Lotus Partners Pick Up Java Slack

By Dennis Callaghan  |  Posted 2004-01-29

Lotus Partners Pick Up Java Slack

ORLANDO, Fla.—Two years after the infamous Garnetgate incident at IBMs Lotusphere user show, IBM partners are picking up where Big Blue left off in its support for Java in Lotus Notes and Domino.

At the 2002 Lotusphere show, many Domino developers were outraged when IBM announced it was discontinuing development of the native Domino Java environment code-named Garnet, effectively forcing Domino shops to use IBMs WebSphere application server as their Java runtime environment. IBMs rationale then was that Garnet was a nonstandard J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) environment.

Read "Lotus Angers Developers."

At this years show here this week, IBM-Lotus partners Brightline Technology Inc. and Trilog Group Inc. have stepped in to fill the Java gap. At Lotusphere, Brightline introduced its Brightline Application Server—Enterprise Edition, a standard J2EE runtime environment for Domino that company officials said improves upon IBMs Garnet initiative. Brightline also previewed the alpha version of its Brightline Portal Server—Enterprise Edition.

The products together serve as a lower-cost alternative to IBMs WebSphere application server and Portal products, Brightline officials said.

Brightlines Application Server adds standard J2EE 1.3 services to Domino, including Enterprise JavaBeans, Java servlets, JavaServer Pages and Java Messaging Services, extending Java database management, Web development and enterprise integration capabilities to Domino while maintaining Dominos security and application management capabilities.

"Were making Domino a full J2EE server," said James Wilson, president of Portsmouth, N.H.-based Brightline and a 15-year veteran of Lotus. Wilson said the product is targeted at small-to-medium-sized businesses and departments of larger organizations.

The Brightline product requires at least Domino 6 and works best with Version 6.5, Wilson said. The Application Server costs $2,500. Wilson said Brightline plans to eventually offer a package of Domino Utility Express Server with its application and portal servers for less than $10,000.

Next page: Trilog updates FlowBuilder.

Page Two

Also at Lotusphere, Trilog, of Woburn, Mass., introduced the 3.0 release of its FlowBuilder product, a development environment that allows Domino developers to create Java applications from Domino. Brightline and Trilog are in partnering discussions as Brightline does not include a development environment.

Trilogs FlowBuilder 3.0, a visual rapid application development framework, gives Domino developers the ability to develop J2EE applications from the Domino environment, taking advantage of Dominos security and document management models, according to Trilogs President and CEO Alex El Homsi.

"We can help Domino developers leverage their existing skills to move forward," said El Homsi, who said FlowBuilder could be particularly useful for companies that plan to embrace Lotus Workplace as the Java applications generated could run on Workplace.

This version of FlowBuilder includes new capabilities for building portlets for WebSphere Portal Server and Lotus Workplace, and for migrating Domino applications to these same platforms.

Detroit advertising agency J.Walter Thompson U.S.A. Inc. uses FlowBuilder in combination with Notes and Domino R5 to build Java applications. John Tripp, systems development director for the agency, said Lotus didnt provide a "clear direction" for Java two years ago so his firm turned to Trilog.

"[FlowBuilder is] its own framework, but it gives you everything you have for Domino for J2EE," Tripp said. "Its as if Domino had been built today."

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