IBM apparently have unlimited budget for renaming, re-branding products and acquiring analytics cloud companies, but  as we all know if you put in a PMR and it gets routed to the Philippines then you basically give up They no longer value support. Now it seems as if basic testing has gone the way of Filipino support.

While there have been some epic FUBAR's by IBM of late (renaming the Android Traveler app to Verse for example) this is a more basic problem. Installing their software. Now, I'm not talking about the all-by-uninstallable Websphere and Filenet stuff coming out of Lotus/ICS/ESS but something much simpler, IBM Mobile Connect (or Lotus Mobile Connect, or IMC).

Now this is not a necessarily a simple product to get working but the install was always pretty easy. Until I tried to install IBM that is. And it's obvious not one single person tested this before it was launched.

So here goes. When I install IMC I get asked what I want the SQL databases to named (in this case I am using MS SQL Server, which may explain why IBM doesn't give a shit....ignore the by-far-largest-install-base-RDBMS-system is always a good move right?). I already have a working IMC so I'm going with a new SQL database, wgdatanew and wgacctnew:

Image:Do IBM test any of their stuff anymore? IBM Mobile Connect installation woes

Nothing too special there. A simple text box. Off goes the installer and the SQL databases do indeed get created. A few minutes later it is time to configure the Gatekeeper portion of IMC (basically the GUI client for the uninitiated). This is where the issue arises as soon as the wizard starts you hit this screen:

Image:Do IBM test any of their stuff anymore? IBM Mobile Connect installation woes

WTF? The installer seems to think my MS SQL database is named wgdatanewSQL. Where the hell did the appended "SQL" part of that name come from? Off we go to SQL Server to check:

Image:Do IBM test any of their stuff anymore? IBM Mobile Connect installation woes

Hum, no, the installer created the SQL databases like I wanted. (begin outrage) So how did this ever make it through QA and testing? How? The only plausible answer is that is wasn't tested. I can think of no other way to explain this.

I could PMR this, but really, do I need my question asked back to me in 4 different times in emails over 4 different days by 4 different "engineers"? No. I'll just fix it myself and let IBM be mis-led into thinking they create great software and have a great support arm.

Dear IBM, keep this up and you will lose customers (in fact we've seen one go because of Sametime meetings and it's complexity, so maybe that ship has already sailed).

Anyhow, I did come up with a work around. Simply rename the SQL Database and prepend the "SQL" to it, but do this before you close the Gatekeeper wizard as IMC gets really confused:

Image:Do IBM test any of their stuff anymore? IBM Mobile Connect installation woes

After that "fix" I'm able to finally install and use IMC. Not to harp on a point (OK, I'm harping on a point), but how can something this simple and this bad be let out into the world?
Darren Duke   |   July 8 2015 07:34:43 AM   |    misc  lmc    |  
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Comments (6)

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1 - Carl Tyler    07/08/2015 12:15:45 PM

Funny I was having the exact same conversation with someone else yesterday about IBMs lack of testing. Testing is expensive, customers are cheap. Watson will fix it all. Also you mean append not prepend :)

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2 - Darren Duke       07/08/2015 1:27:56 PM

@1, Oh, I did. Now I can remove the last sentence of your comment so I don't look like such a wally.

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3 - Jesse Gallagher       07/08/2015 2:28:44 PM

I assumed your lack of grammatical testing before shipping the post was part of the commentary.

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4 - Darren Duke       07/08/2015 4:09:10 PM

@3, Yes, yes....erm....exactly. Glad you saw the ..... erm...... on purpose ....erm ...... joke.

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5 - Grant       07/09/2015 6:11:52 AM

It's various things like that, that make me hate IBM sometimes.

Simple things like why in the newest Notes client I can't have a DB opening and switch tabs? Why does everything freeze the main UI? Why can't I switch to another window when I have a context box open?

It's 2015 IBM, you had a good chance at fixing this crap with the 9 release 2 years ago.

But you're right, lets lay off the engineers so we can afford to pay millions of $ for a slight colour change in the logo.

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6 - Craig Wiseman    https://www.Wiseman.La/cpw    07/09/2015 8:57:07 AM

Cringely (as you know) has been tracking the self-immolation of IBM. I found this article had some good and relevant points: { }

"A few weeks ago I was on a Southwest flight. I heard one Southwest employee say to some others “planes can’t make money if they are sitting on the ground.” They all knew exactly what needed to be done and why. You rarely see that business awareness and focus in every employee of a company, yet it is common at Southwest. You don’t see it with most other airlines. Southwest knows the value in their service lies in transporting people. If their planes are not in the air, they’re not transporting people. Do HP’s or IBM’s whole organization understand the “value” of their service? "