Microsoft Corp. is following through on plans to reach out to IBM Lotus Domino developers in an effort to increase those developers adoption of Microsoft technology.
Last month, Domino developers traveled to Microsofts campus in Redmond, Wash., for a workshop organized by Gary Devendorf, a former Lotus application development guru and now technology evangelist in Microsofts server group, and attended by several other Microsoft executives including David Thompson, corporate vice president of the Exchange Server Product Group at Microsoft.
The first deliverable of the Microsoft outreach program, originally due last summer, is expected in January with the release of a tool kit that allows Domino developers to create Notes- and Domino-based Web services using Microsoft development tools such as Visual Studio .Net and Visual Basic. Devendorf was traveling overseas and could not be reached for comment.
Bob Balaban, president of Looseleaf Software Inc., which provides software engineering, training and consulting for Notes/Domino; Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition; and .Net, was one of the attendees at the collaboration seminar. "My main reason for going was to see what other people were doing in integrating .Net and Domino and get direct access to some senior Microsoft technology people," Balaban said.
Balaban, a former employee of Lotus and its Iris Associates application development subsidiary, said that he has done "a lot of work" in Domino-WebSphere integration and now is looking at doing more work with .Net and Domino integration.
"Theres absolutely no reason to abandon Notes," said Balaban in Lexington, Mass. "Notes and Domino are good at what they do, but they dont do everything. You have to look outside of the platform."
Balaban said the seminar gave him a chance to educate Microsoft executives about collaboration. "Theyve got guys like Gary [Devendorf], who is fabulous at what he does, but they need to get their senior development people to talk to people who know how to build collaborative applications," Balaban said. "They really dont get it."
Karen Hobert, president of Top Dog, a Domino systems integrator in Los Angeles, also attended the workshop and was impressed with Microsofts outreach efforts. "Now I know where those integration points are and ... what some of the options are," Hobert said.