My take on IBM Connect 2017

IBM Watson

IBM Connect went to the west coast of the USA, to the famous Moscone Center in the middle of San Francisco.

Last week I have attended and spoken at IBM Connect. Here are some thoughts about the event.


San Francisco

I had visited San Francisco for 3 years as end point of our road trip through the west coast. I found it and still do it a pleasant city. Not that all American, but with a bit of Europe. It is a very expensive city, especially the hotels.

I stayed at Powell Street near Market Street, a very convenient location between Union Square and Moscone Center.



At Monday I attended the OpenNTF Hackathon. The day started with an inspiration of Jason Gary, the new man on IBM Connection. He explained about the story behind Connections Pink.

Next, to my surprise,  I received the award of the ICS World wide Development Competition, which we won.

The actual Hackathon was for our team not very successful, but that can happen. It was fun to try to build an idea into a real application.


Connections Pink

In the OGS there I saw for the first time Connections Pink, it looks impressive. Good bye Websphere and DB2 and hello NodeJS and MongoDb. Modern tooling to speed up the delivering model, in the cloud and on premise.

Later on I attended a session of Maureen Leland an Martin Donnelly about the development possibilities in Connections Pink. Looks very promising both for non technical people and the power developer, LiveGrid and Important To Me, will be your friend. Almost everything is opened up with REST API’s. Good work IBM


Domino App Development

When I first hear and see the information about the App Development strategy on Domino, I was a bit disappointed. IBM will adds a few API’s to open up Mail Contacts, Directory and Database changes and for the rest they rely on 3rd party tooling for the modernising of the applications, like Darwino and Aveedo.

After some thinking I am more positive about this approach, with REST API’s IBM will totally break free from the IBM Notes Client. And I think that is a very good thing.

As front end you can choose what you like, XPages, AngularJS, React or what ever frontend framework. It is also a clear message by IBM for all Domino Developers, to take action. Go to learn Javascript or Java. As Stephan Wissel stated in his ‘Beyond the Designer’, go learn NodeJS, Source Control and Javascript.

With this directions it opens up so many possibilities it can be overwhelming. So look around which new technologies fits you best, but also have a look which skill is needed in the marketplace. It is a good indicator where to look into.


IBM Champions

As an IBM Champion you have a good visibility, not only on the big screens with your photo and quote, but everywhere. Amanda Bauman and Libby Ingrassia did an incredible job to feel very special. Kudos for both of them.


My session

I did my session at 8 AM on Thursday morning, not the ideal time, just after the special event. Before the session I was a bit tense, not nervous, and I had the feeling it went well. Received some good feedback. I hope everyone who have attended my session has the same feeling. More details and slides, see my previous blog post.

The Future

As a developer I think it would be a good idea to merge IBM Connect in one of the bigger conferences, like IBM InterConnect or World of Watson. I think the latter will be the best fit. You can still attend the sessions from the ICS track, but ,as I am curious, you can also attend sessions from other tracks which give you the opportunity to learn new technologies and widen your focus.



In 2,5 weeks I will fly again to the USA, to attend and speak at IBM InterConnect in Las Vegas. Looking forward to attend a very different conference with some very interesting topics. As far I know, my session will be at Wednesday 22nd of March at 2 AM.



twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrby feather

My slides from my presentation at IBM Connect 2017

Today I came back from San Francisco where I attend and speak at IBM Connect 2017.

It was for me the first time speaking at such a big conference. And I must say I enjoyed it very much.



DEV-1129 How Watson, Bluemix, Cloudant, and XPages Can Work Together In A Real World Application


The role of a human resources employee can be hard work when it comes to filtering hundreds or thousands of job applications. Often, the cover letters are submitted in unstructured formats, making data organization and identification of interesting job applications difficult. In this session, we will share a look behind the scenes of the award-winning HR Assistant application, which uses a combination of IBM Bluemix, Watson and a Cloudant database to improve the recruitment process. See how we integrate these different technologies and display the content graphically using XPages, along with how the development progressed and the challenges we faced.

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrby feather

Preparing for IBM Connect 2017

IBM Connect 2017In about 1 week I will jump on a plane and will fly across the Atlantic Ocean to San Francisco for IBM Connect 2017.

This time not only as an attendee, but also a speaker and IBM Champion.


My session

Who wants to attend my session, need to get out of bed early. It is planned on Thursday 23rd of February in room 2003.

The title is ‘How Watson, Bluemix, Cloudant, and XPages Can Work Together In A Real World Application

I will talk about our HR Assistant application and show the techniques we used to build and integrate it with Watson and Cloudant

More details,

The coming days I will do the final preparations of my session.


Since this week the IBM event app has been updated with all the information about IBM Connect 2017. Plan your schedule, connect with speakers, IBM Champions and other attendees.

When not yet installed on your mobile device go get it in the specific app stores


Looking forward to meet every one and see you in San Francisco.

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrby feather

Bye Eclipse, hello IntelliJ Ultimate

IntelliJ IDE

In Januari I started on a new role, Full Stack developer at Rabobank.

One of the developers in my team is a big fan of IntelliJ from JetBrains, so I gave it a try over the past weeks.

I must say I don’t miss Eclipse at all.

Currently I am running it on macOS, but also in a VDI of the customer, which runs Windows.


What is IntelliJ

It is a very complete IDE, not for Java development only, but also Front end development, like AngularJS, because WebStorm is part of IntelliJ Ultimate.

Lots of integration is already build in and if still need other plugins, JetBrains has a plugin catalog.

There is a free version, but when you want to go down the road the Ultimate version is your friend.


What do I like the most

Here are some things I found I liked the most, and I only scratched the surface.

