Devendorf and his former Lotus colleagues say the timing is right to move on their former employer. One opening they see is LotusScript, the language most Notes and Domino applications are developed in. In Devendorfs view, IBM has abandoned the language and is pushing developers to Java and WebSphere. Carl Kraenzel, IBM senior technical staff member, conceded that Notes and Domino application development technologies are focused more on Java and the Web today than LotusScript but said the language is being enhanced, as are Notes and Domino.Still, Devendorf contends that a switch to .Net would be relatively easy. LotusScript is "basically 90 percent the same as Visual Basic," he said, adding that Microsofts development tools are a smaller leap for Domino developers than making the move to Java, the language required for Lotus Workplace. "Its hard to understand Java without a computer science background. But Notes developers come from business departments, not computer science or IS departments," Devendorf said. "It may make sense to evaluate .Net, and I do have one colleague who is leaning toward it," said Domino developer David Taylor, senior systems analyst at T. Rowe Price Group Inc., in Baltimore. "Java, however, is more mature, more well-understood and more accepted, I think, as a development platform."
"We have more bodies working on programming constructs than we ever have," Kraenzel said. "Gary seems to be suggesting that were walking away from Notes as a programming tool, and thats far from the case."