When did IBM start to timebomb Notes/Domino trial kits?

by Volker Weber

Lotus has always been very open with their trial software. You downloaded, you installed, you tested, and when you were ready to go into production, you licensed. But you did not have to touch the servers. Demo and fully licensed were just the same kit.

At some point in time that has changed. I think it was with Notes/Domino 8.

During Domino server startup, Domino checks whether you are using a trial version or the production version. If it is a production server install, the server startup process continues as usual. If it is an evaluation version, Domino checks whether the evaluation period has expired. ... If the evaluation process has expired, the server startup is terminated and the console displays this message: ... You can now install the production Domino server.

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[via Anthony Holmes]


Yikes. When it takes certain big companies weeks to raise a PO and get it actioned (*cough* HAL *cough), this could mean the difference between a dead platform, or not.

More seriously, a strange time to start changing things: are there really that many instances of companies running unlicensed Domino environments?

Ben Poole, 2008-06-24

Oh come on, who would use trial software in a production setting??? I downloaded the trial of Notes 5 when it first came out and tried it for a few days fully expecting it to expire...all of the other trial software I've ever played with has. Beat up IBM about real stuff, not this trivial nonsense! ;)

Colin Williams, 2008-06-25

This is non-trivial... there've been times when the last beta has actually been more suitable for production use than the timed gold code. And as I've griped about for years, getting current media from IBM through Piss-Poor Advantage is only slightly easier than getting the President's Mansion away from Robert Mugabe. Also, those of us who are longtime CLPs tend to regard access to current production Lotus code as sort of cheap promo for Lotus, since if we can make it work on our own servers, we're more likely to use it on our clients' production servers, and sometimes you just need more than 90 days to see how things in complex environments shake out.

I can't think of a single reason for IBM to actually time-limit gold code. Not one. A few cheap small business owners decide not to pay for the code? Whoopee. They are at least USING it, and when they become not-so-small businesses, they'll come back with a purchase order. And even if they don't, they're paying a BP to develop code for them.

Scott Wenzel, 2008-06-25

I thought this was about trial rather than beta code?

Anyway, I've always found Passport to be fine for getting up-to-date release code although admit to holding back on most versions for a few weeks to let the dust settle.

I'm a customer rather than BP so I can't comment beyond that but I see your point re complex environment testing.

Colin Williams, 2008-06-25

I just don’t believe in time-bombing software, full stop. It’s counter-productive Those who want to be cheap / illegal and steal software will do so anyway. For everyone else, the software should just get out of their way and let them use it.

Ben Poole, 2008-06-25

In a way, Lotus is just getting more aligned with IBM. All their other trial software is time-bombed as well.

Volker Weber, 2008-06-25

So what happens when the trial version expires? Complete lockout? Is then a complete re-install required, or just adding a "key" supplied by IBM?

Mixie Duckinson, 2009-02-21

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