IBM Ships New Notes and Domino

Version 7 offers the capability to flag messages based on whether they are sent to an individual or a group and improves integration with IBM's Workplace collaboration tools.

IBM Wednesday launched the latest iteration of its Lotus Notes and Domino collaborative software.

Version 7 is targeted primarily as a server-oriented upgrade, but it also adds some 100 client enhancements aimed at improving user productivity, said Kevin Cavanaugh, vice president of Lotus Notes and Domino development.

"Its simple things that can help users be incredibly productive," said Cavanaugh.

For example, said Cavanaugh, one change popular among early testers flags a users message differently depending on whether the message was sent directly to the user, to a group of users, or if the user was just copied on the message. Also new is an auto-save feature that preserves the state of a users active documents if the client shuts down.

The latest version also builds on IBMs stated plans to integrate Notes and Domino with its newer Workplace collaborative tools. Notes applications including mail and calendars can now run as Eclipse plug-ins in the Workplace client environment. The next major release of Notes and Domino, code-named Hannover, will include major client enhancements and deeper integration with the Workplace client, said IBM officials.

"What youll see in Hannover is a blending of Workplace with Notes and Domino," said Mike Rhodin, IBMs newly appointed general manager of Workplace, portal and collaboration software, on a conference call with press and analysts Wednesday.

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Rhodin sought to dissuade concerns that customers will have to rip and replace Notes with the newer Workplace technologies.

"Notes and Domino customers will be able to continue their investment without having to do migrations or rip and replace," said Rhodin.

For IT administrators, version 7 adds autonomic monitoring tools to proactively alert administrators about performance issues. IBM says the new version will also support more users per server. Internal tests at IBM ran up to 50 percent more users per server, requiring up to 25 percent less processing capacity per workload, said officials.

Version 7 also improves support for Web services and adds support for IBMs DB2 database as a data store alternative to the Notes Storage Facility.

IBM Lotus Domino server software is priced starting at $1,145 per CPU; IBM Lotus Notes software starts at $101 per client; and IBM Lotus Domino Web Access 7 starts at $70 per client.

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