Book Review - Installing and Administering the Sametime Gateway by Chris Miller
This is the perfect subject niche for self-publishing. Chris Miller has taken his extensive experience in working with the Sametime Gateway product and packaged it up into a "consultant in your pocket" format. The result is the book Installing and Administrating the Sametime Gateway (A Consultant In Your Pocket Guide). If you are planning to install this product, I'd strongly advise you take a look at this book before you get started. It'll save you a lot of wear and tear on your emotions and sanity.
Introduction; Gathering the Required Components; Facing the Installation; Configuring LDAP and Security; Connecting Servers and the Sametime Gateway; Deploying the Sametime Gateway to Users; Administering the Sametime Gateway; Placing the Gateway in Your Network; References
First, full disclosure... I served as a second set of eyes on this project. No, I'm not a Sametime administrator by any stretch of the imagination. But I was able to go through, ask a few questions to clarify points, and do a little clean-up work. I won't pretend to be the most qualified person to discuss the detailed contents of the book. But I *can* tell you this... Chris lives this stuff day in and day out. I can't think of too many other people who have the level of hands-on knowledge of the product that he has, and he tells you up front what works and what doesn't. Since he doesn't work for IBM, you won't get the documentation regurgitated to you, either. The book takes you through the planning, installation, configuration, and implementation phase of the product, and with this book close at hand, you'll maximize your chances of getting it right far quicker than you otherwise might expect.
This book has also made me rethink the self-publishing niche. I always imagined self-publishing to be something that bad writers resorted to when no one else would publish their work. But the reality is, of course, far different. A subject like the Sametime Gateway doesn't (yet?) warrant a full book treatment due to the limited audience. But that doesn't mean that there isn't a niche readership out there. Self-publishing via Lulu.com allows a technical expert such as Chris to share his insight without trying to fill up 300 pages with fluff and filler. It also allows him to earn compensation for sharing that knowledge. No amount of promotion by a large publisher would make this book or subject a profitable project for them. But the self-publishing model allows you to target your audience with your own style of promotion, and you gain a *far* larger cut of the sales profit than you would otherwise. Generally, everyone wins here. The author gets paid and the reader gets targeted experience for a relatively inexpensive cost.
If I tried to rate this against the quality of a book from a regular publishing house, there'd be a noticeable difference. But given the target audience, the cost, and Chris's writing style, this book works really well. I'd love to see more Notes/Domino developers and admins package their unique knowledge in a format such as this. Good job, Chris!