IBM refreshes Lotus Notes, Domino

IBM has released a major upgrade of Lotus Notes and Domino, its enterprise messaging platform. Version 8 of this software features a generous bundle of new features, including many that will help employees collaborate more easily over a network.

"Collaboration is eclipsing e-mail as the killer app we use daily," said Michael Rhodin, IBM general manager of Lotus Software, said in a statement.

With this release, IBM is marketing Lotus Notes as an alternative to the Microsoft Outlook e-mail client, heavily touting the additional capabilities that Outlook cannot yet offer.

Many of these new features can help individuals within an office to collaborate over a computer network, such as instant messaging and 'presence awareness' 'an indicator of whether the user is working on the computer at any particular moment.

Lotus Notes 8 also folds in office productivity functionality'such as the ability to create and edit documents, presentations and spreadsheets using the OpenDocument Format. Other features include a redesigned interface, a news reader for Really Simple Syndication feeds, support for threaded e-mail and a search engine that combines results from the Web and the user's own computer.

With this release, IBM has also moved Lotus Notes to the open source Eclipse platform, allowing administrators to bridge the Lotus Notes interface more easily to external custom applications, using the Lotus Expeditor 6.1.1 model.

While the company release said less about what is new with the Domino messaging server (the backend messaging server supporting Lotus Notes'the equivalent to Microsoft Exchange for Outlook), the company's Web page did note that the software now supports managed provisioning, in which administrators can control which features the client software will run.

The Lotus Notes/Domino package can work across a broad array of platforms, including Linux, Sun Solaris, Microsoft Windows, AIX, IBM System i.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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