  • Autocomplete when coding is much intuitive then you know from Eclipse. Makes coding easier and quicker.
  • Maven actions are easy collected in one panel, where you get a direct overview of all the Lifecycle action, but you can also create custom extension, like ‘mvn clean install’. If profiles are used in the pom.xml you can select them when package or deploy an project
  • Build in Terminal or CMD. Very convenient, no extra window need to be opened
  • Click on a Java class and a select the action ‘create Test’. It will give a choice which methods need to be tested and with which JUnit version. It will generate directly a test class, and packages in the test folder. Gives you a head start to write unit tests.
  • When running tests. in sidebar icons are visible to run the whole test class or only one method in this class.
  • The IDE identify new files or languages, and give you suggestions, what can or need to be done. For example I added a Docker file to deploy our Spring Boot application to Docker. IntelliJ made the suggestion to set up an Docker environment. Cool…
  • Build in tooling for Spring Framework, for me the defacto lately.
  • Build in database connectivity with SQL datasources, easy to set up via the settings. Which makes the use of PL/SQL developer not necessary anymore.
  • Really extended integration with Source Control Systems, like Git, with good visibility of all the branches which I liked about GitFlow in SourceTree.
  • I can immediately also develop an AngularJS application, without switching IDE.


For me it will be the main IDE and I discover every day new features. Admit that Eclipse can full fill lots of these features, but IntelliJ has taken it a step further. Which gives my a total IDE.


twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrby feather

First time speaking at IBM Connect in San Francisco

After a long period on the sessions waitlist, I received an email that my session is approved, in the end.

It will my first time speaking at IBM Connect/Lotusphere, so I am looking forward to it.

My session will be about the HR Assistant application, which was the winner of the IBM Development Competition 2016.

#1129 – “How Watson, Bluemix, Cloudant, and XPages Can Work Together In A Real World Application”

The role of a human resources employee can be hard work when it comes to filtering hundreds or thousands of job applications. Often, the cover letters are submitted in unstructured formats making keeping data in order and identifying interesting job applications difficult. In this session we will give a look behind the scenes of the award winning HR Assistant application which uses a combination of IBM Bluemix, Watson and a Cloudant database to improve the recruitment process. We will explain how we integrate the different technologies and display the content graphically using XPages along with how the development progressed and the challenges we faced.


Looking forward to be in San Francisco again, one of the best US cities I have been visited.

BTW If any want an $100 discount on the conference full registration, please contact me or any other IBM Champion.

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrby feather

Websphere Liberty Profile and external authentication redirect

At one of my customers I was busy with the upgrade their virtual development environment.

Current state

Currently we run Websphere Application Sever 8 inside Rational Application Developer on a not so fat virtual development environment. Which cause lots of waiting for the developer to deploy changes of the portal to the local WAS server.

We tried JRebel, but in combination with RAD I can say it is not happy couple. It caused have memory use and after a certain period a not response environment ;-(


New environment and a problem

So we decided to move for the development environment to the latest Eclipse version with Websphere Liberty Profile.

Benefit of Eclipse is a more lean IDE, where we can install SonarLint and Findbugs plugins. WLP for local development is also much more easier to install and much faster.

After I ran the migration tooling in Eclipse I had my server.xml, so that was easy 😉

To run the EAR files of our portals should be untouched, because on production we still use WAS.

The portals run also on JSF 1.2, so we load the JSF and the properties via commonLibrary on the class path.


Voila, one of the portals was running on WLP, which is using Basic Authentication, but……. the others using an external  authentication mechanisme. After successful authentication the user is redirected back to the portal.

This redirect caused a connection refused error ;-(


The solution

On the website of IBM I found the solution.

By adding host=”*” to the httpEndpoint tag, which tells WLP to accept all incoming requests.

The final httpEndpoint looks like this

<httpEndpoint id="defaultHttpEndpoint" host="*" httpPort="8081" httpsPort="443" />

Happy coding

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrby feather

My slides of my Cloudant introduction session at Meet IT

Last Wednesday Meet IT conference was held at IBM Client Center in Milan. I did a session about Cloudant and how you can use it inside an XPages application.

My session was in the Auditorium, a big room like a theater with good chairs, very good audio and screens. Was nice to it such big room.


A big thanks to Giuseppe Grasso, Daniele Grillo and Stefano Benassi for organising it. All well deserved IBM Champions
twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrby feather

I am an IBM Champion, again


Yesterday at MeetIT conference in Milan, Amanda Bauman, has announced the IBM Champions for ICS.

I am among the 123 IBM Champions in 2017, and that makes me very happy.

It is the third time after 2013 and 2014, but the first time as an Freelancer.


Thanks to all how nominated me.

Let see what 2017 will bring as an IBM Champion. One great event is already known, speaking at IBM InterConnect.


A special attention for 2 new Dutch IBM Champions, Ronald Dekkers from Acuity and Remco Angioni, my former colleague at e-office.


twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrby feather

My abstract has been accepted for IBM InterConnect 2017


Yesterday I received an email from the IBM InterConnect 2017 team with the message that my abstract has been accepted.

Wow, was stunned, and happy and a little bit ‘scared’……..

When the news is setting in, I was thinking of the next steps.

I already made the registration, next housing and flights. And of course preparing my slide deck

My session will be about our HR Assistant application we build for the ICS Development Competition, with a deep dive in the code and lessons learned.


Hope to see you in Las Vegas…..

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrby feather

Special page for my open source projects

Tonight I thought it would be a good idea to create a special page at my side with links of all my open source projects.

You can find them here or at the bottom of my homepage.

twittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrby feather