Notes on Workplace
Version 7 of Domino also will support IBMs DB2 database as a data store, allowing common data storage for Notes and Workplace applications, Bisconti said. Click here to read about the Cloudscape database at the heart of IBMs new middleware-based software model.Version 8 of Notes, currently expected sometime in 2006, will run on top of the Workplace client. Notes users will then be able to take full advantage of the dynamic provisioning and synching capabilities offered by the new software model."To the traditional Notes user, it will still look like Notes," Bisconti said. "Workplace will run under the covers." Notes users will have access to Workplace applications and WebSphere Portal from within the familiar Notes client, Bisconti said. But perhaps more importantly, client management will be considerably easier, he said. "One of the challenges our installed base has in rolling out new Notes releases is the task planning and spending of money, time and resources to upgrade clients," Bisconti said. "With the managed end-user environment, that wont be an issue anymore." Bruce Elgort, manager of information services at Notes and Domino customer Sharp Microelectronics, said the Notes convergence with Workplace is still too far off for himand most other Notes customersto think much about just yet. "Its just like anything else. How many people just upgraded to Notes 6?" Elgort said in Camas, Wash. "Now, theres going to be another major upgrade to Version 7, then another one to 8. Itll probably be like most migration events, where theres no compelling reason to migrate right away. But Elgort said the Notes community would be watching carefully how the initial Notes-Workplace convergence takes shape in next years Nersion 7 release of Notes. "Depending on how well [IBM] handles Notes fidelity in Workplace in Version 7, that may give people a strategy to upgrade to 8," he said. "You hope by that time, its not something you have to think about, its something you need to do because the features and functionality youre getting are so great." IBM has said the Notes-Workplace convergence plan would require nothing more of Notes customers than to continue to upgrade to new versions of Notes. But that wont necessarily preclude separate licensing costs for Workplace for customers who upgrade to Version 8 of Notes. "Were still a couple years away from determining the final package pricing," Bisconti said, adding that the upgrade process would happen in a "natural, integrated way." "This wont be a significant migration event for our customers like weve seen in a lot of other areas of the industry," Bisconti said, taking a swipe at IBM-Lotus arch-rival, Microsoft Corp. and its Exchange messaging platform. "This wont be like having to deploy [Microsofts Windows] Active Directory to move up from Exchange 5.5." Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging & Collaboration Center at http://messaging.eweek.com for more on IM and other collaboration technologies.