how Sametime will notify you during certain contact list activities, as well as how your contact list will be maintained and stored on the Sametime server.
- Emoticon Palettes - lists the active emoticons, or small graphic images to help convey emotions, in your Sametime client. You can also add or remove additional emoticon palettes here.
- External Applications - stores the external mail application you use so that Sametime can communicate with it.
- File Transfers - controls where files transferred during a Sametime chat will be stored.
- Geographic Location - maintains geographical information about where you are as well as contact information about you. This information is displayed at the top of your Sametime profile and chats.
- Language - controls the language that Sametime will use for the menus and screens.
- Notification - controls the sounds that Sametime will make when certain events occur.
- Privacy - controls who can see you when you're logged onto Sametime, as well as who can contact you if you're in Do Not Disturb mode.
- Server Communities - contains all the technical information about how your Sametime client will connect to one or more Sametime servers.
- Spell Checking - controls how spellchecking occurs in your Sametime client, and what dictionary language should be used for the spellchecking.
- Status Messages - specifies the basic status messages that are displayed when you are in Available, Away, In A Meeting, and Do Not Disturb mode. It also controls if you are given the option to edit the status message each time your status changes.
- Telephony, Audio and Video - controls the microphone, speaker, and video camera settings for your Sametime client if you have those available to use.
- Web Conference Tools - indicates what tools (microphone, speaker, and camera) you have available for web conferences.
Don't be overwhelmed by all the choices you have for configuring Sametime. As you become more of a Sametime expert, you'll know exactly what options you want or need to change to customize and streamline Sametime into your very own personalized instant messaging client.
Installing Sametime Connect add-ons
Another valuable feature of Sametime Connect is add-ons, also known as plug-ins. Plug-ins are features you can install from IBM or other vendors that extend and enhance your Sametime client. For instance:
- Jessie uses the Calculator application on his desktop frequently, but it would be very convenient if there was a calculator in his Sametime Connect client so that he didn't have to keep two different applications running.
In this situation, Jessie is in luck as a company named Epilio has a calculator plug-in for Sametime. In the following steps, we are going to install that plug-in. These same steps can be followed to install any plug-in that works with Sametime.
In your Sametime Connect client, start the plug-in installation feature from the menu option Tools | Plug-ins | Install Plug-ins. A dialog box will appear, allowing you to select the option to Search For New Features To Install and click on Next.
From the Epilio website, we can see that the plug-ins are found at an update site located at http://www.epilio.com/stupdate.nsf/site.xml So we click on the Add Remote Location button, give the update site a name such as Epilio Plug-ins (this can actually be any name you want it to be), and then add the URL of the update site. Click on the OK button.
The resulting screen will show the name of the update site you provided, and you click on Finish.
Sametime accesses the update site and returns a list of all the Sametime plug-ins that you can select. In this case, we select the Epilio Calculator and click on Next.
Sametime will confirm that you selected the items you wanted, and you click on Finish. You will need to close and restart the Sametime Connect client when the installation is finished. After you log back into Sametime, you will now have a new feature in your Sametime Connect client—the Epilio Calculator!
Upgrading Your Sametime Connect client
Much like all other software you use, IBM releases periodic upgrades to the Sametime software. But fortunately, upgrading your Sametime client is extremely easy, and you won't lose any of your contacts or information.
How you upgrade your software will depend on how your technical administration staff chooses to distribute the upgrade. They could provide you with the installation file in which you would install the new version of Sametime Connect just like you installed it originally. The installation software will detect where the existing version of the Sametime software is installed, and will install the update in the same place, overlaying the old version with the new version.
The other method of upgrading your Sametime client involves having the administrators "push" the upgrade to you the next time you sign in. When the administrators use this method, they change a setting on the Sametime server that informs your Sametime client that updates are available. Those updates get sent over the network to you, and the installation occurs automatically. You don't have to click on any files or figure out how to install it.
The important thing to remember is that with either method, you won't lose anything that you already have installed. You'll open your Sametime Connect client like you always do, and you can continue to work just like you always have.
In this article, you learned how to install the Sametime Connect client using Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. You learned how to connect to the Sametime server and how to set user preferences. You also learned how to install plug-ins within your Sametime Connect client as well as how to upgrade the Sametime client.
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About the Author :
Marie Scott is the Director of Email Services at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. She holds a bachelor of science in biology from James Madison University and a certificate in information systems from Virginia Commonwealth University. Marie has held dual advanced certifications in Notes/Domino administration and development since version 4.0, and she is an IBM Certified Advanced Security Professional for Domino. Marie began working with Lotus Notes in 1996, and she has worked in networking, systems integration, and email systems since 1987. Her primary interest is in Domino administration in complex environments. She has managed large email migration projects including a project transitioning university students to cloud computing. Marie is a speaker at conferences featuring IBM/Lotus technologies. Marie has written for The View (Wellesley Information Services) and with Tom Duff coauthored IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User’s Guide (Packt Press, 2010). Marie is an IBM Champion for Collaboration Solutions: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/profiles/user/MarieS.... Marie’s blog can be found at: http://crashtestchix.com
Thomas Duff (also known as “Duffbert”) is a software developer focusing on Lotus collaboration technologies in Portland, Oregon. He started working with Lotus Notes in 1996 in version R3 and has written and maintained hundreds of applications in large enterprises through the years. He also holds Lotus principal development certifications starting at version 4 and going up to version 8, as well as Microsoft and Java certifications. Tom is a prolific writer, both in various industry publications and at his website, Duffbert’s Random Musings, at http://www.duffbert.com. He also is a frequent speaker at conferences and events focusing on Lotus technologies. Tom and Marie Scott coauthored IBM Lotus Sametime 8 Essentials: A User’s Guide (Packt Press, 2010). Tom is an IBM Champion for Collaboration Solutions: https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/profiles/user/Thomas...