Interoperability of Sametime – a never-ending story?

More than a year ago, IBM started to bother Sametime administrators and users with audio and video interoperability between Sametime 8.5.x clients and earlier versions. This topic has never been solved satisfactorily and it was on the administrators to find a solution how bring all Sametime clients (and embedded Sametime clients as well) at least to version 8.5 within a short time to minimize outage of audio and video functionality.

In my case, this incompatibility and additionally the missing support of Lotus Smart Upgrade on Windows 7 was a show-stopper for Sametime 8.5 (except the community server), so that we had to postpone the setup of Sametime 8.5.

During the last year we worked closely together with IBM to find a way to deploy the Sametime 8.5.x client within a short timeframe to all users – especially for Windows 7 workstations, where Smart Upgrade does not work due to a complete new security engine.

Now, that we are close to a solution (coming with Notes 8.5.3, Smart Upgrade is intended to work on Windows 7),  I was advised of this blog entry:  Notes 8.5.3 and Embedded Sametime – A Warning

This can’t be true! (but it is)

The Sametime client which will be shipped with Lotus Notes 8.5.3 will be version 8.5.1 and it will not support audio/video against a Sametime 8.5.2 environment due to the use of the so called Sametime Reflector for routing between different networks / subnets.

Reading the comments of the Gabriella Davis’ blog there is a recommendation NOT to use a Sametime 8.5.2 client against a Sametime 8.5.1 environment due to the same reason. I cannot verify this so far, because I don’t have a running Sametime 8.5 environment at the moment, but if this is also true, you will run in a really funny vicious circle.

  1. Assuming you don’t have Sametime 8.5 at all, your Lotus Notes client are all on version 8.5.2 and your users are happy about the a/v functionality. Now you plan to upgrade Sametime to version 8.5.2 and install all the stuff like media manager, metting server and so on. If you do so, you will loose a/v functionality until you manage to upgrade all your Sametime and embedded Sametime clients to version 8.5.2. This is funny enough, but what happens if you plan to upgrade to Lotus Notes 8.5.3 as well?
    Is the installer of Lotus Notes smart enough to verify the version of the embedded Sametime and does not overwrite the “newer” version? I hope it does, I never tried it, but I also know IBM ;-)
  2. Assuming you already have the whole Sametime 8.5.1 environment, use audio and video, you managed to deploy Sametime 8.5.1 in your company and now you plan to go to version 8.5.2. So what? Where to start?
    Upgrading the server first and loosing a/v for Sametime 8.5.1 clients or upgrading the clients first and loosing a/v or to make both at the same time to make it even more complex?

Again, I did not verify this behaviour so far, but these thoughts came up when I read about this issue and I would not wonder if this is all true. But what I wonder is, who at IBM approves such software releases and why can a software be given to customers with such a basic incompatibility?

Another funny thing is, that Notes 8.5.3 is not released yet and there are already many discussions about it ;-)

By the way, thanks Werner for sending me the link.

For my german readers, there is already an ongoing discussion about this topic at

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4 Responses to Interoperability of Sametime – a never-ending story?

  1. Steve Pitcher says:

    I had Notes 8.5.2 and Sametime embedded 8.5.2. I upgraded my Notes to 8.5.3 and Sametime remained at 8.5.2…there was no jump back to Sametime 8.5.1 in the 8.5.3 installer. :)

  2. Good to know, thanks Steve!

  3. Rajesh Boricha says:

    I upgraded my Notes client to 8.5.3 and My sametime voice stopped . My inbuilt sametiem client version is still 8.5.1 and also I have sametime server with version 8.5 .. Dont know whats happening.. !

  4. lagerfeld says:

    More interoperability troubles:

    Sametime Entry 8.5.2 is included as a free entitlement when you have enterprise client access licenses.

    Sametime Entry 8.5.2 is not supported on Domino 8.5.3, but Sametime Entry 8.5.2 IFR1 is supported on Domino 8.5.3.

    Sametime 8.5.2 IFR1 is NOT available as a free entitlement…

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