Notes 8 to ship this Friday

by Volker Weber

Notes 8 is going to ship (electronically) on Friday. Lots of people will be eager to see what has become of "Hannover", first announced more than two years ago:

“In "Hannover" customers can see step-function improvements in the Lotus Notes client's core capabilities, such as e-mail, calendaring and scheduling, and contact management,” says Bisconti. “Beyond that they can see how Lotus Notes delivers new software innovations such as activity-centric collaboration, which can dramatically increase end-user productivity ..."

Activities is one of the things that Notes 8 does not deliver. For that you need to buy Connections and install WebSphere, DB2 and directory servers in addition to Domino. What you get in Notes is an Expeditor plug-in serving as a client to Connections. There does not appear to be a limited entitlement akin to presence and instant messaging with Sametime.

The other thing you will be waiting for is a Mac client. In several briefings at Lotusphere IBM has promised to close the gap between shipping Windows and Mac clients, but this gap is actually widening. Currently there isn't even a Mac beta of Notes 8. My bet is that it takes IBM at least one year before they are ready to ship Notes 8 on the Mac. And then it will only be the bare Notes client without Administrator or Designer.


Come on Volker, cheer up! This is a major moment in the history of Lotus Notes, yet you only seem to want to highlight the negatives.

Kieren Johnson, 2007-08-15

Indeed, a downbeat assessment...

Re Mac client... Much as I would love a full Mac client including admin and designer it isn't gonna happen, at least not in the 8 timeframe. However, I do believe that we will see the Notes8 client on Mac before the end of Q1, ie in the next six months.

We have seen such a swing to the Mac in this community during 2007 that IBM would be utterly foolish to delay the Mac client any longer...

Stuart McIntyre, 2007-08-15

Kieren and Stuart,

we will see how good it is when it ships. Currently I can only look at the announcement letter and what went missing.

Stuart, I have taken note of your prediction. And I bet your crystal ball isn't any better than mine. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2007-08-15

Well, I actually saw Notes 8 on Mac, so it can't be that far away from GA. Just my 2 cents...

Frank Dröge, 2007-08-15

Didnt IBM announce some time ago that Notes 8 for Mac would be released to coincide with Notes 8.0.1? Around January 2008. Or am I imagining things again...

I personally found the Notes 8 betas which I saw raised more questions than answers i.e. this practice of bundling in word processor/spreadsheet/presentation software. Many companies have standardised on Word/Excel/Powerpoint so how do we integrate these with Notes 8 to work seamlessly i.e. clicking new document from the home page takes you to a new word document etc. There are lots more questions, but perhaps others can ask those here.

Andy Mell, 2007-08-15

Andy you're not imagining things, that was my understanding also. However, give the complete silence with regards betas for the Mac, who can say now?

Ben Poole, 2007-08-15

When I remember that right, instant messaging and presence awareness was introduced in ND 6.5 (October 2003), but the limited entitlement wasn't available until 6.5.1 in spring 2004.

Like the MAC client I wouldn't expect the licensing details at the launch date....

Max Nierbauer, 2007-08-15

Just mark my words. I was hit over the head when I said that the Mac client would miss the Sametime 7.5 boat. And then it did.

A Notes client is some orders of magnitude more complicated than Sametime Connect. And it appears that IBM has issues with Expeditor. Until I hear any announcements I am not expecting the client any time soon.

Volker Weber, 2007-08-15

But, to be fair, you could say that the Linux Notes client is as complex as the Mac Notes client (if not more so given IBM has to support at least SUSE and Redhat distros), but that is absolutely an equal to the Windows user client at announcement time.

Admittedly, there was a version available in the 7.0.1 timeframe, but this still only represents a similar time lag to that of the Mac client, as long as it is becomes available as part of 8.0.1.

Stuart McIntyre, 2007-08-15

Everything I have seen that is public or thru the partner program (meaning not from the DP program) pretty much makes me believe that the Mac client will not make 8.0.1. I believe partners can find slides that say on of the features of Notes Client "Next" is an updated Mac client. For once, I will place my bet with Volker.

John Head, 2007-08-15

On the other hand, the news about Activities requiring a Lotus Connections server and license is not new .. they said this at Lotusphere. The Sidebar panel is just an extension point. This should not be a surprise or a big deal in my opinion.

John Head, 2007-08-15

John, can you come up with a slide from Lotusphere that says: "We did announce activity-based computing for Hannover in 2005, but we are sorry to say you will have to buy another exciting product called Connections for that"? Maybe it's next to the one where Mike Rhodin said that Workplace was only an experiment. :-)

Volker Weber, 2007-08-15

LOL You're in a wicked mood today Volker ;-)

Stuart McIntyre, 2007-08-15

Well, Mike did say that and I have proof. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2007-08-15

Activity-based computing is delivered as a plug-in for the Notes 8 client. It is a capability delivered in Notes 8 as outlined at announcement.

It requires a different server back-end, and that was described from the outset (even before it had the name "Lotus Connections"). Like some of the Sametime-based capabilities in Notes 6/7/8, that back-end requires additional licensing.

I don't see that as any different than talking about .Mac or iLife/iWork as part of a Mac product announcement, SharePoint without mentioning SQL Server, the Pearl including Telenav without indicating that it is a subscription service. It's there and it works, it just requires an additional piece.

Ed Brill, 2007-08-15

You are right. It's the same way of suckering somebody in.

Volker Weber, 2007-08-15


the expectations - stired up by IBM - were different. Nobody said (ok, maybe extremly quiet) that you need a different backend for active-based computing as the hype about Notes 8 started.

It is hard to explain the management that one of the main features of Notes 8 isn't working in a 100% Notes/Domino environment.

And: If MS is doing it this way, must IBM doing it the same way?

Wolfgang Haderlein, 2007-08-16

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