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Lotus Notes For Linux To Be Released By IBM 219

Posted by Hemos
from the follow-on-corporate dept.
gamigad writes "According to ZDNet, Lotus Notes 7.0.1 will be released for Linux. Availability is expected to be on July 24. It ain't gonna be a free lunch, tho" It's going to be based mainly on the Eclipse framework, and it does appear that you'll be able to swap a Linux version for a Windows or Mac version if you so choose.
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Lotus Notes For Linux To Be Released By IBM

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  • Screenshots (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:13AM (#15690169)
  • Not free? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:17AM (#15690186) Homepage Journal

    From the summary:

    It ain't gonna be a free lunch, tho

    I don't this will be a blocking issue for the people who choose to deploy notes. I am very glad I don't have to use it any more.

  • Re:Screenshots (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:20AM (#15690207)
    this link is a picture of the next major version of notes, not the current one, that being 7.x....
  • by Jaqui (905797) on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:21AM (#15690212) Homepage Journal
    since a lot of Companies have refused to switch to Linux because of the perceived lack of software in this type of area.

    I know of several IT Department heads for Fortune 500 Companies that have asked for software that matches MS Echange / Lotus Notes for Linux before they would concider switching to Linux desktops.

    This is also the first step in IBM actually putting their product line behind their public stand of supporting open source operating systems, not just their money into open source projects.

    The biggest drawback is the eclipse framework. Eclipse's java requires sun's jvm which conflicts with gjc. Open Office requires gjc in linux for 100% functionality, sun's jvm won't cut it.

  • Re:EEEeeeew! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:38AM (#15690281)
    Forgive me in advance if I'm wrong but isn't pine just an email client? If you actually used Notes properly, you'd know that the mail part of it is just a small mini-app sitting on top of the (massive) groupware application.
  • by DrXym (126579) on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:44AM (#15690306)
    WINE is a handy tool, but apps that run under it suck. They suck because use Windows conventions for file names, registry settings, paths, menu structure and look and feel. Even if you recompiled the app using winelib they would still suck. After a lot of effort you might be able to hack some of the Windows-ness out of it, but it would be a nightmare to maintain.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:54AM (#15690368)
    You do realise you can have multiple jres installed? Just don't install them as the system default java. I would actually guess that Notes will come with its own copy of the jre which will not affect anything else at all.
  • by Mechanik (104328) on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:57AM (#15690383) Homepage
    Eclipse's java requires sun's jvm which conflicts with gjc. Open Office requires gjc in linux for 100% functionality, sun's jvm won't cut it.

    You don't have to use Sun's JVM. According to the Eclipse 3.2 Project Plan [eclipse.org], there are all kinds of other supported JVMs, e.g. IBM's, HP's, etc. Other VMs might work, they are just not officially supported and tested.

    I know for a fact as well that the Red Hat folks have been successfully compiling Eclipse with GCJ also.

    I'm not really sure why you claim that the JVM conflicts either. You can drop a JRE into eclipse/jre and that's what the launcher will use to the exclusion of anything else.


    Mechanik
  • hate it (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10, 2006 @07:58AM (#15690393)
    The core concepts of Notes is great, however, the platform sucks.
    Of LotusScript, @Functions and Java, only @Functions are fast and stable; but they can't be used in many cases (such as many web contexts).

    If it wasn't for the many apps written in Notes that can't be ported easily, it would be a stone dead platform. IBM's successor IBM Workplace is an even worse pile of bull crap, because of that Notes will live on as long as the apps aren't rewritten for something better than LWP.

    Hanover actually _looks_ a lot better than the old Notes, I guess there might come some improvements in the Notes user community's way. But considering how bad all IBM software is, I guess it will be worse than the previous version in everything but looks.

