IBMs Lotus Software division debuted the long-awaited Version 6 of its Notes and Domino messaging platform Tuesday along with three new collaboration products.
During a launch event at the divisions Cambridge, Mass., headquarters, Lotus officials formally announced Notes and Domino 6 along with Version 3 of its Sametime instant messaging and online meetings platform; its QuickPlace team collaboration tool; and a new e-learning product built on Sametime and QuickPlace technology called Lotus LearningSpace-Virtual Classroom.
Executives of the division sounded a now familiar note, saying that all of the new releases are designed to lower customers total cost of ownership.
"We want to bring our customers costs down and give them more capabilities," said Lotus General Manager Al Zollar, summing up the days announcements.
Chief among the announcements was the release of Lotus flagship product, Notes and Domino 6. New features include support for server consolidation and tools for policy-based administration and client-upgrade automation, all designed to lower costs.
On the usability side, there is new support for color-coding incoming messages for better in-box management and shared calendaring and scheduling. Notes and Domino 6 also adds native anti-spam tools as well as improved mail archiving and journaling capabilities.
There is better integration with the other Lotus products as well as IBM products like WebSphere, Tivoli and DB2. Domino 6 also has improved support for Active Directory and open standards like Java 2 Enterprise Edition and XML.
On the collaboration side, Lotus new version of Sametime supports the SIMPLE (Session Initiation Protocol for Instant Messaging and Presence Leveraging Extensions) protocol in the Sametime 3 IM Gateway, opening up Sametime to interoperability with other IM products that support the emerging standard.
Also new in this version is a developers toolkit to embed awareness, instant messaging and Web conferencing capabilities in other applications; mobile support; an Enterprise Meeting Center, based on WebSphere, for managing large Web conferencing environments; and calendar integration with Notes 6, Microsoft Outlook and QuickPlace 3.
QuickPlace 3 features My Places, a search technology that enables users to locate and enter all of the team workspaces to which they belong and search within those workspaces. There is also a Java- and XML-based API to allow developers to embed team collaboration capabilities in other Web applications.
This version also allows customers to embed Sametime instant messaging with QuickPlace workspaces and provides access to Microsoft Office XP desktop productivity tools from within the QuickPlace environment.
Lotus new LearningSpace Virtual Classroom application is built on Sametime and QuickPlace technology. It combines whiteboarding and application sharing with presence awareness and chat, plus record and playback of sessions and administrative features that allow instructors to develop class outlines, track attendance, certify completion of courses and get feedback on the effectiveness of courses.
Domino 6 pricing starts at $894 per server for the Domino Mail Server and $2,308 per server for the Domino Application Server. Both require a Notes or iNotes client license for users. Notes 6 pricing starts at $70.08 per client and iNotes at $48.65 per client. The Domino 6 Utility Server is priced at $11,750 per CPU and does not require client licenses.
Sametime 3 and QuickPlace 3 are both priced per user, at $38 and $39, respectively.
Lotus LearningSpace-Virtual Classroom will be available Oct. 14 through IBMs Passport Advantage worldwide volume licensing program for distributed software and will be priced per processor. Pricing was not announced.
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