This article describes new features introduced in the beta release for Lotus Notes and Domino 7.0, including information on Java 1.4.1 suport, the ability to remotely debug Java code, extended support for JSP tags, enhanced Linux/Mozilla support, poductivity improvements to Domino Designer, and the ability to use DB2 as a data store. Go here to download a free Beta version of Domino 7.0
IBM releases Lotus Domino 7.0 for Linux, Solaris, and AIX
Submitted by Shellie 2004-08-06 IBM 9 Comments
I have never met a happy long-term Notes user.
My own year-long exposure to it was extremely painful.
In its very early incarnations it provided a useful idea of a private intranet, but at this point I have no idea why anyone would adopt this.
I wonder if this product would be worth licensing with a FOSS. I have heard many complains about it being awkward to use and support. Perhaps these problems have been addressed with this release, I don’t know. But its possible that they would be addressed rapidly and this product/platform adopted as a global standard if it were widely available and fully integrated within future OSs.
Just a thought.
I should learn how to spell.
Yeah, well, that’s a difficult subject. Notes was revolutionary, and still only a few systems have caught up with most of its features. But it has also become old. The best explanation for its schizophrenic reputation is that it was and in many ways still is terrific for system administrators and developers, while the same architecture systematically prevents it from being terrific for its users. It’s cross-platform in a way that prevents the user interface from being native. And the whole design is clearly from the client/server era, which prevents it from playing well with newer peer-to-peer designs. It has also built up a lot of cruft over the years, which IBM will try to shed partly in coming versions.
“I wonder if this product would be worth licensing with a FOSS. I have heard many complains about it being awkward to use and support. Perhaps these problems have been addressed with this release, I don’t know. But its possible that they would be addressed rapidly and this product/platform adopted as a global standard if it were widely available and fully integrated within future OSs.”
This is the path IBM is following, slowly. Future generations will be rebuilt on top of the Eclipse platform. This way, they will make the basics open source.
Not sure I classify as a long term Notes user, but I have been in and out of it for 8 years now (Dual PCLP R4 and R5). R6.5x is nice, not great but not bad either. It is a far cry from my favorite development environment, but when I see Domino I don’t go running the other way either. It is a very good infrastructure to impliment applications that require fine grained access control to. If all you want is outlook style mail and calendaring though, you are wasting your time though.
As far as IBM open sourcing Domino is concerned, it is possible but I would think it extremely unlikely. When IBM first acquired Lotus they were not quite sure what to do with Domino, and from a marketing and development strategy standpoint they completely flubbed it the first few years. Now they are starting to come around though and taking it on with a much more aggressive plan. You have Workplace, a 12-18 month development cycle with at least the next 2 releases all ready planned out, continued integration (borg style) with DB2 and WebSphere, etc… There is no profit or advantage for IBM to open source it.
Just typical, you hear IBM scream the virtues of Linux, but like typical IBM, they fail to deliver; there is no client for Linux.
Well, to answer some of the questions here, I’ve got to say that I have had the pleasure to work with Domino ever since 1996. (OS/2). I’m not a zealot, because I’ve also used Qmail, Sendmail, and other open source projects. However, most of the Notes installs you can see there, are either not very well implemented or people are using it for mail only. To make it clear: Domino is NOT a mail server. The mail server is just another “task” in the vast list of ‘tasks’. So when for example, Microsoft released a “comparison” between Exchange (don’t remember version) and Domino a few years ago, the troll was huge. In the end, IBM said: Please Sir, Domino is NOT a Mail server, what are we comparing? Domino is a Documental Database, which, at the same time, outperforms your “mail server”.
So, irony apart, the truth is, given my experience, most domino servers are sitting “idle” sending and receiving mail. On some other places, complex applications were developed when it was clearly not the right platform for that. So if you know what to do and how to do something in Domino, it is a nice experience. It’s very secure, its architecture is very simple to understand, migration is a matter of “copying” a database, replication between organizations is very powerful, and so on. But the Client, AKA: Notes, is still a little bit “slow” and lacks some features a normal Mail client has. But the fact is, Notes is NOT a mail Client either.
Anyway, if all you need is mail, forget Domino, there are free alternatives that will do the job. If you need a Documental Database with LOADS of features, consider marrying with IBM and Domino. You may not be dissapointed.
Before trollying, read Domino/Notes Facts. Your mileage may vary.
In this new 7.0 version, there seems to be (at last) support for Relational Databases (DB/2 afaik). Which appears to be included in the product (or if you already have one you can use it). Having a relational engine available could boost Domino Development worldwide, because these days, relational databases are being used more and more.
Finally, regarding Domino as a Development Platform, I have to admit that I do not develop myself, but I know many developers and they are “happy” with it. (I’ve seen complex websites and applications written for Domino).
We’ll see what’s all this about.
Oh and by the way, the 1st thing they tell you when you start the lotus certification is (or was): “Do you see this application? (the guy was talking about a typical sales application with stock, finances, etc.)
Everyone said: yes.
Teacher: Well, this is exactly the kind of application that shouldn’t have been developed with Domino”.
Funny, isn’t it?
We use domino were I work.. It is a pleasure to work with. Not only does it scale better then all other mail/groupware programs, on a pure user level basis, its pretty impervious to most exploits on the windows platform.. Not sure about *ix, platforms. Anything that afffects our actual network, never has any bearing on our Domino infrastructure. Is it a pain to setup with custom apps,, sure.. but once its up it isnt coming down. But since it keeps getting more and more Java based that is changing. I like Notes/Domino and would recommend it to anyone looking for a groupware/mail/collaboration platform. 6.5.1 is fabulous and I cant wait to start playing with 7.