Lotus what? Nah mate, the world has moved on.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

So confused, so contradicted, so annoyed, so disappointed ...

Melodramatic ranting or what.

I am working on a Lotus Notes / Domino system to be deployed in Uganda in my spare time. This task is confusing my little brain to the point of it almost exploding.



Here is a synopses of my struggle.




Good:


  1. Domino is powerful
  2. Domino is scalable
  3. Databases from 1998 still performs, and performs well
  4. Domino is secure. Cracking Local Access Control is difficult ;-)
  5. Domino runs on Linux Mint
  6. Domino v6 type web databases (by good developers) are still amazing
  7. xPages are not to bad (in small doses)
  8. Domino runs well on tiny hardware  
The Bad: (this is not an exhaustive list - Google will run out of space if all the bad stuff is listed)


  1. NOBODY wants this stuff (anywhere near them)
  2. There are NO Lotus jobs so this is a dead end
  3. You really need to know your stuff to make it work properly
  4. Quirky, unique, annoying, frustrating, mental, nuts are all good words to describe the setup
  5. The Lotus eclipse client. Nuff said.
  6. Domino designer. Nuff said.
  7. The cost (if you ever pay) is astronomical
I do not understand, and nobody will ever, why the IBM exec hates Lotus Notes and Domino so much when it has (had) so much going for it. As an exIBMer I have spoken to previous clients and they are all moving away. Folks like H-SBC is falling over themselves to "evaluate" alternatives and they are following a strategy of burn and blame. In other words, they are not maintaining Domino and when it invariably fails they just blame the technology and use it as a justification to evaluate more alternatives.

I went for a quick interview at JLP just to see why they are moving away from Notes and had a bad feeling when I signed into the building. I issued a report in 2008 to JLP on how to upgrade the mail template from their sucky suck suck template but I could see that even in 2014 they still had the same template running on an old client. I asked about co-existence and archives and so on, as they were looking for a migration PM, but when the interviewee said they have already moved 1000 users to Google mail and they are doing it "eyes wide open" (sick) I gave up. In my due diligence all the IBMers assigned to JLP was moved on and the JLP domino staff I knew all had updated Linkedin pages with "looking for opportunities" in the titles.

It is a sad state of affairs. But who is to blame? I wonder how long Domino will survive? What I do know is that even today you can grab the exe's (any version really) install Domino and create a world class super secure mail and application system that is robust and secure enough to run a country's whole infrastructure or power a revolution!

If IBM were to opensource (after pigs started flying) Notes and Domino would it recover or would people still hate it? Now there is a question.

My head hurts.

 

 

  

13 comments :

  1. Who's to blame? Well that's an easy one.

    Sadly it's too late to save it. The company that owns it has moved on. Sure they have some folks dedicated to it, but no one in IBM is looking to work on that product as they know it's not going to help them progress in the company.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Carl, that is why I am so sad. My good friends Stephan and Mat is still dedicated to the cause and if it was not such a death sentence inside IBM I would still be there to convince the world. Pity though as for all its quirks and uniqueness's it is still a formidable piece of software. Arghhhhh!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I totally get where you're coming from Ray. I still have many bruises and cuts on my head from banging it against the wall :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Guys - its not like the other side is any better. they have issues too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow totally agree and the grass is not greener on the other side. We recently migrated from Notes mail to Exchange / Outlook. What a disappointment. Also migrated from Sametime to Lync. Even more of a disappointment. Talk about bad UI design!!! Sadly it's to late...we already drank the Microsoft Kool-Aid.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here is my 2 cents
    *NOBODY wants this stuff (anywhere near them)
    Don't sell notes, sell a solution - easier said than done, but it's true.
    *There are NO Lotus jobs so this is a dead end
    Same as above. I actually feel that if more smaller business new about Notes & Domino there would be a larger more sustainable eco system around it.
    *You really need to know your stuff to make it work properly
    That could be said of most systems, but yeah, there is a lot of stuff in there. IBM wants newcomers to go the XPages route, but composite apps and expiditor are possibilities also
    *Quirky, unique, annoying, frustrating, mental, nuts are all good words to describe the setup
    A lot of that depends on what you are setting up.
    *The Lotus eclipse client. Nuff said.
    What about the client? - which version?
    *Domino designer. Nuff said.
    True, but it works
    The cost (if you ever pay) is astronomical
    Not for the Express versions of the software, plus the add on entitlements are quite extensive.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The other night I was talking with two IBM product managers and was pleased to hear that development continues on Domino, and some good stuff is in the works. But unfortunately no one in the outside world knows that because IBM prefers to spend its marketing budget telling everyone how smart they make the entire planet.

    There's still quite a few companies using it, but to borrow from Seinfeld: "shrinkage" can be a problem.

    ReplyDelete
  8. it is a unique and amazing piece of software. If more people were aware of the several levels of encryption built-in, and the built-in PKI, the value of Notes protecting data in this post snowden/nsa everywhere world, would rise exponentially. I believe if the NSA had used Notes instead of the hopelessly compromised active directory, snowden would not have had the level of access he was able to achieve, or in the alternative raised some alarms.

    ReplyDelete
  9. "If IBM were to opensource (after pigs started flying) Notes and Domino would it recover or would people still hate it?"

    Why would IBM need to open source it for it to recover?

    IBM is largely irrelevant to all the interesting work happening on the platform these days. The only people that give a crap what IBM does are the stone-age IT managers who still think a "support ticket" means anything at all.

    ReplyDelete
  10. "If IBM were to opensource (after pigs started flying) Notes and Domino would it recover or would people still hate it?"

    Why would IBM need to open source it for it to recover?

    IBM is largely irrelevant to all the interesting work happening on the platform these days. The only people that give a crap what IBM does are the stone-age IT managers who still think a "support ticket" means anything at all.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have a plan. I like the direction the comments are going. Domino is alive and well in the real world but is dead in IBM and will kill any IBMer that touch it.

    Let me put an idea out there in the real world. Lets start a closed exchange and allow ex loti fans to upload deprecated premium nsf's that has been discarded by short-sighted idiotic pointy haired managers in corporates.

    The exchange "community" can then clean them, re-sign them properly, perhaps add some xPages goodness, rate them, categorise them, remove the design and monetise them for people that know a good thing when they see it.

    We can resell the applications as local, shared or SAAS and the money paid could flow back into the exchange to pay the "community" members and fund more puka projects.

    As Nathan said, who gives a shit what IBM thinks.

    Who is in?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ray,isn´t openntf for that? I like the idea and am in if this takes off Pálmi

    ReplyDelete
  13. it's an understatement but IT managers nowadays dont know their shit. they are just controllers afraid to report to management above.
    i recently quit a company that goes the microsoft path. from a happy ibm customer to a microsoft victim. what a shame.
    everybody, especially internal customers are complaining about the new tools from microsoft but management just wont listen. it's fascism and it's scary. i am glad i am away there.

    ReplyDelete

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