"reached 2,000 people"
My goodness - That's almost a whole ... village!
My goodness (2) - When I saw the heading I had to look at my watch to see what century we are in.
IBM and HCL have outlined their plans for the Notes/Domino portfolio that the former offloaded to the latter last year. Since announcing that HCL would take over development of IBM's collaborationware, the two companies have conducted a long listening tour that saw them stage 22 meatspace meetings and four online forums. The …
HCL is the prequel to IBM? (Think about it.)
A friend inside the Blue Pig told me that after certain products have evolved to a certain level, less and less work is done on them... Its at this point where the annual licensing fees are almost pure profit. Low maintenance / bug fix costs, Lower support costs, ride out the user base until they migrate to a new platform. For some of these products, its a lot of dough. So HCL is smart in buying certain products and then refurbishing them in a 'partnership w IBM' because IBM is still selling the license and managing the accounts for a share of the profits.
In terms of mail ... Can you list all of the paid for Enterprise grade email solutions out there?
Notes? Gmail (hosted) , Microsoft (hosted) and Exchange Servers ... and that's about it unless you want to go Postfix / Dovecot (the most secure solution) [FOSS]
Notes refresh could be a good idea if they do it right. And that's the question.
Can HCL do it 'right' ? Who knows....
GroupWise still exists (and there's a 2018 version) and it still scales a lot better than Exchange, has the same feature set, and has been able to be upgraded in place since the year dot. Biggest weakness, "no one ever got fired for choosing Microsoft".
C > B (think about it)
But, yeah, after occasionally enduring the lobotomized search functions of local Outlook at corporate sites, I definitely pine for Gmail's capabilities. Very 90's technology, esp when used in lieu of proper requirements documentation.
In comparison, my hazy memories of long years using Notes for emails and specs were nowhere as bad as Outlook. I rather doubt IBM can do much mass usage software right, but that's not saying they don't have an opportunity (that they'll probably squander).
Plus, isn't it common in discussions about Linux adoption for commentards to say that the one item saving MS's bacon is the lack of Exchange alternatives? Could a revamped Notes, possibly with much new functionality, step in? That's a straight question: I don't enough about either's function to have a clue whether Notes is relevant in that space.
I haven't used it in about a decade, but I can remember when it was cc:mail.
When Lotus and then IBM took it over, it became a bloated, slow mess. I remember using it at a customer in 2001, we had Exchange and Outlook and it was relatively fast, even over a modem connection, on the other hand, on a local Ethernet connection, Notes took ages to open up view windows and most user opened their Email view and never looked at anything else.
I then used it again around 2010 and its performance hadn't really improved...
I don't know whether both clients somehow managed to misconfigure their servers and clients, but I never saw an installation that worked in "real time", as opposed to feeling like I was waiting for batch jobs with low priority to be run in the background.
Yep, entirely different but in the IBM world Notes was offered as the "upgrade path" from ccMail.
The interesting thing about Notes was that if you had a Notes "evangalist" in the company you would find pockets of little Notes based apps all over the place doing clever (and sometimes not so clever) little things under the radar. Long time back in a company I worked for that led to a lot of difficulties when Notes was to be phased out because there was no easy replacement for what those apps did.
> if you had a Notes "evangelist" in the company you would find pockets of little Notes based apps all over the place doing clever (and sometimes not so clever)
Yeah, we had one of those. "Sometimes not so clever"? In fact, usually not so clever, we found.
> ... because there was no easy replacement for what those apps did
Our experience was that the main difficulty was in finding out what they did (what they were meant to do was often somewhat different), so they could be ported to an actually-supported system.
I was a Groupwise admin for 15 years, then migrated to Office365. Never used Notes in the least. For on-prem, Groupwise was hard to beat (at least through 2012 when we jumped ship) - it was fast, took care of its own databases pretty reliably, and was easier to maintain and upgrade than what I'd read about Exchange. But lack of integration with desktop apps (ie - "it's not Outlook"), and Novell self-destructing, eventually forced even me to say "we need to move". As an admin, the biggest benefits I found in O365 were the deep Powershell abilities (we won't talk about EWS, though), and the fact I never have to add another drive to the storage array.
fine, as long as Office 365 is taken out at the same time especially the [redacted][redacted] for Sharepoint.
