17th May 2001
The number of users of IBM's WebSphere
product family is growing throughout Europe. Users are using it as a
powerful and useful tool that enables Java-based applications to
rapidly utilise their distributed systems. The WebSphere product
family runs on a wide number of both IBM and non-IBM platforms: this
coverage gives the group a unique opportunity to exchange experiences
across these different platforms.
This user group has been formed to provide a
forum that allows for the free interchange of technical information
on the WebSphere family of products. It enables the members to work
on common problems and share experiences. It provides a mechanism
that will enable members to request details on common vendor packages
and applications. It will not be a marketing channel for any
organisation: there will be no business involvement and there will be
no reason for members to share business-sensitive information.
However, there will be requests for members to give presentations on
various aspect of WebSphere and these presentations will be in the
The User Group is based in the UK and it is
expected that the majority of members will belong to UK companiesor
organisations. It is intended that the meetings will be held in
different locations throughout the UK to enable the maximum
participation at minimal expense. There is currently no affiliation
or connection with other user groups but, as the group grows,
associations with other groups will be explored. Also there are users
in other European countries who can participate in the meetings and
become members if they wish.
The group is a voluntary, non-profit making
To share users' experiences of IBM's WebSphere
Application Server family of products (including Visual Age for Java
and other development tools) on a technical level.
To exchange information with IBM and other
WebSphere family related product and service suppliers.
To review tools and applications that use
Membership is at the discretion of the
committee. Applications for membership should be directed to
any member of the committee. There are 2 discrete types of
3.1 Installation Membership
Companies or organisation that have
installed any of IBM's WebSphere products on any of the
supported platforms for the execution of their line of business
applications. Companies or organisations may have multiple
individual installation members but the committee reserves the right
to limit attendees from any one company or organisation at each
meeting if necessary.
Installation members have full voting
3.2 Associate Membership
Companies or Organisations that do not
qualify for installation membership. This includes suppliers of
service for WebSphere or applications that use WebSphere. It also
includes companies, organisations or individuals who have a
reputation for professional competence within the area of distributed
computer systems. They must have made, or plan to make, a
contribution to the exploitation of the WebSphere products.
Associate members do not have any voting
The User Group will raise the funds
necessary for its purpose by means of charging members a meeting fee.
This will be levelled against each meeting attendee. The rate will be
set to cover the cost of the venue and catering (with a mark-up to
cover administration costs), and may vary from meeting to meeting.
Meetings will normally be held 3 times a
year, in Februaury, June & October. The agenda will contain, at a
minimum, the following items:
Committee feedback (finance and requirements
User contact session.
The first meeting of the year will be
considered to be the Annual General Meeting at which the accounts for
the previous year will be presented and the election of the chairman
and any committee members will be held.
The agenda for meetings will be issued four
weeks before each meeting on the group website, and there may be
themes for the day that will be established at the earlier meetings.
The committee will endeavour to ensure that
meetings are held in venues throughout the UK to give members an
opportunity to attend locally. This is subject to venues being
volunteered and available.
Attendees must register prior to the
meetings, via the user group website.
Policy will be determined at the Annual
General Meeting. Resolutions will be submitted in writing at least 30
days before the AGM.
Each Installation Member will have a single
vote. These votes can either be by an attending individual or by a
postal vote to the secretary.
Companies or organisations which have more
than 1 individual member can only vote once to represent the
collective view of that company or organisation.
The committee will be comprised as indicated
in the committee section in this document.
Each committee member will be elected for a
period of 1 year starting from the AGM at which they are elected.
Members can stand for re-election.
All members of the committee will be
nominated for the position by the members and voted in to office at
the AGM. Nominations should be submitted, duly seconded to the
secretary at least 30 days before the AGM.
No associate member may be a member of the
Requirements will be presented at each
meeting. Voting will be via the website (subject to section 6.1
All members must be registered with the
group: this can be achieved via the group website. Registration is
not a pre-requisite for meeting attendance but all attendees are
encouraged to register at the first meeting they attend so that a
record of attendance can be maintained and the member company or
organisation informed of subsequent activities.
The committee reserve the right to refuse
admission to a meeting to anyone who has not registered on the
website if there is insufficient space (e.g. for fire regulations).
Failure to register may also mean that no refreshments can be
8. Code of Conduct
Members and attendees must:
Conduct themselves and their activities in a
professional manner marked with integrity and the spirit of fair
Refrain from engaging in any activities that
would violate the proprietary rights of their employers, the User
Group or any other person or organisation.
Abide by the Statutes and Policies of the User
Properly register and display appropriate
credentials at the Groups activities.
Restrict the use of the Groups documents and
other data to the defined purposes.
Members and attendees must not:
Engage in sales activities, including direct
or indirect solicitation or conduct any other activity contrary to
the purpose of the User Group.
Distribute any materials or post displays of
any kind at User Group activities without prior approval from the
Engage in any form of personnel recruiting or
use of the User Groups facilities or resources to assist in such
Use the User Groups name or membership lists
other than in the conduct of the groups business.
Any Member or attendee who fails to observe
this policy may be prevented from attending future group meetings.
