When you first set up Notes and Domino for your intranet, you no doubt noticed that there were a couple things that seemed to be lacking.
There was no real “sanctioned” blog template from IBM Lotus, and RSS (Really Simple Syndication) support was only available if you wanted to code it yourself.
That’s about to change with Notes and Domino 7.0.2 and what has been called IBM’s “Innovation Pack.”
Notes and Domino 7.0.2 is currently in beta and set to be released in the coming months.
What makes this different from a general bug fix release is that IBM will be adding features to make it easier to blog, use RSS, and even take your Notes and Domino information on the road with you via USB memory sticks.
The first major addition will be an included blog template. Last year IBM acquired the services of Steve Castledine and his dominoblog blogging template.
Castledine has been busy at work taking his code (which is already used by many Domino bloggers) and making it ready for a full IBM release.
The major news here is that IBM Lotus truly gets the value in blogs and how they can be used to make your business better.
By including a blogging template I think you will see more businesses taking the steps to blog internally within their organization, and even externally to connect with customers.
Syndication Made Easy
Additionally, Lotus is adding server and client support for RSS. RSS is an XML format that is used to transmit information as a newsfeed.
You can subscribe to a particular feed and you will get updated information every time that feed is updated.
As any blog or news junkie knows, RSS is now an integral part of obtaining information on the Internet.
Lotus has designed the feature with a centralized location to make changes to the RSS content, and it will work with existing templates without modification.
This means that you can take your existing views and add RSS feeds without changing the view or database itself.
This will allow administrators the ability to quickly add RSS capabilities to any intranet application without much effort.
Once an RSS feed is created, your users can use any number of feed readers on the market to subscribe to the information.
You could even surface the RSS feeds in a portal environment. No matter how you choose to do so, RSS will help you disseminate information to your end-users quickly and efficiently.
Take It To Go
In a previous article, I talked about the importance of replication as a Notes and Domino feature.
Replication allows you to take your data with you in a disconnected fashion. Notes 7.0.2 will take that a step further with what has been code-named “Nomad.”
Nomad is simply the ability to install your Notes client on a USB thumb-drive. This is a full-blown Lotus Notes client install, complete with all of your data.
What makes this unique is that your Lotus Notes becomes portable, and allows you to launch your Notes client after plugging into any Microsoft Windows workstation with a USB port.
One click will launch the Notes software from the USB drive. Notes doesn’t need to be installed on the machine at all, and no files are left behind when you remove the USB drive.
You can now carry your Lotus Notes install (and all that replicated intranet data) securely on your keychain. Notes can now be truly portable.
More Choices In A 64-bit World
One of the other things that has always made Domino a compelling intranet solution was its multi-platform support.
You could run Domino on many flavors of Unix, Linux, and Windows and mix-and-match them within your environment.
With 7.0.1 Lotus already had 64-bit support on Solaris 9 and 10, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0, some IBM System z setups and Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux 9.
With 7.0.2 they’ve added 64-bit support for Windows 2003 server (Standard and Enterprise) and Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux 10.
So now you’ll have even more choices of hardware and software combinations to deploy IBM Lotus Domino.
It’s nice to see IBM Lotus adding functionality like this between major releases. The additional features should help you bolster your Domino intranet and keep information workers happy.
Notes and Domino 7.0.2 is currently in beta, and should be released in the next few months.
About This Series
This series of articles on intranet solutions with IBM Lotus Notes/Domino is intended to help readers understand the fundamental methodology and capabilities of the product and how to utilize it to deliver a feature-rich, secure, and functional corporate intranet solution.
It will include implementation strategies, case studies, industry-tested tips and tricks, and, with your input, true value to the administrator or developer who wants to utilize IBM Lotus Notes/Domino technologies to deliver winning intranet solutions.
If you have any questions on the series, Lotus Notes/Domino, or if there’s something you’d like to see addressed, visit the Intranet Journal Discussion Forum.