I never got a chance to meet the inventors of Notes®, but these guys were true visionaries. Their
concepts and ideas of 20 years ago still feed today’s buzz. They invented a robust “NO SQL” data
store, provided a social platform with collaboration features, and made the deployment and replication
of applications easy...it is certainly no accident that Notes became so popular! Backed by a
strong community of passionate developers dedicated to the platform, it elegantly solves real
problems in the collaboration space by bringing together all the necessary components. As a
developer, it makes you very productive.
Lotus Notes is also a fabulous software adventure and definitely a model for other software
projects. At a time when technology evolves at unprecedented speed, where new standards appear
and deprecate quickly, Lotus Notes adapts by keeping up to date. Over the past 20 plus years,
Notes/Domino® has continually embraced diverse technologies in different domains: HTTP,
unique in the software industry. Best of all, this is done while maintaining full compatibility with
the previous releases. This reduces the risk for IT organizations and makes their long-term
investment safer. Applications that were built about two decades ago on top of Windows® 2
(remember?) can be run without modification on the latest release of Notes/Domino, using any
modern 64-bit operating system, including Linux® and MAC-OS! Continuity is the master word
here, paired with innovation.
But, the world evolves. Software platforms in the old days were just proprietary, providing
all the features they required by themselves. The need for integration wasn’t that high. However,
as IT has matured over time, most organizations nowadays rely on heterogeneous sets of software
that have to integrate with each other. Starting with version 8, the Notes client became a revolutionary
integration platform. Not only does it run all of your traditional Notes/Domino applications,
but it also integrates a Java web container, provides a composite application framework,
embeds Symphony™, offers connectors to Quickr®, Sametime®, Lotus Connections, and so on.
This was a great accomplishment—kudos to the Notes team.