Before my job went to India, we had more issues with Sharepoint than anything else.
It was WORN
Write Once Read Never
Apparently and with a team three times the size as we had they still can't get it to work properly.
Spending days working on my allotment or in my 'shed' making things is a far nicer life than sorting Office shite.
Is it fair to blame Office 365? Has Sharepoint ever worked? I've used it (well tried to use it) a couple of times in my career - and don't recall it every actually working for more than a week. You either couldn't save files - or were forced to save a duplicate or couldn't open them. Or all of the above. I'd rather use Dropbox. Or just print all my spreadsheets out and pin them to a noticeboard...
Sharepoint's a funny thing - well, as long s you dont need to use it.
One of MSes response to all that trendy open source wiki stuff.
'Quick Steve, lets do something or all the kids will be using LAMP'
Absolutely monster of a fucking a product whcih seems to try and get as many of MSes expensive servery products into the 'solution'.
SharePoint (and Dynamics) are both huge steaming piles. Microsoft doesn't seem to know how to write customizable software, you always end up writing around half of it and it takes more time that if you write an entire web app to do the same job. Not only that, the results are pretty much always sub-par.
And it really shows, the only companies that use SharePoint are ones big enough that they don't care about throwing vast sums of money at it. You need an entire team to maintain the thing, what's the point of that?
Not long after I started my current job, I was actually asked to look into using sharepoint as a platform for file versioning/"cloud" syncing. It did not go far, and I eventually convinced them that it was about as broken of a system as their existing network storage equipment... a USB stick stuck in the back of a consumer gateway router. Went on to repurpose one of two desktop computers in our entire company, which was being thrown out, to serve us via Samba... and an actual hard drive -______-
My company used to use Notes for an extensive Quality Management System. It ticked the necessary functionality boxes, but it was utterly abysmal experience to actually use it, and I mean really ****ing terrible. I'm not keen on the prospect of it returning.
They're currently rolling out Sharepoint and Onedrive, and we're told that this will 'replace all network drives'... I find this all rather terrifying, especially as there's no explorer integration planned for it yet!
"And it really shows, the only companies that use SharePoint are ones big enough that they don't care about throwing vast sums of money at it. You need an entire team to maintain the thing"
That's not accurate - I have worked for circa 20 SMEs that used SharePoint. How do you need a team to manage it? You just set up your templates / site for your departments (for the current Asset Manager i'm at with ~ 500 users it took a guy with a bit of website experience about 2 hours to get it up and running with portals for each department and a home page.) and then you just let it run. Microsoft manage the backend so you never have to touch it. It just works.
Holy crap am I ever glad the company I work for experienced a management change a while back... we were headed down that dark path... These days, we're still trying to debride latent Sharepoint/OneDrive/DropBox injuries... they seem fine for light individual use (and more importantly, sharing data with clients), but there's not way in hell I'm going to spend most of my time as the sole IT guy fixing stupid sync and CPU-spinning issues.
It was also garbage 17 years ago when I started using it, and three years ago when I stopped. So we have several data points.
Who would consider a renewed Notes environment? We are an Exchange house, we are migrating to Win10, moving into O365, Exchange integrates with our Office Apps, One Drive,.. etc etc. Notes has a lot to do, to integrate and replace all that functionality, and even if it could, why would we?
Ah, the Interface Hall of Shame. I love that site. It's a pity that nobody seems to be updating it and all of the examples are really quite old now.
We are surrounded by a relentless tide of utterly crap user interfaces from washing machines(*) to web pages and "user experience" designers could learn a lot.
(*) Don't get me started. My machine has a set of flush black buttons arranged on a smooth black background. When you eventually find the "start" button and press it, you are not sure whether you really did because the travel of the button is miniscule. It feels like you are pressing on a hard panel. Fortunately, an indicator lights up and the display shows the washing time still to go. Has it started? Has it buggery. To actually get it started you have to press and hold the same black button for about 5 seconds until you hear a click. Even then you are not sure and you end up waiting until you can hear the water filling the machine. The result is either you come back an hour later and the machine hasn't run or you end up waiting 30 seconds each time you start it. Utter, utter crap.
Just replaced a Bosch machine by a Samsung. On the Bosch you couldn't tell if the timer had been set or not, there was no indication. Every night I'd set the timer, put away the soap and then set the timer again in case I'd forgotten the first time. The Samsung, however, has a very clear and obvious control panel. It can be done.
