IBM announced Monday at Lotusphere its roadmap of innovations, products, services and Business Partner initiatives that it says are designed to make Lotus Notes and Domino-already licensed to 140 million users-the "desktop of the future."
"The work force is becoming more global and dynamic," said Michael Rhodin, general manager, IBM Lotus Software. "Lotus Notes and Domino bring companies and individual workers greater mobility, security, Web 2.0 capabilities, and overall higher performance."
IBM Lotus Notes and Domino 8 enterprise collaboration software was developed with input from more than 25,000 customers. Shipping since August 2007, Lotus Notes 8 transforms the inbox into an integrated workspace, bringing together email, calendar, instant messaging, office productivity tools, and collaborative applications.
IBM announced it will ship Lotus Notes and Domino 8.0.1 in February with several significant updates that help users harness the power of the Web.
Included in 8.0.1 is a powerful Web 2.0 feature, My Widgets, that can be used to execute actions such as retrieving real-time flight arrival information simply by clicking on a flight number in an email. This is accomplished through a new technology called Live Text that can identify patterns and phrases and associate them with an appropriate widget. Users can drag and drop, or import, various kinds of widgets such as Google Gadgets, feeds, and Web pages or their own custom programs onto their new widgets panel in the Lotus Notes sidebar. Planned for delivery with Lotus Domino 8.0.1, is IBM Lotus Notes Traveler, which will provide automatic, real-time wireless replication of email including attachments, calendar, contacts, personal journal, and the "to do" list for Microsoft Windows Mobile devices.
"With Lotus collaboration capabilities, we can better harness the value-added information that comes as a result of collaboration-and we can continue to stay on the cutting-edge of our industry," said Eric Lohry, president of Nutra-Flo company, a developer of high performance protein ingredients for livestock and crops worldwide, headquartered in Sioux City, Iowa, with sales support in several major regions worldwide including Asia.
IBM previewed Lotus Notes and Domino 8.5 software, the next major release that includes enhancements to the Lotus Domino Web application environment. New features planned for IBM Lotus Domino Designer 8.5 will allow applications to utilize Web 2.0 techniques such as AJAX, style sheets, and RSS or ATOM feeds.
IBM is adding the rich security environment of Lotus Notes software by introducing a new email security appliance called IBM Lotus Protector for Mail Security-an anti-virus and anti-spam solution based on the IBM Proventia Network Mail Security System. Lotus Protector for Mail Security will block spam at the appliance before it reaches the Lotus Notes server or affects Lotus Notes software users. Lotus Protector for Mail Security will help companies of all sizes safeguard the confidentiality of their corporate information. The product utilizes IBM Internet Security Systems' industry leading threat mitigation and information security technologies and the IBM ISS X-Force research and development team.
Lotus Symphony Beta 4 software (ibm.com/software/lotus/symphony), the next version of the popular suite of no-charge desktop productivity tools, features an open programming model that goes beyond Microsoft Office by transforming the basic document into a portal to the Web 2.0 world. Ready for download by the end of January, Lotus Symphony Beta 4 allows independent software vendors (ISVs) to wire capabilities into the documents that access and manage business applications such as issuing a shipping order or an invoice directly from a spreadsheet.
Information can flow into documents as well. For example, inventory data can be pulled into Lotus Symphony Spreadsheets for easy, flexible analysis and extracted for reporting or collaboration. These are forms of composite applications also popular with customers of Lotus Notes software.
"The ability to build composite applications within our Lotus and Domino 8 system has made our workflow processes more efficient and effective," said Athikhom Pothikanon, manager, information technology department, Hino Motors Manufacturing, Ltd. (Thailand). "Additionally, the awareness feature of Lotus Notes ensures customer demands are delegated appropriately and addressed in a timely manner." Based in Bangkok, Hino Motors Manufacturing makes and distributes buses, trucks and spare parts worldwide.
Available from the Symphony community Web site will be a set of IBM plug-ins, including IBM Lotus Sametime Unyte Meeting, Lotus Sametime Unyte Share, and IBM WebSphere Translation Server which will provide on-the-fly translation of Lotus Symphony-generated content, greatly easing the effort to work across multiple languages.
Lotus Symphony Beta 4 provides a new market opportunity for IBM Business Partners to extend their applications through both Eclipse plug-ins and Java programming. Several plug-ins developed by Business Partners are being showcased at Lotusphere. Symphony has been downloaded by more than 400,000 users in English and is available in 24 major languages.
IBM announced additional developments broadening customer access to Lotus Notes and Domino solutions. For instance, IBM Applications on Demand for Lotus Notes provides Lotus Notes and Domino customers a hosted and managed environment for their mail and collaborative applications, including Lotus Sametime instant messaging integrated in Notes 8 and the IBM Lotus Quickr connector software integrated into the Lotus Notes 8.0.1 product. In addition, Lotus Sametime, IBM Lotus Connections and Lotus Quickr are also available via IBM's Applications on Demand service.