What is MarvelClient Automate?

MarvelClient Automate ensures everyone automatically has any application they need at their fingertips, thereby saving time and money for both for your IT staff and your end users.

Changes in your database and application landscape are automatically and continuously reflected in your Notes Clients. You retain full control with the added comfort of configuring everything in one place with minimal effort and cost. With Automate you can decide whether to manage all your databases or only a small subset – your choice.

This MarvelClient module allows you to efficiently manage desktop, replicator page, local replicas, and bookmarks – scaling up to tens of thousands of applications/mailfiles and users. Links to relevant databases pointing to the right servers are provided to everyone, while removing databases they cannot access. In other words, MarvelClient Automate is the way to go when keeping your IBM Notes and ICAA clients in sync with your Domino database landscape for ongoing operations, migration and consolidation projects, application sunsetting and supporting application lifecycle management, all with minimal cost and effort.

Oh, and by the way, any purchase or rental of MarvelClient Automate comes with a full version of SecurityInsider!

This functionality has been massively improved recently. Continue reading and find out how it is now even better at making your (and your users’) life easier!

The Basics

In a classic MarvelClient setup, you have to manage dozens or even hundreds of actions manually. Although this works fine and reasonably efficient when running on your Notes Clients, it takes effort and attention to keep it in sync with your application landscape. Each action has its own settings as well as execution and access control – great features, and worth staying on top of – but now there is an even better way: MarvelClient Automate.

The components that are involved:

  • A data store of all applications you want to manage
    Typically, you use SecurityInsider (formerly GroupExplorer) to scan all databases and sync this data into the MC Config DB. Alternatively, you can manually enter the data, or use another data source (some coding required). Ask panagenda consulting for help with any of those scenarios!
    This data includes the access rights to make sure each user gets just the applications they can and should actually use.
  • Action Templates
    Special versions of Desktop Icon and Bookmark actions, where the data from above is used to fill in database-specific information, when they are executed on the Notes Client. You can configure the rest of these actions as you are used to from their “normal” versions.
  • Category Packages
    These connect the information about databases and the Action Templates via categories. You assign categories to the database info. Then, the Category Package will connect those with Action Templates you choose. This means you can have different settings and positioning depending on the type of application.
  • Automate Actions
    Automate Management, Cleanup and Fixup actions run on your Clients and combine all of the above to deliver the desired result, persistently.

The Actions in Detail

Automate Management

This action is the core of Automate.

  1. Data Source
    Select the data source (usually the MC Config database)
  2. Categories
    Select the categories you want to manage. This happens via Category Packages – you create those before to define how a certain category of databases should be handled, which Action Templates to use, and where they should be placed.
  3. Select Server
    Select which servers should be used and in which priority order (so everyone gets the servers that fit them – e.g. their homeserver)
  4. Done
    Nothing left to do.

On every Client start, MarvelClient will download the information about databases, select the subset you wish to manage, and run Desktop Icon and/or Bookmark actions based on the specified Action Templates for each database in this subset. It will however, only do this for applications the user actually can access.

The end result is the same as if you had manually created actions and access control definitions for each of those applications – only it is far easier to administrate and also much, much more efficient! Change a setting in one Action Template to affect hundreds of applications on thousands of Clients instead of going through individual Desktop Icons actions by hand.

Automate Cleanup

It is used in conjunction with the Management action to remove all traces of databases in the scope of Automate that the user shouldn’t have including bookmarks, desktop icons, replicator page entries, or local replicas. You can choose whether to remove everything that has not been managed by Automate Management actions, or only those databases in the Automate scope that the user doesn’t have access to. As with the Automate Management action, you are in control.

This action can also be useful on its own for scenarios where you wish to retire applications and remove them from all Clients (i.e. Sunsetting) – for example in based on data you gather with panagenda ApplicationInsights.

Automate Fixup

This is a light-weight alternative to full-blown Automate Management. By just keeping in shape the links the user already has, but not adding new ones, you can ensure a smoothly running Notes Client. It works based on the same data as Automate Management and Cleanup, but with even less configuration effort.

Migration and consolidation scenarios are a particularly interesting use case for Fixup.

In Closing

MarvelClient Automate is the way forward in keeping your IBM Notes application infrastructure running smoothly with minimal cost and effort in a world of constantly changing circumstances. Whether you just want to make sure users get the right applications or you are running migration/consolidation projects:

Automate takes care of the details so you have time to concentrate on the big picture.
It just works.

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