    So my question is, except for the mainframes and the like (zSeries and iSerives), what does IBM produce that isn't complete crap? I have to work/develop for their software daily and Notes is the best platform they have, which says a lot.
  • by dominux (731134) on Monday July 10, 2006 @08:00AM (#15690401) Homepage
    The Notes client isn't free or Free (although many applications that run on it are - see openntf.org) however if you have a client license for Windows or Mac then you can use it on Linux at no additional cost. In fact the licensing is per person, if you have a Windows machine, a Mac and a Linux box or three then you can use your Notes ID on all of them at once if you like. If you are using Notes already, then moving the desktop operating system to Linux is most certainly a free lunch.
  • by dominux (731134) on Monday July 10, 2006 @08:08AM (#15690446) Homepage
    Quite a prolific blogger, and very good at it too, his blog is at http://www.edbrill.com/ [edbrill.com] and he talks about this announcement here http://www.edbrill.com/ebrill/edbrill.nsf/dx/notes -on-linux-announcement?opendocument&comments [edbrill.com]
  • by Servo (9177) <dstringf@nOspAM.gmail.com> on Monday July 10, 2006 @08:38AM (#15690620) Journal
    I work at a place that is in the process of migrating from a Windows platform to a Linux platform for their Lotus Notes 6.5.5 environment. The problem with Notes on Windows is that Windows is unstable. The problem with Notes on Linux is Notes becomes unstable. There are also all sorts of Gotcha's... like the way backups work. Administrative rights are funky too.
  • by nighty5 (615965) on Monday July 10, 2006 @08:38AM (#15690622)
    The mac client was resource hungry and sluggish.

    Lets hope Notes 7 is an improvement over 6.x for any other platform than Windows...

    Our company moved away from Domino and onto Exchange 12 months ago and it has allowed Mac enthusiasts to run Entourage 2004 which totally rocks under the Mac. The new service pack delivers native Exchange/AD/GAL in Entourage which was a welcome change.

  • by FatSean (18753) on Monday July 10, 2006 @08:40AM (#15690632) Homepage Journal
    Other eclipse plugins which my work exploits requires that JDK and it's quite easy to set up. Eclipse even has facilities to configure multiple JDKs and to easily switch between them.
  • by ihavenospine (541249) on Monday July 10, 2006 @08:51AM (#15690691)
    Since version 6.5 (now it's at 7.0.1) Novell Gropwise runs natively on Linux clients and servers and IMHO is more refined than Lotus as groupware suite. Of course Lotus Notes is much more than a groupware suite, but I wonder how many companies use it as application framework or document database.
  • by chaves (824310) on Monday July 10, 2006 @09:01AM (#15690763)
    The support to running on Linux was obtained by migrating the client to Java, not by providing some mechanism for running the Windows version on Linux. The benefits of doing it are:

    - it is not a (incomplete) hack like Wine
    - shouldn't be too hard to have the client running on MacOSX, and all Unixes supported by the Eclipse platform (dependending on how much native code they have - I would suspect it not to be that much, as it goes against the decision of using Java + Eclipse).
  • by oyenstikker (536040) <slashdot AT sbyrne DOT org> on Monday July 10, 2006 @09:04AM (#15690786) Homepage Journal
    Nobody argues that it isn't a very powerful platform. Lotus simply suffers from an extremely poorly designed UI.
  • by oxfletch (108699) on Monday July 10, 2006 @09:41AM (#15691061)
    > This is the same secure, stable, code.

    Are you on fucking CRACK? Have you EVER actually run the product? It's the buggiest, most bloated, badly designed piece of shit I've ever had the misfortune to see.
  • by Erik_ (183203) on Monday July 10, 2006 @09:57AM (#15691189)
    Lotus Notes (6.5.x) worked fine under WINE, until you started drag & dropping messages in folders. Then it because completly unstable.
    In the end I had to move to a VMware Workstation solution to keep using Notes under Linux.

    I've been waiting for a native version for years. It's about time :-(
  • by metamatic (202216) on Monday July 10, 2006 @10:19AM (#15691359) Homepage Journal
    The biggest drawback is the eclipse framework.

    No, the biggest drawback is that it's just the mail and database client. No Domino Designer, no Domino Administrator. So all your developers and database and server admins still need to run Windows.

  • Re:No! Nooo! (Score:4, Informative)

    by KingSkippus (799657) * on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:12PM (#15692193) Homepage Journal

    AMEN, BROTHER!!!

    There are not words in the English language to describe how much I am in utter comtempt for Lotus Notes. I once composed a three-page list of ways in which Lotus Notes sucks. Most of it was a list of client bugs and inconsistencies, because I didn't have much experience with the server itslef.

    Later, I tried developing a simple agent that would compose an e-mail, taking information from fields stored elsewhere, and sending it out to a list of people. I never could get the damned thing to work. (Too long to explain here.) To this day, I'll write code in javascript, php, VB, C#, perl, whatever. But I refuse to touch Lotus Notes. Period. Even the most trivial of tasks are insanely complicated. (Okay, to be fair, I won't write Gimp scripts in Scheme, either.)

