Does this remind you of Lotus Notes

by Volker Weber

I mean back in the days, when you could slap together a small form-based app and put it on the server? Well, now you can do it again. Just somewhere else.


Pretty darn nifty eh? I loved this bit though:

“To get started… talk to your IT department.”

Heh heh. Good luck with that!

Ben Poole, 2009-06-25

Yup, they are certainly not going to be the driver here. :-)

Volker Weber, 2009-06-25

Lotus Approach had a Team Computing feature, where it could send out a form to be filled in by users, it did require Approach to be installed, but the users would fill in the form and they would be mailed back. When they were opened approach would bring the response back in to the database.

This is the great thing about hosted apps, the network is there, the connection is there, it allows for more flexible approaches for collaboration.

Using Email as the transport mechanism is viewed in many ways as the sneaker net was, when we were pushing email as the network. The world has moved on.

I wonder how licensing is, lets say I wanted to do this with external customers, would they need licenses?

Carl Tyler, 2009-06-25

Just have the C't 9/1991 on my desk where Jörg Allmann ([hint]who celebrates his birthday on Sunday[/hint]) and Jürgen Wege wrote an artikle about Notes 2 or 3. "Radiobuttons an Checkboxes make input easy".
Good concepts keep on going, at least OS/2 LAN-Manager disappeared :->

Andres Grün, 2009-06-25

You would think that the same governance issues which have effectively killed Notes as a department/workgroup solution would also apply here.

Ed Maloney, 2009-06-25

Ed, I guess it depends how far they go with this. Currently it’s just a question of comparing a proliferation of Google Docs spreadsheets versus hundreds of deployed NSFs / Sharepoint instances.

Ben Poole, 2009-06-26

I can see utility in this but let's remember that the back end is a spreadsheet not a database and the spreadsheet model will break down at some point - no-one is saying that databases are dead.

I'm usually suspicious when people cite the 'big picture' when trying to make a point but there are times when it is justified. Corporate IT is also seeking to simplify data models and/or have data models that encompass as much of the organisation as possible. For this reason, "To get started… talk to your IT department.", is quite right. When analysed as part of a bigger picture it may be that other solutions offer a better fit for the organisation as a whole - especially for organisations of more than a couple of dozen of employees.

Where I work Notes is anything but dead as a department or workgroup or cross-department/workgroup solution but we are rightly required to ensure everything we do conforms to an overall strategy and does not duplicate or overlap with other existing systems that could deliver an equivalent solution with minimal enhancement.

As Ben says, it does depend how far they go with this but it seems to me that unless corporate IT is involved and defines it as a major development platform it will just end up in a proliferation of spreadsheets that are essentially islands or which are used on a one-off situational basis.

Ian Scott, 2009-06-26

Count how many spreadsheet islands there are in your organisation. This will be attractive to people who use Office to solve so many of their IT problems because they DON'T have to contact IT to solve them.

It reminds me that I need to market the Notes solutions I design as well as just designing them, because otherwise how are people going to find out and just try to use a spreadsheet (yet again) instead? Don't just be narked that it's another spreadsheet silo - do something about it!!

Phil Warner, 2009-06-27

We do actually have a lot of spreadsheet islands (more than we can count probably) but we are trying to eliminate them first by identifying them and then bringing them into the plan. Notes is pretty helpful there. Part of the problem has been that in the past IT never knew about the requirements.

I maintain that IT departments will one day want to bring the islands in to the fold and take a cohesive view of it and that it is responsible of them to do so.

For a few years I was happily going around building Notes databases for the business but once we reached a certain number IT management made it its business to get it all marshalled and I am grateful for that. The business is still getting the solutions it wants.

Ian Scott, 2009-06-27

Well - just use it once to get a feeling for it.

In my opinion the point is it is so quick and easy - especially when the people doesnt share the same Infrastructure.

Example: (Inter organizational use)

There are a group of 60 Allumnis working in 60 different organizations.

This people want to coordinate a Happening. There is not such a thing as a it-department or one infrastructure all have rights to work in.

With Doogle Docs you get this - easy and quick - place shared for all 60 persons.

All you need:
- access to web with browser
- the link = a mailadress or a other way of getting the link (Facebook, Twitter, Xing,...)

That makes it great in my eyes :-) nearly no borders - directly ready for use.

Martin Rosenberg, 2009-06-29

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