Conflict of Interest
No member will hold any position of
responsibility within the User Group if there is an actual, or
potential, conflict of interest that would be material between the
member and the User Group.
Requirements are a request between the User
Group and IBM, as product supplier, that describe the need to change
an existing product or to provide recommendations for future
products. They will be a primary route for the input of information
to IBM from the group.
Requirements will be generated by members,
reviewed at the meetings and members will be able to vote on them to
determine their priority.
The requirements process and administration
will be the responsibility of the Requirements Secretary. The
process, where possible, will follow the currently established IBM
Requirements will be the property of the
User Group. They will represent a key element in the dialogue between
the Group and IBM.
The process for handling requirements is
broadly as follows:
Members submit a new requirement to the
Requirements Secretary at least 6 weeks before a user group meeting.
The requirement is published on the group
website at least 4 weeks before the meeting.
The proposer presents the requirement at the
meeting and members can discuss and, if necessary, amend the
The agreed requirement is then updated on the
website and members have 2 weeks to vote on it (via the website).
If passed, the Requirements Secretary formally
submits it to IBM.
This process is designed to expedite the input
of requirements to IBM and allow all members to vote, whether they
attend the actual meeting or not.
10. Special Interest Groups (SIGs)
The user group also exists to support and
encourage the formation of Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The
purpose of SIGs is to allow our membership to explore particular
areas of interest in greater detail than would be possible at the
full user group meetings.
The following applies to the formation
The formation of a SIG may be suggested by any
member of the user group.
No SIG shall be formed without the approval of
the WebSphere UK User group committee.
Membership of the SIG may be restricted in
numbers if it is felt that a large group would be disadvantageous to
the effectiveness of the SIG.
Membership of the SIG may be restricted to
Installation or Associate members.
Each SIG must produce a terms of reference
document detailing the objectives, membership qualification and
operational considerations before it will be publicised.
SIGs may charge to cover expenses but must not
exist as a profit making organisation.
SIG's must be responsible for their own
organisation and finances.
SIGs are expected not to arrange meetings that
clash with scheduled user group meetings.
The committee will be elected every year at
the AGM. The current positions are:
Below are the names of the current committee.
If you require further information do not hesitate to contact any of
The next sections detail the roles of each
of the committee positions.
The chairman's role is to lead the user
group and ensure that that it continues to serve the needs of its
members as an independent organisation. In particular:
To attend and chair all user group meetings.
To attend and chair all committee/planning
To organise and lead the Annual General
Meeting including the election/re-election of committee members and
changes to policy.
To own and maintain the WebSphere UK User
Group Policy document.
To promote the user group's activities and
encourage attendance at meetings.
To create and distribute feedback forms for
use at the meetings.
To liaise with representatives of other user
groups and maintain contacts with IBM and the user group membership.
To produce a 'chairmans review' of the user
group meetings for inclusion on the group website.
The vice chairman's role is to support the
chairman and to provide cover for the other committee positions as
required. In particular:
Chair user group meetings in the absence of
Chair committee meetings in the absence of the
Have a working knowledge of the roles of each
of the committee members.
Assist the chairman in promoting the interests
of the user group and its membership.
The secretary plays a pivotal role. Their
primary role is to act as the group's focus for all communications
and source of information. The major functions are:
Organise the venue & logistics for each
user group meeting.
11.4 Requirements Secretary
Take and hold the minutes of all meetings,
both user group and committee meetings.
Provide the focal point for external
Issue the invitation to the user groups
Co-ordinate the responses between IBM and the
Ensure any feedback after the meeting is made
The requirements secretary handles all
aspects of the raising, voting, submission & tracking of
requirements to IBM. In particular:
Develop, maintain and own the process for
accepting WebSphere product family change requests, from the user
Publish the detailed process on the user group
Maintain communication channels to IBM change
teams, via the IBM Representative.
Liase with submitters.
Liase with the Communications secretary to
publish new requirements on the website & manage voting
Obtain responses from IBM to previous
submissions, and present status at user group meetings.
The treasurer is responsible for all
financial aspects of the group. These include:
Handle all monies and ensure that the user
group remains solvent.
Manage the user group bank account.
Receive all meeting fees from members &
Settle invoices promptly, including conference
and catering providers and any consultancy services at user group
Approve all user group expenditure.
Report on user group finances at committee
Provide an auditted annual account statement
at each AGM.
The IBM Representative provides a key
interface between the user group and IBM. Their role includes:
To promote and support the activities and
initiatives of the WebSphere UK User Group by providing a single
point of contact to IBM personnel and resources.
11.7 Communications Secretary
Keep the committee and members aware of
WebSphere family products' trends and directions, and forthcoming
Contribute proactively to the planning of user
group events, in particular suggesting appropriate contributions
from IBM WebSphere development and support.
Identify and brief IBM speakers and
Promote the user group among established and
new users of WebSphere products.
Offer and organise logistical support for
The Communications secretary holds a key
position in managing communications with existing and prospective
members of the user group. They act as the group Webmaster and:
Maintains and updates the
Maintains the user group email contact list.
Liaises with the web hosting service provider.
Advertises and publishes the group website to
other sites & search engines.
Liases with committee members regarding