IBM Ships Next Notes/Domino Beta, Readies Collaboration Update

Following a November announcement expanding the software, service and solution options for its collaborative services initiative, IBM began delivering on that vision at Lotusphere 2005 in Orlando this week.

Included on the list of announcements this week: the start of the latest beta test of Lotus Notes and Domino 7, enhancements to Workplace Collaboration Services, and the debut of IBM’s Web conferencing service.

IBM’s Workplace collaboration strategy revolves around Lotus Notes and Domino 7, which entered its third beta this week. Notes and Domino 7 is scheduled to ship this summer, the company said. The new version features improved server performance and enhanced integration with IBM’s Workplace platform.

It’s no surprise that dedicated IBM users applaud the company’s direction and progress. Robert Rosen, president of SHARE, the giant IBM user group umbrella organization, for one, likes the idea of increased integration throughout the company’s collaboration products and solutions.

“I think the real plus is [that] everything is in one place so [users] don’t have to jump between applications,” says Rosen. “If they have a common look and feel, it makes support and the IT managers’ jobs easier.”

IBM Workplace Collaboration Services provides a single, integrated environment that includes a wide range of collaborative capabilities or "services," such as e-mail, calendar, instant messaging, Web conferencing, document and Web content management that can be assembled from pre-built, reusable collaborative services. One notable addition in version 2.5, set to ship this quarter, is a new user interface called Activity Explorer that enables the user to view activities such as e-mail, instant messages, calendars and documents simultaneously on a single screen.

The company also confirmed the availability of its Web Conferencing Service, which features the ability to view shared presentations and participate in virtual white-board sessions, as well as to communicate with other attendees through instant messaging or through a meeting-specific chat room. The service is available on a pay-per-use or subscription basis.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.