IBM/Lotus last week shipped Notes/Domino 8, ushering in its new client framework and integration with its next-generation social networking tools.
After a two-year development cycle that included 30,000 beta customers, the Notes 8 client and companion Domino 8 server represent the key to IBM's strategy for unified communications.
Notes/Domino counts its installed base at 101 million corporate e-mail accounts, according to a survey released in June by The Radicati Group.
The client anchors the front-end integration of presence and document management tools, as well as social networking software called Lotus Connections, which the company introduced at its annual Lotusphere conference in January.
Lotus has integrated Connections Activities and is providing a plug-in for Lotus Quickr to support drag-and-drop for sharing documents.
"The product is shipping as delivered in public beta and as it was shown at Lotusphere," says Ed Brill, a business unit executive for worldwide sales at IBM/Lotus.
IBM has not added any new technology features since the last beta, but has two new licensing additions.
IBM is applying its sub-capacity server licensing to Domino for the first time, which means users pay based on the number of processors running Domino on a multi-processors server. Also, companies can run as many as 20 users on Websphere Portal for every Domino Server under maintenance. The portal provides a Web-based interface to composite applications as opposed to the rich Notes 8 client.
The Notes 8 client is the first Notes managed client to be built on Lotus Expeditor, formerly called the Workplace Client Technology, and Eclipse, which lets Notes 8 act as a client for XML-based services, composite applications that combine such services, and applications that incorporate XML-based interfaces.
The client is where users can pull together collaboration and content services, real-time communication, syndication feeds and document authoring tools, including support for the Open Document Format.
With Notes 8, IBM also has upgraded the feature set of its traditional mail, calendaring and contact tools, including in-line spell checking, mail recall, the ability to group e-mail threads, a sidebar view of the calendar and the ability to collaborate with users starting within a contact list.
Lotus Notes 8, formerly code-named Hannover, was first introduced in June 2005 and publicly demonstrated for the first time at Lotusphere in 2006. A private beta was launched in November runs on Windows and Linux. The Domino 8 server will run on Windows, Linux, AIX, Series I and Sun Solaris.
Notes/Domino 8 also features server enhancements including user management features highlighted by the On-line Certificate Status Protocol, which covers X.509 certificates used for e-mail and includes such functions as certificate revocation, and Internet Account Lockout, which covers failed password entries.
Lotus also has added to the server a message recall feature, Notes 8 client provisioning, policy management controls for Lotus Connections applications and Directory Lint, a verification tool that checks directory integrity and suggests corrections.
A 64-bit version of Domino will ship with Notes/Domino 8.0.1, the first maintenance release for the 8 platform. Also slated for that release is compliance for Notes mail with Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 140, a U.S. federal standard that specifies security requirements for cryptography modules.
In the maintenance release, IBM also plans to support its Notes-on-stick feature, which lets users carry around their entire Notes desktop on a removable storage device.
In the next version of Domino, now dubbed "Next" but slated to be called Notes/Domino 9, Lotus will add new directory and authentication options.
In Domino 9, IBM for the first time will let users replace the Domino directory with Microsoft's Active Directory or any directory that supports the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.
The Domino Web Access client also will be upgraded with deeper support for activity software IBM that is part of Lotus Connections.