Oh you bastard! Lotus "Smart Suite" came pre-installed on my 2nd PC - Windows 98. And I'd forgotten that UI.
[Vision swims in teary nostaligia] Remember the days when tooltips were couched as little friendly yellow speech bubbles. And all buttons were grey, and square, on a grey background, with darker grey writing, dark grey lines round them and horrible clip-art icons. [whimpers] The horror! The horror! The horror!
To deal with all the luddites using it, the UI metaphor was that Smart Suite was a filing cabinet. All nice and friendly. So you clicked on the application you wanted, out of a weird sideways list and it went zooming across the screen, opening a drawer, with all the icons you needed inside it.
And people complain about the Ribbon in MS Office...
I'll be the one whimpering quietly in the corner. Carry on.
Notes and Domino certainly did have the edge over Microsoft back in the day. However, things have moved on drastically.
The main problem that IBM are going to hit, where I'm sitting, is that Microsoft now have everything so tied together in a licensing bundle, that trying to replace Outlook/Exchange is going to be like trying to replace Word/Excel.
They're going to have to come to businesses with a whole solution, operating system, office suite, e-mail, browser ... for anyone to be able to consider jumping from their MS licensing... because the only way to actually make it worth the expense, is to ditch MS completely... which is no small ask. Are they planning to bring back OS/2 as well, perchance?
They're going to have to come to businesses with a whole solution, operating system, office suite, e-mail, browser
That wouldn't take much (if they had competent architects and devs) because the Lotus productivity apps were actually pretty reasonable, and in some ways far better than the MS stuff. I suspect any development by HCL will be like most offshore code shops: vast code bloat and lots of errors.
However, no matter how much they update Notes and the productivity apps, no matter if it lean and error free, they've missed the boat. If companies want to pay the Microsoft tax for reasonable levels of compatibility, that's what they do. If they don't want to pay the tax and will accept some kludge then they either use Google apps, or Libre Office (with or without Linux). Nobody is going to lock themselves into a new expensively licensed suite & middleware (sorry!) solution. Why take the risk for precisely zero gain?
No. I tried to use SmartSuite as a (cheaper) alternative to Office - it wasn't. Especially WordPro as a nightmare full of bugs. They also got a lot of the Notes ugly UI.
They became so blinded by the early success of Notes, that ignored and then crushed the other products. And as soon as MS released Outlook/Exchange, they lost that market too.
Google Apps is not free for businesses - and it's still a proprietary solution. At 25$ per month per user (to match Exchange/Notes features) it's not exactly cheap.
There are still companies that for several reason find these products appealing - but the products have to deliver.
It's worse even than that. Not only will IBM/HCL need to offer the whole stack BUT it will have to interact seamlessly with the MS offerings, because of the legacy factor. With MS being able to alter the underpinnings of everything they do at will, nobody will be able to offer seamless integration.
So looks like I'm the only one who likes it... We still use it (v9) but not for most user's email due to global standards. The client is fast, much faster that Outlook 2016 and the only real downside is that client replication for offline mode doesn't really hack it. But then for an increasing number of our users cached mode in Exchange fails so no difference really! If on site then two single core servers cover up to 1000 users with HA VS four multi core Exchange to only give DR. I do hate IBM licensing sharks though so perhaps it should die after all...
" But then for an increasing number of our users cached mode in Exchange fails "
Doesn't here with 10,000+ of them. What does Microsoft say?
"If on site then two single core servers cover up to 1000 users with HA VS four multi core Exchange to only give DR"
I don't think you will match the capability and throughput of quadcore exchange servers. Also 2 Exchange servers would give you HA. See:
Also Exchange can also use JBOD, whereas Notes usually requires extremely high IOPS disks for any usable performance.
"If on site then two single core servers cover up to 1000 users with HA VS four multi core Exchange to only give DR"
No, 4 Exchange servers would give you both DR and HA and local resilience across 2 sites, and a lagged database copy if desired:
I can't tell if IBM has learned anything here. It smacks of the usual IBM mess -- throw good money after bad, by deluding yourself about the problem.
