Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Wikis the death of Lotus Notes

IBM has got it all wrong with its latest strategy for Lotus Notes. Trying to zest up the old fella, IBM has tacked on social computing features, but it’s missed the Web 2.0 platform that will hammer in the last couple of nails in the Notes coffin, namely Wikis.

I’ve been a Lotus user and supporter for a good decade. It enabled me to develop a website that would be the foundation of my business, MediaConnect. Without Lotus Notes and it’s ease of development, my business would never have got off the ground.

We dumped Lotus last year, to move to the more prevalent and far more flexible LAMP platform, but even having done so I was never able to find a platform better suited for doing what Lotus has always done best – that is building departmental, hack-your-own apps.

As such, I’ve been hanging onto Notes as our Intranet platform, but I’ve finally found a way to move on, and that’s Google’s recently acquired Jotspot platform.

I’d played with Jotspot before and been moderately impressed, but it wasn’t until I recently started delving into its markup language and app-building capabilities, that it became very apparent to me that this was the future.

Let’s face it, most intranets and indeed most websites are simply a collection of documents. That’s what made Lotus so perfect, being a document-based database. To hack up an app you simply built a wysiwyg form, modified a view and you were away.

Wikis are even more simple. You just type.

However, I’d always considered wikis to lack power until I lifted the covers of Jotspot. I’ve also been checking out competing wikis like the offering from Australian company Atlassian, and I’ve finally found the direction that has enabled me to put to bed Lotus.

Social networking and social bookmarking are trendy, but thats not how real collaboration is done. Someone should have taken a good look at Wikipedia and how successful that’s been in terms of what Notes is really all about, knowledge management and collaboration, before they got carried away with trying to build corporate equivalent of MySpace or delicious.

RIP Lotus Notes. Long live the wiki.

Filed under: Wikis

5 Responses

  1. Lotus Notes died many years ago, you just hadn’t realised it yet. 😛

    • James says:

      I develop for Lotus Notes… Trust me, it’s dead. Expages is years behind visual… It’s very frustrating. Its latest pairing with Eclipse has destroyed Notes client and designer.

      I do hope that companies using Lotus Notes go with more up to date tools like PHP, and relational databases like SQL and Oracle. Lotus Notes is not a fast development tool, it is merely an illusion… Companies may be paying to switch, but they will get better tools for it.

      Companies say they can develop stuff faster than others in Notes. This is the Notes illusion.

      People who say Notes is not dead. Those people need to step out of their social circle and realise how minute lotus notes population is.

  2. Andy C says:

    Wikis are even more simple. You just type.

    I strongly agree and think Wikis are the most logical repository for corporate intranets as opposed to network shares, email folders, Web sites, blogs and people’s heads.

    And you’re right. For simple articles, you do just type.

    However, in MediaWiki (at least) while entering lists is tolerable, adding hyperlinks is non-intuitive (how many square brackets ?) and you need markup for simple constructs (double quotes for Italics, five quotes for bold italics).

    No thanks. I may as well revert to nroff(1) macros.

    I am sure Wiki variants exist with built-in editors (Tiny MCE) but this is the main reason I continue to resist the call of Wikis.

  3. Caitlin says:

    Gosh, I didn’t realise Lotus Bloats was still around.

  4. I am amazed about how many people would LOVE TO KILL LOTUS NOTES and wonder why?

    There is a long list of why Lotus Notes should have DIED:
    1. Internet will kill Lotus Notes. Surprised/ Search Google and see how people discussed such a ridiculous thing. Well the disconnected and offline user kept Notes Alive with all its sucking qualities.

    2. Online Online and Online applications will kill Lotus Notes? Why? The Non-Lotus world does not have a good FAT-Client or off line software or replication or the disconnected user defies them.

    Whatever you say FIRST KILL THAT CEO, CHAIRMAN, DIRECTOR or any important person in your company who has a Laptop and uses Lotus Notes offline and is a disconnected USER.

    Then my friends you will KILL LOTUS NOTES.

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