NOTE:  This is a "first impression" post after working with VOP for a few hours.  I didn't participate in the betas, so this is a fresh experience.

So, as has been announced on the interwebs today, IBM Verse On-Premises 1.0 (VOP) was made available for download today.  Part number: CNDG8ML  

We had some time today, so Chris Whisonant and I installed it and setup the integration with Connections.  So Chris did the Domino side and I handled the Connections side.  Here are my brief comments on my couple of hours in.

INSTALL:  Went very smoothly on Windows, no issues.  Install the Hotfix that enables Verse, copy some JARs to the OSGI folder, set some notes.ini parameters, update the redirect db design, mail design and that's it. One note is that while the documentation only advises to make sure mail files are indexed, it looks like if you already have an indexed file, you'll want to rebuild the indexes.  We ran into that on my mail file on the server.  The server will initiate a rebuild, but it looks like it may cause some errors in the Inbox until the index is re-done.  At least that was my experience.

Also, there is one URL https://server.domain.com/verse for all users.  So if you want to make verse the default, you'll want to update your server configuration.

INTERFACE:  If you've seen any slidedeck from this year, you'll know what to expect for the most part.  It's an interface that you'll recognize. When you login, you'll be prompted to allow browse notifications in Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

You get links to Mail, Calendar, People and Apps (links to iNotes, Notebook and ToDo).  Interesting note - Calendar takes you to the iNotes calendar, so it has not been "versefied" yet.  

The next "row" is icons for Inbox/Unread, Needs Action, Waiting For and then your Important People.  The Needs Action and Waiting for look to have lots of potential, I'll be playing around with that more.  Our initial test of trying to send an action to another didn't result in the message getting flagged in the recipient's mail. We'll look at this further.

SEARCH:  The "big" thing is the faceted search.  So far - working great.  You can drill down based on important people or perform a search and then you can refine the search based on time or folders. It is really nice - a big reason to check it out.

CALENDAR BAR: At the bottom is the calendar bar that shows your day in "blocks" where you have something scheduled and click on the block and get the details.  I like it, you can scroll through the day or from day to day. We'll see how much "use" I'll get out of it, but I like it so far.

CONNECTIONS INTEGRATION:  Integration was easy and simple to setup. Nothing installed on the Connections side, just some changes to the httpd.conf on the HTTP Server and a notes.ini change on the servers. Integration gives you photos and business card data.  Nicely done. If you have iNotes files integration, it will be available when composing a message as well.

So - in summary, for a 1.0 release it's looking pretty good.  Deeper testing will be done as I use the browser to access my mail primarily.

UPDATE:  Here's the link to the VOP Knowledge Center - it has the details on confguring VOP and integrating with Connections and Box.

Happy New Year everyone!

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