The fundamental problem with Notes is that for all the talk of it being collaboration software, 80-95% of its use is as an E-mail client, and it is a bloated, slow, generally horrid E-mail client. It sucks at the one function its users will employ every single dreary day of their lives as office drones.
But IBM has turned it over to HCL, so they aren't rolling the dice with their own money anymore. That seems to be something of an improvement. They've moved on to ruining other companies' businesses rather than merely their own. That has to count for something. But the story is still dismally familiar.
I remember back in the day 20 years ago, when Outlook was a slow, bloated, crash-happy mess. Well OK it still was 15 years ago too. Especially if you wanted to have more than 10 emails stored in your .pst file. I still don't like it all that much, but its far better than it used to be and crashes very rarely nowadays. Email search even almost works properly nowadays...
I'm sure there's still plenty of kludge beneath the surface, but at least with modern PCs with power and memory to spare it's now OK. Sad if Notes hasn't achieve at least this.
IBM must have jumped for joy when they found a sucker like HCL to take over the creaking hulk that is Notes.
HCL must have secretly smirked when they took over a product with which a large corporation had developed hundreds of legacy apps which were impossible to replace. Just ripe for a CA type license mugging.
IBM must have contemplated jumping from the roof when they realised that they were that large corporation.
well good luck with that...
a) The days of the one size fits all application has gone. What people want now is different tools, but better data integration.
b) A UI that wasn't designed by a intern on a window 95 machine would be nice
c) Is there really anything that lotus notes does which could not be replaced with a LAMP stack and a Node.js server at less cost
In the end, despite its power most people only used it as a glorified email client, which it sucked at (even compared to Exchange, which is saying something). Be better off, ditching Notes, create a better exchange (not hard) and call it Note-next-gen or something and provide some sort of import utility
"That jump has to wait until version 11 of the platform, which seems set to score all the big buzzwords of 2018: artificial intelligence, machine learning and analytics all scored mentions as being under consideration."
Well they are not planning to put email on a blockchain, or launch an initial coin offering for mailcoins, ie postage stamps.
I remember about 20 years ago my Dad brought home a shiny new laptop from work. I had a go on it and couldn't believe how fast it was especially in comparison to the home PC we'd had a couple of years at that point.
About a week later I tried it again. Lotus Notes had been installed. It was slower and came up with all this crap on startup.
I said, "Dad, what's this Lotus Notes thing?" and his honest reply was - "son, I've got no idea". Nobody in their company did, and none of them cared enough to find out. I think they used it for many years, even when people were demonstrating better ways of doing tasks they were supposed to use it for. The mindset was always "it will work, trust us, it will work". It never gave exactly the results they were after.
Some things are better left in the past.
I use Notes at work and it is truly appalling. I have been objective and built a list of its faults which currently has 120 entries.What is the worst? Maybe that I cannot read webmail on my smartphone because most on my email is filtered into folders and Notes actively prevents you from reading them.
Started using Lotus Notes before they were taken over by IBM, back when the only supported server platform was OS/2. It was used in-house for running various internal databases for the support, sales and admin departments, and we also did some development work for elsewhere.
My general experience was that it was fine for certain types of database which required just a few users, but bad for implementing E-mail; the latter confirmed by discovering the arcane process that ran nightly to purge attachments from deleted E-mails.
At one point my workplace developed an intranet produce that used the web-server component of Notes to serve documents internally, with a few third-party libraries thrown in for document conversion. The Notes web-server was singled threaded back then, and the search mechanism, whilst thorough, was somewhat slow, resulting in the server being potentially unavailable for minutes whilst handling a search query.
I can also recall other quirks, such as embedded Word attachments gaining the page dimensions of the form that they were embedded in when printed, which caused no end of fun with some printers.
We still use Notes for internal databases that are essentially places to put documentation and attach files. I'd first run into LN at my first company. My first impression was that it's fine middleware for databases like the above but a horrible mail client. My current company finally dumped LN email altogether and went to Google Mail about a year ago.
LN mail at my current site would silently and without warning wipe out blocks of mail. An entire week would disappear and never to return. It also had weird problems with cut and paste and could hang for minutes with no warning.
Vendor support? They would blame our site after a few weeks of being glad handed and repeated running through the same help desk scripts over and over again. IBM tried to convince damagement that they were developing a new version and that prolonged the agony by a few years.
