Lotus Takes Open Tack

Lotus plot a new road map under a new general manager, Ambuj Goyal.

Ambuj Goyal
IBMs Lotus Software division, under the direction of its newest general manager, is moving to open up its platforms in an effort to make the companys collaboration technologies more attractive to developers who rely on open Internet standards.

As part of that effort, Lotus is expanding the output capabilities of the development tools in its flagship Domino platform, while extending those tools to a new class of users.

"Youre going to see a major focus on developers," said Lotus General Manager Ambuj Goyal (pictured), a longtime IBM developer and executive, in an interview at Lotus headquarters here last week. "Not the J2EE [Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition] or the C++ kind but developers who are writing applications without knowing computer science."

The first fruits of the effort will come next month when Lotus releases a new Java-based Workplace development platform and the first application to run on it, Workplace Messaging. Future Workplace applications for instant messaging, document management and portals will follow throughout the year and into next year, according to Goyal.

Further out, the component model that Workplace will support will be made part of Domino by Version 7, Goyal said. However, he said, no timetable has been set for that release.

On the interoperability front, the next major release of Domino, Version 6.5, will include Domino Toolkit for WebSphere Studio. The tool kit, due in the second half of this year, is built on the Eclipse open-source platform and will enable Domino developers to build Java-based WebSphere applications from within the Domino environment.