Web Services for Domino Developers

Collaboration & Messaging
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On September 25, IBM announced new capabilities for Lotus Domino 6 developers by delivering Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) features through the IBM WebSphere Application Server (WAS). This new capability will enable Domino developers to more easily link key business processes through open Web services standards-based software. It also clarifies IBM's Domino/Web services strategy, for which it has received some criticism in the past.

Straightening Out Domino/Web Services Requirements

For four years, Domino developers were provided with a limited license to use earlier releases of WebSphere technology. This past license allowed many IBM Business Partners and developers to bring some advanced functions from WebSphere into the Domino applications. However, the technology used within Domino was leading developers to specifically demand Web services capabilities from within the Domino designer IDE. This created numerous requirements for Lotus to integrate Web services into the Domino designer IDE--tasks that were duplicating and competing with internal IBM Web services efforts within WebSphere.

Last spring, Lotus began scaling back its planned release of Domino 6 for Web services implementation within the Domino designer, acknowledging that the previous strategy to integrate Web services into a native Domino IDE might be counter productive to the long-range goal of compatibility and IBM's goal of "standards-based" implementations. Instead, it determined to use the WAS as the integrating hub for Domino/Web services integration for Domino 6.

Better Architectural Strategy: Using WebSphere for Web Services

IBM's announcement last week validates the efficacy of the newer strategy. Now, with this announcement, Domino developers and customers will have access to the WebSphere J2EE infrastructure from within Domino, leveraging the huge ecosystem of WebSphere developers, Business Partners, and customers. This brings Domino in line with IBM's grand strategy to enable all of its middleware with comprehensive support for open Internet standards--through WebSphere--and to enable the development of Web services applications from within those products.

"At Lotusphere, IBM Lotus software made a commitment to J2EE and Web services, and today's WebSphere news marks a major step in delivering that strategy to customers and the marketplace," said Scott Cooper, Vice President, Lotus Solutions, IBM Software Group. "This new offering enables Business Partners and customers to realize the benefits and collaborative capabilities from Lotus while using WebSphere as their Web services infrastructure. It also broadens WebSphere's developer community to include some of the industry's most innovative Business Partners and developers working with Lotus collaborative software."

Eclipse for Domino?

IBM says, in addition, it will soon be providing Lotus developers with WebSphere Studio and other Eclipse-based tools. Eclipse is IBM's development platform that allows developers to use different tools from multiple vendors in an integrated, portal-like environment. Prior to Eclipse, developers were forced to use multiple tools for the various functions, ranging from code compiling to debugging, used in creating software programs.

Free WebSphere Application Server for Domino 6 Developers

IBM says that Lotus Domino 6 will be available in Q3 2002 for Microsoft Windows NT and Windows 2000, IBM OS/400, IBM AIX, Sun Solaris/SPARC, and Linux (IA-32) server platforms. Lotus Notes 6 will be available for Windows 32-bit operating systems and Macintosh clients, including Mac OS X. Pricing will be announced upon general availability. IBM also says that purchasers of Lotus Domino 6 will be able to download WAS from the IBM Lotus Passport Advantage site at no additional cost.

Thomas M. Stockwell is the Editor in Chief of MC Press, LLC. He has written extensively about program development, project management, IT management, and IT consulting and has been a frequent contributor to many midrange periodicals. He has authored numerous white papers for iSeries solutions providers. His most recent consulting assignments have been as a Senior Industry Analyst working with IBM on the iSeries, on the mid-market, and specifically on WebSphere brand positioning. He welcomes your comments about this or other articles and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..