I actually loved Lotus 1-2-3 but the current damagement always went for Excel. The one good product Lotus had that I swore by was Lotus Organizer. That never got improved past 2001 and eventually got replaced by WinOrganizer which is now free and no longer supported. But it works better than Lotus Organizer ever did. I suppose once WinOrganizer/Golden Sections stops working on Windows platforms, I'll have to go to something else like CherryTree. But as of now, WinOrganizer is still my database of choice for secure notes and documentation on an individual level.
IBM, like CA and likely HCL is a place where decent software goes to die.
We needed a document workflow tool. Documents could be generated, passed along, signatures added, and all under control. The downside was Domino running on Windoze. (The Lotus FE told me that the most stable Domino platform was Solaris/Sparc and Solaris/Intel was next.)
Once upon a time, a long time ago......I worked for a "Big Six" consulting firm. I got some Notes training, and it looked pretty good. Then I tried to find out about the Notes databases available as implemented by my company. There were HUNDREDS of them. Some sounded quite useful. But every one had a different administrator and needed a different signon and password. In the end I gave up.
Given the right problem. Except at email, it was horrible for that. But at $PREVIOUS_JOB 15-odd years ago we built a document management system on it which is still more effective than anything I've seen since (admittedly I now work for UK.GOV so it's entirely possible our problems implementing a sane document management system are - ahem - not technical). And our sales force had all kinds of little product databases and whatnot they could go all road-warrior with and sync up later.
I mostly worked with it as a user rather than administrating or developing, though. Perhaps I missed out on the fun bits.
Well, Notes was the crowning achievement in software development for Ray Ozzie and his crew of developers at Iris Associates. Ray had worked at Lotus where he also created Symphony. At one point Lotus could not keep track of all the licenses it sold for Notes and cut a deal with Ray Ozzie for approx. $186M in royalties. Later on, IBM paid one-third of its cash on hand, which was $3B to buy Lotus. By this time Lotus had acquired Iris Associates.
It was the pre-internet "groupware" era, and the only serious contenders were Novell with GroupWise, which is alive and well at Micro Focus with its current GroupWise 18 release. The other contender was Microsoft Exchange with its Outlook client which is still widely deployed and sits alongside Microsoft's cloud offerings.
One of the issues with Notes was that it did not have all the functionality needed for a development platform. There were lots of third parties with Notes apps, but Notes as a development environment only gradually came into being, but by then the Internet was destined to become the new platform for groupware applications like Gmail and Google Apps. As for a Notes revival, I would not bet on it happening. Too much time has passed since the heyday of Notes and today.
I would pay for an updated "SmartSuite".
Approach DB worked and didn't force you into SQL commands, but has it as an option.
Organizer still has more options then what you get online. Needs updating in shared module to Web Services.
Freelance Graphics does most of what you need, but needs some completion.
Wordpro needs export with HTML5 and CSS updated.
Fastsite also needs export with HTML5 and CSS updated.
"Team" functions needs updating to Web Services, but everything else is OK.
Don't care for Notes, but this would be a help.
It was/is a really good Rapid Application Development platform.
I could knock up a functional change control system within a week and have all the bells and whistles done in 3 months (even with weekly specification changes).
Several times I was asked to write a quick application to fill a gap while the Java/C++/Oracle team were busy doing the proper Enterprise Ready version over the next 6 months.
I'd come back 5-6 years later and my application was still there running because it did the job adequately, and cheap code that works okay beats expensive code that doesn't work at all.
No market for it anymore and I'm doing PHP/Python these days. I don't mention that the application i've spent 6 months (and counting) writing could have been done in 2 weeks in Notes.
We still use IBM Notes, and all of my servers haven't crashed or anything gone wrong with them in 5 years. The server is solid if properly managed.
So no complaints about the server.
The interface and unavailability of addons is what erks the users. Needs a revamp to make it more user friendly, and in other language than Java. Engineers love the interface because of it is the swiss army knife of configuration, but the normal users are Outlook half-wits so need to make it simple.
Have to find a happy medium.
IBM Verse is a touchy feelly remake of iNotes and whomever designed it, not sure, but looks like it was a bunch of little girls trying to make it pretty.
Other thing that really drives be up the wall is how IBM dropped the ball on this product and just sat on it for so long. Whomever is at the help at IBM should be shot.
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