Liberate your Notes app with KEEP.WORKS

by Volker Weber


Moving off Notes applications is next to impossible. Notes has a unique set of capabilities that are not easily rebuilt on other platforms. That is what is keeping companies from retiring their Domino servers, even if they have long migrated messaging. I call it the Asbestos problem. Easy to put in, very hard to get out.

A few days ago I told you about the partnership of LDC and PSC, where the LDC VIA platform serves as a delivery platform for legacy Notes applications. Now LDC has built a self service platform on top of LDC VIA and it is called KEEP.WORKS.

You upload your notes app and they host it for you. No IT support required. You will have to manage your users, but that's about it.

IT is going to go ballistic. Imagine your business users breaking free ...

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Interesting, can someone provide real world experiences? When I read "Simply upload your Notes database to, and will convert it..." I have doubts this will work reliably for even slightly more sophisticated (== powerful == valuable) apps.

Carsten Lührmann, 2016-08-24

Carsten, KEEP.WORKS builds on what LDC Via offers. In other words, we are all about providing a new home for your data in a way that’s eminently useful and familiar.

What we don’t pretend to offer is some “magic pill” to migrate an *application*: that way folly lies!

Ben Poole, 2016-08-24

I can't remember how often people have asked me how to "export" their CRM contacts or a database with contracts attached. The value in those apps only lies in the data, not in the application logic.

Volker Weber, 2016-08-24

There are scenarios where the application logic does contain value....

When I was developing Notes/Domino very often the project goal would be to extract and "automate" a process or method from a team or an individual. Which was fine.

What we noticed was that over time the development team became the only team in the business that really understood the business processes - why, when and how. I always felt that was a dangerous situation for any business to be in. So I do think there is value in logic - because often it is the only place where there is logic.

Ian Bradbury, 2016-08-25

I think Ian has some valid points here, just reducing it to the data is too much simplification IMHO. I believe the value of an app is equal to the size of the problem it solves. Sure there are lots of applications like the one you described, which solely (more or less) "solve" the problem of giving the user an answer to the question: Where should I store my data? But for those apps its relatively easy to migrate away from Domino anyway (like: Lotusscript agent to cycle through all relevant documents in the NSF, grab all attachments, throw them into content management system via CMIS, assign some metadata if needed, done).
The value in important applications, at least in the ones I saw, is created by other aspects as well: correlations between data artifacts, program logic for data lifecycle, optimizations, interfaces to other systems or support for the process in which the data is generated in the first place (workflows), granular control over user permissions, availabilty (offline ;) ), distributing expensive computations to the clients, ...
I think the real urge of companies is to get rid of the legacy runtime environment (== Notes client / Browser Plugin) because its current implementation is clumsy, buggy and generally a PITA and there is no real light at the end of the tunnel. The Domino servers themselves can easily be moved to the cloud already.
And to come back to the topic: If a substantial part of the value of an app is achieved by using services of the runtime, it is probably hard to migrate them to a "new home". If it were easy to web-enable legacy Notes applications, it would have been done.

Carsten Lührmann, 2016-08-25

All valid points. And of course there is value in application’s logic. I’ve been developing, re-developing and maintaining enterprise applications since 1998, and one thing is clear: business processes change, leaving a lot of “cruft” behind in typical line of service applications. If nothing else, re-developing an app means that you start from a clean slate and focus on what is truly required.

But I digress… When it comes to KEEP.WORKS, we provide a new home for Domino (i.e. unstructured, document-based) data, with a familiar security model, and we provide a means to make use of that data.

If an organisation needs more, that’s why we have the LDC Via API — if we were “just” a silo for data, we could never survive against the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, and others.

Ben Poole, 2016-08-25

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