IBM to bridge Domino/WebSphere development

At its annual Lotusphere show next week in Orlando, Fla., IBM Lotus Software plans to unveil two projects currently under development that are designed to bridge Domino and WebSphere development environments and protect existing Domino developer skill sets, according to officials at the Cambridge, Mass.-based company.

The projects, code-named Montreal and Seoul, aim to address some of concerns that erupted at last year’s show when IBM Corp. revealed plans to standardize Lotus technologies on J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition). At that time, many Domino developers expressed fears that the Notes client and Domino development environment would become obsolete in favour of WebSphere.

Billed as part of Lotus’ next-generation collaboration strategy, the projects will give Lotus Domino developers tools to flourish in a J2EE world, a Lotus spokesperson said. The goal of the initiatives is to help protect the Domino developer skill set and applications as they move into a Java environment, he said.

Project Montreal will adapt some Domino Designer functionality to IBM’s WebSphere Studio Java-based developer toolkit, according to Lotus officials. Project Seoul, meanwhile, aims to provide collaborative capabilities in a component fashion for use in a variety of J2EE-based applications and business solutions.

The Montreal and Seoul technologies will begin to hit to the market later this year, according to a Lotus spokesperson.

Other themes planned to be addressed at Lotusphere include how developers can build blended applications on Domino and J2EE application development environments and overall messages about the use of common componentry across Lotus and IBM software groups, according to Ken Bisconti, vice-president of messaging solutions at IBM Lotus Software.

Lotus also is working to bring some of the rapid application development qualities of Domino Designer to the J2EE world, he said.

The messages delivered at Lotusphere will assure Domino developers that “they have investment protection in all the applications and skill sets they have invested in. What they’ve asked us for since we announced this J2EE movement is the ability to be able to leverage their existing investments and carry their applications forward. And they want to be able to leverage the skill sets they’ve invested in and leverage the same sort of rapid application development that Domino has been famous for in a J2EE type of environment,” Bisconti said.