Lotus Notes Applications and other eMail Systems
Microsoft's competitive strategy with Lotus Notes is to migrate eMail to Exchange (more likely to Outlook with Exchange included as collateral damage) and to sunset or migrate applications thereafter. Looks good on paper and eMail is eMail isn't it? The hangover from the "Hooray we'll do Outlook" party comes when running the numbers on application migration. Remember: Every minute/dollar spent on migration doesn't get spent on new user requirements and productivity improvements. Their poster child Accenture, with Steve Balmer sitting on their board (would that eventually have influenced their migration decision?), took more than 6 years and still according to Vidya S. Byanna, Global Infrastructure Executive Director Accenture 200 business process supporting databases are still not migrated (nicely put by Vidya: " are in the process of migrating"). Update: Accenture has removed the blog entries, but The web does not forget! Quite interesting finding given their access to Microsoft and their claimed technical expertise. So if you have started a migration, good luck to you. Running your numbers carefully, you might end retaining and extending Lotus Domino as your collaborative platform (There are a lot companies doing just that). eMail is sooo last century. Of course the question of interoperability needs to be answered. When you build web applications, you probably already wrote a class MailNotification that generates notification eMails with http hyperlinks in the message. If you have existing (client) applications you need to deal with the way @MailSend and NotesDocument.send is working:
- You have retained your Notes clients: Don't do anything. Connect your other eMail system to the Domino system using SMTP and the SMTP router of Domino will convert the DocLink into a hyperlink using the notes:// protocol. Of course I presume you have configured your Domino server properly (hostname anyone). If your user typically use local replicated databases the links created will point to local databases using notes:///. That can be a problem if the receiving end doesn't use a local replica. In such cases use Geniisoft's CoexLinks.
- You web enable your application using the Domino http task (classic or XPages alike): you either need to touch all your applications and replace @MailSend/NotesDocument.send or use Geniisoft's CoexLinks. CoexLinks is an unobtrusive server tasks that does link conversion. It also takes care if users on Lotus Notes send you a DocLink. And NO. There is no magic button for web enablement. Depending on the code quality and structure of your applications it can be very easy or a little painful. See my session at Lotusphere to see what could be automated.
- Your messages use stored forms and that forms contain actions and buttons and the like: Sorry. You need to rework these parts.