IBMs Lotus Software division last week announced the first beta of its Domino 6.5 development platform. New features include a number of usability and functionality enhancements to Domino Web Access, formerly iNotes Web Access, the ability to drag and drop mail documents to populate calendar entries, and support for Linux on the IBM zSeries mainframe.
Other features planned for Domino 6.5, which is expected to ship in September or October, will be delivered in future betas, including integrated instant messaging and awareness in e-mail and easier junk mail rule setup for better in-box messaging, according to Lotus officials in Cambridge, Mass.
Mobile and wireless support will also be enhanced in this release to support over-the-air syncing of calendar and personal information management data between the Notes client and the wireless client using SynchML.
Enhancements in Domino Designer are focused on usability and improved XML support for Web services development.
Domino Toolkit for WebSphere Studio, which permits Domino developers to construct Java-based WebSphere applications from within the Domino environment, originally planned for Version 6.5, will be included in the 6.0.2 release, expected late next month or in early June.
Countrywide Financial Corp., which said it expects to deploy Domino 6.5 as soon as its stable enough to do so, plans to look closely at the upgrades junk mail rules to see if theyre better than a custom solution the Calabasas, Calif., company has already developed, said executive vice president Phil Usher.
Instant messaging and presence integrated into e-mail also presents some intriguing possibilities for Countrywide, McConnell and Usher said.
"Its a useful feature," said Usher. "You could qualify your response to a group e-mail with others on the list before responding."
"We think it could drive the use of [Lotus] Sametime [IM software] in our organization," said McConnell.
Usher said that many of the usability features—such as the drag-and-drop mail into calendar feature and the ability to see whether a message has been responded to or forwarded—brought Notes into "parity" with Microsoft Corp.s Outlook, although he pointed out that Notes still possesses numerous features that Outlook does not.