Wednesday, July 15, 2009

vowe dot net :: It is the apps, stupid

A timely Volker reality check; see the full post (and the comment thread therein)

There are Notes customers out there, that have expressed this concern and have implemented "no Notes development" policies while maintaining their existing infrastructure. I have even seen some less understandable policies like "Notes apps only in Java" as if those would be more easily portable down the road.

Enter Xpages. IBM once promised you could use your Notes apps in a browser, automagically. Turned out that was not so easy either. So IBM did not promise you could easily turn your Notes apps into Xpages apps. And you can't. You rebuild them as Xpages. Rip and replace.

I had “It’s the apps, stupid!” (a reference to a 1992 Clinton campaign phrase) on my office white board at Lotus for several years, when I was working in Notes product management, as the ability to support collaborative applications (in addition to email) was a longstanding Notes/Domino differentiator.

These days, the Notes/Domino application migration picture usually looks like this:


In more detail:

  • Enterprise messaging (email, calendaring/scheduling, tasks/to-dos, and contacts) moves from Notes/Domino to Outlook/Exchange
  • Several platform services (e.g., directory) move from Domino to Windows Server or the .NET Framework (i.e., to a consistent set of platform services used by multiple applications)
  • Notes/Domino applications focused on collaborative workspaces (e.g., document libraries and discussion forums) map directly to SharePoint workspaces
  • More elaborate Notes/Domino applications, likely involving more complex business processes and external (DBMS-managed) data, map to SharePoint apps (e.g., SharePoint + InfoPath + SQL Server or Oracle Database) or enterprise apps (e.g., SAP or Microsoft Dynamics CRM, accessible via SharePoint).

In general, from what I’ve seen lately, the app migration exercise is much simpler (and more highly automated), moving from Notes/Domino to the Microsoft platform, than it is going from traditional Notes/Domino to Java (e.g., IBM WebSphere) or the fledgling Domino XPages framework.

vowe dot net :: It is the apps, stupid

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