    I'm sorry, and I am not a Microsoft lackey, but I'd take Exchange/Outlook over Notes any day. I'd rather use GMail as a corporate communications solution than Lotus Notes. Hell, I'd rather use yellow sticky notes on monitors than Lotus Notes!

    As for the server, our entire Notes infrastructure has to be rebooted once a week at my company. (A very large MNC...) Once a frickin' week! No other application has that requirement. If SAP told us, "Yeah, and you'll have to reboot the SAP servers every Sunday night," we'd have their heads on a plate. But for some weird reason, Notes (which is just as critical to our business) gets away with it. Half the servers usually don't come back up without intervention, and our wonderful Notes server crew doesn't actually bother to check, so our operations center has to call them. Plus, we're constantly having to deal with mail servers crashing in the middle of the day, and the only explanations we get are, "It's a Notes thing. It just glitches like that sometimes." As you can tell, I have no particular fondness for our Notes support team, but they're not unique. I've worked at two other companies that use Lotus Notes, and the exact same thing happens at every one of them.

    And to the "It's not really an e-mail system, it's a collaborative database application development environment..." people out there, go to hell. No, it's not. There's no such thing as a "flat database." It's called a frickin' table, and it's useless. If it were relational, maaaybe. But then if it were relational, I still wouldn't be using it, I'd be using Oracle, or MySQL, PostgreSQL, even MS SQL Server. You know, something competent.

    So it's an awful e-mail system, it's an awful development environment, it's an awful database system. Let's see, that leaves... oh right. NOTHING. Lotus Notes has absolutely no useful value whatsoever. Q.E.D. Companies that use it (speaking from experience) are using it not because it's the best solution to their needs, but because they've invested a lot of money in it. (Which, by the way is STUPID. They're ignoring the cost going forward, which is the only relevant factor that should be considered!) If IBM really had their customers' best interest in mind, they would simply send out letters to everyone saying, "We're sorry, but in six months, we're going to stop supporting all version of Lotus Notes and never release another." Maybe even open-source the code so that maybe competent people can maybe turn it into something semi-useful.

  • by Tower (37395) on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:18PM (#15692232)
    What do you mean? It isn't like there is a whole section of the User Interface Hall of Shame [mac.com] dedicated entirely to Lotus Notes [mac.com]...

    Oh... wait. I've used Notes from 4.5 through the current version... just remember - Notes is a database interaction UI that happens to allow e-mail as a side-effect.
  • Re:No! Nooo! (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 10, 2006 @12:55PM (#15692481)
    Woudl be interesting to knwo whay you did not get your agent to work.
    LotusScript is almost identical to VB, so with yoru VB experience, it should not been that hard.
    I been writing that kind of agents, never had any problems.
    Just remember that if you send the mail to multiple people, you need to store the values into the SendTo field as an array of names, to create a multi-value field. But that is basic common sense, I am sure you did that.
    Nothing else in your description sounds like it would cause any problems.

    You can store Notes data in other formats that the default NSF. Try DB2 for example. But for simple applications, if it is document centric, NSF is a better choice.

    At $WORKPLACE, a $350M+ insurance company, we built a claim system from scratch in Lotus Notes. It currently handle about 30K claims, 75K claimants, financial transactions, timesheet entries, etc. Total database size is about 2 million records, split over 9 different branches, each has a local server with a filtered replica of only their data. Secority means that no unauthorized access is possible, etc.
    We had auditors come in, even other insurance companies, and when they looked at the system, they were impressed and asked how many developers we had. When they heard only one, and one project manager (spending less than 50% of the time on this project), and that we rolled it out in 11 months from first line of code to production, the were even more impressed. The system involves workflow, communication with a legacy backend system written in Visual FoxPro to retrieve policy information, etc. Several of the companies spent 4-5 years, with a team of 10-15 developers, to a cost of tens of millions, without ending up witha workable solution.
    So Notes can be very powerful, if you know what you are doing, and understand the platform and it's strengths and limitations.

    If you only use Notes for mail, stick with Outlook, Thunderbird, or any other mail client that support POP, IMAP or direct connection to Domino (like Outlook), or why not just use the iNotes webmail?

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