Thursday, October 1, 2009

A walk down Memory Lane with Lotus Notes

DOMINOPOWER SITE-OF-THE-MONTH

By David Gewirtz

With all the hoopla about Release 8.5.1, sometimes we forget just how far Lotus and Notes has come. In fact, very few people realize that Notes dates all the way back to the PLATO system in the 1970s and early 1980s.

My involvement with Notes started in the early 1990s, while Notes 2 was out. I wrote Lotus Notes 3 Revealed! (shown in Figure A) As I recall, that the second book ever written about Notes and the first to focus on Notes business related issues.

FIGURE A

Lotus Notes 3 Revealed! showed some amazing case studies for Notes, even then.

And no, the dude on the cover isn't me.

Of course, since the mid-1990s, Notes has come a very long way. IBM bought Lotus in 1995 (which means IBM has had Notes for almost 15 years -- Holy Cow!) and shortly after, Release 4 came out in 1996. It's also hard to believe, but before Release 4, there was no LotusScript.

Since then, Release 5 came out in 1999, 6.0 in 2002, ND7 in 2005, and, of course, Release 8 in 2007.

If you'd like to read an excellent overview of the history of Notes going all the way from PLATO to Release 8, I recommend this month's Site of the Month, The History of Notes and Domino on IBM's developerWorks.

For newcomers, it's a fascinating read. For those of us old-timers, it's a walk down memory lane.