Lotus: Next Generation Collaboration Strategy FAQ, in: Notes.net, NFR6 Welcome Pages, IBM, Westford 2002.

THEMES: Lotus\Strategies
YEAR: 2002
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User: Anonymous

LABEL: NextGen
PLACES: Westford
TIME: 2002

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Next Generation Collaboration Strategy FAQ
Why are you moving to solutions-based modular services for collaboration?
Two reasons: The electronic collaboration market has reached a pivotal point where the convergence of a number of open standards such as Web services and J2EE are now mature enough and prevalent enough for us to rely upon as a foundation for collaboration. Secondly, componentization of our collaborative capabilities will make it easier to integrate our products with each other and with third party e-business applications, opening the door to a new class of collaborative applications that can be offered to the market.

By J2EE, don't you really mean WebSphere?

As part of IBM Software Group, our priority will be to use WebSphere Application Server. However one of the benefits of open standards is flexibility to use alternatives that support the same standards.

What if I don't have J2EE and have no plans for it?

Customers don't have to move to J2EE. Domino will continue to provide a complete runtime environment for collaborative applications so customers who are not yet ready to implement J2EE can buy Domino. In some cases, the J2EE environment is provided as part of the solution, such as with the WebSphere Portal Family.

What is the future of Domino?

This new strategy has a positive impact on Domino. Domino 6 is currently scheduled to ship in Q3 2002 and it will improve to our customers' collaborative infrastructure for messaging, calendaring, and collaborative applications just as previous releases have. What Lotus is introducing is an alternative model for building collaborative applications in addition to Domino, and which will work with Domino, adding value to existing and new Domino installations. This gives customers new options for architecting solutions for their Web applications that require high degrees of application integration; need to run distributed across a network or inside/outside of a firewall; and need to take advantage of other attributes provided by the J2EE environment. IBM is committed to continuing the Domino product line in order to offer choice, to protect customers' investments and to advance the leadership position of the Notes client family.

When do I build applications on the new model and when do I build on Domino?

In many cases, the choice will be to use both Domino and the new model. Domino functionality has long been accessible to Java and J2EE applications, and now XML-based applications, and the combination is a powerful one. We have been talking about this combination since the introduction of R5 some three years ago. Note that the existing servlet engine which ships in Domino R5 will be carried forward for Domino 6.

What skills will developers need to use the new collaborative services?

Domino developers interested in preparing for the future should learn about J2EE and Web services. Specific areas of focus should include Java Server Pages (JSPs), SOAP, WSDL, Java, and XML. These open standards skills provide the additional benefits of being highly marketable and can be applied to many software platforms, including existing Domino applications when they need to be extended.

Al Zollar mentioned a new rapid application development (RAD) environment for building collaborative applications with Web services. What is that?

Al was referring to the fact that the Domino developer community is accustomed to a visual, rapid application development environment provided by Domino Designer. To appeal to the Domino developer community and to give Microsoft Visual Basic programmers a path to J2EE, Lotus software recognizes that it is uniquely qualified to build a development environment for J2EE.

What is the future of Domino Designer?
RAD is the foundation on which powerful collaboration applications are often built. RAD tools are IDE’s (Integrated Development Environment) allowing developers to easily and rapidly create powerful e-business applications using form and model-driven design, enabling customers to meet fast changing business and technology requirements. The success of Notes and Domino is largely due to the fact that non-programmers can build applications whose core value isn’t going to change as the product evolves.

Domino Designer is a premier Rapid Application Development and Deployment environment for collaborative applications and will evolve alongside Domino. Lotus Software customers and business partners have been developing hundreds of thousands of applications using Domino Designer and will continue to do so in the future. We have a long list of features and usability improvements our users have been requesting we will implement accordingly after Domino Designer 6 ships. At the same time, Lotus Software is looking into better integrating application development tools in a J2EE environment, leveraging the WebSphere Studio Workbench platform. Domino Designer is part of this strategy.