Domino update effects tighter Web tie-ins

IBM-Lotus recently released Notes-Domino 7.0, the newest version of its collaboration software and the latest step in its plan to merge the platform and its Java-based Workplace initiative.

The 7.0 release focuses mostly on the Domino server, including performance and management enhancements designed so users can more easily manage and more cost effectively run the software.

New administration features include tighter integration with Web services standards and a Linux-based Web Administration client, as well as back-end hooks to IBM’s DB2, WebSphere Application Server and Portal.

Lotus has added client-side features, including its first effort at integration of Notes and its WorkPlace Managed Client, and updates to Domino Designer, including deeper integration with Web services.

IBM-Lotus has been developing the next version of its Java-based Workplace platform, which will eventually incorporate the Notes client into its Eclipse-based Managed Client framework. The platform will let users run their existing Notes applications, Java-based applications or a blending of the two.

Jim Tieri, IT director for Holland Co., which manufactures railroad equipment, says he’s not worried about the Notes-to-Workplace transition, having made the jump from Exchange to Notes-Domino. “The majority of the Notes development we’re doing is handled by our [systems integrators] and I’m entrusting them with making sure that the code, going forward to Workplace, is going to be handled,” he said.

In terms of performance, IBM-Lotus officials say Domino 7.0 can handle 25-80 per cent more users and CPU utilization is down 25 per cent over corresponding workloads on older versions of the collaboration software.

As well, Version 7.0 enables users to run a complete Linux platform, with Domino running on Linux, the Domino Web Administration available on Linux and Firefox as the browser.

Notes-Domino 7.0 represents one step along the proposed IBM-Lotus road map, including the next Notes client, code-named Hannover. The client will merge the Notes client with IBM’s Workplace technology and is intended is to give users a single client that can access messaging features, Notes applications and non-Notes applications running on IBM’s middleware.

“One of the reasons this is a remarkable release is that many people thought they’d never see it,” said Peter O’Kelly, an analyst with Burton Group. “Many thought Notes would be taken out in favour of Workplace.”

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